I was ready and willing to write a blog post for today but nothing in the news really struck me with enough interest to take the time… until I was at lunch today. I was checking in with the Sean Hannity show expecting to hear his opinion on the Iowa Caucus today when he started completely out of his normal format with a comment about Rush Limbaugh’s announcement. Then he played the audio of Limbaugh announcing that he had stage 4 lung cancer. Boom!!!!
Folks, Rush put a good spin on it, but after a quick survey of our editorial board, the consensus is that it’s not looking good for him. Rush will have the best doctors that money can buy but we all know that’s not always enough. We wish him the best and of course our prayers are with him.
I thought I would take a few minutes to jot down a few of my early memories of his program.
Before Rush was on KFBK there was Morton Downey Jr. Mort made a comment about a Chinese guy that was in local Sacramento politics, maybe on the City Council. As a result, Mort was fired and replaced by Rush. Mort all but disappeared except for a brief role in the movie Predator 2—with Danny Glover.
At first I didn’t like listening to Rush as much as Mort. At the time, I was in the Navy and stationed in Alameda. I remember sneaking into the parking lot and listening to a static filled signal of the broadcast. Once I was discharged at the end of my enlistment, I moved to the Sacramento area. By then, I was a big fan. It was the late 1980’s.
I remember one show in particular. Rush got a call from an obvious member of the John Birch Society. Rush didn’t believe in the Birch philosophy so in his response, he went the other way just to tweak the guy and said, “I don’t believe in any conspiracy but if there is one, I want to be part of it.” Six months later, Rush moved to New York and began his national show.
Rush’s transition was painful and it took him a while to find his footing as he transitioned from a local program to a national one. Once he got on solid ground, he began a series of roadshows, the Rush to Excellence tours. The first tour was videotaped in Sacramento in 1989. I was invited to attend the show by David Knowles. David went on to serve in the State Assembly and Dept. of Insurance.
At the show, Rush was recounting many things that occurred on the radio show. At one point, he was talking about a condom campaign in New York City titled “Rubber-up for Safety.” The condoms were supposed to prevent AIDS and were stapled to information cards. The staple was placed in such a way to penetrate the condom and thus render them useless. Of course this was done using taxpayer money and thus deserved the mockery that only Rush could give it. As Rush was telling this story to his Sacramento audience, at just the right moment, I shouted out the name “Lee Nichols.”
(Nichols was the liberal counterpart to Rush’s local show on KFBK. He was a professor at Sac State and was best known for leaving his wife and children to pursue a homosexual lifestyle.)
Rush lost his train of thought and began laughing as did much of the audience. It was my 15 seconds of fame. Following my outburst, I was shown twice in shots of the audience. I didn’t know this until we watched to VHS tape many months later.
I did call into Rush’s show one time; back when I was a student at Sac State. It went quickly, as the call was dumped right after I asked my question. I learned then that you need to press him hard or you’re one and done.
I hope we have many more years to enjoy Rush. His loss would be a big blow to our Republic.