Rush Limbaugh: Apple is Republicans, Google is Democrats
In a scholarly analysis of tech blogging, the great Republican commentator offers that 9 out of 10 blogs hate Apple. Because Apple is like the Republican Party. Oddly, though, Limbaugh last year was himself mad at Apple.
When nobility speaks, one should always cock an ear and listen.
I was therefore moved in all quarters of my being when I read Rush Limbaugh's analysis of tech companies and the bloggers who write about them.
Limbaugh isn't merely one of America's most famous radio talk show hosts. He's also something of an aficionado of tech bloggery. And he has reached a Grand Conclusion as to its leanings.
For, as he said on his sonorous radio program, the tech world is just like politics.
Tech bloggery is just as bent and twisted as mainstream news, apparently.
"I would venture to say that nine out of 10 bloggers writing high-tech hate Apple," he said.
I pause to hear the coughs, guffaws, and snorts of more than several million readers of these pages.
There are many who would have warped conniptions at this very concept. They would stare Limbaugh in the face, peer past his copious cigar smoke and sniff: "Are you high?"
But Limbaugh is adamant as to the reasons for his finely tuned observations: "Apple is the equivalent of the Republicans on these blogs."
I don't think he quite means that Apple, at its extremes, favors sending women back to the 19th century -- or, perhaps, to certain parts of 21st century Texas. I also don't think he's suggesting that hardliners at Cupertino secretly hanker to send Tino back to Baja California.
I think he means that Apple, the great rebel of old, actually represents the conservative tech establishment.
So who are the Democrats in this morality play? Why, it's "Google, Android, and Samsung."
What an interesting coalition: Google, Google, and Samsung.
Of course, Limbaugh believes -- often because they commit the sin of being merely young -- that most tech bloggers are Democrats. Republicans to them, he says, are "probably aliens from Mars, racists, sexists, bigot homophobes."
It's not quite clear how he reached that conclusion. Surely not from gadget reviews.
Limbaugh, though, insists that there's a vast skewness in the tech blogging world. He begs tech bloggers to compare their own biases to those of mainstream media.
The pro-Apple bloggers are looking at the way the pro-Samsung, Google, and Android bloggers write, and they're now starting to write about the media bias, and they're starting to write about the unfairness, and they don't understand it. I mean, they're chronicling how these pro-Samsung and Google, Android guys are faking data, faking news to make it look bad for Apple when it really isn't. And they're at the stage now of scratching their heads trying to figure out why this is happening.
You're getting the picture now, aren't you? The pro-Apple bloggers are the emotional blood-brothers of Rush Limbaugh. They ought to feel what he feels about the mainstream media.
I would love to just be able to get to one of these guys and say, 'Now, I want you to do something. The way you see these guys propping up Samsung and Google and Android and the way these guys are ripping Apple to shreds, would you try to see that in the mainstream media? Would you open your eyes and see what's going on in the mainstream media? Would you try to open your eyes and see that in the mainstream media, the Republican Party is Apple, and the Democrat Party is Samsung, Google, and Android.
I confess to being shaken to my core. As one who is accused of being pro/anti- Apple/Google/Microsoft, I had fancied that the sources of pillory changed daily.
Yes, there are certain bloggers who obviously favor one company or another. Those that favor Google and Samsung find joy in certain aspects of those brands that they feel are both more nerdy and younger.
Those bloggers who favor Apple do so in part because the company has offered more people-friendly, tasteful products over the last few years than any other company.
But the idea that 9 out of 10 bloggers regularly toss rancid red tomatoes at Apple, while Tim Cook is trapped in the stocks and pleading for his life, seems a trifle stretched.
I am all for an artistic analogy. But it seems as if Limbaugh might be trying to find random bedfellows for his beliefs.
A churlish tech shock-jock might even sniff that he's caught between an Oxycontin and an oxymoron.
It may well be that Apple is in a minor lull currently, and is therefore suffering a little more frustrated coverage than usual. But it's not as if in recent times the company hasn't benefited from quite massive and positive media worship.
There's a reason Apple is often referred to as a cult. Steve Jobs was even more adept at gaining gushing publicity than Ronald Reagan.
To imagine that there is some sort of anti-Apple bias in the tech media, akin to the alleged anti-Republican bias in the mainstream media, seems odd.
Limbaugh is likely correct that there is an anti-Republican sentiment in the mainstream media. There may be many reasons for that.
As one whose political catholicism once made me vote for the UK's Monster Raving Loony Party, I thought I'd examine news media from both political sides to see if the Apple analogy has some merit.
In essence, political parties position themselves as products, just as gadget makers position their tablets and phones.
Even commentators on Limbaugh's side of life believe that, unlike Apple, the Republicans haven't offered a product that is magical, revolutionary or delights a sufficient number of people for a decade.
For many, it appears that when a loud section of the Republican Party thinks different, it thinks IBM circa 1962 different. When it launches a new product, too many perceive it as aiming that product at an excessively small sector of the market -- the sector referred to by its own candidates as the 53 percent and by some as the 1 percent.
For a time, a little snob value worked for Apple. It doesn't work as well for a political party.
But Limbaugh's point is about the tech media itself. It's warped. It's blind. It's one-sided. It's anti-establishment.
Limbaugh is a quite brilliant broadcaster. He has proved that his own brand of sensible argument can sway both those who work in the fields and those who do no work at all in Congress.
Perhaps, then, tech bloggers should, indeed, look to Rush Limbaugh's example in order to be more fair and balanced about brands in the future.
He said: "I don't understand it. I don't understand the marketing. I don't. I know they may be redesigning it. They've got their explanations, but they never tell anybody. So I'm sitting here not knowing what to do."
He went on to complain about Apple's legendary secrecy and how it was causing him pain and grief.
The problem is that everyone with one sort of microphone or another can get carried away. Emotions trample upon reason before reason even realizes what's happened.
In recent times, Limbaugh himself is best remembered for calling a female law student who wanted to testify at a White House administration's hearing on contraception a "slut" and a "prostitute"?
Perhaps he'd discovered she owned a Galaxy S3.