An odd occurrence hit this writer like a ton of bricks on Friday at the beginning of a trek out into town: after the car started, Rush Limbaugh’s voice was there — just as it had been so many times in the past.
That was for good reason, according to some much-welcomed news.
News being reported to us is so very often bad, and sometimes even worse. Rarely do the reports published these days carry excellent news — at least not for us embattled conservatives. No news hit harder than Wednesday’s, which told us that our voice on the radio had lost his brave fight against aggressive lung cancer.
But with the loss of Limbaugh comes a silver lining. That silver lining is that Limbaugh’s three-hour daily program will continue, at least for the time being.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that “The Rush Limbaugh Show” will still air in its original time slot until fans are ready to let go of the man who drove the conservative movement with his smooth voice and sharp wit for more than three decades.
The show will air archives of Limbaugh’s previous segments, “until his audience is prepared to say goodbye,” said the show’s distributor, Premiere Networks. Through a memo, affiliates were told that Limbaugh’s show would still air for three hours a day, five days a week, just as it had until Tuesday.
The company also stated the obvious: Limbaugh was one of a kind.
“No one can replace Rush Limbaugh,” Premiere Networks senior marketing VP for affiliates Hosea Belcher said.
Limbaugh’s show was the most popular radio program in the country, and attracted an estimated 15.5 million weekly listeners, The Associated Press reported. Limbaugh was first syndicated nationally in 1988, which at the time was a strange concept as radio was considered a relic of the past.
Limbaugh revived radio, and then some.
Within just a few years, Limbaugh became the first honorary member of the House of Representatives, as newly elected Republicans branded themselves part of the “Limbaugh Congress,” The Los Angeles Times reported. Limbaugh’s words had a real-world impact on Congress and would have an impact in presidential elections.
The Times reported Limbaugh was modest when reacting to being honored for his impact on the conservative movement by the representatives-elect in 1994.
“What happens in talk radio is we validate what is in people’s heads already. … You are the ones who engaged the opposition,” he said.
The truth was that Limbaugh had started a movement. The host would go on to be the voice for millions of conservatives across the country for another 26 years. In fact, the endless tributes that have poured in this past week, since his tragic death on Wednesday, don’t begin to describe his enormous impact on the world.
Limbaugh, in death, was praised by his peers in media, fondly remembered by former presidents and scorned by the leftist establishment media. Each statement honoring the host with the golden microphone didn’t begin to capture his enormous footprint.
This writer would probably not be writing at all, if not for having heard Limbaugh’s voice for years as a teen interested in politics and later as a young man with a radio on a job site carrying pipe for a drill rig. Rush spoke for those on job sites all across the country, in cars and in offices.
Those of us who revered Rush can hop in the car, at least for a little bit longer, and still hear his voice from noon to 3 p.m. ET. If there is one report on Limbaugh’s passing that can be reacted to with a smile, it’s that we don’t have to say goodbye to that voice of his, at least not yet.
Meanwhile, the liberals he spent three decades triggering might want to avoid the radio altogether for the foreseeable future.
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