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February 22, 2021 32 min

The conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh died last week. He was 70.

For decades, he broadcast mistrust and grievance into the homes of millions. Mr. Limbaugh helped create an entire ecosystem of right-wing media and changed the course of American conservatism.

Today, we look back on Rush Limbaugh’s career and how he came to have an outsize influence on Republican politics.

Guest: Jim Rutenberg, a writer at large for The New York Times and The Times Magazine. 

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Background reading: 

  • With a following of many millions and a a divisive, derisive style of mockery and grievance, Rush Limbaugh was a force in reshaping American conservatism. Read his obituary here.
  • Weaponizing conspiracy theories and bigotry long before Donald Trump’s ascent, the radio giant helped usher in the political style that came to dominate the Republican Party.  
  • For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

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