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The Wolfe-Limbaugh connection

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  • michaelmcc611
    Regardless of your views of his politics, at least Rush Limbaugh has good taste in fiction, according to this article I found on the American Spectator:
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 9, 2008
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      Regardless of your views of his politics, at least Rush Limbaugh has
      good taste in fiction, according to this article I found on the
      American Spectator:


      Special Report
      Rush Fiddles With Nero
      By Jay D. Homnick
      Published 5/30/2008 12:06:24 AM
      The other day Rush Hudson Limbaugh IV was discussing the new Scott
      McClellan book with its attendant inaccuracies, hypocrisies,
      disloyalties, sanctimonies and vanities, when he suddenly
      exclaimed: "This is flummery!" This sent some of his listeners off
      to the dictionary to discover the meaning of this rarely used word.
      There they found that it described a hollow sort of expression,
      language that addresses a subject elaborately without clarifying
      anything.

      But a sizable subset of Mister Limbaugh's loyal listeners chuckled
      in recognition. They knew that this phrase was much beloved of Nero
      Wolfe, a fictional detective, a true armchair detective in that he
      rarely ventured from his brownstone on West 35th Street in New York
      City. Wolfe was portrayed as an eccentric genius, a portly man who
      ate only gourmet food and spent a few hours every day tending to his
      magnificent collection of orchids.

      Like many conservative and intellectual types, Rush loves this
      character and returns periodically to reread the collection of Nero
      Wolfe mysteries, consisting of 33 novels and 39 short stories.
      Listeners can always tell when Rush is back in those pages: he
      begins dropping trademark lines into his daily monologues and
      dialogues. Another classic that you might recognize if you are a
      fan, perhaps without knowing its provenance, is this one: "I am
      using my intelligence guided by experience."

      In an unguarded moment about a decade ago, Limbaugh let slip
      that "sometimes I think I am Nero Wolfe." I had the idea at the time
      of putting together capital to produce a movie with Rush in the role
      of Wolfe. The Hollywood stars who had played Wolfe over the years
      never quite filled his shoes. The one man whose physical
      characteristics and general demeanor made him ideal to play Wolfe
      was Sydney Greenstreet. Ironically, Greenstreet played Wolfe
      successfully in the radio series, "The New Adventures of Nero
      Wolfe," which aired in 1950-51, but never in a visual medium.
      Limbaugh's huge audience would have guaranteed success for the film,
      but when he trimmed down his waistline, the project was no longer a
      natural fit.

      Conservatives love the Wolfe character because he resists frivolous
      change while being open to intellectual adventure. He stays home,
      avoids machinery, does not enjoy physical contact but really knows
      how to eat. What's not to like? Add to that his griping about the
      income tax and he becomes irresistible.

      On the other hand, whenever Wolfe actually articulates a religious
      or a political view, he speaks as a thoroughgoing atheist and a left-
      wing radical. He scoffs at the notion of a Creator, hiding behind
      the omniscience of science, as if knowing how things work solves the
      question of why things work. This attitude was all too common in the
      first half of the 20th century, a worldview I like to call Omni-
      Science. He also takes for granted that the Democrat types are the
      good guys.

      One novel, The Doorbell Rang, was a thinly veiled attack against J.
      Edgar Hoover. In the last scene, the unnamed "Director" knocks on
      the door of the brownstone to thank Wolfe for his help in clearing
      up a mystery, but the detective snubs him and leaves him standing at
      the stoop. After that volume was published, the late John Wayne sent
      the author a letter saying that he regretfully could not continue in
      good conscience to follow the series.

      This should not be too surprising, considering that the author, Rex
      Stout, had been an appointee of the Franklin D. Roosevelt
      administration. Interestingly, he had also served the earlier
      President Roosevelt as a Navy Yeoman on the presidential yacht.
      Among other achievements, Stout was credited with creating the idea
      of Bank Day in American schools. I still can remember that being
      active when I was in 3rd Grade. On Wednesdays each child brought in
      a few cents and the teacher had it deposited in bank accounts with
      passbooks in our names.

      All in all, Limbaugh's enjoyment of, and identification with, the
      Nero Wolfe books creates a small personal bridge between him and the
      literary types in his audience. We can just close our eyes and
      imagine him pondering the great questions of the day in the
      inimitable Wolfe style, with an expensive beer open on the desk, his
      eyes tightly shut in concentration and his lips moving in and out.
      Not least, we can all flatter ourselves that one day he will realize
      that he needs a sidekick just like the great detective had Archie
      Goodwin, and he might just give us a call.


