Rush Limbaugh, Right-Wing Radio Host, Dies at 70

Rush Limbaugh, the conservative firebrand radio host who was a pillar of right-wing media in the U.S. for more than 30 years, died on Wednesday after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 70.

Limbaugh’s wife, Kathryn, announced the news on his radio show.

Limbaugh disclosed the severity of his illness to listeners of his syndicated “The Rush Limbaugh Show” in February 2020 when he took several days off to receive treatment. That same month he was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by President Donald Trump.

Limbaugh wielded enormous influence in politics. He was beloved by conservatives and reviled by liberals. He contributed to the coarsening of public discourse by referring to prominent women as “femi-Nazis” and by belittling those who disagreed with him. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Limbaugh repeatedly referred to Barack Obama as the “affirmative-action candidate.”

Limbaugh was one of the most popular personalities on radio and one of the most well paid. In 2008, he signed an eight-year deal with Premiere Networks valued at $400 million. His audience at his peak was estimated at about 25 million a week.

Limbaugh was born Jan. 12, 1951, in Cape Girardeau, Mo., to a prominent family. Limbaugh reportedly told his father, an attorney, that he wanted to be radio host at the age of 8. In high school he worked as a disc jockey for a local radio station owned by his father.

He attended Southern Missouri State University, but left after a year to try his hand at radio. He worked at ABC-owned radio station KQV in Pittsburgh. He later moved to Kansas City to join the Royals baseball team as director of group ticket sales, and later advanced to director of sales and special events.

In 1983, Limbaugh was back in radio as a commentator on Kansas City’s KMBZ. He moved to Sacramento, Calif., the following year and landed a daytime talk show on KFBK. The show’s ratings took off, and Limbaugh began getting national attention. He moved to New York and signed his first syndication deal with ABC Radio Networks in 1988.

Limbaugh was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1993. He penned a number of bestselling books including 1992’s “The Way Things Ought to Be” and 1993’s “See, I Told You So” and the children’s book series “The Adventures of Rush Revere.”

Limbaugh was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame in 1998.

Limbaugh was married four times. His survivors include his wife, Kathryn.

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North Carolina GOP Censures Sen. Richard Burr For Voting To Convict Trump

He’s the latest Republican lawmaker to face censure at home for declaring the ex-president guilty of inciting the deadly Capitol riot.

The North Carolina Republican Party on Monday censured Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) for voting to convict former President Donald Trump of inciting the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last month.

“The NCGOP agrees with the strong majority of Republicans in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate that the Democrat-led attempt to impeach a former president lies outside the United States Constitution,” the central committee said in a statement. “Now that the Senate has voted to acquit President Trump, we hope that Democrats will set aside their divisive partisan agenda and focus on the American priorities or tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, safely reopening schools and restarting the economy.”

The vote was unanimous.

Burr was one of seven Republicans to join all 50 members of the Senate’s Democratic caucus on Saturday in voting to convict Trump at the close of the former president’s second impeachment trial. The 57-43 vote finding Trump guilty fell 10 votes short of the required two-thirds majority for that verdict to stand. 

“The evidence is compelling that President Trump is guilty of inciting an insurrection against a coequal branch of government and that the charge rises to the level of high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” Burr said in a statement Saturday. “Therefore, I have voted to convict. I do not make this decision lightly, but I believe it is necessary.”

Following Trump’s acquittal Saturday, North Carolina GOP chair Michael Whatley issued a statement condemning Burr’s vote.

“North Carolina Republicans sent Senator Burr to the United States Senate to uphold the Constitution and his vote today to convict in a trial that he declared unconstitutional is shocking and disappointing,” Whatley said.

Burr had not signaled his support for conviction and his vote was the one surprise in the tally.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who was among the 43 Republicans voting to acquit Trump, suggested Sunday that Lara Trump, daughter-in-law of the former president, could run for Burr’s seat in 2022. Burr, a three-term senator, has said he will not seek reelection.

Burr, 65, is the latest Republican to be censured by their state’s GOP for standing up to Trump. On Saturday, the Louisiana Republican Party voted unanimously to censure Sen. Bill Cassidy for his vote to convict Trump. At least three county GOP committees in Nebraska have voted to censure Sen. Ben Sasse and several county GOP committees in Pennsylvania have done the same against Sen. Pat Toomey over their votes to convict.

Several Utah Republicans are seeking to censure Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) after he voted to convict Trump, accusing him of being “an agent for the Establishment Deep State,” The Salt Lake Tribune reported Monday.

The Wyoming Republican Party censured Rep. Liz Cheney, the state’s lone House member and the chamber’s third-ranking GOP leader, earlier this month for voting to impeach Trump. Though she has faced calls from some to step down as chair of the House Republican Conference, House GOP members voted 145-61 earlier this month to allow her to remain in her leadership role.

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