|And a dirty dozen more|
“”Women are having so much sex they can't afford their birth control.
|—Rush's understanding of health 101|
“”I've got the solution to most crime in America. From this day forward, somebody propose it, liberals should not be allowed to buy guns. It's just that simple. Liberals should have their speech controlled and not be allowed to buy guns.
|—Rush thinking he has the solution to America's problems|
Rush Hudson Limbaugh III (1951–2021), also known as "Rash Libel", was an American conspiracy theorist, a liar, and a bigot with a vile sense of humor, who hosted The Rush Limbaugh Show (TRLS) from 1988 until 2021. Hatched from a slimy pit in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Limbaugh hit the big time after the Ronald Reagan administration revoked the Fairness Doctrine, and has been credited with reviving AM radio in the United States. He is widely viewed as the catalyst for the Republican Party's congressional victories in 1994. When high-ranking Republicans disagreed with him in public, they were required to kiss his ring and apologize.
Rush fans are known colloquially as "dittoheads", a label that his most loyal listeners wore like a badge of honor. They listened to TRLS because Rush told them things they wanted to hear and made them feel like they weren't crazy to have right-wing political leanings from the early 20th century. One of the most amazing things is that a cretin like Rush had found so much acceptance from the evangelical Christians; he gave them a platform and reinforced their religious angst.
In March 2012, while taking aim at the politicized birth control issue, Limbaugh seemed to have largely overstepped common decency, but somehow remained on the air and kept making as much money as ever. In honor of his major role in creating the exact sort of divisive, caustic political environment that would be necessary to get someone like Donald Trump elected as President, Trump awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom in February 2020.
In January 2020, Rush Limbaugh had a confirmed diagnosis of advanced lung cancer, and underwent treatment in February. Limbaugh was a known tobacco smoker and denialist ("I would like a medal for smoking cigars"), so it should not have surprised anyone. In October 2020, he announced that he was finally going to shut up, as his cancer was terminal. On February 17, 2021, Rush Limbaugh emitted a death gurgle, and multiple outlets reported him dead at age 70. His death was confirmed on the same day by his wife at the start of his radio program.[note 1]
Promotion of pseudoscience
|—On the dangers of Martian leftism|
A caller inquires, "Your belief in God, how does that tell you that global warming is a hoax?" Rush explains how it ought to be: "I just intellectually cannot accept the fact that a loving God which has created all this beauty and has blessed this country — I cannot believe that a God like that — would punish the human being he created for progress, for improving the quality of his life [bla bla babble bla babble bla bla]".
God might punish some obscure African tribe with a miserable malaria infection, but only if they don't get it together, have their family learn a new language, and sell enough ten-cent wooden spoons to relocate to God's country. Asking us to give up a four-hour commute going 5 MPH in traffic, breathing automobile exhaust and plasticizers, with the AC fighting the solar oven effect — what kind of a cruel God would ask us to give up this prosperous lifestyle?
However, Limbaugh argues, even if the polar ice caps melted it wouldn't cause sea levels to rise--because if the ice cubes in a glass of water melts, the amount of water doesn't change. Of course, the planet is nothing like a glass of water so in reality if all the polar ice caps melted the sea levels would rise by about two hundred feet.:17
Limbaugh did not speak regularly about his belief in evolution or creationism, but he occasionally blew off fossil findings and denounced evolution as more or less bullshit. He espoused explicit belief in creationism at one time or another. In Limbaugh's opinion, evolution could not possibly true because gorillas and other animals in zoos do not become human.
“”[...] the radicals are gonna try to get hold of these ticks and mass produce them, mass grow 'em and spread 'em all over the country in order to get people to stop eating beef [...] If you're a vegetarian and you don't realize there's a political agenda attached to what you're doing, you're being duped.
A phony soldier, according to Limbaugh (who was not accepted for military service because of a big cyst on his ass),[note 2] was any soldier who served in Iraq and then spoke out against the Iraq War. This definition was expanded by other chickenhawks to include decorated Vietnam War veterans such as Jack Murtha and John Kerry, who were also critical of that war.
- Limbaugh accused Michael J. Fox of faking symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
- Limbaugh doesn't like environmentalists. He believes they were ultimately responsible for the 2010 BP oil spill. He's also under impression that most of them are a bunch of secular atheists, of course, since if they don't worship God, they must think nature instead has a deity characteristic![better source needed]
- Limbaugh thought political correctness and ACORN caused the banking crisis.
- Limbaugh made an incredibly racist imitation of Chinese president, which consisted of him saying "Chin chau gon don gong kao song" for almost five minutes. He was forced to apologize by the Asian community.
- According to Limbaugh, if one receives taxpayer-paid birth control, their acts should be posted online for everyone (presumably him) to see.
- Defended the brutal Christian terrorist group, the Lord's Resistance Army, when Obama announced he was sending military advisors to help fight them.
- Decided that a hidden lesson of the Boston Marathon bombing was that white people are horribly oppressed while dark-skinned people are not, mainly because a white suspect would've been more readily identified and his background information revealed.
- Limbaugh once claimed that Styrofoam and plastic are biodegradable but paper isn't.:19
“”If there is consent on both or all three or all four, however many are involved in the sex act, it's perfectly fine. Whatever it is. But if the left ever senses and smells that there's no consent in part of the equation then here come the rape police. But consent is the magic key to the left.
|—Limbaugh complaining that the "left" sends the "rape police" whenever rape happens|
- Limbaugh spent years railing against drug users and addicts, calling for harsh penalties for them. When it came out in 2003 that he was an OxyContin addict, he considered it somehow different when he was the one abusing drugs rather than other people, to the point of acting flippantly dismissive when caught with a Viagra bottle that was not prescribed to him three years later.
