RUSH: As you all know, of those who regularly listen to this program, I am not a big fan of television. I’ve had my own TV show. I know that television has a lot of impact. However, this program has a larger audience than most, if not all. But most cable news programs, maybe not combined network day-to-day, I mean, if you take their 24 hours and add ’em up, but, anyway, I don’t know what it is, the whole thing to me, it’s just, it is not natural.
You know, I think I finally figured out what it is. I’m too self-conscious. I’m too famous. You know what the primary ingredient, the primary ingredient, I’m convinced now having done this too, the primary ingredient to be a successful or even great actor, you have to be absolutely zero self-conscious. You cannot be self-conscious at all, and if anybody is self-conscious to one degree or another, they’re going to do badly on television or in front of cameras. You know, the whole thing about cameras change the way things would be if the camera wasn’t there.
But, anyway, I got a call, an e-mail this week from Chris Wallace and his staff at Fox News Sunday. They had heard a couple things discussed on this program about the government shutdown, some things I’d said, and they asked me if I would be the guest on Fox News Sunday. My initial reaction, like every request I get, is to say “no” and move on. How many of these a week, H.R., do we turn down? There must be three or four requests from all the different networks. The standard operating procedure is to say “no.”
But, for some reason, I didn’t say “no.” I paused and I thought about it for a day and I decided to do it. So I’m gonna be the lead guest. And to give you an idea of how rare me being on TV is, listen to the first four sound bites that we have in the audio sound bite roster. Here’s the first on Channel 5 New York this morning.
WALLACE: WeÂ’re going to have fascinating person to talk about all of this: Rush Limbaugh. Exclusive guest, rare TV appearance. WeÂ’re going to talk to him about this. WeÂ’re going to talk about the possibility of a government shutdown as Republicans figure how theyÂ’re going to oppose the president on the executive action on immigration. But IÂ’m sure weÂ’re going to talk a lot about this question of the police. And, you know, you can argue whether Rush is right or wrong, he talks about the race industry. Although on the other hand Rush also said that he was very troubled by what he had seen in the video in the Eric Garner case. I don’t see how anybody can watch that video and not think that there was an unnecessary escalation of force by the police.
RUSH: And then mere moments later on Fox Washington.
WALLACE: We’re going to be talking about it with a very interesting observer, Rush Limbaugh, who is going to have one of his rare TV appearances exclusively here on Fox News Sunday this week and we’re going to talk to him. He’s one of the hardliners who says no way that they should fund, you know, 99% of the government, everything except DHS, for the whole year. They have the power of the purse and they should use it.
RUSH: And later on Fox Philadelphia.
WALLACE: You can agree with him or disagree, but I canÂ’t think of anybody more interesting to talk to than Rush Limbaugh, live exclusive, Sunday morning.
RUSH: And Fox & Friends on the Fox News Channel this morning after all that.
WALLACE: No, I’d love to go to Palm Beach, but thank you for offering. If I could take your private jet, Steve, I’d love to do it. We’re gonna do it live. He’s gonna be in his EIB studios live on Sunday morning and we’ll be up here.
RUSH: So I’m gonna do it, Fox News Sunday, lead guest at 9am Eastern time on the Fox News Channel. I mention all this because I haven’t done a Sunday show since, my gosh, I think since Tim Russert. The last time I did a Fox — oh! The last time I did a Sunday show was Chris Wallace, and it was over at The Breakers. I remember this now. Oh, this is gonna be good. It’s six! It’s six years because I remember now, we’re sitting there and we’re talking about the upcoming Obama Regime, and I predicted to him what was gonna happen.
I said, “Chris, the thing that scares me is I think it’s all on purpose. I think it’s all by design.” He was very polite. He didn’t think I was right about that. He was incredulous. He was moderately incredulous. He was moderately incredulous. It was kind of, “Now, Rush, you’re just exaggerating.”
I said, “No, I’m not. That’s what saddens me. I think it’s all on purpose. I think it’s all by design,” and now we’re six years later.
RUSH: Snerdley said that Chris Wallace should just take the opening monologue of this program and rerun it on Sunday morning and then open it up for discussion. I can see that.
