Letterman and Limbaugh

Why these two are more alike than different

Recent days were marked with a peculiar combination of news stories that brought two mainstays of the entertainment industry back to trending status on social media—David Letterman and Rush Limbaugh. While being two distinctively different stories, there is also a curious similarity between the two…

February 17 saw the passing of Rush Limbaugh, a conservative radio personality. Love him or hate him, Limbaugh knew how to work a room and instinctively knew how to rile up his frenzy of listeners known as Dittoheads. Radio Personality is an appropriate moniker for Limbaugh because he most definitely was playing a character when sitting at the microphone. It is doubtful that he walked down his street calling his neighbors Femi-Nazis, and was, in all likelihood, a likable man. And a smart man who understood the pipeline he had tapped into, growing his base and popularity by appealing to right-wing listeners who appreciated his humor and insight while he unabashedly made fun of liberals and any caller daring to lean left.

It was a curiosity as to why left-leaning people called into his show to argue his politics and rhetoric. Surely, they understood that they would become his radio-wave punching bag. He never let up and never uttered the words, “Maybe you have a point,” to anyone daring enough to question his beliefs and insight. He didn’t have to, for his dittoheads weren’t tuning in for thoughtful discussions. They were there to cheer him on while he steamrolled differing opinions. Limbaugh knew this and never disappointed his listeners.

Which brings us to David Letterman, host for many years of The Late Show on network TV, and now on Netflix with My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman. He is an entertainer who understands that his success is tied to being a smart interviewer who doesn’t shy away from asking the uncomfortable questions. He doesn’t pretend to be a nice guy. Instead, Letterman takes delight in making his guests squirm in the hotseat. So it should come as no surprise that there are numerous instances of him belittling guests—ranging from Lohan, Cher and Winfrey to Justin Bieber, back when he was just a kid invited to appear on the Late Show with David Letterman.

While there is probably extraordinarily little crossover in the target audience for these two entertainers, one thing makes them remarkably the same. Simply put, David Letterman is, and Rush Limbaugh was, a bully.

As the popularity of these two bullies grew, so did their actions, as they took delight in strangling and cutting off the voices of select guests who made the unfortunate decision to appear on their shows. While most of us mature as we grow older, so should our penchant for belittling those around us. And as we condemn or applaud the action of these two men, perhaps we should understand that they grew in power because we were clapping and cheering on the sidelines. They are a mirror of us.

Heidi McCrary is a writer and author of Chasing North Star. Keep up with her at https://heidimccrary.net/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HeidiMcCraryAuthor

MOM… Because FRIENDS was already taken

After eight years, the CBS sitcom, MOM, is ending it’s run this May. I know 2021 is supposed to be about new beginnings, but I’m not ready to let go of these women I have grown to love. The premise of MOM was originally about a daughter and her mother, who were both recovering alcoholics, and the daughter’s trials raising her own children. Starring Anna Faris and Allison Janney, this comedy’s first episode included a drug joke told by Janney in front of her grandchildren. How funny, I thought. Nothing says “family fun” like grandma telling drug jokes. Apparently, the people behind the scenes agreed with me, and it didn’t take long before the children took a back seat, and in TV magic, simply disappeared, leaving mom and daughter, and their friends at the AA meetings where they regularly went to maintain their sobriety.

And that’s when we all got to know and learned to love that ragtag team of women, who, flaws and all, are always there for one another. The writing for this show is sharp, the humor has bite, and most important, it continues to be heartwarming without being overly sappy. These are the type of women I would like to have a drink with, and by drink, I mean a cup of coffee. Strong coffee.

Bonnie, Christy, Jill, Marjorie, Beth, Tammy … I’m going to miss you gals. Hopefully, we can catch up again someday on Netflix.


60 Second Movie Review – RADIUM GIRLS

For those of you who remember analog watches, you’ll recall how many glowed in the dark. I would camp out in the closet of my bedroom, watching the soft glow of my watch, staring in wonderment at the neon light—dreaming of acquiring a jar of the paint so that I could add it to my clothes and radiate in the dark like a shimmering fashion model. As I grew older, my time-piece eventually became digital, and I gave little thought to my glowing memories of my watch that glistened in the dark.    

Radium Girls – a movie that premiered on Netflix this past December is a movie based on the true story of a group of young ladies working in a factory in the 1920s, painting radium onto the faces of watches. Told the substance was harmless, they licked the brushes with each stroke in order to give the brushes a fine tip. Off-hours, they also added the glowing paint to their fingernails and faces, believing what they had been told by factory management, that radium was healthy.    

A powerful story that shines a light on a true-life event, and the women who fought to reveal the deadly effects of radium. Radium Girls is a must-watch.

Well, the woman in the foreground is interesting…

Long before I was born, the barn we played in was originally the Alamo Valley Creamery, owned by our grandparents, and the largest employer in Alamo in 1897. There are very few photos of the creamery, however, with a simple Google search, we happened upon this… A painting by Post-Modernist artist, Richard Allen George (Illinois/Ohio 1935-1990).       

This original work depicts The Alamo Valley Creamery. In the foreground, a shapely nude woman in stiletto heels can be seen feeding chickens from a bucket while coverall clad dairy farmers look on in the distance. The work is rendered in a palette of muted neons and is signed in lower right. The artwork sold for $1,910.00.