RUSH: Our next caller is calling from a truck in Cornelius, North Carolina. This is Rick. Rick, thank you for taking the time. Great to have you on the program.
CALLER: Oh, wow. Thankful for cochlear implant dittos, Rush. It’s amazing how you do your job.
RUSH: Thank you, sir, very much. I appreciate that.
CALLER: Yes. Man, this is gonna be a tough call here. Rush, you earlier in the hour — well, the first hour — talked about what is it we can do to deal with this media that is coming against us in such a way, and this is tying in exactly to what I wanted to talk about. This past Friday was an incredibly frustrating day in many ways. I don’t like to see the Democrats win at anything at any time. And I was really hoping and pulling for the bill to pass just to deflate the Democrats. I understand a better bill could have been presented. I understand that. You seem to be even somewhat deflated that it went down, but maybe not, because on Monday you seemed to change your tune and —
RUSH: Wait, wait, hold it. It had not gone down when this program was over. They hadn’t done the vote. The vote was at —
RUSH: — 3:30, and I was not even sure they were gonna have the vote. And by the way, I didn’t really share all this with you, but I didn’t have the slightest idea how the vote was gonna go —
RUSH: — on Friday even though most people that I talked to afterward assured me they knew it had no chance. “Rush, this bill doesn’t have a chance. Trump is losing House member after House member after House member because once the moderates realized it wasn’t gonna pass, they didn’t want their name associated with a vote that lost it.”
RUSH: So there were people abandoning support for the bill, and that’s why Ryan pulled it. Nobody was able to save it. But that —
RUSH: — didn’t happen ’til after the program was over. So I could not have been talking about the bill being defeated or being pulled —
CALLER: Well —
RUSH: — when the program left.
CALLER: — it seemed as though you were somewhat supporting, but let me say this because I may not ever get this chance again.
CALLER: All right. Rush, what frustrates me to no end is you are the big voice on the right. But you are like a trumpet with baffles on it; you’re baffled, in that you mute the noise that you can make. And you were earlier talking about what is it that we can do to deal with these liberals and the media. The problem here, Rush, is this. I know I speak on behalf of a lot of people. I know you hate television. I know you hate doing television. I’m not gonna tell you to go back and do what was a very popular and famous show.
But, Rush, you could leave one hour of your program, similar to the way Imus did it, and you already have a Dittocam, and make some sort of agreement/contract with some station, Fox, whomever, and they will play your whole program for an hour. There are a lot of people — I’m a truck driver. There are a lot of people who know about you but they never get to hear you because in the hinterlands they can’t pick up the stations. There are a lot of stations that refuse to carry you.
But if you, Rush, were just to put yourself, open yourself, there would be tons of stations, media outlets that would love to — they know they would get a tremendous amount of revenue, so would you, you wouldn’t have to put on makeup, you could be just yourself on the radio, everybody would be able to pick it up, even record you if they need to and your voice would be heard even the far and wide without you taking more effort or doing anything different than what you’re currently doing. It really frustrates me that no one has, or even you, has put forth doing that to get your voice out.
RUSH: Wait a second. Don’t misunderstand the question here, Rick. But are there not enough conservative voices on TV to get the message out? There’s a whole conservative network out there called the Fox News Channel.
CALLER: No, sir. No, sir. There’s not but one Rush Limbaugh, period. No one communicates as effectively as you. No one, sir. No one ever communicates as effectively as you. And there are people who would love to hear the way you put the take on things. If you were on television, the revenue would be astronomical. You are a very unselfish guy. You could make tons and tons of money, but you choose to sit back in your comfortable chair — fine; you enjoy that — but the point here, you can do nothing extra other than to say, “Look, who will take my program for an hour, for two hours?”
There are stations that — Fox or whomever — would love to take you, put you on before Bill O’Reilly and just have your program on there, and your voice would be heard immeasurably in this United States and out even beyond. And the thing is, it will lend so much support, Rush, to the cause because no one communicates, no one is a better entertainer than you, period. No one. And so what you have to say is so strong, Rush. And this is what really frustrates me about you. You are like the trumpet with a baffle on. You’re muting yourself. The things that you could do in terms of, even if you slightly —
RUSH: Okay. Rick, I let you go uninterrupted as long as I could because I really appreciate what you’re saying. I’m literally out of time. You can he either hang on, or if you gotta go, you gotta go. But I have no choice, thank you.
RUSH: That’s it, my friends, another exciting, big broadcast hour from Rush Limbaugh, the man not working hard enough in media. (laughing)
RUSH: Look, I know. I know what the last caller said, “You wouldn’t have to do any work, Rush. You wouldn’t have to do any makeup. Just let some network put an hour of your radio show on there. At seven o’clock at night on Fox put it on there and you’d reach a whole new different block of –” Look, I don’t want to go through the down and dirty numbers here, folks, because when I do that, it’s misunderstood as me either criticizing or insulting people.
