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The passing of a national icon

Dear Editor,

Although long-time bellicose, controversial, but very popular long-time mega radio talk show host extraordinaire Rush Hudson Limbaugh III has now passed away, his impact on the Republican Party and the conservative movement as well as our great nation, has been felt for several decades, and, sadly, will be the case for, undoubtedly, many years to come.

The epoch of Rush Limbaugh has spawned many “Limbaugh disciples” throughout the electronic and print media, as well as in government/politics, which has been greatly responsible for the political divide in our nation now being greater than at any other time in our history, which has been disturbingly detrimental.

Mr. Limbaugh during his more than three decades on the national “air waves,” unquestioningly has had a significant influence, most assuredly like no other in recent years, beginning with former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who successfully adopted the “Limbaugh style” by approaching political adversaries most disrespectfully and belligerently, which had a positive impact on his political persona, but this incessant division made it much more challenging to achieve desired legislative goals, as a result.

Mr. Limbaugh’s rhetoric and image was mostly focused on personal opinion and was not fact-based journalism, stressing more of the entertainment value of his “performances” and his ability to serve primarily as one to more provoke his audience of faithful listeners than to legitimately inform them and encourage them to form their own opinions based on verifiable facts.

Also, his routine, undoubtedly, was enhanced the repeal of the F.C.C. Fairness Doctrine in 1987, which had required that opposing views were to be respected and given equal time to communicate and/or rebut, which permitted demagogues such as Limbaugh and others of that ilk to express their controversial views virtually unchallenged and uninterrupted.

Unquestionably, Mr. Limbaugh’s career on numerous levels was successful to the extent that very few, if any, had ever realized as his most recent annual salary was reportedly $84.5 million per year, and had been inducted into the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame, as well as the National Radio Hall of Fame.

In addition, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2020 by then-President Donald J. Trump, who personally had obviously long adopted the “Limbaugh style” of communicating with the public.

Mr. Limbaugh, who often had promoted an image of himself as a type of “paragon of morality and patriotism” had at one time been seriously addicted to “pain medication,” was grossly overweight throughout his life, and was a “life-long” cigar smoker, which undoubtedly led to his death by lung cancer, had at one time stated: “cigars are just a tremendous addition to the enjoyment of my life.”

Also, although Mr. Limbaugh’s father served as a lawyer and was a veteran of World War II, Rush only had two semesters of education post high school, and avoided serving in the U.S. military, although when he was of eligible age to serve, our nation was engaged in the Vietnam War.

Without question, Mr. Limbaugh, for better or for worse, has left a lasting impression on our great nation.

Richard Hord

Martins Ferry

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