By Steve Cornett
You can love your cat without loving the Humane Society of the United States.
One hopes, despite what one knows about the apathy in cattle country, that Rush Limbaugh is finding that out after news broke last week that the usually conservative talk radio host had—as the HSUS press release put it—offered “full-throated expression of support for our work.”
HSUS is, of course, about much more than preventing cruelty to cats named “Punky,” though the owners of such kitties are the folks who pay their bills. You can learn more about the real HSUS, by following this link.
Nonetheless, Mr. Limbaugh has recorded two differing public service announcements (PSA) endorsing—endorsing, mind you—HSUS. The PSAs will not be used to protect the cat, Punky, of which he speaks. They will be used to raise funds which will be used to further the anti-agriculture agenda of the HSUS and its fellow travelers in the animal rights movement.
The folks at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association said they got a lot of calls from enraged cowboys who were incensed about the PSA’s. But NCBA’s hands are tied. They can’t risk being accused of hating kitties or supporting dog fights.
If you listen to the PSAs—which you can listen to here—you get the idea he is just against dog fighting.
The problem is that HSUS and their friends use no-lose issues like that to raise money (consider, for instance, Consumer Freedom’s point about how the money they raised to save pets after Hurricane Katrina sort of disappeared) and then use those funds to promote their less obvious agenda.
Perhaps Limbaugh realizes that. I’m not a big listener, but now that I think of it, I’ve never heard him fulminate on the animal rights agenda. Maybe I’m wrong, but I suppose that it’s possible the guy knew who he was endorsing.
So, what to do? I’ll say this, just berating him in columns like this won’t help. He thrives on controversy. It builds his audience. He needs to know, though, that he has offended a significant part of that audience.
He doesn’t need just to apologize.
He needs to look into the issue. He needs to explain to his listeners the difference in the HSUS and the real Humane Society, which would be the outfit that really cares for kitty-cats like Punkie or Pinky or whatever.
You can find a list of the stations that carry his program and pay his bills at http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/menu/rush.guest.html
Interestingly, when I checked Friday morning with the farm director at my local Limbaugh station—which relies heavily on cattle producers and feeders to sell their ads—he had heard nothing about the days-old issue. That’s hard to believe. This is a station in the middle of cattle-feeding country, regarded as the region’s leading ag news station.
That nobody had bothered to call them is just scary.
Steve Cornett is editor emeritus at Beef Today. You can reach him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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