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Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Justin in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It’s nice to have you with us on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. Thanks for taking my phone call. Say, sorry to change up subjects on you, but I thought something on a little bit lighter note. What do you think about this whole… the Spears family spreading like wildfire now, the second Spears sister having a child with a man that’s old enough to go to jail for it?

RUSH: I don’t think there is anything extraordinary about the Spears family spreading like wildlife. The Spears family is not the only family spreading like wildlife. There are countless American families that have 16 years old that go out and get pregnant; you just don’t know about them because their sisters aren’t on television. Take a look at the Jerry Springer Show. That’s a good point. If you want to be concerned about — what’s this Spears name? Jamie-Lynn, is that her name?

CALLER: Yeah, Jamie-Lynn.

RUSH: Jamie-Lynn. Whatever. If you want to be concerned about her, go watch the Jerry Springer Show.

CALLER: Sure.

RUSH: Now, that’s cause for concern, because they’re practically — these families are — propagating in front of our eyes on that show.

CALLER: Sure.

RUSH: What’s happening to these people is no different than what happens to a lot of families in this country, except their lives are on TV.

CALLER: Would you tend to think that a family in this position, though, wouldn’t you think that there would be a more watchful eye as a parent to be watching over these kids so this doesn’t happen to them?

RUSH: I would certainly hope so, but it’s long past time for this to happen. The parents here are the culprits!

CALLER: (chuckles)

RUSH: I mean, the parents, they’re infected with this disease, this addiction to fame themselves. Look at Britney’s mom, for crying out loud. ‘Put me on TV, too! Put me on TV!’ You know, celebrity parents, they can go both ways, and some of them lose whatever grounding they had as adults when their kids get famous. They want to be part of it. They like the money themselves. It’s very rare to have celebrity parents that remain grounded, but who’s going to get this family in line?

CALLER: Yeah, that’s true.

RUSH: The parents are out there making as big a mess of their own lives as the kids are. Plus, the real sick thing about it is, at the end of the day — I don’t care what the Britney Spears camp says or the Jamie whatever-her-name Spears camp — they love the attention. It’s their job to get it! That’s what’s perverse about this. You know, I have a minimal amount of fame compared to people on television and movies, and I don’t like the stuff I’ve got, but it is what it is. But these people that have to go out and get taken pictures of by the paparazzi, have to go out to these nightclub openings at two o’clock in the morning, make sure they’re photographed there.

They have to go to all these things. Their job is to get noticed. Their job is to have pictures taken. I could not stand it, to have that as a measure of success, because that’s phony. There’s no substance to it whatsoever. It’s purely symbolic. And if you don’t have any solid foundation that props you up behind all that then you get caught up in it, and when that stuff doesn’t happen, then you feel worthless and you have to strike out and start getting attention in other ways, à la the Spears family. It’s really a sad thing. There ought to be education for young kids who are about to get into a business that’s going to have a lot of fame attached to it, and there are people that could teach it because it’s necessary. It destroys people’s lives, the quest for it, then when they get it it’s not what they think it’s going to be, and then that’s something that requires adjusting to — and then when they lose it? That’s the worst because they gotta get it back, because they feed off of it. The problem with it is — the problem with being oriented and focused on fame as a measure of success — is that you have turned over who you are to the opinions of others.

You have, in essence, said to yourself, ‘I don’t care who I am. It doesn’t matter. I care what they think I am, and I’m going to have to do whatever they think I am and be whatever they want me to be, in order to be liked and have fame and all this,’ and you lose your identity, and you become…a psycho. And it’s happening right before our very eyes. And, of course, the Drive-Bys, the entertainment Drive-Bys, they love it. The bigger the train wreck, the bigger the ratings on Entertainment Tonight. The bigger the train wreck… Britney Spears shaving her head in a moment of who knows what was going through her mind? Look at the pictures and what that probably sold for and all the magazines and so forth. It’s just a vicious, vicious cycle, and then the same Drive-Bys who promote this kind of thing, by covering it and making it a big deal, then give us these sanctimonious stories later about the tragedy of this celebrity or that celebrity. It’s sort of like ESPN and sports. I think ESPN is destroying sports as we know it. I mean, you take a look at Terrell Owens. Now, he’s behaving this year, but in prior years, why do you think Terrell Owens was Terrell Owens?

I remember that night game, a Monday night game when ABC still had it, the Seattle Seahawks and the 49ers, and he pulled a Sharpie out of his sock after scoring a touchdown, autographed the ball and gave it to a fan in the stands. Everybody said, ‘Oh, isn’t that cool? Why, that’s fun. This is what the league needs.’ I said, ‘I’m warning you people: you promote this and you’re going to get more expressions because they’re going to want to get on the highlight reel. They’re going to want to get noticed. They’re going to want to get endorsements,’ and that begot all these silly end zone things and then these guys acting macho and thuggish on the field in the middle of the game trying to get on the highlight reel, and then at the same time we get these sanctimonious stories about: ‘Why is Terrell Owens behaving this way? Does he have no loyalty to the team?’ Look at yourselves in the sports media and who’s promote this guy stuff, and who’s making big bucks off of it! It’s the same thing with these celebrities. I don’t think it’s just young celebrities. It’s celebrities in general.

I maintain to you that 95% of the people who get into the celebrity game and the fame game, because they have a desire for it even if it’s equal to the desire to do good work as an actor, actress, whatever it is. But if nobody sits them down and tells them what’s going to happen with the fame, they have no clue, and it weirds them out, because they’ll profess not to like it; they’ll do anything they can to hide from the paparazzi, but notice they never quite pull it off. The paparazzi seem to always find ’em. How can that be? I have found ways to elude them. It’s possible to do. Now, I’m not in as great a pursuit by these people, but I have had my moments, and I shook ’em. There are ways to do it. The dirty little secret is, all these people get called. PR people call the paparazzi or whoever, ‘Guess what? Psst? Britney Spears going to be going to the barbershop in a couple of minutes.’ You think these people just happen to hang out at hairstylist salons all day long waiting just to see who might pop in? Their time is valuable, too. This whole thing is a vicious cycle. It’s a dirty little secret, and this little kid getting pregnant at 16 years old? (sigh) Yeah, hope I’m wrong. I hope I’m wrong, but at some point, you will do anything to get in the news, keep your name alive and visible, and some people don’t have very many limits about what they will do.

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