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Why Rush Limbaugh loves Elton John

Zev Chafets, who has ridden the publicity train for his new, sympathetic biography of Rush Limbaugh into a gig as Limbaugh's emissary to the rest of the media, explains why the talk show host booked Elton John to play his wedding -- for $1 million.

On some social issues, like abortion, Limbaugh is a conventional conservative. On others he sounds a lot like Barack Obama. In an interview last summer, he told me that he regards homosexuality as most likely determined by biology, considers other people’s sex lives to be none of his business and supports gay civil unions. I’m pretty sure that Elton John’s sexual orientation never even crossed Limbaugh’s mind.

Honestly, I'm more surprised that John took the gig because of his often-stated disgust with how the media treated Hillary Clinton in 2008. If anti-gay rhetoric hasn't played much of a role in Limbaugh's show, sexism against liberal women certainly has. I think liberal anger at John for playing the wedding was more of an issue than conservative confusion about Limbaugh. But Chafets gets to one of the reasons gay marriage has faded a bit as a motivating issue for Republicans, even if it's a winner at the polls. The cosmopolitan conservatives who make up much of the pundit class simply don't get exercised about gay issues.

By David Weigel  |  June 9, 2010; 12:01 PM ET
Categories:  Conservatives , Gay , Media  
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