Death of an Icon: Rush Limbaugh being remembered as ‘King of Talk Radio’

Conservative talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh has passed away. He is being both praised and panned, depending upon the point of view. (Fox, YouTube snip)

Rush Limbaugh, the kid from Cape Girardeau, Missouri who became a talk radio icon and earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2020, is being both fondly remembered and brutally portrayed on the news of his passing following a battle with lung cancer.

The 70-year-old Limbaugh died Wednesday. Conservatives are mourning his loss. Liberals are not.

In the Pacific Northwest, Limbaugh will be remembered as the guest at a gubernatorial campaign event for then-Republican candidate John Carlson, who took a break from his job as a talk radio host to run against liberal Democrat Gary Locke. After it was announced that Limbaugh would attend the Carlson rally, the location was moved to the Puyallup fairgrounds and between 35,000 and 40,000 people attended, making it the largest campaign rally in the history of Washington state, according to the Kitsap Sun.

The Washington Post called Limbaugh a “conservative radio provocateur and cultural phenomenon.”

The BBC said he voiced “racist, sexist and homophobic views throughout his career,” and called him a “climate change denier.”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette headlined his obituary noting he was an “influential voice of American conservatism.”

“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,” the newspaper said.

“He called himself an entertainer, but his rants during his three-hour weekday radio show broadcast on nearly 600 U.S. stations shaped the national political conversation, swaying ordinary Republicans and the direction of their party.”

According to CNN, Limbaugh was “the conservative media icon who for decades used his perch as the king of talk-radio to shape the politics of both the Republican Party and nation.”

He led an army of conservatives who called themselves “Ditto Heads.” He would infuriate liberals by attacking and dismantling their policies, quoting their embarrassing and often hypocritical comments, and declaring that he had “talent on loan from God.”

In a tribute to Limbaugh, former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany wrote Wednesday, “Rush was a giant in the conservative movement for a reason: he exhibited unrelenting boldness for the truth. He never backed down. You knew where he stood. And he was never, ever afraid to speak truth to power and challenge the mainstream media.”

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Former President Donald Trump, quoted by the Daily Caller, told Fox News Wednesday, “Three or four days ago. I called him just to find out, you know his fight was very, very courageous and he was very, very sick. From diagnosis on it was just something that was not going to be beaten, but you wouldn’t know it. And he is married to an incredible woman, Kathryn, who really, every time I spoke to him he would tell me how great she was. She took such great care. He was very brave. I mean he, in theory, could have been gone four months ago, really. He was fighting until the very end. He was a fighter.”

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