Last night, Peggy Noonan’s weekly column was posted at the Wall Street Journal website. In a day or so, it should be posted at peggynoonan.com. The title: “Rush Limbaugh’s Complicated Legacy.” She summarized the media’s reports of his death: “His obituaries in the mainstream press were mostly judgment, no mercy. It’s not nice when malice gets a final, unanswered shot. On the conservative side, TV commentaries were cloying to the point of cultish.”
She described his intense work ethic and she noted how he single-handedly changed an industry. They were friends during the Reagan revolution, and with quiet candor describes how they grew apart–much as Anne Applebaum describes her split with former friends from the early Reagan years. Peggy Noonan posted last night: “In the past 15 years my views on important issues diverged from his; he came to see me as an apostate and attacked me for my criticisms of Iraq policy, Sarah Palin, George W. Bush and Donald Trump.
She ended her column where I ended yesterday’s post, with a reflection about the FCC’s old “Fairness Doctrine.” She wrote: “There were so many voices in the marketplace, and more were coming; fairness and balance would sort themselves out.”
Noonan, a speech-writer for Ronald Reagan, wrote: “In 1987 the doctrine was abolished, a significant Reagan-era reform. But I don’t know. Let me be apostate again. Has anything in our political culture gotten better since it was removed? Aren’t things more polarized, more bitter, less stable?
“I’m not sure it was good for America.”