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PBC Post-Retirement Special: Assessing the Damage Caused by Rush Limbaugh

Two days after the announcement of the death of conservative shock radio host Rush Limbaugh, PBC offers unscripted comments on Limbaugh’s impact on media and the minds of his “dittohead” listeners.Hosting a daily liberal talk show that followed radical conservative Rush Limbaugh every day on San Francisco’s KNBR, your humble host offers unique insight into Limbaugh’s rise, his demonization of minorities, gays, women and everyone else he targeted, and how his success led to the rise of Fox “News” and Donald Trump.

PBC explains that Limbaugh wasn’t “discovered”, he was cast to play the part of a loud-mouthed shock host–based on sophisticated market research that was conducted in the 1980’s by the ABC Network for its failed ABC Talkradio service. The description of the role that Limbaugh was chose for is “non-guested confrontation talk radio”.  In other words, Limbaugh was set up to attack opponents, who were never permitted to respond.

Drawing on his experience following Limbaugh’s show, PBC explains Rush’s total control of his program environment, his deflection of charges of racism and misogyny as “entertainment” and how Limbaugh never appeared to acknowledge his own serious opioid addiction, much less use his program to help addicts and offer support to them.

Update:  here’s an excellent, detailed commentary on the normalization of misogyny and the war on contraception Limbaugh led, by Jill Filipovic.

Collins also describes the influence that Limbaugh had on Donald Trump, who used the same tools from Rush’s demagogue toolbox with great success.

PBC mentions the gushing video tribute to Limbaugh at Talkers, a weekly trade rag for the industry.  He also talks about the 2013 article he wrote for Truthout that details the failed effort to launch liberal talk radio shows and the Air America network.

In the final portion of the podcast, Peter Laufer joins; he’s professor of journalism at the University of Oregon and author of the 1995 book, Inside Talk Radio.  Laufer has cogent comments about Limbaugh’s impact on the radio business, the decisions station management made to enable Limbaugh to spew attacks, lies, and false characterizations of people he disagreed with, and Rush’s impact on the radio business..

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