So much for not speaking ill of the dead. The left has long ceased respecting that maxim. Instead, they gleefully chortle over the demise of conservative figures.
The sad news of the passing of talk show legend Rush Limbaugh made the front of Thursday’s New York Times. Robert McFadden (an obituary writer for the paper) and media reporter Michael Grynbaum cowrote an ideologically hostile, tasteless remembrance: “Agitator Who Made Talk Radio A Right-Wing Attack Machine.”
The online headline deck read: “Rush Limbaugh Dies at 70; Turned Talk Radio Into a Right-Wing Attack Machine — With a following of 15 million and a divisive style of mockery, grievance and denigrating language, he was a force in reshaping American conservatism.”
Here’s a screen shot:
Rush Limbaugh, the right-wing radio megastar whose slashing, divisive style of mockery and grievance reshaped American conservatism, denigrating Democrats, environmentalists, “feminazis” (his term) and other liberals while presaging the rise of Donald J. Trump, died on Wednesday at his home in Palm Beach, Fla. He was 70.
Mr. Limbaugh revealed a diagnosis of advanced lung cancer last February. A day later, President Trump awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, during the State of the Union address.
Since his emergence in the 1980s as one of the first broadcasters to take charge of a national political call-in show, Mr. Limbaugh transformed the once-sleepy sphere of talk radio into a relentless right-wing attack machine, his voice a regular feature of daily life — from homes to workplaces and the commute in between — for millions of devoted listeners.
He became a singular figure in the American media, fomenting mistrust, grievances and even hatred on the right for Americans who did not share his and his followers’ views, and he pushed baseless claims and toxic rumors long before Twitter and Reddit became havens for such disinformation. In politics, he was not only an ally of Mr. Trump but also a precursor, combining media fame, right-wing scare tactics and over-the-top showmanship to build an enormous fan base and mount attacks on truth and facts.
The following paragraph is simply wrongheaded. Limbaugh may have been disrespected by the Republican establishment, but he had an immense following among grass-roots conservatives:
Still, despite his enormous following in grass-roots Republican politics, he was often viewed as a sideshow of sorts by establishment conservatives. That ended in 2015 with the meteoric rise of Mr. Trump, a Limbaugh devotee who aped the radio host’s bombastic and demagoguing style on the campaign trail and quickly took command of the crowded Republican field for president.
The reporters hypocritically pretend everyone knew exactly what and how Covid was right from the start of the U.S. outbreak (no one did, certainly not the Times itself, which was as slow as many to board the “mask” train).
Last year, as the Covid-19 pandemic swept the nation, Mr. Limbaugh pushed dangerous lies, at one point likening the coronavirus to the common cold….
A few glints of humanity manage to shine through the Times’ bitter denunciation of Limbaugh’s life.
Mr. Limbaugh was himself easily caricatured: overweight all his life, sometimes topping 300 pounds, a cigar smoker with an impish grin and sly eyes. He moved with surprising grace when showing how an environmentalist skips daintily in a woodland. But his voice was his brass ring — a jaunty, rapid staccato, breaking into squeaky dolphin-talk or falsetto sobbing to expose the do-gooders with his inventive, bruising vocabulary.
McFadden has a nasty habit of lashing out at conservatives in obituaries, while showing reverence for liberal figures.
Even the paper’s obituary for Cuba’s Communist dictator Fidel Castro, by reporter Anthony DePalma was more respectful than the treatment of Limbaugh.