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Glenn Halbrooks

Rush Limbaugh Named "Misinformer of the Year"

By December 23, 2012

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Rush Limbaugh may be the most well-known voice on talk radio, but he's had a rough 2012. The Media Matters watchdog website has taken note, naming him "Misinformer of the Year".

A photo of talk radio host Rush Limbaugh
Rush Limbaugh was named "Misinformer of the Year" for comments that also cost him advertisers and radio station coverage.
Photo © Getty Images
Media Matters says Limbaugh smeared a law school student when she testified before a congressional committee that contraception should be paid for under national health care reform. Media Matters says Limbaugh took to the airwaves to call her a "slut" and a "prostitute" and said that she essentially wanted to be paid to have sex.

Limbaugh built his brand with outspoken comments, but that was enough for some advertisers and even some radio stations to drop him. While some Limbaugh supporters said his free speech rights were being trampled, others say it was more than that -- that the marketplace was simply showing he'd gone too far.

Granted, Media Matters describes itself as correcting conservative misinformation in media, and has previously named other noteworthy conservatives such as Rupert Murdoch, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity as "misinformers". So it has a political viewpoint, but more low-keyed conservative commentators like George Will and Bill Kristol have escaped its criticism.

2013 may show us whether Limbaugh will back off his usual explosive rhetoric in order to keep his popularity and his advertisers. But he's ending 2012 by showing not much has changed. The Mediaite website says Limbaugh remarked that the shooter in the Newtown, Connecticut, school shootings must have been a liberal because he was mentally disturbed. The website did point out that he took back that statement.

Limbaugh's loss of advertisers over his fiery commentary is one of the 10 media errors of 2012. It's also a reason he'll be one of the media people to watch in 2013. He may rail against liberals, but corporate America, one of the pillars of conservative politics, is starting to distance itself from this talk-radio pioneer.

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