Nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh labeled The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel and her husband, Stephen Cohen, a professor of Russian and Slavic studies at New York University, "well-known communist[s]" and "big lovers of the old Soviet Union."
From the February 14 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: This is from The Nation. Now, The Nation is one of our favorite publications here, the far-left fringe publication of the liberal journal of opinion that is edited by [a] well-known communist named Katrina vanden Heuvel whose husband is a well-known communist at Columbia.
Well, I use the term advisedly. Stephen Cohen's his name. They're both big lovers of the old Soviet Union.
Limbaugh was introducing a February 6 post by vanden Heuvel on The Nation's "Editor's Cut" weblog about the Democrats' success in the 2004 election among single women. Vanden Heuvel posted a response to Limbaugh on the weblog on February 17:
Now, I know that Limbaugh doesn't have a lot of experience with successful relationships, but attacking someone's spouse is generally considered to be pretty low down and dirty. In fact, some would call his reckless allegations libelous -- my lawyer, for example. I also know that Limbaugh suffers from a rather severe case of McCarthy-era nostalgia, but equating liberalism with communism is tired and boorish even for someone who is a big, fat idiot. I use the term advisedly.
Limbaugh previously labeled award-winning Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes a "communist" as part of an attack on Senator John Kerry's (D-MA) use of the poet's slogan "Let America Be America Again" in his 2004 presidential campaign.