Rush Limbaugh dies

Here are the titles and/or subtitles of some of his obituaries:

NBC News: “The Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree outraged critics with his long history of sexist, homophobic and racist remarks.”

Washington Post: “Rush Limbaugh, conservative radio provocateur and cultural phenomenon, dies at 70.”

NPR: “Talk Show Rush Limbaugh, a Conservative Lodestar, Dies at 70”

Fox News: “Rush Limbaugh, conservative talk radio pioneer, dead at 70. Limbaugh’s death, following Stage IV lung cancer diagnosis, announced by family.”

BBC: Rush Limbaugh, provocative US radio host, dies aged 70

USA Today: Rush Limbaugh, conservative radio titan, has died of lung cancer at age 70

Associated Press: “Rush Limbaugh, ‘voice of American conservatism,’ has died.”

Daily Beast: “Rush Limbaugh, the Human Megaphone Who Hijacked the GOP, Dead at 70.”

CNBC: “Rush Limbaugh, the incendiary radio talk show host, dies at age 70.”

New York Times: “Rush Limbaugh, Who Built Talk Radio Into Right-Wing Attack Machine, Dies.”

Newsmax: “Rush Limbaugh, Talk Radio Legend, Dies at 70 of Lung Cancer.”

Breitbart: “Talk Radio Legend Rush Limbaugh Dies at 70”

Boston Globe: “Rush Limbaugh, conservative talk radio host who employed vicious, but influential rhetoric, dies.”

Los Angeles Times: “Rush Limbaugh, highly influential conservative radio host, dies at 70.”

I started listening to Rush Limbaugh in the 1990s. A bunch of students on my dorm floor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois were ditto heads. I was never a big fan of Rush’s politics, but I was fascinated by his talent. I had never heard anything like his show before. For the next twenty-five years I tuned-in to Limbaugh’s program on road trips. There are places on the Pennsylvania Turnpike where Limbaugh’s show was the only clear-channel option available on AM radio. I was nearly always angered by Limbaugh’s divisive rhetoric, but I was always entertained.

Rush Limbaugh’s show was often filled with hate and bigotry. He bears responsibility for much of our dysfunctional political culture today.

If you want to understand Limbaugh in historical context, I recommend these books:

Brian Rosenwald, Talk Radio’s America: How an Industry Took Over a Political Party That Took Over the United States

Nicole Hemmer, Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics

Paul Matzko, The Radio Right: How a Band of Broadcasters Took on the Federal Government and Built the Modern Conservative Movement

Here are some posts on Limbaugh from The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

February 2, 2021: “The San Francisco Board of Education and the “Just-the-Facts-Fallacy

November 20, 2020: “Emotional Rush Limbaugh caller says he will die for Trump

March 13, 2020: “Why Does Rush Limbaugh Think He Knows Better Than Anthony Fauci?

February 5, 2020: “Last Night’s Reality Television Show (Also Known as the State of the Union)

November 27, 2013: “Tracy McKenzie “Flips the Bird” on Rush Limbaugh

February 5, 2011: “Wilfred McClay-Jonathan Chait Dustup Over the Meaning of Rush Limbaugh

April 1, 2009: “Limbaugh Joins the Christian Left

ADDENDUM (2:02pm). I am really intrigued by this revealing comment on my FB page: “There was a generation of Christian who used to listen to Moody or Family Life radio all day, and sometime around 1990 they decided to listen to Rush five times a week instead. And here we are.”