Search This Blog

Friday, April 22, 2011

Limbaugh's Lies about Earth Day

Rush Limbaugh loves to smear environmentalists at every turn. I devote a chapter in my book, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Rush Limbaugh's Assault on Reason, to Limbaugh's lies about the environmental movement.

But today, on Earth Day, Limbaugh took his deceit to a new extreme by claiming that Earth Day was founded by a murderer. Here's what he said:

Do you even remember, folks, Earth Day's founder, do you remember the story of Earth Day's founder? Do you even remember his name? Ira Einhorn. Ira Einhorn was on stage hosting the first Earth Day event at Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, April 22nd, 1970. Seven years later, the police raided his closet and found the composted body of his ex-girlfriend inside a trunk. Ira Einhorn, the father of Earth Day, killed and composted his girlfriend. And any time you mention this the Earth Day acolytes try to shut you up, and they don't want you having any success at besmirching the image of their great leader.
Except for the fact that Ira Einhorn was a murderer, pretty much everything Rush said is wrong. No one thinks that Einhorn was “the father of Earth Day.” The founder of Earth Day, as everyone knows, was Sen. Gaylord Nelson. The main organizer of the first Earth Day in 1970 was Denis Hayes. The first Earth Day was a nationwide phenomenon. The Philadelphia Earth Week was organized by a committee of 33 people, and it does not appear that Ira Einhorn was one of them.

In Rush's defense, some of the misinformation on his show came from a badly written piece by Remy Melina reprinted on titled, “Earth Day co-founder killed, composted girlfriend.” That title alone should warn readers of the bias that would follow. (Interestingly, Melina's piece was reprinted from a tabloid-style website,, where other articles being featured include one titled, "CIA Cover-up Alleged in JFK's 'Secret UFO Inquiry.'")

Einhorn was a crackpot who called himself an environmentalist to help get himself attention. In 1977, he murdered his girlfriend and hid her body in a trunk in his apartment, where the mummified body was later found. This is the “composted” girlfriend being mocked in the headline and the story. Since decomposed bodies have nothing to do with composting (in fact, the body was found underneath some Styrofoam packing material), the only reason for putting this word in the story is to try to demean environmentalists.

Melina's article claims: “Although Einhorn was only the master of ceremonies at the first Earth Day event, he maintains that Earth Day was his idea and that he's responsible for launching it.”

It's not clear that Einhorn really still maintains that Earth Day was his idea, since he's serving a life sentence in prison and it doesn't appear that Melina talked with him or did any actual journalism for her article. (Melina's bio, by the way, indicates that “Remy has written for the Long Island Press and Shut Up! Magazine.”)

A Philadelphia Inquirer article from ten years ago, easily found on the web, revealed that Einhorn wasn't the founder of Earth Day, nor was he the host of the Philadelphia Earth Day celebration. Instead, this article indicates that he was a nut with few environmentalist supporters, but many fans among mainstream reporters, corporate leaders, and even the police. Einhorn was a speaker at the event who angered the actual organizers of the Philadelphia Earth Day by holding on to the microphone for 30 minutes and refusing to give it up until he finally welcomed Sen. Edmund Muskie by kissing him on the lips.

Einhorn wasn't the master of ceremonies at Earth Day, nor was he the leader of any environmental movement. He was a slick-talking phony who mostly charmed corporate America, according to a Time magazine profile: “the suits responded with free lunches, grants, consulting contracts, four-figure speaking fees.”

Einhorn was a very minor speaker among a long list of famous speakers at Philadelphia's Earth Week, which was one of many Earth Day events across the country. It is horrifying that Einhorn would murder a woman many years later, but obviously no one could have known that, and nothing about what he did has any connection to Earth Day, nor does Einhorn have any actual role in creating Earth Day except in his delusional mind and the equally delusional attacks of the far right.

It's understandable why Rush Limbaugh is willing to make up fake stories to smear environmentalists. It's less clear why is doing the same by reprinting articles from a website with dubious stories like this. What Limbaugh and did today shows the kind of media bias against the environmental movement that persists even 41 years after the first Earth Day.

Crossposted at DailyKos.

No comments:

Post a Comment