Today on his radio show Rush Limbaugh said that Michael Jackson, “flourished under Reagan, languished under Clinton and Bush, and died under Obama.” Limbaugh claimed that Jackson’s successes took place under Reagan, so the metaphor is that America flourished under conservatives and is dying due to a Democrat.
Here is the audio from Media Matters:
Limbaugh said, “I have an observation about this Michael Jackson thing, not about the details of his death or something. Jackson’s success, and this is going to really irritate some people which I will enjoy doing. Jackson’s success parallels the rebound of the Unites States under Ronaldus Mangus, I mean Michael Jackson’s biggest successes, and as it turns out final successes real successes, took place in the 1980s, that was Billie Jean, Thriller, and all that.”
Rush continued, “I mean he was as weird as he could be, but he was profoundly because of his weirdness, an individual. He wasn’t a group member. He reached a level of success that may never be equaled. He flourished under Reagan. He languished under Clinton and Bush, and died under Obama. Let’s hope the parallel does not continue.”
Limbaugh later asked what about his statements were not true. Well, we can start with the idea that Michael Jackson was not a group member. It can be argued that the foundation for his entire successful solo career was his membership in the Jackson 5. Secondly, Jackson’s success or failure after the 1980s had nothing to do with the party of the president, and everything to do with a bizarre, scandal riddled, personal life which virtually destroyed his career in the United States.
Rush’s comparison does not work. It doesn’t make sense. Partisan politics can’t be applied to something as random as a celebrity death. Ronald Reagan had as little to do with Jackson’s success, as Obama did with his death. Jackson’s talent made him the world’s biggest star in the 80s, not Ronald Reagan, and Obama did not cause Jackson’s heart trouble.