Connect with us

Breaking News

Rush Limbaugh, Radio Talk Show Pioneer, Dies at 70

Editorial Staff

Published

on

Rush Limbaugh with Melania Trump during the State of the Union address in 2020-Rush Limbaugh, Radio Talk Show PIoneer, Dies at 70-wc-featured

Rush Limbaugh, the talk radio host who ripped into liberals, foretold the rise of Donald Trump and laid waste to political correctness with a merry brand of malice that made him one of the most powerful voices on the American right, died Wednesday. He was 70.

Limbaugh, an outspoken lover of cigars, had been diagnosed with lung cancer. His death was announced on his website.

President Trump, during a State of the Union speech, awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honour.

Rush Limbaugh: A Career of More Than 30 Years

Unflinchingly conservative, wildly partisan, bombastically self-promoting and larger than life, Limbaugh galvanized listeners for more than 30 years with his talent for vituperation and sarcasm.

He called himself an entertainer. However, his rants during his three-hour weekday radio show broadcast on nearly 600 U.S. stations shaped the national political conversation. This swayed ordinary Republicans and the direction of their party.

Blessed with a made-for-broadcasting voice, he delivered his opinions with such certainty that his followers, or “Ditto-heads,” as he dubbed them, took his words as sacred truth.

“In my heart and soul, I know I have become the intellectual engine of the conservative movement,” Limbaugh, with typical immodesty, told author Zev Chafets in the 2010 book “Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One.”

Forbes magazine estimated his 2018 income at $84 million, ranking him behind only Howard Stern among radio personalities.

Limbaugh’s Many Monickers

Limbaugh took as a badge of honour the title “most dangerous man in America.” He said he was the “truth detector,” the “doctor of democracy,” a “lover of mankind,” a “harmless, lovable little fuzz ball” and an “all-around good guy.” He claimed he had “talent on loan from God.”

Long before Trump’s rise in politics, Limbaugh was pinning insulting names on his enemies. Also, he was raging against the mainstream media, accusing it of feeding the public lies. He called Democrats and others on the left communists, wackos, feminazis, liberal extremists, faggots and radicals.

When actor Michael J. Fox, suffering from Parkinson’s disease, appeared in a Democratic campaign commercial, Limbaugh mocked his tremors. When a Washington advocate for the homeless killed himself, he cracked jokes. As the AIDS epidemic raged in the 1980s, he made the dying a punchline. He called 12-year-old Chelsea Clinton a dog.

Limbaugh on Politics

He suggested that the Democrats’ stand on reproductive rights would have led to the abortion of Jesus Christ. When a woman accused Duke University lacrosse players of rape, he derided her. Meanwhile, when a Georgetown University law student supported expanded contraceptive coverage, he dismissed her as a “slut.” When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, Limbaugh said: “I hope he fails.”

He was frequently accused of bigotry and blatant racism for such antics as playing the song “Barack the Magic Negro” on his show. The lyrics, set to the tune of “Puff, the Magic Dragon,” describe Obama as someone who “makes guilty whites feel good” and is “black, but not authentically.”

Limbaugh often enunciated the Republican platform better and more entertainingly than any party leader. He became a GOP kingmaker whose endorsement and friendship was sought. Polls consistently found he was regarded as the voice of the party.

His idol, Ronald Reagan, wrote a letter of praise that Limbaugh proudly read on the air in 1992: “You’ve become the number one voice for conservatism.” In 1994, Limbaugh was so widely credited with the first Republican takeover of Congress in 40 years that the GOP made him an honorary member of the new class.

On the 2016 Elections

During the 2016 presidential primaries, Limbaugh said he realized early on that Trump would be the nominee, and he likened the candidate’s deep connection with his supporters to his own. In a 2018 interview, he conceded Trump is rude but said that is because he is “fearless and willing to fight against the things that no Republican has been willing to fight against.”

