Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and the politics of stupid

roflbot0327141You know who talks about Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh far more than Fox News or even Sarah Palin herself? Who jumps on the stupid remarks made by Fox News pundits and broadcasts on every social media site and on our TV sets on a daily basis? That would be us, the liberal media. Whether mainstream or alternative, the liberal media positively loves every dumb tweet, every verbal slip and borderline racist comment made by conservative talk show hosts and political celebrities alike. And guess what? The conservative media, mainstream or even the most bizarre rightwing blog sites, loves each and every one of the slip ups on the left as well.

So why is it that we’re more likely to hear about Sarah Palin’s new reality show than current legislation on Capitol Hill? Why is Facebook full of videos and links about the latest misogynistic remarks made by Rush Limbaugh or the most recent insane ramblings by Pat Robertson? The answer is that all of this sells far better than factual analysis of actual political issues or the latest Supreme Court case on the docket. We have mostly replaced smart political discussion with low information political entertainment news. With the exception of a few people like Rachel Maddow, we are now awash in a sea of TV shows and websites that resemble tabloids and celebrity gossip like “Inside Edition.”

How did we get here? Why does our national political discussion seem like the front page of the National Enquirer mixed with a cage of angry, feces hurling baboons? The answer is us. We made it this way and we can blame the media all we want but at the end of the day, the blame really lays at our collective feet.

We as consumers dictate with our money or our web traffic what a company produces. If you’re sick and tired of rubbish like “25 Celebrity Side Boobs, You’ll Never Guess Who #10 Is!” on Huffington Post or other sites, don’t click on them. Don’t read them, don’t comment on them, don’t like them and absolutely don’t share them. If you’re a Reddit user, downvote it and upvote quality content instead. If quality articles get more attention, then the media will recognize that and try to meet that demand.

In a previous article, I wrote the following:

There are far too many people who know every contestant on a reality show but cannot name their elected officials, let alone find the country they want to bomb into oblivion on the map. These are people who cannot tell the difference between a Sikh and a Muslim, let alone between a Sunni and a Shiite. These people are a couple of generations almost completely removed from the reality of the world the rest of us live in. The History Channel has gone from programs based on actual history to staged reality shows and Ancient Aliens. The Learning Channel has rotted away from being a channel based on actual learning to Honey Boo Boo…

Somehow we’ve gone from America the Beautiful to America the WTF. We’ve gone from the land of the free and home of the brave to the land of Honey Boo Boo, monster trucks, jingoistic patriotism, and supersized servings of stupid with the politicians to prove it.

And so if we as Americans actually want to see a better political dialogue going forward, we’re going to have to demand it, both as consumers and voters. We will have to accept the fact that all the petitions in the world will not cause political celebrities who have zero interest in holding office to go away, nor will it persuade the media to stop covering fake scandals such as last year’s insanely stupid controversy over “Duck Dynasty.” Only by giving minimal attention to political stunts and gossip will we have a better political system. We need to talk more about Elizabeth Warren and less about Sarah Palin, we need to pay more attention to Bernie Sanders and less to Donald Trump. This is the only way it’s going to get better.


Facebook comments

  • Pipercat

    The discourse has been so toxic, the opposite reaction is to click the vapid side show ads. If for no other reason than to escape the vitriol. This might be one of the overall plans of the for-profit media. Rather depressing when you think about it.

  • Sandy Greer

    I know I’m tired of hearing about the latest stupid thing said by Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Michele Bachmann, and Ted Nugent…to name but a few I’ve seen these last few days. And that’s just on Forward Progressives.

    Author has a good idea to withdraw sans comment. A bonus is less time online, more time IRL. 😉

    And he’s right about Rachel Maddow: She is one smart cookie; insightful as Hell, and the best thing on MSNBC.

    • Gary Menten

      Agreed. Way too much attention is paid to the above mentioned nitwits and what they say.