- Limbaugh was married four times. His third marriage ceremony, in 1994, was officiated by kiss-arse Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and held at Thomas' house. His fourth marriage involved a performance by his token gay friend Elton John, at the cost of $1 million. (Ironically, given Rush Limbaugh's history of using AIDS to make racist and homophobic "jokes", all earnings from Elton John's private concerts go to his charity, the Elton John AIDS Foundation.)
- He never had any children of his own[note 3], despite going after same-sex marriage by declaring "Marriage is about raising children. That's the purpose of the institution.":87
Status as a conservative
Rush claimed to be the "prestigious Attila the Hun chair" of the "Limbaugh Institute of Advanced Conservative Studies". Or perhaps he was sitting in it. In 1995 Limbaugh touted the Zogby Poll as the most accurate because Zogby did not show President Bill Clinton's approval ratings as high as other mainstream news organizations did. Limbaugh became responsible for the little-known pollster's growing success, so much so that by 2016 Zogby was among a handful of Democratic superdelegates backing insurgent Bernie Sanders. Heckofajob, Rush!
Rush, political boss
“”So I shamelessly say, no, I want him to fail, if his agenda is a far-left collectivism, some people say socialism, as a conservative heartfelt, deeply, why would I want socialism to succeed?
|—Rush Limbaugh on President Obama, 2009|
By the spring of 2009, Limbaugh began to be seen as the de facto leader of the Republican Party. Following a controversial on-air statement to his own party about "wanting Obama to fail", Limbaugh demanded the apologies of prominent Republicans Eric Cantor and Michael Steele for saying his comments were unacceptable; both promptly apologized. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs challenged Republicans to come out and say "Limbaugh is wrong, we do not want this country or the President to fail". To date, no Republican has publicly said Limbaugh was wrong, implying who really ran the GOP.
The Sandra Fluke catastrophic meltdown
“”Everything is fine on the business side. Everything is cool. Not a single thing to worry about.
|—Rush on March 9, 2012, after over 50 sponsors had left the show|
On February 29, 2012, after literal decades of misogynist tirades, chants of "liberal feminazi", and attempts to degrade any woman in power (not to mention equally ugly treatment of lesbians, gays, liberals, thinkers, scientists he disagreed with, etc.), Rush finally crossed the line with language so offensive that even his own party questioned his stance.
In late February, congressional Republicans and Republican candidates for President began to call out then-President Obama on his mandatory inclusion of birth control in insurance plans offered by any employer ("It violates our religious freedom!" they claimed). In a House hearing on the whole thing, five men were invited to testify about why it was important to protect religious freedom and how providing birth control via insurance violates their freedoms. Sandra Fluke, a 30-year-old law student and otherwise private citizen, intended to testify before Congress about this contraception requirement and the Blunt Amendment, which would allow employers the ability to deny women contraception, or any other medical care, from their insurance plans based on their religious beliefs. She was denied her right to testify in front of the committee by the Republican Chair as being "unqualified". An uproar hit the political world, media and social networks. And for what it's worth, the testimony she was to give, which was later broadcast on national television (but not to the Committees), was about a friend who needed birth control to treat cysts in the ovaries, a part of polycystic ovarian syndrome (birth control is also used to treat the other aspects of PCOS, including irregular periods, unwanted body hair and acne) — a medication that the religious institution they attended would not pay for, due to "religious beliefs".
“”What does it say about the college co-ed Sandra Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We're the pimps.
|—Limbaugh's brain melts live on air|
That's when Limbaugh stepped into the total shitstorm. He called Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute", which alone would not have likely been a problem, but he carried on with similar language for three days, escalating the ugliness of his attacks each day. Limbaugh even suggested that if women such as Fluke expected the government (i.e., the American taxpayers) to pay for their birth control, then "we" (the American taxpayers) should be able to watch video of their sexual activities. All this against a young woman who didn't even mention sex, outside of a basic acknowledgment of what birth control is for, who was merely trying to explain her point of view which involved someone else's situation rather than hers. In addition, Limbaugh seemed to have forgotten that (since there is no public option) health insurance is necessarily private insurance, not paid for by taxpayers in the first place. So his own attack didn't even make sense on its own terms.
Limbaugh also appeared to have little room to attack anyone's sexual private life, since he was caught carrying Viagra back from a trip to the Dominican Republic despite being unmarried at the time. He described the trip to his audience: "I had a great time in the Dominican Republic. Wish I could tell you about it." The Dominican Republic is known as a vacation spot for "sex tourists".
As if his insults against Fluke and women in general weren't enough, later within the same week, referring to a woman with a Bachelor's degree, he actually asked: "What is it with all these young, single, white women? Overeducated doesn't mean intelligent," which makes one wonder what the word "overeducated" could possibly mean.
“”What do we have to do to make the women realize we don't hate 'em? Change our attitude on abortion? Where does this stuff stop?
|—Limbaugh in 2013|
In the aftermath of the Fluke affair, Limbaugh's show lost over 50 advertisers, was dropped from two radio stations, and was even taken off the purchase list of one advertising agency. Also, the Canadian rock band Rush issued a cease-and-desist preventing their music from being played during Limbaugh's broadcasts. This led to a hilarious situation where there was five minutes of dead air on Limbaugh's show, since the time normally reserved for advertisements was either empty or filled with public service announcements. On March 9, 2012, even the public service announcements, which were running for free, pulled out.
On March 10, 98 companies, including Toyota, Ford and Allstate Insurance, informed Rush's network that they would no longer advertise on Rush's show... or any other offensive or controversial radio show, such as those hosted by Sean Hannity or Michael Savage. News site ThinkProgress managed to capture a memo from Premiere Networks before the original page was deleted; the memo listed 141 advertisers who had asked not to sponsor these programs, including some rather big ones that normally benefit from such conservative associations, such as American Express, McDonald's, Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo, and the United States Army.
