Caller to Limbaugh Show Exposes That Rush Knows He Blew It with Donald Trump
Radio legend Rush Limbaugh, as he has on millions of conservatives, has had a major impact on my life. My late grandfather’s obsession with his show in the early 1990’s led me become an avid listener and to then change my career path from sports-casting to that of a “conservative radio talk show host.” At one point, I was even being groomed to fill in for Rush, but for a number of reasons, that never worked out (probably for the best, especially for him!).
I have never met or even spoken to Rush, but I have emailed with him on many occasions. I correctly warned him that he would eventually be taken off the powerhouse station I worked for in Los Angeles (KFI-AM), and even gave him golf “lessons” via email, which he seemed to appreciate. My current radio show, nationally syndicated on Sunday nights, probably would not have happened without Rush forwarding an email I sent to him on to an associate who set me up with a syndicator.
All politics aside, there has never been a more amazing unscripted broadcaster than Rush Limbaugh (Howard Stern wouldn’t even be close without great guests). What he has been able to maintain after the loss of his hearing is perhaps the most underrated achievement in the history of the medium.
With all of that said, I am very angry with Rush Limbaugh and have lost an enormous amount of respect for him. Last week I was widely quoted in this exposé on the conservative media where I lamented that Rush, sadly, needs be dethroned from his lofty position atop its ranks. It is becoming very clear that a large percentage of his shrinking audience feels exactly the same way.
The reason for this is that if there was one man who could have stopped the Trump trainwreck from handing Hillary Clinton the presidency and possibly destroying the Republican party, it was Rush. No one else had the credibility and the reach within the GOP base to scold the emerging temper tantrum and keep conservative eyes on the bigger picture.
Rush’s responsibility (as at least he led us to believe) was to see all dangers to the movement and do his best to destroy them. However, when faced with the Trump Trojan horse entering the gates to the kingdom, not only did he hardly fire a shot, he practically held the door open and then laughed as the carnage ensued.
Did he criticize Trump during the primaries? Sure. But only mildly, just as he did with all of the other candidates in the bloated field ripe for a celebrity con-artist to overtake it with less than a majority of support. Trump was an existential threat to the entire conservative movement and perhaps the country itself. This was not the time to hide behind some silly “I don’t endorse in a primary” rule or a desire to pretend to be “fair” as to not offend a significant portion of his already dwindling audience.
The Rush Limbaugh I used to admire would have immediately seen the obvious danger of the Trump candidacy and snuffed it out before it could even catch fire. Instead, he mostly stood back and watched the raging inferno engulf all that he had built and everything he claims to believe in.
Sean Hannity selling his soul to Trump for a few ratings points didn’t surprise me, but Rush doing nothing at all to stop him really did. Hannity is not a smart guy, but Rush is. To whom much is given, much is expected, and Rush Limbaugh came up tiny when the conservative movement needed him most.
So now, Rush is in a very difficult spot. Much of his audience is now fully able to see the betrayal that the conservative media inflicted upon their customers for their own entertainment and ratings gain. This has become crystalized by Trump’s recent apparent reversal on much of his plan to deport all of the illegal immigrants currently in the country.
I’m a big believer that if you wait long enough and keep your eyes pierced the truth will always eventually come out. That’s exactly what happened Monday when Rush was blindsided and demolished by caller “Rick from Los Angeles,” who took him and the rest of the “conservative” media to task for allowing Trump to “con” the base about what he would really do on illegal immigration. The most telling moment was at the very end when Rush, apparently by mistake, jumps to the obviously guilt-ridden conclusion that the caller was primarily blaming him (the caller probably was, but was just too polite to say it directly).
Exposed more dramatically on his conservative flank than at any other time I have ever heard of, Rush pathetically claimed that he never attacked Trump for making an obviously false promise on illegal immigration because he never took Trump “seriously” on the matter. Of course, you would think that it would have been the obligation of “America’s Truth Detector” to point that out about a hundred times during the primaries, but Rush never did.
Forced into a corner, Rush then inadvertently let his audience in on his own “con.” You see he’s just a radio host, he admitted. Just an entertainer. It wasn’t his job to take out Trump. That was the responsibility of the other fifteen candidates (who couldn’t get access to a large conservative audience because Trump was being given massive amounts of free advertising in exchange for the ratings he provided).
That’s all fine, and, to be fair, Rush has relied on that excuse to get out of jams in the past, but this situation was different. This was the 100-year storm and the guy who has made many millions of dollars pretending to be manning the lighthouse, never even bothered to warn his seaside town. In fact, he seemed to even revel in, and benefit from (his contract was just renewed), its destruction.
For that abdication of responsibility, as much as it literally pains me to say it, Rush himself must be destroyed if conservatism is to survive this disaster. How ironic that it took a caller to his show (where Rush has said for decades that the only purpose of a caller is to make him look good) to finally make that sad reality all too clear.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.