Top-rated talk radio host Rush Limbaugh lives once again — and to paraphrase Mark Twain, “reports of his death are greatly exaggerated.”
Rush’s Web site announced that he would return to his show on Wednesday, Jan. 6, one week after he was hospitalized with chest pains during a vacation in Hawaii. Medical personnel at a Honolulu hospital found no signs of heart disease afflicting the 58-year-old conservative icon, clearing him to resume entertaining and informing the faithful listeners he calls “dittoheads.”
But Limbaugh’s critics were apparently crestfallen about his good health news, after postings over the blogoshere this past weekend took glee in his possible heart attack, with some wishing or even reporting that Limbaugh had died from cardiac arrest.
For example, shortly after news broke that Limbaugh was hospitalized, the online encyclopedia Wikipedia updated his page and pronounced him dead:
“Rush Hudson Limbaugh III (born January 12, 1951, died December 30, 2009) is an American radio host and conservative political commentator. He is the host of The Rush Limbaugh Show, the highest-rated talk-radio program in the United States.”
The lie was quickly removed from the Web site. But that didn’t stop liberal bloggers from expressing disappointment that Rush did not in fact have heart disease — or from wishing him ill or even dead.
A number of posts on the left-wing site Daily Kos spewed venom against Limbaugh, with offerings such as:
“If he gets well, so be it. If he gets worse, be it paralyzed, comatose, or dead, he’s earned it.”
“I hope he dies and I’m glad he’s sick.”
“I’ll never apologize for hating Rush. Or wishing death and illness on him.”
A post on redstates.com read: “Dear Heavenly Father, Jesus, please take Rush Limbaugh for the sake of the country.”
And this vile offering appeared on TMZ.com: “Oh, please let him die! Preferably quickly and very painfully.”
News that Limbaugh did not in fact pass away may have left some in bad humor, but Rush has the last laugh — he’s alive and well.
Ironically, soon after reports of Limbaugh’s hospitalization circulated, word surfaced that another vacationing conservative media voice had died — Glenn Beck.
“While I was not in the hospital for any heart-related issues at all, and Rush Limbaugh was,” Beck said on his Monday radio program, “the day that I was writing Rush and saying, ‘Hey man, thoughts and prayers are with you,’ was the day that I got a phone call from my business partners that said: ‘You are alive, right?’”
Beck said a “major news organization” called his business partner and said “we’d just like a statement on the fatal plane crash of Glenn Beck . . . Apparently he was in a fatal plane crash and we just wanted a statement from you.”
Beck added: “Needless to say, I am not dead.”
Fans of the Rush and Beck online have hit back at the false and mean-spirited reports against Limbaugh and Beck, noting that if conservatives had posted such unseemly comments about Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and other liberal icons, the major media story would have expressed outrage.
HAT TIP: Tom