I often compare Rush to Babe Ruth. Ruth forever changed the sport of baseball. Rush has forever changed the medium of broadcasting — not just talk radio, not just radio, but broadcasting.
If Rush had only revived the AM band of radio, that would have been a historic achievement. If Rush had only been affiliated with over 600 radio stations, that would have been a historic achievement. If Rush had only attracted an audience of over 20 million listeners, that would have been a historic achievement. If Rush had only led the way for several hundred other talk radio hosts to be heard across the country, that would have been a historic achievement. If Rush had only become the most important conservative voice in America, that would have been a historic achievement. But Rush has done all of this and more over the last 20 years, making him the most successful broadcaster ever.
Rush has taught us what being a talk radio host is all about. It is a profession. Treat it as such. Be prepared each and every day. Study your subjects. Know them better than anyone else. Be interesting. Bring a fresh or unique perspective to each day’s broadcast. Be entertaining. Have fun and laugh. Be yourself. And most of all, never take your audience for granted. You’ve invited your listeners into your broadcast. Treat them with respect and let them know on a daily basis that you appreciate them. Rush taught us this and more.
Rush has shown us how to be courageous. Say what you believe. Believe in your principles. And be an advocate for those principles — principles that were crucial to our nation’s founding — faith, family, community, liberty, limited government, free enterprise, and national security. And if you are criticized for defending these principles, then promote them even harder and more frequently. Rush has shown us that talk radio is one of the few remaining voices for our founding principles. It is a precious and serious responsibility, and should be treated as such. He has shown us by example how to stand strong even when facing unrelenting attacks and intimidation efforts.
Millions of us would be lost without Rush. Imagine turning on the radio at noon eastern time and not hearing Rush’s voice, not hearing his take on a major issue, not hearing him joke with Snerdly, and not hearing him set some liberal politician straight. It would be a much less exciting and generally poorer world without him.
I am personally grateful for Rush’s friendship. Whenever I approach him for input or advice, Rush is more than generous with his time. And his advice is always well-considered and smart. When he tapped me several years ago to be a substitute host, Rush opened the way for my talk show on WABC in New York to be syndicated. Rush is selfless. He wants others to succeed. He wants talk radio to prosper.
Thank you, Rush, for all you have done in the past 20 years. Millions of us can’t wait for the next 20!