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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 13, 2009 at 6:00 PM

Rush to judgment

Limbaugh’s weight is immaterial

As much as I loathe Rush Limbaugh and his venomous blather, I feel I must come to his defense in one area. Why is it acceptable for anyone, but especially the media, to make disparaging comments about his weight? Recently referred to in The Seattle Times as a possible “enraged Jabba the Hutt” or “deranged Stay Puft Marshmallow Man” [“Somehow, ‘apocalypse’ seems right for the times,” David Sirota syndicated column, March 9], such labels speak volumes about our nation’s continuing ad hominem attacks on people.

How are references to Limbaugh’s physique in any way pertinent to criticism of his ideas? If he weighed 150 pounds, would his ideas be any less offensive or any more sensible? Weight has been called “the last acceptable prejudice” in our society, and I tend to agree.

As someone who recently lost 70 pounds and continues to lose more, I am quite aware of the prejudice society shows toward larger people. Whether we like it or not, someone’s size (or their facial features or their hair color or their wardrobe or their sexual orientation or their skin color) has nothing to do with anything other than revealing our snarky prejudices.

“Rush — you are wrong” is far more effective than “Rush, you fat slob — you are wrong.” Unless, of course, you cannot defend your ideas and must resort to personal attacks.

— Wally L. Larsen, Redmond

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