Jolley: “Rush” To Judgment – The Truth About Limbaugh’s Relationship With HSUS
Have you heard Rush Limbaugh is sleeping with the enemy, canoodling with Wayne Pacelle, a man often seen as the anti-Christ of animal agriculture? For the vast majority of people who haven’t heard the spots, those ‘public service announcements’ he recorded on behalf of the Humane Society of the United States can be heard herehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=654L6ohbnpw and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCHXkagrLo4
In one of the announcements, he comes down four square against the abuse of cats and dogs and mounts a vigorous attack on the crime of dog-fighting. His comments about those two issues are unassailable.
His other announcement talks about the linkage of religion, morality and the faithful stewardship of animals. His point: if you are a religious person with a sense of morality, it only makes sense that you’ll take care of your animals. Also an unassailable position.
So why have so many in animal agriculture suddenly taken up arms against Rush Limbaugh, a very conservative voice among a very conservative group of people? Point-of-fact: Almost all of them have never heard the two public service announcements. As of last Friday, they hadn’t starting running anywhere. With both of them over 2 minutes long in an industry tied to 30 and 60 second spots, widespread distribution is unlikely.
The real bone of contention expressed by people in animal agriculture is not with the comments he made but with the group that he chose to promote. For a man seen by so many in animal agriculture as a voice of conservative reason and who spoke for them on so many important issues to actually join hands with the evil empire that is HSUS is an unforgiveable breach of trust.
Terry Martin, a Texas-based dog breeder who runs Slash V Australian Shepherds, is one of the most vocal opponents of what the errant Limbaugh has done. Sneering at the HSUS claim that they’re pro-animal welfare, she talked to me about the contents of their recent tax statement. “A hundred million dollars brought in!” she said. “2% of that used for animals? What does he (Limbaugh) think they did with the rest of it? They do just enough to keep up the pretense of helping animals while continuing to spend the money on lobbying and advertising to bring in more money.”
I sent her the Youtube links to Limbaugh’s announcements and asked her to listen to them before we talked further. I think she was hoping that the spots were cut rashly and out of ignorance of what she sees as the real HSUS agenda – the eradication of animal agriculture – when she said this after hearing the spots: “Okay, my bottom line – those ads were very, very bad and obviously done by someone who has no clue what he is talking about.”
How deeply does the Rush rejection go in the animal agriculture industry? Dave Russell with the Brownfield Network wrote, “It didn’t take long for Twitter users to get the word out that radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh was voicing Public Service Announcements, supporting the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). A number of Brownfield followers on Twitter were sending Tweets urging agricultural supporters to call Limbaugh during his show on Friday or send an email to inform him of the truth behind HSUS.”
The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) suggested American sportsmen and women should contact Limbaugh and urge him to end his relationship with the Humane Society immediately. USSA President and CEO, Walter P. Pidgeon, Jr., sent a letter to Limbaugh saying “…every major piece of legislation, lawsuit or ballot issue that would restrict the rights of Americans to hunt originated with HSUS. This includes bankrolling ballot issues to ban the hunting of America’s #1 game bird, the mourning dove, lobbying legislation to ban the only effective hunting methods to control black bear numbers, opposition to hunting on Sundays, and opposition to allowing parents the ability to choose at what age their sons and daughters are permitted to begin hunting and much, much more.”
Drovers which is Cattlenetwork’s sister publication, reported that “The Animal Agriculture Alliance has urged livestock producers to e-mail Rush today at ElRushbo@eibnet.com to urge him to further examine HSUS and reconsider his support of the organization. AAA also urges you to write your own letter expressing your feelings, but to get you started AAA has written a sample letter that is available here.
Bottom line: Mr. Limbaugh, you’ve stuck your well-polished Gucci boots directly into a steaming, fresh cow patty with those HSUS PSA’s. They’ve offended the sensibilities of many of your most devout fans who sincerely hope you were merely misinformed or uninformed about the HSUS agenda. Maybe you should reconsider your alliance and look deeper into what the HSUS wants to accomplish?