America’s First “Ditto-Head”

Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh on February 3, 2020, announced to his audience he has “advanced lung cancer.” With that announcement, “Ditto-heads” across the country and around the world uttered a very verbal gasp. Limbaugh has been a conservative radio fixture in the nation for 31 years. His impact on the media — and especially radio — has never been duplicated though many have tried. He is credited for creating conservative radio. In doing so, he vicariously created an entire industry that, in those 31 years, has started radio stations, created broadcast networks, billions of ad dollars for radio stations, and jumpstarted the careers of thousands of former “would-be” talkshow hosts just by his breaking of the conservative media glass ceiling.

I “met” Rush Limbaugh in late 1988. I have never personally met Rush, “yet,” but I was introduced to everything about him by Gary Havens in Indianapolis. Gary was my boss at WTPI-FM, where I was hired to be the afternoon-drive host. When Gary, a 60s liberal, discovered I was a conservative, he asked if I listened to Rush Limbaugh. I had yet to meet Rush or know anything about him. My introduction came from WIBC in Indy. Rush and I have been “buds” ever since.

Rush Limbaugh has, for 31 years, been the greatest enigma of my lifetime. He is a college dropout, comes from a well know family of Missouri attorneys, went from job to job making little or nothing. He found his way into radio and became what in his own words was a “mediocre at best disc jockey.” I’ve heard him say how much he was making at the time, but I can’t remember: it wasn’t much.

He worked in marketing for the Kansas City Royals. He was a midwesterner that was hoping to find “the true meaning of life.” We’ve all been there. I told someone the other day that I’m hoping I can find “the true meaning of life” and turn it into whatever I’m supposed to do. I’m 66! Rush and I are similar in that way. The difference is he figured it out — I’m still looking.

Sacramento was his launching pad. And, boy, did he launch from Sacramento! The only radio broadcaster who can claim to have near the number of adherents as Rush was Paul Harvey — an icon in broadcasting. But there’s never been anyone as successful as Rush nor anyone quite like Rush.

Why Do Leftist Media Members Hate Rush?

Make no mistake: they don’t just dislike Rush Limbaugh, they HATE Rush Limbaugh.

Keep this in mind: he announced he has “advanced lung cancer.” No one knows any of the details of that: is it stage 1, stage 2, 3, 4 or 5? (I’m not sure there IS a stage 5. If there is, it’s probably the prognosis you receive just minutes before they call the coroner.) That diagnosis and the humility in which it was given to the world was at least shocking to millions of Americans. But there were a big group of members of the media — some in broadcasting, some in the movie industry, some in other types of entertainment — who were ecstatic and could not wait to blast the radio icon:

  • Actor Jon Cryer tweeted: “I hope Rush Limbaugh gets the best medical treatment and recovers quickly. And I hope that while he is doing it he thinks about why he doesn’t think poor people deserve the same thing.”
  • Comedian Nick Jack Pappas wrote: “I’m so sorry for lung cancer, no deserves. I wish him the best medical care he’s worked on denying to others.”
  • “Rush Limbaugh has spent decades pushing a horrid agenda that he knew was ruining numerous lives and getting people killed. He deserves proper medical treatment for his lung cancer. Not going to root for him to die. But I really don’t give a sh*t what happens to him. Sorry,” the Palmer Report tweeted.

Other critics focused on Limbaugh frequently being accused of hate-filled speech, including bigotry and blatant racism.

  • Film producer Tariq Nasheed tweeted: “Rush Limbaugh has spent decades spewing dangerous anti-Black racism. Now he has cancer… I know we shouldn’t celebrate one’s misfortunes… but #PartyOverHere.”
  • Comedian Johnny McNulty tweeted: “It’s not cool to joke about Rush Limbaugh having cancer. You might jinx it.”
  • Writer Jon Tayler said: “Rush Limbaugh is, without a doubt, one of the most hateful, awful people of the last century, and one who had one of the most negative impacts possible on this country. It’s only fitting that this cancer upon the world should be stricken by it.” He added: “If this kills Rush, then give him a state funeral so that every willing American can have a chance to pay their respects by kicking his corpse as hard as they can.”
  • “Seeing a lot of people celebrating the news about Rush Limbaugh. And I just want to say good. Carry on.” — Freddie Campion (@FreddieCampion) February 3, 2020
  • “Wishing Rush Limbaugh the same level of sympathy he displayed for Michael J. Fox.” pic.twitter.com/1PBi8FFI3H — Victor LaValle (@victorlavalle) February 3, 2020
  • “Finally, some good news for Black History Month.” https://t.co/H3wEItN7cj pic.twitter.com/j2TPBFpmTu — X (@XLNB) February 3, 2020

We began this section with the question, “Why Do Leftist Media Members Hate Rush?” They do not hate Rush; they abhor Rush and everything for which he stands. Very few of those know Rush Limbaugh. They just know “about” Rush. And they loathe Rush for that. Why?

First, there’s an element in media that almost all from the left are missing: Communication skills. It is the building block of media that this generation has all but missed. Why? Maybe it’s electronics like iPhones, online social media, online gaming, texting, email — who knows. Those in two generations behind mine do NOT consistently communicate with each other so that all parties understand positions of life issues held by each. In this instant-everything world, we have 24/7 news on demand, online television, “Face Talk” so we can beam our mugs to our friends, “Snap Chat”, internet satellite news on thousands of websites, and the list of examples goes on an on. We’ve all learned to communicate without communicating!

