It was surprising to hear Rush Limbaugh say the words, “I don’t have the guts to bring it up,” but he did, on November 8th, to his massive radio audience.
Rush Limbaugh lacking the guts to address something publicly? Rush Limbaugh not willing to tackle controversy? Really?
He was responding to a statement by a caller named Lawrence as they discussed Joe Paterno and the scandal at Penn State.
CALLER: “What’s that?”
RUSH: “Nobody has the guts to actually give the explanation for what was going on and why there was trepidation in reporting it, and that's all I'll say. If you can figure it out on your own, fine and dandy. . . .”
What was Rush talking about?
Let’s put this in context. If there is any prominent figure in America who does not bow down to political correctness or media pressure, it is Rush Limbaugh. In fact, he’s on record as saying that when people try to silence you, you should shout louder.
Long-time listeners of his show remember his 8-year assault on President Clinton as Slick Willie (an assault that continues to this day), his constant mocking of Vice President Al Gore as Algore (as in “Igor”), his reviling of the “environmentalist wackos,” his attacks on the “feminazis,” his mocking of Black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan as Calypso Louie, his insulting imitation of Senator Barney Frank (to name one among many), his renaming of TV channels, such as PMSNBC, and his incessant criticism of “Barack Hussein Obama, mmmm, mmmm, mmmm,” not to mention his frequent playing of the “Barack the Magic Negro” musical parody, featuring the “voice” of Rev. Al Sharpton.
He takes on the president, the Congress, and the media (not to mention his derisive attacks on foreign leaders and even radical Muslims), but there’s one group he won’t take on, one subject he won’t touch.
What is it that, in his words, could end his career? What is it about the Penn State scandal that is “glaring; it's right in front of everybody,” and yet “Nobody has the guts to actually give the explanation for what was going on and why there was trepidation in reporting it”?
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.