Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot: And Other Observations

Overview

In the grand satirical tradition of Swift, Rabelais, and Twain comes -- Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot - And Other Observations -- a scathing -- but uncompromisingly fair -- look at America's largest talk show host and the rest of the Republican right. Penned by the Emmy award-winning Saturday Night Live writer whom John Podhoretz of the New York Post has called "the man responsible for some of the most brilliant political satire of our time," Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot tackles the issues and the ...
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Overview

In the grand satirical tradition of Swift, Rabelais, and Twain comes -- Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot - And Other Observations -- a scathing -- but uncompromisingly fair -- look at America's largest talk show host and the rest of the Republican right. Penned by the Emmy award-winning Saturday Night Live writer whom John Podhoretz of the New York Post has called "the man responsible for some of the most brilliant political satire of our time," Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot tackles the issues and the politicians in ways few have dared. On the subject of Rush Limbaugh, Franken lets the facts speak for themselves. Listen to Rush, the "rugged individualist" and enemy of government handouts, explain how his second wife made him stop sitting around the house eating junk food and go file for unemployment insurance. And learn all of Rush's several explanations for how he avoided the draft. Of course, when it comes to draft-dodging Republicans, Rush isn't alone. Reading Al's Vietnam short story, "Operation Chickenhawk," you'll savor the exploits of Privates Limbaugh, Gramm, Quayle, Buchanan, Gingrich, and George Will as Lieutenant Oliver North leads them kicking and screaming into combat. And don't miss Al's informative discussions with the man who has "the easiest job in America": Rush Limbaugh's fact-checker. And much, much more.

Move over P.J. O'Rourke! From Al Franken, America's premier liberal satirist, comes a hilarious homage to the wonderful and always absurd American political process that skewers a whole new crop of presidential hopefuls--just in time for the 1996 presidential election. This mass market edition has been updated with more than 25 pages of new material.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Comedy writer Franken skewers conservatives in a book that spent 23 weeks on PW's bestseller list. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Had your fill of liberal-bashing since the dittoheads and the Newties came to power? Ready for some skewering of right-wing foibles for a change? Then you'll love comedian and writer Franken's pin-pricking of one particular bag of hot air, Rush Limbaugh, and his conservative cohorts, Bob Dole, Phil Gramm, Pat Buchanan, etc. No, there is nothing subtle about the humor here, but it is very well written and sure to be a big seller, especially since it is scheduled for heavy publicity plus serialization in Playboy and George magazines. If you share Franken's political views, you'll love it; if you don't, buy it anyway, because library patrons will be asking for it.
Library Journal
Had your fill of liberal-bashing since the dittoheads and the Newties came to power? Ready for some skewering of right-wing foibles for a change? Then you'll love comedian and writer Franken's pin-pricking of one particular bag of hot air, Rush Limbaugh, and his conservative cohorts, Bob Dole, Phil Gramm, Pat Buchanan, etc. No, there is nothing subtle about the humor here, but it is very well written and sure to be a big seller, especially since it is scheduled for heavy publicity plus serialization in Playboy and George magazines. If you share Franken's political views, you'll love it; if you don't, buy it anyway, because library patrons will be asking for it.
John Podhoretz
Move over P.J. O'Rourke! From Al Franken, America's premier liberal satirist, comes a hilarious homage to the wonderful, awful, and always absurd American political process that skewers a whole new crop of presidential hopefuls -- just in time for the 1996 presidential election. "(Franken is) responsible in part for some of the most brilliant political satire of our time".
New York Post
From Barnes & Noble
Piercing political satire from veteran Saturday Night Live writer Franken, whose incisive observations have turned the Beltway on its ear and made him our reigning liberal humorist. Includes hilarious discourses on Colin Powell, Bob Dole, Arlen Spencer, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, and such controversies as feminism, affirmative action, and family values. On family values: "Frankly, I'm getting a little sick of cranky Republicans who can't keep their own families together telling everybody else about family values. Quick. What do New Gingrich, Bob Dole, Phil Gramm, Pete Wilson, and George Will have in common? Answer. They've all been married only one less time than Rush Limbaugh."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440508649
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 795,948
  • Product dimensions: 5.49 (w) x 8.18 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Al Franken
Al Franken’s comedy is a unique blend of outright silliness and scathingly intelligent political satire. Often thriving on controversy, Franken began his stand-up career while in high school and has been entertaining fans from the television studio, the big screen, or the pages of his books ever since.

