Rush Diagnosis Brings Out The Ugly in People


Whether it was the jealousy of his decades-long success or the disagreement with his politics, the hate heaped upon Rush Limbaugh following his announcement that he had advanced lung cancer was alarming.

The hatred was everywhere. A former CNN reporter said the world would be a better place without Rush, many on social media said Rush is headed for hell next, and comments on our own page referred to Rush as a racist. You learn a lot about who people really are when something like this happens.

Below is Eric’s commentary from Tuesday, following Rush’s announcement Monday. Following Eric’s piece you’ll be able to read the comments. We have not deleted or edited any.

The Rush Factor. Torpedoes Aimed at Radio
(By Eric Rhoads)
Yesterday, as you know, Rush Limbaugh announced he has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. Listening to his announcement was sobering. Not only because it must be a horrible thing for him and his family to have to face, but because of the impact it could have on the radio industry.

Though many were not around to remember this, the AM radio band was virtually dead, with the exception of a few mega AMs in top markets. The industry was buzzing about how to keep AM radio alive. After all, all the music and all the youth had moved to FM. Then, like a superhero from outer space, Ed McLaughlin swooped down to save the day with a relatively unknown talent named Rush. 

Rush grabbed immediate attention, and it was not favorable. But McLaughlin and Limbaugh did what few others would have done, then or today. They embraced the negative chatter and the advertiser boycotts, and they did not succumb to pressure to push Limbaugh off the air. Though a few stations probably did drop him, my guess is that others immediately picked him up. Today, 30-plus years later, Limbaugh is a national institution, much like Paul Harvey had become. He became a household name — a hero to some, an enemy to others. He also became a voice for the conservative movement.

Though most are rooting for Limbaugh and hoping that aggressive treatments will help him recover, because he is a radio brother, we have to wonder what the world will look like should he be forced to go off the air to live out his years, or worse. What then will happen to the AM radio industry, which he has carried on his back for so many years? Though Limbaugh is also on many FM stations, there will be a giant void for radio in general. No one, no matter how good, can equal his ability on the air. Though some come close, he holds the crown.

I’m sure there are hopes that Limbaugh will survive to do the show for another decade, but at 69, his airtime will one day come to an end, even if he stays on the air into his 90s, as Harvey did. That raises the question: Who, then, becomes the king of Talk radio?

Clearly there are some amazing talents who can step in and try to fill his shoes. But a bigger question is, what becomes of a radio format that is driven by aging boomers? Where is the farm team?

Limbaugh cut his teeth in smaller markets before he ever became a network superstar. And there are probably many local stars who have the chops to step up and become the next national hero among one or another political class. But what of future generations?

I sometimes wonder if anyone in the radio industry ever thinks about 10 years down the road, or has plans for scenarios like this one. Some industries look years ahead, anticipate social and business changes, and start training people for roles a decade before they are needed. How would we rate the radio industry on our long-range planning skills?

Radio, overall, is facing a massive migration problem. People under 40 are migrating away and spending their time elsewhere. For music, it’s Spotify or time on TikTok and SnapChat. From what I can tell, we’re not grooming talent and investing in capturing what may be a lost generation. And though we see CEOs gleefully claim that the ratings continue to show radio listening stronger than ever, we have to remember that listening is being represented by a few paid people with ratings monitors. How real is it that listening really is at such high levels? I’m not sure advertisers buy it, at least not if they’re doing focus groups.

Don’t get me wrong. Lots of people still embrace and love radio — but lots have migrated away. Maybe the old 1970s DJ in me wants to believe a myth, but it seems as though what captures people and creates buzz is content. Content has always ruled the airwaves, and it seems as if radio’s investing in unbelievably strong talent could be a play to get younger people to use radio again. Stealing the top social media talent, perhaps, and not taking them away from social, but leveraging the social to get people to listen to the radio show. If the right people say, “Listen to Spotify,” listeners will follow. The same should be true for radio.

If this is the case, could it save AM radio? Well, it worked with Rush, but that was with an audience who grew up with and knew AM. My teens probably don’t know AM exists and would not know how to find or use it. Yet if all their friends said their favorite YouTube talent was on the AM dial, they would find it. And if it was good, they would stay.

In 1999, when I went to Silicon Valley to start an online radio company, I said that radio would see a gradual erosion of audience. We’re seeing it now, whether the data from a narrowly controlled sample says so or not. Though radio probably never disappears (actually, you can still buy a telegram), it stands to be severely wounded unless we play off our biggest advantage.

