Rush Limbaugh was bumped off the air in New Orleans when local radio stations went all Katrina, all the time, and he didn't get his time slot back until last week. As the Times-Picayune writes today, his return to the airwaves hasn't received the warmest of welcomes.
Diane Newman, the WWL operations manager who put Limbaugh back on her station last week, listened to his first show after his return and concluded that "there was a disconnect" between what Limbaugh was saying about life in New Orleans today and life on the ground there now. "He did sound uninformed," Newman told the paper, "but he's not here."
Limbaugh said that he's hearing from his friends that New Orleans is on the mend. He suggested that the problems with the levees in New Orleans were the fault of local officials who received "gobs" of federal money to build levees but chose to "siphon some of it off for themselves and their buddies in the process." Limbaugh said that things are "getting back to normal" in New Orleans. When a caller set him straight, Limbaugh said that he's got friends in New Orleans and is getting the real scoop from them. "And I'm not hearing this from them," he said. "I know it's bad but ... I'm under the impression that the main problem that the local officials have is that they don't have enough Democrats coming back who fled or who were evacuated and they're worried about the next elections."
Newman said she's going to invite Limbaugh to New Orleans so that he can get a better grip on reality. "I will do my damnedest to get Rush Limbaugh to broadcast from here, to drive through Lakeview, through Gentilly, drive through Mid-City, drive through New Orleans East, drive through St. Bernard, drive through the 9th Ward," she told the Times-Picayune's Dave Walker. "I believe that Rush -- as I believe about anybody on a big stage, like Rush, like Oprah, like Al Franken, like Bill O'Reilly, like Bill Maher -- I think they all owe it to their audience in New Orleans and the Gulf South and really to America to come and see it and feel it."