      Jay D. Homnick, commentator and humorist, is a frequent contributor
      to The American Spectator. He also writes for Human Events.
    • Kenneth N. Wildman
      Oh, Lord! Errors, let me count the ways.... First, Wolfe said something to the effect that only a cur would rant against paying one s fair share to support the
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 10, 2008
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        Oh, Lord!

        Errors, let me count the ways....

        First, Wolfe said something to the effect that only a cur would rant against
        paying one's fair share to support the country.

        Second, The Doorbell Rang was NOT a thinly veiled attack on J. Edgar Hoover
        -- it was a direct, undeniable, attack. He left no room for debate about
        his target or his assessment.

        And, obviously, this "intellect" from the American Spectator never read The
        Silent Speaker....

        Rusterman
        (Sometimes known as Ken Wildman)


        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: nerowolfe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:nerowolfe@yahoogroups.com] On
        > Behalf Of michaelmcc611
        > Sent: Monday, June 09, 2008 9:40 PM
        > To: nerowolfe@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [NeroWolfe] The Wolfe-Limbaugh connection
        >
        > Regardless of your views of his politics, at least Rush Limbaugh has
        > good taste in fiction, according to this article I found on the
        > American Spectator:
        >
        >
        > Special Report
        > Rush Fiddles With Nero
        > By Jay D. Homnick
        > Published 5/30/2008 12:06:24 AM
        > The other day Rush Hudson Limbaugh IV was discussing the new Scott
        > McClellan book with its attendant inaccuracies, hypocrisies,
        > disloyalties, sanctimonies and vanities, when he suddenly
        > exclaimed: "This is flummery!" This sent some of his listeners off
        > to the dictionary to discover the meaning of this rarely used word.
        > There they found that it described a hollow sort of expression,
        > language that addresses a subject elaborately without clarifying
        > anything.
        >
        > But a sizable subset of Mister Limbaugh's loyal listeners chuckled
        > in recognition. They knew that this phrase was much beloved of Nero
        > Wolfe, a fictional detective, a true armchair detective in that he
        > rarely ventured from his brownstone on West 35th Street in New York
        > City. Wolfe was portrayed as an eccentric genius, a portly man who
        > ate only gourmet food and spent a few hours every day tending to his
        > magnificent collection of orchids.
        >
        > Like many conservative and intellectual types, Rush loves this
        > character and returns periodically to reread the collection of Nero
        > Wolfe mysteries, consisting of 33 novels and 39 short stories.
        > Listeners can always tell when Rush is back in those pages: he
        > begins dropping trademark lines into his daily monologues and
        > dialogues. Another classic that you might recognize if you are a
        > fan, perhaps without knowing its provenance, is this one: "I am
        > using my intelligence guided by experience."
        >
        > In an unguarded moment about a decade ago, Limbaugh let slip
        > that "sometimes I think I am Nero Wolfe." I had the idea at the time
        > of putting together capital to produce a movie with Rush in the role
        > of Wolfe. The Hollywood stars who had played Wolfe over the years
        > never quite filled his shoes. The one man whose physical
        > characteristics and general demeanor made him ideal to play Wolfe
        > was Sydney Greenstreet. Ironically, Greenstreet played Wolfe
        > successfully in the radio series, "The New Adventures of Nero
        > Wolfe," which aired in 1950-51, but never in a visual medium.
        > Limbaugh's huge audience would have guaranteed success for the film,
        > but when he trimmed down his waistline, the project was no longer a
        > natural fit.
        >
        > Conservatives love the Wolfe character because he resists frivolous
        > change while being open to intellectual adventure. He stays home,
        > avoids machinery, does not enjoy physical contact but really knows
        > how to eat. What's not to like? Add to that his griping about the
        > income tax and he becomes irresistible.
        >
        > On the other hand, whenever Wolfe actually articulates a religious
        > or a political view, he speaks as a thoroughgoing atheist and a left-
        > wing radical. He scoffs at the notion of a Creator, hiding behind
        > the omniscience of science, as if knowing how things work solves the
        > question of why things work. This attitude was all too common in the
        > first half of the 20th century, a worldview I like to call Omni-
        > Science. He also takes for granted that the Democrat types are the
        > good guys.
        >
        > One novel, The Doorbell Rang, was a thinly veiled attack against J.
        > Edgar Hoover. In the last scene, the unnamed "Director" knocks on
        > the door of the brownstone to thank Wolfe for his help in clearing
        > up a mystery, but the detective snubs him and leaves him standing at
        > the stoop. After that volume was published, the late John Wayne sent
        > the author a letter saying that he regretfully could not continue in
        > good conscience to follow the series.
        >
        > This should not be too surprising, considering that the author, Rex
        > Stout, had been an appointee of the Franklin D. Roosevelt
        > administration. Interestingly, he had also served the earlier
        > President Roosevelt as a Navy Yeoman on the presidential yacht.
        > Among other achievements, Stout was credited with creating the idea
        > of Bank Day in American schools. I still can remember that being
        > active when I was in 3rd Grade. On Wednesdays each child brought in
        > a few cents and the teacher had it deposited in bank accounts with
        > passbooks in our names.
        >
        > All in all, Limbaugh's enjoyment of, and identification with, the
        > Nero Wolfe books creates a small personal bridge between him and the
        > literary types in his audience. We can just close our eyes and
        > imagine him pondering the great questions of the day in the
        > inimitable Wolfe style, with an expensive beer open on the desk, his
        > eyes tightly shut in concentration and his lips moving in and out.
        > Not least, we can all flatter ourselves that one day he will realize
        > that he needs a sidekick just like the great detective had Archie
        > Goodwin, and he might just give us a call.
        >
        >
        > Jay D. Homnick, commentator and humorist, is a frequent contributor
        > to The American Spectator. He also writes for Human Events.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
      • Joe Suggs
        And of course the esteemed director was certainly not there to thank Wolfe at the end of Doorbell Rang, nor did he appreciate Stout s efforts. The thing that
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 10, 2008
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          And of course the esteemed director was certainly not there to thank Wolfe at the end of Doorbell Rang, nor did he appreciate Stout's efforts. The thing that caught me off guard, though, was the characterization of Limbaugh as an intellectual.  Maybe he is, I don't know,  I just wouldn't have ever thought of it.  As a matter of fact, I would have thought of him (if at all) as a populist anti-intellectual.  An intellectual holding forth should stimulate thought, not cries of "ditto!"