Even President Obama stepped into the discussion, calling Sandra Fluke personally, to say her parents "would be proud of her" despite Rush's ugly claim otherwise. He later said "[...] I thought about Malia and Sasha, and one of the things I want them to do as they get older is to engage in issues they care about; even ones I may not agree with them on. [...] And I don't want them attacked or called horrible names because they're being good citizens."
“”"I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for using those two words to describe her.
Limbaugh issued what he called an "apology", while claiming that the discussion was about "personal sexual recreational activities" (which, if he gave two shits about the problem, PCOS isn't about) and feeling sorry for stooping down to the level and tactics of liberals. Apparently a three-day, nonstop attack against one woman in particular, and in general women all around the world who use birth control in contexts no one would consider "slutty", is wrong simply because he should have used different words. Classy, Rush.
Limbaugh, with his head firmly planted where the sun doesn't shine, said he was not losing any money or sleep over it, and was in fact amused that the feminazis[note 4] are showing they have no power because they can't make him leave the air. Rumor has it that he also stomped his foot, stuck his fingers in his ears, stuck out his tongue, and said, "LALALALALA CAN'T HEAR YOU!" However, Limbaugh's producers still scrubbed his website of the controversial comments. On March 8, 2012, only two intentionally paid advertisers ran ads during his show—no word on how well he slept that night.
On March 12, 2012, Limbaugh took a much-needed day off, and his program was filled in by Mark Steyn. At the same time, Premiere Networks released an order asking affiliates to "[p]lease replace/re-traffic any Premiere barter spots immediately. Contractual requirements to run barter spots are being suspended for these two weeks only. Replace them with Lifelock and Lear Financial[note 5] or a local spot of your choice."
Back to the megaphone
On March 14, 2012, Limbaugh returned to his show to assert that he was not anti-woman, just anti-feminism. To further prove that he loved women, he continued to label the National Organization of Women as "NAGs", made references to his three marriages, and asserted that being a judge for the Miss America beauty pageant should be sufficient evidence, despite his previous statements.
One of the saddest things we can take away is knowing that this won't end ugly attacks based on ignorance of the female reproductive system. After this entire incident, there had been another unrelated incident where Republican talking head Jason Lewis spouted similar vile remarks.
Other notable controversies
“”I mean, I don't know if it's just me, but it looks just like anything you'd see Madonna or Britney Spears do onstage—heh, yeah, get an NEA grant for something like this!
|—Limbaugh on the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, 2004|
- For some reason, ESPN concluded that Limbaugh was the voice of the average football fan and hired him to do "color commentary" during the 2003 NFL season (perhaps they confused it with John Madden, a reasonable mistake except that Madden already worked for Disney). This seemed to go well until Limbaugh said that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated and claimed that he was lionized because of his race rather than his talent (a reverse Isiah Thomas/Larry Bird incident). This cost Limbaugh his job, cementing his reputation, as he did constantly, as a "big, fat idiot." In the aftermath of this comment, nobody has found any evidence to back up Limbaugh's claim, but that hasn't stopped Limbaugh from defending it as recently as 2009.:12
- Played the racist song "Barack the Magic Negro" during the 2008 presidential campaign. The song drew from a provocative column in the Los Angeles Times by a black writer who criticized Obama as a "Magical Negro", a trope in film for a generic, magical African-American character who supports the white protagonists. Limbaugh, too busy being edgy, probably missed out on the meat of the critique from that column. An Obama aide, however, believed not many people have taken this "dumb thing" seriously. He also referred to Obama and actress Halle Berry as "Halfrican" Americans in a similar vein to Brian Sussman, another unhinged conservative radio host.
- In 1993, Limbaugh implied thirteen-year-old Chelsea Clinton was a dog.
- Limbaugh compared Barack Obama's style of governing to that of Adolf Hitler. (He was envious.)
- On July 2, 2010, he claimed that Obama created the Great Recession (which began before Obama was elected) as a payback for racism.
- Limbaugh promised to leave the country if the Obama-driven healthcare bill[note 6] passed: "I'll just tell you this, if this passes and it's five years from now and all that stuff gets implemented — I am leaving the country. I'll go to Costa Rica for healthcare." Interestingly, Costa Rica has universal, nationalized health care. In addition, he decided to up the level of crazy when he Godwinned on the subject in March 2013. His belief is that the Affordable Care Act wasn't so much about expanding coverage to the under-insured or uninsured, as it was an effort by Obama to go all Hitler on us since "healthcare has always been, nationalized healthcare has always been one of the first objectives of any of the famous totalitarian regimes. Hitler, national socialism, first thing he did, nationwide healthcare." However, public health care laws existed in Germany since 1883, and one of the few changes introduced by the Nazi regime barred voluntary insurees from joining health care funds, thereby giving rise to private health insurance companies in Germany. Likewise, according to Limbaugh, "the socialists in the UK" also were for nationalized healthcare. However, he conveniently leaves out the fact that (a) Labour was part of the coalition government that directed British war efforts against Hitler, (b) won a large Parliamentary majority in a democratic election in 1945, against no less than the party of beloved war leader Winston Churchill, in which part of their program included a national health service, and (c) just as easily returned political power to the Conservatives after they beat them in another democratic election in 1951. So much for hyperbole. He also appeared to be profoundly ignorant of the fact that the National Health Service still exists to this day regardless of which political party is in power, although the conservatives are trying to ruin it.
- Rush made a brief off-handed comment about lesbians in his episode "The Left Needs the Supreme Court to Rule in Favor of Gay Marriage Because the People Won't" (this has aged poorly; support for gay marriage in the United States is a majority, and even a small majority of Republicans support it). He was apparently under the impression (aided by questionable, unidentified studies, of course) that most lesbians are obese substance abusers. You see, if there's no men to please (as if nonsexual relationships don't exist), women will just not care about their weight, but since women will have to care about other women, they'll get drunk or something.
