Rush Limbaugh told listeners this week that Hurricane Irma was a "liberal conspiracy" meant to draw attention to global warming, but now the conservative radio host has changed his tune and left his mansion in Florida ahead of the storm.
Limbaugh generated controversy this week after he claimed that the media was manufacturing panic about Hurricane Irma in order to boost ratings and "hype climate change," the Washington Post reported. Limbaugh said the storm's coverage was something of a conspiracy that stretched beyond media outlets to the retailers that stood to benefit from the rush of people buying goods ahead of the hurricane.
"So there is a desire to advance this climate change agenda, and hurricanes are one of the fastest and best ways to do it. You can accomplish a lot just by creating fear and panic. You don't need a hurricane to hit anywhere," Limbaugh told listeners on Tuesday (via Think Progress). "All you need is to create the fear and panic accompanied by talk that climate change is causing hurricanes to become more frequent and bigger and more dangerous, and you create the panic, and it's mission accomplished, agenda advanced."
It didn't take Rush Limbaugh long to change his mind, the report noted. He told viewers on Thursday that he would be leaving his sprawling Palm Beach mansion ahead of Hurricane Irma.
Although many media outlets -- especially left-leaning ones -- made light of Rush Limbaugh's about-face on Hurricane Irma, others believe that his rhetoric is dangerous to those in the path of the hurricane. As CNN security analyst Juliette Kayyem noted, Limbaugh has an audience of close to 15 million people who believe the theories he espouses on the show. So while Limbaugh may be escaping to safety ahead of Hurricane Irma, others who live in Florida and other states in the hurricane's path may buy into his theory that the hurricane is a liberal conspiracy and decide not to evacuate.