LIMBAUGH BATTLE ONLY CAN GET JUICIER

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A couple of years ago I wrote a column for my local golf club about how a member sliced four or five strokes from his score by thinking about the course's layout over winter and visualizing where he wanted to land the ball.

I thought his procedure was perfectly valid, but he told me the other day his buddies ribbed him "big time" when he stepped up to the tee. "Where do you visualize your ball going on this shot, Stu?" they would say.

No one is kidding him now, because Stuart Krane has also been keeping his eye on the ball in his other main activity, which is to produce and syndicate the Rush Lim baugh radio show. Stu and his partners at EFM Media want to concentrate all their effort on Rush before branching out.

Besides, a lot of their time lately has been taken up fending off the hoopla over Rush's orange juice commercials. The National Organization for Women is organizing a consumer boycott of OJ. The group is urging people to "Flush Rush. Drink prune juice."

I don't think that's smart. Not only is their effort giving a lot of free publicity to both Rush and to orange juice, there are many more Rush fans than there are NOW members or sympathizers.

Stu says 20 million people listen to the Rush Limbaugh show every week, providing a "critical mass" for advertisers. When NOW President Patricia Ireland led a demonstration at a Kash n' Karry convenience store in Tampa, the local radio station carrying Rush's show urged listeners to buy all the store's orange juice.

They almost did, according to Stu Krane. He said about a half-dozen NOW members showed up vs. about 200 people claiming allegiance to Rush, and they bought "gallons of orange juice."

If I may offer a word of advice to those opposing the Rush Limbaugh ads: Why not enlist a guy as popular as Rush to bring the issue into focus-Larry King? Since Larry also does the orange juice commercials-he has yet to speak out on the Limbaugh controversy-might not he be persuaded to lend his program to a debate between Rush and NOW President Ireland on whether Limbaugh is an inappropriate person to hawk orange juice?

As Stu Krane says, Rush "would go to war" for NOW's right to espouse its point of view, so at least he would show up. But it could turn out to be a losing proposition for NOW. Greg Dawson, the TV critic for the Orlando Sentinel, pointed out that in the early '60s the liberals "did something exquisitely stupid. They let conservatives capture the flag-make the Stars & Stripes synonymous with their cause. Are liberals going to play stupid again in the '90s by allowing right-wingers to steal wholesome Florida OJ?"

Mr. Dawson says he "despises" Rush Limbaugh's politics, "but I love Florida OJ more. My boycott would only leave more juice for the dittoheads."

That is why the NOW boycott won't work.

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