Since “civility” was the watchword this week, it was fitting that Rush Limbaugh took a classic call from an irate listener who complained at great length (in an angry voice) about Rush’s “tone.”
Watching Limbaugh’s expressions on the webcam is half the fun (FREE video):
“Sarah Palin appeared last night on Fox,” Rush told listeners, “and just made all these establishment, ruling class people crazy again.”
He had nothing but praise for “how Palin has handled herself” during an onslaught of abuse from all sides in the wake of the Tucson massacre (FREE audio).
In fact, Rush proclaimed, “the Democrats and the left” could just as easily be “responsible for the Arizona shooting” (FREE audio).
On a related note: Tucson’s KNST 790 took down a billboard promoting Limbaugh’s show, which praised Rush as a “straight shooter” and featured fake bullet holes (the billboard was part of an ad campaign that predated the attempt on Giffords’ life).
Asked if he had any plans to run for president, Republican Mike Pence told Sean Hannity, “I put my family first. Secondly, we’re going to try to apply a servant’s attitude to it. I believe in servant leadership, and a servant always asks the question, ‘Where am I needed most?'”
Also this week, Hannity asked female guests why other women attack Sarah Palin so viciously.
Guest S.E. Cupp remarked, “As a woman I can look at Hillary Clinton and tell you that she’s a woman to admire, and anyone who looks at Sarah Palin and tells you she’s not a woman to admire is a political hack.”
Hannity’s other radio guests this week included Pat Buchanan, Karl Rove and Michael Reagan, who called for “a new Reagan revolution” (audio archives are members only).
Meanwhile, the Federal Election Commission tossed out a complaint against Hannity, filed by New York Democratic Party official Jay Jacobs.
MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann singled out Michael Savage in a lengthy rant that had something to do with the Arizona shooting. Weirdly, Olbermann mocked Savage’s vow to sue individuals who libel him – which is certainly Savage’s right under the law.
Olbermann’s MSNBC colleague Chris Matthews took the vitriol further, insulting not only Savage but his listeners (FREE audio).
On the other hand, self-confessed “talk radio addict” Coach Dave Daubenmire penned a glowing column praising Savage for his candor, individuality and courage. “Coach Dave” encouraged readers to tune into the show – especially if they found other conservative talk shows boring or off-putting.
On the air, Savage joked about no longer playing “violent” bumper music on this show – songs such as “That’s Amore” (which, after all, contains the lyric, “When the moon hits your eye …”) (FREE audio).
Keith Olbermann’s bizarre rant against conservative commentators like Mark Levin was undercut by his inability (or refusal) to pronounce Levin’s name correctly.
Another low-rated MSNBC host, Ed Schultz, also made the mistake of singling out Levin and mocking his decision to sue the network for tying him to the actions of a lone lunatic.
In response, Levin said about Schultz, “I notice this tough guy is actually a coward. We will be monitoring him. He’s dumber than dumb, so he might actually step in it. As an aside, he has no ratings, so if two of my people monitor his show, that will double his ratings.”
On the air, Levin attempted to “educate” comedian and “dumb short white guy” Bill Maher, after the latter displayed his ignorance about the beliefs of the Founding Fathers (FREE audio).
Ingraham visited another radio show this week, when she joined Don Imus to discuss the news of the day, including rumors that Jeb Bush is considering a 2012 run for the White House (FREE video).
On Martin Luther King Day, Laura was joined by Dr. Alveda King, the niece of the slain civil rights leader. Also this week, it was “Laura squared” as Dr. Laura Schlessinger came on and took listener’s calls. Finally, Mike Huckabee slams Obama for honoring China’s President Hu with a state dinner, while Rudy Giuliani spoke to Laura about a wide range of timely topics (FREE audio).
When Glenn Beck’s radio show was dropped by his Philadelphia affiliate, his reaction was blunt:
“You know, the killing streets known as right there in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia – you know how Philadelphia is not a place you want to be,” Beck said. “You feel comfortable walking around, strolling the streets of Philadelphia at night? Philadelphia sucks.”
As Piers Morgan’s first guest on his new CNN interview show, millionaire Oprah Winfrey told Morgan she “needs Tequila” when she signs her annual check to the IRS. Beck responded that she shouldn’t have endorsed a “social justice president” (FREE video).
Beck made a rare appearance on “The Today Show,” where the hosts predictably grilled him about his “vitriol.” Beck’s co-author Dr. Keith Ablow responded with a thoughtful answer, and later joined Beck on the radio to explain the realities of mental illness (FREE video).
And now, from the left side of the dial …
While the Chinese president was visiting the White House, progressive talker Thom Hartmann opined that, like those in China, prisons of the United States are filled with “political prisoners.”
Even more strangely, Hartmann’s definition of “political prisoner” includes “people who are there for minor drug violations that are the consequence of living in poverty, where the only way you can make a living is by being an entrepreneur in the drug world” (FREE audio).
Hartmann’s on-air guest doesn’t know how to respond – and no doubt, Hartmann’s small number listeners felt the same way.