Limbaugh’s, Umm, ‘Media Criticism’

Finding new waysto keep his name in the news, far-right radio personality Rush Limbaugh has apparently decided that reporters who are (in his view) too fond of Barack Obama should be called “butt boys.” TVNewser reported (3/4/09) that CNN‘s Ed Henry was one name on Rush’s list (“Ed, you’re a butt boy”), but that ABC‘s Jake Tapper “is the one guy that’s outside the butt boy bubble.” As TVNewser put it:

How does Tapper feel about it? In a tweet this afternoon he writes, “They love me today, they’ll hate me tomorrow. How it works if I’m doing the job right. (Not Right.)”

This is a pretty familiar–not to mention lazy–way reporters deal with critics; if “both” sides have a problem with my work, I must be in the middle–which is where good journalists live. Of course, this assumes that all criticism is of equal merit, which is a pretty difficult case to make when one of the “critics” is making homophobic slurs. It’s also worth noting that Tapper recently explained that liberal media critics tend to be more harsh: “I get a lot of heat from the right, too, but the vitriol is from the left.”

Here’s an easier way to assess your performance: If Rush Limbaugh is praising your work, you’re probably doing something wrong.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.