After an extended period of media invisibility after his ouster from office and second impeachment trial, Donald Trump returned to the airwaves of Fox News today to pay tribute to someone without whom his presidency would have likely even ever existed — right-wing radio talk show kingmaker Rush Limbaugh.
Trump heaped praise upon the now-deceased clarion caller to the large audience of deplorables who lapped up his racist, misogynist, and regressive monologues broadcast nationwide since the 1980s.
“He was special,” Trump lauded the right-winge rabble rouser. “Rush is irreplaceable. He had an audience that was massive.”
“He was a fantastic man, a fantastic talent and people, whether they loved him or not, they respected him,” he continued, applying his trademark hyperbole to imply a non-existent level of respect from the dead radio host’s many detractors.
Trump went on to recount how he awarded Limbaugh a Presidential Medal of freedom — a move that many said helped degrade the value of the nation’s highest civilian honor to the point that they suggested a necessity to rename any future awards to avoid the attached blemish that the stank of association with Trump’s awardees attached to it.
"Rush thought we won, and so do I. I think we won substantially" — Trump is using Rush Limbaugh's death to push long-debunked lies about the election pic.twitter.com/IivzVhqG4W
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 17, 2021
In typical Trumpian fashion, the disgraced former president made his phone eulogy to Rush Limbaugh more about himself than the man whom he was supposedly honoring, using the occasion as an opportunity to repeat his execrable lies about how his loss in the presidential race was the result of massive election fraud.
“I was disappointed by voter tabulation, I think it’s disgraceful,” Trump said. “We were like a Third World country on election night with the closing down of the centers and all of the things that happened.”
“And he was furious at it,” Trump claimed about Limbaugh’s response to his false harping about non-existent elction fraud. “And many people are furious. You don’t know how angry this country is. And people were furious.”
Trump was audacious in his rhetoric with many people being particularly incensed by his comment that if Democrats had been the losers of the election then “we would have had riots,” remaining consciously oblivious to the fact that it was his followers who actually perpetrated the violent invasion of the Capitol Building resulting in the deaths of five people.
Trump jarringly says “We would have had riots”—as if the horrific Capitol riot didn’t just happen.
“Riots” here is a thinly veiled dog whistle. Conjures up images of Black people, like the Newark riots that the 74yo & the Foxnews demographic watched on TV in the 60s. https://t.co/TbmWMEysmQ
— Paula Chertok🗽 (@PaulaChertok) February 17, 2021
Trump’s insinuation of his voice back into the day to day news cycles — outside the context of an impeachment trial or news of one of the many criminal and civil prosecutions he’s likely to face in the upcoming months — is a dangerous trend for America that needs to be nipped in the bud.
If there was ever a person who should become the subject of a complete and total media blackout due to “cancel culture,” Trump is the perfect candidate.
In the meantime, Congress should ensure that he never becomes a candidate again for any kind of public office by legislating such a prohibition by a simple majority vote in lieu of his conviction at his second impeachment trial.
Original reporting by David Edwards at RawStory.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.