The liberal hosts of “The View” blasted conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh the day after his death, saying Thursday that he “normalized hatred” for “people sitting in their trucks in the middle of America” and suggesting he was in Hell.
“I remember listening to him as a kid growing up, and for me, he just normalized hatred,” co-host Sunny Hostin said. “He normalized racism, and I think he really weaponized White male grievance, and he hardened these rural White listeners, people sitting in their trucks in the middle of America, and in the south, listening to Rush Limbaugh.”.
Hostin reeled off a list of what she considered Limbaugh’s offensive remarks through the years and said he had paved the way for “Trumpism.”
“This is someone who spewed racism and hatred, yet he is now considered I guess an influential person in building the modern Republican Party and conservatism … I don’t know that that’s something to be proud of,” she said.
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Conservative host Meghan McCain, while noting Limbaugh’s criticisms of her family and “incendiary” commments, spoke next and gave Limbaugh credit for bringing about the rise of “infotainment.”
“Which, by the way, is what we do here on ‘The View,’ this hybrid of information and entertainment at the same time,” she said. “He completely revolutionized the way media was done … By the way, the infotainment isn’t just something the Right has co-opted. It’s something the Democrats do on MSNBC as well.”
McCain said Limbaugh successfully tapped into listeners’ belief that they were not adequately represented in the rest of the press.
The other liberal hosts were as unsparing as Hostin.
Co-host Sara Haines said while many were mourning Limbaugh, “many are not” and blamed him for the “beginning of conspiracy theories.” She even suggested he would wind up in Hell.
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“At the end of our lives, it’s just us, answering for everything we did, who we were, what we said, and how we treated people,” Haines said. “And so now, Judgment Day has arrived for Rush Limbaugh.”
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg said she hoped Limbaugh’s death would bring about the return of the Fairness Doctrine, which was repealed in 1987 by the Federal Communications Commission and helped Limbaugh become a dominant radio voice for more than 30 years.
McCain retorted that if Goldberg wanted that veneer of balance, there should be another Republican on “The View.” The show has long had a “token” conservative to counter its liberal majority, with Jedediah Bila and Elisabeth Hasselbeck among past examples.
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“Part of the reason people like Rush are so popular is there are no conservatives in mainstream media,” McCain said. “There’s only one [Republican on The View,] and there’s four of you.”
Liberal figures on CNN and MSNBC have recently called for the Fairness Doctrine’s return as a means of censoring opposing voices. Conservatives praised the FCC for dropping the rule because it was stifling free speech, as some networks avoided controversial topics for fear of runing afoul of it. Others have noted it would be disastrous for FCC regulators to determine what it and isn’t “fair” in the name of balance.
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Limbaugh died Wednesday from lung cancer complications at age 70. His death has brought an outpouring of tributes from the right for his huge influence over the modern conservative mooment, as well as sharp criticism from the left of his bombastic style and brand of politics.