Rush Limbaugh, 1951-2021

The talk radio megastar has died, aged 70.

New York Times (“Rush Limbaugh, Talk Radio’s Conservative Provocateur, Dies at 70“):

Rush Limbaugh, the relentlessly provocative voice of conservative America who dominated talk radio for more than three decades with shooting-gallery attacks on liberals, Democrats, feminists, environmentalists and other moving targets, died on Wednesday. He was 70.

His wife, Kathryn, announced the death at the beginning of Mr. Limbaugh’s radio show.

“I know that I am most certainly not the Limbaugh that you tuned in to listen to today,” she said. “I, like you, very much wish Rush was behind this golden microphone right now.” She added, “It is with profound sadness I must share with you directly that our beloved Rush, my wonderful husband, passed away this morning due to complications from lung cancer.” She did not say where he died.

Mr. Limbaugh had announced on his show last February that he had advanced lung cancer. A day later, President Donald J. Trump awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, during the State of the Union address.

Mr. Limbaugh soon resumed his broadcasts, and his adoration for Mr. Trump. As the Covid-19 pandemic swept the nation, he likened the coronavirus to the common cold. And in October, as Election Day neared and Mr. Trump recuperated from the virus himself, he joined Mr. Limbaugh on the air for a two-hour “virtual rally,” largely devoted to his grievances.

“We love you,” Mr. Limbaugh assured the president on behalf of his listeners. But 10 days later, Mr. Limbaugh told his audience that his cancer had grown worse and, despite treatments, was “going in the wrong direction.”

A divisive darling of the right since launching his nationally syndicated program during the presidency of his first hero, Ronald Reagan, Mr. Limbaugh was heard regularly by as many as 15 million Americans. That following, and his drumbeat criticisms of President Barack Obama for eight years, when the Republicans were often seen as rudderless, appeared to elevate him, at least for a time, to de facto leadership among conservative Republicans.

Such talk became obsolete in 2016 with the meteoric rise of Mr. Trump, who, after several flirtations with presidential races that were never taken very seriously, suddenly burst like a supernova on the national political landscape. Mr. Trump became president and Mr. Limbaugh, off the hook, became an ardent supporter.

“This is great,” Mr. Limbaugh, sounding positively giddy, said of his new champion in the White House. “Can we agree that Donald Trump is probably enjoying this more than anybody wants to admit or that anybody knows?”

Like dreams coming true, Mr. Limbaugh hailed the president’s efforts to curtail Muslim immigration, cut taxes, promote American jobs, repeal Obamacare, raise military spending and dismantle environmental protections.

Washington Post (“Rush Limbaugh, conservative radio provocateur and cultural phenomenon, dies at 70“):

Rush Limbaugh, who deployed comic bombast and relentless bashing of liberals, feminists and environmentalists to become the nation’s most popular radio talk-show host and lead the Republican Party into a politics of anger and obstruction, died Feb. 17 at 70.

[…]

For more than two decades, starting in the late 1980s, Mr. Limbaugh dominated the airwaves, inspiring a generation of conservative talk show hosts and politicians. He parlayed his popularity on the radio into stints as a TV commentator, football analyst on ESPN and best-selling author of incendiary political books.

[…]

He saw himself as a teacher, polemicist, media critic and GOP strategist, but above all as an entertainer and salesman. Mr. Limbaugh mocked Democrats and liberals, touted a traditional Midwestern, moralistic patriotism and presented himself on the air as a biting but jovial know-it-all who pontificated “with half my brain tied behind my back just to make it fair,” as he often said.

Especially during the Democratic presidencies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Mr. Limbaugh played a leading role in demonizing liberals and pushing conservative elected officials to hard lines on issues such as immigration, government spending and denial of global warming.

During Republican presidencies, Mr. Limbaugh became a leading defender of the faith, even when that meant veering away from long-standing principles. A lifelong deficit hawk who supported Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, Mr. Limbaugh often blasted businessman Donald Trump, saying, “Trump is not a conservative.”

But in the general election, Mr. Limbaugh embraced Trump. The radio host and the new president became dinner and golf friends, and Mr. Limbaugh emerged as a staunch supporter of Trump’s battles against the news media and Republican establishment. He railed against Trump’s impeachments in 2019 and 2021 and allied himself with Trump during the coronavirus pandemic, insisting that the disease was no worse than the common cold.

