Has there ever been a better example of gaslighting — psychological manipulation to make people question their own memory, perception or judgment — than Marc Thiessen’s op-ed praising the late Rush Limbaugh ["A champion of the ‘forgotten Americans,’ " Opinion, Feb. 21]? Thiessen calls the right-wing talk radio host "funny, irreverent, iconoclastic." Perhaps he is referring to how Limbaugh would "abort" callers he disagreed with by playing the sound of a vacuum cleaner accompanied by a human scream. Or the time he called a young woman a "slut" on air because she thought health care should include birth control. Then there was his "AIDS update" segment, in which he’d mock gay men who died from the disease by playing songs like "I’ll Never Love This Way Again." Worst of all, Thiessen completely ignores Limbaugh’s helping propagate former President Donald Trump’s "big lie" that the 2020 election was fraudulent, which led to the violent insurrection of the Capitol Jan. 6, after which Limbaugh likened the treasonous mob to "Sam Adams, Thomas Paine ... the men at Lexington and Concord." These are just a few of the toxic statements spewed over airwaves throughout Limbaugh’s career that Thiessen would like us to forget, or pretend never existed.
Marc A. Thiessen’s fawning piece on the late Rush Limbaugh was so touching. He should have also mentioned the time Limbaugh mocked Michael J. Fox for the tremors the actor exhibited as a result of his medication for Parkinson’s disease. Perhaps the venerable candidate Donald Trump was inspired by this sensitive display of kindness when he mocked New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski’s condition of arthrogryposis. People like Limbaugh and Trump are what Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton justifiably labeled "deplorables." She was pilloried for the comment — for stating what many regard as the truth.
After reading Marc A. Thiessen’s op-ed on Rush Limbaugh, I am amazed and disappointed in how so many in this country still equate Limbaugh’s behavior to "conservatism." I did not know him personally, but his on-air persona only represented and encouraged hatred toward various minority groups (and women, a majority group). Columnist George F. Will is a conservative; in my view, Rush Limbaugh was a racist hatemonger. If these Limbaugh supporters are the "forgotten Americans," they also bear responsibility for supporting hatred in our society.
This is why the left still hates Rush Limbaugh. He was one of the first talk radio hosts who had the ability to consistently and effectively poke large holes in the progressive left’s narrative concerning a large range of their positions. Rather than debate these issues, they chose instead, as I believe they usually did, to attack Limbaugh personally and slander his character. They consistently twisted and misrepresented what he said. Newsday’s Limbaugh obituary is a perfect example of this treatment ["Bombastic voice on the right," News, Feb. 18].
Daniel E. Laub,
Readers wrote that Rush Limbaugh’s obituary was unfair ["Critical of coverage of Limbaugh’s death," Letters, Feb. 19]. One wrote, "Don’t speak ill of the dead." Are these people aware that Limbaugh featured a radio segment in which he made fun of gay people who died of AIDS; laughed at late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s cancer diagnosis; made fun of Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease; laughed at Eric Garner’s death; and made numerous racist comments among other deplorable things that he’s said and done? How can anyone show respect to someone of his character?
Changes needed in our nursing homes
Sadly, it has taken a pandemic and Newsday’s excellent reporting to hopefully spark the changes needed in our nursing homes ["Virus seen reshaping nursing homes," News, Feb. 22]. Everything that has been uncovered about private ownership of our facilities, including political figures’ involvement in perpetuating the lack of care that our residents have suffered for years has been known by professional advocates. Advocates have spent years uncovering owners’ greed and politicians’ backing. Getting owners to pay for safer staffing levels, improving food and recreation and getting adequate medical and toiletry supplies is a constant battle for our defenseless residents. How many residents have died needlessly not only from this pandemic but for years due to neglect? I say both owners and politicians must be held accountable. Our nursing home residents need change now.