I’ve always had this theory about Rush Limbaugh, and it’s been more or less verified from the radio insiders I’ve met over the years. Rush doesn’t actually mean what he says on the show. It’s a character, not unlike a bad guy in professional wrestling, and he plays with people like puppets. The Rush Limbaugh Show is designed to appeal to a base of conservative nutbag extremists while antagonizing liberal nutbag extremists. It’s a formula that’s worked pretty well, but things change. Given the show’s recent struggles, it’s no surprise that Rush is out to antagonize new targets in a bid to up his Arbitron radio ratings and convince Cumulus Media not to drop his show.
So when Rush Limbaugh started throwing down with tech bloggers about how they hate Apple, we’re presented with a true battle between opinionated nutbag extremists, Rush and the tech bloggers. But here’s the thing about this showdown: nobody cares. The interesting thing, to us, is what Rush didn’t say, and that’s the thing we should all care about because Rush missed a chance to say something that was factually accurate, should be of concern to all of us, and would have played equally as well, if not better, to his audience. What’s that thing? That the current president has given a free pass to large tech companies, all of whom were major donors for both of his election campaigns.
To be clear: when it comes to politics, I’ve opted out. I simply don’t care who’s in office, who’s up for re-election and what party they are, and who is sending dick pics to who. It doesn’t matter. I don’t care. So don’t read this and make it out to be a political statement. It’s not.
But. I do look at patterns of behavior, and it’s more than fair to say that if you’re a tech company, President Obama has been a pretty big fan of yours. Obama received nearly $117,000 from Amazon.com, and here he is visiting an Amazon distribution center to give a speech about a jobs recovery that, according to both political parties, isn’t exactly happening as portrayed. Facebook gave the president almost $100,000 recently and almost $130,000 to the DNC. And guess what? The FTC lightly slapped Facebook on the wrist for deceiving their users. Google donated just slightly more than $800,000 to Obama, and $622,626 to the DNC. Google would also escape the wrath of the DOJ AND FTC. And Apple just got an embargo overturned that would have crippled their business given that most people buy older Apple products. I can’t imagine if the $308,000 the president received during his campaign and the $99,000 the DNC received in that time played a role in that decision, can you?
These are the points Rush should have made. Picking a fight with tech bloggers over what he thinks was poor treatment of Apple, which is factually inaccurate because tech bloggers love Apple, is stupid. Nobody cares. But man, imagine if Rush had actually called out the president for the bad stuff he’s legitimately doing involving the tech companies? Bad stuff that the tech bloggers all refuse to talk about, by the way. Whether you like him or not, Rush doing that could have at least sparked a much needed conversation that should take place. As you saw with Twitter and Yelp, these companies may make great stuff we all enjoy, but that doesn’t make them good companies deserving of a free pass.
Image by Aquir.