After Trump lost the 2020 election, Mr. Limbaugh echoed the president’s baseless allegations of voting fraud and suggested that pro-Trump states consider seceding from the union.

Trump, Mr. Limbaugh said on his show in February 2021, “represents an uprising of the people of this country against Washington, against the establishment, and it had been building for a long time,… since Perot in 1992…. Trump was just the first guy to come along and actually weaponize it.”

Like Trump, Mr. Limbaugh mastered the art of portraying himself as a man of the people who fought the elites even as he relished a luxe life in which he collected $5,000 bottles of wine, owned a $54 million private jet, outfitted the vast salon of his Florida manse in the manner of Versailles, and socialized with top corporate and political leaders. Mr. Limbaugh often praised Trump for succeeding despite never having won over the kind of people who ran large media organizations, Wall Street firms and political parties.

And like Trump, Mr. Limbaugh craved the respect of those he criticized most vociferously. His commentaries about Trump became notably more favorable as he became a frequent golf partner with the president, just as his on-air attitude toward President George W. Bush became more supportive after the chief executive invited the radio host to dinner, a show and an overnight in the Lincoln Bedroom.

Fox News (“Rush Limbaugh, conservative talk radio pioneer, dead at 70“):

Rush Limbaugh, the monumentally influential media icon who transformed talk radio and politics in his decades behind the microphone, helping shape the modern-day Republican Party, died Wednesday morning at the age of 70 after a battle with lung cancer, his family announced.

[…]

Limbaugh is considered one of the most influential media figures in American history and has played a consequential role in conservative politics since “The Rush Limbaugh Show” began in 1988. Perched behind his Golden EIB (Excellence in Broadcasting) Microphone, Limbaugh spent over three decades as arguably both the most beloved and polarizing person in American media.

The program that began 33 years ago on national syndication with only 56 radio stations grew to be the most listened-to radio show in the United States, airing on more than 600 stations, according to the show’s website. Up to 27 million people tuned in on a weekly basis and Limbaugh has lovingly referred to his passionate fan base as “Dittoheads,” as they would often say “ditto” when agreeing with the iconic radio host.

In his final radio broadcast of 2020, Limbaugh thanked his listeners and supporters, revealing at the time that he had outlived his prognosis.

“I wasn’t expected to be alive today,” he said. “I wasn’t expected to make it to October, and then to November, and then to December. And yet, here I am, and today, got some problems, but I’m feeling pretty good today.”

Limbaugh helped boost Trump’s influence prior to the 2016 election simply by taking him seriously as a candidate when other established conservatives didn’t want the former reality television star anywhere near the Republican Party. Many of Limbaugh’s listeners eventually became Trump supporters and the radio legend continued to defend Trump throughout his presidency despite occasional disagreements.

In the heat of the 2020 presidential election, Limbaugh hosted Trump in October for what was an unprecedented two-hour “radio rally”, during which the president was virtually given control of the coveted golden microphone to answer questions from the host and his listeners.

Limbaugh, born in Cape Girardeau, Mo., on Jan. 12, 1951, began his radio career in 1967 as a “helper” when he was only 16 years old. He eventually graduated to disk jockey and worked at a small station roughly 100 miles south of St. Louis while attending high school.

“I was totally consumed,” Limbaugh told the New York Times in 1990, noting that his idol was a Chicago radio host named Larry Lujack. By 1971, Limbaugh was a morning radio host in Pittsburgh, where he was oddly told to cover a certain amount of “farm news” because the area was surrounded by many agriculture communities. In 2007 he explained to listeners how the young radio host managed to keep listeners despite the bizarre requirement.

“The last thing that the audience of my show cares about is farm news. If farm news came on, bam! They pushed the button and go somewhere else. So, we had to figure out, ‘Okay, how do we do this and protect the license?’ So I turned the farm news every day into a funny bit with farm sound effects and the roosters crowing and so forth, and I’d make fun of the stockyard feed prices or whatever it was, so that we could say, ‘We’re doing barn news,’ agriculture news. There was all kinds of things like that,” Limbaugh told listeners.

The tidbit offered a glimpse into Limbaugh’s early days, proving that he was a master of keeping audiences engaged from a young age. Limbaugh has said he realized America was the “greatest country ever” when taking trips to Europe and Asia in his late 20s and early 30s, an experience that helped shape his political views.

As I’ve recounted over the years, I was an avid fan of Limbaugh’s show upon coming back to the States in early 1992 after four years overseas in the military. As both a political conservative and a political news junkie, I’d never encountered anything like it: three hours of impassioned discussion of the news of the day.

