Thursday, February 18, 2021

In Memory of an Icon

 

Mark Steyn says it Best:

It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of Rush Limbaugh, a giant of American broadcasting, a uniquely talented performer, and a hugely generous man to whom I owe almost everything.

Rush died this morning, after a year-long struggle with lung cancer. I was scheduled to guest-host today's show. Instead, as you can hear, his beloved Kathryn will be introducing a special program put together by the EIB team to celebrate a great man's life and legacy. It's a hard thing to do - compressing a glorious third-of-a-century into three hours - but Snerdley, Kraig, Mike, Allie and everyone else I've worked with there for so many years will do their best.

Usually, in this line of work, if you're lucky, you get a moment - a year or two when you're the in-thing - and you hope to hold enough of that moment as it slowly fades away to keep you going till retirement. Rush did something unprecedented in the history of TV and radio. Commercial broadcasting began in the United States in 1920: The Rush Limbaugh Show came along two-thirds of a century later, became the Number One program very quickly, and has stayed at the top all the way to today - for a third of the entire history of the medium. And throughout all those decades Rush and his show stayed exactly the same: a forensic breakdown of the day's news, punctuated by musical parodies, satirical sketches, and Rush's own optimism and good humor, even through this last terrible year.

The comedy is what his many enemies and half his own side missed: Rush took politics seriously but not solemnly. In the early years of the war on terror, he introduced an Afghan version of himself "with talent on loan from Allah" and sold Club Gitmo merchandise for those seeking a tropical retreat from jihad. When Brokeback Mountain was in the news, the show ran trailers for Return to Saddle-Sore Canyon: "It's John McCain and Lindsey Graham as you've always wanted to see them!" Which, in my case at least, is true.

I know precisely when I first heard Rush. It was not long after he started the show and not long after I bought my pad in New Hampshire. I was driving some visitors from London through the North Maine Woods toward New Brunswick in that dead zone where the only thing that comes in is the soft-and-easy station on 94.9 FM from the top of Mount Washington. And then that died, and there was nothing, and I forgot to switch it off so it was automatically scanning up and around the dial as we chit-chatted in the car. And then suddenly it found some guy, and there he was talking about "the arts-and-croissants crowd" moving into your town, and reading out press releases from NOW (the National Association of Women), whom he called the NAGS (National Association of Gals), and playing Andy Williams' version of "Born Free" punctuated by gunfire to accompany any environmental story.

And, in my car, conversation ceased. My friends were what you might call slightly skeptical lefties, so they disagreed with what Rush said on the issues but they were rapt by the way he said it. Because they had never heard anybody say it like that before. It was a unique combination - absolute piercing philosophical clarity, and a grand rollicking presentational style honed through all the lean years of minor-market disc-jockeying. First, he perfected the style, and then he applied it to the content. When Clinton was elected, Rush opened his shows, for years, with "America Held Hostage, Day Thirty-Nine... Day Seventy-Three... Day Hundred-and-Twenty Four...", and when Newt's Republicans won the 1994 mid-terms he started with James Brown singing "I Feel Good".

One man doing what he wanted to do saved an entire medium - AM radio - and turned all its old rules upside down: Traditionally, morning drive is your big audience, and everything tapers off from there. Rush figured that everyone needs a local guy at that time, with traffic and weather updates, and that the opportunity to build a national show lay in the hitherto somnolent slot of noon-to-three Eastern/nine-to-twelve Pacific. And within a couple of years hundreds of stations were building the entire schedule around the midday guy. In the scheme of things, I am not sure how many of those stations will be able to keep that going without him.

Throughout his entire time on air, there were genius GOP consultants who, in reaction to any electoral setbacks, would insist that what the GOP needed to do was come up with a way to ditch Limbaugh. As I said on air many years ago: Really? For almost a third of a century, Rush's audience was over half the total Republican vote. How many do all you genius "Republican reformers" bring to the table? I've recounted previously the first time I was asked to guest-host, back in 2006, when I happened to be down in Australia and the Prime Minister, John Howard, asked me to some or other event a day or two hence. And I politely declined, saying I had to get back to America to host The Rush Limbaugh Show. "I hear that's a pretty big show," said the PM.

