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Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot Paperback – January 12, 1999

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Editorial Reviews Review

Rush Limbaugh claims his talent is on loan. With this book, Franken demonstrates that he owns. The frankly Democratic author's shtick reminds us how much of a free ride conservatives have gotten in the mainstream media. For instance, he really drives home the weirdness of the conservatives' preachiness about "family values" in light of Newt Gingrich's and Bob Dole's first marriages, and Rush Limbaugh's first, second and third marriages. And he has great fun with Rush's and Newt's miraculous draft deferments in a chapter where he imagines all of the great conservative "chicken-hawks" out on a Vietnam war patrol under the leadership of Ollie North. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Franken, a writer and performer on Saturday Night Live and in feature films, does to Limbaugh what the conservative talk-show host has been doing to Democratic politicians for years. Using admitted half-truths and out-of-context quotes, he skewers Rush & Friends as no liberal has done in years. Franken does a retrospective of Limbaugh's life from when he "fed off the largesse of the government in the form of unemployment insurance"; how he failed to register to vote until he was 35; how he used two airline coach seats to fit his opulent hind-quarters; and how he got a 4-F deferment because of a pilonidal cyst. There are two hilarious sketches: "My 'Conversation' with Rush Limbaugh" uses out-of-context quotes to corner Rush in much the same way that Limbaugh once had a "conversation" with Hillary Clinton; and "Operation Chickenhawk," with Ollie North leading Vietnam draft-dodgers Limbaugh, Quayle, Buchanan, George Will and Clarence Thomas to their demises in Asian rice paddies. Franken also doesn't have anything nice to say about Newt Gingrich, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Phil Gramm and others of the haranguing right. A mean-spirited, albeit funny, diatribe that will delight liberals. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Dell; Reprint edition (January 12, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440508649
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440508649
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (423 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #357,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

123 of 172 people found the following review helpful By mrovich on October 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am English, and picking up a random satirical political book from the shelf seemed like a good idea for learning a bit about American politics. And having a good time.
I didn't like the title, because it is somewhat...confrontational. But between the covers of this aggressive book lay a very, very funny man. He combines an astute political sense with a level of indignant humanitarianism which allows him to put radical conservatives in a very bad light. Franken uses stats and figures to support his claims, but never attempts to pretend his book is any more than satire - slightly less political than P.J. O'Rourke, for example.
Radical conservatives might struggle to enjoy this, but anyone with a sense of humour should be able to appreciate most of Franken's character portraits and, even better, anecdotes - for example, when he played with the President American football and made a play which won his team the game...but the President forbore to congratulate him. The quick prose is funny and witty... does go a little far at times, and though I learned to share some of Franken's views on Rush Limbaugh, to whom I have never listened, I still thought some of the writing went too far. It reassured me tremendously to read in Franken's "Why Not Me" that Limbaugh himself had bumped into him and instead of pummelling him had yelled - "hell of a book!". This, and grudging praise to men such as Bob Dole gives Franken a bit more depth than an out-and-out liberal satirist with no punches pulled.
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126 of 181 people found the following review helpful By Joe Eshleman on November 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
I can remember, like it was yesterday, when I first layed eyes on this screed. First, I did not know what a screed was until I read UN Ambassador Jean Kirkpatrick's scathing review of Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot (RLBFI)that Al so graciously put in his foreward. How many folks would let a pundit from the hostile camp have that powerful a forum to shape opinion of the book? I think it is a credit to Al's fair and balanced nature that he let her.
Anyone offended by the book's title should remember that Rush made his career out of insults. That is the great irony. Look, I have two of my degrees at public institutions, and tubby (Rush) reminds his audience that we, public college graduates,
can not grasp the sublime arguments of Milton Freidman and the other apostles of Free Market ideology. Comments like"you public school and public college graduates probably cannot grasp
this" "you know, my friends, the sorry state of thinking by people who went to our public institutions is tragic." NUT JOB! YOU ARE A COMMUNITY COLLEGE DROPOUT! By your own definition you are an idiot, and Al is right. An aside, I would like to see Al take Rush and Bill O'Reilly on in a game of celebrity Jeopardy. Al would pummel them because he knows questions to answers other
than "My housekeeper." Answer in the form of a question is of course: "Who supplies my drugs illegally?" or category Awards answer: "The Peabody;" answer in the form of a question: "What award did I say I won but really lied about and then made a complete ass of myself by trying to cover it up." Rush and Bill would get those; but not much else. Although I must disclaim that Bill has two masters degrees and is much smarter than Rush,
a damnation by the feintest of all praises I suppose.
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103 of 148 people found the following review helpful By Silverwoodchuck47 on February 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Let's face it: If you are conservative then you probably will agree with Rush but if you lean towards liberal then you probably can't stand him.

In my case, I've read Rush's first book "The Way Things Ought to Be" and found it to be full of inaccuracies, unsubstantiated and outrageous claims, and misinformation. That's not to say Rush is a complete moron because he does put forth some good arguments, but overall, I think Al Franken proves his case to convince me that Rush is a (big fat) idiot.

I like this book because it is hysterically funny and quite entertaining. Al's wit is dry and sometimes vicious. I laughed to tears when I read the chapter about Phil Gramm ("I own more guns than I need, but not as many as I want.")

He lampoons the right wing, and I think he does it well. If you are a conservative with no sense of humor, you will not like this book.
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33 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Danusha V. Goska on July 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
I've read this book straight through twice.
I really thought I'd never laugh out loud, as frequently and as uproariously, the second time as the first time, but I did.
Franken's "review," ostensibly by Jeanne Kirkpatrick, of RLIABFI is, alone, worth the price of the book. I laugh so hard when reading this I double over.
This humor is not for everyone -- it is for people who, like Franken, are both intellectuals and political junkies.
On the down side, I do have trouble with the title. It's funny, but ... it's rude and mean. I don't have a solution here. I don't know how to create humor that never hurts anyone's feelings, and I don't know the best way to respond to hatemongers like Rush Limbaugh.
If nothing else, the title of this book, which has become a classic, got us thinking and talking about the Right's muddying of public debate and its abandonment of civil discourse.
Too, at times I do find Franken's ability to be impressed by his own intelligence and high-power connections a bit hard to take, but ... I forgive him for that, he is such a valuable resource.
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