Via the ‘Busters and Ace, who’s caught up in a remembrance of funny things long, long past. Telling O’R that he’s too smart to believe the things he says is vintage Letterman — deadpan, insulting, but wry enough that it can be played as a joke. Bringing up Limbaugh’s drug abuse is simply vicious, and O’Reilly, to his credit, calls him on it, prompting a rare moment on “Late Show” when Letterman seems caught off-guard. As an antidote to the demonization, if you missed the Salon piece by Limbaugh’s lefty cousin in Headlines this morning, be sure to dive in after watching. It’s the most affecting and humanizing story about him I think I’ve ever read. Sample:

He’s the guy who puts “March of the Penguins” on his home movie theater screen for the little cousins to watch and makes sure his candy bowls are filled with jelly beans and doesn’t swear when my nephew tries to throw his antiques down the stairs. He’s the guy who came from nothing to something and knows what it feels like to miss Missouri.

One Thanksgiving he stands in front of all us relatives in his Versailles-looking living room, and before my grandpa prays over our meal, Cousin Rusty apologizes. He says he’s afraid he has made it tough to be a Limbaugh this past year, and his voice breaks like I have never heard it do before. Cousin Rusty is OK…

I rarely listen to Rush on the radio. But when I do, it’s because I’m scanning stations while driving, and I happen to hear his voice. As a family member I’m not as close to him as my mom and dad, my grandma and grandpa, but his voice still reminds me of home. He sounds like my dad and a few of my uncles, he sounds like himself, and it makes me homesick, if that makes any sense at all. So I listen for a few minutes. I rarely agree with or even like what he says, but I can’t hate him. In fact, I love him. He’s family.

Maybe he really is a harmless, lovable little fuzzball after all?

Tags: Missouri