Media bashes Rush Limbaugh in obituaries as 'bigoted' 'provocateur' who 'hijacked the GOP'

Radio legend Rush Limbaugh became a ‘movement’: Tucker Carlson

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson reacts to the death of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.

The mainstream media largely portrayed conservative talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh in a negative light in obituaries published following Wednesday’s announcement of his death. 

The Washington Post and The New York Times both described Limbaugh as a “provocateur” in their headlines and both lead their obits with uncanny descriptions of the broadcasting giant. 

“Rush Limbaugh, who deployed comic bombast and relentless bashing of liberals, feminists and environmentalists to become the nation’s most popular radio talk-show host and lead the Republican Party into a politics of anger and obstruction, died Feb. 17 at 70,” the Post began. 

“Rush Limbaugh, the relentlessly provocative voice of conservative America who dominated talk radio for more than three decades with shooting-gallery attacks on liberals, Democrats, feminists, environmentalists and other moving targets, died on Wednesday,” the Times similarly wrote.


Additionally, the Times bashed Limbaugh on its homepage, writing that he “pushed talk radio to the right with misogynistic and racist language and conspiracy theories.”

NBC News wrote, “The Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree outraged critics with his long history of sexist, homophobic and racist remarks” and accused Limbaugh of “inflaming the partisan divide.”

The Associated Press wrote in its obituary, “Unflinchingly conservative, wildly partisan, bombastically self-promoting and larger than life, Limbaugh galvanized listeners for more than 30 years with his talent for sarcastic, insult-laced commentary.”


NPR tweeted that Limbaugh was “known for propelling Republican candidates and attacking women, Blacks and Latinos.”

CBS News tweeted out an article posing the question if Limbaugh was a “conservative oracle or opportunist?”

CNN’s left-wing media guru Brian Stelter went on-air with a pre-taped obituary to declare that Limbaugh’s legacy “will always symbolize division” after anchor John King broke the news by claiming he “created an entire industry with his voice, his brash, and his often inflammatory opinions.” 

The Huffington Post pulled no punches, labeling Limbaugh in its headline as the “bigoted king of talk radio” who “saturated America’s airwaves with cruel bigotries, lies and conspiracy theories for over three decades.”

“A full accounting of Limbaugh’s lies and exaggerations; his racism and his misogyny; his homophobia and his Islamophobia; and his sheer cruelty could fill books — and have — but even a cursory overview of his lowlights makes his prejudice clear,” the liberal outlet wrote.

The Daily Beast called Limbaugh the “human megaphone who hijacked the GOP.”

Esquire Magazine deemed him a “blight on America,” writing, “The talk-radio titan was responsible more than any other non-politician for the spread of the prion disease from movement conservatism to the Republican Party. He ranks with Father [Charles] Coughlin and Joe McCarthy among the country’s most destructive demagogues.”

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. He was 70.

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. 

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