MSNBC host Joy Reid claimed Wednesday night that conservative talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh “used” his longtime producer to get away with saying “racist” things.
Reid had no kind words for Limbaugh, who died earlier Wednesday at the age of 70 after a tough battle with lung cancer. During a panel discussion, she accused him of “racializing” the Affordable Care Act by referring to it on his radio show as “secret reparations.'”
“He got White Americans to hate the Affordable Care Act,” Reid said.
After slamming Limbaugh for a parody song that referred to President Barack Obama as “Barack the Magic Negro,” she suggested that Limbaugh’s producer James Golden, known on the radio show by his pseudonym Bo Snerdley, was only kept around as a shield for Limbaugh’s bigotry.
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“[Limbaugh] used his Black sidekick as a cover to do like that kind of outright racist stuff,” Reid said.
Snerdley did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment, but he did go after one Twitter user who claimed Limbaugh “believed that slavery was a net positive” and espoused “birtherism.”
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“You should be ashamed of yourself for spreading these horrible lies,” Snerdley reacted. “But that would require a [conscience]. God Bless you with one – and a compassionate heart, I pray.”
The New York Times also raised eyebrows with its obituary of Limbaugh, which suggested that Snerdley was not a real person.
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“Unlike Howard Stern, Don Imus and other big names in shock radio, Mr. Limbaugh had no on-the-air sidekicks, though he had conversations with the unheard voice of someone he called ‘Bo Snerdly.’ Nor did he have writers, scripts or outlines, just notes and clippings from newspapers he perused daily,” the Times wrote.
“uh, what? does the New York Times not know that Bo Snerdly is a real person?” Washington Examiner commentator T. Becket Adams reacted. “Limbaugh wasn’t just making it up. this isn’t ‘Caliphate.'”
Snerdley posted a brief message on Twitter earlier in the day after Limbaugh’s passing was announced.
“God Bless you Rush. I love you. Always and ever,” he wrote.
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Limbaugh was hailed by conservative media Wednesday, with many calling him a “legend” and a “hero” to Republican politics and the country.
Limbaugh’s wife, Kathryn, made the announcement of his death on his radio show.
The conservative icon learned he had Stage IV lung cancer in January 2020 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Donald Trump at the State of the Union address days later. First lady Melania Trump presented America’s highest civilian honor to Limbaugh in the House viewing gallery.
“Rush Limbaugh: Thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country,” President Trump said during the address.
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Limbaugh is considered one of the most influential media figures in American history and has played a consequential role in conservative politics since “The Rush Limbaugh Show” began in 1988. Perched behind his Golden EIB (Excellence in Broadcasting) Microphone, Limbaugh spent over three decades as arguably both the most beloved and polarizing person in American media.
Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.