Rush Limbaugh: In the Beginning

 

Back in 1985, I was a college student in Sacramento, California, when Rush launched his classic three-hour show to a Northern California audience. How refreshing to hear such a funny, thoughtful conservative so full of life. People wanted to put him in the far-right, evangelical Christian box from the beginning, but such was not Rush. He did not suffer fools, no matter their political or religious beliefs.

In Sacramento, we had a powerful Christian group based in the Capital Christian Center. A couple of years after Rush began broadcasting, a Midwest minister began announcing how you could hear Satanic messages when you play certain songs backward.

I remember Rush jumping on the bandwagon on a Monday. He wanted to have fun with the story, and the whole idea of Satanic messages embedded in rock albums when played backwards. (Rush loved rock music. He had been a music DJ in earlier years.) He recounted the story, which as I recalled had something to do with the theme song to the TV show Mister Ed.

On Monday, after reporting the story, he sounded depressed, saying that he had played a certain song on his show and felt guilty for unwittingly exposing his audience, already quite substantial, to the Devil. He talked about resigning, but didn’t say what he had played.

By Tuesday, the calls were flowing in from preachers and their flocks demanding that he reveal what he had done. He explained that he was a God-fearing man and his program had been taken over by the Devil. He admitted that he had found a Satanic message on one of his favorite Slim Whitman albums, the song “Una Paloma Blanca.” But he refused to play it, and besides, most people would never notice it because you have to have special electronic equipment, called a “disgronificator.”

On Wednesday, since there was really a rumbling going on in the community, he said by the end of the show he would play the track backward, since he had acquired the disgronificator and had a turntable with disgronificator circuitry. When he played it, it clearly was the most ridiculous message. In a deep, cartoon voice, you heard over the backwards song, “Well, you got me. It’s old Beelzebub here…” etc etc. People said they had all of Slim Whitman’s albums. What should they do? Rush said, “Burn them.” And apparently they did!

What was amazing is that through Wednesday not one caller had called him on the joke. He was playing it completely serious and people like me and my friend who listened every day were having a ball with it.

Finally, on Thursday, someone called him on the joke. After resisting for a segment, Rush admitted he was playing with the audience, with some of these foolish beliefs. He thought it would end on day one, but since so many went along, he kept up the joke, going deeper and deeper into it.

You can imagine the uproar. Members of the Capital Christian Center banded together to get Rush off the air. But their own foolishness had been revealed and the station managers, who approved what he did, although they did want him to end it quicker than he did, would not take any action because by this time Rush was their most popular broadcaster. Everyone knew that Rush would soon go national.

It has been incredibly eye-opening to see how the Left had to implant false images of Rush into people’s minds before they had a chance to listen to him.Taking him out of context. Making things up.

Although not entirely successful, they did learn with Rush, in the late-1980s and early 1990s, how effective these mental propaganda implants could work to prevent people from seeing and hearing the Truth right in front of their eyes and ears, paving the way for the level of mind implants so common in media today. A strong, emotional mental image attracts focus away from the actual truth in front of people.

Rush created the modern conservative movement, and paved the way for Donald Trump. I hope someday our establishment Republicans get a clue.

I miss Rush.

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There are 13 comments.

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  1. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    It’s the one thing that the Left never got about his humor: his love for the running gag. Bits could stretch out for days, go dormant and return weeks later. And if you weren’t there at the beginning, coming in to it late was often confusing. Many of the things that the Left zeroed in were so devoid of context that it is ridiculous. 

    He used to say that you had to give him six weeks before you’d understand what the heck was going on and he was right.

     

    • #1
  2. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    This is such a great example of why Rush was so good – he never took himself too seriously, and loved a good gag. This is something that neither his conservative nor liberal imitators have ever grasped. Rush would go right up to the line, but pull back, laugh, make his point, and move on, sunny as ever. Too many conservative radio hosts either get to the line and careen past it in maudlin hysterics (Glenn Beck), or plow through into anger and rage and sarcasm, treating anyone not fully in agreement as idiots or sell outs (Mark Levin). Or they’re constantly trying to sell you pre-packaged patriotism products (they’re all guilty of this, but Sean Hannity is a serious huckster here too).

    The liberals, meanwhile, get to the line and either can’t get their sanctimonious heads out of their sanctimonious behinds, or else rage away too.

