Rush Limbaugh's posthumous book overlooks his 'abhorrent' politics: journalist

Rush Limbaugh's posthumous book overlooks his 'abhorrent' politics: journalist
Image via Gage Skidmore.

Rush Limbaugh died of lung cancer on February 17, 2021, but a new posthumously released book, “Radio’s Greatest of All Time,” is credited primarily to the late right-wing radio host. Journalist Nathan Robinson discusses the book in an article published by The Nation on January 23, stressing that it glosses over how mean-spirited Limbaugh could be.

“‘Radio’s Greatest of All Time’ is a new book credited to conservative radio broadcaster Rush Limbaugh, who began compiling it from transcripts of his program before his death from lung cancer in 2021,” Robinson explains. “The final published version, which lists his widow, Kathryn, and his younger brother, David, as co-authors, serves as the definitive collectible tribute to the man described in the book’s publicity material as ‘a modern-day Founding Father — the George Washington of Radio.’ Those kinds of superlatives appear throughout the book, a 500-page ‘timeless collection of Rush’s brilliant words’ and ‘authoritative body of Rush’s best work,’ interspersed with pictures from various stages of his career and tributes to him by Ron DeSantis, Ronald Reagan, Ben Carson, Mike Pence, Benjamin Netanyahu, Clarence Thomas and Donald Trump.”

Robinson adds, however, that among “nonfans” like himself, “few” would “consider Limbaugh ‘the greatest radio broadcaster the world has ever known.’”

READ MORE:'Like a family member': Trump rallygoer blubbers while recalling Rush Limbaugh's death

“The more unpleasant side of Limbaugh does not appear in ‘Radio’s Greatest of All Time,’ but it is hard to not think about its influence,” Robinson explains. “The book reprints his stirring monologues about American values and the can-do spirit of the nation rather than, say, the time he called a Georgetown student a ‘slut’ and a ‘prostitute’ for wanting birth control to be covered by health insurance and said that if she wanted public subsidies for her sex life, she should have to post videos of it. We also don’t get treated to Limbaugh’s infamous comments on Native Americans and COVID-19. His career had plenty of ugly lowlights, including his mocking of Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s symptoms, his ‘racist’ imitation of Hu Jintao, and his ‘Barack the Magic Negro’ song.”

The journalist continues, “These incidents were only the tip of the iceberg: The millions who tuned in to Limbaugh’s show were fed complete rubbish on a regular basis…. He told shameless whopping lies, informing Americans that immigrant children were infecting the country with measles, that Austin liberals had banned barbecue restaurants, that the American Medical Association had endorsed hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19, that Obamacare was increasing the divorce rate, that Barack Obama wanted to ban fishing and mandate circumcision.”

Robinson also notes that Limbaugh was a climate change denier and insisted that “the risk of cancer” from smoking cigarettes “was a liberal myth.”

Nonetheless, Robinson concludes his article by arguing that Limbaugh, distortions and all, was an effective communicator and that liberals could learn from his communication skills no matter how much they may detest his controversial political views.

READ MORE: 'Slurs' and 'alternative realities': Conservative lays out Rush Limbaugh’s toxic yet enduring impact

“Those of us who don’t want to see his politics prevail should still study his career and work,” Robinson writes. “Rush Limbaugh demonstrated the extraordinary power and potential reach of political media. We would do well to appropriate a few of his techniques, if not his abhorrent worldview.”

READ MORE: St. Petersburg mayor refuses to 'honor hatred' by lowering flags in wake of Rush Limbaugh's death

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