WASHINGTON—Saying his initial enthusiasm had faded after learning about the award’s history, conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh conceded Wednesday that receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom was less of an honor knowing it had been bestowed upon Rosa Parks and Maya Angelou, too. “While I understand this medal represents the highest civilian honor possible, I was a bit disconcerted to discover this morning that I share this distinction with both a civil rights icon and a poet who gave a voice to black Americans,” said Limbaugh, who explained that he hopes people don’t doubt his integrity as he joins the ranks of the award’s previous recipients, especially Cicely Tyson, Ralph Ellison, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Stevie Wonder, and Willie Mays. “I almost sent it back. But instead I have decided to keep my Medal of Freedom and let it stand as a testament to my willingness to tolerate others. I hope my acceptance of it will go some way toward reclaiming this honor from the Martin Luther Kings and Nelson Mandelas of the world.” At press time, Limbaugh confirmed he felt more confident that the award meant something after learning it had also been given to Henry Kissinger and Strom Thurmond.
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