Biography

Al Franken's career as a comedian and political satirist has made him a star of television, movies, and books. Born in New York City, Franken grew up in Minneapolis and started his stand-up career while still in high school. He moved back east to study political science at Harvard University, and the civil rights movements of the 1960s had a profound effect on his politics. Franken tried to blend his two passions by applying for a position at the Harvard Lampoon but was, ironically, rejected.

After Harvard, Franken and a former high school friend, Tom Davis, toured the country as a stand-up team. Fate stepped in when Lorne Michaels caught their act and hired them in 1975 for a new sketch-comedy show based on the Monty Python premise. That show, of course, was the legendary Saturday Night Live. As writers and performers, Franken and Davis were instrumental in putting the edgy new show on the map.

Franken has had an on-and-off relationship with the show, leaving for years at a time to work on outside projects. When he returned to SNL in the late 1980s, Franklin created one of his most memorable characters, Stuart Smalley, the quintessential 12-step therapy optimist whose motto was "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me." Franken spun the Smalley character into a book in 1992 and a feature film, Stuart Saves His Family, in 1995.

In between stints at SNL, Franken carved out a career in the movies. In 1976, Franken starred in Tunnel Vision, an irreverent story about a typical day of programming at TV's first uncensored network. The film wasn't a big hit, but it helped launch the careers of Franken and his costars -- burgeoning comics Chevy Chase, John Candy, and Ron Silver. Franken teamed up with fellow SNL actors once again to star in the box office hit Trading Places (1983) with Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. He cowrote the screenplay for the inspiring and passionate When a Man Loves a Woman (1994), and he was a guest celebrity voice in Clerks: The Animated Series (2000).

Outside of SNL, however, Franken is best known for his hilarious and engaging books, where his sense of humor is well served by his political background. When Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot: And Other Observations was released in 1996, it quickly established Franken as the top liberal satirist of American politics. A biting attack on conservative politics, it was also critically hailed as being uncompromisingly fair. Despite seeming to single out Rush Limbaugh, the book also blasts Republican leadership on subjects ranging from family values to Vietnam draft deferment. The success of the book helped Franken launch his own sitcom, Lateline, which ran on NBC from 1998-99.

After the success of Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot, Franken fans were delighted when Why Not Me? The Inside Story of the Making and Unmaking of the Franken Presidency was released in 1999. Why Not Me? is Franken's rousing mock-epic race for the White House, detailing how he entered the 1999 presidential race (and won) on a platform condemning unfair ATM fees. In 2002, Oh! The Things I Know!: A Guide to Success, or Failing That, Happiness has Franken referring to himself as Dr. Al Franken, dispensing life-affirming lessons such as "Oh! Are You Going to Hate Your First Job" and "Oh! The Weight You Will Gain." He also served as contributing writer to Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live (2002) and wrote the foreword for the third volume of the popular Bushisms series, Still More George W. Bushisms: "Neither in French nor in English nor in Mexican."

None of Franken's books has generated as much controversy as his 2003 release, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. Franken's fans waited seven years for another work of piercing political commentary, and this one more than delivered. Over the course of 43 chapters, Franken takes his battle straight to the top, criticizing the Bush administration and the scores of conservative pundits who, in his opinion, have distorted facts to support their political causes. Franken was sued by the politically conservative Fox Network for using the Fox slogan "Fair and Balanced" in the title of the book. Fox eventually dropped the case, but not before Franken got the last laugh -- he thanked the Fox Network profusely for boosting his book sales via the controversy.

Good To Know

In 1992, Franken anchored Comedy Central's Indecision '92, covering the presidential conventions and election-night events. In 1996, he teamed with Arianna Huffington, covering the party conventions and election night for Bill Maher's show Politically Incorrect.

In 1988, CNN hired Franken to provide commentary at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta.

Franken served as a Fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government at the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, in 2003.

