Rush Limbaugh Blasts Colbert Choice, Accuses CBS of ‘War on the Heartland’

Stephen Colbert New York Comedy Festival
Roger L. Wollenberg-POOL/Getty Images

There’s been ample amounts of praise for the choice of Stephen Colbert to succeed David Letterman as the host of CBS’ “Late Show,” but it was almost inevitable that the selection would be viewed as a partisan slap in the face.

Colbert rose to fame for his mockery of conservative punditry, and of Bill O’Reilly in particular, so it perhaps is not too much of a surprise that Rush Limbaugh announced on his show on Thursday that CBS has “declared war on the heartland of America,” undoubtedly stirring up his listeners but providing his target with even more material for his faux outrage.

“No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values, conservatives,” he said. “Now it’s just wide out in the open. What his hire means is a redefinition of what is ‘funny’ and a redefinition of what is comedy, and they’re blowing up the 11:30 format under the guide that the world’s changing and people don’t want the kind of comedy that Carson gave us or even Letterman.”

Colbert has announced that he will not be in character for his new gig, although unlike Letterman or Carson, he’ll be taking hosting duties as a figure who more has overtly leaned to the left. He testified, in and out of character, on farm labor and immigration in 2010, when Democrats still controlled the House. He was invited to a State Dinner at the White House this year, and was seated next to First Lady Michelle Obama.

O’Reilly, who criticized Colbert earlier this week for being one of the “biggest mouthpieces for the progressive movement,” and a powerful one at that, was not so harsh in a statement he gave to Time magazine, saying, “I hope Colbert will consider me for the Ed McMahon spot.”

Colbert did get more congratulatory messages from organizations like the USO, as he has entertained and visited troops in Iraq, as well as other military officials.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who once tried to discourage fellow lawmakers from appearing on the show, only to relent herself in 2012, posted a message on Twitter with a link to a GIF of Colbert spinning in a dance outside the Capitol.

The real politics around Colbert’s selection may be to come. CBS said a location for the show is still to be determined, as New York officials are seeking to keep the show in Manhattan and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and film czar Ken Ziffren are urging CBS’s Les Moonves to relocate to Los Angeles. The question is whether Colbert, sans his persona, would give up proximity to New York media figures and D.C. politicos to trek to L.A. and its access to Hollywood stars.


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  1. Joe McG says:

    I got news for you Mr. Limbaugh… I’m pretty sure your precious “heartland” wasn’t watching Letterman either.

  2. SS says:

    Why must windbags like Limbaugh insist that everything that they don’t like is a declaration of war? If he doesn’t want to watch the new host, just don’t. It’s literally the simplest solution to any problem in the history of the world, instead of turning on the TV, do nothing. At a certain point, he must realize that people hear his word vomit and realize that he’s hurting his own political party. He is just impossible to take seriously.

  3. Praire Islander says:

    Oh, is that Rush guy still on the air??? I thought he died. – Oh, that was Phelps – They all look (and sound) the same to me.

  4. dji says:

    the floating fatman limbaugh needs to keep his trap shut. the world is not his oyster or conservative only. when will he stop commenting on everything? he should talk about his drug problem. not everything else.

    • dji says:

      limbaugh has been cut from every major area of the country by clear channel. he now tals to the farmers and truck drivers. and there ain’t a whole lot of brain going on there. msnbc is doing just fine thatnk you. they help the dems keep you’re kind out of office. and will continue to do so for many years.

    • YeaYeaSureSure says:

      You conservative SFBs are sadly not funny though you try very hard to be, cracks me up, when a liberal calls out conservative bigotry, especially regarding Rush or Fox News, cons jump in to defend them by quoting ratings. What they neglect to tell you is that they have high ratings because conservative audiences are brainwashed to only watch or listen to one side of the argument and that they all watch more tv than anyone else. If one believes TV and talk radio addiction is a sign of political competence, then I’ve got a bridge in Alaska to sell you.

    • jsm1963 says:

      Rush brags that 20 years ago his audience was 20 million. Now it’s 14 million. Huge, but hardly growing. But it’s all about the dollars and advertisers have been fleeing Limbaugh’s show the past couple of years. This is what sunk Beck on Fox News. In Los Angeles Rush was moved from the top rated KFI to a station with less power and less coverage.

      Regarding the racist remark: it’s called satire. Is the country getting this dumb? Besides, are racist remarks really what we want to talk about when defending Limbaugh?

    • Michael Anthony says:

      Well said. Poor Rush, relagated to radio with a dwindling audience. If he had the clout, FOX would have snapped him up. Guess he’s going to need higher doses if meds to deal with this. For a man who supposedly has his finger on the pulse of America, he should have said, ” i knew this was coming. Polls show america is becoming more tolerant”. Then he could have burst into tears.

  5. Limbaugh is a windbag, Colbert will be great as usual. Hope he stays in NYC.

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