Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Greetings my friends. It’s great to have you here, and welcome to the Excellence in Broadcasting Network on the day that we… Well, celebrate, I guess, yeah. Not a big party here, but we’re just noting that this is (tomorrow, actually, but we’re not going to be here, so we’re doing it today) the 27th anniversary of the EIB Network. On Monday we’ll be starting our 28th year. Yessiree, Bob. We’re about to wrap up another exciting week of broadcast excellence.

The 27th anniversary of the EIB Network is tomorrow. It started on August 1st of 1988. You can say that today marks the conclusion, the completion of 27 years behind the Golden EIB Microphone, excluding weekends… Well, not all of them because I was conned into working a bunch of those three-day weekends that nobody told me about. But excluding weekends and holidays, that’s about 6775 days of Excellence in Broadcasting Network.

Mr. Snerdley, which sounds larger, 27 years or 6,775 days? (interruption) Me too. That 6,775 days doesn’t seem like much. Well, it doesn’t. But 27 years? The difference in a day and a year is so profound. Three hours a day. That’s 20,325 hours — 20,325 hours — and remarkably, in all of those 20,325 hours, I, your seasoned host, have not said one thing that resulted in me being forced out. Not one thing. Who else could do that in this day and age?

It’s 20,325 hours, with no more guests than you could count on two hands, and not very many callers at that, and I feel like I’m just getting started here. I mean, I feel like the mission is the same, just getting started. The objectives are the same. Looking back on it, it’s quite a learning experience. Anyway, it’s great to have you here, folks, as always. I’ve been thinking about this. We don’t have any special plans. Maybe a couple of sound bites from the past, but nothing special planned.

We are always looking forward here at the EIB Network, unless the staff on rare occasions gets overwhelmed with nostalgia and forces me to look back. You’re not going to be storming in here over the next hour with some sort of cake or anything? Not Monday either. I know not Monday because you’re not going to be here Monday. So you’re not doing anything special on Monday because that would be after the fact, so…

Monday is the beginning of a new year, I guess. (interruption) Okay, so they’re telegraphing to me there’s going to be some sort of interruption here on Monday, and that there isn’t going to be one today.


RUSH: But we’re not going to be working tomorrow. So we’ll probably make a mention of it again on Monday. But this is the end of the 27th year. On Monday we will be starting our 28th year. And it’s Open Line Friday. Great to have you. Telephone number is 800-282-2882. The e-mail address is elrushbo@eibnet.com.

I checked the e-mail during the break. You know, people ask this sometimes around these anniversaries, and the question comes in a variety of different ways. But the essence of it is: “Did you expect it to last this long, or did you expect to still be doing this?” And the honest answer to that is: Yes. But not because I predicted that it would last a certain number of years or any of that. Instead, it’s an attitudinal thing. When I moved to New York, the objective wasn’t just to market jump and go to New York and call that a success.

I went to New York to actually try to become the most-listened-to talk show in the country. Now, at the time I started there weren’t many. And the other ones of any prominence were overnight, during the night-time hours — national ones. They were at night and overnight. There were none that had succeeded in the daytime. And that was because radio was perceived — and still is largely — to be local, local, local.

Back in 1988, the idea of a syndicated national show that was not talking about local issues with local phone numbers was not considered something that would work. And a bunch of people had tried it, and it just hadn’t worked. So when I was kicking my effort off, a lot of people in the business wished me well but didn’t think it would work. I figured if it didn’t work, so what?

I’d just join a long line — or a relatively short line — of failures. But at least it would set me up for the next job. But it ended up working. But the objective was to become a legitimate number one, not a media buzz number one. Not somebody who it was said that I had the most listened-to show. I wanted to be able to document it with data, ratings and the sort. The other objective was to be in total control of how long I’d do it.

I had a life goal of trying to get to a point in my life where I didn’t have to do anything I didn’t want to do professionally, and I wanted to have enough control over what I was doing to be the one to determine how long it was going to last. And that’s really up to the audience, when you get right down to it. The host plays a role in that obviously. The host gets bored, loses passion, the audience will figure that out and will go away. So it’s really up to you people.

That’s why I have this never-ending debt and gratitude for all of you that I’ll probably never be able to repay, because you’re the ones who have sustained all this. But the point is I didn’t go to New York to get in the top five or get noticed or to get credit. I wanted to be a legitimate number one, and I wanted to stay there. I had no idea what it was going to entail. I mean, other than the work aspect. But I didn’t…

Some of the vagaries, I had no idea what was required. I learned a lot about… I mean, success was entirely different than what I thought it was, for example. It was nothing like what I thought it was. I learned that staying there is much harder than getting there. All these things. But there are some days I feel like August 1st 1988 was just yesterday, honestly, and some days it does seem like it was 26 or 27 years ago. But I haven’t lost the love or passion for what I do. So that’s the main thing about it.

I just continued to be thankful that I had the opportunity to come here and do this every day. It’s just so much fun, I can’t describe it to you. It’s such a privilege and all that. So, yeah, I had every intention of being a success. I didn’t have very many doubts that I could do it. There were some. Everybody has. But I learned later in life, late in my radio career, what a success track was. I never had one until I moved to Sacramento.

That knowledge changed my perception of things, and so it became a matter of not being afraid of success, accepting it, building on it and learning what worked and what didn’t — what was important, what wasn’t important about achieving the success — and maintaining it. And then just continuing to do that. I’ve been very lucky that I found out what I loved and wanted to do when I was eight or nine years old. And that has never changed. And that’s probably pretty unique.

Okay, now I’m going to do these “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.” I’ve been teasing, promising, committing to do this all week. But I have always ended up relegating it to lesser status because of the political news. But I’m going to take the occasion, the opportunity of this being Open Line Friday, to do this.

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