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UPDATE: Rush Limbaugh recognized in secretive ceremony at Missouri Capitol

Monday, May 14, 2012 | 3:31 p.m. CDT; updated 5:24 p.m. CDT, Monday, May 14, 2012
Lt. Gov Peter Kinder, left, and Speaker of the House, Steven Tilley, right, pose with conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh and a bust in Limbaugh's likeness during a ceremony inducting Limbaugh into the Hall of Famous Missourians on Monday in the state Capitol in Jefferson City.

JEFFERSON CITY — Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians on Monday during a secretive ceremony in the state Capitol as police stood guard to keep out any uninvited political opponents of the sometimes divisive radio show host.

Limbaugh, a native of Cape Girardeau in southeast Missouri, addressed a crowd of more than 100 Republicans during a closed-door event in the Missouri House chamber. Speaking from the chamber's dais, he thanked his family for their support throughout his career, denounced liberals and Democrats as "deranged," then helped lift a black curtain off a bronze bust of himself, which he hugged — head to head — for photographs.

The timing of the ceremony was kept secret until shortly before it occurred, and then only Republican lawmakers, other invited guests and the media were allowed into the chamber to watch — an attempt to avoid any public disruption after Limbaugh's selection was criticized by Democrats, some women's groups and other political foes.

Limbaugh, 61, arranged for a guest host to handle his radio show Monday so he could be at the Missouri Capitol. He repeatedly declared how humbled he was by the honor.

"I'm stunned. I'm not speechless, but close to it," Limbaugh said to the laughter of the friendly crowd. "I'm literally quite unable to comprehend what's happening to me today."

The talk show host was selected for the Hall of Famous Missourians by term-limited House Speaker Steven Tilley, a Republican who like Limbaugh is from southeast Missouri. Tilley wants to display Limbaugh's bust in the Capitol alongside other members of the Hall of Famous Missourians, including President Harry Truman, Mark Twain and Walt Disney — but that plan has already faced controversy.

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's administration released a memo Monday indicating that a state board — not the House speaker — has the authority to determine what items are displayed in the third floor Capitol Rotunda where the busts are located. House Minority Leader Mike Talboy, D-Kansas City, also asserted that Tilley has no legal authority to order Limbaugh's bust to be placed in the Capitol Rotunda.

"The secrecy and exclusion of the public demonstrates that even Republicans are embarrassed at honoring someone who recently called a female college student with whom he disagreed a 'slut' and a 'prostitute,'" Talboy said.

Limbaugh's selection for the Missouri honor was made public in early March, shortly after he made those comments about a female law school student after she testified before Democrats in Congress about health insurance for contraception. Limbaugh later apologized for his language, telling his radio listeners: "It was wrong."

Although Limbaugh did not reference the incident Monday, Tilley alluded to Limbaugh's controversial comments while introducing him during the Capitol ceremony. In the past couple months, protesters have wheeled 600 rolls of toilet paper into the middle of Tilley's Capitol office encouraging him to "Flush Rush!" and have delivered about 35,000 petition signatures against Limbaugh's induction.

"He may say things that strike a nerve," Tilley said. "But that doesn't undo everything he's accomplished in his career, and it doesn't provide a reasonable excuse why he shouldn't be honored by his home state for his many accomplishments."

Limbaugh nearly let the occasion pass by without delivering a fresh political shot at his opponents.

After Limbaugh again expressed thanks for the honor, the Republican crowd applauded and he appeared to be done speaking. But then he praised Tilley — whom he said had "been under assault for wanting to do this" — and said of his critics: "They're deranged. They're literally deranged."

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Comments

Richard Saunders May 14, 2012 | 5:18 p.m.

I'm so happy to see that there's finally something worth fighting over in Jefferson City.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett May 15, 2012 | 4:41 a.m.

@"...as police stood guard to keep out any uninvited political opponents of the sometimes divisive radio show host."

Ahem!

Nothing really better to do?

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett May 15, 2012 | 4:52 a.m.

@"...an attempt to avoid any public disruption after Limbaugh's selection was criticized by Democrats, some women's groups and other political foes."

Labels placed on anyone who does not rubber stamp Limbaugh?

Maybe it was secretive to also attempt to cover up the fact that Limbaugh is considered by some devout Republicans as an embarrassment to the values that those Repubs have always held dear - in that they consider his mouth disconnected from his brain and his private life in no way has ever reflected what he laments all else should follow.

One can always determine the real character of a person by what that person does when that person thinks no one is watching, and the private life is an inroad into the real character of any person.

These folks point out that Limbaugh is a loudmouth, who says what he wants others to think to line his own wallet and make his own mark on the world - but, in truth, his own life is a far cry from what he wants others to believe.

