The Nation recently reported that right-wing radio show host Rush Limbaugh unleashed his listeners on New York mag's media critic Michael Wolff for complaining that CentCom briefings were not useful. Wolff got 3,000 hate emails from Limbaugh listeners. I, in return, provided Mr. Limbaugh's email address, for anyone who felt like defending Mr. Wolff. Predictably, I got hate mail as well, and despite my usual masochistic impulse to publish what little hate mail we do receive, I declined because most of it consisted of compelling arguments like, "I tape all of Limbaugh's shows every day, and he never said that! You're a moron, you stupid prick!" (You tape all of Limbaugh's shows every day, and I'm the moron? I'm sorry; your logic eludes me.)
The one reasonably polite email came from someone who says he was in touch with both the Nation and Wolff, and "It's Wolff's contention that Limbaugh gave the url to burnrate.com, his site, on Rush's website. If this is true, it's still a very far cry from what you charge: that he 'gave his listeners Wolff's email address, encouraging them to voice their displeasure.'" To which I'd reply, with all due respect, sirbullshit. Wolff's primary email address is located @burnrate.com (Burn Rate being the title of a book Wolff wrote on his new media/dot com experiences in the early '90s.) Were Limbaugh's intention that his viewership have access to Wolff's CentCom briefings, they'd have been directed to New York Magazine, which has themnot burnrate.com. No getting off on the technicalities.
From Wolff's article, today: "...according to Rush, that great defender of the rights of African-Americans, I was a racist. Duh. A white liberal challenging a black general. It's a binary world.
And Rush gave out my e-mail address.
Almost immediately, 3,000 e-mails, full of righteous fury, started to come."
I think that's pretty clear. If Wolff retracts it later, I'll certainly print a correction noting that Limbaugh gave out the URL to Wolff's personal site and not his personal email, but I see no difference in terms of intent.
Wolff at CentCom: my big fat question [NY Mag]