I was listening to Spotify the other day while cleaning the garage and I was annoyed when any ads came on, and they were playing two minutes an hour. But I also noticed it would be nice to have some talent interaction. Spotify could crush radio by hiring dozens of great out-of-work radio personalities and offering optional channels with DJs. Chances are they are more likely to do it than radio is. 

Though I’ve digressed from the Limbaugh factor to the lack of investment in talent, the outcome is the same. We knew of course that Paul Harvey would one day die, and his income at ABC was so huge that they should have worked for 10 years to train his one-day replacement and develop familiarity. They did not, and nothing could replace Harvey. The same will be true for Limbaugh. There is no replacement. His fill-in hosts are great, but never as good. 

We can see our future, yet we, as an industry, refuse to address it, as if one day everyone under 40 will suddenly discover radio. Wouldn’t that be nice? Or else we’re believing our own hyperbole and don’t believe anyone has left. How silly is that?

The bottom line is, let’s all look forward, be realists, not stick our heads in the sand, and try to reroute the coming torpedoes. Though there are many ahead, Rush is the most immediate problem for Talk radio and AM radio.

I’m sad to hear about Rush. One of my big regrets is that we hurt or disappointed Rush when we decided to remove air talent from our “40 Most Powerful People in Radio” list. In reality, Rush was always at the top until we decided to change the makeup of the list. I never like to disappoint anyone. If we still included talent on the list, he would still be number one. Meanwhile, we offer our best wishes for a speedy and effective treatment. 

Eric Rhoads is the Chairman of Radio Ink Magazine and can be reached at [email protected]


  1. Couldn’t have happened to a meaner asshole.

    He constantly publicly bashes LGBTQ esp. us transgenders. Calls us “tranny” despite being told it’s wrong. He also calls us mentally ill! He said it’s our way of getting attention. He said transwomen are men who decide to be “tranny” cuz we can’t get girls to notice us. He said “feminism and transgender are incompatible.”

    He equates gay marriage to normalizing pedophilia. He insults Pete Buttigieg kissing his husband on stage and refuses to apologize! Asks “what about this?” What about it jackass??? “How do you explain this to your kids?” Easy. They love each other, Mr. 4th marriage!! What’s to explain??

    Coined the term “feminazi.” Not only that, popularized it! An obvious sexist. That thing about protesting what they actually wish would happen to them! And that feminism was “established to allow unattractive women a place in mainstream society.” Saying things went downhill when women were given the right to vote.

    Constantly slams Obama. Calls him jackass and “magic Negro.” And the segregated buses crack.

    Made fun of Michael J. Fox’s Parkinsons and accusing him of making it up as a cry for attn! Even mocked him!

    He falsely claimed that cows don’t feel anguish when their young calves are taken from them. Calls vegetarians “whackos.”

    He even called us believers in reincarnation “reincarnation nuts.”

    And the latest. Calling this pandemic a “hoax.” I didn’t believe him anyway.

    And so forth.

    Karma’s a bitch ain’t it?? He gets no sympathy from me the pos. He deserves it. Sorry not sorry!

  2. Sorry, my Resume content doesn’t allow me to use my real name. Lung Cancer is what it is, many people are afflicted. After smoking for forty years (never again!), I count myself lucky to “only” have had one heart attack, and I pray it gets no worse in the future. That said, one of the most pathetic events as the country goes down the toilet, is Rush receiving the Medal Of Freedom. Who’s next in TrumpWorld? How about David Duke, for having the “courage of his convictions”. Or Alex Jones, for keeping those grieving parents on their toes. Perhaps Sean Hannity, for kissing ass with more dramatic flair than anyone else. Or posthumously to Charlie Manson, since after all, he DID want to start a race war!

  3. This raises bigger questions about media’s responsibility toward society in general. So called “business decisions” involving ratings and revenue have had us justify programming decisions that are often not about the greater good. The country is painfully divided, and I don’t see or hear much that we in media are doing to heal the divide. Is it because appealing to humanity’s base nature gets “better numbers”? Are we humans just hopelessly flawed in a way that makes insult, gossip, and exploitation the most effective way to survive financially? Maybe it’s time we wake up and ask if we are part of the problem.

