Saturday, September 26, 2009

Microcosm

I watched The Jay Leno Show Thursday night. Mainly because he had Rush Limbaugh as a guest. I like Leno's monologues but other than that, I'm not such a fan of the show.

But I've never actually seen or heard Limbaugh speak. On the other hand, I've certainly read about what he's had to say (and the strong reaction he tends to provoke). It's just that I've never actually heard it myself. So I was curious.

And I found it interesting. Less for what Rush, himself, was actually saying and more for the crowd reaction to both him and Jay. I wish I could replay and re-watch the videos of the interviews but apparently they "aren't available from my location". Uh huh. And unfortunately the YouTube versions are pretty well inaudible.

So. I was thinking back to when President Obama was on Leno this past March. Nothing but applause and cheers and love for the new Pres. And comparing that to the crowd reaction to what Limbaugh and Jay had to say on Thursday.

Rush, of course, was Rush. Or just about as I've heard him described. And Jay took the more left centralist view.

But here's my point. I was surprised at the level of support Limbaugh got for his comments. Without getting into my own personal thoughts on what he had to say, it was the crowd reaction that intrigued me. Not unexpectedly, Limbaugh was highly critical of a lot of what President Obama has done and attempted to do to date. And by the sound of the crowd, a lot of Americans share his concerns.

Sure, you can always get a few hecklers in any crowd. But that was most definitely not what I was hearing. For the most part, I was hearing agreement with what he had to say.

Then Jay would come back and try to make his points and ask his questions, for which he received a fair bit of crowd approval as well. Without being able to re-watch it, I would venture that the crowd approval might have been something like 80% Limbaugh and 50% Leno.

Which, while I am well aware that adds up to much more than 100%, my sense was that a significant number of those applauding Jay's position had just been applauding Limbaugh a few moments earlier. Which wouldn't make much sense unless those people were a little on the psychotic (or at least neurotic) side. Or unless at least some of them thought that both men were making sense. Which, strange as that may sound, was kind of my take.

And although that was, at least in part, my own reaction [putting aside the issue of Rush's increasing rudeness as the interview went on in that he wouldn't let Leno finish asking a question or make a point before he had to start up again, I thought both men made some good points], I don't think I was projecting. I heard an audience reaction which was largely favourable to what both men had to say. With little, if any, disagreement being expressed for either one of them.

Which I found interesting because, hanging out at Lex's as I do, I hear a lot of disapproval expressed for President Obama's policies. And yet, I have observed very little disapproval from any of my mainstream (but, I must admit, much less interesting) sources.

So watching the crowd reaction to Rush Limbaugh this past Thursday, I found it interesting to observe that perhaps some of the shine is, actually, beginning to come off Obama's rose.

That although evidence of the cult of personality still abounds, perhaps a shift really is starting to take place on Main Street, America. That maybe, just maybe, Americans are starting to take a more realistic view of their President. Being that of a man and not a God.

Who knows? Maybe the rest of the world will soon follow suit.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the film, "Why We Fight," yet ??

Kris, in New England said...

Michelle - those mainstream sources have been selling Obama as this country's savior for over 2 years now. Yet he's done nothing - absolutely nothing - since he took office except continue to campaign.

He's not a leader - never has been. He's a flavor-of-the-month politician who had a very powerful media on his side from the start.

So now he's the flavor of the next 4 years. God help us.

Because the American people are starting to see the light and recognizing just what we have in the Oval Office.

It's not a president, it's a celebrity.

I'm also pretty sure that the Leno audience was probably stacked in Rush's favor - people know when these guests are going to be on, so they can get tickets in advance. I'm not saying Leno's people stacked the audience, I'm saying the audience probably did it themselves.

I find Rush to be a little too strident for my taste - though he's rarely wrong.

MMC said...

"Have you seen the film, "Why We Fight," yet ??"

No, I never heard of it. I assume you're talking about this? It certainly does seem to have good reviews.

I hadn't thought of the audience stacking itself, Kris, but that does make sense. Still, I would have expected at least a few hecklers, boos, something.

And Rush, strident... do you think? :D

MMC said...

Oops, linky no work.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0436971/