"Yeah," I replied. "Twenty-five, thirty million listeners."

"'Strewth," said Mr Howard. "Rush has more listeners than we have Australians."

Indeed. And all these GOP clever-clogs never explain, once you throw Rush and his millions overboard, what's going to replace them.

Powerful politicians and longtime fans were often surprised, upon meeting him, to find a man who was quite private and indeed shy - because, like many radio guys, he had no desire to have a public persona other than at the microphone. Unlike so many others in this business, Rush was hugely generous and totally secure. Unlike other shows of left and right, where the staff come and go every six weeks, everyone at the EIB Network has been there fifteen, twenty, thirty years. That includes, in a very peripheral way, yours truly. When I first started guest-hosting, I found it odd that, on the rare occasions Rush mentioned the subs, it would be to put them down. Because, I mean, who would do that? But Rush is the least insecure star on the planet, and I came to see that he was actually teaching the neophytes a very important lesson: You guys need to be completely secure too - because it's the only way to survive in this wretched media. I came to appreciate that being put down by Rush was actually a far greater compliment than him doing some boilerplate hey-he's-a-great-guy shtick. And one of the saddest days of my fifteen years with EIB was when I heard Rush a few months back expressing genuine, sincere gratitude for something I'd said about him a few days earlier. As I pleaded on air, I just wanted the old Rush back scoffing at his guest-hosts - so we'd know all was well in the world.

So I owe Rush the biggest break of my career in America, and I owe him even more for sticking with me after the CRTV breach of contract when certain extremely prominent figures on the American right were bombarding him with multiple texts and emails to fire me from the guest-host's slot. It would have been the easiest thing in the world for him to have gone along with that. But he didn't. And that's the only reason I'm still around today.

I have come to admire him even more this last year. When he announced his diagnosis, we all knew this story only has one ending, and it's just a question of how many chapters there are leading up to it. Rush loved what he did more than anything in life except his family. He had no interest in going to Tahiti to watch the sunset. He wanted to be behind the Golden EIB Microphone every day that he could. So initially he took a couple of days off every three weeks for treatment, and then the two days became four, and the treatment weeks took their toll and spilled into the following week. But, through it all, he remained determined to do every single show he could - because, aside from anything else, he wanted to make sure he, his listeners, his brand, his stations did everything they could to put President Trump across the finish line on November 3rd.

Events didn't quite turn out the way he wanted - although they might have if more people had worked as hard as a man ravaged by Stage IV cancer did, in defiance of his doctors' prognostications. The last three months, when he and Kathryn had surely earned those Tahitian sunsets, took a terrible toll. But he stayed on the air until just a fortnight ago - because above all he wanted to keep faith with tens of millions of listeners, many of whom had been listening to him their entire lives and could not imagine a world without him.

We are about to find out.

I am well aware of the ironies of the headline. My father liked to caution me with the old saw that the graveyard is full of indispensable men. But, as the conventional bias of the legacy media yielded to something far more severe from the woke billionaires of Social Media, Rush remained the Big Voice on the Right, the largest obstacle to the complete marginalization of conservative ideas in our culture. All of us who labored in his shadows owe it to him to continue the fight.

To modify Rush's tag line: Talent returned to God.

61 comments:

  1. Hey everyone! Take it easy. No Rush today!

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  2. Replies
    1. I feel tingles up my legs, my brother.

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    2. Dervish and Dervish soiled their Bernie Sanders thongs.

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    3. Shut up, you sour old queen!

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  3. The HATE ALL around the internet is Much like YOU Shaw. YOU ARE THE MOY HATFUL PERSON ON GHESE BLOGS...
    Its people like YOU that are tearing this Country apart, and are responsible for the problems we are having.
    Just look at the comments here on YOUR BLOG, Read all the HATE. You can’t even shut up about a Patriot American Ivon who just died.

