Know Your Enemy: The Rush Limbaugh Show, with Nicole Hemmer

Know Your Enemy: The Rush Limbaugh Show, with Nicole Hemmer

Historian Nicole Hemmer discusses the life and legacy of the late talk-radio juggernaut Rush Limbaugh.

Rush Limbaugh in 2019 (Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons)

Know Your Enemy is a podcast about the American right co-hosted by Matthew Sitman and Sam Adler-Bell. Read more about it here. You can subscribe to, rate, and review the show on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher, and receive bonus content by supporting the podcast on Patreon.

No media figure has had a more profound impact on the shape of contemporary conservative politics than Rush Limbaugh. For three hours a day, every weekday since 1988, Rush delighted and ignited his radio audience with a high-octane diatribe against liberal degeneracy—an often comic, always cruel, and never apologetic expression of the white male id. When he died on February 17, 2021, Rush left behind an American media landscape—and a Republican Party—reshaped in his image: a ruinous marriage of entertainment, insular world-building, and reactionary meanness that found its apotheosis in the presidency of Donald J. Trump.

And no one is better situated to elucidate Rush Limbaugh’s appeal, his effectiveness, and his impact on American politics than our guest, Nicole Hemmer. Hemmer is the author of Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American PoliticsShe’s at work on a new book tracing the transformation of right-wing politics in the post-Reagan years—a story in which Rush plays a starring role. Hemmer is also an associate research scholar with the Obama Presidency Oral History Project at Columbia University. And—a skilled broadcaster in her own right—she cohosts the podcasts Past Present and This Day in Esoteric Political History.


Nicole Hemmer, “The Man Who Created President Donald Trump,” CNN

Mary Harris, “Rush Is Dead, but We’re Still Living in the World He Created,” Slate

Jill Filipovic, “The Life and Death of a Woman-Hater,” New York Times

William F. Buckley Jr., “Crucial Steps in Combating the Aids Epidemic; Identify All the Carriers,” New York Times


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