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 21, 1951
    1. Education:
      B.S., Political Science, Harvard University, 1973
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Book Review

January 7, 1996

RUSH LIMBAUGH IS A BIG FAT IDIOT AND OTHER OBSERVATIONS
By Al Franken
288 pp. Delacorte Press:
$21.95

by Jeane Kirkpatrick

IT REMAINS a mystery why the New York Times would ask me to review this dreadfully foul little book. I am an expert on geopolitical strategic paradigms, not on the sort of cheap, mindless mockery that seems to be Mr. Franken's forte. It is almost as if this were the result of some awful mistake by the Times. Why, for example, would humorist P. J. O'Rourke be assigned this very same week to review Nigel Hodgeson's wonderful tome The Falkland Islands War--Six Hundred Years in the Making? Is it possible that because O'Rourke and I have the same agent, some simple mix-up occurred? Perhaps P.J., our agent, or I should have tried to sort this out. But I have simply been too busy trying to slog through this repugnant collection of vile, unfunny essays.

Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations is not just unfunny. It is confused. While Mr. Franken decries "the loss of civility in public discourse," he himself is a most egregious offender, not just calling Rush Limbaugh "a big fat idiot," but Newt Gingrich "a big fat jerk," and House majority leader Richard Armey "a big dick."

Mr. Franken seems to want to have it both ways, criticizing Limbaugh for "demonizing" those who disagree with him, but all the while attacking his enemies with invective and scurrilous assertions that remain totally unproven. For example, nowhere in the 288-page screed does Franken actually show any real evidence that Limbaugh is indeedfat. There is not one footnoted reference concerning Limbaugh's body weight, and Mr. Franken seems to be relying on sheer guesswork. Indeed, on page 45, he refers to Limbaugh as "a three-hundred pound blimp," while on page 117, he refers to a "size-78 suit squeezing Rush's some six-hundred pound frame like so much sausage casing." Which is it? Three hundred or six hundred?

One begins to wonder if Franken isn't just inventing things out of whole cloth. After a careful reread of The Bell Curve, nowhere in its 800-plus pages did I find Murray and Herrnstein refer to jazz as "the music created by morons." And similarly, Newt Gingrich's Contract with America did not "promise to make it easier to sue for divorce a spouse with cancer."

Occasionally Mr. Franken does succeed to amuse. When discussing the Senate Banking Committee's Whitewater investigation, he writes, "Having Al D'Amato lead an ethics investigation is like asking Bob Dornan to head up a mental health task force." I must admit that one made me chortle; Bob Dornan is dangerously unstable. Yet only thirty-seven pages later Mr. Franken, for all intents and purposes, repeats the joke. "Having Al D'Amato lead an ethics investigation is like asking Ross Perot [my emphasis] to head up a mental health task force." Again, funny. But which is it? Bob Dornan or Ross Perot?

As one labors through Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations one quickly concludes that Mr. Franken chose the title simply as a craven device to attract readers. Yes, the book's opening essay is "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot." But in it Mr. Franken negates the whole premise of his book, when in referring to Limbaugh's enormous success, he writes: "All right. I guess Limbaugh is not an idiot. But you have to admit, he's big and fat."

In fact, one of the author's goals seems to be to draw Limbaugh into some kind of public feud, as if that would enhance the sales of his book. Calling Limbaugh "a fat bully" who is "too scared to engage in open debate with anyone other than pre-screened callers," Franken gratuitously taunts the talk radio host: "Limbaugh is able to attack women and keep the audience's sympathy for one reason and one reason only. He is clearly a sad, fat loser wounded by a pathetic history with the opposite sex." Again, Franken offers no proof, other than to cite that Limbaugh met his third, and current, wife on CompuServe.

Will Limbaugh rise to the bait? Franken seems to hope so, writing on page 187, "I hope he rises to the bait." Even so, Franken admits that Limbaugh would probably prevail in a one-on-one encounter. Franken, who insists that Bill Clinton is "by far" our best post-war President, admits to being a part of "the fuzzy-headed liberal middle" and that mano-a-mano he would be no match for Limbaugh's clearheaded, "well thought out," right-wing doctrine. "Besides, I'm a comedian," is his weak defense. Franken's plan, as revealed in his chapter "I Have Smart Friends," is to lure Limbaugh into a live debate on ABC's Nightline, then act sick, getting Michael Kinsley to fill in for him at the last second.

As reprehensible as I found this strategem [my word], I was even more appalled by the flippant, smart-alecky tone of the non-Limbaugh chapters, including one entitled "If Abortions Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Abortions." My goodness. If this is the kind of mindless tripe that passes for political satire these days, I fear for this nation!

