News broke on Wednesday that far-right radio host Rush Limbaugh had died at 70 after complications from lung cancer, ending a decades-long career defined by hatred and hysteria.
An icon of talk radio, Limbaugh's bigoted screeds helped lay the groundwork for the current Republican party. His career highlights include a regular "AIDS Update" segment from the 1980s, in which Limbaugh gleefully read the names of dead AIDS patients as jovial sound effects played.
Limbaugh compared then-12 year old First Daughter Chelsea Clinton to a dog in the 90s and went on to popularize the term "feminazi," claiming that feminism was "established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of pop culture."
So, naturally, former President Donald Trump awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a surprise announcement during his 2020 State of the Union, where Limbaugh was a guest.
Just over a month after Trump's election lies—which Limbaugh amplified—prompted a mob of pro-Trump extremists to storm the U.S. Capitol in a deadly attempt to upend the congressional certification, Trump yet again showed no remorse and continued to claim he won the election.
The former President said:
"Well Rush thought we won and so do I, by the way, I think we won substantially. Rush thought we won and he thought it was over at 10 o'clock, 10:30 it was over. And a lot of other people feel that way too but Rush felt that way strongly, and many people do, many professionals do."
Trump once again claimed that widespread riots would have occurred "if this had happened to a Democrat," apparently not realizing that the first breach of the United States Capitol in over 200 years was committed by his supporters.
People were exasperated by Trump's absurdity.
Trump's eulogy for a close political ally is to double down on a self-serving and destructive conspiracy theory. https://t.co/R62WMqgT3v— Don Moynihan (@Don Moynihan) 1613597404.0
Trump jarringly says “We would have had riots”—as if the horrific Capitol riot didn’t just happen. “Riots” here is… https://t.co/fZXm2CTYs7— Paula Chertok🗽 (@Paula Chertok🗽) 1613586556.0
Never miss a chance to make it about yourself. The art of the deal https://t.co/Qm7EiNoktf— Erik (@Erik) 1613597789.0
Jesus Christ he’s pathologically psychotic. https://t.co/mV7sRg3BdQ— CountingUFOs (@CountingUFOs) 1613597326.0
It's ALWAYS about him. https://t.co/foM1MjSVQx— Todd Armstrong (@Todd Armstrong) 1613597109.0
Nice to see he hasn't changed since getting the social media boot. Same guy that called in during 9/11 to say he no… https://t.co/fnp3TXzjLs— Nick (@Nick) 1613597750.0
Trump wasn't the only one to reflect on Limbaugh's legacy.
Rush Limbaugh had a segment called "AIDS update" set to music where he mocked dying gay people so I don't really wa… https://t.co/lvfi5pyvEP— Jessica Valenti (@Jessica Valenti) 1613585320.0
They say one should not speak ill of the dead and to that let end me just say Rush Limbaugh was a biped who frequently metabolized— John Scalzi (@John Scalzi) 1613595665.0
Rush Limbaugh helped create today’s polarized America by normalizing racism, bigotry, misogyny and mockery. He was… https://t.co/6HOiIYanem— Shannon Watts (@Shannon Watts) 1613587813.0
Limbaugh was 70 years old.