RUSH: Before we get into the news of the day, let me take a stab at explaining what happened on Friday since I'm the one that did everything and I'm the one that was involved, and so I know what happened. The sum total of all of this is the case is over, and the operative words that everybody needs to understand here are "not guilty." Not guilty. On Friday I went over to the Palm Beach County Jail in the first step of a process to end this two-year, seven-month investigation of me by the Palm Beach State Attorney's Office. It is now officially at an end. Now, I have maintained from the start of this, folks, that there was no doctor shopping.
I continue to hold this position formally. We have filed with the court a plea of not guilty to a single charge of doctor shopping that the state attorney's office has filed. Additionally, my attorneys and the state attorney's office have jointly filed an agreement with the court under which I will continue treatment for the next 18 months with the same doctor that I have been seeing since I came out of the rehabilitation center in November of 2003 for dependence on prescription pain medication. Now, that charge, the single charge of doctor shopping, will be held in abeyance until that 18 months of treatment has been completed, at which point the charges filed by the state attorney's office will be dismissed, and I'll tell you why I agreed to do this.
From my point of view, the end result will be as if I had gone to court and won, but the matter is concluded much sooner, and at much less expense for both me and for the public. I have spent thousands of hours and millions of dollars with lawyers over the past 2.7 months fighting this at every stage. We finally got a favorable ruling from the last judge to hear a ruling, rule on a motion in this case, in which he basically told the government that, "Well, you can talk to Mr. Limbaugh's doctors but you can't ask them anything that'll help you unless he waves his privacy privilege, and I don't think Mr. Limbaugh is going to do that."
So the matter has been put to bed. I'm thrilled that it's behind me. It's my understanding the state attorney is also pleased and thinks that this is the correct outcome based on the facts in the case, and that's fine with me. The case is closed. Now, let me address what happened on Friday afternoon. By the way, I've got the numbers from the Cure-A-Thon. We set a record. Over $1.7 million raised for leukemia and lymphoma on Friday. We knew we were setting records and we were, as I say, apprehensive about it because gas prices being up and all the Drive-By Media news about the terrible economy, all the doom and gloom that's out there every day.
We love you people. You've always been there. You have triumphed yet again. The depth of loyalty and support that you have shown me and this program over the almost 18 years that we've been doing it continues to stun me. You're just the best, and I don't know how to thank you appropriately, other than perhaps offering you each $100 rebates for your gasoline. (More on that, too, as the program unfolds today.) So after the program was over at three o'clock, my attorney, Mr. Black, met me here. We climbed into a car. We went over to the Palm Beach County Jail where I was booked on this single charge, filed a not guilty plea, went in there and smiled for the mug shot. The mug shot got posted all over television Friday night.
Many people were referring to it as a "publicity photo," and I must say, folks, it is one of the nicest photos of me that's ever been taken. We're going to put it in the publicity profile list that we keep. But there was one thing that happened Friday afternoon. We scurried into fast action, starting at about six o'clock Friday. I was over there for about an hour, got back to the office here around 5:15 or 5:30, turned on the news, and there's this news: "Rush Limbaugh Arrested on Drug Fraud!" I said, "Where in the world did this come from?" Because, you know, the word "arrested," this is semantics. When you hear the word "arrested," you think cops show up with a paddy wagon with shackles and leg irons and handcuffs and take me, resisting, out the door; file me into jail and so forth.
None of that happened.
This was all arranged in advance. It was part of the deal. I walked over voluntarily. I was voluntarily processed, is what this is. Yes, there was a warrant. It's called a "capeas warrant" to keep the warrant out of the system all day so that the media wouldn't find out about it. We got in and out of there without a media circus taking place. I come back and find that I've been "arrested," and I got a note from Vince Flynn, the noted thriller author today. He said, "You know, I was scared to death! I was down in Ft. Lauderdale over the weekend and I was making a speech, and I'm sitting at the bar, and some guy's got his BlackBerry, and he's reading the story, 'Rush Limbaugh Arrested for Prescription Drug Fraud,' and I said to him, 'Oh, no! Is this new?' He said, 'Yeah. CNN says they just arrested him trying to illegally buy prescription drugs,'" and Vince writes, "I was totally crushed. I said when I heard it was CNN, though, I just couldn't believe it."
