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updated: 3/8/2012 9:09 AM

Talk with the Editor: Was the media unfair to Rush?

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  • When advertisers start boycotting Rush Limbaugh, one of the nation's most popular radio personalities and particularly one with arguably significant political influence, that's a story.

      When advertisers start boycotting Rush Limbaugh, one of the nation's most popular radio personalities and particularly one with arguably significant political influence, that's a story.
    Associated Press

  • Video: Limbaugh supporters pull ads

 
 

There are some who say that news media coverage of Rush Limbaugh's denigrating remarks about Sandra Fluke is evidence of a double standard.

Where, they say, was the outrage over outlandish remarks liberal comedian Bill Maher made about Sarah Palin?

Here's what I think:

People who want to see sinister bias behind any news story will see it. But Limbaugh has received the same treatment anyone in his position would receive. When advertisers start boycotting one of the nation's most popular radio personalities, particularly one with arguably significant political influence, that's a story.

If anything, most of the news media was late to it. The uproar started on social media, not in traditional media, and only after it grew explosively there did it draw news media attention. And that coverage was less about Limbaugh's remarks than it was about the heat he was taking for them from all corners.

Bill Maher, meanwhile? He's a different stripe than Limbaugh. He's a comedian, not a political commentator, although to be sure, his so-called humor is politically oriented. I personally think his entire schtick involves disgusting and offending people. Did his remarks about Palin offend people? Of course they did. Did the news media report on it? It's just one of many Maher controversies the news media has reported over the years.

Meanwhile, there was an uproar when comedian David Letterman made a crude joke about Palin's daughter -- a joke that eventually forced a Letterman apology. And the way I remember it, the news media reported on that uproar with gusto.

Doesn't sound like a double standard to me. Just sounds like the news media doing its job.

Anyway, that's what I think. How about you?

• (We encourage you to talk with the editor by clicking on the Comments widget and providing your response to today's column. We want a provocative discussion but one that also abides by general rules of civility ... Please also consider friending John on Facebook by searching John Lampinen Daily Herald and following him on Twitter @DHJohnLampinen)

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