- In August 2014, in responding to a caller's complaint about the disproportionate media coverage surrounding Robin Williams' suicide, Limbaugh ranted a ton about how leftist ideology contributes to suicide. He then claimed that he was taken out of context.[note 7]
- Limbaugh went under fire for his remarks during the 2010 Haiti earthquake, alleging that Obama was simply using Haiti to score political points. He also added that the U.S. shouldn't help Haiti, since the U.S. already pays them income tax. Or something. He only doubled down when called out.
- Limbaugh defended Donald Trump against accusations of sexual assault by asserting that the "leftists" attacking him were immoral because they primarily concern themselves with whether or not a sexual act is... consensual or not. And if these "leftists" ever discover a lack of consent, "then here come the rape police". [note 8]
- Disappointed that people like Alex Jones were stealing some of his thunder, Limbaugh embraced some of the batshit insanity of the conspiracy crowd, calling both the Christchurch terrorist attacks and the terrorism at the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally "false flag" operations. For the latter, he defended Trump's notoriously meek response to the terrorism with a healthy dose of whataboutism, even evoking the atypical right wing boogeyman of "Antifa" and "George Soros".
- Also disappointed that the QAnon movement had stolen some of his thunder, Limbaugh fully embraced deep state conspiracy theories, using the concept to dismiss both the Trump-Russia connection and the Trump-Ukraine scandal (and somehow blame Obama at the same time). And just before Hurricane Irma struck Florida in September 2017, he ranted flippantly about hurricane media coverage, referencing the "deep state" regarding those pesky meteorologists "who believe that man-made climate change is real," and speculated that the media was "all talking about this hurricane, Hurricane Irma, it's no doubt due to climate change." Limbaugh later had to evacuate his home in Palm Beach, Florida, due to Hurricane Irma.)
Stopped clock moment
On June 1, 2020, Limbaugh appeared on the radio talk show The Breakfast Club in response to the death of George Floyd, caused by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin keeping a knee on Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds (well after the point of unresponsiveness). While he agreed on little else, Limbaugh unusually strongly criticized the police for this incident, saying that he was "sickened" and that Floyd "had his life taken away from him".
Ersatz Nobel Prize nomination
"Limbaugh was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 by Landmark Legal Foundation, a conservative legal advocacy group, in response to Al Gore being nominated that year. The foundation does not now and did not then meet the criteria to be a nominator." Rush Limbaugh was not legitimately nominated to receive a Nobel Prize.
On wit da Show
Limbaugh nicknamed all his call screeners "Snerdley". Among the first names given them:
- Chin Yang
Bo Snerdley is the nickname given to James Golden, the most recognized "Snerdley". Limbaugh's defenders often single out Golden, an African-American, as evidence that Limbaugh was not a racist. After all, as their simplistic logic goes, would a racist work so closely with an African-American?
A caller once asked Limbaugh to explain the origin of "Snerdley". Limbaugh explained that when he was a disc jockey in his hometown, he developed mental blocks while talking on the air. "Snerdley" was a fictitious person inside Limbaugh's head whom he talked to (while still on the air) until the block cleared. Hmmm.
Annual Thanksgiving story
Of course, you can't be a major right-wing mouthpiece if you don't rewrite history to show that laissez-faire free market practices always succeed, while collectivism always fails. Such was the case with Limbaugh's annual telling of (or his version of) the first Thanksgiving. Limbaugh was so pleased with this story that he dedicated an entire chapter to it in his second book, See I Told You So.
“”I have a correspondent named Irwin Wingo in Weatherford, Texas. Irwin and some of the leading men in the town are in the habit, about ten o'clock in the morning, of meeting down at the café to drink coffee and talk about the state of the world. One of the members of their group is a dittohead, a great Limbaugh listener. He came in one day, plopped himself down, and said "You know, Rush is right: Racism is dead in this country. I don't know what the niggers have to gripe about now."
"Dittohead" originally referred to an avid follower of Limbaugh, but over time he became synonymous with any person who blindly follows and agrees with conservative pundits, including media such as but not limited to Fox News and conservative talk radio.
On his talk show, Limbaugh encouraged the guests, callers and listeners who agreed with him to just say "ditto"[note 9] instead of explaining why they might agree with him, presumably to reserve air time for additional opinion giving or friendly discourse with those that might disagree with him. Callers to his show began to label themselves willingly as "dittoheads", apparently blind to any sort of negative connotations that such a word might have.
Ignoring the possibility that people might look at a "dittohead" and think of other words that might sound similar (like "shithead"), the word itself has grown to mean anyone who gets their information from non-expert sources or those who believe the agenda-less have an agenda in political discourse, be it climate change, gun control or health care. Much like creationists, the average dittohead will be unable to be reasoned with or engage in rational thought.
Scientifically Proven To Be Ignorant
According to Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the University of Pennsylvania:
We just concluded a study of 360 people, whom we watched watch the health care reform debate for nine months. And at the end of that period, we took the people who said they relied on talk radio, and by this, we meant primarily Rush Limbaugh . . . And we asked them how well informed they felt . . . Of all the people we watched, they said they were the best informed. And of all the people we watched, they were the least informed.:12
Limbaugh (and his substitute hosts) devoutly referred to the Democratic Party as the "Democrat Party". If they encountered the words "Democratic Party" while reading aloud, they substituted "Democrat Party" on-the-fly (they probably have Post-it's on the wall.) This alone discredits everything they say.
Much like his idol Donald Trump, he used insulting names for anyone he didn't like.
On September 21, 2020, between her death and her funeral, Limbaugh again referred to Ruth Bader Ginsburg as "Ruth Buzzi Ginsburg" on his radio show.
