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Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot: And Other Observations Paperback – January 12, 1999
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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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Top Customer Reviews
Yes, I get what Franken is doing with parody and irony. I just didn't find it as entertaining as Franken did.
The anecdotes highlighting Limbaugh's culpability and disingenuousness were enjoyable (who doesn't like to see a bully brought low?) but sometimes the way the anecdotes were framed - in the name of irony - wasn't, so much.
For me it was the same as the thinking behind AVP - "Aliens was awesome, Predator was awesome, so the two together should be awesome to the power of awesome." And it fell flat in the same way, for me. Too much of a good thing.
See, mocking Limbaugh in the style of Limbaugh (but with the fact-checking that Limbaugh seems to see no point in) is fun, but I don't find it infinitely fun. This book is a two hour movie where it should have been a half hour TV special. In My Opinion of course.
I'm glad I read it, and I shall probably re-read it in small doses.
A number of the "facts" in this book have been challenged, some of them successfully. it seems that even if you do your homework the answers can be wrong. Franken owns up to at least one major gaffe made in this book in "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them".
Which, in the end analysis, is the major difference in approach between Limbaugh and Franken.
The funniest thing for me about the Franken/Limbaugh situation is that while Limbaugh rants on his radio show about things Franken ran for the Senate, won and is now capable of making real change instead of just talking about doing so.
In this book, Al Franken, who has no fear about wading into shark-infested waters, pulls no punches in lampooning Rush and his cohorts on the lunatic fringe of Republican conservatism. Franken is a very smart guy, and if his prose is often bent, he shoots accurately and straight from the hip.
After a poignant description about her conflict between love of a family member and discomfort at being judged by her name, Julie Limbaugh summarizes her current state of mind by saying, "it seems that Rush is no longer just playing the political game he plays so well. Rather, he has been attacking hope, and now it feels like there's little room for that."
That's exactly why Franken's book (first published in 1996) is still relevant. As long as Rush Limbaugh continues to be a parody of a man, an ambassador of hate, and an assassin of hope, someone out there has to call him on it.
*"Rusty and Me," Salon.com, April 1, 2009.