Friday, August 1, 2008

EIB Turns 20, MSM Weeps

"On August 1, the EIB (Excellence in Broadcasting) Network premiered with its fifty-six radio stations and a total audience of 250,000 people...." - Rush Limbaugh, The Way Things Ought to Be
That was twenty years ago today. And twenty years later, The Rush Limbaugh Show is still going strong, with between 14-20 million listeners in a week (4 million at any one time) on over 600 stations. In addition, he has managed two books (which I have on my bookshelf), a 4-year run with his television show, and the copious content of RushLimbaugh.com.

No matter your opinion of him (you know who you are), there is no question that he has had a profound impact on talk radio and the political conversation in this country.

I first heard Rush back around 1990 or 1991. I was in high school at the time, and really hadn't though about politics in any meaningful way. Remember, this was a time before the Internet, and at the dawn of 24-hour news (CNN only). Most people got their national news from those anchors that came on at 6:30. If you needed to research something, it was either a trip to the library or that old set of encyclopedias that talked about Carter in terms of what his first four years would bring.

But here was someone talking about politics, from a point of view that I heard around the dining room table. And it was fun to listen too, to boot. To be honest, if it were a dry, analytical presentation, I'd have tuned his ass out. When Rush made the leap to TV (yes, there was a wide-angle lens involved (for you libs out there)), it was greatness, because here was more fun to watch. But in the end, what stayed was the entertainment value in the short term, and the analysis of political issues that stuck with me. Since those first years, I've had periods I've drifted away, found other radio shows, discovered 24-hour news on FoxNews, and discovered all the information (and Barackshit) that the Internet had to offer. And with more and more ideas and opinions, the most intelligent and fun-to-read blog ever conceived (this one(bask in the glow)) was born.

So yes, the tribute you are reading now exists because of my interest in politics, which stemmed from years of listening to Rush.

But the road has been rough at times. He has had two marriages end during the run of the show, suffered total hearing loss, and suffered back pain that led to his addiction to Oxycontin. He has had numerous controversies on-air as well. Yet despite these problems, he has not only maintained a successful show for two decades, he has been credited for reviving AM talk radio itself. And he shows no signs of stopping, having recently garnered a contract extension until 2016, worth $400 million.

So love him or hate him, it's time to congratulate The Most Dangerous Man in America on two decades of broadcast excellence.

27 comments:

Beth said...

YES! And he does it all with half his brain tied, just to make it fair.

Shaw Hussein Kenawe said...

YES! And he does it all with half his brain tied...

Because the other half is missing.


Sorry. Coudn't resist.


We libs wouldn't be aware of this anniversary because we don't listen to the gasbag nor does the fact that he's been on the air for 20 year impress us.

No matter your opinion of him (you know who you are), there is no question that he has had a profound impact on talk radio and the political conversation in this country.

Yes. I agree. He has had a negative, demagogic impact on political discourse, bringing it to the level of puerile name-calling, airing misinformation, and just plain whining. He has 20 million listeners? Out of a population of 300 million that's hardly a huge following.

When Rush made the leap to TV...

Which lasted for what? 15 minutes? It was cancelled, remember? As was his appearance on ESPN as a sports commentator. Rush has a perfect face for radio.

Apparently he can't attract the immense tv audiences he needs to be competitive in that medium.

He's perfect for where he is--AM radio where his bots can listen to his talking points and repeat them as though they came from their own pristine frontal lobes.

We Democrats were way ahead of "El Gasbo" on this radio popularity/demagog celeb phenomenon Our guy even had way more listeners in a time when our population was smaller--so Father C. actually was BIGGER than "El Gasbo." But we wised up. You guys will too, eventually.

Father Charles Coughlin occupied both a strange and a familiar place in American politics in the 1930s. Politically radical, a passionate democrat, he nevertheless was a bigot who freely vented angry, irrational charges and assertions. A Catholic priest, he broadcast weekly radio sermons that by 1930 drew as many as forty-five million listeners. Strongly egalitarian, deeply suspicious of elites, a champion of what he saw as the ordinary person’s rights, Coughlin frequently and vigorously attacked capitalism, communism, socialism, and dictatorship By the mid-1930s, his talks took on a nasty edge as he combined harsh attacks on Roosevelt as the tool of international Jewish bankers with praise for the fascist leaders Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hitler. The “Radio Priest’s” relentless anti-elitism pushed Roosevelt to sharpen his own critiques of elites, and in that sense Coughlin had a powerful impact on American politics beyond his immediate radio audience.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

"...nor does the fact that he's been on the air for 20 year impress us."

