Letters to the editor

'Limbaugh Challenge'

Re “Take the Limbaugh Challenge. I dare you.” Opinion, March 29

I can't tell if Andrew Klavan's piece is serious or satire. If satire, bravo -- it brilliantly captures the reasons why I can't listen to Rush Limbaugh for more than five minutes. Name-calling and put-downs, for most people, went out of fashion after middle school.

If serious, it brilliantly captures the reasons why anyone who cares about moving this country beyond the disastrous policies and divisive tactics of the last eight years won't waste their time with Limbaugh's caustic form of entertainment.

Andrew Maltz

Sherman Oaks

Re “Take the Limbaugh Challenge. I dare you.” Opinion, March 29 It's nice to be informed by Andrew Klavan that I am possessed of a "scrawny chest" and "quivering liberal feet," and that, in addition to these physical attributes, I suffer from the grievous moral failing of being a "lowdown, yellow-bellied, lily-livered intellectual coward."

Klavan is certain that anyone who reads The Times is lying if he claims to have listened to Rush Limbaugh, yet we are supposed to take him at his word when he says he listens to left-leaning commentators. (A partial list of the radical outlets to which he objects: CBS, ABC, The Times -- heck, Andy, you forgot the PennySaver!) Why should we believe him, when he brands us as liars?

Some of us have heard plenty of Rush, whether Klavan wants to believe it or not, and still remain unbelievers in the sanctity of his pronouncements. In fact, one of the aspects of Rush's style of "journalism" that I find objectionable is the sort of over-the-top bullying and disparaging meanness Klavan demonstrates.

It's too bad that Limbaugh's success has now spawned a host of imitators on the left.

Rich Eames

Los Angeles


It's obvious that Klavan has listened to El Rushbo even less often than we "intellectual cowards" do. How else to explain his absurd contention that he has "never heard the man utter a single racist, hateful or stupid word"?

I hope that, for his own sake, Klavan's novel was written for very, very "young adults." Nobody with a decent high school education could find much of value in anything he says.

Robert C. Von Bargen

Santa Monica


I have listened to Rush since 1991 (and Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham) and find that in their pursuit to conquer and divide the country on issues of great importance, their message gets lost.

If Republicans and right-leaning journalists don't find a way soon to get their message across in a constructive way, they will be flattened by the Obama Express, which really would not be good for the country.

We need to find a better way than Limbaugh's. In its present state, the conservative message is divisive and nonproductive.

Andrew B. Wright



Like the Shakespearean jester, Klavan speaks the uncomfortable truth. Marginalizing Limbaugh is so much more expedient than considering his ideas.

Klavan does make a singular error in his otherwise insightful essay. He assumes that readers of The Times are mostly liberal. That would contradict his theory that, in contrast, conservatives actually do read opposing viewpoints.

As a conservative who has read The Times for 30 years, often with great pain, I can understand the misperception. Reading Klavan's essay and enjoying it immensely, I too actually had a hard time imagining many Times readers making it through to the feisty end.

Bravo to The Times for a nice bit of balance. I wonder if the readers will notice.

Jordan Smith


Rush to judgment

Re “Liberals & Limbaugh,” Opinion, April 5

I was deeply disappointed in this article and in the contribution from a representative of my alma mater, the University of Southern California. If this is the objective style of journalism that is being modeled at the Annenberg School for Communication, then the school is part of the problem that many of us find with mainstream journalism today.

I was hoping to see a balanced analysis by representative local liberals.

What we got from the four liberals were simply critiques of Limbaugh's style and personality. As is most often the case, all we got from these people was personal invective -- and not one example of challenge to any position that Limbaugh has taken or reported.

This nation is in dire need of honest and meaningful debate. We long for balanced forums, such as the late Bill Buckley's television debates with knowledgeable liberals.

Unfortunately, The Times let us down on this one.

Paul Comi

San Marino


You have again proved to be an organ of hypocrisy. You print a wonderful article by the thoughtful Klavan, then print comments from four noted liberals who all claim to have listened to Rush. Tell me, did you have the four picked before you printed Klavan's piece? How empirical is that? No wonder some refer to your paper as "the incredible shrinking Times." It's not just for the amount of content, but because of a lack of thoughtful analysis.

Mark Phillips

Los Angeles

The supreme law of the land

Re “Who should judge the judges?,” Opinion, April 8

In his argument for state sovereignty, David B. Rivkin Jr. forgets the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution. All states and the federal government are subject to the Constitution as the supreme law of the land. That is why the federal Supreme Court is right to hear and decide Caperton vs. Massey Energy.

Rivkin's characterization is wrong: We do not presume a judge is impartial when, as in this case, there is a preponderance of evidence to the contrary. More to the point, rights guaranteed under and by the Constitution are clearly at issue here. That certainly makes this case worthy of Supreme Court review.

Or, if it is not the business of the Supreme Court to interpret and apply the Constitution, we are already lost and beyond all hope of recovery.

Micheal McLoughlin

San Francisco


I agree with Rivkin that most elected judges are people of integrity, dedicated to the rule of law. But there are exceptions. When a judge hears a case, despite the appearance of impropriety because millions in campaign contributions were received from one of the litigants, it reeks of bias.

When that judge is on the highest court in the state, what is the losing litigant's recourse if appeal to a federal court is not available? Rivkin suggests the loser should be comforted with the hope that the judge won't be reelected.

He argues that state court judges shouldn't be subject to federal oversight. Did he develop this theory eight years ago when a decision of the Florida Supreme Court was reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court in Bush vs. Gore? And will he stick with it if the Minnesota Supreme Court affirms Al Franken's election?

Doris Schaffer


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