  4. I detest talk radio and listen only to music, news, and sports…or nothing, as the whoosh of air through an open car window serenades me during my drive to work. To the one who said that Hell is what will come next for Rush Limbaugh: Rush’s hell will arrive right here on earth as his cancer progresses, regardless of what his sins might have been. Depending on the type of lung cancer, he may find himself coughing up lots of blood. If the cancer spreads to his esophagus, as lung cancer frequently does, he will be unable to swallow solid food and may later have trouble drinking liquids. If the cancer cells colonize his ribs and spine, he will suffer excruciating pain. How do I know this? My father died of lung cancer in 1991. He was diagnosed with an early-stage, pea-sized tumor on his left lung in 1989. Despite surgery and radiation therapy, the cancer recurred. Two years later, he was dead. Fifty years of heavy smoking took their toll. While the treatment for lung cancer has improved since 1991, the prognosis is still poor, especially if the cancer is diagnosed at a late stage.
    Much of what Rush Limbaugh said on the air was probably talk radio shtick, designed to agitate listeners and get them to call his show. Since I did not work with him and did not listen to his show, I cannot say that with any authority. But I have observed other talk show hosts do that at stations where I worked in the past.
    Lung cancer is a horrible disease. Don’t wish it on your worst enemy!

    • Sorry, ZERO sympathy for Limbaugh. Zeo. His legacy is that his right wing vitriol against minorities and the needy, fueled the flames of political divisiveness in this country. That is his legacy– Limbaugh with his national podium absolutely was a major factor in dividing this country. Some radio people who just look at billing reports and not the toxicity of Limbaugh, clearly idolize him. And other right wingers defend him. That’s about it. Other than his 13 million listeners (insignificant demographically because 70% of them are 65 years and older), most of the other 327 million people in this country say good riddens to him.
      No. Zero sympathy. And the day that Limbaugh is permanently off the air will be a great great day for all minorities and for the poor.

  5. To equate Limbaugh’s toxic swill to that of Paul Harvey’s intelligence, understanding, and compassion is an insult to Mr. Havey’s memory.

  6. Rush’s ugliness was innate.

    “We need segregated buses… This is Obama’s America.”

    “Obama’s entire economic program is reparations.”

    “Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?”

    “Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.”

    “They’re 12 percent of the population. Who the hell cares?”

    [To an African American female caller]: “Take that bone out of your nose and call me back.”

  7. The negative comments are astounding and deeply disappointing. I fully support Rush Limbaugh and pray for a miraculous recovery. But even if I didn’t…..these comments are completely out of line. I don’t even wish this kind of stuff on Nancy Pelosi……….

        • Sorry Steve, but Rush is evil, not Annette. How can you possibly excuse the horrible, racist and mysogynistic statements that Limbaugh has made?? How??
          You reference Pelosi. By no means am I a fan of hers, but she has never made the hateful, racist comments that are Limbaugh’s legacy.

    • You are alone in your sympathy for Rush.

      I reserve my own sympathy for those who have displayed it towards others during their lifetimes.

      Rush is not and never has been one of those people. Apparently the hateful cancer spewing from his mouth for years was simultaneously spreading through his lungs. And that, Steve, is called karma. You reap what you sow.

  8. You’re surprised that the man who came up with the word “feminazi” and claimed that the risks of smoking were BS isn’t being given any sympathy when he gets lung cancer? That a man who is unrepentant about his career based on hate and vitriol is somehow the victim when even a fraction of it is returned to him in kind?

    Arguing he “saved AM radio” really overlooks the content of his character and career.

    • If your going to make a comment, at least post your name. Anything anyone has to say without revealing who they are is simply cowardly and shouldn’t be taken seriously.

      • Says you. Chris Ling probably isn’t your name. We don’t know you, and you don’t know us. We can think whatever we like about Rush…you don’t get to dictate how or about whom. Deal with it.

  9. Let me start by saying I am not into politics in any way, shape or form, however I have spent my entire career in radio and my appreciation for Rush is the fact he is probably the one personality that saved AM radio from crashing and burning. That then led to a bevy of talk show hosts both liberal and conservative who flourished because he blazed a trail. Isn’t the producer and director of the show (James Golden aka Snerdley) African-American? I know I have heard Herman Cain fill in for Rush many times as well.