Letters

He Said, She Said

To the Editor:

It was with great horror that I picked up Sunday's Times to see that you had assigned Jeane Kirkpatrick to review my book, "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations" (January 7). It had been my understanding that in the interest of objectivity your paper has had a long-standing policy of not assigning an author's former lover to review his book. As anyone who was familiar with the Manhattan eighties' club scene knows, Ms. Kirkpatrick and I endured a somewhat stormy and all too public affair during her tenure as our country's U.N. Ambassador. Even then Ms. Kirkpatrick, though my lover, had no discernible sense of humor. In fact, a primary cause of our breakup was her almost obdurate unwillingness to understand irony, an unwillingness which is woefully apparent in her uncomprehending review of my very funny book. Come on! Be fair. Next time get someone who isn't my former lover to review my book!

AL FRANKEN
New York

Ambassador Kirkpatrick replies:

I don't know what this horrible, horrible man is talking about. During the time that I served as ambassador to the United Nations I was far too busy defending the people of America, including (unfortunately) Mr. Franken, against the dark forces of Soviet Communism to cheat on my husband, let alone "go clubbing" (my phrase) as Mr. Franken suggests. After careful examination of my appointment calendars from that period, I admit that I did on one occasion step foot inside Studio 54, but I can assure you that once I saw what was going on in that place, I quickly turned on my heel and left. I can assure you as well that Mr. Franken will be hearing from my attorney, as will the New York Times. How on earth the Times could print his letter and take part in this abhorrent calumny is beyond me.

The editors reply:

It is our policy to allow authors to respond to reviews in the manner they see fit. Since Mr. Franken's claim of an affair between Ms. Kirkpatrick and himself comes down to a matter of "he-said, she-said," we felt the Ambassador's denial was insufficient to prevent us from printing his response. We did, however, edit Mr. Franken's letter, omitting a number of gratuitously lurid descriptions which were entirely irrelevant to his complaint. And, yes, it is our policy not to allow a former lover to review an author's book. Our apologies to Mr. Franken.

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First Chapter

Chapter One


RUSH LIMBAUGH IS A BIG FAT IDIOT

    After Delacorte asked me to write a book on politics,my very first creative act was coming up with the title, Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations. I thought the title, aside from the obvious advantage of being personally offensive to Limbaugh, would sell books. Let me explain why: It makes fun of Rush Limbaugh by pointing out that he is a big lardbutt.

    Confident that I was now on my way to a bestseller, I took some time off and went to Florida with my wife and kids. But when I returned and sat down to work, it became immediately apparent that the "title tail" was going to wag the "content dog." That is to say, I'd actually have to write about Rush Limbaugh.

    Which, of course, meant I'd have to listen to him on radio, read his books, and watch his TV show. "How much am I getting paid for this?" I asked myself.

    I was not, after all, totally unfamiliar with Limbaugh. He is the king of talk radio, with an estimated twenty million listeners in a given week. I had been one of those twenty million a while back, listening to him spew about "feminazis" and their "women-as-victim" ideas. Limbaugh was railing about how feminists believe that all heterosexual sex is rape, which, I admit, is a belief that's very hard to defend. The thing is, though, I know a lot of women, almost all of whom consider themselves feminists, and I know only one who actually holds this belief. And we've been married nearly twenty years.

    Limbaugh expanded . . . to TV a few years back, and I had seen his show a number of times. It's been a considerable success, though I think it was ultimately a terrible mistake for Limbaugh because we finally got to see his audience. During the shows I watched, Limbaugh presented, in a deliberately misleading way, disinformation that was devoured whole by a studio audience of rabid--but extraordinarily straightlaced--right-wing yahoos. These are the fans who voluntarily - hell, gleefully - call themselves "dittoheads" in honor of their ability to blindly and uncritically agree with everything that comes out of Limbaugh's mouth.

    The first time I watched the show was in October, 1992, about a month before the election. President Bush had been on Larry King Live the night before, and during the interview Bush had said that he was bothered by Clinton's actions during the Vietnam War: "Maybe I'm old-fashioned, Larry," he said. "But to go to a foreign country and demonstrate against your own country, when your sons and daughters are dying halfway around the world? I'm sorry, I--I just don't like it. I think it is wrong." To anybody watching Larry King, as I happened to be, it was an attack on Clinton's patriotism, and the next day several newspapers ran headlines saying as much.

    So Rush shows this headline from the New York Times that reads: BUSH ASSAILS CLINTON'S PATRIOTISM DURING VIETNAM WAR PROTEST ERA. Then he starts whining about the liberal media. "He didn't assail Clinton's patriotism. . . . Now let's roll Bush on Larry King Live last night, and you be the judge. Did he attack Governor Clinton's patriotism here?"

