The William Raspberry Experiment
Today I am dispensing with our normal format to post a special edition of the DUmmie FUnnies. The reason is that yesterday I was consumed by an idea. It hit me in the morning and absolutely consumed me all day yesterday. This idea is still grabbing me and won't let me go until I announce it to the CyberWorld via this edition so here goes...
Rush Limbaugh has often said that it takes about six weeks of constant listening to get what his show and he are about. However, the amazing thing is very few of Rush Limbaugh's many critics have ever listened to him regularly. In fact, they have almost never listened to a Rush Limbaugh show in its entirety and have probably only listened to snippets of the show only a few times each year. Most of what they have heard have come to them second-hand from people who claim they heard it from others who also rarely listen to Rush. The other source for their "expertise" on Rush Limbaugh comes from partial out of context soundbites of Rush on the Web or on the tube. So what would happen if those liberals now hostile towards Rush listen to him more regularly?
Well, we already have one very notable such example. It is William Raspberry who was a Washington Post columnist. In 1993 Raspberry wrote a column blasting Limbaugh for his "demagoguery ... his gay bashing, his racial putdowns." Like the Mississippi segregationists of his youth, Raspberry said, Limbaugh "is so good at ... tossing the raw meat of bigotry to people.... Limbaugh is a bigot."
So what happened after that heated blast? Jeff Jacoby explains:
Eleven days later, Raspberry wrote a second column retracting the first.
"Rush, I'm sorry," he began. He confessed, to his great credit, that the earlier piece had been written in ignorance. "My opinions about [Limbaugh] had come largely from other people -- mostly friends who think Rush is a four-letter word. They are certain he is a bigot. Is he?"
Raspberry -- who by this point had listened to several hours of Limbaugh's shows and perused one of his books -- went on to answer his own question. Limbaugh might be "smart-alecky" and love "to rattle liberal cages," he might be "unrelenting in his assault on ... political correctness." But he was no more a bigot or hatemonger than Art Buchwald.
So what would happen if other liberal critics of Rush, who never listen Rush except via erroneous second hand reports, listen to Rush on a regular basis? Fortunately there is a way to find out. I am hereby proposing that the EIB Network conduct the greatest psychological experiment of all time. I call this "The William Raspberry Experiment." The idea that was consuming me all day yesterday until now as I set these words down on this blog is that a group of mostly liberal volunteers be monitored as they listen to Rush Limbaugh daily for six weeks...a total of thirty 3 hour shows. After careful screening the volunteer group could be broken down into the politically apathetic, "moderates" (meaning liberals who pretend to be unbiased), liberals, and some really far left types who think George W. Bush should be sent to The Hague for war crimes which would include most non-LFTs in DUmmieland. I am thinking that the total number of volunteers for The William Raspberry Experiment could be around 50. The two main groupings would be regular folks as well few celebs.
To ensure that the volunteer listeners are actually listening to Rush and not faking it, they would be gathered at central locations in 3 to 5 metropolitan areas around the country and monitored to make sure they are listening to the full Rush broadcast. Talking among the volunteers during the broadcasts would be prohibited. However, they would be free to later publish their impressions on their blogs or other outlets. In addition, the volunteers would be hooked up with electrodes to measure their brain wave reactions to Rush as well has be recorded on video to observe their facial reactions to El Rushbo. When the six weeks (30 shows total) of the William Raspberry Experiment are over, the volunteers would be debriefed detail in order to determine how their attitudes toward Rush has changed.
The monitors of this grand experiment could be people trained in psychology. They would also be required to release a very detailed report which would be posted on the web as "The William Raspberry Experiment."
Celebrity volunteers would not need to be screened as to their political leanings since it would already be well known. Here are some of the people I would love to see volunteer to become part of the Rush Challenge:
Tom Brokaw: He appears on Morning Joe a lot but his afternoons seem to be free. Mark him down as a "moderate" which means he's really a liberal going through the pretense of being liberal.
Susan Estrich: Perhaps a strong dose of Rush would inoculate her from ever again having a meltdown when the Democrats lose as in 2004.
Eleanor Clift: Monitors should remain on alert to place Clift in an isolation booth in case she almost inevitably starts screaming in protest at Rush during his broadcast.
Caroline Kennedy: Let's face it. Caroline has lots of time to kill nowadays so she has plenty of room in her schedule to be a volunteer in this experiment. Her late brother, John, was fairly open minded so I think he would have loved to have participated. Plus Caroline could learn why her father's tax cuts to stimulate the economy were a good thing.
Pinch Sulzberger: Could the publisher of the New York Times take time out to participate in The William Raspberry Experiment? Actually this could be helpful to the Times since the less time Pinch is spending to pull down that newspaper with his always erroneous ideas, the better it is for that publication.
Ken Norton: I can certify that PJ's pal is completely apathetic politically. In fact, I knew Ken for over five years before any mention of politics ever passed his lips and that was only because he was surprised when I showed him my PJ's Comix cartoon stories on the web. However, because he now lives in the Georgia sticks he is too far away from a major metropolitan area to participate.
So why would people take the Rush Challenge? One reason is that it would be a challenge. Another reason is that I recommend they be paid to participate. Payment would be both in money and free lunches they can eat while imbibing Rush during his broadcasts. Finally, the this would give the liberal volunteers who are bloggers great material to work with and could expect great increases in the number of visitors to their blogs. Participants who are MSM journalists would also have a great subject to report about.
This would also be great publicity for the Rush Limbaugh show since many people would be fascinated in reading about the William Raspberry Experiment. The results should be quite interesting.
My ideas on The William Raspberry aren't set in stone so if you have any suggestions about this...go right ahead and suggest. Have at it my fellow dittoheads!