  10. Oh My God! The hatred shown to a man who for better or worse, single handedly saved A.M for a short time is so saddening. And those of you who claim to be radio experts, are clearly naïve and don’t have a clue. It clearly may be why radio is in the state it is. To say that he only viewed one side or spewed hatred or whatever, just didn’t get what his show was about. And if programmers would learn something about entertaining an audience, your careers may have ended better. He merely took a position to generate listenership…which is his JOB. Radio is entertainment…something that is almost non existent today. He would say things that would even take me back a little. But the point is, there were very few extreme conservatives on the air at the time and he smartly stepped into that role. He is not a newscaster…he is an opinionated radio talk show host. His job was not to stay in the middle but to generate response both good and bad. And he has done his job better than most. I remember listening to liberal radio talk show host Allen Combs and I would have to laugh, throw my hands up at times and sometime get angry. But that was HIS job. And for any liberal leaning, self important who believes that other opinion don’t matter and who condemns a man who just announced he has stage four cancer are despicable and clearly doesn’t understand what successful radio is all about. Most of us understand that there are ridiculous people on air but that is why there is a dial on the right side of your car radio. You can refuse to listen. But amazingly, a healthy percentage of listeners hated Rush. I’m saddened for the direction this great industry is apparently taking and after reading these comments am somewhat ashamed. I love this industry and admire all the amazing and great air talents that have entertained listeners for almost a century and all the great local air talents who didn’t make it big but where just as talented in their own way. I believe that this industry is still great and is truly the greatest way to reach the emotions of listeners and sway their opinions. And I wish Rush Limbaugh a speedy recovery and a heartfelt thank you for being a great Radio personality.

    • So Chris, you’re saying that anything is ok, for the money, right?
      There is hard evidence, from statements Limbaugh actually made, of his overt racism and his contempt for minorities. …And you said that after reading comments like this, you are ashamed. Well yeah, if you actually are standing up for an avowed racist and mysoginist who helped divide this country with hate, you should be ashamed.

      • Bob, I appreciate your comment. But no, you clearly missed the point. Our business to increase ratings, that increases revenue and that pays our salaries and keeps our industry strong. There are public radio options and podcasting for those who want to take the moral high ground. I’m simply speaking about a successful Radio air personality, which regardless of your personal beliefs, was extremely successful. I hope you show can show the same decency and compassion for a cancer victim and human being as you can for those who you carry a torch for.

    • So being a racist and misogynist is ok because that is his job. You are as bad as him. I hope he suffers a long , slow, painful death. He hurt soooo many people!!!! I would kill him myself if I could!

    • Chris, take your own advice. Rush is going down after years of spewing hate. If you aren’t shocked that people don’t feel bad for the blowhard, well…YOU are the one who needs counseling. So seek some. Please. And keep your ignorant “advice” to yourself.

  11. Let me ask you one question
    Is your money that good?
    Will it buy your forgiveness?
    Do you think that it could?
    I hope you will find,
    When your death takes its toll,
    All the money you made,
    Will never buy back your soul.

    Bob Dylan-1963.

    America has certainly not evolved much since Dylan wrote those words. We still have the “Masters of War” like Limbaugh and Trump with lame excuses for lack of service such as bone spurs. Had the public airwaves still had the Fairness Doctrine, there would be a second mic to counterbalance the Limbaugh lies these past three-plus decades.

  12. A contemptible person who contracts a life-ending disease should be pitied, but not excused. That person is still contemptible. His or her actions must be called out for what they are: despicable.

    Trump is too big a fool to have any original thoughts, so he just parrots his cruel, crude gods, Limbaugh and Hannity.

  13. Bob, your statements are not true. You say he is racist and apparently sexist.
    “He has disparaged minorities and women numerous times on the air”.
    That would only make him racist or sexist if he had never, ever disparaged other wealthy white men. We know he did, so for you to call him “a racist pure and simple” proves that you believe people cannot speak out against anyone unless they are speaking out against someone of the same race and gender. Enjoy losing the next election.

    • A ridiculous crazy eights answer.

      Still feeling no pity. He spewed hate and now it has attacked his body in the form of cancer.

      Sounds like poetic justice to me. He may be someone *you* admire but the majority of the world sees him for exactly what he is: a hateful blowhard.

  14. Simply put the enlightened especially when sanctioned by government programs and positions cannot tolerate anyone who does not espouse their view publicly and ALL such people are labeled as ignorant, fill in the blank-phobic, hateful and etc for merely having a thought that is out of sync with their view of a perfect world. Dissent is considered not only hateful but dangerous. Rush just found the absurdity of such a position to be funny and pointed it out. When Rush was declared to be sure to fade away after he no longer had Bill Clinton to pick on he correctly pointed out “You mean you think with millions of government employees there will never be another one who does something stupid for me to talk about?” As the last decades have shown he was correct and there is plenty of silly ideas to make fun of. Live long and prosper Rush!

