Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Friday that he will order flags at public buildings to be flown at half-staff to honor Rush Limbaugh, the homophobic right-wing radio personality who died earlier this week.
“What we do when there’s things of this magnitude, once the date of internment for Rush is announced, we’re going to be lowering the flags to half-staff,” DeSantis told a crowd at a political rally Friday in West Palm Beach.
Limbaugh, 70, died Wednesday after contracting lung cancer.
“Rush busted through a media landscape in which a handful of media outlets served up pre-cooked, liberal narratives,” DeSantis said in a statement earlier this week. “Rush is the [greatest of all time] — of radio, of conservative media and of inspiring a loyal army of American patriots.”
Limbaugh’s show was often sexist, racist and homophobic, as noted by the Miami Herald. “He championed distortions of fact that leaders on the right were peddling on a given day. He made fun of AIDS victims; he called then-12-year-old Chelsea Clinton the ‘White House dog.’ He was a vociferous backer of President George W. Bush’s Iraq War; he said Barack Obama wasn’t a U.S. citizen; he called for violence following the 2020 election Trump lost, fueling the animus that led to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the nation’s Capitol.”
Twitter erupted in fury after Author Jessica Valenti reminded social media users this week that Limbaugh once had a segment on his show called “AIDS Update” where he would celebrate the AIDS-related deaths of gay and bi men.
“Rush Limbaugh had a segment called ‘AIDS update’ set to music where he mocked dying gay people so I don’t really want hear about ‘speaking ill of the dead’ today,” Valenti tweeted.
Snopes.com confirmed the authenticity of the claims, noting that while they could not uncover any audio of these segments, they did find a few contemporaneous news articles and comments from Limbaugh confirming the contents of these controversial segments.
Iowa’s Cedar Gazette reported in 1990 that Limbaugh’s “AIDS Update,” a recurring segment in which he made jokes about a disease that had killed more than 100,000 people in the United States the previous decade, started by playing songs such as “Back in the Saddle Again,” “Kiss Him Goodbye,” “I Know I’ll Never Love This Way Again,” and “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places.”
According to The New York Times, the “Aids Update” segment was short-lived and ended after a few weeks.
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) announces flags will be lowered to half-staff to honor Rush Limbaugh. pic.twitter.com/Rz4uYa5jeV
— The Recount (@therecount) February 19, 2021