Politics

The Passing of Rush Limbaugh

The PassingRush Hudson Limbaugh III passed away, at age 70, on Feb. 17th. He was a conservative political commentator, an American radio personality, author, and was most known as the host of The Rush Limbaugh Show.

In February 2020, Limbaugh announced that he was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. He continued hosting, while undergoing cancer treatment. Limbaugh has told his listeners he was hopeful to beat cancer, and that they should be hopeful too.

Robert E. Scott, Professor of the Department of Communication, said Limbaugh was an influential media personality with a large audience.

Scott said, “He could generate significant support for mainstream Republicans and help elevate lesser-known candidates to a national stage. However, his boisterous style and brash language was caustic to many and, as a result, he became a divisive figure in media and politics.”

Scott also said that regardless of using language that many considered racist, sexist and offensive, Limbaugh became an “influencer” before the trend gained traction with the mass adoption of social media.

“As such, numerous conservative politicians relied on his support. Not everyone agreed with his style, humor or overall tone, but recognized his impact on an enormous audience,” he said.

Over on social media, some people expressed their condolences online, and others took the time to bash him. This was causing controversy online.

Donna Dolphin, Associate Professor of Communication, said that there was controversy online regarding Rush Limbaugh because he was contentious.

“He lived his professional life stirring the pot. He was a bigot and marketed himself that way,” said Dolphin.

Dolphin said Limbaugh was a pioneer in radio, and he established and popularized the talk show on radio, which was enormously successful as well.

She said in 1987, the FCC revoked the Fairness Doctrine, a rule that required broadcasters to present content from both sides of controversial issues.

“Limbaugh grasped that he could now be as radical as he wanted,” said Dolphin. “He developed his ultra-right-wing persona and used his platform to promote conspiracy theories and a variety of bigoted perspectives. He was racist, misogynist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic.”

Dolphin said that Limbaugh became a powerful spokesperson for the Republican Party and he is credited with contributing greatly to Republican success in 1994. She also said his huge audience of devoted listeners trusted his message.

Sean Gerhard, Communication TV and Radio Production student, said that Rush Limbaugh was a legend in the industry and that many people over a long period of time listened to his shows.

“He not only paved the way for himself, but for others as well in all media fields,” said Gerhard.

He said that people say that radio is a dying industry, however that is where the roots of everything that is popular today started. Podcasts were able to grow into what they are today because of the start of radio.

Gerhard is actively involved in Hawk TV and WMCX radio station at Monmouth University. He discussed how radio, podcasts, and commentaries are a vital aspect in expressing creatively. Gerhard said that podcasts have become so popular as of recently, and they are accessible.

“You don’t need a full studio to do a podcast, and we are seeing that happen with every day people starting podcasts from their home,” said Gerhard. “If you have good content, people are going to want to hear it. No matter how you choose to express your creativity in the media field we are in, radio, TV, podcasts, ect. You have to recognize that legends like Limbaugh walked so we can run today.”

 

IMAGE TAKEN from Legacy.com