Rush Limbaugh’s Lasting Impact on Idaho and America
Do you remember your first time? I know that line has been used in just about every movie and has so many connotations. However, I'm asking you do you remember the first time you heard Rush Limbaugh on the radio? I was pulling active duty working in a garage while in the Army Reserve unit in Parma, Ohio.
Rush had a magical quality of making everyone feel included in his community. No matter what the challenge, Clinton, Obama, Biden, Rush always made us feel better about the day ahead. Whether you lived in Idaho or Illinois, we were all dittoheads.
He's gone now, but his legacy lives on through all of us. Rush Limbaugh was more than a radio personality. He was our friend. Sean Hannity credits Rush with saving both AM and FM radio. Mark Levin was Rush's legal advisor known to the listening audience as F.L. Levin. Mark would eventually become one of the most popular talk show hosts in the country.
My journey into the world of talk radio began with listening to Rush. I can remember the first time I hosted a show by myself. I had my stack of stuff and immediately started talking when the on-air light went on. Five minutes into the show, I was struggling. I started sweating, wondering how I would make it to the first commercial break in ten minutes.
It then hit me how much work it took for Rush Limbaugh to make it all sound so easy. Years later, I was working in Birmingham, Alabama. Talk Radio is the only type of radio that I've worked in. I've hosted shows and managed stations for over 26 years.
Sadly, I covered a case where a woman shot another woman during a road rage incident that killed the victim. Rush had me on the phone, and it was a very humbling experience. I wasn't an excellent guest because I gave him concise answers. He didn't seem to mind my inexperience while putting me over as his on the scene reporter.
I had the chance to join Rush on his show during the Duke Lacrosse Case in Durham, North Carolina. I had been apart of the early reporting of that case, and once again, I was on the air with El Rushbo. His knowledge of the case rivaled mine, and I was on the scene. Rush spent hours prepping for his show.
Later that year, Rush gave a speech to the Talk Radio community in DC. His words inspired all of us. The photo above was taken at that event. Rush knew who I was because he had friends in the Raleigh area who would keep him informed about local events that could use his attention. Even though he was at the top of his game, he treated me like I was one of the guys.
How many of us are afraid to speak in public? How many of us could have the courage to tell millions of friends/strangers that we were going to die from a terminal illness? Rush did that in the last year of his life. President Donald Trump awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom last year. Rush could've retired, but he didn't. Rush lived the dream and loved his family, his audience, his friends. He dedicated hours of his show, raising millions of dollars to benefit charities like the Leukemia/Lymphoma Foundation.
Without Rush, there would be no Sean, Glenn, Lars, or Kevin Miller . He was such a dominant force in talk radio for over 32 years. He was the first true nationally syndicated talk show host and the most successful. How successful? I'd say he's a what Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan, and Tom Brady were to their sports. Except he was number one without a close number two for over thirty two years. Thank you Rush for leading the way.
Rush treated everyone the same whether you agreed with him or not. That's what made him so endearing to his millions of listeners. Most of us are lost without his insight and humor; I believe Rush would want us to continue to carry out his conservative message as the best way to honor him. Mega Dittos Rush. God Bless. RIP.
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