Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh has been America’s most listened to radio personality for the past twenty years. In spite of numerous scandals, Limbaugh’s ratings remain between 15 and 20 million. Limbaugh is a political entertainer. His goal is to influence his audience to vote for the Republican Party by using comedy and satire. A 2010 survey show that 13 percent of registered Republicans (17 percent conservative Republicans) listen to Limbaugh on a regular basis. While Limbaugh’s fans are not strong enough to swing presidential elections, Limbaugh has been able to determine the outcome in congressional districts.
This thesis aims to answer four questions. First, what are the circumstances that led up to the success of a controversial media personality like Rush Limbaugh? Second, what are the reasons behind Limbaugh’s long lasting appeal? Third, what are his methods, and finally, what is Rush Limbaugh’s impact on the American cultural and political scene? In order to answer these questions I analyze Rush Limbaugh from different angles. My main primary sources are his two books, The Way Things Ought to Be (1992) and See, I Told you So (1993), as well as transcripts from his show.