Limbaugh Declares Fox News and National Review to Be Un-Conservative


The talk-radio host takes right-wing heretic-hunting to its logical conclusion

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I am so grounded in conservativism, I'm so grounded in common sense, it's not possible for me to waver from it. I don't doubt myself! - Rush Limbaugh

Has there ever been a less conservative sentiment uttered than the one above?

Yet its creator, Rush Limbaugh, has just read out of the conservative movement National Review, The Weekly Standard, the Fox News Channel, The Claremont Review of Books, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, The New Criterion, Human Events, and every other right-leaning magazine, website, and newspaper. Can staffers at those places now stop giving his nonsense a pass, and start pointing out his serial race-baiting, factual errors, and questionable logic?

Here are Limbaugh's exact words:

This friend of mine, he tunes in or reads a lot of conservative blogs and websites, he's pulling his hair out, "I thought these people were conservative?" I said, "You are misunderstanding something. There is not a conservative movement in the media." And there really isn't. The conservative movement, and I mean this from bottom of my large beating heart -- ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom -- the conservative movement is made up of me, talk radio, the Tea Party and the American people who are conservative. But a conservative movement made up of movement media people, there hasn't been that since Mr. Buckley passed away. I really don't believe so.

Got that Roger Ailes, Rich Lowry, Charles Krauthammer, George Will, Michele Malkin, Bill O'Reilly, and Bill Kristol?

Of course, Limbaugh wasn't naming any names.

By definition anybody I talk about is smaller than I am so when I talk about 'em I elevate 'em and call attention to what really is not noticed by a whole lot of people. So there's a lot of stuff I can't, either by virtue of my professional policy and by virtue of common sense, there's a lot of stuff that I don't talk about because it doesn't deserve to be any more widely spread than it already is on its own. Do you understand what I'm saying, Snerdley? It's a very limiting thing.

The man can't be parodied.

So what prompted Limbaugh to proclaim himself and fellow talk radio hosts the only true conservatives? The fact that some conservative journalists are criticizing Newt Gingrich. "No matter where you look in the Republican establishment media today, there looks to be a coordinated attack on Mr. Newt," he said. "I'm not gonna mention any names because you know when I do, all I do is elevate these people." If that quote and the excerpt above are any indication, Gingrich and Limbaugh have now bonded over their unseemly, egomaniacal delusions of grandeur.

When I predicted that Gingrich would be ruinous for the Tea Party I had no idea it would happen this quickly. The most powerful broadcaster in the conservative movement is already carrying water for the new Republican frontrunner just like he admitted to doing during the Bush administration.

It makes sense, in a way.

Image credit: Reuters

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Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

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