Controversial talk show host Rush Limbaugh died on Feb. 17th from complications of lung cancer at his home in Palm Beach, Fla. according to his wife Kathryn Limbaugh.
She announced the death of her husband at the start of his popular radio show, a decades-long destination for more than 15 million listeners. “I know that I am most certainly not the Limbaugh that you tuned in to listen to today,” she said. “For over 32 years, Rush has cherished you, his loyal audience, and always looked forward to every single show. 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.”
Limbaugh had been off the air in recent days, with guest hosts filling in.
Rush Limbaugh, the right-wing radio host whose divisive style of mockery and grievance reshaped American conservatism, denigrating Democrats, environmentalists, “feminazis” (his term) and other liberals while presaging the rise of Donald J. Trump.
In January, he falsely and repeatedly said on his show the day after the inauguration that President Joe Biden did not win the election — this after a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol and five people died.
Limbaugh, a Missouri native and a college dropout, became a rock ‘n’ roll radio DJ and sports radio host before rising to national attention in the late 1980s with a syndicated conservative talk show on AM radio. He rose to fame with conservatives using his sharp tongue, controversial politics and his ongoing attack on democrats, women and the LGBTQ community.
Among these attacks, Limbaugh rampantly used anti-trans slurs during his broadcasts and accused transgender youth of participating in a “fad” to “tick off their parents.” During Pete Buttigieg’s 2020 presidential run, Limbaugh denounced the candidate for publicly kissing his husband, Chasten. He routinely argued that LGBTQ+ rights are anti-American, saying it’s against the country’s traditional values and that LGBTQ+ just want to obliterate them.
Limbaugh also aired a “short-lived” segment called “AIDS Update” in which he would play songs like “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places” and “I Know I’ll Never Love This Way Again” to mock people who died from the disease.
While Limbaugh later apologized for those broadcasts, his apology was met with little sympathy on Twitter.
GLAAD advised news organizations to include Limbaugh’s “hateful history” of anti-LGBTQ+ bigotry when reporting on his death. “Rush Limbaugh spent much of his career maliciously attacking LGBTQ people,” the organization said.
Having used his platform to mock people living with HIV and the disease itself, compare same-sex marriage to pedophilia, and advise bigots to “blame Islam” for anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, Limbaugh will not be missed by the LGBTQ community.
Limbaugh even claimed that when Pete Buttigieg kissed his husband Chasten that it would cause “problems” for parents, and reviled him for kissing his husband “frequently”.
In response, moments after the news of Limbaugh’s passing, Chasten Buttigieg sent out a wordless but defiant tweet – a photograph of the couple kissing.