Links and Comments: RL, as despicable as DJT

Vox: Rush Limbaugh’s toxic legacy, subtitled “Rush Limbaugh is dead at 70. The Republican Party he poisoned is very much alive.”

He repeatedly mocked the death of gay men from AIDS in the 1980s, suggested that the Clintons murdered their aide Vince Foster in the 1990s, called the NBA “the Thug Basketball Association” in 2004, and claimed that college student Sandra Fluke owed him a sex tape in return for taxpayer-subsidized birth control in 2012. He once did an impression of former Chinese President Hu Jintao that consisted mostly of saying “ching chong” over and over again; he had a guest on to sing a song titled “Barack the Magic Negro.”

These examples are not cherry-picked. Bigotry dressed up as “jokes” or “entertainment” were the stock in trade of Limbaugh’s show; he built and maintained a massive audience across decades not in spite of this commentary, but because of it.

Slate: Rush Limbaugh Wasn’t Funny, subtitled “His legacy is not his humor or his showmanship or even his politics. It’s that he was a fabulist and a bully—and it worked.”

Limbaugh showed moguls and entrepreneurs that the way to succeed in media was to abandon factual argument and ceaselessly repeat an ever-growing list of inane smears and theories about the left. These tactics made Limbaugh a wealthy man—and America all the poorer for his long-looming presence.

And Slate: Rush Limbaugh Was Trapped in the ’80s, subtitled “It’s his fault that our politics were, too.”

New Republic: Rush Limbaugh Made America Worse, subtitled “The racist, sexist radio host played a pivotal role in injecting cruelty and conspiracy into conservative mass media.”

The Week: Rush Limbaugh taught Republicans to rage

It is said that we should not speak ill of the dead. But how should one remark on the life of a man who made hundreds of millions of dollars mocking and demeaning the dead and the dying?

MSNBC: How Rush Limbaugh helped to create Trump’s America, subtitled “It can be hard to tell where Trump begins and Limbaugh ends — but Limbaugh did it first.”

Now you see why Trump bestowed upon Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2020. Thanks to Limbaugh, Trump saw, along with much of America, that he could be just as bigoted, sexist and cruel as he wanted without fear of losing supporters — even when you lose a presidential election. In fact, Trump knew from Limbaugh’s success that, to the contrary, it would delight millions.

In short, Limbaugh was Trump way before Trump. And it was Limbaugh who peeled away the curtain to show people that bigotry, cruelty and sexism could be very, very profitable. Trump simply used that model to trade in financial gains for political ones.

That’s a quick 20 minutes of Google searches and copying selected quotes from articles. And now I intend to dismiss RL and DJT from polluting my mind, as best I can, forever.

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