RUSH: Marie in Lubbock, Texas. Hi, Marie, I’m glad you called. You’re first today.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. It’s a pleasure to talk to you.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: I began listening to you back in the days of Sister Souljah and have listened to you quite frequently up until a few months after September 11th, you had a fellow call in, and he had raised issue of illegal immigration with you, and I was very disappointed in your reply because you dismissed him rather cavalierly, I thought. About the only comment you made back was you said it’s our dirty little secret, and you ended the conversation for the most part. So since then, since that time I just did not listen to you much. I was so disappointed in that — in that treatment of that caller, until recently when this illegal immigration issue had become such a hot issue now, and I was curious, I wanted to tune in to your show and see how you were treating the issue, and I was flabbergasted. You were claiming that you were the main force in beating down this amnesty bill, and I didn’t know if you were being sarcastic.
RUSH: That’s right. I’m leading the fight against the amnesty bill. There’s no question. Everybody knows that.
CALLER: Well, do you — I know you receive hundreds and thousands of calls, but do you happen to recall —
RUSH: I don’t.
CALLER: — that man that called?
RUSH: I don’t. I was just going to ask you, what was the context of our dirty little secret comment that I made?
RUSH: Could I ask, ‘What is your real complaint?’ We’re dancing around this. It’s time to cut to the chase.
RUSH: What is your real problem here?
CALLER: Well, my problem is with the way… You had a few callers besides that man that would call in and try to raise the issue with you with illegal immigration and what a crisis it is in this country, and you were always dismissive of their concerns, and now…
RUSH: You know (sigh). I am suspicious of this. I get a call like yours occasionally or an e-mail like yours occasionally now and then from people who say, ‘Well, you’re late arrival to this. You don’t care about this,’ and I’m not a late arrival. It’s just I didn’t become a one-note samba on this five or six years ago. I have a different philosophy of doing this radio program, and I’ve tried to share it with people countless times. I don’t lead ’causes.’ I’m joking about being a leader of this movement. I don’t view myself as a cause-oriented host, and I never want to be. That’s not what I do. That is not the business I’m in. I’m not going to lead people on causes. I’m going to inform them; I’m going to talk about what I care about. When the illegal immigration stuff was going on after 9/11, for crying out loud, what was going on after 9/11 that was more important than the aftermath of that? Now, there’s all kinds of philosophies out there in terms of other radio hosts who want to get credit for leading this and leading that movement because they want to get noticed and they want some sort of recognition for what they do.
This is not what I’m about. I’m about attracting the largest audience I can and holding it for as long as I can so that I can charge advertisers confiscatory rates. At the same time, I am honest and passionate about the things I genuinely care about that day. I do not sit around and say, ‘You know, I think with this immigration stuff…’ When it becomes hot news, that’s when I talk about it. If I had spent every day from 9/11 forward talking about immigration, this audience would be sick and tired and hearing about it, and would have tuned out. You have to have the timing right, and I have awesome instincts when it comes to timing and talking about these issues. You are calling me on a day to complain about something that’s irrelevant. Even if you thought I was late, I’m still here, and I’ve been talking about it a lot. Yet you call and are upset with me… I suspect that there are other talk show hosts out there who want the credit that you also listen to, and you’re calling here to try to knock me down because they may be suggesting that you do that. Well, the bottom line is, Trent Lott has got up and said talk radio is running the country. Well, there can only be one person he’s talking about — and if you’re listening to anybody other than me, it ain’t them.