Posted by Brian at 3:18 PM
I propose this date be made a national day of mourning.
Via the Writer's Almanac, we discover that today is the anniversary of a truly sad day in recent US history.
It was on this day in 1988 that Rush Limbaugh's nationally broadcast radio show had its premiere on WABC, eventually becoming the most popular radio talk show in the country. The FCC had recently dropped the "Fairness Doctrine," which had required radio and TV stations to provide balanced viewpoints on every political topic. This provided an opportunity for openly partisan talk shows, and Limbaugh's show was the first that became really popular. Within a few years, Limbaugh's show was airing on 580 stations, with more than ten million listeners.
You could fill more than a few pages with names of those who have poisoned political discourse and subverted the spirit of the Constitution, who have disseminated untruths and caused great harm to the environment and the causes of racial and gender equity, who have cheered the rise of the evangelical right, who have defended the greatest excesses of corporatism and have exemplified the "live for today, fuck the future, live for yourself, fuck the poor" mentality that pervades US society today, but at or near the top of that list must be written the name Rush Limbaugh. If there is a single personality who has done greater damage over the last 18 years, I don't know who it could be. Even the damage wrought by Bush/Cheney has mostly occurred over the last 5 years.
But I'm willing to be convinced otherwise. Give me some other options below.