A tribute to Rush Limbaugh, who died Wednesday at 70

February 18 – The Big Talk on 103.7 FM, weekdays 7:11am, memorialized Rush Limbaugh, a real radio icon, Thursday morning.

After news broke that Rush Limbaugh, right-wing talk radio star, passed away at his home in Palm Beach, FL, on Wednesday, February 17, attorney Clint Barkdoll, Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen discussed his legacy and the impact of his passing.

The noon to 3 p.m. slot in a lot of radio stations was “appointment radio.”

“It’s a loss for people,” Barkdoll said. “To suddenly have that gone is going to be a very difficult situation.”

Ryan added that “hearing the Best of Rush and there are evergreen parts of Rush that forevermore we will always be able to enjoy” will help. “I’m a ditto head from the 80s. I need to hear a strong, steady voice in whatever chaos is happening on a political level.”

Jansen said to “find a single person who could step into his shoes, I’m not sure that’s possible. I’m not sure that should be the goal. That noon to 3, I think, will forevermore be the conservative hours.”

She mentioned his talk about his Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies.

“He was the professor, the ultimate professor, and I think they’ll always be able to tap into his wisdom and what he said in the past, but they need a person or persons to take that time frame and continue what he started,” Jansen said. “Continue the education of people as to what freedom and this country and conservative values really mean and continue that legacy.”

A tribute in the Wall Street Journal observed how positive Rush was.

“He was not this angry, screaming person that said how awful things were,” Barkdoll said. “He had a very optimistic outlook. Even though he complained when things were happening, he was always patriotic first, but also very optimistic.”

Barkdoll has had clients schedule appointments around Rush’s show.  

“This was part of life,” Barkdoll pointed out. “They were plugged in for those three hours. They did not want to be interrupted and it was something they looked forward to every day. I think that was a very positive aspect of what he did that I don’t think he gets enough credit for.”

“He was a fighter,” Ryan added. “And no matter who came after him, he had a great way of saying the things that were necessary to say and not being shut down. His audience was so powerful there wasn’t going to be that shut down.”

Ryan said we’re seeing a small level of that in Chambersburg with News Talk 103.7FM in that there are people who would like to see the radio station shut down.

“You can’t forget that there are other stories to be told,” Ryan said. “Rush would not be silenced. We will not be silenced. We do love our God, our country and America. It’s that kind of power Rush brought to all the broadcasters and said, ‘here, rock on, forge on, you’re doing it right.’”

Jansen said that Rush had a way of being cutting, but also being humorous in a way to not offend. He “didn’t come off as dehumanizing other people. Never. Never did he do that.”

In the mid-90s, President Bill Clinton called into Rush’s program because he was complaining that Rush wasn’t giving him a fair shake.

“They were polar opposites of the political spectrum, but Rush was able to pull that off,” Barkdoll said. “That was very much an acknowledgement how influential Rush Limbaugh was politically. The GOP House made him an honorary member in the 90s because they credited Limbaugh with turning over so many seats.”

Rush shaped dialogue and policy and political races.

“It a very difficult void to fill, if it ever can be filled because no one really had the footprint that he did when it came to politics,” Barkdoll said.

Ryan noted that in today’s political scene, we’re “losing the ability to connect with your enemy. You certainly wouldn’t see that out of a Schumer, a Pelosi or any of the evil out of the left hand side. It’s a shame. It really is.”

“What a great point that is, Pat,” Barkdoll said. “Can you imagine today one of those people calling in to a Sean Hannity show or a Glenn Beck show? They would never do it. Clinton knew that was going to be a difficult dialogue, but good for him” for stepping up.

Questions arose as to why Joe Biden doesn’t do a Fox News town hall?

“That’s what they should be doing, but they don’t,” Barkdoll said. “Those days are long past.”

Jansen said the left likes to “just demonize. And unfortunately, they found that works, so they’re going to stick with it. We have today progressive liberalism, which is a very different animal (than what we had in the past). It’s the cancel culture, it’s the we’re going to shut you down, we’re going to marginalize so we can pretend our point of view is the universal truth just by shutting you up instead of persuading people as to why what you believe is right.”

And then that point is carried by social media and mainstream media.

Rush branched also out into consumer products as well as a line of children’s books in his lifetime.

At noon yesterday, Rush’s wife, Kathryn Adams Limbaugh paid tribute to her husband with these words:

“From today on, there will be a tremendous void in our lives and of course, on the radio.

Rush loved our miraculous country beyond measure. An unwavering patriot. He loved our Unites States military, our flag, our constitution, our founding fathers. He proudly fought and defended conservative values in a way that no one else can.

Rush often stood up and took arrows on his own because he knew it was the right thing to do.

Rush encouraged so many of us to think for ourselves – to learn and to lead. He often said it did not matter where you started or what you looked like as Americans, we all have endless opportunities like nowhere else in the world.

Rush gave us hope that through hard work and determination, we can overcome the obstacles in our lives and be our best. Many of you started small businesses or pursued personal dreams because rush gave you the faith that you could.

He made the most complex issues simple to understand, while making that level of genius look easy. It most certainly was anything but easy. Irreplaceable, remarkable talent.

On behalf of the Limbaugh family I would personally like to thank each and every one of you who prayed for Rush and inspired him to keep going. You rallied around Rush and lifted him up when he needed you the most.

I am certain without a shadow of a doubt if he could be here today he would be. He loved you and he loved this radio playground with every part of his being.”

The Best of Rush will continue to play from noon to 3 every day, but there’s no doubt the country has felt the loss of this remarkable man.