These folks are dyed-in-the-wool, unwavering Repubs and they are determined that Limbaugh is nothing more than a mouth piece and a public disgrace to all that is held dear in values.

They are not Democrats, cults of criticim, nor political enemies of Limbaugh. They simply stand by a higher standard and they are not going to lower that standard to where they say that the private life does not matter, when it comes to character. They want "doers" and not "sayers" only.

Maybe that is why this "honor" would appear dubious to them, and why they would not want to be included, nor expected to be included, nor would ever want to be included in the same room/pool with this.

Ever think of that, Limbaugh-worshipper Repubs?

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 15, 2012 | 6:55 a.m.

To espouse "the fact that Limbaugh is considered by some devout Republicans as an embarrassment to the values that those Repubs have always held dear", is about as meaningless as any generalization that a liberal is apt to produce when selling their false premise.

These unnamed, "dyed-in-the-wool, unwavering Repubs" would have to be,imo, if not yours, labeled, "moderate" R's. (moderate Republican = liberal, lacking guts enough to become a Democrat.) and not conservative.

The Tea Party is doing a good job of sorting these "culls" out of the R' party for the coming election and is fighting to preserve a strong and prosperous United States as Rush Limbaugh has been doing for over twenty years.

(Report Comment)
Gary Straub May 15, 2012 | 10:19 a.m.

Delicia, great commentary!

Frank, If he is such a great man why was this done in secret invitation only in our house that we own and pay for. Your loyalty to a fat, hypocritical, hate mongering, felonious drug addict speaks for itself, but this abhorrent act was not in the best interest of the people of this state. I wonder if a bust of Hitler next to his will be next. After all they both have the same agenda...white supremacy.

(Report Comment)
Cheyenne Greene May 15, 2012 | 10:40 a.m.

and there it is, WOW Gary S! You had to pull the H and WS label. Really!?! I don't listen to him but I assure you if he is worthy of that label I'd hear it on every mainstream media channel pandering to the left.
And for Delcia, it wasn't done 'when no one was watching'. Pretty sure we all got an eyefull. Just because they didn't give you the opportunity to embarrass us further by throwing shoes doesn't mean they were hiding.
Besides I hear he speaks a lot of truth that is missing in the mainstream media these days. All this hoopla makes me want to listen and find out for myself.

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum May 15, 2012 | 10:56 a.m.

Rush Limbaugh is an 'American Exceptionalist' -- hold everyone accountable, except him. Harsh treatment for drug offenders, except him.

There is no place in a house of state for a SEMO drop-out disc-jockey, who found an audience in America's hateful and perpetually corpulent white folk. What qualifies Rush to give an expert opinion on ANYTHING? Trick question -- he has done nothing in life other than flap his oily jowls to the confused and angry. If getting stinking rich doing what R. Limbaugh has done is the definition of being 'great', then I'd rather be a pauper.

Oh, and please stop using the phrase 'mainstream media' -- silly catch phrases only give away the fact that you possess a complete lack of originality.

(Report Comment)
Cheyenne Greene May 15, 2012 | 11:13 a.m.

seems we hit a nerve in Louis.
What would you have me use in its place Sir?

from Wiki,
Mainstrema Media "....Large news conglomerates, including newspapers and broadcast media, which underwent successive mergers in the U.S. and elsewhere at an increasing rate beginning in the 1990s, are often referenced by the term. This concentration of media ownership has raised concerns of a homogenization of viewpoints presented to news consumers. Consequently, the term mainstream media has been widely used in conversation and the blogosphere, often in oppositional, pejorative, or dismissive senses, in discussion of the mass media and media bias. ..."

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 15, 2012 | 11:34 a.m.

"Frank, If he is such a great man why was this done in secret invitation only in our house that we own and pay for."

Not sure Gary, I wasn't invited. Imo, probably visions of the Capital in Madison Wisconsin during the Democrat walkout came to their minds. No one wishes for such a mess, as that. (please don't insinuate that MO unionists would not be there in as great a number, as required by Democrats.)

Is truth able to evade your every thought? White Supremacy? Rush Limbaugh has done more to promote self esteem and respect for Blacks than any public school, which has been teaching them esteem without merit. His entreaty to Black people since I have heard him has been "to forget their color, it can't be changed ( I believe he did once note M. Jackson as the exception). To rise each morning and perform to their best, whatever that day brought."

This would tend to reduce the number of victims waiting for liberals to tend them and in its self would provide reason enough for them to hate him.

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum May 15, 2012 | 11:35 a.m.

So what alternative sources of media do you look to for your news?

(Report Comment)

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