FARGO — For a group of worshippers that for four years chanted the mantra "(expletive) your feelings" and believe political correctness is the devil's work, fans of Rush Limbaugh sure have their feelings hurt easily and want everybody to refrain from political incorrectness.
Limbaugh died this week, leaving his millions of devoted talk radio listeners without a place to turn each day for a dose of racism, bigotry and misogyny. Lucky for them, there is no shortage of right-wing media peddling the same commodities. Surely an empty soul like Tucker Carlson will happily work overtime to fill the void and his bank account.
The reaction to Limbaugh's death was as expected.
Republicans, including elected politicians, spent the day in mourning. Fox News programming was similar to that of Soviet state funerals, replete with revisionist history and choked up guests paying homage to the man who helped make them famous millionaires.
Democratic politicians were largely silent while left-leaning commentators, on websites and social media, pointed out the truths about Limbaugh's politically powerful and financially successful life: He peddled in racism, bigotry and misogyny to reach those heights.
The truth was a step too far for Limbaugh worshippers.
To point out that Limbaugh told a Black caller to "take that bone out of your nose and call me back" was out of bounds.
To point out that Limbaugh mocked actor Michael J. Fox for having Parkinson's disease, saying Fox was faking his symptoms, was disrespectful.
Here's that one time Rush Limbaugh mocked Michael J. Fox for his Parkinson's, suggesting that he was exaggerating its symptoms. pic.twitter.com/PvSzNq7gn2— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) February 17, 2021
To point out Limbaugh called a woman a "slut" and a "prostitute" — saying she should share tapes of all the times she has sex — for testifying before Congress that women should have access to birth control was unacceptable.
To point out Limbaugh read the names of Americans who died of AIDS while cracking jokes and playing joyous music was impermissible.
To the cult, Limbaugh's death was supposed to be whitewashed — pun intended — and turned into some sort of solemn holiday.
That anybody would look at the vile talk radio host's life honestly, warts and all, never occurred to them. Maybe that's because his followers didn't think he was a racist chauvinist homophobe. Or maybe they enjoyed that they could listen to somebody with whom they so strongly agreed and not feel guilty..
Limbaugh was certainly influential. He single-handedly saved AM radio. He could make or break a Republican politician by opening his mouth. Limbaugh spawned the modern universe of right-wing media, from talk radio shows to Fox News to basement bloggers, which eventually led to Donald Trump in the White House and might someday lead to the demise of democracy.
All of that is true. Every obituary, even ones critical of Limbaugh, reported those facts.
Only the honest obits reported the other facts of Limbaugh's life
The racism. The hate. The anger. The bigotry. The hypocrisy. The misogyny.
For those who for years have told America that facts are more important than feelings and that people shouldn't be afraid to speak up even if what they say is offensive, the facts and opinions based in reality were a trigger.
You think they'd be tougher, considering how much they profess to hate snowflakes. Instead, it's obvious their feelings have been hurt.
What's the old cliche that applies to these situations?
Oh, yeah, I remember.
(Expletive) your feelings.
Readers can reach Forum News Service columnist Mike McFeely at (701) 451-5655