Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Lagniappe: The Bush/Rush/Addiction Trifecta - George Bush is apparently giving new life to his "faith-based" initiatives. In an AP Newswire report, we read the following:

"The best way to help the addict ... is to change their heart," Bush said in a reference to how he stopped drinking at age 40. "See, if you change their heart, then they change their behavior.
I wonder if we'll see a soft-n-fuzzy Rush return to the airwaves after his treatment. Will his heart be changed? Bush is not talking simply about kicking a habit, but changing one's life outlook. Will Rush be a changed man? I doubt it. But we'll see.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Lagniappe: Parsing Rush - Not to pick on a man when he's down, but let me give Rush a taste of his own medicine. Below is Rush's statement (directly from his website) on his drug addiction with my comments interspersed:

Rush Limbaugh Statement on Prescription Pain Medication Stories

October 10, 2003

You know I have always tried to be honest with you and open about my life. So I need to tell you today that part of what you have heard and read is correct. I am addicted to prescription pain medication. I first started taking prescription painkillers some years ago when my doctor prescribed them to treat post surgical pain following spinal surgery. Unfortunately the surgery was unsuccessful, and I continued to have severe pain in my lower back and also in my neck due to herniated discs.

I am still experiencing that pain. Rather than opt for additional surgery for these conditions, I chose to treat the pain with prescribed medication. This medication turned out to be highly addictive.
So, even before he assumes personal responsibility, he cleverly primes his audience to think of the drug as the powerful subject of his addiction. It's not Rush that has the problem, see. Rather it's the medication that has the problem. All of a sudden, and quite unexpectedly, his painkillers "turned out to be highly addictive." Gasp! One never would have known this about painkiller medication.
Over the past several years I have tried to break my dependence on pain pills and, in fact, twice checked myself into medical facilities in an attempt to do so. I have recently agreed with my physician about the next steps.
So, in the past, did he not agree with his physician? Makes one wonder if his physician counseled him extensively before the public exposure of his problem about proper action to beat his addiction, but that he consciously and purposefully resisted or rejected this advice until recently. Sounds like a man in denial, not someone who has been trying on successive occasions to kick the habit.
Immediately following this broadcast, I am checking myself into a treatment center for the next 30 days to once and for all break the hold this highly addictive medication has on me.
Here, again, even before he assumes responsibility, he points the finger stealthily at the medication. Twice, now, Rush has hinted that he has a problem, but that the origin of the problem is the medication, not himself.
The show will continue during this time, of course, with an array of guest hosts you have come to know and respect. I am not making any excuses. You know, over the years athletes and celebrities have emerged from treatment centers to great fanfare and praise for conquering great demons. They are said to be great role models and examples for others. Well, I am no role model. I refuse to let anyone think I am doing something great here, when there are people you never hear about, who face long odds and never resort to such escapes.

They are the role models. I am no victim and do not portray myself as such. I take full responsibility for my problem. At the present time the authorities are conducting an investigation, and I have been asked to limit my public comments until this investigation is complete. So, I will only say that the stories you have read and heard contain inaccuracies and distortions, which I will clear up when I am free to speak about them.
But you are free to speak about them, Rush. You just choose not to, in order to cover your rear.
I deeply appreciate all of your support over this last tumultuous week. It has sustained me. I ask now for your prayers. I look forward to resuming our excursion into broadcast excellence together.
Good luck, Rush. It's been a nice ride. I won't miss you.