Friday, March 9, 2012

Limbaugh ‘jumped the shark’

Political commentator Rush Limbaugh "jumped the shark" last week when he called a young female Georgetown University law student a "slut" for wanting to testify to Congress in favor of requiring health insurers to include birth control as part of basic coverage.

"Jumping the shark" is TV parlance for the moment a show begins an irreversible decline and tries to keep its popularity by using gimmicks like one in a "Happy Days" show in which Fonzi on water skis jumps over a shark to prove his bravery.

Famous campaign consultant James Carville knows that the worst sin for a politician is to be boring. John F. Kennedy wasn't boring nor was Ronald Reagan. Lincoln was entertaining.

However, Limbaugh quit pursuing his stated mission of being an entertainer last week and entered the realm of being just plain mean.

When a critic called President Lincoln two-faced, he quipped, "If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?" In response to the suggestion that slavery is not so bad for the slaves, Lincoln coldly shot back, "Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally."

Ronald Reagan disarmed Jimmy Carter with a twinkle in his eye and the effectively dismissive, "There you go again, Mr. President."

Compare that to Limbaugh's insulting and artless cheap shot, "Feminism was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream."

The commentator has little else in his bag of tricks than cheap shots. Yet, he claims that none of his troubles are his fault because any criticism of him is political correctness run amok. After all, he says, he's just an entertainer.

Nobody is buying it. He's "jumped the shark." He isn't entertaining anymore.

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