    Then he runs a twenty-second clip from a totally different part of the interview. Limbaugh comes back: "I didn't hear one assault on patriotism. I didn't hear one word or syllable questioning Bill Clinton's patriotism. . . . We'll be back in just a moment." Cut to: a hundred and twenty idiots in bad suits applauding wildly.

    Subsequent viewings pretty much confirmed that the point of Rush's show is to punish you for actually knowing anything.

    Back to my still-unwritten book. Catchy title in hand, I braced myself for an entire season of such punishment. I would spend the summer absorbing Limbaugh-three hours a day, five day-s a week, listening to conservatism's most powerful (not to mention obnoxious) voice. I am, after all, a professional.

Rush Limbaugh, Radio Icon and Staunch Defender of Constitutional Rights for Neckwear

    Spring 1995. I go to the Wiz and buy a boom box for my office at home. I pour a fresh glass of iced tea, settle into a comfortable chair, flip on WABC, and tune in to the first installment of what will be approximately one hundred and eighty hours of listening pleasure. And at 12:15, Rush is peeved:

Let me give you another example here of the press. This may be as good as an example as I could cite to show you how it is that the left has stereotypes. Now you people all know that I have introduced a new line of neckwear, commonly known as ties. And that I have, right now, we've got four styles, four designs that are out there, and we are always working on more. . . .

    I was about to learn that the liberal media had deliberately misrepresented his mail-order tie collection:

. . . So I'm at the United Press International wire and I'm, reading the People section and there's a story there about the new Rush Limbaugh No Boundaries tie collection, and would you like to hear it described? "Limbaugh's ties are as conservative as he is. Blue, white, red, and gray stripes." My friends. The last thing my ties are is conservative. That's why we're calling it No Boundaries! These are . . . the last thing in the world these ties would be described as would be conservative. There's not one stripe! On any of the ties! . . .

    And he won't stop. He's just going on and on about these ties. So I flip around the dial, catch an inning of the Mets game, and then come back to Rush. And his brutally defamed ties:

. . . I mean, that is another example of the stereo types that the left, and I am including the press in this, have about conservatives. . . . It was my wife Marta who came up with the whole concept, to tell you the truth, of No Boundaries. And she said no themes on these ties, no ties to issues, no ties to politics . . . These are going to be gorgeous, beautiful ties that anybody would want to wear to make themselves look better. And they are. And there's not one stripe! Not one stripe! On any tie! . . .

    Time for another iced tea. I head to the kitchen, wander around the apartment a bit. Back to my office and . . . the vicious media smear campaign directed against Rush's ties:

. . . They could have called me first to ask me about it. They could have called and said, "Hey, we hear you got some new ties out; we'd like to see them; we're going to write a story." . . .

    Back to the fridge. I root around for some leftovers. Make a sandwich. Read the sports page. The Twins are having a pretty tough year. Back to the ties, which--near as I can tell--have now had their civil rights violated by the hounds of attack journalism:

. . . In this battle for the soul of democracy, it is more and more clear that the press, which has a designed Constitutional role, can't be trusted, cannot be counted on. My gosh, if the press, which Constitutionally is protected so as to get the truth, is this far off as often as they are, then is it any wonder that there is a new media led by me, America's truth detector? No, there's not. Quick break. Back to the phones in just a moment . . .

    Only a hundred and seventy-nine hours to go. Hmmm. Maybe it would be okay if I just . . . sampled . . . the show. Every now and then.

Kierkegaard, Nietzsche--and Limbaugh

    After the tie episode, I sent my research assistant Geoff to Barnes and Noble, where he found a paperback of Limbaugh's bestseller See, I Told You So.

    Picking up a new book is always exciting to a curious person like myself, but I became especially jazzed by Rush's introduction: "Prepare your mind to be challenged as it has never been challenged before." Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, now Limbaugh.

    By Chapter Two, I had learned the key to Limbaugh's success. "My show works because people are tired of being insulted elsewhere on the radio or TV dial. They enjoy listening to someone who respects their intelligence."

    Fortunately, I was soon treated to an example of just how much respect Rush has for his readers' intelligence:

With the exception of the military, I defy you to name one government program that has worked and alleviated the problem it was created to solve. Hhhmmmmmmm? I'm waiting. . . . Time's up.

