We've already got 9 threads for Rush Limbaugh, so I won't try to figure out where to post a broader look at the topic on those previous threads.
Sojourner magazine JUST published an article titled "Who poisoned talk radio?"
It's a lengthy article, but here are some of the highlights.
In 2004, Anne Nelson's research led her to a group called the Council for National Policy. Founded in 1981 by extreme conservatives who cut their teeth in right-wing politics and the struggle for power within the Southern Baptist Convention in the 1970s, this little-known network brought together Republican political operatives and preachers of the new Religious Right with independent radio and media companies. In the words of Richard DeVos, a longtime member, the CNP became a coordinating committee for the “donors and the doers” of reactionary right-wing politics. A strange conversation on talk radio led Nelson into the inner workings of an elite network that has labored for four decades to convince everyday Americans in the heartland that they cannot trust East Coast “elites.”
(Devos was one of the founders of Amway. DeVos was a major donor to the U.S. Republican Party and to conservative causes, including Focus on the Family, and the American Enterprise Institute. DeVos supported the candidacies of Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. DeVos has served as a finance chairman for the Republican National Committee In 1987, President Ronald Reagan appointed DeVos to the President's Commission on the HIV Epidemic, and was criticized at the time for characterizing people with AIDS as wanting "special treatment". He was a dedicated opponent of marriage equality for LGBT people.
DeVos was a long-time close friend of Gerald and Betty Ford, and was an honorary pallbearer at Gerald Ford's state funeral. He was an honorary trustee of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation.
DeVos was the father of Dan DeVos the owner of the Griffins, Richard Jr., Cheri, and Doug. Richard Jr., who is married to United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, was the Republican Party nominee for governor of Michigan in 2006, but was defeated by incumbent governor, Jennifer Granholm.)
Quotes from Ann Nelson's book:
"It is indeed extraordinary that individuals connected to the Southern Baptist Convention should play such an outsized role in our national life. I see three major factors. The first is that, over a period when mainline Protestant denominations were shrinking in membership and influence, the Southern Baptist Convention was growing and exerting increasing influence over other evangelical sects.
The second is that the Southern Baptist Convention is extremely well represented in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, which, combined, amount to a virtual petro-state in terms of the oil industry’s sway over economic and political life, and there’s been a symbiotic relationship between the Baptists and the oil interests of the region.
Third, the Southern Baptist Convention was founded to defend slaveowners before the Civil War. I don’t see the issue of race playing out in the same way, but I do perceive many echoes of Civil War-era resentment of federal authority in its culture.
Wayne LaPierre, the CEO of the National Rifle Association, is a leading member of the Council for National Policy. The NRA claims some 5 million members and mobilizes them in the interests of the CNP’s agenda.
When I travel to the Midwest and the Southwest to see family and friends, I’ve found that the region is blanketed by conservative fundamentalist and right-wing talk radio, which presents a distorted, one-sided, and often fallacious version of current events. These outlets often use religious programming to make political points, without even pretending to offer fact-based reporting. Their influence is reinforced by fundamentalist television broadcasters such as the Christian Broadcasting Network and the Trinity Broadcasting Network, as well as Fox News and local Sinclair stations.
Peddling bullshit, of course, is highly profitable.
In 2008, Limbaugh signed an eight-year contract with what was then Clear Channel Communications for $400 million, making him the highest-paid broadcaster on terrestrial radio. When the contract came to an end in August 2016 Limbaugh signed a four-year extension to the original contract. By 2018, Limbaugh had become the world's second-highest-paid radio host (after Howard Stern), earning a staggering annual salary of $84.5 million. Limbaugh's total net worth estimates vary, with most placing it at between $590-$600 million.
Being award the Presidential Medal of Freedom, of course, just gave him even more credibility in the land of the brain washed.