My early years listening to the show coincided with my time in graduate school and the juxtaposition was a bit jarring. Limbaugh was a consummate entertainer who combined canned bits, humor, provocation, and analysis. It wasn’t long before I saw many of his schticks as intellectually dishonest and internally inconsistent, but I was able to write it off as the nature of show business.

Still, I turned away from Limbaugh long before I turned away from conservative politics. Given the ephemeral nature of the shows, it’s hard to know how much was him changing and how much was me, although it was certainly some of both. But, clearly, Limbaugh’s rants got meaner over time as he had to compete with less talented but more charged imitators like Glenn Beck and Michael Savage. And, over time, he seemed to even stop pretending that he was espousing a political philosophy beyond Owning the Libs.

Regardless, while he is almost certainly the best ever to do what he did in terms of sheer talent and ability to keep an audience coming back for three hours a day, five days a week, he almost certainly made the country and its political climate worse. He paved the way for Newt Gingrich, who paved the way for Sarah Palin, who paved the way for Donald Trump.

FILED UNDER: Media, Obituaries
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Argon says:

    Sometimes the soul passes first. Sometimes it’s decades apart.

    25
  2. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Rush’s death should be treated with the same dignity he showed Chelsea Clinton, M.J.Fox, Donovan McNabb, numerous rape victims, women in general, and Muslims.

    Rare are the people who the world is better off without…Limbaugh was one of them.

    39
  3. SKI says:

    three hours of impassioned discussion of the news of the day.

    You say impassioned discourse, I say racism, misogyny, bigotry, conspiracy theories and hate.

    And I have the actual facts and his own statements in support.

    25
  4. CSK says:

    I’m sure this observation has been made before, but Limbaugh’s infatuation with Trump was probably due to them both being spurned by the “elites.”

    9
  5. Raoul says:

    How a four time married, opiate drug addict, and prostitute client among many personal attributes became the heart of the Republican Party explains a lot. He was Trump before Trump from messaging to crack pot theories. At the end of the day these people have managed to monetize grievances without offering any solutions. Truly the rankest of exploitation’s by taking the lesser lives of people and making them worse while blaming “others”. Those of less kindred spirit will say they deserve each other but I hope otherwise, and the last month may allow for a positive reconstitution.

    18
  6. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    All confederate flags should be lowered to half-staff.

    33
  7. Gustopher says:

    I was an avid fan of Limbaugh’s show upon coming back to the States in early 1992 after four years overseas in the military. As both a political conservative and a political news junkie, I’d never encountered anything like it: three hours of impassioned discussion of the news of the day.

    So, the “Chelsea Clinton is ugly” era. Good, good. I think you’ve grown since then. I hope you’ve grown since then.

    He pioneered “just being an asshole” as an alternative to conservative thought. If it wasn’t him, it would have been someone else, but it was him, so fuck him. I hope he suffered.

    He pushed and promoted Climate Change Denialism, which has put us back decades in any kind of response, and likely killed thousands or orders of magnitude more. His role in covid denialism is similar, but he had more competition.

    Who can forget when he was detained by customs for a bottle of viagra, as he was returning from the Dominican Republic, well known for its sex tourism?

    He was a horrible person, and we all would have been better off if he died in childhood. Perhaps it would have saved his soul.

    26
  8. Paine says:

    The last time I heard his show was two summers ago when my neighbor was listening to him on the radio while doing some yard work. I decided that was a good time to mow my yard.

    Good riddance.

    14
  9. EddieInCA says:

    I listened to Rush consistently between 1989-1994. I feel now what I felt then. He was a talented bullshit artist, nothing more. He repacked misogyny, racism, xenophobia, and anti-gay rhetoric as “schitck”. It tried to hide the ugliness of the underlying message. It worked to a great degree to those folks who don’t understand nuance, complexity, or gradations. In short, he was an asshole.

    I have zero sympathy for him.

    He pushed for harsh penalties for crack users, but was an addict himself who used his influence and power to escape any consequences for his illegal behavior.
    He was married FOUR times, yet was held up as a paragon of family values, and attacked Clinton for his marital issues; Bill Clinton, who is still married to his one and only wife.
    He told his listeners that the Federal Government was over-inflating the severity of Hurricane Irma and advised people to not evacuate, when he himself evacuated.
    He told his listeners that “Covid-19 is the common cold, nothing more”.
    He told his listeners that “Biden has not legitimately won the presidency”.