Considering the shortcomings of the opposition's radio stint, it ought to.

shaw hussein kenawe said...

"...nor does the fact that he's been on the air for 20 year impress us."

Considering the shortcomings of the opposition's radio stint, it ought to.


Liberals don't slavishly listen to demagogues who stroke their prejudices and stoke their fears and insecurities.

We're too busy reading and educating ourselves to listen to what an undereducated and overpaid blowhard, who is quite impressed with himself, has to say.

I do admit that his fans have certainly been good to him in that they've succeeded in making a Zeppelin out of a gasbag.

Patrick M said...

Shaw: Maybe if you went to the links and read stuff you'd know thinks like his TV show lasted 4 years on non-network broadcast TV. Remember, this was before cable and satellite TV became dominant.

Also, who else can you name that has held an audience of 20 million on radio for 20 years in the modern communication era? Rush mentioned this on the show today, that no one in radio could pull the numbers they pulled back in the 30's. and he did this at a time when AM radio was dying. Now it's a powerful medium, and with the era of digital music, FM talk radio (where I get my fix) has begun attracting attention.

Strangely, you still assume that most every listener of his is a mindless drone. I will point out that all of us started out listening and believing what someone said, then we started thinking, then reading, then judging whether someone was mostly accurate, then adjusted our listening and viewing accordingly. By that rationale, Rush should have gone the way of Air(head) America. Yet he endures. But I'm still a listener after 16 years. I'm still entertained, and I still learn things.

We Democrats were way ahead of "El Gasbo" on this radio popularity/demagog celeb phenomenon

You really need to stop reading whatever (liberal) Media Matters and the Daily Kooks say and actually listen for once. Then maybe you'd get why people keep listening.

While I won't be dumb enough to say there aren't slavish people that listen and drool, the majority of Rush listeners, and I'm one of them, take the good and ignore the bad (of which there is almost none).

You cite some hatemonger from back in 30's (no surprise he's a Demorat). I'm not impressed. Especially since I don't generally give too much attention to hate spewers. You want hate, go after Michael Savage. Then come back when you know better what you're talking about.

shaw kenawe said...

Patrick,

You know by now that I'm an unapologetic liberal, and therefore, won't have anything nice to say about El Gasbo. And he doesn't care.

My rejection of his brand of entertainment doesn't impact him in the least.

I'm just giving my opinion, feeling about the guy.

You like him; I don't.

I like Barry; you don't.

Chocolate ice cream, good.

Vanilla ice cream, boring.

And I'm not making racist statements.

Patrick M said...

Being an unapologetic liberal doesn't necessitate despising conservatives. Ask Camille Paglia:

I've constantly said, about Rush Limbaugh, for example--even though he and I don't agree politically, I have always respected him because I feel that he is a principled thinker--I think that any true intellectual finds it stimulating to listen to a principled thinker, a person who has a vigorous independent mind, a new way of approaching contemporary issues.

In other words, we're not talking about his politics, which you obviously don't agree with, but a milestone, as well as his impact on your favorite conservative blogger, me.

Also, I don't dislike Barry, I just don't want to see him near the White House unless he's part of a Senate delegation or tour group. McCain, however....

Chocolate ice cream, good.
Vanilla ice cream, boring.
And I'm not making racist statements.


Sure you're not... :)

I will point out, though, that vanilla ice cream works great with both chocolate syrup and root beer. yum!

shaw kenawe said...

Patrick,

IE is having a problem with Blogger and blog sites that have sitemeters on them. You have a sitemeter enabled.

I was not able to access your blog until I switched to Mozilla Firefox.

Disable the sitemeter, and you'll be okay.

I'm going to email this to you, since I just realized you won't be able to read this unless you're already on FireFox.

Patrick M said...

You were still using ie? shame, shame, shame.

Glad you switched to Firefox. Finally.

Mike's America said...

Shaw's too busy worshipping at the feet of another messianic phony neomarxist to listen to the truth teller and Dr. of Democracy.

I first heard Rush when I was working at EPA. The guy in the next cubicle used to turn it on in the afternoon. I used to tell him to "turn it up" so I could hear too.

Rush represents the ideal of true conservatism. No wonder neoMarxist worshippers of messianc ego maniacs like Shaw don't like him.

shaw kenawe said...