  15. Nobody wishes cancer on anyone, but since you’ve brought it up, at least be honest with yourselves. *Nothing* in our industry has “brought out the ugly in people” like Rush. But y’all just pretend that’s not the case & keep cashing those checks…

  16. Unfortunately hate begets hate. If you’re cruel in this life you will get cruelty in return. It’s how it works. Also, Trump’s hate brings out the worst in people. It’s pretty simple, if you’re an ahole in this world, most people won’t wish you well. It’s not hard to understand. Morals, class and dignity go a long way in this world. Rush Limbaugh mocking Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease is cruel and evil in my book. I believe in Karma.

  17. When a human being dies. Any human being. To dance on their grave says an enormous amount about you, the dancer. And that message is all bad. People have kids, people have family, people have loved ones. No one should be subjected to this stuff when they’re about to die or catch a diagnosis like this.

    You may not like him but millions do. Neither of side of those reasons is good enough to slight someone at a moment like this.

  18. This isn’t about “hating Rush”, it’s about hating hate. The love of money IS the root of all evil, and because some men love money MORE than decency, they love Rush. When you promote the kind of vitriol that Limbaugh does, you choose to promote hate. That’s the bottom line. It’s not about being jealous of his success, it’s about having morals and decency. Just because it can be said, doesn’t mean it should be broadcasted.

    • Sammie…You are welcome to your opinion, of course. Wishing death upon someone, whoever that someone is, for his political views goes over the line. Because you say Rush’s views are hate doesn’t make it true.

      • Do we not hate fascists and genocidal maniacs for their political views? Some of the pure racism and hatred that Rush espoused, the conspiracy theories and outright damaging lies he peddled qualifies him to be hated to that degree.

        • I do hate intolerant fascists. Such as weenies like Nerdelbaum Frink who sit in mommy’s basement while spewing hate about anyone who doesn’t agree with their own (radical left) political ideology.

          People like you and your reaction to this man’s struggle absolutely disgust me. You are pigs.

          • Awww, is the little snowflake upset? Do you want to cry? You’re dumb enough you think I’m part of the left. That’s how immensely moronic and weak you are.

      • Where in my statement did I wish death on someone? Please point out the words “I wish death on someone” in my statement.

      • Dear Radio Ink,

        Why was my lengthy and factually supported response to you not published. You say in the article “We have not deleted or edited any [comments].” But apparently you head some off at the pass. What kind of journalism is that? I want everyone to know that I put forward a reasoned case against Limbaugh forward that not wish death upon him. I didn’t cuss anyone out, and I was objective and supported everything I said with sources. And Radio Ink has not published it. The editor hasn’t even given their name. Which makes it a promotional pamphlet, not a work of journalism. Thin-skinned and propagandistic. That’s not journalism and it doesn’t help radio.

        Warren Kastigan

        • Warren…We do not delete comments (I think most people can see that by this string). I’ll look through the unpublished comments to see if I can find anything. Sometimes comments get stopped for approval by the system. I’ll keep you posted.

        • Warren, I can attest that Radio Ink does NOT delete any comments (unless they are vulgar, i’m guessing). Props to Ed and Eric and the entire Radio Ink team!!– They allow a free flow exchange of comments and viewpoints in here, all the time. I know that, because I’ve commented on here many times, often not agreeing with them.
          So props to Radio Ink. …And it would be nice that as a country, we could get back to civility and respecting others, and their viewpoints. Even if we don’t agree.
          Civility. … Let’s all try practicing it a little, and maybe the world will be a little better place.

    • You might want to “listen” to his show, rather than simply carry a company/party line. Rush has been crystal clear on many subjects, and if he is mistaken – OMG, he admits it! Live!
      His program has been a window to our world for decades (we first cleared his program in Mpls back in the 80’s) and his transparency on issues has been refreshing ever since. He is also a great fundraiser for charity…name another personality other than the late Don Imus, who did any of that.
      Simply hating someone because of what you “think” they are, is really small minded. Too bad, because in many ways, Rush is America.

      • You have a demented view of the garbage he would spew on his show. I did listen to it. The amount of racist nonsense and outright anti-scientific garbage that would regularly come from his show, along with espousing conspiracy theories and ideologies that are objectively harmful… You’re the one who actually needs to listen, and pay attention, to what he says on his show, because you clearly don’t.