    Fvck him. Since he is a person of faith, I hope St. Peter tells him to Fvck Off and take the down escalator. I’m just sorry he didn’t suffer more.

    35
  10. Hal_10000 says:

    In the early years, he was good. His show in the 90s was upbeat, funny and occasionally insightful. But as the century turned, he, like the entire conservative movement, went down a path I couldn’t follow. Gone was the optimism. Gone was the humor. Gone were the ideas. All that was there was hatred of Democrats and liberals, which eventually found its ultimate avatar in Trump.

    Still, almost everything that has followed has been in his wake. If you liked the Daily Show or Colbert or Maddow or any of the thousand late night talk shows that have sprung up in the last decade, they followed his path. Using opponents’ words against them, verbally fisking speeches, using humor, illustrating absurdity by being absurd. This was all stuff they got from his show, at least in part. For better or for worse.

    11
  11. Scott says:

    I remember in the early 90s when Rush Rooms were all the rage. I just didn’t get it. I just have a revulsion against irrational, emotional argumentation which he specialized in.

    As I just read somewhere, you can remember him by singin “Poor Jud is Dead”(from Oklahoma” replacing Jud with Rush. It works.

    4
  12. James Joyner says:

    @Gustopher:

    So, the “Chelsea Clinton is ugly” era. Good, good. I think you’ve grown since then. I hope you’ve grown since then.

    Aside from an expanded worldview, I’m just at a different point in my life. I was 26 and single when I first started listening to Limbaugh, so it was more than half my life ago.

    9
  13. Modulo Myself says:

    Still, almost everything that has followed has been in his wake. If you liked the Daily Show or Colbert or Maddow or any of the thousand late night talk shows that have sprung up in the last decade, they followed his path.

    Lol, no they didn’t. Rush’s only influence was in building up the conservative ghetto and making it even more delusional. The Simpsons and Letterman paved the way for the Daily Show. Rush? He gave us The Federalist.

    20
  14. Jay L Gischer says:

    Rush made use of the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine that the Reagan Administration FCC carried out. I am of the opinion that if it weren’t him, it would have been someone else filling that hole. Getting people who are full-throated conservative and don’t give two shakes about “fairness” was the entire point of the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine.

    So, as much as I disliked his on-air persona in particular, I don’t know that I blame him for what’s happened to the country as much as I blame the people who made it all happen. From what I hear, he was quite good at the mechanics of his job, and had a fairly serious work ethic.

    5
  15. Thomm says:

    I will sum.up my thoughts using the man’s own words during his, apparently, non mean-spirited time on air:
    “He’s just another dead drug addict”
    Rush Limbaugh on Jerry Garcia’s death 8-11-1995.
    And
    “Kurt Cobain was, ladies and gentleman, I just – he was a worthless shred of human debris…”

    I was 12 or so when my father took me to see his travelling live show, and I picked up he was a hate filled man and lost a portion of my relationship with my pops over the years due to him and fox news. I hope he has some stripper kids come out of the woodwork to decimate his estate.

    18
  16. Jay L Gischer says:

    Hmm, I think it’s likely that The Daily Show, The Stephen Colbert Report, or Maddow’s show would also not be possible under the Fairness Doctrine, which was pretty stringent.

    Comics pretty much got free rein to make fun of the President, and maybe Senators, too, even under the Fairness Doctrine, but you didn’t see Lenny Bruce or Mort Sahl on the TV for a reason., (and it wasn’t just the swearing).

    2
  17. Paul L. says:

    He was a sexist Duke Lacrosse/UVA Rape apologist.

    When a woman accused Duke University lacrosse players of rape, he derided her as a “ho,”

    3
  18. Michael Reynolds says:

    Gee, I wish I could remember whose body it was that had grown cold, and that I criticized, only to be deluged by self-righteous demands here that I not speak ill of the dead.

    11
  19. Joe says:

    I make no judgments, but it is an opportunity squandered, and an entire section of the cemetery ruined, if someone does not arrange to bury him under a dance floor.

    7
  20. Jen says:

    I was an occasional listener back when I worked in politics, in part because he was a local boy turned famous (I was in Missouri, Limbaugh is from Cape Girardeau). Even then, when working as a Republican Party employee, I remember cringing sometimes when listening to him. It didn’t take much time for me to tire of his shtick (and it always felt like an over-the-top act to me).