    Rush reached out to everyone, even if he knew he wouldn’t convince everyone he at least made it clear he was trying. The rest on both sides? They’re no better than preachers reminding their flocks that the rest of the world is damned and boy aren’t we glad we’re so smug in our cocoons – they’d rather mock and deride the unconvinced than reach the skeptics, and so they are like little ouroborouses feeding on their own tails, and ultimately owned by their own audiences.

    Rush made it clear he belonged to nobody, was prepared to like anybody, and suffered no fools along the way. And he had fun doing it.

    • #2
  3. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Another joke was the time he endorsed Bill Clinton.

    • #3
  4. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    This is such a great example of why Rush was so good – he never took himself too seriously, and loved a good gag. This is something that neither his conservative nor liberal imitators have ever grasped. Rush would go right up to the line, but pull back, laugh, make his point, and move on, sunny as ever. Too many conservative radio hosts either get to the line and careen past it in maudlin hysterics (Glenn Beck), or plow through into anger and rage and sarcasm, treating anyone not fully in agreement as idiots or sell outs (Mark Levin). Or they’re constantly trying to sell you pre-packaged patriotism products (they’re all guilty of this, but Sean Hannity is a serious huckster here too).

    The liberals, meanwhile, get to the line and either can’t get their sanctimonious heads out of their sanctimonious behinds, or else rage away too.

    Rush reached out to everyone, even if he knew he wouldn’t convince everyone he at least made it clear he was trying. The rest on both sides? They’re no better than preachers reminding their flocks that the rest of the world is damned and boy aren’t we glad we’re so smug in our cocoons – they’d rather mock and deride the unconvinced than reach the skeptics, and so they are like little ouroborouses feeding on their own tails, and ultimately owned by their own audiences.

    Rush made it clear he belonged to nobody, was prepared to like anybody, and suffered no fools along the way. And he had fun doing it.

    Spot on. Dittoes. (I say that in defiance of autocorrect.)

    • #4
  5. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    This is such a great example of why Rush was so good – he never took himself too seriously, and loved a good gag. This is something that neither his conservative nor liberal imitators have ever grasped. Rush would go right up to the line, but pull back, laugh, make his point, and move on, sunny as ever. Too many conservative radio hosts either get to the line and careen past it in maudlin hysterics (Glenn Beck), or plow through into anger and rage and sarcasm, treating anyone not fully in agreement as idiots or sell outs (Mark Levin). Or they’re constantly trying to sell you pre-packaged patriotism products (they’re all guilty of this, but Sean Hannity is a serious huckster here too).

    The liberals, meanwhile, get to the line and either can’t get their sanctimonious heads out of their sanctimonious behinds, or else rage away too.

    Rush reached out to everyone, even if he knew he wouldn’t convince everyone he at least made it clear he was trying. The rest on both sides? They’re no better than preachers reminding their flocks that the rest of the world is damned and boy aren’t we glad we’re so smug in our cocoons – they’d rather mock and deride the unconvinced than reach the skeptics, and so they are like little ouroborouses feeding on their own tails, and ultimately owned by their own audiences.

    Rush made it clear he belonged to nobody, was prepared to like anybody, and suffered no fools along the way. And he had fun doing it.

    You have really nailed it here.

    Rush was the best example to me of the classic American everyman. He was the Republican Will Rogers.

    He walked the glorious path that is open to any and everyone in America – find something you can do, might be good at, are passionate about, and go do it! In America the sky is the limit. You might not succeed, but there is nobady who can stop you from trying.

    But succeed he did. He developed skills and abilities far beyond what even he imagined.

    And he did it without going to college. This is one of the biggest reasons he was despised by the Left, he was a walking talking example of how one can succeed in having a consequential, effective, successful life because of the freedom America provides, not the constrained, narrow, elitist path the Left insists on, which always includes having gone to the right college in order to have any legitimacy.

    God am I going to miss him.

    • #5
  6. Mim526 Member
    Mim526
    @Mim526

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    This is such a great example of why Rush was so good – he never took himself too seriously, and loved a good gag. This is something that neither his conservative nor liberal imitators have ever grasped. Rush would go right up to the line, but pull back, laugh, make his point, and move on, sunny as ever. Too many conservative radio hosts either get to the line and careen past it in maudlin hysterics (Glenn Beck), or plow through into anger and rage and sarcasm, treating anyone not fully in agreement as idiots or sell outs (Mark Levin). Or they’re constantly trying to sell you pre-packaged patriotism products (they’re all guilty of this, but Sean Hannity is a serious huckster here too).

    The liberals, meanwhile, get to the line and either can’t get their sanctimonious heads out of their sanctimonious behinds, or else rage away too.

