It is high time for the mainstream media to just ignore Rush Limbaugh, the egotistical, right-wing bloviator of radio and TV infamy.
Truth be told, Limbaugh delights in getting his name mentioned in the mass-circulation newspapers.
So why not pay no more attention to his blathering? He deserves it.
Ignoring Limbaugh would be a fitting punishment for his outrageous antics and self-promoting manner.
Limbaugh prides himself in going over the top. His latest was to mimic the actor Michael J. Fox, who is suffering from Parkinson's disease and is appearing in ads for Democrats who favor stem-cell research. Limbaugh mimicked Fox while shaking himself into a lather and accusing him of playacting. He later apologized but got in a dig about Fox's willingness to campaign.
Before he starts to ruin another reputation, Limbaugh should examine his own. He was hooked on painkilling medicine and was investigated in Florida for it. He attacked President Clinton for low morals during the Lewinsky scandal while marrying three times.
Limbaugh's audience is estimated at 10 million. Many of those are certainly right-wing zealots who love his nutty words. But some listen or watch for the entertainment of the shows (they have too much time on their hands), and even some liberals listen to follow his latest outrage.
Limbaugh has played out much of his importance. When Clinton was in office, he had a vulnerable target. He treats the Republicans in office with a feather, looking to Democrats in Congress and especially Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for criticism beyond the pale.
Mary Mapes, the CBS producer who was dismissed over the Dan Rather story on Bush's record in the National Guard, put it best in a seminar last year at Middle Tennessee State University. Responding to a question on her ethics by Limbaugh, she answered:
"I don't need to be lectured on ethics by an obese, thrice-married drug addict."
I think Mapes got in the last word.