    • terry63

      The Limbaugh show is very entertaining. I tune in from time to time. Of course it is counter to what you would get from Matthews or Shultz. Maher, Stewart or Half a dozen other Liberal outlets. Those who dont know the show many times take Limbaugh out of context or dont understand why he said something over the top. Limbaugh Often uses Absurdity to expose the absurd. For instance.” Barrack the Magic Negro
      ” Rush never said that. That was stated by a white Journalist by the name of David Erhrenstein a Liberal. The left had no problem with it, it never made the news so Rush Used the line stateing that now the left would go nutts about it. He was right. Then there was the Girl at Trayvon Martins trial who said that the “N” word was not offrncive and that it all depends on how you say it. Turns out it is still offencive. He does this alot. If you dont know the show and are just getting sound bites then you are lost. He doesnt pull in that kind of money because he is not entertaining. Rush also is a huge fan of John Stewart. although John has 30 writters and a massive staff. Rush has a best selling Childrens book out ” Rush Revere and the brave Pilgrams”. Once a year he has a drive for the Lymphoma foundation, he dedicates his show to it for 3 hours. He gives 10% of his income to charity and has been known to tip his waiter’s into the thousands of dollars. He came up the hard way as a top 40 DJ. He has been fired a few times. He never gave up. He is close friends with George Brett. He was close personal freinds with Ken Hutcherson. Rush, would be the first to tell you that the best way to deal with a critic is to Ignore him or her.

      • JimNauseam

        I have listened to a lot of Rush, and IMO he has the sense of humor of a schoolyard bully.

      • Bennett Willis

        I worked my tolerance of Rush up to between 5 and 10 minutes and then in one day I actually listened and had to start all over.

    • Kevin Carroll

      Who was right about Russia, Sarah Palin or the PR creation named Obama residing in the White House? MSNBC, the place where liberal bots go to hone their racism and hate.

      • JimNauseam

        Palin read that off a teleprompter, in a speech written for her by the McCain team. I don’t think she gets the credit.

      • Kevin Carroll

        And you have evidence of that? Will you exonerate Obama for all his pathological lying because he doesn’t write his own speeches and only reads them off a teleprompter? Would you rather talk about when Romney and Obama discussed Russia without a teleprompter and Obama mocked Romney for being correct about Russia? Would you prefer that?

      • jeanabella

        Hey Kevin, you’re a troll for the right wing & have nothing but misinformation & outright lies to add here.
        Our President does write his own speeches for the most part.& most people use a Teleprompter so they can look up instead of down to see their notes. Palin uses one often & then criticized the President for doing same and you’re comment proves you’re either getting paid to post lies or you’re just ignorant!

      • Kevin Carroll

        And you’re another delusional brain washed Obama bot. No POTUS writes his own speeches, they all employ speech writers. But perhaps you can supply some evidence to the contrary? Ignorant fool.

      • Ken Walther

        no most write there own.FACT.

      • Ken Walther

        u forgot her hand.

      • Noel258366

        Liberals are “racists and hateful” … yes, and Republicans/the Tea Party/extreme right are the epitome of equality, non-racism, non-sexism, and scientific inquisitiveness and knowledge … and where old, white, rich, pre-Civil War-minded men dream of a world of unselfish, non-xenophobic harmony. Yup @ Kevin Carroll, you’re right — because that’s entirely true is why the GOP enjoys overwhelming support from Black people, Hispanic people, women, young people, immigrants, and people (elderly and otherwise) concerned with their health. I could point out the obvious in my above statements, but your head would probably explode. Best to leave the dying Republican (and Aryan Nation and KKK and others like it) mindset to wither under its own anachronistic ignorance …

      • Kevin Carroll

        Yes liberals epitomize hatred and racism, ask any black conservative as they are called Uncle Toms and house Ni**ers by you evolved left wing trash. The left has fooled minorities for a long time,starting with LBJ who famously stated that he’ll “have those ni**ers voting democratic for the next 200 years” . And what has the sanctimonious left done for minorities with their subtle racism of low expectations? They’ve kept them poor and on the plantation. But that’s about to change.

      • Noel258366

        “n*ggers” … how eloquent! Wow, Kevin, I actually OVER-rated your intelligence (sucks being optimistic, but oh well). I know the level I’m dealing with now. Not surprised. NEXT! …

      • Kevin Carroll

        Moron, I ‘m quoting the left in describing how they treat black conservatives. Do you like in a cave?

      • Ken Walther

        lol that’s NOT what happened on earth. the signing of the bill that changed every black persons life was stated WE HAVE LOST THE SOUTHREN VOTE FOR THE NEXT 80 YEARS. I remember when the south was dem voting humans. now single wide sister banging hate mongers

      • Kevin Carroll

        The democrats opposed equal rights. The democrats are the KKK party. The democrats are the party that subscribes to the racist policy of low expectations. The democrats are the party that doesn’t even believe that black folks can even acquire photo IDs.

