Fox News on Wednesday dedicated a few hours of coverage to praise for Rush Limbagh, a right-wing talk radio star whose aggressive and often divisive rhetoric helped pave the way for the network’s premier all-time host.
With Harris Faulkner and Bill Heimer at the anchor desk, conservative media and political celebrities called to pay tribute to Mr. Limbaugh, who died at the age of 70 on Wednesday.
“No talk is radio as we know it” without Mr. Limbo, said Sean Hannity.
“It doesn’t exist right now,” he said on Fox News. “And I would also argue in many ways, there are no Fox News or some of these other opinionated cable networks either.”
Tucker Carlson said Mr. Limbaugh came “out of nowhere” and became the voice of conservatism and the savior of AM radio. “There was a person here who took mass media and turned it into the most powerful force in American politics, and they completely outdid it with talent.”
Former President Donald J. Trump said in a call to Fox News that he last spoke with Mr. Limbo three or four days ago. “People, whether they loved him or not, they respected him, they really did,” he said. Mr. Trump also reiterated the baseless claim that he had won the election. “Rush thought we won, and so I, by the way,” he said. “I think we won quite a lot.”
The broadcast featured Mr. Trump’s vision of the nation’s highest civilian honor along with Mr. Limbaugh’s presidential medal during the State of the Union address last February. Former Vice President Mike Pence, a former talk radio host, also said that Mr. Limbaugh “made fun of conservatives.”
In his long career, Mr. Limbaugh often called feminists “Feminazis”; After losing his commentary role on ESPN in 2003, he stated that Black quarterback Donovan McNab for the Philadelphia Eagles had received much credit for his team’s success because of his race; And hung out on callers for his radio show, which he called “Caller Aborts”, a vacuum cleaner sound and an audio montage of human scream. In 2012, he repeatedly attacked Sandra Fluke, a law student who testified at a congressional hearing on birth control, calling her a “slut” and a “prostitute” in her radio show.
When Barack Obama ran for the presidency in 2008, Mr. Limbaugh promoted the lie that Mr. Obama was born outside the United States and that Mr. Trump recently supported claims of electoral fraud. On the December 23 show, he acknowledged his influence on Fox News.
“And then I got some help to start in 1996,” he said, referring to the year the cable news channel started. “Here comes Fox! Proud of that.”