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”?
Could it be that the sex abuse scandal involved a man abusing boys, meaning that the acts were homosexual in nature? And could it be that even Rush Limbaugh didn’t have the guts to address this? (Contrary to the protestations of some, a man who is sexually involved with boys is a homosexual pedophile; a man who is sexually involved with girls is a heterosexual pedophile.)
Of course, the fact there are homosexual pedophiles does not mean that all (or most) gays are child abusers. Certainly not! And yet even Rush Limbaugh, it appears, would not address this directly.
Perhaps Dr. Laura, another radio giant, could weigh in on this. After she expressed her respectful differences with homosexuality during her shows more than 10 years ago, the Stop Dr. Laura campaign was birthed to thwart the launching of her new TV program.
According to StopDrLaura.com, “The year-long campaign against Dr. Laura . . . so exposed Dr. Laura’s anti-gay rhetoric to the world, that she could not even sneeze without the major national media, and thousands of individual activists like yourselves, watching, recording her every word, and pouncing when action was needed. As a result of the 50+ million hits this pro bono site received in just 10 months, and the 300,000 visitors per month that we continued to get throughout the campaign, protests were organized in 34 cities across the country and Canada, over 170 advertisers dropped Dr. Laura’s TV show (including some 70 or so advertisers that Canadian activists got to drop her in that country alone!), and over 30 advertisers dropped her radio show, reportedly costing her over $30 million in advertising.” (For details on this, including a simultaneous attack on Dr. Laura on the West Wing TV show, see my book A Queer Thing Happened to America, a book the publishing world felt was too hot to handle.)
Is this what the fearless Rush Limbaugh feared?
Within the last few months, both Microsoft and the CEO of Starbucks capitulated to gay activist pressure after two separate petition drives yielded signatures numbering in the hundreds at Change.org (that’s right, in the hundreds). And one year ago, Apple caved in to gay activist pressure and removed a conservative political and religious app (the Manhattan Declaration), stating that the app was deemed “offensive to large groups of people.” Yet Apple continued to host apps for anonymous gay sex encounters, despite calls for their removal. This is not “offensive to large groups of people”?
But we return to Rush. If, in fact, I misunderstood him, then he has my profound apology. If I understood him correctly, then he has my profound appeal: Speak up, Rush, and don’t be afraid. Surely you have the guts.
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.