      • Bob Smyth

        The democrats you cite are now the republican party of racists and KKK that you bigots adore.

        Buy a fact, then come back to the adult table.

      • Kevin Carroll

        You’ve been well trained, can you back up your assertions with facts? The democrats are the party of the “subtle racism of low expectations”. You don’t even believe minorities are capable of obtaining IDs. I know better.

  • katherine norton malek

    Manny Schewitz – Nailed it. Spot on. While I am bloody sick & tired of Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Ted Cruz and the likes of Ted Nugent and let’s not forget the soon-to-be-in-an-orange prison jumpsuit – Michelle Bachman, it is important for FP, Upworthy and others to cover what spills down from Jon Stewarts BullShit Mountain. If not, the public would never know what they’re really up to or what they really said. It would be left to Fox News to put a normal spin on their verbal vomit, if they covered it at all. Information is power, including bad information. The Rachel Maddows & Steve Kornackis of ghe media cannot do it all.

    • Sandy Greer

      It matters what the politicians say. C-SPAN is best for that: Straight from the horse’s mouth.

      But Rush and Ted Nugent? No. Not even Sarah Palin, until/unless she decides to run again. Why does it matter what they’re ‘really up to’? And why would you assume the ‘public would never know’?

      The ‘public’ should get it’s news from MANY sources: Newspapers, online, TV and radio. Local, national and international sources. Lefties should even monitor Fox News, if we really want to know what ‘they’re really up to’. We should take no one’s word for what is ‘real’ but OUR OWN OBSERVATION.

      You seem to argue Lefties are ignorant and don’t do that, and would be ‘uninformed’ without FP/Upworthy (et al)

      ^^^Why would you assume that?

      • terry63

        I agree 100%. I start my morning on the Huffington post. Then Im off to the Blaze. I watch CNN for breaking news but thats all they just cant let go of a story.
        I watch MSNBC but not for news, I ilke some of their other programs. Fox, I cant stand the Five and although I used to watch FOX alot, I cant stand alot of the actors anymore. Still I find some things to listen to. Limbaugh and Stewart. I work Two jobs so I get it when I can. I have been unable to Vote since Bush,43’s second term. I have yet to find a candidate on either side worthy of my attention and that goes for the guy in White House today. These people are dangerous, every bit as dangerous as the last guys. I started voting in 1981, I voted for Reagan and Im very glad that I did.

      • B-real

        Sure, you did……..

    • realfactchecker

      Do you realize that watching news “entertainment” channels is just as big a waste of your time as watching American Idol, etc? Turn off your TVs and do something that will help you to live better – like learning to speak Spanish.

  • ltneid

    Something I’ve noticed is that the right wing media will jump on the misogynistic, racist, dumb comments as hard as the left wing media, but follow it up with what a great American he or she is.
    My theory of why the far right media is more widespread than left wing media is that the far right’s philosophy is so despicable, that the proponents need the constant reinforcement of their positions in order to live with themselves.

    • Elizabeth Davis-Simpson

      Right wing media is more widespread than left wing media in the way that pro-wrestling will always have more viewers than actual, you know, wrestling.

      • Kevin Carroll

        Do you ever check into reality?

      • Elizabeth Davis-Simpson

        That’s all you got? Better luck next time.

      • ouwemug

        I know Lizzy, the truth hurt is it not?

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Thank you for this. It’s been a pet peeve of mine for a long time, although I sheepishly admit to having been guilty of it. It’s wake-up spank to me, at least.

    • Sandy Greer

      I suspect it’s done to ‘lead’ us, like sheep, to a conclusion. Insulting, to think we would blindly follow.

      And getting all worked up over each and every stupid thing said takes WAY too much Energy that could best be directed elsewhere.

  • justavenger

    I have often wondered why it is that a private citizen lives rent free in so many of your liberal heads. Then it dawned on me why that is,there is so much empty space up there. Krap Governor Palin can even sub let the extra square footage out to Limbaugh.

    You guys spend way to much time on watching Honey Boo Boo or worrying about what some reality TV star is saying. Heck you even sit around thinking up Got Cha questions to trip people up.

    I agree you all need to spend more time on substance, truth and facts than watching Rachel Madcow and the other oddwads on MSNBC. If you want facts and truth go dig it out from The Wall Street Journal or the GOA maybe touch upon British news because they do the hard reporting American faux news outlets refuse to do.

