Why do people dislike Rush Limbaugh?

You may have heard about the recent Harris Poll that said almost half of Americans think Rush Limbaugh is the News and Current Events personality they dislike the most:

Harris Poll Results

Now the details – Harris provided a list of 26 possible answers and asked the people to select the 3 persons they liked the most, and disliked the most, and asked the people if they were Republicans, Democrats or independents.

Problem #1 – Harris chose the list

You won’t find Glenn Beck as a choice, or Michael Savage, or Mark Levin, or Bill Bennett, or Ed Schultz, or Bill Press.    The only choices on the list are TV personalities – with the one exception of Rush Limbaugh.   Talk about apples and oranges (or how irrelevant radio is to America?)

Problem #2 – The poll is of people on the Internet

This was a poll of online users only, who answered using their web site

Problem #3 – The poll is weighted

Harris took the raw numbers and weighted them based on what they believe real America is – as opposed to the 2,000 people who answered – including weighting the results based on how much time the people spend online.  Once you give up trying to pick a representative sample from a population and instead use a known skewed sample and weight the results to try to create an approximation of the entire population, the results can pretty much say anything someone has paid you to make the outcome to be.

Problem #4: – the poll is self selected

The people who answered the poll are those people who wanted to answer the poll.   As the disclaimer at the end admits, with participation in the poll being voluntary and self-selected, it is impossible to calculate a margin of error – meaning that it’s a totally useless, meaningless poll.




This entry was posted in Radio Biz. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Why do people dislike Rush Limbaugh?

  1. foyle says:

    “Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics”

  2. jackkeats says:

    To quote my grandfather:
    “Figures lie and liars figure.”
    It seems to me that these ‘polls’ are designed to reflect the pollster’s position, rather than the pollee. (I’m not sure that’s a word, but it should be)

  3. Art Stone says:

    To the extent it means anything, it mostly is measuring name recognition. It’s already well established that Rush’s audience is highly skewed toward older male men, particularly high income well-educated.

    My sense is getting married again probably makes his show even less interesting to women. I’ve noticed a pattern over the years that when male hosts get married (or remarried), the tone of the show changes – they become more hostile and aggressive toward male callers who challenge their opinions – as if they are attacks on their manhood and they need to defend their castle. I still listen some, but Rush’s show is evolving into “I hate Obama 24 hours a day”. It’s becoming as unhinged as the Bush Derangement Syndrome people were four years ago.

    As much as I don’t like Glenn Beck’s current direction, I do admire Beck hopping on a plane and going to Greece to see and smell the reality of what may be our future. Rush staying inside his gated community in Palm Beach is making him more and more disconnected from his audience. That caller fromNacogdoches, Texas about 10 years ago had it nailed.

    • pacraft35 says:

      I disagree. I’m a married female and I love Rush more than ever, having listened to him since around the early 90s. Whether he’s married or not has never made a difference to me and I detect no difference in his commentary, other than to hear an occasional reference about his wife. I think if anything Rush has mellowed and become better. As far as the “I hate Obama” I think he’s only voicing what many frustrated people out there are feeling. Obama has absolutely no regard for what the people in this country want (as evidenced by his ignoring the will of the people on health care and a host of other issues.) Again and again, he shows that he’s more interested in catering to an elite select group including the environmentalists and other factions of the far left. This along with his sarcastic & nasty remarks to anyone who disagrees with him, as well as his obvious dismal performance, fuels dislike for Obama without Rush saying anything at all. But it is nice to have the very few voice some of your own feelings, since it’s clear the media is never going to present an even picture of Obama and his performance. They are so unapologetically biased that it’s fair game to show the other side, and OK with me to do it with humor.

  4. Parrott says:

    Yeah I agree Art, Glenn going to Greece was good. Couldn’t see Rush going to Greece on EIB 1. Rush comes out with funny zingers, like at the start of his second hour he generally says “A recap for those of you that missed the first hour and welfare recipients just getting up”. LOL, that’s kinda funny but it antagonizes people.
    I think I find myself checking into his show to see if Mark Steyn is filling in. I like listening to Mark sometimes.
    Back in the early 90’s Rush was the only game in town & I use to listen all the time, but the drug thing back a long time ago had me loosing credibility with most of my family and extended family, wife even razzed me that I listened to Rush. I think that was the last time I regularly listened. I moved on

    • Art Stone says:

      I remember exactly where I was when Rush announced he had gone deaf. I was in a parking lot at work after returning from lunch.

      It explained a lot of what I had been noticing – his growing lack of interest in talking to callers and his frequently not understanding the caller’s point – one of the options on my rating system is “the host frequently misunderstands the caller’s point”, which I added specifically thinking of Rush Limbaugh. Near the end, his speech was becoming slurred as if he was drunk or on serious medication – which is one of the side effects of total hearing loss (as he later explained) – when you can’t hear yourself talk, you lose the ability to control your voice.

      I admire him greatly for getting the cochlear implant and learning to hear again, but I was unimpressed by his lack of candor about losing his hearing – the when and why. He indicated in 2001 that it had “happened suddenly”, which is not true. He had been wearing hearing aids for a very long time which he would mention from time to time. What happens is when you lose the last few percent, that’s when your ability to hear plummets off a cliff.

      Going deaf is a well documented side effect of oxycontin abuse.

      I appreciate his not wanting to take ownership of contributing to his deafness with all the people looking for any way to take him on a “perp walk”.

      But he clearly has a problem that he hasn’t addressed – he constantly mentions “I thought maybe a cold was coming on, so I immediately took zicam and I didn’t get a cold”. Zicam nose swabs and spray have since been pulled from the market by the FDA because of 130 cases of loss of smell

      You’ll also remember his incident where the Customs Service made a fuss over him returning to the United States with a prescription of Viagra that was not in his name – which some good lawyering made go away. His fondness for solving problems by taking a pill (legal or otherwise) is going to catch up to him eventually – but then again, I’m the odd one out resisting doctors wanting to push pills on me with no justification.

  5. WesternMA says:

    I’ve been a Rush fan since reading his first book “The Way Things Ought to Be” back in the early 90’s. I don’t always agree with him, but even when I disagree, I find his arguments compelling. While I think he’s mellowed over the years, like Johnny Carson, he seems to have his finger on the pulse of the country. But, like Parrott, I love Mark Steyn when he fills in.

    • Art Stone says:

      I have both books on my bookshelf.

      One huge irony – and probably why there hasn’t been a third book…. Back in those days, Rush really stuck it to Paul Ehrlich (author of Population Bomb) for including footnotes in his books quoting himself as the expert (which is pretty cheezy)

      Howerer, Rush ran into a ton of resistance from his editors demanding that he cite sources for the “facts” in his books. The second book in particular contained a lot of transcripts of his own show – “it’s true because I said it on my radio show – here’s the quote”.

      Beck learned from his time at CNN not to repeat things from sources that aren’t proven reliable – and to require multiple independent sources – Journalism 101 – and see original source documents if possible.

      While Beck still engages in selective presentations of a point of voice (ignoring the evidence that may disprove his point), he’s at least on the right path. He eventually got around to finding out the entire story about Thomas Payne before and after the American Revolution, for instance. I look forward to hearing his explanation reconciling “Thou Shalt Not Steal” with the use of privateers to disrupt commerce and direct the loot to fund the Revolution.

Leave a Reply