    In closing, I’ll note that if there is an Almighty, she has a sense of humor, seeing as today is Random Acts of Kindness Day.

    7
  21. @Daryl and his brother Darryl: You win the thread.

    4
  22. Paul L. says:

    Story/Narrative will be updated to Rush Limbaugh passed away this morning from Covid along with complications from lung cancer.

    1
  23. @Jay L Gischer:

    Hmm, I think it’s likely that The Daily Show, The Stephen Colbert Report, or Maddow’s show would also not be possible under the Fairness Doctrine, which was pretty stringent.

    To be “that guy” for a moment: the Fairness Doctrine applied to broadcast, not cable. (And definitely would not have applied to TDS or Colbert).

    9
  24. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    “All confederate flags should be lowered to half-staff.”

    They probably have been.

    4
  25. Barry says:

    @CSK: “I’m sure this observation has been made before, but Limbaugh’s infatuation with Trump was probably due to them both being spurned by the “elites.””

    The man who was worth several hundred million $ in grad school?

    1
  26. Barry says:

    He’s dead. Good.

    6
  27. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Hal_10000: You bring up a good point. For a lot of the earlier years, one of his standard lines was “I’m not doing political commentary, I’m doing entertainment.” To some degree, it was probably an alibi even then, but as he forgot that and started believing his own hype, the quality of the show as both entertainment and commentary plummeted and the arrogant arsehole that he probably always was shined through.

    Satire always has some exaggeration. When the exaggeration becomes the message, it stops being satire.

    4
  28. CSK says:

    @Barry:
    Neither Limbaugh nor Trump was ever accepted by the Manhattan haut monde, to which they both desperately wanted to belong, especially Trump. Money won’t buy your way into those circles, especially if you’re a crude, bombastic oaf, which both were.

    At this point, Trump isn’t even that rich. Certainly he won’t be after Deutsche Bank goes after that 400 million plus he owes them.

    7
  29. Gustopher says:

    @James Joyner:

    Aside from an expanded worldview, I’m just at a different point in my life. I was 26 and single when I first started listening to Limbaugh, so it was more than half my life ago.

    A lot of people stuck with Rush from that age onwards. Don’t sell yourself short.

    (But also, don’t dismiss your youthful shortcomings on age — part and parcel with the above, really. You can’t have growth without something to grow from)

    2
  30. Mike in Arlington says:

    Limbaugh was “… worthless shred of human debris.” (to describe him as he once described someone else).

    He left this country worse off than he found it.

    Good riddance.

    I don’t like speaking ill of the dead, but I’m making an exception for his case.

    3
  31. EddieInCA says:

    @Gustopher:

    100%.

    As someone who gives Dr. Joyner a hard time way too often, it’s important for me to clarify that I give him and Dr. Taylor credit for their candor in explaining the struggles in their evolving world views, and the difficulties inherent to such an evolution. It’s hard to step away from your own biases, conventional wisdom, and beliefs. But it’s the mark of a thinking, rational, intelligent person to be able to change their view as the underlying facts change.

    So kudos, Dr. Joyner. As Gustopher rightly points out, many people never made that change. They just stuck with Rush until the end, getting more hateful and bitter in the process.

    14
  32. SKI says:

    @Hal_10000:

    In the early years, he was good. His show in the 90s was upbeat, funny and occasionally insightful.

    Insight like claiming AIDs didn’t spread to heterosexuals and funny like mocking gay deaths?

    Were his attacks on Chelsea Clinton upbeat or funny? I’m pretty sure they weren’t insightful.

    Calling women feminazis sure is a hoot – and so high minded. Sure glad he explained that feminism was only created to allow ugly women rights in society.

    14
  33. Kathy says:

    Almost all I know about Limbaugh is what appeared in Al Franken’s book, “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations.” I’m sure it was accurate.

    the book dates from 1996, but seems to be still in print.

    3
  34. Kylopod says:

    @SKI: He was also claiming the Clintons offed Vince Foster (the birtherism of the ’90s).

    6
  35. SKI says:

    @Kylopod: That must be the “insightful” bit. 😮

    1
  36. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy:

    Almost all I know about Limbaugh is what appeared in Al Franken’s book, “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations.”

