Rush Limbaugh’s real legacy: He planted the seed from which Fox News, and Donald Trump, grew | Opinion

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Rush Limbaugh died last week. His impact on our nation’s discourse and polity will long outlive him.

Many Americans had been puzzled when President Donald Trump bestowed upon Limbaugh our nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. After all, previous honorees include Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King and the crew of Apollo 13. I, however, was not surprised. Because without Limbaugh, there is no (former) President Trump.

Rush was the first broadcaster to take full advantage of the FCC’s little-noticed 1987 repeal of the Fairness Doctrine. Since its adoption in 1949, the rule had required broadcasters to present controversial issues in a fair and balanced manner. Its repeal cleared the way for disreputable broadcasters to…

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