5 Craziest Conspiracy Theories Spread By Rush Limbaugh
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One aspect of Limbaugh's radio career that often goes overlooked is his role as a conduit for wild and pernicious conspiracies born on the right-wing fringe to migrate to a broader audience. Limbaugh frequently poaches material from obscure conservative writers and enthusiastically disseminates their feverishly conspiratorial and racially charged content to his national audience.
1. Vince Foster
On July 20, 1993, the body of deputy White House counsel Vince Foster was found in Northern Virginia's Fort Marcy Park. According to multiple investigations, Foster died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. But conservatives, led by Rush Limbaugh, incessantly cast doubt on Foster's suicide, suggesting instead that the Clinton White House had murdered Foster and covered it up. On the March 11, 1994, broadcast of his television show, Limbaugh reviewed "some of the key questions" surrounding Foster's death:
LIMBAUGH: His body was found lying face-up and straight. His head was at the top of an incline; his feet at the bottom, an unusual position for someone who had shot himself while standing on an incline. Looked like he was ready for the coffin, in other words. [via Nexis]
Neither time nor the end of the Clinton administration has dampened Limabugh's ardor for Vince Foster conspiracy theorism. During the 2008 Democratic primary, Rush often invoked Fort Marcy Park when commenting on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign:
LIMBAUGH: In the meantime, the National Transportation Safety Board said yesterday that they are going to investigate what caused Obama's dinky little MD-80 to make an unexpected landing in St. Louis. He was traveling from Chicago to Charlotte aboard Fort Marcy Airlines when the pilot's first officer announced that they were experiencing controllability issues with the pitch of the MD-80. And so Fort Marcy Airlines had to put down at Lambert Field in St. Louis. And we found out that one of the things that happened during the flight was that in the back of one of these dinky little old MD-80s is a rear door underneath the fuselage, and it'll come down, and you can put out -- you can put the exit slide, the emergency slide. It deployed. It deployed in flight. And, of course, that would -- at altitude and speed, that would have a demonstrable effect on controllability issues. And I don't know if the pilots knew that that was the case at the time. Probably warning lights in the cockpit, even on MD-80, would indicate that.
2. The Soccer Conspiracy
On April 13, 2010, American Thinker writer Cat Corben posited an elaborate conspiracy that involved Obama "venturing out to a soccer game that didn't exist in a high-crime area" of Washington, DC. Corben wanted to know why Obama lied to the press and the Secret Service so he could hang out in this high-crime area by himself, writing: "Something is most definitely wrong."
Indeed something was wrong: everything with Corben's story. The soccer game did happen, the area was most assuredly not high-crime, members of the press saw Obama at the game, and he was under Secret Service guard the whole time.
Nonetheless, Limbaugh picked up Corben's story and repeated it on-air:
LIMBAUGH: It doesn't make sense because there was no soccer game scheduled on the Sidwell Friends soccer schedule on their website. Sidwell Friends would not be playing a soccer game in this neighborhood. The American Thinker's posted a picture. There is a soccer field at this neighborhood, but it's not -- Sidwell Friends wouldn't send their kids there to play. It's Clinton-esque, but it is curious. What was he doing out there?