Jonathan Alter: When Will Liberals Call for More Boycotts of 'Racist' Rush Limbaugh?

Former Newsweek editor Jonathan Alter appeared on The Ed Show, Tuesday, to lobby for more boycotts of the "racist" Rush Limbaugh. The radio host's crime, according to the writer, is making a few joking comments about the shoe-throwing incident involving Hillary Clinton. On his show, Limbaugh mused, "I can totally relate to people who think that everything the Clintons do is staged...I just don't attach much genuineness to them."  

Limbaugh allowed, "Maybe it's because in my subconscious, I think it was staged." Alter railed against Limbaugh, assailing, "When do more boycotts of Rush Limbaugh's sponsors come? You know, there's been some racist garbage over the years. He's been racist on any number of occasions. " Alter lamented that there has only been " a little bit of a boycott" over past incidents. [UPDATED with video. MP3 audio here.]

Alter whined, "But you don't see any sustained organization on the part of liberals to go after Limbaugh. We'll see if that takes place in the future." 

One might joke that conservatives could call for a boycott of Newsweek, but people would have to find the publication, lately on life support. 

Secondly, Schultz might not want to tout calls for boycotts, considering he came under intense scrutiny for trashing Laura Ingraham as a "slut." 

Here's the full context of what Limbaugh said on his show: 

RUSH LIMBAUGH: : Now, we had a call yesterday from a woman who I could barely understand.  She was on a cell phone.  Her cell call was not the best connection, and the woman did not have the phone properly positioned so that her oral cavity was near the phone's microphone.  Therefore I could barely understand what she was saying.  I had to ask her to start again a couple of times.  I was able to read the transcription of the call and basically this woman's theory is that Mrs. Clinton staged the whole incident where somebody threw a shoe at her.

Her theory was based on the fact that Mrs. Clinton looked like she knew it was coming. She didn't look that shocked. She had too many really cute, pat answers just ready to go.  And then this woman said the Clintons, they stage things, the Democrats stage things and I said, "You know, I hadn't thought about it." I hadn't even seen it.  All I had seen was the still shot of Hillary avoiding the shoe on the Drudge Report.  I, frankly, didn't care.  I don't care anymore about stuff like that.  What the Drive-Bys do, folks, I'm just trying to limit my exposure to 'em so as to not be affected by it.  It's hard, I know.  When you expose yourself to 'em each and every day you can't help but be taken in by it. 

A partial transcript of Schultz's April 15th show: 


5:23

RUSH LIMBAUGH: Somebody threw a shoe at Hillary? big whoop. 

ED SCHULTZ: The right-wing shoe truther conspiracy falls flat. 

RUSH LIMBAUGH: I can totally relate to people who think that everything the Clintons do is staged.

UNIDENTIFIED MOVIE CLIP: You're a fake and a phony.  

LIMBAUGH: I just don't attach much genuineness to them. Maybe it's because in my subconscious, I think it was staged. 

SCHULTZ: Joining me now, MSNBC political analyst and author Jonathan Alter. Jonathan, great to have you with us tonight. I mean, this is the strangest conspiracy theory I think I have ever heard. And they will reach as far as they can when it comes to Hillary Clinton. 

JONATHAN ALTER: Yes, they will. 

SCHULTZ: What is your take on this? 

ALTER: Well, first of all, we need to remind ourselves that Rush Limbaugh is not just a blowhard, he's an extraordinarily powerful blowhard. Nobody in the Republican Party will ever defy him. If they criticize him, they immediately have to apologize. He's had for 25 years a two or three hour advertisement for the Republican Party, a two or three hour negative ad against the Democrats, that has inundated, and in some cases,  polluted the minds of broad swaths, particularly of rural America

...

JONATHAN ALTER: My question for liberals, Ed is when do more boycotts of Rush Limbaugh's sponsors come? You know, there's been some racist garbage over the years. He's been racist on any number of occasions. And so, you get a little bit of a boycott or a little bit of a sense that, you know, the sponsors should be challenged as they would be on the other side of the spectrum, if the shoe, so to speak, were on the other foot, on the foot of a Democratic talk show host. But you don't see any sustained organization on the part of liberals to go after Limbaugh. We'll see if that takes place in the future. 

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org