Klavan. Any relation to Cliff?

March 31, 2009




Andrew Klavan, the fiction writer and journalist, makes an interesting point in his “Limbaugh Challenge” column making the rounds this week. Klavan suggests that many people he characterizes as liberals, who are dismissive of Rush Limbaugh, probably have never listened to Limbaugh’s show and know what he says only through excerpts and sound bites – which Klavan maintains are edited precisely to make Limbaugh sound bad. When I was a fulltime journalist, readers often complained that I was a knee-jerk liberal, and I’ve also heard that complaint a few times with respect to my preaching. Those who made such judgments had never talked to me, and therefore had no way of knowing that I have many views that are hardly liberal. So I have a little context for this discussion from my own experience. I have a little more context from the fact that I have listened to Rush Limbaugh’s show many times, just as I have listened to Michael Savage and Sean Hannity. Truth be told, these fellows and I disagree on many if not most things, but I have found common ground with all of them at one time or another. Moreover, listening to them gets me to at least re-examine some of my own ideas, which I think is Klavan’s point. At the minimum, I suspect that Klavan is correct in his suggestion that people who publicly excoriate Limbaugh have only a cursory idea of what the man thinks and says. Limbaugh deliberately presents himself at times – as Lewis Grossberger once put it – as a “political vaudevillian,” and that makes it easy to simply write him off. But he represents and influences the viewpoints of too many earnest Americans to be dismissed simply as a clown.



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