Rush Limbaugh: The Life and Legacy of the Conservative Political Commentator Behind America’s Most Popular Radio Show

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“Greetings, conversationalists across the fruited plain, this is Rush Limbaugh, the most dangerous man in America, with the largest hypothalamus in North America, serving humanity simply by opening my mouth, destined for my own wing in the Museum of Broadcasting, executing everything I do flawlessly with zero mistakes, doing this show with half my brain tied behind my back just to make it fair because I have talent on loan from…God. Rush Limbaugh. A man. A legend. A way of life.” – Rush Limbaugh, 1991

With the advent of several controversial social movements in subsequent decades, a non-traditional style of editorial persona began to take control of the news machinery in America. The weighing of ideas gave way to exclusive promotion of a specific world view, and the omission of all opposition within a devotee’s range of hearing. The general population, the branches of government, and the media entered an era of divisiveness as cable television and talk radio altered the equation by which we once interacted. These important social movements of the mid-20th century, intended to enhance the status of marginalized groups, factionalized the nation in the process. New battle lines between race, gender, and political ideology brought about a similarly fragmented group of media organizations, each catering to those sharing its worldview. Finessed shadings of mutual discussion were banished as opposing arguments were negated entirely, bringing about the current era of hyperpartisanship. Limbaugh’s radio extravaganza acts much like a restrictive social network itself, with informal pressure exerted upon listeners to conform. With other opinions excluded, the audience is given a “heightened sense” of being in the majority.