Rush Limbaugh’s Legacy of Venom: As Trump Rose, ‘It All Sounded Familiar’
Rush Limbaugh was a uniquely ruthless media voice whose influence has led to three decades of frightened and waking presidents – often for the nation and in moments of political turmoil, that they back something through the microphone of a combing radio host Could find
In 1992, as did President George HW Bush, Patrick J. Confronting a rebellion led by Buchanan, a rival Mr. Limbaugh had campaigned, Mr. Bush expanded an olive branch by inviting the host to stay overnight in the Lincoln bedroom. Mr. Limbaugh returned the favor by saying that the President was so kind, He took his guest bag Upwards.
In 1995, Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people in Oklahoma City with fertilizer bombs, President Bill Clinton said “Promoter of paranoia“The reprimand was widely seen on the airwaves as directed at Mr. Limborg.
And within minutes of Mr. Limborg’s announcement Died on wednesday, Former President Donald J. Trump called Fox News to express his condolences on live television. He praised his friend, a golfer in Palm Beach, Fla., For his honest claims about cheating with victory in last year’s presidential election.
Mr. Limbaugh was not the first conservative media star to endorse Mr. Trump for president. But they were among the first to popularize and normalize Republican leaders and voters – the style of politics that would be synonymous with the Trump name.
There was no person or subject who was off-limits to Mr. Limborg’s ire. Black people, gay men and lesbians, feminists, people with AIDS, the 12-year-old daughter of a president, An advocate for victims of domestic violence: all found the subject of rejection of a put-down by Mr. Limbaugh for years.
He carried out conspiracies about the alleged involvement of Mr. Clinton and his wife, Hillary, in the death of former deputy White House lawyer Vince Foster and Spread lies About the birthplace of former President Barack Obama. For example, he insisted in 2009 that Mr. Obama had yet to prove that he was a citizen “and almost always referred to him in the air using right-wing commentators, the former president’s middle name, Hussein, a trope .It led to the misconception that he was not American and possibly Muslim.
Some media stars were equally instrumental in creating disruptive, false rumors and making ideas a true new reality. Towards the end of the Trump presidency, Mr. Limba’s willingness to indulge the paranoia among Mr. Trump’s most ardent supporters was particularly powerful in misleading the public, to believe that the bad news about his president – Like any loss in November – was made by the bus the result of his enemy or nefarious plot.
In return, Mr. Limbaugh rarely apologized for his comments and often attacked those who called him out, arguing that they were taking him too seriously or putting his words out of context Were. Often, Mr Limbaugh denied that he said what his critics claimed.
Mr. Trump’s widespread appeal with voters initially confused many in politics. But anyone who was a regular listener to Mr. Limbaugh’s three-hour workday radio program, reaching about 15 million listeners each week, would have been less surprised.
“To conservatives, it all seemed familiar,” said Nicole Hemmer, a Columbia University media scholar and author of a book on Mr. Limbaugh and other conservative media figures.
“, Insults, nicknames, really derogatory statements – they were enjoying as political entertainment for a quarter-century before Donald Trump,” Dr. Said Hamer.
Mr. Limbaugh attacked black athletes such as quarterback Donovan McNab, for whose success he attributed to a news media that “very much desired that a black quarterback does well.” He called a former Chelsea Clinton “White House Dog”. He condemned Pete Buttigig, the first openly gay man, to be a serious contender for president, “a 37-year-old gay man kissing her husband on stage.”
Both Mr. Limbo and Mr. Trump made fun of people with disabilities. Mr. Limbaugh once shook his body during a broadcast to mimic Michael Michael Fox, who has Parkinson’s disease. In a similar performance, Mr. Trump once flapped in his arms Brutal copy of New York Times reporter Who has limited use of his upper body.
But it was more than his behavior. The manner in which his admirers were equally eager to defend the most precarious conduct of both men was an indication that the political division of the nation was stricter into something more personal and tribal. Mr. Limba’s most loyal listeners developed the ability to excuse almost anything he did and said that liberals were merely hysterical or hateful. And many loved him even more for this.
A conservative writer and podcast host, Ellie Beth Steke responded to the news of her death on Wednesday saying, “Rush hated all the right people.”
Mr. Limbaugh’s negligence, along with the truth of the danger posed by Mr. Trump’s 2016 nomination in the Republican nominee and later becoming president, and the lack of any clear concern. Mr. Limbaugh, who worked carefully with his producers to comb his fans through calls and emails, listened to his audience, but rarely ventured out on an organ where he could not be sure it would follow . And he was not initially an all-in on Mr. Trump.
But that changed after Mr. Trump won the nomination. Mr. Limborg’s loyalty to the president, whose Mar-a-Lago club in Florida is not far from his own maritime wealth, only strengthened as Mr. Trump’s conduct during the 2016 campaign became the subject of numerous investigations into office , A special consultation investigation and two impeachments.
Last year, Mr. Trump He was awarded the President’s Medal At the State of the Union address and the first woman was Melania Trump, who was hung around the ailing host’s neck.
And Mr. Limbaugh stood just behind the former president and was engulfed in political flames. He compared rioters who stormed the Capitol last month, as they believed lies about the election of Revolutionary War-era patriots from media personalities like Mr. Trump and myself. And the day President Biden was inaugurated, Mr. Limbaughey was claiming that it was all a hoax. “I think they know that this is something that is organized rather than legally sought and won,” he said, referring to Democrats.
Conservatism in the Republican Party and the rise of Mr. Limbaugh as the gatekeeper to the Kingmaker helped accelerate the trend in GOP politics to stay away from serious and strong-opinion leaders and politicians, and towards figures who are provocative, entertaining and intellectual Were opposites. Mr. Limbaugh – like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and other right-wing hosts who later broke up – did not graduate from college. He began his career in radio as a disc jockey, not as a political commentator.
Harvard scholar Brian Rosenwald said, “Without Rush Limba, there is no way to move from George HW Bush’s party to Donald Trump’s party.” He said, “For over 32 years, he has inspired his audience to listen to what they want to hear and what they are hungry for. And it thrilled him to hear someone who said he would feel uncomfortable saying what he thought. And Trump applied it to politics. “
Before Fox News came into existence in 1996 – the brainchild of Roger Isles, a friend and lifelong boss of Mr. Limbaugh, and attempted peace with Mr. Bush in 1992 – Mr. Limbaugh was the undisputed king of conservative media. He formed a personal bond with his audience which, like the National Review, was not something of a high opinion of the right.
“I remember it was the first time that this was a universal feeling that everyone was listening to, and people would ask, ‘Have you heard that” Rush said today? “” Said Ras Schaffer, a senior Republican media consultant.
He said, “The conservative media market is now very fragmented.” “But it was in a pre-Fox world. And at the time, he was the quintessential voice of conservative politics in America. “
Mr. Limbaugh was hardly polite or ignorant of how he could stop the reaction of the President of the United States. In 2013, with Mr. Obama criticizing Republicans and “worried about what Rush Limbaugh might say about them”, Mr. Limbaugh claimed with more pride than annoyance: “He just can’t get me off my mind Can get it out. I live on rent in his head. “
Isabella Grulon Paz And Alaina Plot Contributed to reporting.