El Rushbo was also known as Rush Limbaugh and has now been absent for one-year.
I find it difficult to remember the time when, between Noon and 3pm Eastern, radio was available on the fruited plain.
Yet this past year, we have been forced to live without the voice that made it fun to listen to A.M. radio back in the late ’80s and ’90s, and became a cultural tour de force. It has been a great year, and there is no doubt that millions more people yearn for the insight Rush would offer, as he sat behind the E.I.B. microphone.
He will be truly missed.
Everybody has a story to tell about the first time they heard Limbaugh. Mine isn’t any different. My 18-year-old self was a sickly little kid sitting in the back of a car eating Little Caesars pizza from K-Mart. The car had only an A.M. radio. As I was scrolling through the dial (no digital radios yet, back in those days, kids) I came across WXYT 1270 A.M. in Detroit and heard Clarence “Frogman” Henry signing his hit, “Aint Got No Home,” with someone talking over the song, but just uttering one letter at a time.
Rush added a booming voice to his explanation, explaining (during Rush’s theme song to the homeless update), what the real story was about that particular topic. When he went on to explain that American “activist” and fraud peddler Abbie Hoffman had made some outrageous claim that millions of people were dying on the street each year due to homelessness, Rush went in for the verbal kill. He opined that if this were true — it would be a good idea to buy cemetery plots now before the yards filled up. You can avoid high prices by buying while you still have a good deal.
I couldn’t help but laugh.
“America’s Anchorman” had given me my first lesson in demonstrating absurdity by being absurd and I, like millions of others, was hooked.
I have always been fascinated by the “art” of doing a good radio show. It’s a lot more difficult to keep people captive for twenty minutes or three hours in the age of TV. But Limbaugh managed it with an extraordinary amount of pizazz, something that was not seen since. Limbaugh’s ability to combine common sense with the ability to explain issues in a simple way, and the way he made it entertaining, was amazing. That he lasted for over 30 years on over 600 radio stations — and became a legend doing it — shows that it worked.
You will hear people say that they saved A.M. Radio. This isn’t an exaggeration. As F.M.. became more popular, the A.M. dial quickly degenerated into a dead end. Because of its clarity, stations became more popular. A.M. was quickly becoming the place for local news broadcasts and other small-town information, such as farm reports or religious services. Yet when the FCC abolished the “Fairness Doctrine” in 1987, which demanded that holders of any broadcast license make sure that opposing sides were given a chance to have their voices heard, that cleared the way for Rush to flourish.
Maha Rushie took the day. The rest is history.
How many people would love to have heard Rush laugh at the gaffes made by the 46th President. or as Rush affectionately called him, “Plugs.”
How we would have tuned in to hear him do a monologue for over two hours, just on the latest revelations that the investigation into Russia, Russia, Russia was really just a hit job to get Trump — like he thought all along.
If we could have just had one more “Open Line Friday,” and the opportunity to throw some random point at him and see what he would have done with it. All of the people who had the opportunity to speak to him have been treated with both hatred and affection. These are the lucky gunslingers.
Rush has been imitated by anyone who’s ever done a podcast or a radio show. His ability to mix humor and facts was impressive. People will tune in even if they don’t like you. Every single one of us owes Rush a debt we won’t be able repay. From the bottom of my heart I want to thank Rush and praise the Lord for putting you here on Earth in the country you love.
All of us are better for it.
One year ago, the Doctor of Democracy was able to check out from the blue-blue marble that is Earth. He now lives where there’s never been a day without sunshine and a fair amount of golf. It is our responsibility to carry on his legacy, no matter how difficult it may be. We will all be fine if we follow his lead.
Godspeed Rush and his loved ones.