Jeffrey Jones responded to an obituary shared by NPR by listing the things he insisted Limbaugh “did to us.“
“1. Made opponents into true enemies,” Jones began listing. “2. Revived overt and dog whistle racism, 3. Stifled attempts to revive the Fairness Doctrine, 4. Showed Roger Ailes the formula for right-wing broadcast success, 5. Offered ignorance as ‘common sense’ thinking.”
Item six on Jones’s list claimed that Limbaugh “Created an army of listeners with little knowledge and skills in civics or critical thinking into believing themselves political experts” and item seven accused him of “stifling dialogue and said it was OK to talk politics without debate (rarely took calls from those who disagreed).”
“8. Made partisan propaganda into a consumable product with tremendous market value,” the Peabody director continued. “9. Made hatred and violent rhetoric commonplace and ‘acceptable,’ 10. In sum, laid the groundwork for the triumph of MAGA and Trumpism, a reality we will deal with for decades to come.”
Conservative media, meanwhile, paid tribute to the radio icon on Twitter, with many calling him a “legend” and a “hero” to Republican politics and the country.
Limbaugh’s wife, Kathryn, made the announcement of his death on his radio show.
The conservative icon learned he had Stage IV lung cancer in January 2020 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Donald Trump at the State of the Union address days later. First lady Melania Trump presented America’s highest civilian honor to Limbaugh in the House viewing gallery.
“Rush Limbaugh: Thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country,” President Trump said during the address.
Limbaugh is considered one of the most influential media figures in American history and has played a consequential role in conservative politics since “The Rush Limbaugh Show” began in 1988. Perched behind his Golden EIB (Excellence in Broadcasting) Microphone, Limbaugh spent over three decades as arguably both the most beloved and polarizing person in American media.
Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.