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  4. The HATE ALL around the internet is Much like YOU Shaw. YOU ARE THE MOST HATFUL PERSON ON GHESE BLOGS...
    Its people like YOU that are tearing this Country apart, and are responsible for the problems we are having.
    Just look at the comments here on YOUR BLOG, Read all the HATE. You can’t even shut up about a Patriot American Ivon who just died.

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    1. Rush was NOT a patriot, you stupid shit. He was an entertainer who fooled dumbfucks like you with hate, lies and fear mongering. He was part of the wealthy 1% who divided gullible assholes into fearing everyone.

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    2. He did it to get stupid idiots all riled up because people are so triggered.but you didn't get the jokes , you just hear what you want to hear. that's why he was so much smarter than half these people who sit there and tell them what they think he is when they have no idea.that's because you don't "get it".Some people lack in sight get his audience was all in on the jokes. He did more with his money and was more generous and did more for people and charities than any Democrat I've ever heard of in the well they do is want to see how much they can confiscate from the rest of us. You know why he's like Trump people fear him because they don't want to hear reality they want to live in their own little bubbles. Did you know that Joe has yogurt and cereal for breakfast?oh my God he's so down to earth oh my God he's actually a normal person. Why do Democrats always have to prove something about themselves to everyone else?

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    3. Dervish Sanders is a dickhead.

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  5. Rush Limbaugh is the reason I am a conservative. His voice for American ideals like patriotism, freedom and our God-given individual rights as human beings has now left us, but he will never be forgotten. Rush has now taken hold of the Golden EIB

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  6. Rush's words was an inspiration to all Peace loving Americans. But sadly the hate coming from the left and from the PROGRESSIVE Blog after the first minute of his passing. Pay close attention to this. The left doesn't just hate Rush, they hate US! And you can't compromise, cooperate or find unity with people who hate you. The lesson the left teaches at the passing of Rush Limbaugh is that there can be no unity with haters. No compromise and no cooperation. Anyone on the GOP side who thinks otherwise should be removed from office!

    God Bless Rush Limbaugh. God Bless America. Freedom must live on! Rush's words are an inspiration to all peace loving Americans. But Sadly the hate coming from the left at his passing. Pay close attention to this. The left doesn't just hate Rush, they hate US! And you can't compromise, cooperate or find unity with people who hate you. The lesson the left teaches at the passing of Rush Limbaugh is that there can be no unity with haters. No compromise and no cooperation. Anyone on the GOP side who thinks otherwise should be removed from office!

    God Bless Rush Limbaugh. God Bless America. Freedom must live on!

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  7. I have purposely avoided reading anything about what liberals are saying about Rush Limbaugh. I figured it would be hateful, gloating even, that his voice is now gone. The hate of people is something that really gets me stressed and anxious, so I just can't go there.

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    2. This One got caught with hir pants down again

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  8. A Proud Trumpeter..February 18, 2021 at 1:23 PM

    If the question was, “Who Do I Hate' the Most” ? And. the contestants were.....Barrack Hussein Obama, Moochie Obama,
    Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jerome Nadler

    Out of this horrible group my pick is Shaw Kenawe

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  10. Damn El Rushbo was great!

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  11. Professor DuesseldorfFebruary 19, 2021 at 4:48 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. And I Mock your Mother

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    2. Professor DuesseldorfFebruary 20, 2021 at 4:29 AM

      Knock yourself out.

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  12. Shaw, Ray, and That miserable POS Bluebull, you all must ALL live a pathetic existence, for you all to sink so low as to say the disgusting things that you all said about a man who has just past away from a horrible sickness. .
    I wont waste anymore time on you all but I’ll say that t Karma works in very unusual eays

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  13. The looney leftwing progressives that are rejoicing in Rush's death are little blisters of rage and self-loathing with pathetic, shitty lives, so they take it out on their hate totems instead of pulling their heads out and improving their lives.

