The inimitable Paglia writes:
Yes, I cringe when Rush plays his “Barack the Magic Negro” satire or when he gratuitously racializes the debate over Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb,(*) who is a constant subject of withering scrutiny for quite different reasons on sports shows here in Philadelphia.
On the other hand, I totally agree with Rush about “feminazis,” whose amoral tactics and myopic worldview I as a dissident feminist had to battle for decades. As a student of radio and a longtime listener of Rush’s show, I have gotten a wealth of pleasure and insight from him over the years. To attack Rush Limbaugh is to attack his audience — and to intensify the loyalty of his fan base.
And I’m sick of people impugning Rush’s wealth and lifestyle, which is no different from that of another virtuoso broadcaster who hit it big — Oprah Winfrey. Rush Limbaugh is an embodiment of the American dream: He slowly rose from obscurity to fame on the basis of his own talent and grit. Every penny Rush has earned was the result of his rapport with a vast audience who felt shut out and silenced by the liberal monopoly of major media. As a Democrat and Obama supporter, I certainly do not agree with everything Rush says or does. I was deeply upset, for example, by the sneering tone both Rush and Sean Hannity took on Inauguration Day, when partisan politics should have been set aside for a unifying celebration of American government and history. Nevertheless, I respect Rush for his independence of thought and his always provocative news analysis. He doesn’t run with the elite — he goes his own way.
* from Slate, 2003:
If Limbaugh were a more astute analyst, he would have been even harsher and said, “Donovan McNabb is barely a mediocre quarterback.” But other than that, Limbaugh pretty much spoke the truth. Limbaugh lost his job for saying in public what many football fans and analysts have been saying privately for the past couple of seasons…