Mike uses name-calling when he tries to show how superior his ideology is.

"...neoMarxist worshippers of messianc ego maniacs..."

Ooops, Mike. You forgot to call me commie too--you're slipping, bro!

LOL!

Shaw Kenawe said...

"Shaw's too busy...to listen to the truth teller and Dr. of Democracy."

The truth teller and Dr. of Democracy???? And you guys make fun of Obama as "The One?"

OMG! A multi-married, drug-addicted, law breaker, who couldn't fight for his country because of a cyst on his ass but could insult, on his national program, a 12-year old child, who made fun of a terminally ill guy and told an African-American caller to his program to "take that bone out of your nose" is "a truth teller?"

Too freakin' hilarious. You guys really know how to choose your role models. Hahahaha!


"Rush represents the ideal of true conservatism."

Oh yeah. I believe you there, bro'. He truly IS emblematic of conservatism: Full of sound and fury (especially when drugged-up) but signifying nothing.

LOL!

Patrick M said...

Shaw: It's almost entertaining (note the use of the term 'almost' and omit the word 'entertaining') how you can pick the same dozen things (maybe an hour of programming in total) Rush has done wrong over his nearly 14,000 (rough estimate) hours of airtime. That's one gaffe or really stupid statement every 18,400 minutes.

Even I'm not that good. Even I, with time to edit and revise beforehand, have been misunderstood and have been forced to revise, extend, or explain.

Now, Mike's usual visit aside, Rush is one of the most successful people out there at articulating the conservative point of view, even when he misses the mark in his personal life. Because there would be many people (myself included) who sure wouldn't listen if he spent most of his time firing off angry rants or spewing hate or sounding as utterly repugnant as you make him out to be.

In this case, you somehow mistake political disagreement with personal dislike. There are very few liberals I personally despise, but I disagree with most of them. In fact, some of them are very nice and wholly worth reading, even when some of their ideas are utterly wrong and stupid.

So whenever you get over your need to attack with pure vitriol, we can continue conversing. Otherwise, any mindless ranting on your part is further waste.

Beth said...

Lately I have been called all sorts of names and attacked personally because I expressed an opinion which differed from them, and this includes people who call themselves conservatives but who are angry at me for not planning to vote for McCain. It is getting annoying to say the least when people who disagree start personal attacks, whether it be attacking me, a friend, or someone such as Rush Limbaugh, whom I have a great deal of respect for.

Patrick M said...

Beth: What particularly annoys me is the assumption that I don't like the candidate I oppose. I kind of like Barack Obama. But as every solution I've seen come from him involves expanding government, I sure as hell won't vote for him. The person I will *gag* probably (out of sheer necessity and no other) vote for in the end is the one I like the least, John McCain.

It reminds me of something I read in an article today.

To quote:
On the progressive side, though, it's this simple: If you don't agree with me, then you're evil and you should die.

I don't automatically agree, but sometimes, that's the impression I get.

Obob said...

due to AM issues in the minivan, I have being listening to Rush lately. And I have to saw, he can be entertaining and thought provoking. Like all pundits, it's what you bring out of their rhetoric and hot air.
I still dig how he mocks the democrats and laughs at the profits.
And thanks for quoting Camille. She is a rare independant thinking feminist and liberal.

shaw hussein kenawe said...

Re: Personal attacks--how many times have I been to Mike's America and he has labeled me a socialist or communist or idiot or other names?

Too numerous to mention.

So please, let's be fair and understand that the Right and the Left engage in this.

And my pointing out what Limbaugh has said on his program is not a personal attack. He did those things.

Calling him a gasbag? Yeah. That's a personal attack. But I'm sure he isn't losing any sleep over it.

shaw kenawe said...

"I kind of like Barack Obama. But as every solution I've seen come from him involves expanding government, I sure as hell won't vote for him."

The largest expansion of a governmental agency was instituted by George W. Bush, R.-President.

That is Homeland Security. So much for increasing the size of government--that prize belongs to GWB.

The largest tax increase in the history of the United States of America was instituted by Ronald Wilson Reagan, R.-President.

Reagan came into office proposing to cut personal income and business taxes. The Economic Recovery Act was supposed to reduce revenues by $749 billion over five years. But this was quickly reversed with the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982. TEFRA—the largest tax increase in American history—was designed to raise $214.1 billion over five years, and took back many of the business tax savings enacted the year before. It also imposed withholding on interest and dividends, a provision later repealed over the president's objection.