Trump, for his part, heaped praise on Limbaugh, and they golfed together. (The president’s Mar-a-Lago estate is eight miles down the same Palm Beach boulevard as Limbaugh’s $40 million beachfront expanse.) In honoring Limbaugh at the State of the Union, Trump called his friend “a special man beloved by millions.”

Widespread Influence

Limbaugh influenced the likes of Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and countless other conservative commentators who pushed the boundaries of what passes as acceptable public discourse.

His brand of blunt, no-gray-area debate spread to cable TV, town hall meetings, political rallies and Congress itself. They have emerged during the battles over health care and the ascent of the tea party movement.

“What he did was to bring a paranoia and really mean, nasty rhetoric and hyperpartisanship into the mainstream,” said Martin Kaplan, a University of Southern California professor who is an expert on the intersection of politics and entertainment and a frequent critic of Limbaugh. “The kind of antagonism and vituperativeness that characterized him instantly became acceptable everywhere.”

In one breathless segment in 1991, he railed against the homeless, AIDS patients, criticism of Christopher Columbus, aid to the Soviet Union, condoms in schools, animal rights advocates, multiculturalism and the social safety net.

His foes accused him of trafficking in half-truths, bias and outright lies — the very tactics he decried in others. Al Franken, the comedian and one-time senator, came out with a book in 1996 called “Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations.”

Life Challenges

In 2003, Limbaugh admitted an addiction to painkillers and went into rehab. Authorities opened an investigation into alleged “doctor shopping,” saying he received up to 2,000 pills from four doctors over six months.

He ultimately reached a deal with prosecutors in which they agreed to drop the charge if he continued with drug treatment and paid $30,000 toward the cost of the investigation.

He lost his hearing around that time. Limbaugh said it was from an autoimmune disorder, while his critics said hearing loss is a known side effect of painkiller abuse. He received cochlear implants, which restored his hearing and saved his career.

A portly, round-faced figure, Limbaugh had to deal with divorce three times, after marrying Roxy Maxine McNeely in 1977, Michelle Sixta in 1983 and Marta Fitzgerald in 1994. He married his fourth wife, Kathryn Rogers, in a lavish 2010 ceremony featuring Elton John. He had no children.

Limbaugh and His Passion for Commentary

Rush Hudson Limbaugh III was born Jan. 12, 1951, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. His mother was the former Mildred Armstrong, and his father, Rush Limbaugh Jr., was a lawyer.

Rusty, as the younger Limbaugh was known, was chubby and shy. He had little interest in school but a passion for broadcasting. He would turn down the radio during St. Louis Cardinals baseball games, offering play-by-play, and gave running commentary during the evening news. By high school, he had snagged a radio job.

Limbaugh dropped out of Southeast Missouri State University.  He, instead, chose to do a string of DJ gigs. They came from his hometown, to McKeesport, Pennsylvania, to Pittsburgh and then Kansas City. Known as Rusty Sharpe and then Jeff Christie on the air, he mostly spun Top 40 hits. He also sprinkled in glimpses of his wit and conservatism.

“One of the early reasons radio interested me was that I thought it would make me popular,” he once wrote.

But he didn’t gain the following he craved and gave up on radio for several years. Starting in 1979, he became the promotions director for baseball’s Kansas City Royals. He ultimately returned to broadcasting, again in Kansas City and then Sacramento, California.

It was there in the early 1980s that Limbaugh really garnered an audience, broadcasting shows dripping with sarcasm and bravado. The stage name was gone.

Rise to Prominence

Limbaugh began broadcasting nationally in 1988 from WABC in New York. While his know-it-all commentary quickly gained traction, he felt dismayed by his reception in the big city. He thought Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather would welcome him.

“I came to New York,” he wrote, “and I immediately became a nothing, a zero.”

Ultimately, Limbaugh moved his radio show to Palm Beach and bought his massive estate. Talkers Magazine, which covers the industry, said Limbaugh had the nation’s largest audience in 2019. He had 15 million unique listeners each week.

