In the post-Reagan years — well before the launch of Fox News or the Internet — Rush Limbaugh was a lifeline for conservatives who had their beliefs incessantly mocked by the liberal media. As he built a massive audience of millions, the leftist media increasingly viewed him as a threat and sought to destroy him. But they failed.
Sadly, their hatred and venom against Limbaugh only grew over the decades, and it spilled over in an ugly display within minutes (in some cases) of his passing last Wednesday.
The following are the most disgusting attacks on the conservative broadcast giant in the last week by lefty journalists and Hollywood celebrities:
Spitting on Rush’s Grave
“Limbaugh reached millions of listeners via his golden microphone with his shows airing in small stations out in rural America….hardening rural white listeners and weaponizing white male grievance….A guy who took white Americans, out there in the hinterlands and fed them a narrative of…. ‘You’re the victim. The black people, the brown people, the women, the feminazis, they’re taking it from you. They’re taking things from you.’ And it kept people so hyper and amped up that he then was able to turn that into politics….He racialized and he got white Americans to hate the Affordable Care Act. He called President Obama, ‘Barack the Magic Negro,’ and used his black sidekick as a cover to be able to do that outright racist stuff.”
— Host Joy Reid on MSNBC’s The ReidOut, February 17. Limbaugh’s song parody mocked liberal Los Angeles Times columnist David Ehrenstein’s March 19, 2007 column “Obama the ‘Magic Negro.’”
“He was not a deep thinker. He was not a thought leader….He popularized conservative ideas, but he also played a very central role in the derangement of it. So his legacy is a conservative movement that is, in fact, more dishonest, more open to dishonesty, crueler, dumber than it was before….[Limbaugh] laid the groundwork for him [Donald Trump]....a role model in the way that you could twist truth. The way that you could use insults and ad hominem attacks instead of actually dealing with ideas….The bottom line, dirty secret about Rush Limbaugh is he was utterly uninterested in ideas….It is a dark legacy….Even when he was confronted with his own mortality, he saved the worst for the last.”
— The Bulwark editor and former radio talk show host Charlie Sykes on MSNBC’s The ReidOut, February 17.
NYT Slimes: Limbaugh’s “Venom” Fomented “Mistrust, Grievances” and “Hatred”
“Rush Limbaugh, the right-wing radio megastar whose slashing, divisive style of mockery and grievance reshaped American conservatism, denigrating Democrats, environmentalists, ‘feminazis’ (his term) and other liberals while presaging the rise of Donald J. Trump, died on Wednesday….He became a singular figure in the American media, fomenting mistrust, grievances and even hatred on the right for Americans who did not share his and his followers’ views, and he pushed baseless claims and toxic rumors long before Twitter and Reddit became havens for such disinformation. In politics, he was not only an ally of Mr. Trump but also a precursor, combining media fame, right-wing scare tactics and over-the-top showmanship to build an enormous fan base and mount attacks on truth and facts.”
— New York Times obituary writer Robert McFadden and media reporter Michael Grynbaum in February 18 front page obit.
“Rush Limbaugh was a uniquely merciless media voice whose influence frightened and awed presidents for three decades — often at moments of trauma for the nation and of political upheaval that they could trace back to something uttered through the combative radio host’s microphone….Few media stars were as crucial in making disinformation, false rumors and fringe ideas the right’s new reality….Mr. Limbaugh’s recklessness with the truth and lack of any evident concern for the danger posed by feeding paranoia on the right served him well once Mr. Trump became the Republican nominee in 2016 and later the president.”
— New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters in February 17 online article “Rush Limbaugh’s Legacy of Venom: As Trump Rose, ‘It All Sounded Familiar.’ Weaponizing conspiracy theories and bigotry long before Donald Trump’s ascent, the radio giant helped usher in the political style that came to dominate the Republican Party.”
“Racist” “Bigoted” Limbaugh “Will Always Symbolize Division”
Host John King: “Limbaugh was an original, beyond a doubt, whether you agreed or disagreed. He created an entire industry with his voice, his brash, and his often inflammatory opinions.”
CNN Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter: “A pioneer of conservative media and a deeply polarizing figure….Critics blasted him for racist, sexist, and other offensive speech….A conservative media icon whose legacy will always symbolize division.”
— CNN live coverage within minutes of the announcement of Rush Limbaugh’s passing by his wife Kathryn on his syndicated radio show, February 17.
“The Rush Limbaugh Show quickly became known for its extreme conservative slant and Limbaugh’s, at times, racist and bigoted commentary….Rush Limbaugh, always brash, bold, powerful, and polarizing.”
— Correspondent Geoff Bennett within minutes of the announcement of Rush Limbaugh’s passing by his wife Kathryn on his syndicated radio show, as aired on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, February 17.
Correspondent Jim Axelrod: “Until the very end, Rush Limbaugh was divisive….The polarizing host helped pave the way for modern partisan media….And through the years often used his airwaves as a political weapon where mockery, anger, and insults were commonplace….His critics labeled him misogynist, racist, homophobic and always pushing an ‘us versus them’ mentality.”...
NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik: “He also paved the path for a Donald Trump presidency. A combination of showmanship, bombast, gleefulness, and at times bigotry and prejudice, knit together in a way that appalled his critics and enthused his fans.”
— CBS This Morning, February 18.
“Decades” of Limbaugh “Lies” and “Racist” “Misogynistic” Comments
“For decades, Limbaugh filled the airwaves with lies and conspiracy theories, racist and misogynistic comments....He often mocked women….Instead of knocking him off the airwaves, his commentary turned him into a national hero for the right and made him a very rich man.”
— Correspondent Randi Kaye on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, February 17.
Rush Brought “Hatred” to the Table of Conservatism
“Before there was Rush, there was Ronald Reagan, there was Barry Goldwater. What Rush brought to the table was attitude, was hatred….The notion of moving the Republican Party and….the conservative movement, away from being a cooperating participant in American democracy to being an opponent of democracy. So we’ve seen all the components of that: the conspiracy theories, the racism, the detachment from reality.”
— Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank on MSNBC’s The ReidOut, February 17.
Limbaugh’s “Brand of Malice” Often “Trafficked In Lies” and “Contempt” That “Veered Into Cruelty”
“Rush Limbaugh, the talk radio host who ripped into liberals and laid waste to political correctness with a captivating brand of malice that made him one of the most powerful voices in politics, influencing the rightward push of American conservatism and the rise of Donald Trump, died Wednesday...Limbaugh galvanized listeners for more than 30 years with his talent for sarcastic, insult-laced commentary….[Limbaugh] often trafficked in lies and conspiracies with contempt for his opposition that often veered into cruelty.”
— AP national reporter Matt Sedensky in a February 17 article.
Sick and Twisted Twitter Headlines
“Rush Limbaugh, Bigoted King of Talk Radio, Dies at 70.”
— February 17 tweet by Huffington Post official Twitter account.
“Noted fearmonger Rush Limbaugh died Wednesday. He was 70 and an asshole.”
— February 17 tweet by Deadspin official Twitter account that linked to an article headlined “Rush Limbaugh, dead at 70, spewed racist filth from every pulpit including ESPN’s.”
Insulted “Enemies” and “Average People” In “Deeply Offensive Ways”
“He [Rush Limbaugh] held huge power and sway over Republicans in Congress and over several administrations. Promoting his allies while insulting his political enemies and average people alike, many times in deeply offensive ways.”
— Host Katy Tur on MSNBC Live, February 17.
“His Views Were Pretty Ugly and Hurt a Lot of People”
Host Brian Stelter: “He’s [Rush Limbaugh] remembered as a hate monger on the left. He was clearly a harbinger of many political changes in this country. Now the Florida governor says he’s going to fly the flags at half-staff in Florida in the coming days, whenever the funeral is scheduled. What’s your reaction to that decision?”...
CNN media analyst Bill Carter: “It’s kind of shocking…..The justification is really questionable….Limbaugh had a huge following and was very popular among….a group of right-wing listeners. But he wasn’t a heroic figure….His views were pretty ugly and they hurt a lot of people. They hurt some people personally....To make it a heroic thing or something that should be celebrated like….a war hero, you know, I find that pretty questionable.”
— CNN’s Reliable Sources, February 21.
Limbaugh “Weaponized White Male Grievance”
Co-host Sunny Hostin: “He [Rush Limbaugh] just normalized hatred. He normalized racism….I think he really weaponized white male grievance and….he sort of hardened these….rural, white listeners….sitting in their trucks in the middle of America, and in the South….This wasn’t someone who was a nice person. This is someone that spewed racism and hatred. Yet he is now considered….an influential person in building the modern Republican party and conservatism. To me, that’s not something to be proud of.”
Co-host Sara Haines: “He in a sense kind of bastardized the party in a way...I don’t like to even think of him as representing Republicans or conservatives. He represents very extreme views. He said a ton of despicable things….The first thing that ran through my head when I saw the news was, now it’s judgment day.”
— ABC’s The View, February 18.
Soulless Celebrities React to Limbaugh’s Passing
“#RushLimbaugh has gone to his reward. Bet it’s hot.”
— February 17 tweet by singer/actress Bette Midler.
“NO, #Newt, his BIRTH was a tragic moment. He was one of the vilest reptiles who ever trolled the planet. And of course, birds of a feather, Newt. Mend your ways, lest YOUR death bring the outpouring of joy so many feel at his demise.”
— February 17 tweet by Midler in response to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich calling Limbaugh’s passing a “tragic moment.”
“Me being Hellboy n shit, and having spent so much time in hades, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the poor devil who will no doubt have to spend the rest of eternity with Rush Limbaugh.”
— February 17 tweet by Hellboy actor Ron Perlman.
“A great symbol of rot, avarice and American carnage has finally left us, the moment met with sublime satisfaction by millions around the world. Yes, I’m talking Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino being imploded. What did you think I was talking about?”
— February 17 tweet by actor George Takei.