    Reading it in my late teens, the book had a profound influence on me. Another was an article by Bill Buckley from around that time. Buckley was commenting on President Clinton’s criticisms of Limbaugh. I’d heard how Buckley was one of the intellectual giants of the conservative movement, so I was expecting him to deliver a stinging rebuke against Limbaugh and to explain how true conservatives don’t put up with the nonsense he spews. How naive I was. Buckley in this article conceded that Limbaugh “induces hatred,” and that “if I were a liberal, I would hate him,” but he went on to argue that Truman and FDR did the same thing to the other side. No mention of Limbaugh’s lies or conspiracy theories. Reading the column, you’d think Limbaugh’s only sin was being mean to liberals.

    It was at this point that I realized that the difference between the Buckleys and the Limbaughs was more of a good cop/bad cop game than any substantive disagreements. Buckley’s role was to give the scam known as the conservative movement a respectable face–to use big words and erudite tones to fool the bourgeoisie into thinking conservatism was an intellectually respectable endeavor. Limbaugh was selling the same ideas to a different audience, for whom the demeanor of the loudmouth bully was more appealing. By framing the problem with Limbaugh as a matter of decorum rather than fundamental truth and falsehood, Buckley was implicitly endorsing all the ugly beliefs Limbaugh stood for while letting himself off the hook.

    11
  37. CSK says:

    I’ll never forgive Limbaugh for describing Tom Clancy as “our greatest American novelist.”

    9
  38. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Pffft. Like Trump’s got $400 million lying around to pay them back with. Sure. That’ll happen.

    2
  39. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    He can probably get the rubes to stump up some of the cash. But yes, I do wonder how he plans to evade this debt. I suppose the bank can repossess whatever properties of Trump’s they subsidized.

    1
  40. Jim Brown 32 says:

    I remember listening to Rush for a very brief time in the early years when his show came on late at night on TV. I saw him as a takeoff on Morton Downey…with less overt but more implied vulgarity. Didn’t take long to figure out he was all in on every black inferiority meme and trope he could peddle to his audience. Im no Clarence Thomas stop I stopped watching.

    They say all money aint good money…well, neither is entertainment. Knowing the type of people that listen to him…he was their balls. The guy that would say the shit they dreamed of saying. Things that would get the hell knocked out of them if they said it. Rush said it…and no one got their teeth slapped out.

    Somewhere, a squirrel was ran over by a car and killed today. I suppose I feel that say way about Limbaugh expiring as I feel about the squirrel.

    7
  41. Drew says:

    Joyner and Taylor must be so proud of their commenters.

    2
  42. EddieInCA says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I have it on pretty good authority that Trump’s actually on the hook for close to a billion dollars. And, as you have probably read, his properties are hemorrhaging money. The people who can afford his properties want nothing to do with him, and those who want to go to his properties can’t afford them.

    I just logged onto the Doral website, and I can get one of 20 tee times for the Blue Monster for tomorrow, for 1-4 golfers between 7:10am and 3:00pm. 10 years ago, before Trump bought it, your tee times had to be made a week out or you had to know someone. Remember, this is PRIME Florida golf season and the Blue Monster. It’s not July on some muni. The other three courses there have even more tee times available. They’re losing money daily.

    A quick google search shows me this:

    Late last year, in a Miami conference room, a consultant for President Trump’s company said business at his prized 643-room Doral resort was in sharp decline.

    At Doral, which Trump has listed in federal disclosures as his biggest moneymaker hotel, room rates, banquets, golf and overall revenue were all down since 2015. In two years, the resort’s net operating income — a key figure, representing the amount left over after expenses are paid — had fallen by 69 percent.

    Even in a vigorous economy, the property was missing the Trump Organization’s internal business targets; for instance, the club expected to take in $85 million in revenue in 2017 but took in just $75 million.

    “They are severely underperforming” other resorts in the area, tax consultant Jessica Vachiratevanurak told a Miami-Dade County official in a bid to lower the property’s tax bill. The reason, she said: “There is some negative connotation that is associated with the brand.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-prized-doral-resort-is-in-steep-decline-according-to-company-documents-showing-his-business-problems-are-mounting/2019/05/14/03cc701a-6b54-11e9-be3a-33217240a539_story.html

    5
  43. EddieInCA says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Somewhere, a squirrel was ran over by a car and killed today. I suppose I feel that say way about Limbaugh expiring as I feel about the squirrel.

    I feel more for the squirrel. Of course, I like animals more than people.

    10
  44. Kathy says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Well, the worst thing a squirrel can give you is rabies.

    And we have vaccines for that.