“”They are twelve percent of the population. Who the hell cares?.
|—Rush Limbaugh on Black people.:50|
Racism has long been a part of Limbaugh's act, going back to his early days as a DJ where he would tell African American callers to "take the bones out of their noses.":49 Although this could be understood as a dumb kid attempting to be shocking, his attitude in his later years showed that he was still the same person at heart. When he first started getting national attention, he would ask "Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?" and say that "The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.":49 (Of the audience Limbaugh had at this time, one poll found that eighty two percent of them would vote for David Duke.:50)
Unsurprisingly, much of Limbaugh's later racism was directed towards Barack Obama. Among his stranger claims was that those at Harvard Law School engaged in some conspiracy to boost Obama's grades because of the color of his skin--which goes from stupid to downright nonsensical when you realize most professors at Harvard Law School use methods of grading where they aren't even aware of the name of the student, let alone their race.:30-31
Another notable example of Limbaugh's racism against Obama is his constant need to call Barack Obama "angry" in some way. Obviously this is him playing into the trope of the "angry black man," but it's especially notable in this case because, although some politicians are infamous for their temper, Obama has never been one of them. "To call Barack Obama an angry black man is as ridiculous as calling Rush Limbaugh a fist-class intellectual," said Michael Eric Dyson.:36
Lest you think only black people have been the target of Limbaugh's racism, he has said many things about many races. Native Americans "were meaner to themselves than anybody was ever mean to them. These people were savages . . . Killing each other. Scalping each other.":50 On another occasion, he said on Native Americans "They all have casinos--what's to complain about?" Elsewhere, Limbaugh has dismissed the Native American genocide by declaring "There are more American Indians alive today than there were when Columbus arrived or at any other time in history," a claim which is just wrong, there were around two million Native Americans alive when Limbaugh said this, compared to at least five million when Columbus arrived.:26-27
In his book The Most Dangerous Man in America: Rush Limbaugh's Assault on Reason, John Wilson spends the entire first chapter detailing Limbaugh's various racist remarks. However, he notes that Limbaugh's racism does not come from an actual dislike of non-whites, so much as a hatred for liberalism, which he views as including sympathy for non-whites:
Rush is actually proud of his racism. It's his way of signaling to his audience how much he resists liberal orthodoxy. If he is willing to violate the "politically correct" barriers of race, then it proves he is beholden to nothing about liberalism. As with everything else about Mr. Limbaugh, his racism is really all about his hatred of liberalism, not some deep-seated hatred of black people.
Limbaugh is a racist because he hates liberalism. That doesn't mean that anyone who hates liberalism is a racist. It means that Rush Limbaugh expresses racist ideas because he despises everything associated with liberalism. Since fighting racism is a core principle of liberalism, he is constantly skeptical of it. And he expresses that skepticism using racist language.
This, funnily enough, fits a quote from Limbaugh's defender Sam Francis when asked about the difference between the insults of Limbaugh and the insults of liberals which Limbaugh criticizes:
When we make fun of poor people or handicapped people, we're not literally making fun of them. We're trying to break the icon the Left is trying to create around these types of people.:75
“”Sexial harassment at this work station will not reported. However, it will be graded.
|—Sign on Limbaugh's office.:54|
Similar to the racism section above, examples of his sexism can be found all throughout this article, but there are some specific examples that should be noted independently. Between his claims that "women were doing quite well in this country before feminism came along," :51("feminism" in his mind being a movement that "was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society") and his odd assertion that a study proved that women with larger breasts have lower IQs:54, going through all the possible examples of Limbaugh's sexism would take a rather large book.
Also like his racism, examples of this can be seen going back early into his career, when he was fired from a Top 40 radio station for playing the incredibly sexist song "Under My Thumb" by the Rolling Stones every day.:56
Limbaugh's sexism can even be seen with the women he praises, just as much--if not more so--than the women he dislikes. While praising Sarah Plain, Limbaugh said "Plus she's a housewife, before that, she's a babe." Of course, Palin wasn't a housewife when Limbaugh made this statement--she was the Governor of Alaska.:48
Being a wife who is subservient to her husband seems to be Limbaugh's ideal picture of a woman. One of his associates said of his second wife, Michelle Sixta, "She totally subordinated her interests around his. Her role in life was to say 'Yes, Rush.'":48 Meanwhile, he tells his listeners "If you want a successful marriage, let your husband do what he wants to do.":13
Limbaugh is also fond of just declaring men he doesn't like to actually be women. Speaking on the liberal Supreme Court Justice David Souter, he said the man is "a girl. Everybody knows that. . . I'm talking about attitudinally, here, folks.":185
Like many things, Limbaugh seems to only care about topics like sexual harassment when he can use it as an excuse to bash Democrats, hence why he was a huge advocate of Paula Jones in her claims against Bill Clinton in spite of not caring about sexual harassment at any other point in his career.:101
Limbaugh and Rape
Limbaugh has a long history of making--to be blunt--down right disgusting comments about rape. Back when Limbaugh was still a local radio host in Sacramento, he went on a long rant about how date rape can't be compared to other forms of rape. Limbaugh once asked his viewers in regards to sexual consent "How many of you guys, in your own experience with women, have learned that 'no' means 'yes' if you know how to spot it?" (Limbaugh actually threatened to sue the DCCC for using a clip of him saying this in an attack ad, although nothing came of it.) He also once played a clip of a woman describing being anally raped, and spent the entire time laughing.:50
“”I had been one of those twenty million [referring to Limbaugh's ratings at the time, which estimated he had about twenty million listeners nationwide] a while back, listening to him spew about "feminazis" and their "women-as-victim" ideas. Limbaugh was railing about how feminists believe that all heterosexual sex is rape, which, I admit, is a belief that's very hard to defend. The thing is, though, I know a lot of women, almost all of whom consider themselves feminists, and I know only one who actually holds this belief. And we've been married nearly twenty years.