    • Sammie Jorrdan- I am not a Rush fan, but to say he is popular because “men love money more than decency is absurd. Limbaugh’s audience has a large contingent of working class listeners who work hard just to get by. Whatever made you think that his audience is all rich people is so off the mark.

  19. Eric, you’re right, of course. There will never be another Paul Harvey and there will never be another Rush Lumbaugh, both quintessentially American success stories. Rush has climbed the ladder of success by his own efforts and risk-taking, honorably. You know this to be true, if others in our industry refuse to acknowledge it. His detractors disagree with his positions, dislike his personality, and resent his success, but he has generally been polite to callers who disagree with him (unlike many hosts today). He’s never struck me as a racist in the true sense of the term, though he has often (as he puts it) illustrated absurdity by using absurdity. His criticisms of, for example, “The Reverand uh Jackson” (imitating William F. Buckley) or Al Sharpton, have been in response to their politics, not their race. His respect and admiration of men like Justice Clarence Thomas, economists Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams, and his loyalty to his employees, including his longtime call screener, James Golden, should put that accusation to rest. Those who really know him (like William O’Shaughnessy) know this to be true. Your third paragraph reminded me of what it was like during the first half-dozen years following his national syndication. Ours was the first station in the Pacific Northwest and one of the first 100 in the country to carry him, and our audience embraced him wholeheartedly. There were some who didn’t like him and rather than simply changing channels, thought they should act to prevent others from being able to enjoy him. But we never succumbed to such childish actions. Personally, I’ll be among the millions praying for Rush, for grace in his behalf. I wish him well.

  20. As to Paul Harvey’s replacement, a long time story circulating around DC in the early 90’s was that ABC had hired a well-known radio news guy from DC and sent him to NYC to do news on WPLJ to try and hold onto him should Paul Harvey retire. 3 years later this news guy came back to Washington. He remained on the DC airwaves until cancer claimed him in 2005. Paul Harvey was still on the air at that point. So ABC did have a plan. It’s just Paul Harvey outlived a potential successor. There is always a plan B unless you are working in radio today. Some people will never be successfully replaced in some markets just because they know their audiences better than the bean counters and CEO’s who run these operations (see Limbaugh, Imus, Stern, and a host of others)

  21. Limbaugh is being eulogized for the same reasons that Jerry Falwell was mourned.
    Both were fools of the first degree, but both were taking advantage of a significant audience of boors and rubes.
    These knowing charlatans feasted on the fears and loathings of an all too easily stampeded group of the credulous and the gullible.
    Somebody else will take up the slack and continue to cash in – to the detriment of the population.

  22. First, let’s get one thing straight, Limbaugh was not a talk show host, he was an opinionated propaganda machine. The only calls that he took were from Limbaugh worshipers that called to hear their voices on the radio and receive affirmation from their king, or god, or whatever else they wanted to call him.

    My father, Robert H. Ruark, had the number-one talk show on the west coast of Florida from 1964 to 1969. His nighttime ratings beat out nationally syndicated Joe Pine (who was obnoxious and opinionated) and Johnny Carson. However, if you were a listener of Ruark’s Open Mike show, you would not have known if he was a Republican or Democrat; left- or right-wing; Christian, Jew, or atheist; or any other of his personal opinions or preferences, with the exception that he did not tolerate hate speech or bigotry. Ruark constantly read magazines, newspapers, books, and monitored each of the three broadcast network news programs. He was so well versed on the topics of the day that he could play Devils Advocate to both sides of any topic and was an expert at both listening and getting callers to talk. That was what talk shows were and should be today. However, there is not a single talk radio show on the airwaves today that is designed to have an open conversation for people with differing opinions.

    Mr. Hurst hit the nail on the head when he described Limbaugh. As a cancer survivor myself, I don’t wish that illness, or any illness on anyone and it is sad for both Limbaugh and his family. However, the airwaves and the world will be a lot better off without that type of programming. And, while there are very few liberal radio shows, I feel the same about them as well. Bring back civil discourse and conversations.

  23. Why is this guy being eulogized? He is a lowlife racist and misogynist, among other things. And (Yes, he has given money to causes. No big sacrifice for a guy with so much dirty money. “The benevolent dictator.” (He gets good publicity out of it all — I’d hardly call him an anonymous philanthropist.)