    Rush reached out to everyone, even if he knew he wouldn’t convince everyone he at least made it clear he was trying. The rest on both sides? They’re no better than preachers reminding their flocks that the rest of the world is damned and boy aren’t we glad we’re so smug in our cocoons – they’d rather mock and deride the unconvinced than reach the skeptics, and so they are like little ouroborouses feeding on their own tails, and ultimately owned by their own audiences.

    Rush made it clear he belonged to nobody, was prepared to like anybody, and suffered no fools along the way. And he had fun doing it.

    Good observations I second and add something I haven’t seen mentioned: the times where Rush did cross a line, he later apologized or made it right. He owned up to his human failings (like his medication addiction) and worked to overcome them.

    • #6
  7. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    Stad (View Comment):

    Another joke was the time he endorsed Bill Clinton.

    Or when he created “Operation Chaos” and had thousands of Republicans change their party registration to vote for Hillary Clinton against Barack Obama.

    • #7
  8. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    The Scarecrow (View Comment):
    And he did it without going to college. This is one of the biggest reasons he was despised by the Left, he was a walking talking example of how one can succeed in having a consequential, effective, successful life because of the freedom America provides, not the constrained, narrow, elitist path the Left insists on, which always includes having gone to the right college in order to have any legitimacy.

    The other thing I’ve been thinking about, as I’ve listened to Todd Herman do a very nice (if rather weepy on Todd’s part, but that was OK too) tribute/retrospective show which, towards the end actually included a bit of Rush’s days as “Jeff Christie” in Pittsburgh starting in 1971, is that Rush never talked down either his origins (his family was quite well off as compared with many in the area, but still, Missouri Bootheel) or his lack of a college education.

    I agree that many (most?) on the Left loathed him because he contravened their cherished beliefs that one had to be from a certain part of the country (and not from one that most of them look down on, presumably when they fly over it repeatedly), that one had to go to a certain school, and that one had to follow a certain path in order to achieve what they consider success in life. I know many people who’ve followed a similar path to Rush, who’ve overcome significant obstacles in their lives, and who’ve achieved impressive results in their lives and for their families. Not all of them have been able to shake off a sense of something like grievance or inferiority, though, and I can’t help thinking that they actually care a little too much about the disrespect of others and that it’s affected them inside.

    Rush wasn’t like that. He really didn’t care what the “haters” (hate that word) said about him. He talked a lot about them, and about the “elite,” but almost always with an undertone of humor not of vindictiveness or malice. I always got the impression that he considered himself a pretty elite Army of One, and that, in fact, he thought his listeners were individually elite too. As @skipsul pointed out in #2, he approached the vicissitudes of life with a sunny disposition (never more in evidence than during the last twelve months of his). He worked hard, cherished his friends and listeners, laughed all the way to the bank, and left his adversaries shrieking and mouthing insults in the dust. A bravura performance, start to finish, and perhaps the best example we’ll ever see of the power of one man’s voice.

    BTW, I loved listening to him talk to children. For a man who didn’t have any, he had a gift. Near the end of yesterday’s program he spoke to a little girl named Olivia. I think she was 13. She, her mother, her brother (I think) and her grandparents had spent seven weeks on a driving tour of the East coast visiting all the locations featured in the Rush Revere books. It was epic.

    • #8
  9. MISTER BITCOIN Member
    MISTER BITCOIN
    @MISTERBITCOIN

    Newt Gingrich spoke to Sean Hannity yesterday. He said Contract with America and Make America Great Again would not have gained traction without Rush.

     

    • #9
  10. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Rush was the best example of someone who “had a calling”. He knew what he was born to do by age seven. It took him quite awhile to convince his father of that.

    • #10
  11. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    The Scarecrow (View Comment):
    And he did it without going to college. This is one of the biggest reasons he was despised by the Left, he was a walking talking example of how one can succeed in having a consequential, effective, successful life because of the freedom America provides, not the constrained, narrow, elitist path the Left insists on, which always includes having gone to the right college in order to have any legitimacy.

    Exactly! You don’t have to go to college to be an intellectual giant, wealthy, or influential . . .

    • #11
  12. MISTER BITCOIN Member
    MISTER BITCOIN
    @MISTERBITCOIN

    @max – I am trying to follow this post but am unable to

    I can follow other posts but not this one

     

    • #12
  13. MISTER BITCOIN Member
    MISTER BITCOIN
    @MISTERBITCOIN

    I remember Rush would always tell callers from Sacramento he had fond memories there.

     

    • #13