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 was 70.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, during the State of the Union address Tuesday night. Limbaugh, 69, a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, announced Monday he is battling advanced lung cancer. Trump said the diagnosis was not good news, […]
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Conservative radio host and Republican kingmaker Rush Limbaugh said he’s been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. Addressing listeners on his program Monday, Limbaugh said he will take some days off for further medical tests and to determine treatment. “I have to tell you something today that I wish I didn’t have […]
With a killer hurricane approaching fast, the right-wing provocateur chose to bash TV stations for their weather coverage and suggest to his listeners that the threat of Irma was being overblown. This was right before he fled his Florida studio. You would think the man never sat in front of a live microphone before.
The bad news in the Rush Limbaugh controversy is that while some people are recommending that the FCC take him off the air or think he should be prosecuted; and after a number of his advertisers have been cowed into dropping his show, most of the media and journalism organizations one might expect to defend him have remained silent. Looking beyond the campaign against Limbaugh, one can see that this and kindred efforts aren’t going to end well for freedom of speech.
This anti-Limbaugh movement is starting to look like a mob. Other radio personalities without Rush’s bank account or following may pull back from lusty debate for fear they could be the next target of advertiser boycotts. And it will give TV broadcasters one more reason to avoid political speech (or anything else) that would rile viewers and risk unhappy advertisers. Not that they need another reason. Perhaps conditioned from all those years operating under the fairness doctrine, TV stations for the most part have acted as if it were still in effect.
We’ve always had terrible examples to defend. And Rush Limbaugh has given us another stellar specimen of vulgar discourse. But defend it we must. Not the hateful, demeaning and discomfiting words. But the right of our colleague — the social commentator — to be heard. And the right of the people to decide.
I believe Rush Limbaugh is racist and hateful — attributes that don’t necessarily proscribe someone from standing on a broadcast soapbox and spewing venom. That’s why we need someone like the legendary Edward R. Murrow to thoroughly examine Limbaugh’s record. To show the extent to which his positions and viewpoints lack any evidence and then to do an engaging and scathing expose stating the case. Maybe then some of his loyal legions will wake up and at least find someone with a brain to worship.