In response to conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh’s interview during On The Record w/Greta Van Susteren on Tuesday, where he criticized the city of Detroit, Mich., for its bankruptcy woes—blaming everything from the Democratic Party’s liberalism run amuck to a large black population causing white flight, a local radio station in Detroit called WDET fired back at Limbaugh by releasing a re-edited version of Limbaugh’s interview with Susteren on Friday, only this time with accurate corrections to debunk what the WDET staff considers to be misinformation and propaganda emitted by Limbaugh for political gain.
One of the corrections that WDET’s re-edited video points out is Limbaugh’s complaint about "massive pensions."
“That town has been a petri dish of everything the Democrat Party stands for—everything the Democrat Party loves—massive unions, massive pensions. Pay people pensions and health care long after they’ve stopped working. The math doesn’t add up.”
After that statement, WDET immediately paused the video and displayed the definition of the word pension, which is a regular payment made during a person’s retirement, and retirement means after one has “stopped working,” which means no longer being employed at the place where the pension is being drawn from, which is about as American as the stars in the flag.
But perhaps the most egregious statement that Limbaugh made was his assertion about former Detroit Mayor Coleman Young.
“You throw race into the mix, and you bring on Mayor Coleman Young who causes the riots in 1967 in Detroit.”
“Young caused a white flight to suburbia, and Detroit is left with nothing but liberal Democrats running it. It is what it is.”
After that juggernaut of knowledge from Limbaugh, the video is paused again, as the WDET staff displays the fact that Coleman Young was not elected mayor until 1973.
Then the WDET staff showed a statistic that claims that white flight actually began in the 1950s under the watch of two Republican mayors.
It is absolutely amazing how conservative pundits like Limbaugh can go on national television and just tell a narrative that fits their propaganda brand so flawlessly with no regard to factual accuracy. It's the kind of thing that drives progressives crazy when it comes to conservatives like Limbaugh, because he is so effective with it.
But what progressives fail to realize is that Limbaugh and other conservative pundits and entities are not concerned about being factual. They are only concerned with being effective, and there is a difference.
Being politically effective is more about leading people than enlightening people, while being more politically factual is more about enlightening people as opposed to leading people, because facts don't have a lot of wiggle room, so they don't always produce the strongest effect.
When the video points out the fact that Coleman Young, Detroit's first black mayor, was not elected mayor until 1973, there just isn't a lot of wiggle room there. It's just a fact. It sounds more sensational, and it feeds into the taboo narratives of fearful whites that have been culturally conditioned to believe that Limbaugh's claim that some radical, inherently unqualified, black mayor imploding the city of Detroit is the gospel, because it fits into their bigoted reality so well that it just has to be true, and Limbaugh knows that.
And how did Mayor Coleman Young start the riots in 1967 even if he had been the mayor at that time? Did the good white people of Detroit decide to go out and riot because a black man was elected mayor? Did Young tell the black citizens of Detroit that despite them electing their first black mayor, they should go out and riot anyway to celebrate their accomplishment?
A 1973 mayoral term of Young could not be responsible for the riots in Detroit in 1967. That's not liberal propaganda. That's just rational, common sense.
And Detroit is not the only city in America that has experienced a population lull, an ever-shrinking tax base, budget deficits, high unemployment, and the proverbial white flight; and the Democratic, liberal rule and ideology cannot solely be responsible for all of it.
In reality, white flight has more to do with good, old-fashioned racism than liberal, Democratic, financial mismanagement. White flight occurs even in places where conservatives are in power. All that is needed is the promise of greener, equitable grass outside of the inner city/urban area.
This is why words like "inner city" and "urban" have become synonymous with the far less glamourous and much less desirable black community, and black communities have been traditionally black and noticeably less profitable all over this country regardless of which political party is in charge making the element of white flight as common as apple pie.
Limbaugh can complain about white flight all he wants, but the real question should be: is the downside of white flight and the so-called greed of the evil, Democratic unions really the reason why so many jobs have left Detroit and this country?
Conservatives like Limbaugh can place the blame on liberalism or black culture (race), but Detroit is not an anomaly or an island.
The Occupy Movement made a good point. The constantly widening wealth gap between the top 1 percent and the 99 percent is a powder keg, and that has much more to do with scripted, trickled-up capitalism than Democratic rule, black mayors or white flight.
WDET in Detroit had obviously heard enough from Limbaugh, because it must seemingly understand the power and the effectiveness of misinformation.