Limbaugh is commonly credited with popularizing the term "feminazi,":42 which he describes in the following way:
Widely misunderstood by most to simply mean "feminist" Not so, boobala. A Feminazi is a feminist to whom the most important thing in life is ensuring that as many abortions as possible occur. There are fewer than twenty-five known Feminazis in the United States.:296
However, despite his claims to the contrary, it is very clear that Limbaugh is using the term to discredit even the most mild-mannered and mainstream feminists. Even limiting it to his first book, the same one the definition of feminazi came from, we can find him calling both Gloria Steinem and Anita Hill "feminazis,":203 despite the first being a fairly moderate feminist and the second simply being a woman who claimed she was sexually harassed. When Limbaugh is not conflating moderate feminist views with "feminazis," he is conflating extreme feminist views with feminism as a whole, once saying:
Do you think looking at someone is sexual harassment? Do you think all men are rapists? Do you think all sex is rape? If your answer to any or all of these questions is no, you are simply not, by definition, a feminist.:55
Most feminists don't hold a single one of these views, let alone all three.
Of course, Rush tried to defend himself by saying that, although most feminists aren't feminazis, feminazis "drive the movement.":55 However, it is hard to imagine any movement--especially one so big that sixty-one percent of American women feel accurately described by it--being driven by its most extreme members nearly as often as Limbaugh claims feminism is.
Why Rush Stayed Inside His Bubble
One of the most notable things about Limbaugh was how little he traveled outside his small bubble of dittoheads and conservatives. In his earlier years, he would give interviews and appear as a commentator on various programs, but this began to die down after, to put it simply, he realized that most in the outside world thought he was an obnoxious idiot with repugnant ideas. Ignoring the aforementioned ESPN incident, the most infamous example of this occurred when he guest hosted The Pat Sajack Show in 1990, when the audience had to be cleared after he was heckled for making fun of AIDS victims. "He came out full of bluster and left a very shaken man. I had never seen a man sweat as much in my life," said one CBS executive.:17
Limbaugh has since learned his lesson and does his best to avoid anybody who might have an opposing view from ending up where his listeners could hear him. In 1992, Comedy Central offered to have him as a commentator for their coverage of that year's Presidential Election, Limbaugh said he'd only do it if "No one could be on camera with him," and "No one could comment on anything he said.":17 In 2006, he agreed to do a segment on CBS Evening News because he saw it as "an opportunity for me to express our views, my views without debate, without somebody coming on afterwards to refuse me.":225 When the Clinton Administration flirted with the idea of reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, which would require stations that broadcast Limbaugh to also broadcast somebody who had different political views, Limbaugh declared it "the latest attempt by the United States Congress to legislate against me, and talk radio hosts.":96 Limbaugh even filed a twenty million dollar lawsuit against Aaron Harber, a liberal who wanted to market a show called "After the Rush" which responded to conservative arguments.:212
Like all committed partisans, Limbaugh had trouble keeping himself consistent--and by that we mean he never even bothered trying. Below are some examples of his contradictions as found in his writings and commentary:
|National Debt||We are, quite bluntly, broke. We don't have the money to sustain the dreams and experiments of liberalism any longer. We have $400 billion a year budget deficit and a $4 trillion debt.:24||That means our debt--yearly debt--is only 2.9 percent of our total budget. If you at home could say that the total amount of your debt was only 2.9 percent of all that you earn and produce, you'd be happy. This deficit is a straw dog. It's always been a phony monster. This is manageable debt as long as our economy stays strong.:24|
|Rights of criminal defendants||The way we approach the right of the accused criminals has changed so much over the past twenty-five years that if the same changes had taken place drastically, overnight, I am convinced the people wouldn't have put up with it . . . With each ruling there is increasingly less concern for crime victims, victims' families, and potential victims.:37||The defendant is presumed innocent, the state has the burden of proof, the defendant's guilt must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, etc. . . . Because our system accords special protection to the accused, the guilty sometimes go free in a close case, and that's the way the system was designed.:37|
|The role of a journalist||On CNN reporter Bernard Shaw saying journalists "can't take sides" during the Gulf War: "Can't take sides! These were American journalists, and they can't take sides? That attitude illustrates the haughty arrogance of people in the news business.:93||The job of a journalist is to chronicle events, not stand up and cheer for one side or the other.:93|
Quotes About Him
In the end, Limbaugh is a man who thrives on intellectual masturbation and then brags about how well he makes love.-Stephen W. Bell:14
Rush Limbaugh has this great racket going where he says whatever he wants to say regardless of the facts because it makes the news and it is controversial and he makes a lot of money.-Hillary Clinton:35
Most of us here in the media are what I consider infotainers . . . Rush Limbaugh is what I call a disinfotainer. He entertains by spreading disinformation.-Al Franken:7
If Rush Limbaugh ever met the Pope, they wouldn't be talking about food. They would be talking about pointy white hats.-Bobcat Goldthwait:50
Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and think: "I'm full of hot gas?"-David Letterman:115
There's a new organization being formed. It's called Feminists, Homeless, and Blacks for Limbaugh. And they're meeting in a phone booth in Wichita.-Larry King:43
I'm amazed that somebody named Rush would have such a slow metabolism."-Dennis Miller:14
Any talk show host that has a pronounced agenda that's consistent, thematic, and focused--for example, Rush Limbaugh is clearly pushing George Bush--anyone who has a pronounced agenda like that seems to me has an obligation to expose that view to callers or to guests on the show. You can't simply say, as Rush says, he's only an entertainer. That's a cop-out . . . But where you start naming names, attacking people, or representing a partisan agenda in a systemic manner, I think there's an obligation to let some people in to challenge you and to have the two-way communication that is often associated with talk radio most prominently. He ought to be man enough to stand up to challengers and let them on.-Ralph Nader:96-97
Limbaugh published some books (crayons sold separately):
- available titles on Barnes & Noble
- The Way Things Ought to Be (1992); Pocket Books ISBN 067175145X (John Fund, collaborator)
- See, I Told You So (1993); Pocket Books ISBN 067187120X (Joseph Farah, collaborator)
There's an attempt at a humorous section in book two: a "politically correct" dictionary, which lists unicorns as an endangered species, as well as the Abominable Snowman. Both books were ego trips in which Limbaugh proclaimed himself to be the most intelligent person in the world.
