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Radio Lost a Legend Who Saved The Industry and Kicked Cancel Culture’s Ass In The Process

Rush Limbaugh found a way to invest in the industry he loved, and in doing so, saved/created jobs within the AM radio frequencies that without Rush’s methodology, could have been wiped off the map entirely.

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Photo by Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0.

Other shows cut off their nose to spite their own face in much of the panicked rushing around desperate to check the best box from the options listed when picturing their audience and their P1s—rather than utilizing Rush Limbaugh’s approach of making a new demographic that encompasses everything and everyone. No limited multiple choice confines and always includes the loyal audience’s best interest in mind, eliminating imposed pressures, unreasonable expectations on his audience as they tuned in from offices all over the country.

Rush chose to pave the way for a show that made room for all—inclusive to listeners of all ages, political affiliations, genders, ethnicities, and when paired with his history making midday time slot, the sky was the limit for El Rushbo.

Former President Donald Trump took the time to join Sean Hannity last night and weighed in on the kind of human being Rush was, his decision to honor Rush during his presidency and if nothing else, listening to or watching one of these exchanges would be significant to your understanding of the potential future for the broadcast industry—radio, in particular, and save yourself the time in locating Hannity speaking with Trump about his familiarity with syndicated radio and now, syndicated news talk radio, suggesting that the next stop on his tour may be pursuing a career behind the microphone.

“You would ask, ‘why are radio numbers so massive?’ I knew you knew radio, but you were surprised, there wasn’t this competitive thing going on. And I said, ‘There’s no competition. There’s nobody in his league.’” Hannity said to President Trump about the dynamic that allowed Rush to effortlessly dominate the format and daypart for three decades. 

“You’re right, I mean radio’s big stuff and he made it that way. He was the king. By the way, congratulations, I looked at some numbers and you do real well on the radio, but you’d be the first one to say that he was there first.” Trump replied.

“He was there first and he was a brilliant guy. He could do things that a lot of people couldn’t do. He could just talk for three hours, no phone calls, no anything—just talk, and everybody found it spellbinding,” Trump said about Rush Limbaugh’s presence on the airwaves.

“The loyalty of his audience was just incredible. It was staggering. Nobody had seen anything quite like it.” Trump said as the interview reached its conclusion.

“I know you said that in the months ahead that you have a lot that you want to tell us… I have a funny feeling that we’re going to hear a lot more from Donald Trump. Are my instincts correct?” Hannity closed the interview with the question that had been building.

“Well there’s a lot to talk about and our country is a great place and we’re going to make it even greater as the expression goes. And there’s a lot to talk about. But, today is all about Rush—don’t you think? And what he left behind. He’ll never be forgotten. His impact will never be forgotten.” 

Trump remained tight lipped to Hannity about the future plans and intimated the potential intersection of the contents discussed in this interview.

How do you think former President Trump would fare in a show host position? Would you listen?

It’s been troubling to see the trending hashtags paired with the passing of a radio titan and innovator, truth be told, these recycled posts on social media are laughable when considering the fact they’re admitting to being uneducated about Rush and his program in one sentence and in the next they are regurgitating the first seemingly divisive topic that their search engine could arm them with. In a way, that really highlighted a huge win that Rush managed to secure even in the face of the volatile political landscape. Needless to say, as many cited concerns they had about the kind of content associated with Rush’s program, many landed on similar points of shared contention…dating all the way back to the Clinton administration. All in all, the cancel-culture force was out in full force to ensure they could drive home what a menace to society Rush Limbaugh has been in his career—but they failed miserably because Rush has proven he cannot and will not be cancelled. Look at the facts.

If within hours of his passing and minutes of official news outlets reporting the tragic news, you feel it necessary to go full-on snowflake…refusing to reply to any fact checks done by the loyal EIB audience and media, while still refusing to listen to his program…you simply won’t be able to provide an accurate or reliable account of the content or character and tone of the show. Therefore, your irrational anger is bubbling at the surface and I’d say, your argument collapsed on itself. Rush isn’t holding it against you, that’s what makes the bandwagon outrage and #restinpiss threads even more ineffectual and potentially dangerous.

While I understand the program simply cannot resonate with every single individual, there is a human being who has shared his gift, found a way to invest in the industry he loved, and in doing so, saved and created jobs within the AM radio frequencies that without Rush’s methodology, could have been wiped off the map entirely.

