In one his weekly columns for CNN.com, ESPN journalist L.Z. Granderson blamed Rush Limbaugh for everything wrong with our “polarized” politics. The headline is, “At 25, Limbaugh show still rules GOP.”
Granderson recalled “In 1992, President Bush invited Limbaugh for a sleepover and personally brought his guest's bags into the Lincoln bedroom for him...The party has been carrying Limbaugh's bags ever since.”
So, if you want to know when Washington became so polarized, maybe we should circle August 1, 1988, exactly 25 years ago. That was the day a satirical talk show host syndicated his act and, in the process, made a lot of money and became one of the most influential figures in American politics today...
Limbaugh has had us on this yo-yo since the moment he assumed the role of Gabriel in the Kingdom of Reagan 25 years ago. Back then, it was only offensive, because he was the party's megaphone, warning listeners about the impending invasion of welfare queens with his mixture of righteous indignation and half-truths. It became destructive when listeners and politicians alike made him its spokesman: a pseudo-politician free from the burden of actually having to do anything.
Like use facts.
Granderson's editor's note before his commentaries plays up his double-minority status: "The former Hechinger Institute Fellow has had his commentary recognized by the Online News Association, the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association."
At least Granderson is recognizing Rush's popularity, and not endlessly predicting the demise of Limbaugh's show. Last week, John Avlon of Newsweek tried that line again about Rish's "long, slow march toward irrelevance." Unlike Newsweek, which became irrelevant years ago. Avlon trotted out this line about two months after the last time he predicted it.