          I guess in the complicated real world, cries of "flummery!" work both ways.  Too bad we'll never know what Wolfe would have thought of his would-be portrayer.  I can't picture him behind Wolfe's desk, except maybe in "Help Wanted, Male" as H.H. Hackett, eating ginger snaps.

          j  d  s



          --- On Tue, 6/10/08, Kenneth N. Wildman <k-wildman@...> wrote:
          From: Kenneth N. Wildman <k-wildman@...>
          Subject: RE: [NeroWolfe] The Wolfe-Limbaugh connection
          To: nerowolfe@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Tuesday, June 10, 2008, 9:00 AM

          Oh, Lord!

          Errors, let me count the ways....

          First, Wolfe said something to the effect that only a cur would rant against
          paying one's fair share to support the country.

          Second, The Doorbell Rang was NOT a thinly veiled attack on J. Edgar Hoover
          -- it was a direct, undeniable, attack. He left no room for debate about
          his target or his assessment.

          And, obviously, this "intellect" from the American Spectator never read The
          Silent Speaker....

          Rusterman
          (Sometimes known as Ken Wildman)

          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: nerowolfe@yahoogrou ps.com [mailto:nerowolfe@yahoogrou ps.com] On
          > Behalf Of michaelmcc611
          > Sent: Monday, June 09, 2008 9:40 PM
          > To: nerowolfe@yahoogrou ps.com
          > Subject: [NeroWolfe] The Wolfe-Limbaugh connection
          >
          > Regardless of your views of his politics, at least Rush Limbaugh has
          > good taste in fiction, according to this article I found on the
          > American Spectator:
          >
          >
          > Special Report
          > Rush Fiddles With Nero
          > By Jay D. Homnick
          > Published 5/30/2008 12:06:24 AM
          > The other day Rush Hudson Limbaugh IV was discussing the new Scott
          > McClellan book with its attendant inaccuracies, hypocrisies,
          > disloyalties, sanctimonies and vanities, when he suddenly
          > exclaimed: "This is flummery!" This sent some of his listeners off
          > to the dictionary to discover the meaning of this rarely used word.
          > There they found that it described a hollow sort of expression,
          > language that addresses a subject elaborately without clarifying
          > anything.
          >
          > But a sizable subset of Mister Limbaugh's loyal listeners chuckled
          > in recognition. They knew that this phrase was much beloved of Nero
          > Wolfe, a fictional detective, a true armchair detective in that he
          > rarely ventured from his brownstone on West 35th Street in New York
          > City. Wolfe was portrayed as an eccentric genius, a portly man who
          > ate only gourmet food and spent a few hours every day tending to his
          > magnificent collection of orchids.
          >
          > Like many conservative and intellectual types, Rush loves this
          > character and returns periodically to reread the collection of Nero
          > Wolfe mysteries, consisting of 33 novels and 39 short stories.
          > Listeners can always tell when Rush is back in those pages: he
          > begins dropping trademark lines into his daily monologues and
          > dialogues. Another classic that you might recognize if you are a
          > fan, perhaps without knowing its provenance, is this one: "I am
          > using my intelligence guided by experience."
          >
          > In an unguarded moment about a decade ago, Limbaugh let slip
          > that "sometimes I think I am Nero Wolfe." I had the idea at the time
          > of putting together capital to produce a movie with Rush in the role
          > of Wolfe. The Hollywood stars who had played Wolfe over the years
          > never quite filled his shoes. The one man whose physical
          > characteristics and general demeanor made him ideal to play Wolfe
          > was Sydney Greenstreet. Ironically, Greenstreet played Wolfe
          > successfully in the radio series, "The New Adventures of Nero
          > Wolfe," which aired in 1950-51, but never in a visual medium.
          > Limbaugh's huge audience would have guaranteed success for the film,
          > but when he trimmed down his waistline, the project was no longer a
          > natural fit.
          >
          > Conservatives love the Wolfe character because he resists frivolous
          > change while being open to intellectual adventure. He stays home,