    But what about all the people he has harmed? All the bile he has spat out over the airwaves in a bid to win ratings and stir up trouble and hate? What about his unflagging support for a mentally ill, racist, dimwit, man-child president? Radio Ink should tell the full story of Limbaugh if it wants to write about him. Not just that he’s a radio “legend” and should be the top of their talent list. (And yes, I realize the entire piece was not about Limbaugh, but the balance was totally missing and the tone one of awe and unqualified respect.) Pretty sad list if that’s the case! He’s good at being a shock jock. That’s it. That’s the low measure of a broadcaster we’ve come to. Do you think the truly great broadcasters — people of intelligence, integrity, and unblemished records — would admire Limbaugh? As far as the radio industry and Radio Ink are concerned, his ratings for being cruel and disdainful and hateful give him a pass. And this is a shock jock who actually believes all he says.

    But he’s a coward. Remember his brief career as a TV show host where he had a live audience that he couldn’t simply switch off? People challenged him face to face and he went to water. WHY IS THIS MAN WORTH PRAISING? Okay, he has cancer. So do countless people who’ve worked selflessly, without acclaim or financial reward, to actually help others. To be humanitarian. Limbaugh is no humanitarian. I wouldn’t wish him to suffer from his disease, even though he has made others suffer. And I feel for his family. But as a public figure he is scum. Check out these links — you can’t dispute facts:

    It’s because of hateful people like Limbaugh and Trump that America is going down the tubes and the world is laughing at us. But radio loves its conservative mouthpieces who care zero about adhering to truth and proof. These are the moneymakers, so they’re all okay. Well, they’re digging the hole that we’re all in. Hate is hate is hate.

    This is simply a dishonest piece. Dishonest, at the very least, by omission.

  24. Eric gets irritated with 2 minutes of ads per hour. He probably would get irritated with 1 minute an hour. This is why programmers can’t own or run stations

  25. He may be a good and generous guy – off the air – but his public persona is a mean and bigoted ultra-conservative who foments hatred against anyone who isn’t lily-white. Anyone who says these things is a divisive force who is encouraging hatred:

    “I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing.”

    “You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray [the confessed assassin of Martin Luther King]. We miss you, James. Godspeed.”

    “Obama is an angry black guy”

    “The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.”

    His hatred of blacks, especially Barrack Obama is well known. He never tried to hide it, in fact, he revelled in it. He became the voice of the bigot. I’m not rooting for him. The sooner he is off the air the cleaner the airwaves will be.

    • So William, you are ok with Rush being a racist? As others point out here, Limbaugh has been very open about his contempt for blacks. Actually, Limbaugh has shown contempt for all minorities.
      I am a political moderate, conservative in my views about government’s role in our lives, and even I find Limbaugh to be a despicable facsimile of a person. He has spread hate, bigotry, divisiveness, and false information throughout this country.
      Maybe lung cancer is God’s way of shutting Limbaugh down.
      I too, am disappointed that Eric Rhoads idolizes Rush. That is Eric’s right, but anyone who is ok with Rush, sadly is complicit in being ok with completely disrespecting both minorities and women, as Rush does. Not cool.
      The proof? Look at all the advertisers that pulled out of his show through the years.
      Even Bob Pittman obviously loves Rush, based on his statement in Radio Ink. That is particularly ironic, in that Pittman is the architect of firing live personalities and going with as much voice-tracking as he can. And for Pittman to adore an extreme right-wing racist who has a contempt for all things that are not white and male and rich, is alarming at the least.

      • Rush haters can all come out today in their class-less, hateful, petty, overbearing way. They hate Rush’s success and huge following. They are unable to recognize the opinions of others and wish to extinguish them once and for all. They will not. Others will follow Rush

        • Have you actually read the comments? We are not “haters.” Just the opposite in fact. We love all Americans, regardless of their color or economic background. Do you??
          And we believe America should be the land of the free, with respect and dignity for all.
          Just because someone does not agree with your darwinistic extreme right wing beliefs, does not make them a hater.

        • Having a difference of opinion and the ability to think for yourself apparently gets you labeled as racist, misogynist, etc.

          • You are only labeled a racist or misogynist if you are one. Not for difference of opinions.
            Limbaugh is a racist, pure and simple.
            He has disparaged minorities and women numerous times, on the air.
            If you’re ok with that, then you share his views and yes that makes you a racist.


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