Arguably one of the most popular and influential figures in the history of talk radio, Rush Limbaugh was a commentator whose unwavering support for conservative causes generated adulation among his followers and condemnation from the liberal media and supporters. Limbaugh built a massive audience - the largest ever for a radio talk show - on the strength of fiery statements about politicians, policies on the left, and just about anyone else who strayed into his field of fire. Unlike previous right-minded talk hosts, Limbaugh's delivery was smooth, well spoken, and often bitingly humorous, which delivered a stronger blow to his opponents than the rantings and ravings of the past. Listeners believed Limbaugh because he appeared to understand their feelings and translate them into powerful words, but his opponents frequently challenged his facts, which appeared to deviate from proven research. He lost some of his grandeur in the face of scandals in the mid-2000s, from prescription drug addictions to hateful statements about President Barack Obama and other figures in the news. The animosity took some of the wind out of his sales, but did little to sway his faithful, who helped to enshrine him as the voice of conservatism for millions of Americans for over two decades.