How many people see Rush Limbaugh

Far-right radio star Rush Limbaugh has died

He scolded women's rights activists "Femi-Nazis" and prepared the ground for Donald Trump's presidency: Rush Limbaugh, right wing conservative talk radio star in the USA, died of lung cancer at the age of 70.

Limbaugh had been one of the leading voices of the political right in the United States since the 1980s, a polarizing and provocative star on conservative talk-radio. From 1988 his radio show was taken over by broadcasters across the USA.

Born in southern Missouri to a prominent Republican activist, Limbaugh was well aware of his political influence. In 2008 he described himself as the "intellectual engine of the conservative movement". His daily radio show was taken over by over 600 radio stations across the country and had a loyal audience of millions.

Freedom medal

One day after he announced his cancer diagnosis in February 2020, US President Donald Trump honored him with the highest honor the United States has in store for a civilian. During his State of the Union address, Trump had his wife Melania present the Medal of Freedom to the journalists invited to the solemn session of Congress.

Limbaugh's favorite enemy was Trump's predecessor Barack Obama, whom he continued to attack even after his term in office ended in 2017. For Trump, Limbaugh was a loyal ally. He downplayed the coronavirus as a "common cold", which is abused by the "mainstream media" to reduce Trump's chances of re-election. Again and again Limbaugh fed conspiracy theories of a "deep state" and in this way offered Trump flank protection. After the Capitol storm, Limbaugh also showed sympathy for political violence.

Trump: "Great Gentlemen"

Ex-President Trump paid tribute to the deceased as a "great gentleman" in a phone call with Fox News. "He has supported me from the start," said Trump, according to the AFP news agency about Limbaugh. "He was a unique guy. He had extraordinary insight," said the former president. "Rush was convinced that we won (the 2020 presidential election) and I am also convinced that we won," Trump reiterated his inflammatory claims.

Limbaugh discovered radio at the age of 16 when he acquired a broadcast license in a summer course and started working for a local radio station. Reluctantly, he enrolled at university, but his student days were over after a year. "I just wanted to be on the radio," he later recalled. The breakthrough came in 1984 when he started working for the Californian broadcaster KFBK-AM and developed "The Rush Limbaugh Show" there. Four years later, the show went nationwide and Limbaugh moved to New York.

"I have no competitors"

Limbaugh invented the type of conservative talk show host, which is now a big crowd. In terms of content, he prepared the ground for right-wing populists like Trump by crossing borders. While he had no resounding success with a foray into television in the mid-1990s, Limbaugh remained unmatched in his profession. "I have no competitors," he said in a 2008 interview with the Times. "(Fox News star host Sean) Hannity can't hold a candle to me." (red, APA, Reuters, February 17/18, 2021)