    3
  45. Kylopod says:

    Besides the Franken book (which is a must-read), another book I recommend is John K. Wilson’s 2011 The Most Dangerous Man in America: Rush Limbaugh’s Assault on Reason. It’s a slightly more cerebral, less tongue-in-cheek critique than Franken’s (very funny, but also insightful) book. I have the following quote handy because I quoted it here several months ago:

    Limbaugh’s lack of formal education has haunted him for decades. As a college dropout, he has always felt jealous of his better-educated peers, which is why he mocks the Ivy League graduates and anyone else who is well educated. However, the problem with Rush Limbaugh is not that he’s uneducated but that he’s stupid. There are plenty of stupid people with PhDs and plenty of smart people who never got a degree of any kind. In Limbaugh’s case, he avoided an education because he resists having his views challenged; instead of learning about ideas different from what he already believed, Limbaugh preferred to live in a bubble of his own beliefs.

    5
  46. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    Well, Clancy could weave a plot well, and he’s second to none when describing how weapons systems work (he does a great job describing, with deliberate omissions, how a nuclear bomb works). In time, he improved in characterization.

    The dialogue, though, could be painful*. In his debut tome, The Hunt for Red October, Ryan’s lines are hard to get through. I mean, any character, or cast of characters, who uses the phrase “We’re the good guys,” without annoyance or irony, has an overly simplistic view of the world.

    His main talent, was his ability to keep the reader turning the page. This is invaluable for a writer.

    A great novelist? No. A competent novelist? Yes. Good, entertaining stories that can be re-read? Mostly.

    * His extensive use of profanity gets tiresome very quickly. When so many characters say, for instance, “F**k” so often, the word becomes no more impactful than “darn,” or “jeepers,” perhaps even less so.

    2
  47. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Clancy didn’t actually write his own books, even before he started franchising his name.

    I think Limbaugh liked Clancy’s politics, and that was the basis for the claim that Clancy was the greatest American novelist.

  48. Owen says:

    @CSK: Like Kathy, I appreciate the level of technical detail in many of Clancy’s novels, which I think was what he really brought to the novels (his ghost writers would handle the mundane aspects of character development and dialogue). I did take issue with “Red Storm Rising” though. I was a young AF enlisted weatherman at the time it was released, and the hero was an AF weather Lieutenant. After they read the book (and everyone seemed to be reading it), the Lieutenants in my unit became (more) annoying.

    4
  49. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    I find that hard to believe in the case of his first book. Or my estimate of what kind of “author”rates a ghost writer is way off.

    @Owen:

    The best part of Red Storm Rising was the PC game based on the submarine ops in the novel. It was fun.

    1
  50. Liberal Capitalist says:

    On his passing, there will be some that will miss him. Many, many, MANY more will never understand why or how that could ever be possible.

    1
  51. CSK says:

    @Owen:
    According to a friend of mine who worked with fiber optics, and who read one of Clancy’s books to pass the time on a flight from Boston to Sydney, Clancy got fiber optics all wrong.

    I also don’t think that someone who hires people to fill in the blanks in his work can be described as “great” or even “okay.” But I realize he entertained a lot of people.

    2
  52. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    In the business, they’re known as “book doctors.” A quite well-known one was Susan Fireman. Not that she was known to the general public, but she was certainly highly regarded in the publishing industry.

    Ghosts generally write the whole book (my sister does this for a living) because the author can’t.

    3
  53. MarkedMan says:

    From TPM:

    Limbaugh warned in 2016 that if Trump wins the White House, the radio host expected unprecedented “levels of violence” from upset liberals.

    On his radio show, Limbaugh asked listeners to imagine the fallout from the political left immediately after a possible Trump win.

    “I want you to think: What’s going to happen that night? What’s going to happen the next day? What’s going to happen every day thereafter?” he said. “What’s going to happen the day Trump gets inaugurated? What is the left going to do? They’re not going to just sit idly by and accept this.”

    Limbaugh quipped that the left will “do everything they can to undermine it” and the county will “see levels of violence that we have not seen.”

    The irony deepens — Limbaugh suggested anti-Trump forces would “intimidate” people into “reversing” a Trump win and doing “everything they can to see it that Trump never does get inaugurated.”

    6
  54. Moosebreath says:

    @MarkedMan:

    “Limbaugh suggested anti-Trump forces would “intimidate” people into “reversing” a Trump win and doing “everything they can to see it that Trump never does get inaugurated.”