    You all are to swept up in Senator Cruz reading Cat in the Hat while exposing Obamascare. You have met the enemy and he/she are in the mirror. You know what is more alarming not the trash and “look Squirrel” tactics of your State Run Media Buddies but that you fall for your own tricks. Then you wonder why everyone is watching some contestant show instead of keeping their eye on the ball. Focus people, you made this mess now clean up after yourselves so the grown ups won’t have to put you in time out.

    There is nothing progressive about being progressive, bondage and state sponsored slavery has been around for ever and frankly you really are only fooling yourselves and the rest of your low information friends.

    I have to laugh every time I see someone making your heads explode. You all are so easy to push a button on, krap your brain matter is all over the walls by now and all I have pointed out is you are not as smart as you think you are and your ideas never ever work. They haven’t for thousands of years, relax, go with the flow, you can’t engineer peoples behavior. They will get over on you every time.

    • Elizabeth Davis-Simpson

      It is so very entertaining how spectacularly naive you are to think these qualities apply to liberals and not conservatives. They’ve done a brilliant job on you. Credit where credit’s due. Bravo.

  • Joe Mac

    I love the intent of your article though I wonder what it is you’d talk about instead, since facts and reality is so very difficult for many progressives to discuss. For instance, you say you need to talk more about Elizabeth Warren, would that be to discuss how she lied about being an indian to get the affirmative action slot at an ivy league college? No? Didn’t think so.

  • Dan Sabrosky

    I love the fact that these incredible patriotic Americans get to you libs so much. I love when I see articles like these, it shows me how effective these great individuals are. May the ever be blessed and never go away.

    • Nikonulous

      You both flatter and delude yourself.

      They “get to us” about the same way we would “get to you” by crapping on the lawn across the street from your house every day. But by all means, if it helps you cope with the fact that we stole your last standard-bearer’s thunder and got record numbers of Americans insured by private enterprises, keep telling yourself how “effective” your heroes have been at shutting down the ACA. No, really -we haven’t seen competence THAT impressive since FEMA’s Michael Brown 😀

      I look forward to hearing you sing their praises when we inaugurate Hillary 😉

      • Timbo555

        Nik: But you progressives do “Crap on our lawns” metaphorically. Very time someone turns on C

      • B-real

        Delusion is a bitch…..

        But,so are you, and Hillary….

    • BluesDude

      I like reading these blogs. It’s amazing how these self appointed elitists preach tolerance while attacking opposing viewpoints, and then make absolutely no sense with their mindless blatherings. For example, they profess that more people should study the candidates before they vote. A great idea. But… what research went into their selection of Obama? What was known about this person’s past, leanings, teachings, upbringing? Not much. They didn’t even study his voting record. We know Obama was a community organizer, but was he a successful one? There’s no answer on that. Which specific organization was he a success in? Be honest… most of the progressives voted out of ignorance, otherwise, how could you vote for someone with no job prerequisites? You wouldn’t have, if he was a CEO candidate, and you were on the board of corporate officers. And to think Rachel Maddow is astute? Really?

      Try reading IHS Jane’s 360, Foreign Policy magazine, Brookings Institute papers, DEBKAfile, Hoover Institution material, and the foreign newspapers. They’re not blinded by partisanship, one way or the other. This country won’t be great again until we ALL vote responsibly, with due diligence given to all the candidates.

  • Jason Haze

    Palin, Limbaugh, two of the biggest vile stains in todays society …..

    • B-real

      We haven’t seen your stains yet…..

    • Kevin Carroll

      Yeah same on them for telling the truth about the left . The trash on the left, people like you.

  • Kurt Cocking

    Idiocracy has turned into a documentary.

  • Chucky Regalla

    I hope they die.

  • Chucky Regalla

    I wish they were dead.

  • Chucky Regalla

    This article is inappropriate

  • Nikonulous

    Well said. Unfortunately, we don’t have the ally we thought we did in this fight. After all, it was Andrea Mitchell who broke away from an interview with a Congressperson to update us all on urgent news about Justin Bieber. And I must hear twenty stories a week by Al Sharpton, Ed Schultz, and Chris Matthews giving the latest sewage from the knuckle-dragging RWNJs even MORE airtime than they merited in the first place.

