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The Limbaugh Connection

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kinney.qxd

Hi there,

I enjoyed your cover story on Snapple [May 30] but thought that you mischaracterized Rush Limbaugh's relationship to Snapple in the story.

I find it a bit of a stretch to say that the rumors about Snapple's alleged KKK involvement came from Rush Limbaugh's endorsement. While it's true that it probably did annoy a lot of liberal Snapple drinkers, I don't think anyone could realistically link Limbaugh to the KKK. Rush is right-wing, but he's no racist. He routinely has black commentators fill in for his show (when it isn't Snow or Medved. I forget the guy's name unfortunately).

20/20 had an excellent story on the subject of rumors in the African-American community where it pointed out the source of the KKK rumors was in fact the labeling on the Snapple bottles, not Rush. Apparently the ship on the famous label was a ship used heavily in the slave trade, and many African-American drinkers found its use, um, distasteful. Plus, I believe the circle K for kosher branding on the bottles led some more conspiracy-buff types to make the immediate link to the KKK.

While your story didn't directly link Rush to the KKK, the link was certainly implied. A mention of other possible explanations for the rumors could have given some balance to this.

While making fun of Rush and linking him with nasty things may make for interesting copy, the KKK association is compromising the truth and is a disservice to your readers.

Other than that, I thought the story was great. Best cover story I've seen in the Reader in recent memory.

Rick Kinney

Chicago

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