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  14. Who will Re-Program that Sick Progressive Blog Author? IT’’S A HATE FACTORY

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  15. Grow up, Shaw Seriously

    Absolutely nobody buys into your childish Rants. or your 2-3 followers either

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  16. Rest in peace, Rush. You will be missed by 10’s of Millions
    Mega ditto's.

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    4. China Joe Biden's sings a tribute to Chinese Premier Xi...

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    5. Poll results would have been nearly 100% had "radical Left" been substituted by "Chines Premier Xi"...

      The majority of U.S. voters consider President Biden a “puppet” of the radical left, a Rasmussen Reports survey released Friday revealed.

      The survey, taken February 16-17, 2021, among 1,000 likely U.S. voters, asked respondents if they agreed or disagreed with the following statement: “Joe Biden’s not the moderate nice guy that they made him out to be. He’s a puppet of the radical left.”

      Fifty-four percent of voters agreed with the statement, 40 percent disagreed, and six percent indicated they remain unsure. The opinions are sharply divided on party lines, as the overwhelming majority of Republicans, 82 percent, agree with the statement, compared to 27 percent of Democrats who felt the same. Sixty-eight percent of Democrats disagree with the sentiment that Biden is a “puppet” of the radical left. Fifty-four percent of those unaffiliated with either party agree with a majority of Republicans.

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    6. Rasmussen = biased. I'd be thrilled if Biden were a "puppet of the radical left". But he isn't. republicans believe all Democratic presidents are radical leftist socialist communists. Despite a 100 percent lack of any evidence.

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    7. Exactly, China Joe Biden is 100% Premier Xi's puppet. :)

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    8. Joe Biden is a "puppet" of the American people. He puts their interests first. Unlike Dotard who absolutely was Putin's puppet.

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    9. Joe Biden is a puppet of Satan.

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  17. To "hope" for anyone to die an agonizing death or for them to rot and burn in Hell is not only a perversion of the Theological Virtue of Hope, it is also sinning against Charity. Wishing such wickedness on others means they truly don't want what is best for their neighbours. Such people are also setting themselves up as the sole judges of who should or should not be saved.

    And in the cases of Lunatic Leftists, it always includes, but is not limited to: "climate change deniers"; "racists"; "homophobes"; "transphobes"; "misogynists"; "Nazis" or any other form of heretical, bad thinking thought criminality. We also must never forget the latest blasphemy against Satan's gutter religion of lies: "incitement to insurrection."

    All these blasphemies against the Leftist Cathedral are considered crazy to sane, thinking people, but to those under the spell of Satan, all are unforgivable, unpardonable sins that merit death and off to burn in Hell for eternity. It is not an exaggeration to say that sh!tlibs really, truly hate us, and want us dead.

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  18. Shut the goddamned fuck up Avi. You are making about as much sense as a screaming trumproid on preparation H.

    The anal agony is probably horrific. But then again you knew what you were signing up for, right?

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  19. It'll be a while before someone gets appointed and anointed to be the voice to carry on where Rush stopped. My condolences to Rush's brother David and to the Limbaugh families. Lung cancer is a spiritual thief and a physical thief.

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    1. Marc Stein will be Rush’s replacement.

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    2. You mean Mark Steyn, correct?

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    4. This One soiled his Obama panties.

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    1. I hear clucking coming from the White House. It sounds like a dodo bird cawing gaffes.

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    2. Eddie Endo thinks he's being coy.

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    3. Oh wait... The clucking came from the Dervish Sanders' gay bath house. This One and Dervish engaged in beating their bongos.

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    4. And Wrong Again, Dervish and This One! My name is Qanon.

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    5. Your unhealthy mental fixation on Mystere is clouding your perception of reality, Anthony Sanders. You've been sniffing too many boys at your Children's Courthouse like your buttboy Biden.

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    1. Go find some other place to kvetch, pShaw.

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    2. Shut up, you sour old queen.

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    3. Hey This One, you got caught sniffing RN USA's rubber woman yesterday afternoon. Is that why you wrote your stupid retort?

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