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Wednesday night time owls: Rush Limbaugh sparked a firestorm of loud, racist, misogynist imitators

Obituaries of Limbaugh, who died of lung cancer on Wednesday at the age of 70, have – similar to that time cover – danced around this fact in the same way that you have the cake and eat it too. Limbaugh's policies have been rubbed off in these statements, which simply label him as "controversial" or "polarizing". The New York Times described him as "relentlessly provocative," a particularly quirky way of describing his approach to radio. The Wall Street Journal wrote that he was "riding a wave of national polarization". Almost every obituary states that it was "influential".

These are the things that could be said about so many people in politics: generic terms that would confuse someone unfamiliar with Limbaugh's oeuvre as to why that instant roar of eulogy is necessary to remember a man in the first place who only possessed these ordinary properties. What brings Limbaugh to this particular reputation for immortality are the qualities that these obituaries know well but have diligently brought to naught in their designs: that Limbaugh's policies have been forged in a melting pot of hatred and cruelty; that his racism and extraordinary misogyny are the only outstanding contributions he has made to the world.

Limbaugh was undoubtedly influential. But he did not ride a "wave of national polarization", he was the source of their tidal flow and directed them with a megaphone for decades. (…)

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BLAST FROM THE PAST

That day at Daily Kos in 2005– Controversial Negroponte appointed first director of the National Secret Service:

The current US Ambassador to Iraq, John Negroponte, has been appointed US Ambassador first director of the National Secret Service (…)

Negroponte began his diplomatic career in 1960 and served in South Vietnam before assisting Henry Kissinger in negotiating with North Vietnam in Paris. From 1981 to 1985 he was the US ambassador to Honduras, where he supported the efforts of the Reagan administration with the help of the Contra rebels to overthrow the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. He also served as an ambassador to Mexico and the Philippines. After retiring from the diplomatic service in 1997, Negroponte worked as an executive at McGraw Hill Publishing. In 2001, Bush appointed him ambassador to the United Nations, a position he held until he was named ambassador to Iraq last year. The son of a Greek ship magnate, born in London in 1960 and a graduate of Yale University, speaks five languages.

Billmon offers "context":

"The DNI (National Directorate of Investigation) maintained a secret unit – the Honduran Anti-Communist Liberation Army (ELACH), a right-wing paramilitary organization that carried out operations against the Honduran left. According to DELETED, ELACH was in action during the period (1980-1984) ELACH's operations included surveillance, kidnappings, coercion and execution of prisoners who were Honduran revolutionaries. "

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