“You know I have always tried to be honest with you and open about my life. So I need to tell you today that part of what you have heard and read is correct. I am addicted to prescription pain medication.

The operative term is “tried,” Rush. And we know that’s not true. You have tried to become a right-wing propagandist of note, and you have achieved considerable success at it. But your statement in the wake of recent revelations in the “National Enquirer” pertaining to your amassing huge quantities of illegally obtained proscription medications is meritricious at every concievable level.

And you know it.

“I first started taking prescription painkillers some years ago when my doctor prescribed them to treat post surgical pain following spinal surgery.

“Unfortunately, the surgery was unsuccessful and I continued to have severe pain in my lower back and also in my neck due to herniated discs. I am still experiencing that pain. Rather than opt for additional surgery for these conditions, I chose to treat the pain with prescribed medication. This medication turned out to be highly addictive.

One awaits the testimony of Mr. Limbaugh’s physician, and an opportunity to get a gander at his medical charts, if any.

It should be pointed out that “addiction to painkillers” has in recent years become standard-issue spin-speak for DRUG ADDICTION!

There’s a lengthy list of “troubled” celebrites (Hey look — it’s Winona Ryder!) who have admitted to having become “addicted to pain-killers.” Such a nice way of putting it. So much better than saying the far more a propos “I’M A JUNKIE!”

“Over the past several years I have tried to break my dependence on pain pills and, in fact, twice checked myself into medical facilities in an attempt to do so. I have recently agreed with my physician about the next steps.
“Immediately following this broadcast, I am checking myself into a treatment center for the next 30 days to once and for all break the hold this highly addictive medication has on me. The show will continue during this time, of course, with an array of guest hosts you have come to know and respect.

An “array”? Fabulous!

Are any of them “addicted to painkillers” Rusty?

“I am not making any excuses.

Oh of course you are. Had you said “I’M A JUNKIE!” you wouldn’t be making excuses.

But that’s no more likely than your saying “I’M A RACIST!”

And even less likely is anyone in the “mainstream” media excoriating your racism. Even Eric Alterman
choked on this point in a recent “Altercation” column.

” You know, over the years athletes and celebrities have emerged from treatment centers to great fanfare and praise for conquering great demons. They are said to be great role models and examples for others.”

Who said? I want their names.


” Well, I am no role model.”

Nobody said you were, Rusty.

” I refuse to let anyone think I am doing something great here, when there are people you never hear about, who face long odds and never resort to such escapes.”

The same people you’ve excoriated on your show.

” They are the role models.”

My, my, my. I thought they were criminals. I thought they deserved lengthy prison terms.

Guess I must have misheard you.

” I am no victim and do not portray myself as such. I take full responsibility for my problem.”

No you don’t. If you did you’d ADMIT TO BEING A JUNKIE!

“At the present time, the authorities are conducting an investigation, and I have been asked to limit my public comments until this investigation is complete.”

I’m sure you have the best lawyers, Rusty.

“So I will only say that the stories you have read and heard contain inaccuracies and distortions, which I will clear up when I am free to speak about them.”

Or not.

“I deeply appreciate all your support over this last tumultuous week. It has sustained me. I ask now for your prayers. I look forward to resuming our excursion into broadcast excellence together.”

And so do all your Freeper fans, dear. But that may not be anytime soon.

One hopes.

Needless to say the chance that Rusty may face jail time for his leegal drug purchases may well be remote. Tommy Chong is looking at nine months for merely selling drug “paraphernalia” — “bongs” for pot-smoking.

But he’s just half-of a once-famous comic duo, now a semi-regular on That 70’s Show, where he plays a stoned-out relic of a hippie.

Clearly he doesn’t have powerful Republican friends in high places like Rusty.

And clearly he can’t afford the sort of PR advice that can parlay a MASSIVE APPETITE FOR CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES into an “addiction to painkillers.”

“Don’t do crack, it’s a ghetto drug.” That was “Bob Roberts’” mantra (in Tim Robbins’ film of the same name.) And precious few celebs with clout would do so. Proscription medications are the thing. Especially Vicotin, excessive use of which can bring about deafness — something Rusty claimed to be suffering from not too long ago.

Maybe it was all that “back pain.”

Or maybe it was simply the pain of life itself.

Or something.

Anyhoo the drugs felt good, didn’t they?

“The pleasure of drugs is gratuitous,” Irving Rosenthal declares in Sheeper. “It is not a wage, desert, or reward. You should smoke tea because it’s a gas, and you destroy a valuable principle, you make drugs a commodity, when you give them to yourself because you have done something admirable.”

It’s most amusing to imagine someone like Irving having a heart-to-heart with Ol’ Rusty.

But maybe it would be better if he sat down and watched the DVD of Marianne Faithfull in live performance. She has quite a lot to say about drug use (albeit she was addicted to “Real drugs — not this airy-fairy stuff”) and recovery or as she puts it “beginning to think about life without drugs.”

Rusty’s not there yet. Maybe he’ll never get there.

Maybe instead of Marianne he’d be better advised to rush (excuse pun) right out and grab himself a batch of Nico CDs.

Or not.

And then there’s the example set by Robert Downey Jnr, a great actor and (unlike Rusty) AN ADMITTED DRUG ADDICT who is in the process of putting the pieces of his life back together after a stay in stir.

Now there’s someone who might qualify as a “role model.” Time will tell, as Joan Crawford was wont to say.

Meanwhile I’m contemplating having a bumper sticker made up:


Blunt, I’ll admit.

But it gets the job done.

Trackback Ping(s)
When I’m Rushing on my run, I feel just like Jesus’ son.
Excerpt: In an email, my mother asks if I’m going to write about Rush’s addiction. Sorry, Ma, I can’t be bothered. Instead, here’s a few people who are writing about it (all via Atrios): David E says they should throw the…
Weblog: Michael McInnis’ Grouchland
Tracked: October 11, 2003 10:06 AM