- I hurl gab mush
- Largish bum, uh?
- Sh, humbug liar
- Big ham, U.S. hurl
- Abiotic oil
- Conservative talk radio
- Fractal wrongness
- Roger Ailes: Rushbo's influence peaked post-9/11. That's when Fox really became the brand of the party. Prior to the rise of Donald Trump and Steve Bannon, Ailes was probably the most influential Republican.
- Rush Limbaugh's radio show homepage
- Source of criticism for some of Limbaugh's claims
- Media Matters entry for Rush Limbaugh
- Limbaugh's admission of pain killer addiction
- Press release from Landmark Foundation announcing Limbaugh's nomination for Nobel Prize
- Rush Limbaugh Detained With Viagra, June 27, 2006, CBS News (Limbaugh's incident at airport)
- Links to pain killer lawsuit Limbaugh v. Florida
- "#restinpiss" and "#rotinhell" soon trended on Twitter.
- His father managed to serve in World War Two despite having the same condition:30
- Fortunately — cursed by the baby Jeebus?
- Ok, he didn't say that word, in this particular interview.
- Who, apparently, are still sponsoring the show.
- Note, Obama had yet to "write" a health care bill. All proposals were being originated in the Congress.
- We'll show you a transcript to see what context has been taken out. We don't know ourselves.
- Another name for "rape police" is just "police."
- Like in the movie Ghost.
- Read This Before Taking Another Bite Of Limburger Cheese. Mashed.
- Ban Guns and Free Speech for Libs. Rush Limbaugh Show.
- Allen, Mike, "Steele to Rush: I'm sorry", Politico (03/02/09 05:58 PM EST).
- The World's Highest-Paid Celebrities (December 9, 2017). Forbes. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
- "Trump to award Presidential Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh" by Gabby Orr, Daniel Lippmann, and Meridith McGraw, Politico, 2020 February 4
- WQAD Digital Team, (February 3, 2020). "Rush Limbaugh says he has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer". WQAD. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
- Rush Limbaugh denied health risks of smoking years before lung cancer diagnosis: 'I would like a medal for smoking cigars' by David Matthews (Feb 03, 2020 | 3:57 PM) Daily News.
- "Rush Limbaugh says his lung cancer is terminal," CNN.
- Folkenflik, D. (February 17, 2021). "Talk Show Host Rush Limbaugh, A Conservative Lodestar, Dies At 70". NPR. Accessed January 10, 2022.
- After NASA Announces It Found Water On Mars, Rush Limbaugh Says It's Part Of A Climate Change Conspiracy September 28, 2015 2:35 PM EDT. Media Matters.
- 3 Trees Said to Prove Warming!
- The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error. New Press
- Monkey Fossil Hailed as Missing Link, Stack of Stuff Quick Hits Page, May 19, 2009, Limbaugh's website (archived copy)
- Rush Limbaugh: Evolution = Liberalism, Sensuous Curmudgeon
- Rush Limbaugh: Evolution is False Because That Cincinnati Zoo Gorilla Never Turned Into a Human
- "Rush Limbaugh Insanely Claims Liberals Want To Use Ticks To Force People To Be Vegetarians", Politicus USA (8//8/14 at 3:15 pm).
- Stupid Pride
- Beck, Limbaugh fomenting fear about H1N1 vaccine
- Did Rush Limbaugh Avoid the Draft Due to an Anal Cyst?
- Limbaugh on the offensive against ad with Michael J. Fox
- Has he gone too far?
- Rush Limbaugh on atheists
- Scapegoating Minorities for Failures of Banking, January 1, 2009, FAIR
- Colbert hurt by Rush Limbaugh's Chinese impression
- Limbaugh on Georgetown University law student Sandra "Sally" Fluke
- The Boston Bombings and White Privilege, Dispatches from the Culture Wars
- Limbaugh: The Left Sends Out "The Rape Police" Whenever There's Sex With "No Consent" (Also Known As Rape). Media Matters.
- "Limbaugh on Drugs", Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, November/December 2003 (archived copy)
- "Limbaugh admits addiction to pain medication", 2003 October 10, CNN.com
- "Rush Limbaugh Detained With Viagra", 2006 Jun 27, CBS / AP
- "Rush Limbaugh announces end of his third marriage", Today.com / Associated Press, 2004 June 11
- "Elton John Sings at Rush Limbaugh's 4th Wedding", Stephen M. Silverman, People.com, 2010-June-06
- "Limbaugh: AIDS "hasn't made that jump to the heterosexual community"", Andrew Seifter, Media Matters, 2004 June 15
- "World's most expensive wedding performers? Take a guess", Reuters, 2009 September 4
- The I hate Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity-- reader : the hideous truth about America's ugliest conservatives by Clint Willis
- Mark Strama Says Rush Limbaugh made it clear he'd rather see the country fail than President Barack Obama succeed. Politifact.
- Leadership struggle between Steele and Rush, kos, Mar 02 2009, Daily Kos: State of the Nation (archived copy)
- “Feminazi”: The History Of Limbaugh's Trademark Slur Against Women
- See the Wikipedia article on Rush Limbaugh–Sandra Fluke controversy.
- Limbaugh's arrest
- The Web, Where 'Pimps' Roam Free, July 7, 2001, Wired
- "Limbaugh Blasts 'Overeducated' Young Single White Women", The Raw Story
- My Response to Senator Graham's Rationale for Supporting Amnesty. Rush Limbaugh Show.
