THE DAILY REFORMER (NEW YORK, UNITED STATES)
In a glaring revelation of agenda, the mainstream media leveraged the Wednesday cancer death of conservative talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh as a means of bashing former President Trump and the conservative movement as a whole. With great transparency, the media powers that be twisted their obligatory obituaries into laundry lists of Limbaugh’s wrongdoings, often painting him as a scapegoat for the political division of the entire country, less than a day after the news of his passing.
NBC’s coverage was perhaps the most blatant use of Limbaugh’s death as yet another opportunity to criticize former President Donald Trump.
“Both sides are likely to agree on at least one thing: By turning conservative angst and anger into a national movement, Limbaugh helped lay the foundation for Fox News and then the presidency of Donald Trump. Trump in turn awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom,” NBC wrote in its piece covering Limbaugh’s passing titled “Before Fox News and President Trump, there was Rush Limbaugh.”
“In that time, Limbaugh became famous for attacking myriad targets: immigrants, Muslims, feminists and environmentalists. He mimicked Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease, promoted the false claim that President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. and thus couldn’t be president, and spread deep-state conspiracy theories. Most recently, he became known for defending Trump, dismissing the risks of coronavirus and casting doubt on the integrity of the 2020 election.”
Rather than simply criticize Limbaugh, NBC repeatedly blamed him for the supposed disaster of the Trump Presidency. “Many of those attacks and conspiracies would be advanced by Trump, whom Limbaugh vehemently supported even as Trump’s own celebrity among conservatives eclipsed that of the radio host himself.”
The Washington Post published an interview with a historian meant to analyze Limbaugh’s legacy. Its author described it as a look at the legend’s “poisonous impact on our politics.”
If you want to understand Rush Limbaugh's poisonous impact on our politics, you couldn't ask for a better guide than @rickperlstein, the great historian of the New Right.
So I talked to Perlstein at length about Limbaugh. Great big-picture stuff here:https://t.co/6QJKw0706r
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) February 17, 2021
“Limbaugh himself picked up the birtherism. Can you talk about how that showed his continued poisoning of conservative politics?” WaPo opinion columnist Greg Sargent asked conservative movement historian Rick Perlstein, on the day of Limbaugh’s death.
This question was part of an interview supposedly meant to help “understand Limbaugh’s true legacy.”
“Rush Limbaugh, who became one the nation’s most popular conservative radio talk-show hosts and who was often criticized by many as being both a racist and misogynist, died today at 70,” wrote PBS Newshour White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor in a tweet accompanied by the WaPo interview.
Rush Limbaugh, who became one the nation’s most popular conservative radio talk-show hosts and who was often criticized by many as being both a racist and misogynist, died today at 70. https://t.co/AQfg9408DM
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) February 17, 2021
CNN’s coverage referred to a “penchant for pushing conspiracy theories and peddling misinformation that benefited Trump and the other political figures.”
“Using his sizable platform, Limbaugh advanced conservative ideas, though he often waded into conspiratorial waters and generated controversy for hateful commentary on gender and race,” reported CNN.
“More recently, Limbaugh appeared to approve of some forms of political violence in the immediate aftermath of the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol,” the CNN obituary reads. “He also drew backlash at the outset of the pandemic when he dismissed the coronavirus as the “common cold” and contended that it was being “weaponized” by members of the mainstream press to bludgeon Trump and harm his re-election chances.”
In an effort to be flip, the New York Times erased Limbaugh’s African American producer in awkward forced-humor line implying that the man may not have actually existed.
“Unlike Howard Stern, Don Imus and other big names in shock radio, Mr. Limbaugh had no on-the-air sidekicks, though he had conversations with the unheard voice of someone he called “Bo Snerdly,” reports the Times.
Bo Snerdly, Limbaugh’s longtime producer, is in fact a real, bereaved person — as a quick Google search would tell you.
Does the NYT obit suggest Bo Snerdley is not actually a real person? pic.twitter.com/HvHD75jHXS
— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) February 17, 2021
The New York Times coverage of Limbaugh’s passing was so extensive as to mock other networks for their coverage.
“Fox News dedicated hours of coverage on Wednesday to praise Rush Limbaugh, the right-wing talk radio star whose aggressive and often divisive rhetoric helped pave the way for the network’s prime time hosts,” reported the Times, in a hard hitting piece titled “Fox News devotes hours to Rush Limbaugh tributes.” The article served mostly as a dig at the network, using the death of a 70-year-old cancer victim to do so.
“When Barack Obama ran for president in 2008, Mr. Limbaugh promoted the falsehood that Mr. Obama had been born outside the United States and lent support to Mr.Trump’s recent claims of election fraud. On his Dec. 23 program, he acknowledged his influence on Fox News,” read the report.
In its obituary-style piece, the Times made sure to mention that Limbaugh peddled “conspiracy theories” and include derogatory comments about him from political opponents.
“His conspiracy theories ranged from bald-faced lies about Barack Obama’s birthplace — the president “has yet to have to prove that he’s a citizen,” he said falsely in 2009 — to claims that Mr. Obama’s 2009 health care bill would empower ‘death panels’ and ‘euthanize’ elderly Americans. In the wake of last year’s election, he amplified Mr. Trump’s groundless claims of voter fraud; on President Biden’s Inauguration Day, during one of his final broadcasts, he insisted to listeners that the new administration had ‘not legitimately won it.’”
“In 1995, in the days after the Oklahoma City bombing, President Bill Clinton denounced the “promoters of paranoia” on talk radio — remarks that were widely seen as aimed at Mr. Limbaugh. ‘We hear so many loud and angry voices in America today whose sole goal seems to be to try to keep some people as paranoid as possible and the rest of us all torn up and upset with each other,’ Mr. Clinton said.”
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