Usually when a towering celebrity dies, newspapers write glowing tributes about their accomplishments. Not so for conservative talk radio show host Rush Limbaugh, who died at age 70 of lung cancer. But even in death, Rush Limbaugh is still exposing liberal media bias.
Here is how the New York Times announced Limbaugh’s death: “Rush Limbaugh Dies at 70; Turned Talk Radio Into a Right-Wing Attack Machine.” The obituary sub-head reads, “With a following of 15 million and a divisive style of mockery, grievance and denigrating language, he was a force in reshaping American conservatism.”
Notice how the NYT found plenty of room to criticize in the headlines.
The NYT homepage similarly said that Limbaugh, “pushed talk radio to the right with misogynistic and racist language and conspiracy theories.”
Now check out how that framing compares to how the so-called “newspaper of record” eulogized some of history’s greatest villains:
The New York Times called Chairman Mao “one of history’s great revolutionary figures.”
In 2019, the New York Times Archive account tweeted that, “Mao Zedong died on this day in 1976,” before referencing previous work that said he “began as an obscure peasant” who “died one of history’s greatest revolutionary figures.” The tweet was later deleted with the explanation that the post “lacked critical historical context.” The historical context that got omitted, of course, was that tens of millions of people are estimated to have died of starvation due to Mao’s “Great Leap Forward.”
The deleted tweet also linked to the original NYT obituary. “Born at a time when China was wracked by civil strife, beset with terrible poverty, and encroached on by more advanced foreign powers, he lived to fulfill his boyhood dream of restoring it to its traditional place as a great nation,” the obituary said. “With incredible perseverance and consummately conceived strategy, he harnessed the forces of agrarian discontent and nationalism to turn a tiny band of peasants into an army of millions, which he led to victory throughout China in 1949 after 20 years of fighting.”
The New York Times called Iran’s Khomeni an “unwavering Iranian Spiritual Leader.”
The 1989 NYT obituary of Ayatollah Khomeni was titled, “Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, 89, the Unwavering Iranian Spiritual Leader.” No mention of misogyny in the headline, despite the regime’s oppression of Iranian women that continues to this day.
The New York Times called Yasir Arafat the “Father and Leader of Palestinian Nationalism.”
In 2004, the New York Times obituary of Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasir Arafat read, “Yasir Arafat, Father and Leader of Palestinian Nationalism, Dies at 75.” No mention in the headline of the organization’s use of terrorism against civilians.
The New York Times referred to Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez as “a polarizing figure.”
When Venezuela strongman Hugo Chavez died in 2013, the NYT obituary headline called him, “A polarizing figure who led a movement.”
The New York Times called dictator Fidel Castro a “Cuban Revolutionary Who Defied the U.S.”
The 2016, the New York Times headline announcing the death of murderous Cuban dictator Fidel Castro read, “Fidel Castro, Cuban Revolutionary Who Defied U.S., Dies at 90.” The article’s subhead: “Mr. Castro brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere, bedeviled 11 American presidents and briefly pushed the world to the brink of nuclear war.”
A New York Times foreign correspondent covered up Stalin’s crimes:
The most egregious example of overlooking crimes against humanity, of course, was when The New York Times’ Moscow Bureau Chief, Walter Duranty, covered up the famine in Ukraine, during which Stalin intentionally let people starve to death. Decades later, The New York Times renounced Duranty’s discredited work.
UNDERRATED MOVIE RECOMMENDATION:
Mr. Jones is a 2019 movie based on the true story of a novice reporter who learned about a man-made famine in Ukraine that killed millions in the early 1930s. As finally revealed decades later, Stalin’s efforts to conceal the famine from the outside world were abetted by a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter who swept the truth under the rug because he supported Communism. The Times has since acknowledged that the reporting was bad, yet the Pulitzer Prize has never been revoked. A good lesson about what can happen when journalists become political activists rather than reporters focused on the truth.