          > avoids machinery, does not enjoy physical contact but really knows
          > how to eat. What's not to like? Add to that his griping about the
          > income tax and he becomes irresistible.
          >
          > On the other hand, whenever Wolfe actually articulates a religious
          > or a political view, he speaks as a thoroughgoing atheist and a left-
          > wing radical. He scoffs at the notion of a Creator, hiding behind
          > the omniscience of science, as if knowing how things work solves the
          > question of why things work. This attitude was all too common in the
          > first half of the 20th century, a worldview I like to call Omni-
          > Science. He also takes for granted that the Democrat types are the
          > good guys.
          >
          > One novel, The Doorbell Rang, was a thinly veiled attack against J.
          > Edgar Hoover. In the last scene, the unnamed "Director" knocks on
          > the door of the brownstone to thank Wolfe for his help in clearing
          > up a mystery, but the detective snubs him and leaves him standing at
          > the stoop. After that volume was published, the late John Wayne sent
          > the author a letter saying that he regretfully could not continue in
          > good conscience to follow the series.
          >
          > This should not be too surprising, considering that the author, Rex
          > Stout, had been an appointee of the Franklin D. Roosevelt
          > administration. Interestingly, he had also served the earlier
          > President Roosevelt as a Navy Yeoman on the presidential yacht.
          > Among other achievements, Stout was credited with creating the idea
          > of Bank Day in American schools. I still can remember that being
          > active when I was in 3rd Grade. On Wednesdays each child brought in
          > a few cents and the teacher had it deposited in bank accounts with
          > passbooks in our names.
          >
          > All in all, Limbaugh's enjoyment of, and identification with, the
          > Nero Wolfe books creates a small personal bridge between him and the
          > literary types in his audience. We can just close our eyes and
          > imagine him pondering the great questions of the day in the
          > inimitable Wolfe style, with an expensive beer open on the desk, his
          > eyes tightly shut in concentration and his lips moving in and out.
          > Not least, we can all flatter ourselves that one day he will realize
          > that he needs a sidekick just like the great detective had Archie
          > Goodwin, and he might just give us a call.
          >
          >
          > Jay D. Homnick, commentator and humorist, is a frequent contributor
          > to The American Spectator. He also writes for Human Events.
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------ --------- --------- ------
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >


        • Taylor401306@cs.com
          In a message dated 06/11/2008 12:19:40 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... It sounds to me as if Limbaugh has delusions of Wolfe-hood .
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 11, 2008
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            In a message dated 06/11/2008 12:19:40 PM Eastern Daylight Time, nerowolfe@yahoogroups.com writes:
            Re: The Wolfe-Limbaugh connection
                Posted by: "Joe Suggs" jdsuggs@... jdsuggs
                Date: Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:26 pm ((PDT))

            And of course the esteemed director was certainly not there to thank Wolfe at the end of Doorbell Rang, nor did he appreciate Stout's efforts. The thing that caught me off guard, though, was the characterization of Limbaugh as an intellectual.&nbsp; Maybe he is, I don't know,&nbsp; I just wouldn't have ever thought of it.&nbsp; As a matter of fact, I would have thought of him (if at all) as a populist anti-intellectual.&nbsp; An intellectual holding forth should stimulate thought, not cries of "ditto!"

            I guess in the complicated real world, cries of "flummery!" work both ways.&nbsp; Too bad we'll never know what Wolfe would have thought of his would-be portrayer.&nbsp; I can't picture him behind Wolfe's desk, except maybe in "Help Wanted, Male" as H.H. Hackett, eating ginger snaps.

            It sounds to me as if  Limbaugh has delusions of "Wolfe-hood".
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