RUSH: This is Laurie in Houston. Hi, Laurie. I’m glad you called. You’re up first today on Open Line Friday. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush.
CALLER: It’s so, so good to talk to you.
RUSH: Thank you. Thank you very much.
CALLER: I’ve always thought it was so strange when people called saying that they’re nervous. You’ve been in my house almost every day for 20-something years. You’re an old friend. How could I be nervous?
RUSH: Well, that’s a good point. It’s a good point. You know what it is? The nervousness derives from self-consciousness people have. Instead of just losing themselves and getting outside themselves, they start thinking, “Okay, how am I gonna sound? Does my voice sound good?” Once you start thinking about yourself, then you’re not who you are.
CALLER: That’s true. That’s true. Well, I had just a little bit different take on what you said about television at the opening of your show. I have long thought that people who are comfortable in their own skin and confident in themselves find it uncomfortable to try to play someone else, and people who are uncomfortable in their skin love an opportunity to play someone else.
RUSH: Well, now, you’re getting into the psychology of it, and you can’t be disagreed with. On the psychological side of it, you’re exactly right. But acting, for example, acting is a profession. I know some people say that actors are really good at playing other people ’cause they don’t like themselves. They’re unhappy with themselves; they love to pretend to be other people.
I don’t know. That could be true. But there’s also something that you have to be aware of. You can spot an amateur actor. You can just spot one, as opposed to somebody who’s a professional. The key to it is — and this is applicable to people who appear nervous on TV. I’m not trying to simplify it, but it is self-consciousness. You just have to be able to totally get outside yourself. You can’t worry about how you sound, how you look, anything of the kind. You can’t worry about what people are gonna think. If any of that’s in your head, you’re gonna look nervous, gonna be distracted, and it’s not gonna go well.
People that can do that are the best.
I gotta take a break. Laurie, thanks. I appreciate your call. You’re right, as far as it goes.
RUSH: Now, let me clear something up, ’cause I checked the e-mail. It’s not a big deal, but I just want to get this straightened out. I was one hour ago opening the program explaining I’m gonna be on Fox News Sunday as the first guest at the top of the show, 9am Eastern is when it broadcasts live on Fox, not the Fox News Channel, this the Fox Broadcast Network. Anyway, I was talking about how I’m not a big fan of television, I don’t do it much, and the reason why is to me it never seems normal. I don’t know why that is. I know I’m an odd boll when it comes to this.
Most people can’t wait to get on TV. To me it’s just hurry up and wait. It’s lighting, it’s makeup, meetings, it’s pre-meetings, greenroom, all that. So, anyway, I’ve gotten myself in a very, very enviable position in life. I actually wish everybody could experience this. Outside of marriage, I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. And there aren’t too many people that can — (interruption) Well, no husband has that kind of freedom, but I mean everywhere else. I don’t have to do things I don’t want to do anymore in order to be successful or what have you. I’ve gotten there.
So when I decide to do TV, it really is just an instinct reaction. Normal reaction, again, turn it down, nope, not interested, sorry. And sometimes I say, “Wait a minute.” And that’s what one of these is. But I mentioned in discussing this an hour ago that I’m too self-conscious, and people are e-mailing, “What do you mean? There’s all kinds of self-conscious people on TV, ego freaks.” I don’t mean self-conscious in the fact that they don’t think of themselves. I’m talking about — for example, me, and I’ve done sitcoms, what I mean by self-conscious, I spend so much time trying to remember my lines that I couldn’t play anybody other than me.
Memorizing lines just paralyzes me and I spend all of my conscious moments thinking about the lines rather than becoming the person uttering the lines. That’s what I mean. I don’t mean that actors are not ego freaks. Everybody’s self-conscious, but at the moment that you’re engaged, whether you’re on TV or acting in a television show, you have to be able to get outside yourself. And television, for me, has just been a very difficult job. I don’t mind admitting it. It’s been very, very difficult for me. I admire people who can do it.
I don’t have that problem, obviously, on radio. I don’t even think about it. To me, this is au natural. But I don’t want anybody thinking that I believe that all these movie and TV people don’t have egos. That’s not what I was trying to say, so I appreciate the opportunity here to clarify it.