CNN's Brown Scolds Limbaugh for 'Outrageous...Foul'; Halperin: 'Off Key'

CNN's Campbell Brown on Thursday night framed a panel segment around Rush Limbaugh's comment that he wishes President Obama will fail if success means implementing socialist policies, a remark she characterized as matching his usual “outrageous” outbursts and which “has a lot of people crying foul out there.” Guest Mark Halperin, editor-at-large and senior political analyst for Time magazine and the former political director at ABC News, then denounced Limbaugh as “off-key” from the “mainstream media” and “congressional Republicans” -- as it that's a bad thing -- and thus declared expressing the view “a big mistake.”

Brown played a clip of Rush Limbaugh telling FNC's Sean Hannity that he wants President Obama to fail, as Limbaugh wondered: “If his agenda is a far-left, collectivism -- some people say socialism -- as a conservative...why would I want socialism to succeed?” As if that were some sort of over the line concept, Brown asserted “outrageous [is] Limbaugh's stock and trade, but this has a lot of people crying foul out there.”

A lot of people in what Limbaugh dubs the “drive-by” media, apparently, as Halperin scolded Limbaugh for straying from the establishment's party line:

It is off-key...from what the mainstream media, the dominant media's talked about. It's off-key for a lot of congressional Republicans, it's off-key for a lot of independents. So right now I think that what's missing from Limbaugh's critique is alternative ideas. Just being someone saying no, I want you to fail, without that extra sentence of saying here's what I believe instead, I think is a big mistake right now and it's not going to get much of a following.   

Except from all those in Limbaugh's large audience which listen to him, regularly hear him assessing policies and ideas and look to him to point the way out of the political wilderness.

(A night earlier, Wednesday, Limbaugh's take also enraged MSNBC's Chris Matthews. Details and video in Geoffrey Dickens' post, “Chris Matthews: 'Does Rush Limbaugh Hate This Country?'”)

From about the half-way mark of the January 22 edition of Brown's not very aptly named 8 PM EST show, No Bias, No Bull:

CAMPBELL BROWN: Rush Limbaugh's getting a lot of extra attention today for a jab he took at President Obama last night. With the new administration just getting to work and polls showing a huge majority of Americans backing the new President, listen to what Limbaugh said when Sean Hannity asked him if he wants President Obama to succeed.

RUSH LIMBAUGH ON FNC'S HANNITY: I want him to fail. If his agenda is a far-left, collectivism – some people say socialism – as a conservative, heart-felt, deeply, why would I want socialism to succeed? [Video of the entire exchange]

BROWN: Now, being outrageous Limbaugh's stock and trade, but this has a lot of people crying foul out there. Does he speak for Republicans?...Given Obama's popularity, his message about bringing the country together right now, is there an appetite out there for comments like that from Rush?

MARK HALPERIN, TIME: There isn't much of one, but Rush Limbaugh's one of the few Republicans who's got some fight in him now and he does have a following, he does have a big audience. It is off-key, though, from what the mainstream media, the dominant media's talked about. It's off-key for a lot of congressional Republicans, it's off-key for a lot of independents. So right now I think that what's missing from Limbaugh's critique is alternative ideas. Just being someone saying no, I want you to fail, without that extra sentence of saying here's what I believe instead, I think is a big mistake right now and it's not going to get much of a following.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center