The George Washington of Talk Radio
Millions of people liked Rush Limbaugh. I’m pretty sure that millions didn’t like him. I did.
When I would be on the road and it got to be noon, Eastern Time, I would find the station that was carrying Rush’s Excellence in Broadcasting (EIB) Network. The only other voice I have sought to hear on radio was late and great “Paul Harvey, Good Day!”
I loved Rush’s humor. Much of his humor was directed at himself.
“This is Rush Limbaugh,” he would start. Then continue with “The Mayor of Real-ville, America’s Real Anchorman, the Doctor of Democracy, and coming to you today with half my brain tied behind my back just to make it fair!”
“If you’d like to email me, you can at El Rushbo @ EIB.com. The views of this program have been found to be 99.6 % correct, according to the latest survey.” He loved his audience and his three hours per day were just as he said, “The fastest three hours in radio.”
I have worked with some very gifted people in business throughout the years. When they would retire or move on to greener pastures, I might think, no one can replace them.
Then I would be reminded of that experiment that would show exactly how much a person would be missed. Fill up a five-gallon bucket with water. Then put your hand and arm into the water. Remove your arm quickly and see the space left behind. As you can imagine, there would be no space left behind, meaning that everyone can be replaced.
I’m not sure about that when it comes to the “Maha-Rushie,” as he would call himself. Like him or not, Rush Limbaugh will leave a hole in the medium from which he made his magnificent living. His latest contract, an extension of a previous contract, paid him $85 million dollars a year! By the way, that’s the second-highest paid radio personality.
Who’s first? You may ask. The self-proclaimed “King of All Media,” Howard Stern, makes $90 million a year. But, if you can listen to the filth of Stern, you’ve got a stronger constitution than I do. Or maybe it’s a weaker one!
Back to Rush. Many compared him to the greatest of their professions. Like Babe Ruth of baseball or Tom Brady of football. Not too bad, but there is one difference. All of those had someone who came before them. Ruth didn’t invent baseball.
I call Rush Limbaugh the George Washington of Talk Radio. No, Rush did not invent Talk Radio. There were some on local stations that had that sort of program. Rush took the genre national and big time.
George Washington did not create the United States of America, but he has been given the honor of being called the Father of the nation. That’s what I remember from the history I studied. When the history of Talk Radio is written, there will be no larger figure than Rush Limbaugh and he can, rightly, be called its Father.
Radio has been with us for over a hundred years and it didn’t take long for “talk radio” to develop. There are people who like to talk and there are people who like to listen. That’s natural. But “talk radio” was a minor player over the airwaves for most of the history of radio.
That is until 1988 when a rotund and talented Missourian by the name of Rush Limbaugh began to tickle the ears of America. He started out with 56 stations and, at the height of his popularity could be heard on over 600. There are all sorts of GOATs (Greatest of All Times), but there will remain only one El Rushbo! RIP.