    This is one case where it really isn’t a false equivalency. The Left Wing media may pay lip service to civility and the moral high ground, but they clearly enjoy feeding the trolls. Who’d have thought preaching to the choir was easier than real journalism??

    Perhaps it’s time to start voting with our remotes. Don’t just tune out when the good Reverend, or Ed, or Chris start flailing at the low-hanging fruit- WRITE THEM. TWEET THEM. FLOOD their inboxes and social media channels with rebukes. They all claim they’re tired of the Right Wing Hate Machine, but they’re the ones rewinding it and playing it back constantly, because they’re sucking on the same ratings-driven corporate teat as the clowns over at Faux Snooze.

    Yes, people SHOULD be outraged by the bile that gushes from the Right, but the people who guzzle it aren’t open to persuasion, and they have no shame. They’re not ambivalent about your outrage -they ENJOY IT. And while they’re rollicking in pushing our buttons, REAL atrocities -like the campaign finance debacle that just cleared the SCOTUS yesterday, are getting drowned out.


  • Nikonulous

    For what it’s worth, tweet this every time it happens:

    @[Liberal Commentator], [RWNJ]’s provocation is neither new, nor newsworthy. #StopFeedingTheTrolls. Sincerely, #YourProgressiveViewers.

  • Sheareader

    I agree. I wish people would just ignore some of these idiots. Why respond? You’re keeping them in the news if you do. And it makes a good liberal despondent to hear what they say.

  • Kim Serrahn

    Well said. I do not watch TV much any more and I use to watch the History Channel and TLC religiously. And as for the Painlin and Limpbisket I will read what they say but never share it as gospel. I follow two very smart men, Senator Sanders and Robert Reich, both of whom make sense.

  • B-real

    This is the funniest liberal crap I have ever read……

  • William Bruce Matthews

    OK, so stop writing and talking about them and ask your friends in broadcasting why they cover them too.

  • Sherry

    It’s amazing how progressives, aka communists, are very good at calling names, but never have any real meat in the conversation. Stick to policy instead of name calling and someone might listen. There is a very good litmus test to any and all policy and legislature – does it pass the Constitutional smell test? We have so many federal laws that are unconstitutional because no one will challenge their elected officials. Be part of the solution, not the problem. Do your own due diligence and research the facts, not the opinion of a journalist or politician. It’s amazing how Congress has the lowest approval rating in history, yet people keep electing the same people.

    Check out the number of Federal agencies there are. Then read the Constitution to refresh your memory. How many of those agencies are functioning where the issue should be a state issue? I can say a whole lot of money is being wasted.

  • billkapaldo

    This is exactly why I don’t repost about the idiots unless it’s just too mind-numbingly stupid to pass up. I don’t want to further their recognition by calling them out for doing what everybody already knows they do…put their foot in their mouth or nose in where it has no purpose ( which for the life of me escapes any real place that it WOULD!)

  • Kenneth James Abbott

    If we’re goign to pay attention to politicians with solutions, paying more attention to Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders is exactly the wrong way to go…..

    Which is exacly why the left spends so much time slandering Sarah Palin as viciously as they possibly can.


    The funny thing is, Ms. Palin isn’t terribly conservative. She eagerly became John McCain’s runningmate (the guy the Left voted for in droves back in 2000, who conservatives excoriated), she supported spousal benefits for homosexual “partners,” she hired a firm to lobby for more federal pork, and infamously supported the “Bridge to Nowhere.” There are legitimate reasons to criticize her, but the funny thing is that if it weren’t for you unhinged nuts she’d probably just fade away into obscurity.

    But the attacks against her are so blind, so hateful, so utterly disgusting, that decent men and women can’t help but stand in her defense….

    …. and it just so happens that means conservatives.

  • John Heinmiller

    Liberal media? GET REAL!

    You are owned by conservatives. You put into your news what the conservatives want. You react to the conservative dimwits keeping them on the air. And you heartily ignore the liberals.


  • TexasGrammy

    Back in the 80s some of the media moguls decided that the American public wanted more celebrity news and gossip. It wasn’t true, but it didn’t matter. They were in charge and that’s what they gave us. Here it is three decades later and very few people remember what real news is supposed to be, so they go along with all this tabloid junk. I, for one, really miss the real news.

  • P. Reed Haley

    America’s news agencies must stop inviting Fox News’ so-called pundits to appear on their news programs. It just gives legitimacy to their warped views and those of their employer!