His show has changed, but the average listener couldn't tell you that. We notice the difference because that's what we do.
I was with a group of people last night. Not a one of them has any broadcasting connection or experience. Limbaugh came up for discussion and everyone in the room was talking about how he has changed through the years.
One small group in one group does not prove a thing by itself. I have been present for this same discussion before. I think the non-broadcaster public is a bit more astute than you give them credit for.
It's a bit, just like most everything else he's ever done. People are angry. He senses that and hears that from his audience, so he gives them what they want. When the worst problem is the president having affairs and committing perjury about it, you can make more jokes. Times are a bit more grave now. Good hosts adapt. Bad hosts don't.
Maybe the first five years someone does a show daily, the show is something of an act. When you have done the show for 20 years I am not sure the persona on the air can be separated from the persona his social friends and business associates would see during non-broadcast hours.
I would agree with you that as a host Rush is angry. I would agree with you that the loyal audience is angry. I think the disagreement is this: Did the audience adapt and become angry because the broadcast gave them permission to be angry, or did Rush suddenly become angry because he touched base with the audience and found out what they want for their verbal dinner?
Isn't that the theme of thread after thread after thread in this forums? Some of us believe that regular, continuous listeners are shaped and molded by what they hear, what they eat for verbal dinner day after day. Some of us believe that ALL listeners already know everything they want or need to know before they ever turn on talk radio and they drag the host along like a boat towing a person on water skis and a good host is one who can anticipate what the boat is going to do (the audience) and hosts gets in position to properly follow the boat across the lake.
For today that leaves us with the question in this particular thread: Is Rush "dissing" Romney, and if so, is he attempting to lead his audience, or is he obediently following his audience as they tow him across the lake. P.S. to Rush:
As one who lives on a peninsula out in a Corps of Engineers lake, I have some advice- If your audience is dragging you where they want you to go, be careful for the old tree stumps that are normally covered by water, but stick up and eat people alive on skis this time of year when the level is down.