    This got me thinking. Now, I'm no expert on government. And besides, I'm a liberal. So my naming ten or twenty of the hundreds of successful government programs isn't going to impress anyone. Hell, I think Rural Electrification worked! That's how big a dumbass liberal I am! So instead, I called a few bona fide conservatives and asked them to name a few:(*)

1. George F. Will (grim-faced conservative columnist)-rural Electrification, the Interstate Highway System ("the most successful public works program in the history of the world"). "The federal government has been tremendously successful in disseminating health and safety information, for example, about smoking and seat belts."
2. Rep. John Kasich (R-Ohio; boyishly rugged, straight-talking chairman of the House Budget Committee)--National Institutes of Health, Youth Summer Jobs Program.
3. Rep. Bob Dornan (R-calif.; Republican candidate for president; crazy homophobe)--The F.A.A., lighthouses, federal penitentiaries ("We gotta keep those guys locked up").
4. Arianna Huffington (enigmatic, Greek-born, Cambridge-educated socialite; conservative commentator; fund-raiser for Newt Gingrich; wife of unsuccessful California Senate candidate Michael Huffington)--The National Park System, guaranteed student loans, aid to Greece.
5. Ben Stein (conservative columnist for the American Spectator; former Nixon speechwriter; noted character actor, famous for role as the "Bueller, Bueller, Bueller" teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off) - Social Security. Medicare. Head Start. Food Stamps. "The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is the most wildly successful government program in the history of man."
6. Richard Viguerie (former publisher the Conservative Digest, archconservative direct-mail pioneer)--Public libraries, the F.B.I., the G.I. Bill.

    So, is Limbaugh that out of touch with conservatives like Will, Kasich, and Dornan? Or does he just take his readers to be complete morons? Hhhmmmmmmm? I'm waiting. . . . Time's up!

Didiots-Limbaugh's Legion of Fans

    Now, am I saying that dittoheads are ignoramuses? No. I don't need to. Listen to Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Pennsylvania:

We just concluded a study of 360 people, whom we watched watch the health care reform debate for nine months. And at the end of that period, we took the people who said they relied on talk radio, and by this, we mean primarily Rush Limbaugh. . . . And we asked them how well informed they felt. . . .Of all the people we watched, they said they were the best informed. And of all the people we watched, they were the least informed.

    What a surprise, huh? Limbaugh listeners thought they were the best informed, and yet were the least informed.

    How is such a thing even measured? Well, like all the other people studied, talk radio listeners were asked questions of "objective fact" such as: "Which groups (the elderly, poor, middle class, etc. "are most likely to be uninsured?" The Limbaugh listeners were "highly likely" to give an incorrect answer such as "the elderly" who, of course, are all covered by Medicare.

    But why would people so woefully lacking in the basic facts of an issue think they were the best informed? Social scientists call the phenomenon "pseudo-certainty." I call it "being a fucking moron."(*)

Limbaugh and Women--A Pathetic Story

    It's safe to say that most of Limbaugh's fact-challenged dittoheads are men. Limbaugh has tapped into the resentments of "the angry white male," which are quite legitimate. I mean, if you think about it, what chance for advancement have white men really had in this country?

    Limbaugh, himself, seems to have a problem with women. He has been married three times. Personally, I am not one for psychoanalyzing public figures. I wouldn't, for example, attempt to create a psychological construct to explain why a desperately insecure man would weigh three hundred pounds and have difficulty sustaining intimate relationships. Psychobabble mumbo jumbo doesn't interest me, and I would never suggest that a difficult separation from the primary love object at an early age might cause a man to hate women and look to food as a substitute for the mother's teat. Instead I thought it might be fun (after all, that's what this is about), to juxtapose some of Rush's own words with those of people who know him. (I saw some of this stuff on Frontline.)

Rush: Feminism was established so that unattractive, ugly women could have easy access to the mainstream of society.

Millie Limbaugh, Mother: No. He did not date in high school.

Rush: If you want a successful marriage, let your husband do what he wants to do.

David Limbaugh, Brother: I don't think he would have chosen to break up either marriage. I think it was the choice of both of his ex-wives. . . . Women, especially young women, don't want guys to be sedentary.

Rush (Writing to a woman on E-mail): I remain in an interminable funk, no end in sight-listless, uninspired, and self-flagellating.