I believe human beings and those who share this kind of love for radio, could find a way to locate the basic human empathy and respect for patriotic excellence as tens of millions mourn the loss of a beloved husband, friend, legend and recipient of The Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The beautiful memories and messages shared about listening to Rush as a child and how it became what was the catalyst for the pursuit of success have been incredibly refreshing to see. The nasty comments are unavoidable, however there is a lot of history to consider before jumping to attack on Rush—he always prevails in the face of criticism, he will always be the first person to effectively beat and thrive amid the cancel culture society…a mentality that is even more vitriolic than ever as so many people are fixated on instant gratification that goes hand in hand with hours of attempted viral mudslinging in the direction of the proverbial wall of social media.

The cancel culture that reignited a fire for Rush Limbaugh where he fought against moral and ethical repugnance while in a battle with stage IV cancer, and Rush won. Rush Limbaugh went toe to toe and his victory over the looming threats of cancel culture are woven into his legacy—bookended by his bravery and conquering spirit. Heroes get remembered, legends never die—as both a hero and legend, Rush Limbaugh’s presence will feel palpable to many. There’s one thing that cannot be argued; Rush kicked cancel-culture’s ass and that is amazing, poetic and undoubtedly a display of the strength and moral compass inside him.

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Winterble, Daugherty Discuss Dr. Seuss, Cancel Culture

“We lost a battle for sure,” Daugherty said. “Did we lose the war? I don’t know. I hope to heck not.”

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Photo by Evelyn Giggles CC BY 2.0.

After moving from the San Diego to Charlotte market last year, radio host Brett Winterble has quickly learned that the best way to attract listeners in the Tar Heel state is to forge a connection with college basketball. That’s why former North Carolina Tar Heel basketball coach Matt Daugherty is a frequent quest on The Brett Wintertble Show which airs on WBT AM in Charlotte. Daugherty was in studio again on Thursday, and while the pair did touch on sports topics, the main part of their conversation was devoted to Dr. Seuss and cancel culture in general.

”You look like a guy who read Dr. Seuss as a kid,” Winterble said to Daughtery. “My favorites growing up were, One Fish, Two Fish and of course the classic, Green Eggs and Ham. I read them and my kids read them, but now all of a sudden, they are too dangerous. Dr. Seuss has been banned. Our glorious monarch, King Joe Biden I has decreed that Dr. Seuss cannot be read at a celebration of Dr. Seuss Day. Five weeks ago they were just fine, but now they are too dangerous to even be sold on Ebay? What in the world is going on? Have we as conservatives lost the war?”

Winterble’s comments come after six of Theodor Geisel’s works are no longer going to be published due to racial stereotypes. Geisel wrote more than 60 other books under his popular pseudonym Dr. Seuss which will still remain in print, but that does not stop Winterble and Daugherty from claiming Dr. Seuss is a victim of cancel culture.

“We lost a battle for sure,” Daugherty said. “Did we lose the war? I don’t know. I hope to heck not.”

Winterble makes the comparison to other items sold on Ebay, but yet six Dr. Seuss books are banned.

“You can go on there and buy a poster of a certain political leader that ruled Germany in the 30’s and 40’s (Hitler), but Dr. Seuss is too dangerous? You can go on there and buy polyurethane items that should only be used in the hushed tones of the bedroom and yet people find Dr. Seuss objectionable? What’s next?”

Daugherty worries that cancel culture will eventually cross over into the world of sports.

“I think we will eventually start erasing players from the Hall of Fames,” he said. “Now of course, there were some scoundrels, particularly in baseball, but you can’t just erase that history. You can learn from it, but you can’t remove it.”

“I love working with young people,” Daugherty continued. “I always tell them to stand up for what you believe in, but to be a good leader, you also have to be able to listen. It seems we have lost that art of debate. We see plenty of argument, but people rarely make a point and then take the time to listen to the other side. If you can do that, you learn something. A lot of it has to do with dialogue happening over social media instead of face-to-face. 50 percent of communication is body language. You can’t see that on Twitter. It’s so much easier to cancel someone or throw out zingers if you can’t look them in the eye and see how much it hurts them.”

