American radio host Rush Limbaugh has passed away at the age of 70. His wife Kathryn announced this at the start of the radio program that Limbaugh made weekly. Popular in conservative circles, Limbaugh had been suffering from lung cancer for some time.
Limbaugh is regarded as one of the most influential figures in the American media in recent decades. He has been making his program since 1984 The Rush Limbaugh Show, which earned him a loyal conservative base. He always presented from behind a golden microphone.
He became popular, but also controversial with it. His fans called him ‘America’s Anchorman ‘, his opponents saw him as a charlatan and as the most dangerous man in the United States.
Limbaugh’s program expanded slowly but steadily from California. In 1988 the show went nationwide, eventually reaching 600 channels. According to the program makers themselves, it is the most listened to talk show in the US, with 27 million people listening to it every week. Limbaugh preferred to talk about the news for three hours, without guests.
Limbaugh amassed a fortune and his program became a significant factor in the Republican Party. Republican Presidents George HW Bush, George W. Bush and Donald Trump stopped by the studio. Trump awarded Limbaugh last year with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award the US government gives to citizens.
Limbaugh received the Trump award in February 2020:
Limbaugh had a good relationship with President Trump. At the award ceremony, Trump thanked him for his “decades and tireless dedication” to the United States.
And when Trump was recovering from a corona infection, Limbaugh made a special broadcast for the president. Trump himself spoke for two hours. “We love you,” Limbaugh told Trump on behalf of his listeners.
Sexist and homophobic
The influential Limbaugh was also controversial, especially in progressive circles in the United States. He was discredited for racist, sexic and homophobic statements. He called former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton a ‘FemiNazi’, a term he used more often for feminists. He did not want to know about rights for the LGBTI community.
Conspiracy theory was also regularly voiced on his show. President Obama was not born in the United States, he says. It was also regularly about climate change, which, in spite of a lot of scientific evidence, is not the result of human actions, he says. He also promoted fewer rules, lower taxes for the rich, and American military interventions in the Middle East.
Allegations that the Russians had interfered with the US presidential election in 2016, he dismissed. According to him, the deep state behind it, and more specifically: former Obama employees who would still pull the strings at the intelligence organizations.
Limbaugh last presented his program two weeks ago. Like President Trump, he didn’t believe Joe Biden’s election win. According to him, the elections had not been fair. “We will not be docile as we were in the past, and we will wait until the next election,” he said.