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Listening to Limbaugh: Cruel and unusual punishment?

Rush Limbaugh

“If this had been an ordinary day,” Rush Limbaugh told listeners on Thursday, “we would have started the show with this story.”

Limbaugh proceeded to chuckle his way through a news report out of Houston, that a woman was suing the city because when she was arrested, “the handcuffs were put on her wrists painfully tight and that she was forced to listen to conservative broadcaster Rush Limbaugh ‘make derogatory comments about black people’ all the way to the jail.”

Thursday was no ordinary day because Rush Limbaugh, a lifelong Apple products “evangelist,” paused to pay tribute to the visionary behind the company, Steve Jobs.

Acknowledging that Jobs was a liberal, Limbaugh called that “one of the greatest contradictions” and “of no concern now.” Rush explained that Jobs embodied American exceptionalism, regardless, and had changed his life for the better.

“This past Tuesday they introduced the iPhone 4S,” Limbaugh said, “and I told you that on Monday I felt like it was Christmas Eve – and it was for me – and at age 60 I was able to feel like I did as a kid on Christmas Eve when I was eight or nine. There hasn’t been, in the last ten years, an Apple product that has not created wonderment in me, that has not exceeded my expectations.”

Michael Savage

The Talk Stream Live directory just announced the “Top 25 Streaming Talk Radio Shows,” based on the number of people listening on their computers.

Michael Savage’s show ranked No. 2 for the last quarter, leaving other hosts far behind in the ratings.

Savage told his listeners why these particular ratings mattered: “When people listen to you online, through streaming, you don’t get credit for that in the traditional ratings system. I’ve always known my audience was bigger than most people think, and this proves it.”

“If America ever heard me in every major market,” like Rush Limbaugh, Savage added, “they wouldn’t know what hit them” (FREE audio).

Besides debuting at No. 4 on the New York Times bestseller list, Savage’s novel “Abuse of Power” is racking up rave reviews on Amazon.com. Many readers echoed the sentiment that the book kept them up at night because they couldn’t put it down.

“It’s not Hemingway,” wrote one fan. “It is much better!”

Was American Amanda Knox really innocent? The young woman temporarily beat a murder rap in Italy, but Savage shared a letter from a listener who expressed her doubts, and his, along with his contention that the U.S. media didn’t report all the facts in the case.

Sean Hannity

“Where’s the outrage?”

Just days after Hank Williams Jr. was castigated for allegedly comparing President Obama with Hitler (which wasn’t even close to what the singer actually said), Sean Hannity highlighted yet another example of the liberal media’s double standard.

Hannity told listeners that comedian Bill Maher had just “joked” that “Dick Cheney’s days are numbered.”

“So where are the conservatives in this country so full of outrage that they’re demanding Bill Maher be fired.” Hannity continued. “You won’t find them” (FREE audio).

Mark Levin

On his Wednesday evening show, Mark Levin broke the news that Sarah Palin would not be running for president in 2012. She joined him on the air to explain why (FREE audio).

Levin is not an admirer of Illinois Democrat Dick Durban. He blasted “little Dick” as a “coward” for calling on customers to boycott Bank of America for raising their fees – after his own amendment forced the bank to raise their fees in the first place! (FREE audio)

Laura Ingraham

In an interview that generated headlines of its own, CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson told Laura Ingraham that White House spokesmen “yelled and screamed” at her after she dared to question Eric Holder’s involvement with the “Fast and Furious” gunrunning scandal (FREE audio).

Laura also talked to Senator Jeff Sessions about China’s manipulation of international currency. Later, left-wing author Barbara Ehrenreich sparred with Laura about the pathetic “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrators (FREE audio).

Glenn Beck

With New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie officially out of contention, Glenn Beck has embraced a new source of what he called “conservative eroticism”: Herman Cain. Beck talked to Cain about his “9-9-9” policy, which Beck agreed with wholeheartedly (FREE audio).

Broadcasting industry watcher Mark Ramsey mused on Glenn Beck’s latest moves to revolutionize media with his subscription-and web-based GBTV.com channel: “People ask how Glenn will fare without the power of FOX News – these people forget about the immense promotional power of radio. … For Beck, radio or TV is not the point. Glenn himself is the idea at the heart of his own cross-platform media empire.”

And now, from the left side of the dial …

Living on the MSNBC plantation seems to agree with Al Sharpton. He’s become even more reckless of late, were such a thing possible. Apparently, he feels he can do whatever he wants on his radio show now, because he has a lucrative TV job to fall back on.

This week, Sharpton went after his alleged “friend” Bill O’Reilly (who has enjoyed frequent, friendly meals with the disgraced “civil rights” leader.)

As Brian Maloney of Radio Equalizer explains, this week Sharpton allowed a long debunked smear against O’Reilly to air unchallenged, explaining: “Since it grew into a major media flap at the time, Sharpton should know Bill O’Reilly’s use of ‘lynching party’ was part of a lengthy defense of Michelle Obama. … Yes, he could have picked a better phrase, but it was obviously an unfortunate accident.”

Yet this week, Sharpton, a guest and a caller all brought up the “lynching party” meme one more time, to condemn O’Reilly as a racist.

With friends like Al Sharpton, who needs enemies?