While it may have been common knowledge in the Dittohead universe that Rush Limbaugh was nominated for the Nobel Prize this year, the story went largely unreported out here in the real world.
Even though Limbaugh had no chance, now that Al Gore is the official winner, Limbaugh is in a snit of jealousy:
LIMBAUGH: My lawyers at the Landmark Legal Foundation are looking into the possibility of filing an objection with the Nobel committee over the unethical tampering for this award that Al Gore is engaging in. This is clearly above and beyond the pale. I mean, this might happen in high school class president elections and so forth, but this is shameless.
Rush’s nomination sounds on the surface like a stunt dreamed up by Sascha Baron Cohen. A deeper dig reinforces the perception that it was a stunt.
For starters, it appears that Limbaugh de facto nominated himself. The nomination went out under the letterhead of “his lawyers” at the Landmark foundation, a rightwing nonprofit for which Limbaugh is an unpaid adviser. (Landmark’s donors include relatives of Richard Melon Scaife, the Pittsburgh heir and newspaper publisher who funded the Arkansas Project, a smear campaign against the Clintons that served as the prototype for what we now know as Swiftboating.)
Landmark’s president, Mark Levin, is a snarling, unappealing ideologue who made his name in the 1990s as a Clinton-basher on cable news. Levin is a Rush acolyte and wannabe who, despite having a voice that would curdle milk, has his own talk show.
Levin and Landmark are Limbaugh’s lapdogs. Even if the idea for the stunt didn’t come from Limbaugh himself, it was done with his approval and, more than likely, guidance.
Here is Levin’s cynical and unintentionally laughable rationale for the nomination, quoting Landmark’s news release:
Limbaugh … was nominated for the prestigious award for his “nearly two decades of tireless efforts to promote liberty, equality and opportunity for all humankind, regardless of race, creed, economic stratum or national origin. These are the only real cornerstones of just and lasting peace throughout the world,” said Landmark President Mark R. Levin.
“Rush Limbaugh is the foremost advocate for freedom and democracy in the world today,” explained Levin. “Everyday he gives voice to the values of democratic governance, individual opportunity and the just, equal application of the rule of law — and it is fitting that the Nobel Committee recognize the power of these ideals to build a truly peaceful world for future generations.”
Only in the “up is down,” “black is white” opposite world of rightwing spin could the nation’s leading pro-war cheerleader be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Of course, the nomination had no official standing from the getgo:
Nominations for the Prize may be made by a broad array of qualified individuals, including former recipients, members of national assemblies and congresses, university professors (in certain disciplines), international judges, and special advisors to the Prize Committee. In some years as many as 199 nominations have been received. The Committee keeps the nominations secret and asks that nominators do the same. Over time many individuals have become known as “Nobel Peace Prize Nominees,” but this designation has no official standing.