Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians today, in a ceremony that was kept under wraps until less than an hour before it happened.
Word of the ceremony leaked out after various media members spotted Limbaugh inside the Missouri Capitol. The ceremony was by invitation only, and the audience consisted of Republican lawmakers and family and friends. Limbaugh told the audience that other members of his family were more deserving of the honor, but he also thanked House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) for not rescinding it.
“(Tilley) hung in, he was tough, laughed at them when they called his office, which is what you have to do, because they’re deranged," Limbaugh said to laughter. He continued: "They literally are deranged, our friends, so-called friends on the other side of the aisle, are deranged...this is where my family now forgets I’m here.”
Last week there were rumors that a bust of the controversial commentator had been delivered to the State Capitol, along with the bust of former slave Dred Scott, who was posthumously inducted on May 9th. House Minority Floor Leader Mike Talboy (D, Kansas City) called Limbaugh’s induction an embarrassment.
“In 30 days, the guy may say something on the air or (among) a group of people that puts everything that he’s said to this point to shame," Talboy said. "That’s quite frankly why we don’t usually put people that are still alive into halls like this.”
Limbaugh came under fire earlier this year for calling a Georgetown University law student a "slut" and a "prostitute" on his nationally-syndicated radio show. Talboy says House Democrats want Governor Nixon’s Office of Administration to bar Limbaugh’s bust from being displayed in the Hall of Famous Missourians.
Limbaugh is a native of Cape Girardeau, and several members of his family are known in Missouri for practicing law. His first cousin is Stephen Limbaugh, Junior, currently a federal judge and a former judge on the Missouri Supreme Court. His grandfather, Rush Limbaugh, Senior, was a member of the Missouri General Assembly in the 1930's and practiced law up until his death in 1996 at the age of 104. A Democratic member of the Missouri Senate earlier this year commented that the late Rush Limbaugh, Sr., would be a more fitting inductee into the Hall.