Where Will Rush Limbaugh’s 15 Million Listeners Go Now?


(*15*) Mr. Harrison mentioned in an interview, noting that conservative radio shoppers can merely change to different in style Limbaugh-like hosts, together with Mr. Hannity, Glenn Beck and Mark Levin. (iHeartMedia may not thoughts: It additionally syndicates Mr. Beck and Mr. Hannity.)

Mr. Limbaugh’s success might have ensured his present’s eventual obsolescence.

He was the primary conservative icon in nationwide media, bringing an ideology extra intently related to elite organs like National Review to a mass viewers. His shock-jock antics infuriated Democratic presidents and endeared himself to Republican ones; as early as 1992, President George Bush invited him to spend an evening within the Lincoln Bedroom.

Before Fox News and the MAGA web, Mr. Limbaugh’s program was the one megaphone for his divisive, hyperpartisan model of commentary. “There’s something magical about the intimacy of radio that younger readers simply cannot possibly appreciate,” the commentator Matt Lewis wrote in The Daily Beast after Mr. Limbaugh’s demise, echoing different conservatives who reminisced about childhood listening classes.

There is little doubt his present remained influential with the Slightly Less Online set, notably amongst working-class listeners whose jobs may not afford nonstop entry to a social media platform throughout the business day. Mr. Limbaugh even scored some headlines in December when he mused that the nation is likely to be “trending toward secession.”

But Mr. Limbaugh’s latter-day commentary — whereas nonetheless ribald and unrepentant — was typically indistinguishable from that of dozens of different pundits.

“He created the genre, which then flooded the market with competitors, some less talented, some more,” mentioned Ann Coulter, the conservative provocateur. “Only one person can be the pioneer — but after that, it’s dog-eat-dog.” (Even Fox News, which lengthy loved a monopoly on conservative TV, has now been compelled to cope with upstart rivals, like Newsmax, that attraction to far-right viewers.)

Because he trusted a publicly traded conglomerate for his paycheck, Mr. Limbaugh was additionally beholden to the sorts of company pointers that fringier on-line platforms might fortunately ignore. After the election, Mr. Limbaugh defended President Trump’s lies about voter fraud — and as late as Inauguration Day insisted that Joseph R. Biden Jr. “didn’t win this thing fair and square” — however he stopped in need of explicitly calling for violence. It was a visitor on “The Alex Jones Show” who explicitly known as for supporters to “occupy the Capitol.”


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