RUSH: Here is Michael in Westfield, New York, as we head back to phones. And, Michael, welcome back. This is a young college student who did an on-air report of me. He asked questions for a report that he wrote on me on the air last year, and I guess you’re calling to tell us what happened. Right?
CALLER: Well, yeah. It’s great to talk to you again, and before I get to my Open Line Friday question, I just wanted to tell you that our last two conversations helped me to get the ball rolling within the world of broadcasting. After you and I spoke last year a couple times, I had these great, long transcripts, and a long story short, I took them to an interview for a radio internship, and it was a paid internship, and those are rare, and so the transcripts really helped to impress the people who interviewed me and ultimately land me the job.
RUSH: Well, congratulations. Way to go! Way to be!
CALLER: Yeah! Yeah, your name opens doors.
RUSH: Closes them, too, so — (laughing)
RUSH: Make sure you’re going in the right one.
CALLER: Yeah. And so my Open Line Friday question, you’ve often mentioned your numerous firings, about seven or so, I think. And considering your talent, if you faced those difficulties, anyone in broadcasting could, and so I’ll be graduating and heading into that venue this May. I just wanted to know, what kept you going during the down times, and what did you tell yourself in the early days before success in Sacramento?
RUSH: Well, I never believed the people who told me I didn’t have the talent to succeed. I thought they were all wrong. I can’t tell you why. I just always, in quotes, “knew,” which I guess means I thought, felt, I just thought I was gonna hit it. I thought I was gonna make it. And not in spite, it wasn’t that I was gonna show them. That was never my motivation. I never wanted to succeed in order to show those people who fired me they were wrong. I always thought that was childish motivation.
I mean, if you’re asking me what kept me going, it’s, A, I loved it, and I tried quitting it. I got out of it for five years and worked for the Kansas City Royals, and it just wasn’t me. Being confined in a corporate structure just didn’t work with me, so I said, “I better go back to what I love ’cause that’s the best route for me to be happy. If I can just do what I love doing.”
My mother, by the way, was the second factor. She didn’t say “you’re special,” but she thought I was gonna make it, too. She thought I was gonna be a success at this, and it was because of a comedy bit she heard me participating in with Lily Tomlin in Pittsburgh. She said, “You don’t know how few people can do that.” She thought that if I got the right breaks, it would work out. And she was always pushing me. She never, nobody in my family ever tried to talk me out of it or tell me I was making a mistake. I wasn’t surrounded by a bunch of pessimism.
RUSH: And that’s key, too. If you find yourselves surrounded by pessimists, get away from ’em.
RUSH: ‘Cause most people are.
CALLER: Yeah, I have a great mother, too, and so I know what you mean about that. I wanted to say, too, it’s been a joy talking to you while you conduct broadcast excellence because it was you who inspired me to embark upon a career in broadcasting, and, you know, it’s meant a lot to me over the years. You come home, you know, you may be in a down mood, but you turn on the radio or listen to the podcast and your show’s been a blast over the years. I also wanted to thank you for turning me on to Thomas Sowell. That was really great, and I appreciate that a lot, too.
RUSH: Thomas Sowell opens your mind up to things you didn’t otherwise think of, particularly about economics, but not just that. Well, I’m glad. This is very gratifying. I’m happy to hear that you have availed yourself of same things I did, in a way. So congratulations. All the best to you.
CALLER: Thanks, and I can’t wait to get all those health problems from the success.
RUSH: (laughing) That’s the ticket. I can’t wait to get sick from success. You ought to send a letter to the New York Times. Say just that. I read your story on how pursuing success can make me suffer ill health, and I can’t wait to get sick.
RUSH: I’ll tell you about it. Michael, thanks very much. And all the best. Stay in touch, too.
CALLER: I will. Thank you so much, Rush.
RUSH: All right. You bet.