Winterble agrees and also urges open discussion if something is considered offensive or harmful.

“People have their identity so wrapped up in whatever issue it is, that when someone attacks the issue, it feels like they are attacking the person. There is some value in all of these things (like the Dr. Seuss controversy), but the default position should not be to rage quit and erase everything.”

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Rush Limbaugh Officially Laid to Rest in Small, Private Ceremony

The ceremony took place at Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis on Feb 24.

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Photo by Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0.
Photo by Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0.

Conservative talk icon Rush Limbaugh was laid to rest during a small, intimate ceremony last month. His widow Kathryn Limbaugh shared some of the details with his listening audience during a brief appearance on the radio this week. 

The ceremony took place at Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis on Feb 24.

Mrs. Limbaugh told guest host Todd Herman that her recovery from the loss of her husband has come with tremendous challenges. She credited the thousands of people that have reached out to her following Rush’s death. 

“I really, truly feel we are all going through this process together, and it’s very much a process,” said Limbaugh. “I think it helps us to all be together and grieve in a sense and keep our Rush with us in that way.”

Limbaugh died on Feb. 17 after a year-long battle with lung cancer. He learned he had stage 4 lung cancer in January 2020 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President Trump at the State of the Union address.

“Obviously, it came a lot sooner than we would have hoped and liked, but we did have a plan in place. “The only problem was we had hoped to invite a lot of Rush’s friends, a lot of colleagues, and a lot of the listening audience. But due to COVID, we could not do that,” she said.

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Stay Out of the Swamp and Focus on Local Stories Worth Telling

If push comes to shove, we can leave the latest Biden gaffe to our syndicated friends, and superserve our market in a way that they will remember well beyond the word “COVID”.

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As many talk radio hosts around the country settle into a new role as the pushback against a new administration in charge in Washington D.C., it is important to not get caught up in the “swamp-talk” on a daily basis. 

Donald Trump provided four years of daily, dramatic content for local and national hosts. And for many it worked, because it’s what people wanted to talk about around the water cooler. Despite all of Joe Biden’s policy failures thus far, he’s not nearly as compelling an individual to cover. Heck, he hasn’t even done a press conference with the media since Inauguration Day. 

Meantime, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the issues our listeners are facing in our backyard have become all the more pressing. And no issue appears to be hitting home more for my audience than the inability of too many schools to not fully re-open. 

Despite study after study showing that there is very minimal transmission of COVID-19 in classrooms, too many students have been held hostage by the teacher’s unions, local school boards and, yes, the new administration.

But so much of this issue is local to a city or a region because of how each district is handling things differently. For the last several weeks, I have been updating my audience in Kansas City as to the latest around what schools are doing, how they’re planning, and if/when they will be opening back up. 

Every day it feels like I could do a four-hour show on opening up our schools with the amount of phone/text/tweet traffic we get when discussing this topic. Parents have had enough and they are seeing through the charade. 

But rather than simply listening to parents complain all morning, which certainly has its purpose, but can get repetitive, I’ve taken the approach of doing our best to find new angles to this issue each day. Both Missouri and Kansas are advancing bills through the legislature to provide more school choice for parents. This is becoming more and more popular in urban, suburban and rural settings. Where do these bills stand and what do they accomplish? 

It might seem wonky, but with how desperate so many parents are to get their kids back to learning in the short term, and then wondering how to remedy their own situation in the long term, this is when the show can stand out in sharing information, entertaining, opinion, analysis and reaction.

That’s led to conversations with the lawmakers in both states to discuss where their bills are in the process and where they’re headed. 

It also helped create a segment that became our most listened to interview of the past week. It was an interview with a Kansas City, Missouri school board member who is opposed to opening in-person learning. It was a strong conversation with a bantering back and forth of ideas and perspective, never getting nasty, which led to a segment that received a ton of feedback.

So as we continue to navigate a new administration in Washington D.C., playing “watch dog” is an important part of the job that the listeners expect.

But the unique nature of the moment with COVID-19 provides us with so much original content that is frustrating our listeners, who are parents (oh, and likely in-demo listeners I might add!), holding back communities and doing short and long-term damage. So if push comes to shove, we can leave the latest Biden gaffe to our syndicated friends, and superserve our market in a way that they will remember well beyond the word “COVID”. At least I sure hope so.

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