Hazel Staloff (The woman): I thought, "What a sad thing to write, and to write to somebody you didn't even know." Later I came to realize that it was probably his way of trying to attract a woman. You know, for a woman to read, "Rush has no friends" and for her to respond, "Let me make it better for you."

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2005

    Al Franken is the Bomb

    I take this book into the bathroom whenever I have to defecate. It feels so good to poop to Al Franken. In fact, I saved one of my turds and called it al.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2011

    Loved it!!!!

    Franken combines humor with facts--a fantastic read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2004

    Help, I'm Alfred Franken!

    This book is another attempt to save a career gone bad and a man with no facts. So you just put Limbaugh's name in the title and sold some outdated 'humor' and at the same time attacked those for which you have no answers for/to. Get some facts and get a better co-host for your lame show Franken. Better yet try hosting the show on your own just like Rush does or do you have the balls or the talent to do so? Didn't think so. Have a good career lamo. Personal attacker with no facts.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2004

    Very Funny, regardless of political beliefs

    I am neither Republican nor Democrat, neither conservative nor liberal. This book is much less serious than Al's new book, Lies. I am also big and fat, but I am not offended by Al's humor, because I'm not an idiot!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2003

    Greatest Book Ever

    This book has had a profound impact on what I read. I have always been a fan of Frankin's, but this book shows his full potential, and it does not disappoint.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2003

    Great biting satire

    I loved this book. It gives Limbaugh and some of the other right wing types a little of their own medicine.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2003

    intelligence with a sense of humor

    I have been waiting for a book such as this one. He hits the mark right on with most of his observations, especially when he talks about Rush Limbaugh. It amazes me when I actually hear people talk as if they believe everything Limbaugh says, it kind of is my way of measuring their intelligence and gullibility. Al has a very high IQ. :) Keep on trucking Al.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2003

    negative reviews

    i really enjoyed this book as well as all of al franken's books. it is refreshing!!! maybe the negative reviewers should learn correct grammar and spelling then go on to read books. maybe their deficiencies inhibits then from reading good books!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2003

    Looks like AL needed to use Rush's name to get people to notice the book

    When it comes to Saterday Night Live, Al does a wonderful job with the comedy. When it comes to reality, he seems to miss the point, actually he is not even close. Everyone he mentioned in his book has happened upon much more fame then he could ever dream of, including Mr. Rush Limbaugh. This is the kind of book that would go completely unnoticed if it was not for the title. Al owes the sucess (or lack of) of his book to the one and only Rush Limbaugh. Instead of bashing Rush, he should be thanking him.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2001

    Funny book

    While I do not agree with all of Mr. Franken's views, I found this book to be extremely hilarious. Those who do not like it probably do not understand irony. Read any of Mr. Limbaugh's books and one will find that liberals are pure evil, hell-bent on destroying this earth and giving what the few undeservedly have to the many, who are too stupid to possess rich people's materials, and, in fact are lucky to have anything at all. Interestingly, he took from the few rich people while he was unemployed. Democrats have their flaws as well, as Mr. Franken showed in his book, i.e. 'Bill Clinton: The Best Post-War President.' Anyway, good, fun read, just have an open mind when you start the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2001

    IT'S ALL TRUE!!!

    As ashamed as I am to admit it, Al has done an excellent job exposing me and my blatant stupidity. It is painful to admit as I read this how many of my past sins have come back to haunt me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2001

    Too Much Franken

    People at my favorite message boards know me as Coyotte88. I read the book. I thought it was good but Flanken should have just stuck to Limbaugh. Most of the book is about Rush and his hypocracy and is worth reading. I hope Al gives us a sequel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2000

    it's funny cuz it's true

    just a seriously good book. funny AND infomative. If it doesn't crack you up, you gotta get away from the Rush Limbaugh show, you're taking THAT too seriously.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2000

    Simultaneously hilarious and poignant

    Just read the published reviews above and elsewhere to see why this book spent months on the bestseller lists. Franken gleefully exposes the hypocrisies of the right-wing and several of its members in an ironic and refreshingly un-politically correct manner. His acute observations disguised as political satire raise issues that most political analysts (and US citizens) have been too timid to acknowledge and explore.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2000

    Attention James Carville Clones

    This 'book' is the worst sort of drivel. I read through this book expecting a good laugh and ended up disgusted by its idiocy. Facts seem to have no place in this 'work.' As far as humor goes, everyone knows that Saturday Night Live hasn't been worth watching for years anyhow.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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