On this edition of Parallax Views, right-wing talk radio giant Rush Limbaugh passed away on February 17th, 2021 at the age of 71 from complications of his battle with lung cancer. Described in obituaries as "The Voice of American Conservativism", Limbaugh's polarizing discourse had a profound effect on the trajectory of the American right-wing from the post-Reagan era to the rise of Donald Trump. What is the legacy of this talk radio behemoth and what has it's impact been on society today?
Joining us to unpack those two questions is scholar John K. Wilson, author of The Most Dangerous Man in America: Rush Limbaugh's Assault on Reason (2011; Thomas Dunne Books). For years Wilson listened to Limbaugh to understand and keep tabs on the pulse of American conservativism and its thought. In this conversation he takes us through Limbaugh's many fabrications, his promotion of conspiracy theories, views on climate change, the impact he as well the likes of Roger Ailes and Fox News had on the media landscape, Limbaugh as an entertainer, Limbaugh's effect on academia, and much, much more. In addition to all of this Wilson and I have a discussion about the Fairness Doctrine and whether it's repeal during the Reagan era is really the reason for Limbaugh's rise to prominence. In this regard we chat about the issue of free speech and Wilson's views on why the Left should not allow the Right to claim free speech or, for that matter, freedom and liberty as a conservative issues. All that and much more on this edition of Parallax Views.