- "Rush Limbaugh's Advertisers Facing Social Media Firestorm", ThinkProgress
- "Second Ratio Station drops Limbaugh", ThinkProgress
- Youngstown ad agency exec pulls clients' ads from Limbaugh show
- "Limbaugh threatened with lawsuit by supergroup Rush, The Raw Story
- Rush Limbaugh Show Includes Over 5 Minutes Of Dead Air As Advertiser Exodus Continues, Mar 8, 2012, ThinkProgress
- Limbaugh's Advertiser Exodus Expands Exponentially, 03/10/2012, MediaMatters
- "Premier Networks' List of Advertisers Asking Not To Advertise On Limbaugh and Other Right-Wing Hosts"
- "EXCLUSIVE: 141 Companies Drop Advertising From Rush Limbaugh", ThinkProgress
- Rush Limbaugh Dismisses Advertiser Exodus: 'Everything Is Cool' (audio), 03/07/2012, HuffPost
- RushLimbaugh.com Removes Offensive Attacks On Sandra Fluke From Transcript Archives, Mar 8, 2012, ThinkProgress
- Rush syndicator tells news/talk affiliates not to run its barter spots for 2 wks
- Limbaugh: Judging Miss America proves I'm not anti-woman, March 14, 2012, Raw Story
- Shugerman, E. (July 19. 2018). Republican congressman Jason Lewis faces backlash after asking why it's unacceptable to call women 'sluts'. Independent. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
- Andrew Seifter and Gabe Wildau, Limbaugh on torture of Iraqis: U.S. guards were "having a good time," "blow(ing) some steam off", Media Matters, 5/5/2004
- The Most Dangerous Man in America: Rush Limbaugh's Assault on Reason by John K. Wilson
- Parsons, C. (May 6, 2007). "Limbaugh draws fire on Obama parody". The Seattle Times. Accessed February 22, 2022.
- Ehrenstein, D. (March 19, 2007). "Obama the ‘Magic Negro’". Los Angeles Times. Accessed February 22, 2022.
- Serwer, A. (January 24, 2007). "Limbaugh on Obama: “Halfrican American”". Media Matters. Accessed February 22, 2022.
- Conservative Radio Host Rush Limbaugh. Time
- Limbaugh: "Adolf Hitler, Like Barack Obama, Ruled By Dictate" (audio), 09/06/2009, HuffPost
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama Created Recession As 'Payback' For Racism, 07/07/2010, HuffPost
- Rush Limbaugh: I'll Leave Country Over Health Bill
- Limbaugh: Health Care Reform Just Like Hitler! Dispatches From the Culture Wars
- History of private health insurance (German)
- List of United Kingdom general elections
- The Rush Limbaugh Show (March 25, 2013) "The Left Needs the Supreme Court to Rule in Favor of Gay Marriage Because the People Won't". Accessed February 22, 2022.
- McCarthy, J. (June 8, 2021). "Record-High 70% in U.S. Support Same-Sex Marriage". Gallup. Accessed February 22, 2022.
- Rush Limbaugh accused of blaming Robin Williams' suicide on his being 'politically leftist', August 13, 2014, Independent
- Barr, A. "Rush 'meant' what he said about Haiti". Politico. Accessed January 19, 2022.
- Donald Trump's Locker Room Is the Entire World, Oct. 13, 2016, Intelligencer
- "Rush Limbaugh Claims New Zealand Mosque Shootings Were False Flag Operation, Offers No Evidence", 2019 Mar 15, Daniel Moritz-Rabson.
- Limbaugh conspiracy: Democrats allowed Charlottesville terrorism for political gain, Media Matters Staff, 2017 Aug 15.
- "What Really Happened in Charlottesville", RushLimbaugh.com, 2017 Aug 14.
- "Rush Limbaugh warns of second civil war after Charlottesville violence", Daniel Chaitin, 2017 August 19.
- "Barack Obama and His Deep State Operatives Are Attempting to Sabotage the Duly Elected President of the United States", Rushlimbaugh.com, 2017 Mar 2.
- "The "Whisteblower" Just Proves the Deep State Spies on Trump", RushLimbaugh.com, 2019 Sept 23.
- "My Analysis of the Hurricane Irma Panic", RushLimbaugh.com, 2017 Sep 5.
- "Rush Limbaugh indicates he's evacuating Palm Beach days after suggesting Hurricane Irma is fake news", Callum Borchers, Washington Post, 2017 Sep 8.
- "Rush Limbaugh Decries 'Senselessness' of George Floyd's Death on 'The Breakfast Club': 'It Sickens Me'" by Lindsey Ellefson, The Wrap, 2020 June 1.
- Was Rush Limbaugh a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee in 2007?
- See the Wikipedia article on Thanksgiving.
- Transcript from the 2006 reading. Includes a long-winded prologue about his trip to Afghanistan, Ann Coulter, etc.
- Flush Rush by Brian Keliher
- Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations by Al Franken (Delacorte Press, 1996) ISBN 0-385-31474-4
- Rush Limbaugh now has a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Here are just 20 of the outrageous things he's said
- Rush Limbaugh in His Own Words
- Toxic Talk: How The Radical Right Has Poisoned America's Airwaves by Bill Press
- The "Truth" according to Limbaugh: Feminism established "to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society"
- The Worst Person in the World and 202 Strong Contenders by Keith Olbermann (Wiley, September 2006). ISBN 0-470-04495-0.
- Living under Limbaugh
- WOULD REPUBLICAN JUDGES RULE IN LIMBAUGH'S FAVOR JUST TO SCREW THE DEMOCRATS? HELL, WHY NOT?
- Rush Limbaugh Defamation Lawsuit Threat “Outlandish”, Democrats Say
- Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era by Michael Kimmel. New York: Nation Books. ISBN 978-1-56-858696-0.
- The Way Things Ought to Be by Rush Limbaugh(1992); Pocket Books ISBN 067175145X (John Fund, collaborator)
- 61% of U.S. women say ‘feminist’ describes them well; many see feminism as empowering, polarizing