    Projection — it’s not just for big screen TV’s anymore.

    8
  55. Nightcrawler says:

    while he is almost certainly the best ever to do what he did in terms of sheer talent and ability to keep an audience coming back for three hours a day, five days a week

    He wasn’t. Howard Stern is.

    3
  56. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Owen: An annoying Lt…… Isn’t that redundant? Bwahahahahahahahahah

    1
  57. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    If that was the case with Red October, then the dialogue must have been euthanized.

  58. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: It wouldn’t surprise me at all to discover that The Donald’s assets have been partitioned out in the manner of the collateralized debt obligations of the Great Recession and that he’s borrowed about 3 or 400% of whatever equity he holds in the properties he *owns.*

    1
  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @EddieInCA: “There is some negative connotation that is associated with the brand.”

    Whoa!!! Didn’t see THAT comin’! This is my shocked face. 😐

    1
  60. DrDaveT says:

    @Hal_10000:

    If you liked the Daily Show or Colbert or Maddow or any of the thousand late night talk shows that have sprung up in the last decade, they followed his path.

    Well, apart from the whole truth vs. lies things, I suppose. [Insert eye-roll here.]

    2
  61. OzarkHillbilly says:

    As my GrandMa always said, “Good riddance to bad rubbish.”

  62. James Joyner says:

    @Kathy:

    I mean, any character, or cast of characters, who uses the phrase “We’re the good guys,” without annoyance or irony, has an overly simplistic view of the world.

    The main characters were a crew on a Boomer at the height of the Cold War. That was likely pretty accurate.

    * His extensive use of profanity gets tiresome very quickly. When so many characters say, for instance, “F**k” so often, the word becomes no more impactful than “darn,” or “jeepers,” perhaps even less so.

    Again, that’s pretty accurate for a Navy crew of that era. Less so now, although the F-word abounds.

    1
  63. James Joyner says:

    @Nightcrawler:

    He wasn’t. Howard Stern is.

    Stern’s great but in a different way. For one thing, his show is incredibly guest-driven. Limbaugh is a monologist. In his heyday, at least, he was able to keep the audience hooked for 3 hours just by talking. And, while they’re both shock jocks in different ways, Limbaugh was pretty much sheer politics, whereas Stern did a lot of pop culture and (mostly judging from the television segments) relies a lot on pornstars and sexual innuendo.

    1
  64. wr says:

    @Hal_10000: “If you liked the Daily Show or Colbert or Maddow or any of the thousand late night talk shows that have sprung up in the last decade, they followed his path.”

    One of these days, some conservative has to actually sit down and watch one episode of Maddow. Her show has absolutely no resemblance to what you describe here, or what any rightie every claims it is.

    3
  65. wr says:

    @Jay L Gischer: “Hmm, I think it’s likely that The Daily Show, The Stephen Colbert Report, or Maddow’s show would also not be possible under the Fairness Doctrine, which was pretty stringent.”

    Actually, none of these would fall under the Fairness Doctrine, as it regulated the use of US airwaves — which are licensed to broadcasters — and these shows are/were all on cable, which does not use the airwaves and thus is not subject to many of the same regulations as networks.

    “Comics pretty much got free rein to make fun of the President, and maybe Senators, too, even under the Fairness Doctrine, but you didn’t see Lenny Bruce or Mort Sahl on the TV for a reason., (and it wasn’t just the swearing).”

    No, but I don’t believe it was the FD, either. It had much more to do with the inherent conservatism and closeness to the government that all three networks had at the time — and even more the conservatism of the major corporations that sponsored shows. Even CBS never claimed they cancelled The Smother Brothers because of the Fairness Doctrine — they just didn’t want political satire on their network, despite the high ratings they were bringing in.

    1
  66. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Drew:
    Hey, I meant to ask you, Drew: who won the 2020 presidential election?

    Can you answer that?

  67. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    I thought he was banned.

  68. grumpy realist says:

    @Kathy: Best part of The Hunt For Red October was the film, where we got to hear Sean Connery mangling Russian in the opening dialog.

    Worst accent on screen since Dick van Dyke’s Cockney “accent” in Mary Poppins.

  69. Kylopod says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Worst accent on screen since Dick van Dyke’s Cockney “accent” in Mary Poppins.

    I have not seen The Hunt for Red October, but truly has there ever been any accent worse than Keanu’s attempt at British in Dracula?