I found that I lot of people thought that that was the result, that this was something brand-new rather than the conclusion of a two-year, seven-month ordeal. There was no arrest; there was no handcuffs. There was no perp walk; there was no charge. I have not relapsed. I am as healthy and happy as I have ever been, ladies and gentlemen. A lot of that is due to you and your continuing loyalty here. You've stuck. We haven't lost one radio station. We haven't lost one advertiser. We have not lost one business associate through all of this, and we haven't lost any audience. We've gained audience, and, you know, I'm in awe of it. It makes me feel humble when this happens, and so grateful that I can't describe it to you. Now, there's a (interruption). What?
Mr. Snerdley interjects: most important, we haven't lost me. No, folks, nothing's changed. I'm not leaving here until every American agrees with me. But, you know, the radio staff stood by. Everybody did. It's been an amazing 2.7 years. I've been unable to talk about the experiences that led to all this because the case was ongoing, and theoretically anything I said could have been used against me. So I haven't been able to be helpful to other people who have gone through what I have gone through, and I'm looking forward to being able to do that now, to use myself as a resource to help other people who have encountered the same type of addiction.
There are many addictions. They all stem from pretty similar things regardless, and I've learned more about myself in the past three years than I knew in the previous 52. So it's just been a total upper. In fact, Newsweek has a story, and it's amazing. It's straightforward and it's fair. If you haven't seen the Newsweek story, we've linked to it at RushLimbaugh.com. I don't know where they got them, but they got some details, for example, that I have not been able to discuss, and it's put forth in a very honest and straightforward fashion. In fact, I also have to thank Newsweek for this.
They continue to refer to me as somebody who lives in a multiple-million-dollar mansion that doesn't go out much, and I want to thank them for preserving that for me, because I have successfully, ladies and gentlemen, cultivated an image of a boring hermit, which allows me to party under the radar, and of course (laughing) Newsweek has again portrayed that image of me, which is extremely helpful. In fact, I'm going to be the centerfold next month -- I just made the deal -- in Hermit Weekly.(laughing) It's funny, but it's all ended up tremendously, folks. It's a victory, and the whole thing is over. The amount of support that I have received throughout all of this from friends and family and the staff here is something that I will never forget.
I will always be appreciative of it, and it's been quite a learning experience in so many ways, which I will now be a little bit more able and free to discuss, since the case is over. It is essentially closed. Again, there was no "arrest" on Friday. We worked very hard on Friday night turning it around. I found out that was originally from the first AP story with this, Limbaugh arrested on drug-fraud charges, or some such thing. We don't know where that came from; it doesn't matter, but we were finally able to turn it around in later stories, but what happens in something like this, the first wave of news is what most people hear and what they remember. So I've been looking forward to today to put this whole "arrest" business in perspective and to assure you there's nothing new. In fact, this case is finally over.
RUSH: An AP story just cleared the wire, because, as I say, we just today filed the agreement myself, my attorneys, and the state attorney's office called a pretrial intervention or pretrial diversion agreement. It sets out the terms of the 18 months. It is not "probation." There is no reporting to anyone. It's nothing like that. It just requires that, you know, I don't break the law and this sort of thing. So the deal is pretty clear. It says what it says, and the AP's lead is: "Rush Limbaugh must submit to random drug tests under an agreement filed Monday that will dismiss a prescription fraud charge against the conservative commentator after 18 months if he complies with the terms."
Of all the things in the agreement, that is what the AP thinks is the news in this. Well, I have news for you. I have been undergoing random drug testing for two years and seven months. I never know when they're going to happen. I have not failed one yet. Folks, I haven't even craved a pain pill since I got out of rehab. I've not even had a dream about one. It's long ago. It's not even relevant. It doesn't even come up in my thinking or in my mind. The random drug testing is, I gather this is what -- because AP leads with this -- the rest of the news is going to consider that this is the News of the Day. So I just wanted to let you know what the real news of the day is, because later in the AP story, this is the key: "The agreement did not call for Limbaugh to admit guilt to the charge that he doctor shopped in 2003."
I pleaded not guilty on Friday. This agreement does not require that I admit anything, and so in the agreement I have not admitted guilt, and that's the news: Not guilty. Plea of not guilty. No admission of guilt. Let me just say this, folks. All of you lawyers out there and those of you that follow these kinds of things, let me ask you a question: Do you think that if there was any real evidence, we would have reached a settlement? After all of this, after all the leaks -- they said they had ten counts of felony doctor shopping; they leaked that I was involved in a drug ring, and involved in money laundering. In fact, Brian Ross, that was the lead story one night on the ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings back, I think, in November of 2003. I've maintained all along there isn't any doctor shopping as has my lawyer, and if there was any evidence of it I don't know that we would have been able to settle this as we have.