But this was just the beginning. In 1982 Reagan supported a five-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax and higher taxes on the trucking industry. Total increase: $5.5 billion a year. In 1983, on the recommendation of his Spcial Security Commission— chaired by the man he later made Fed chairman, Alan Green-span—Reagan called for, and received, Social Security tax increases of $165 billion over seven years. A year later came Reagan's Deficit Reduction Act to raise $50 billion.

So much for the myth of conservatives who don't raise taxes.

That record belongs to RWR.

And you're afraid of Obama?

Patrick M said...

Shaw: What happens on Mike's America, stays on Mike's America. Until Mike comes here.

The largest expansion of a governmental agency was instituted by George W. Bush, R.-President.

Yep. And that's one of the big problems I have with McCain, as well as far too many in the GOP. True conservatives don't keep expanding the government in every conceivable way.

But for me it comes down to a lesser of 2 evils, in the hope that we'll get someone who won't expand the damned government. So you are preaching to the choir on government expansion.

As for TEFRA, there's the fact, which you have correct, and all the facts:

President of the United States Ronald Reagan agreed to the tax hikes on the promise from Congress of a $3 reduction in spending for every $1 increase in taxes. Some conservatives claim that the promised spending reductions never occurred. Then-budget director David Stockman, however, states that Congress substantially upheld its end of the bargain, and cites the Administration's failure to identify management savings and its resistance to defense spending cuts as the key impediments to greater outlay savings.

In essence, it was the mistake of Reagan to compromise with Democrats, which always hurts Republicans (George HW Bush, John McCain).

You've just highlighted the reason I severed myself from the GOP: There's acting more and more like Democrats.

shaws kenawe said...

You've just highlighted the reason I severed myself from the GOP: There's acting more and more like Democrats.

This is a weasel statement. Sorry.

But when Republicans do not curb spending, and when Republicans expand government, and when Republicans roll up the deficit to a trillion $$$s, and allow the United States to become a debtor nation to a Communist nation, they're STILL Republicans.

No one held a gun to GWB's head, nor the majority Republican Congress's head for 6 whole years while they were in charge of everything.

It is absolutely astounding that when the Republicans screw up majorly, you guys still blame the Democrats? They're acting like Democrats?

Please. I wish people who talk like that could really hear how juvenile it is when the political group that they admire fails them.

Patrick M said...

I don't admire the GOP anymore. So let me rephrase: They're behaving more like big-government liberals.

My problem with the Democrats is that most of the leadership are big government liberals.

So when I label people like McCain and Schwarzeneggar DIRCs, its shorthand.

Is that a little less weaselly?

As for the GOP leadership and W spending like drunken sailors, there are few things that piss me off more.

Toad734 said...

Dangerous? Wasn't he trying to derail the Obama campaign by getting people to vote for Clinton?? It was a futile effort, just like all his marriages.

Patrick M said...

Toad: Operation Chaos? That was, in the beginning, to keep Hillary in the race as long as possible, keep the Dems infighting, and give him hours of talk and merchandise to boot. Mission Accomplished.

Although why you have to drag his personal life into every comment is senseless and less than I expect from a cogent voice.

Toad734 said...

Because he is a hypocrite. Rush tried to keep Obama from being the nominee, he failed. Nothing Rush did kept Clinton in the race. She was the favorite for the entire year before the election and was the most popular and well known and was the most politically connected and at first the best funded. That had nothing to do with Mr. Oxycontin.

Patrick M said...

Because he is a hypocrite.

How the fuck was he being a hypocrite in this situation?

And you obviously missed the point of Operation Chaos. Which did have an effect in Indiana for example, Where Hillary did win, narrowly, from crossover votes. And it was funny as shit to watch the Democrats get all upset over it.

Toad734 said...

Iniana is fucking redneck; trust me, I grew up there. There are only 3 counties in the state that would vote for a black guy. As expected, Obama won those three counties. You know the white, working class voter that Obama could never nail down? Guess what Indiana is full of? The fact that Clinton won by only a percentage or two is a miracle.

Patrick M said...

If I remember the numbers, Clinton won by about 2%.

Operation Chaos was responsible for about 6% of the vote

And I guess there's rumblings in the Clinton camp now that may explode at the convention.

Operation Chaos.