No, Rush Limbaugh, Austin Isn’t Banning BBQ
Yesterday Rush Limbaugh ran with a bogus story about Austin banning barbecue. The transcript now on his website, entitled “The Left Declares War on BBQ” echoes a bunch of outdated material from a recent blog post on “I Am A Texan,” which reported that the Austin City Council was banning barbecue. That’s not true.
I wanted to figure out why so many people have been asking me about Austin’s impending barbecue ban over the last week, and now I know. The hack(s) at I Am A Texan (IAAT) were first brought to my attention for plagiarism of two barbecue stories of mine. A quick look at some other recent stories shows they don’t much care about stealing content based on this uplifting Cafe Momentum story they lifted two weeks ago from inspiremore.com.
In their recent doomsday barbecue article, IAAT notes that Aaron Franklin told Eater, “If this resolution passes, we would be forced to close or move. It would destroy Austin barbecue.” Franklin did say that, and it was a big news day, but that was four months ago. They didn’t pass the resolution he was commenting on, but who would know that after IAAT shared it with their 274K Facebook followers who dutifully shared it enough that Rush Limbaugh took hold of it. Mind you, this is an article that states without irony “I suggest you get your barbecue from Austin as soon as possible so you can tell your descendants how good it was before communism took over.”
Here’s Limbaugh’s fresh take on it from yesterday’s show:
And then some bright-eyed liberal saw the amount of money and power and control that could be available to them if they mandated every barbecue restaurant to have these smoke suppressors. That’s power, man! That is control. And don’t think there isn’t money changing hands on the extending of these permits and what have you. I mean, the regulation — the local regulation, zoning and all that — of American society by the American left is one of the greatest economic engine killers there has ever been invented.
Here’s the problem. No laws were passed. No smoke suppressors were purchased. Austin is not banning barbecue, but maybe a little background information is in order.
In March of this year, the City of Austin was in an uproar about smoke barbecue smoke emissions (which I reported on). Council member Pio Renteria received complaints about barbecue smoke from some residents, and proposed a city code revision. In April, Pio Renteria looked dazed at the big council hearing where the resolution was debated. By that time, the real teeth were already gone from the proposed resolution. Words like “exhaust systems” and “smoke scrubbers” had been replaced by the vague “mitigate the impact of smoke emissions.” It didn’t pass, and was moved to committee. In May, the City Council dropped the matter. The Health & Human Services committee is scheduled to discuss it in a few days, but a ban on barbecue is not on the agenda.
All this is to tell you that Rush Limbaugh’s fact checkers are about as skilled as a high percentage of IAAT’s Facebook fans, which is not very much. Barbecue is safe in Austin, but at least we get this great typo (which is better out of context) straight from Limbaugh’s own transcript. “I had one particular room where I smoked and my orifice.”