I'm a Pundit Too

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy Anniversary Rush Limbaugh!

Friday, August 1, 2008 marks the 20th anniversary of talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh’s historic career on the radio airwaves. Rush has a reported 20 million loyal listeners to his daily 3 hour radio program. He is beloved by those with a conservative mindset, and hated by those who consider themselves liberal and open minded. Limbaugh’s listeners often refer to themselves as ditto heads, which has brought scorn from the liberal critics. The critics cite that the ditto heads are incapable of thinking for themselves and that they wait to be told what to think by Limbaugh. Unfortunately for the critics, the term ditto heads springs from a caller in the early days of Limbaugh’s program. The caller stated that he loved what Rush stood for and prayed that he never went off the air. The next caller simply said, “ditto to what that other guy just said”.

A Pew Research Center study showed that Limbaugh’s listeners are among the most informed citizens in the country. Those of us who listen to Rush on a daily basis, do indeed tend to agree with him more than we disagree, but Rush’s true secret is the ability to make his listeners think. His monologues and unique perspectives inspire his listeners to research the policies and positions of our elected officials. Rush began his national radio show shortly after President Reagan rescinded the Fairness Doctrine in 1987. The Fairness Doctrine was a government mandate that all programs aired over the public airwaves must provide a balance of opposing views. With the Fairness Doctrine a relegated to the ash heap of broadcast history, radio stations quickly lined up for the opportunity to broadcast Limbaugh’s conservative voice. WABC in New York City made the original bet on Limbaugh and it has more than paid off for both WABC and Rush. Limbaugh’s latest reported contract was around $400 million through 2016, which dwarfs Howard Stern’s latest deal of $100 million for 5 years.

Throughout his tenure of the king of all radio, Limbaugh has remained staunchly conservative. His critics have accused him of being nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Bush administration, but they discount his vehement disagreement with the White House over immigration reform, the Medicare drug plan, the Kennedy “No Child Left Behind” education bill, the Harriett Myers nomination, and numerous other smaller point of conservative contention. Of course when he agrees with the administration he is quick to explain why they are making the right moves. He has been in stalwart support for tax cuts. He has pointed out the fallacy of the media and the liberal politicians that the Bush tax cuts only benefited the rich. Simple math will tell you that if a taxpayer resides in the upper income brackets that any tax cut will be larger in dollar amounts than a taxpayer in the lower brackets. They completely disregard that the bottom bracket was dropped from an oppressive 28% to 15%. In true liberal fashion, they plan to allow all of the tax cuts expire in 2010.

When George H. W. Bush lost to Bill Clinton in 1992, the media pundits and liberal elites expressed their glee that this was the end of Rush. They believed that Rush was defeated along with Bush. The next 8 years saw unprecedented growth in radio for Limbaugh. When Al Gore lost to George W. Bush in 2000, the same “experts” predicted that Rush was done again. They believed that with a Republican in the White House, he would have nothing to talk about. Again, they couldn’t have been more wrong. For the past 20 years, the liberal side of the political spectrum has tried everything they could think of to compete, or at least lessen Limbaugh’s effect on their political aspirations. I believe they have finally come to the conclusion that they simply cannot beat him in the free market of ideas. Recently, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has endorsed a plan to bring back the “Fairness Doctrine”. Pelosi is in for long drawn out fight on this issue. Congressman Mike Pence has been working feverishly to obtain enough supporters in the House to permanently bury any form of the “Fairness Doctrine”. Whatever the liberals throw at Limbaugh to shut him up, one thing is certain, at 12:00 P.M. EST Rush Limbaugh will be holding court over the airwaves and millions of faithful listeners will tuning in to hear him.

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