Some wish for a white Christmas, but radio icon Rush Limbaugh has been wishing for riots at the Democratic convention later this August. Freshman Colorado Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO) is taking Limbaugh and his employers to task for “the incendiary comments” made on his show last week.
Salazar’s letter went to Clear Channel Radio Rocky Mountain Region SVP Lee Larsen. Salazar wrote, “I was disappointed to hear the incendiary comments made this week by Rush Limbaugh, one of the voices on your station. As I read Mr. Limbaugh’s comments about riots at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, they appear to me to be a clear exhortation that those riots are exactly what he wants to happen. For that kind of incendiary comment, I ask Clear Channel to reprimand Mr. Limbaugh. It is wrong to have political partisans of any stripe suggesting that violence is somehow an acceptable outcome of our political conventions. Political commentary on our public airwaves – heard by millions of Americans every day – should speak to the great strength reflected in the peaceful exercise of democracy at the national conventions in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Denver, Colorado
Clear Channel execs are said to have referred the matter to Premiere Radio Networks, and expressed their view that they do not believe Limbaugh was literally calling for riots. They were also not surprised to receive a letter from Salazar.
RBR/TVBR observation: This tempest may have briefly escaped its teapot, but we doubt that it has enough steam to get much further before dissipating down the memory hole. And as far as we know Rush’s performance leaves his employers with nothing to complain about — people still spend cold hard cash to reach Rush’s intensely loyal audience. But his erstwhile friends over at the Republican Party may be having other thoughts of late.
Think back to November 2006, when the Democrats achieved as razor thin a margin in the Senate as can be conceived – essentially a 49-49 tie with the Republicans leavened by two independents identifying with the Democratic caucus – and one of them, Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is himself on a razor thin catwalk between the two parties and is talking about speaking on John McCain’s (R-AZ) behalf at the Republican Convention this summer. And several of the elections making this possible were themselves based on razor-thin margins.
To this day, one of the victors, Claire McCaskill (D-MO) credits Limbaugh with putting her over the top with his attack on Parkinson’s victim Michael J. Fox. In the current election cycle, Limbaugh has spent a lot of time fighting against McCain’s nomination. The bottom line is that the close relationship between Limbaugh and Republicans is definitely going through a rocky stretch.