Rush Limbaugh, the conservative provocateur who could soon be searching for a new distributor for his talk-radio show, is purportedly a regular consumer of tech blogs, and considers himself a keen observer of technology and media trends.
His expertise was on full display in a recent show, when the pundit opined that one of tech's more obvious rivalries — the so-called war between Apple fanboys and Android users — bears remarkable similarities to how the lamestream media depicts Republican and Democrats.
"The alternative media is loaded with it, but the mainstream media, the big newspapers, the big networks, you have to look long and hard to find a conservative, to find a Republican, to find anybody who's even fair about them," argues Limbaugh.
Fair enough. But here's the key bit (emphasis added):
It's the same way in the tech blog. I would venture to say that nine out of 10 bloggers writing high-tech hate Apple. Apple is the equivalent of the Republicans on these blogs, and Google, Android, and Samsung are the equivalent of the Democrats. They're perfect, they can't do anything wrong, they're ideal, and everybody hates Apple. [RushLimbaugh.com]
It almost goes without saying that Apple products are consistently the best reviewed — and often held as the best — in a number of esteemed tech publications.
Limbaugh then goes on to mention that, like the Republican Party, Apple fortunately has "a small cadre of loyalists"; another odd observation, considering Apple overtook Exxon Mobil as the most valuable company in the world just three days ago for the umpteenth time. One would assume that such success must be built on more than a smattering of aging fans.
Limbaugh claims that the majority of tech bloggers, whom he admits he doesn't know personally, probably lean Democrat, and would be the kind of people more inclined to see Republicans as "aliens from Mars, racists, sexists, bigots, and homophobes."
Their predisposition for "ripping Apple to shreds," he says, bears a striking resemblance to the way the mainstream media regularly mistreats the GOP. "The pro-Apple bloggers are looking at the way the pro-Samsung, Google, and Android bloggers write, and they're now starting to write about the media bias, and they're starting to write about the unfairness, and they don't understand it," says Limbaugh. "I mean, they're chronicling how these pro-Samsung and Google, Android guys are faking data, faking news to make it look bad for Apple when it really isn't."
Although Limbaugh's rather facile argument conveniently ignores the popularity of pro-Apple blogs like 9to5 Mac, Apple Insider, and Daring Fireball, in an odd ranting-uncle way, he sort of makes some sense. Apple products, after all, are expensive, catering to a more affluent crowd; Android floods the market with cheap, proletarian phones. Apple's once-commanding market share is diminishing; Google's operating system now holds 80 percent of all handsets shipped.
Then there's this bit of evidence in his favor, too:
Of course, an equally compelling case can be made for the exact opposite: Android users skew decidedly male, while the iPhone caters to a more female-centric base. According to one study, Android users are 86 percent more likely to live in the countryside, while the iPhone's "small cadre of loyalists" reside in liberal metropolises dotting the country's coasts.
And don't forget this inconvenient truth: Apple itself, like most tech companies, skews heavily Democratic.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Ferguson riots were terrible — but this racist reaction was worse
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Don't argue about politics this Thanksgiving. Just don't.
- Don't blame Chuck Hagel: Obama's foreign policy has been a disaster from end to end
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- How to be charismatic, according to science
- A linguist's guide to HULK SMASH
Subscribe to the Week