“When Rush wants to talk to America, all he has to do is grab his microphone. He attracts more listeners with just his voice than the rest of us could ever imagine,” Beck wrote in Time magazine in 2009. “He is simply on another level.”

Other Works

Limbaugh expounded on his world view in the bestselling books “The Way Things Ought to Be” and “See, I Told You So.”

He had a late-night TV show in the 1990s. It garnered decent ratings but lacklustre advertising because of his divisive message. When he guest-hosted “The Pat Sajak Show” in 1990, audience members called him a Nazi and repeatedly shouted at him.

He was fired from a short-lived job as an NFL commentator on ESPN in 2003. It came after he said the media had made a star out of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. It was “very desirous that a black quarterback do well,” he said. His racial remarks also derailed a 2009 bid to become one of the owners of the NFL’s St. Louis Rams.

“Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and just think to yourself, `I am just full of hot gas?’” David Letterman asked him in 1993 on “The Late Show.”

“I am a servant of humanity,” Limbaugh replied. He added, “I am in the relentless pursuit of the truth. I actually sit back and think that I’m just so fortunate to have this opportunity to tell people what’s really going on.”

Up Next:

Source: Associated Press

Continue Reading
7 Comments

7 Comments

  • Avatar Whit Woodaed says:

    Saddened at the loss of Rush Limbaugh today. I was blessed by his sage and insightful analysis of many things. Even in death he is exposing the despicable vitriol and satanic hatred of the leftists as we read their remarks about him on social media. Rush was a decent fellow who genuinely loved people and who possessed the courage to confront them with truth even when it brought him disdain. He was a true friend to millions and he always laced his conservative views with encouragement when hope was illusive. When the advance of socialism or the decline of American principles darkened my spirit, I could always count on him to encourage me. His sense of humor in the presence of fearful threats often won the day. The hatred that is now spewing forth from the polluted tongues and poisoned pens of many on the left is but a testimony of how effective a communicator he was. They couldn’t contest him and they couldn’t cancel him. Rest In peace our old friend. We will miss you.

  • Avatar Earl says:

    come on man. Can’t you do more than a sorry obit from the AP. Shame on you.

  • Avatar Branden Oconnell says:

    I don’t normally speak I’ll of the dead but for racist bigot I will thank god he’s gone maybe we can find compromise again without this idiot mudding the waters with his disgraceful opinions good riddance

  • Avatar Robert Scott says:

    Poor Rush L & family!
    POOR AMERICA!!
    Rush was 1 of America’s finest!
    He’ll be missed immeasurably, starting 2moro, about lunchtime!

  • Avatar James Mitchell says:

    Please be respectful to the family by not showing your character trashing the late great Rush Limbaugh. There has never been anyone like him and doubtful there ever will be. He spoke truths and will be profoundly and forever missed. He was loved by millions of Americans and even through his suffering he stood strong giving encouragement to others. He walks with the Lord, out of pain, and I bet, still standing strong for each of us here!
    God bless you Katherine and David. Rest In Peace dear kind soul!

  • Avatar Earl says:

    Peace be with you.We be looking up looking down on us. Thank you all you have done.

  • Avatar Phyllis Poole says:

    He would not have had to die of cancer. Too many rely on big Pharma to cure them Cancer is a fungus. Acid feeds it. Alkaline starve it. Drugs have no effect on it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Copyright © 2020 Breaking News Alerts. This copyrighted material may not be republished without express permission. The information presented here is for general educational purposes only. MATERIAL CONNECTION DISCLOSURE: You should assume that this website has an affiliate relationship and/or another material connection to the persons or businesses mentioned in or linked to from this page and may receive commissions from purchases you make on subsequent web sites. You should not rely solely on information contained in this email to evaluate the product or service being endorsed. Always exercise due diligence before purchasing any product or service. This website contains advertisements.

[email]
[email]