Why is AM radio super conservative
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Super Tuesday? Will the Republicans' primary campaign be decided? Was there something? Does anyone care?
In America, it seemed in the past few days, interest was rather low. The topic in the country's newspapers and talk shows was a radio presenter, his attacks on a student - and his apology.
The radio host and writer is called Rush Limbaugh, and almost everyone in the United States knows him. Limbaugh is famous. Famous-notorious. His talk show, which airs for three hours five times a week, is watched by over 15 million Americans weekly.
The 61-year-old is one of those who consider their habits and views to be the basic rules of the world. One of his bestsellers is called: How things should be. A bestseller about him - written by the comedian and democrat Al Franken - is called: Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot.
Limbaugh's world isn't that complex. There is white or black. There are the good guys and the bad guys. And the good guys are mostly the whites. The godly and conservatives. That's what he calls Obama "half-African American" - half an African who couldn't be a 100 percent American. And women who are committed to contraception coverage are to Limbaugh: sluts.
Like Sandra Fluke. The 30-year-old law student advocates payment for contraception through health insurances. It is ideological trench warfare that Democrats and Republicans are waging on this issue. And the Republicans, driven by the arch-conservative Catholic Rick Santorum, are in the process of moving ever further to the right in these fields. In doing so, they lose sight of the independent voters in the middle - including, and above all, the potentially decisive clientele of women.
In any case, Fluke also campaigned on a committee in the House of Representatives for the policy of free contraception implemented by President Barack Obama. Contraception costs a student a lot of money, not everyone can afford it, Fluke said there. That got the agitator Limbaugh into full swing. He cursed her in the foulest of ways and twisted her words: Her demand for state-paid contraception was, for Limbaugh, evidence of sexual excess. The ultra-conservative referred to her as "prostitute" and "slut" in his show and added a day later: Fluke should post videos of herself on the Internet that she shows during all the sex that she has thanks to the pill. He also wanted something from it, after all, he would pay for it with his taxes.
For this insolence, "El Rushbo" initially received applause from the far right. But even the storm-hardened Limbaugh had probably not expected the tremendous indignation that met him afterwards. The president of the Jesuit-run elite university Georgetown, who is otherwise politically on Limbaugh's side, showed solidarity with the student.
Barack Obama spoke to Fluke on the phone and assured her of his support. "He encouraged me and thanked me for making the concerns of American women public," quoted the Huffington Post Fluke. The White House had given her express permission to speak on the actually personal phone call. And the Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich finally distanced themselves from Limbaugh's choice of words. They did not change their minds on the matter.
Still, it was a minor sensation when Limbaugh atoned for Sandra Fluke's failures. In any case, he has rarely apologized. At least no one can remember it. He did not intend to "attack Miss Fluke personally". Says the man who declared Miss Fluke a prostitute.
It is not entirely clear what brought Limbaugh to this. Real insight into a mistake, even remorse, can be safely ruled out in someone like him. Limbaugh, who currently makes $ 50 million a year on his show, may be worried about finances. More advertisers are pulling out of Fluke's insult, and two radio stations that aired the show have now removed Limbaugh.
Or perhaps Limbaugh has realized that he has harmed the Conservatives with his tirades. In any case, the Democrats have been trying to keep the issue public for several days, and with good reason.
The dispute over whether church institutions have to offer their employees an insurance policy with free contraceptives suits the Democrats. And if someone like Limbaugh starts the fire with easily flammable foolishness, they will be careful not to put it out. Because it only warms the president. The Washington insider magazine Politicohas already identified four reasons why Limbaugh could actually influence the White House race.
Author's note: In a first version of this text, the term birth control was used in a wrong context. The error was corrected after kindly advising a reader.
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