Has your spouse or kid or boss ever said to you, “I’m having difficulty understanding what you’re saying. What do you mean?” What’s missing when we speak to each other are the circumstances surrounding our topics. Shrinks call that “putting things in context.”

“There’s a fire over there” doesn’t quite mean the same as “There’s a fire over there in that apartment complex and there are dozens of children that cannot get out!” That may be an extreme example. But you certainly understand getting the “rest of the story” — the entire picture of relating information and events — makes it much easier to really understand what’s going on.

Limbaugh is an artist at painting the context of what he wants to share in advance of saying what he wants to say. He does so with portrayal of the issues he chooses to share with his audience as the most important events of the day that they all MUST hear about and know. Limbaugh takes it one step higher: he marries the two every time he voices a story or opinion. His listeners hear what he wants to say, but when he says it they are already prepared to understand what it really means — he doesn’t have to tell them “after the fact.”

For all of us,with that as a backdrop, it’s easier to know how much is lost in the meanings of everything that is important to us. What’s most important to us? relationships with those with whom we share life. And without thorough communication with the context of details we want and need to say, there can never be healthy, honest, and established relationships based on factual understanding by each, of each. It cannot happen without communication as “the” foundation of each relationship. It cannot be accomplished without the context of stories and/or events we share in EVERY conversation.

The vocation that has professionals with the highest percentage of failed marriages is Professional Marriage Counselors. Have you ever wondered why that is?

Personal experience is the greatest teacher. No, there’s no law or rule that requires any counselor to go through a failed marriage for qualification to counsel with those who are facing the loss of a marriage. But it certainly makes understanding how and why marriages fail when one can talk with those who really understand marriage problem resolution. Those instances will always be clearer and easier to understand because they can be put in context by someone who really does “know.”

Summary

Please don’t think I’m a Rush Limbaugh sycophant. I am a big fan. I’ve listened to him regularly since 1988. I may not always agree with the everything he says or even the way he says them. But almost always he imparts facts that he personally has learned or he has studied to find answers for his audience members. Oh, he jests about his mental capacity: “I’m keeping half my brain behind my back…” He scoffs at political elitists that claims theirs’ is a right to feel intellectually superior to Rush or any of his conservative listeners.  He ignores the claims of those who feel they are entitled to certain American benefits JUST because of their skin color, ethnicity, religious or sexual preference or party affiliation. He’s a master at parody, at deriding those who knowingly propagate lies and misrepresentations. He absolutely detests politics.

I love the reasoning he gave a caller one day who suggested Limbaugh should run for President. Rush explained why he will NEVER run for office: “I could never be a politician. I could never run for office. Part of the election cycle is campaigning. Campaigning always requires seeking campaign contributions. I could never reconcile taking money from someone when campaigning who after my election would expect for me to give favors to that person just because I am now in office and they supported my campaign.”

He continued, “I’d feel obligated to that contributor! But I could NEVER do anything when asked unless it was totally unattached from any act of mine during a campaign. To keep that from ever being an issue, I’ll just stay out of politics.”

“Staying out of politics” is far from what he does in his job at the EIB Network. Politics is his bread and butter. But instead of getting into politics through an election, he has made himself a political “analyst” who daily looks at the political pipe bomb of-the-day from the OUTSIDE. Not being a politician allows him to freely speak about everything to do with that pipe bomb from a position of neutrality — a person that does not have anything to do with any issues being discussed. In his own words, that makes him a “Drive-by shooter!”

Rush Limbaugh has many names: some complimentary and some not so much. None of his nicknames are important to him. He’s one of the most famous people in media anywhere in the World, yet his fame is actually lost on himself.

So what is the “wrapping paper” for this Rush Limbaugh gift to Conservatism?

Rush understands and honors those in authority. We all know he does not like certain people in our government. I’ve never heard him voice that though. He is proficient at separating the “act” from the “person.”

Two days ago I defined for you the difference between Liberals and Conservatives. When a Conservative disagrees with a Liberal’s political policy, they dislike the policy. When a Liberal disagrees with a Conservative’s political policy, they dislike the policy but they hate the Conservative! Such is the case for Rush Limbaugh. He honors those in his life that are in authority: all of them.

He certainly disagrees with the policies and political positions of many, many of whom are politicians. He doesn’t  expresses disgust or disdain and certainly never humiliates any. In other words, he may hate the political position but he certainly does not hate the politician. That practice bodes well for his daily successes with his vast radio audience: the largest such audience in the World.

In the face of the unrelenting onslaught of vitriol and pure hatred thrown his way by many elitists from the right and left coasts, Rush does not diminish any person’a authority.

Rush really loves America; he certainly loves all who feel the same. Even though he summarily abhors socialist and totalitarian governments that many in the U.S. support, he NEVER attacks those who feel that way. Rush epitomizes what true Americanism is.

Tuesday night during the State of the Union message delivered by President Trump to the Congress, (at least those members of Congress who did not impune the integrity of the presidency by not showing up) President Trump recognized the tremendous contributions to the art of truthful and consistent communication Rush Limbaugh illustrated daily to America. Melania Trump in the gallery put the Presidential Medal of Freedom around the talk show host’s neck. President Trump awarded him the highest award a civilian can receive.

Rush Limbaugh who is in the fight of his life against Stage 4 lung cancer is a great American. Let’s give him the honor he is due.


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