OU Journalism department featured on Rush

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During the third hour of the Rush Limbaugh Show today, a journalism student at the University of Oklahoma called in to tell Rush about the textbook for the History of Journalism course he's taking this semester. The student said that an entire chapter of the book was devoted to the proposition that Rush Limbaugh is a racist, sexist liar, and that the next session of the course this coming Tuesday would be on that section of the book. In the previous session, the professor asked if any of the students were "dittoheads" -- only the caller and one other student, in a class of 150, raised their hands. The professor promised to give both sides equal time. Rush said he would be calling the student on Wednesday to get a report on Tuesday's class discussion.

The student didn't name the book or the professor, so I've done some digging. There is a course called JMC 4803 History of Journalism. Here's the catalog blurb:

Prerequisite: junior standing and 12 hours of Journalism credit hours. European background and development of the colonial press. Emergence of the partisan and penny newspapers. Evolution of personal and independent journalism. Major trends in printed and other communication media in the twentieth century. (F, Sp)

This semester (according to the Spring 2008 schedule) the course is being taught by Assistant Prof. Keith Greenwood. (UPDATE: Jason, the student who called Rush Limbaugh, e-mailed to inform me that the course is being taught by Ramòn Chàvez this semester.) According to the OU Bookstore website, the text for next semester is Mightier than the Sword by Rodger Streitmatter.

Sure enough, Chapter 14 is titled "Rush Limbaugh: Leading the Republican Revolution." Page 230 features the de rigeur misdefinition of the terms "dittos" and "dittoheads":

A taste of Limbaugh's remarkable appeal came a few weeks later when a Pennsylvania caller registered her complete agreement with every word Limbaugh had ever uttered when she said simply: "Ditto." The term instantly became enshrined in the gospel of St. Rush, as disciples eagerly labeled themselves "dittoheads" and greeted him with exuberant "megadittos."

As longtime listeners will surely know, the caller actually said "dittos to what that guy just said," referring to a previous caller who had gone on and on about how wonderful it was to hear Rush's point of view on the radio and how he hoped he'd never go away. The "dittos" caller was moving on to the point of her call and was using "dittos" to express her appreciation of Rush without getting bogged down. "Dittos" has never meant an affirmation of "every word Limbaugh had ever uttered." In Rush's own words:

RUSH: All right. Here's the explanation. Back when this show started August 1st, 1988, it took the nation by storm because there was nothing like it in the national media. The national media was all liberal. Here was this conservative program that reflected the views of millions of people. As people would call in, the first couple minutes of their call, literally, they'd spend thanking me and talking about how great it was to have something like this on the radio, finally, it was so great, and I of course loved hearing it. After awhile, after about six months, it finally just grew old. It was delaying getting to the discussion of the issues. A woman called from I think it was like New Hampshire, and after just one of those calls, said, "Ditto to what they guy just said." So ditto means, "I love the program. Don't ever go away." It doesn't mean, "I agree with you." It doesn't mean, "You're always right." It means, "I love the program." Mega dittos means, "I really love -- I, mean I adore -- this program. It's the only program!" That's what mega dittos means.

I couldn't read the whole thing on Google Books, but I read enough to see the standard leftist explanation that Rush's success was built on lies and deception. I'll be very interested to tune in Wednesday to hear the student's report on Tuesday's class.

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singleton Author Profile Page said:

I admire the amount of data you were able to dig out for this post

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 25, 2008 6:38 PM.

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