Monday, October 12, 2009

Rush Limbaugh interviewed and profiled on NBC's 'Today Show'

VIDEO: Rush Limbaugh profiled on NBC's 'Today Show'

On the October 12 edition of the 'Today Show' NBC correspondent Jamie Gangel profiled and interviewed influential conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

One of the more interesting revelations is Rush's admission that he revels in manipulating the media. This recalls an argument made by Leonard Pitts Jr who described Rush as a "clown who perverts conservatism for attention".
RUSH LIMBAUGH: When I now say "I hope he fails" it is to tweak the media. I know how to do it. I know how to yank their chain. I know how to send them into insanity. I know how to make them spend the next two days talking about me.
GANGEL VOICEOVER: Rush brand of satire also keeps everyone talking... Critics say they are offensive but Rush is unrepentant
GANGEL: You know its going to illicit a strong reaction
LIMBAUGH: Would you ask anybody who writes for Saturday night Live these questions?
This exchange were Rush shows joy and confidence in his ability to get the media talking and people tuning in follows the playbook he outlined in this classic interview where Rush describes "How Talk Radio Works"

Minimising one's seriousness is a tactic often used to neutralise oneself from controversy. Glenn Beck has often referred to himself as a "rodeo clown". Allahpundit of HotAir describes Rush' revelation and compares Rush's shtick to Jon Stewart's.
Video: The obligatory "Today interviews Rush Limbaugh" clip
No one who’s listened to the show for 10 minutes will find that revelatory, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard him acknowledge the degree of manipulation as candidly as he does here. (Money quote: "Would you ask anybody who writes for Saturday Night Live these questions?") Listening to this, his approach sounds like the opposite of Jon Stewart’s. Whereas JS [Jon Stewart] dons the clown nose, attacks the right, and then retreats into his "lighten up, I’m a comedian" shtick when they hit back, Limbaugh holds his clown nose behind his back where only his fans can see it and comes at the left as a serious commentator, going over the top to piss them off and then having a laugh when the inevitable liberal freakout comes.
Jamie Gangel previews part 2 of her interview with Rush at the end of the segment "In his usual blunt style he's going to tell us what he thinks of everyone from Hillary Clinton to Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck"

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