But I want to tell you how flattered I am, before I say anything, Rick calling from the truck in Cornelius, North Carolina, I was flattered beyond my ability to express it. Because, look, we have the House of Representatives. We have the Senate. We have Donald F-ing Trump in the White House, and still — well, his middle initial is — oh, it’s J. That’s right. Donald J. Just a little John Kerry lingo. We have Donald Trump in the White House, and still it’s up to me. (interruption) What? It is surprising. We got the House, we have the Senate, we have Trump, we have Fox News. And yet, and yet. That’s why I say, I’m flattered.
As to his suggestion of taking an hour, he kept referring to the Dittocam. And for website subscribers we televise the program. We have a camera here and it televises whatever happens within the camera frame of this studio, the desk and everything. Now, folks, I understand how easy it seems to do that. Just bring in a Fox camera or whatever network camera, bring ’em in here and televise an hour, record it, air it later that night and reach a whole lot more people. Not a whole lot more, maybe some different people, but not more. Please don’t make me explain that. There’s no gracious way of doing that.
Well, people don’t understand numbers anywhere, but when you start talking about numbers, there’s no way to do it gracefully. Trust me when I say I would not be reaching more people. I mean, not even close, folks, I would not be reaching more. Maybe different people. But here’s the thing about his suggestion. And I’m not rejecting this, but I’ve learned, I’ve done a TV show, and I’m telling you, a radio show is not meant to be watched.
Just televising a radio show is — the beauty of radio is that you can’t see it. The beauty of radio, if it’s done right, it creates theater of the mind. It’s all part of the — I don’t want to give away the marketing theory, the performance strategy here, because it is unique to me in terms of what we do here and how, but once you start watching a radio show, you have removed the primary ingredient that makes it interesting, and that is the fact that because — the sense of sight, vision, is the most powerful of the senses. And that’s evidenced by the fact that a picture alone can move, a single still picture can move gazillions of people to think something.
So there’s no argument from me on the power of pictures. But radio never has had pictures, and it doesn’t now, by definition. So for a radio personality or program to succeed, if it’s not just trying to be a dryball presentation of the news like the NPR, but if you’re in the competitive arena and there are literally tens of thousands of different shows and stations, the ways in which you, or talking about me in this case, choose to cut through that noise, what has to happen is the audience has to be actively engaged, not passively.
Now, the explanation for that, if you’re in an elevator and there’s music on, and you’re talking to people in the elevator, that music is called passive. It’s there, but you’re not paying any attention to it. It’s just noise. You can have the TV on in your house in the kitchen and have the family running around doing things, and you’re not watching the TV, but it’s on, that’s passive. If somebody is on TV or something is on TV while the family is in the kitchen and they’re not talking and they’re watching, that’s active, and that’s what you strive for.
Same thing on radio. There’s no passive success here. Well, in radio, one of the ways in which you engage people and make them active listeners and have them glued so that they don’t want to do anything else, you have to find ways to incorporate this mystery called the theater of the mind. And it’s the one ingredient that radio has that television does not that if used properly, if perfected and learned and executed properly, it can have a much greater impact than TV because it can create a much more intimate, direct connection with the audience.
Because with television, as I say, the power of vision, you are so focused on what you see on TV, that’s the first thing that permeates, the first thing you notice, that’s what largely people judge whether they like TV or not is what they see on it. That’s not possible on radio. You have to create it, and if somebody knows what they’re doing and can do that well, then you have built a bond and a connection that nobody can break. TV does that for you.
So how do you stand up, how do you stand out, how do you overpower, on television, the picture? And putting a radio show on TV is not gonna do it. I’ve seen it. There are any number of people that have tried it. And particularly a show like this where there’s just me. There’s no other guest in here, there’s not a parade of people running around yukking it up and laughing. And there’s no video whatsoever. Sound bites are not video. They’re all audio sound bites.
So if I were to do it, it would have to be a specifically produced TV show. It’d have to be different because just putting this on TV, yeah, it might reach some more people, but it isn’t gonna glue anybody to the set. It’s not because I’m not good; it’s just because the power of the picture would overwhelm. The evidence of this is every time I do television. “Man, I love your tie.”
Even to this day, my last appearance on Fox News Channel I must have had 15 people ask me if they could get that tie. I had two people tell me, “You were brilliant with Chris Wallace today.” That doesn’t bother me, don’t misunderstand. I’m not whining or complaining. I’m just telling you what is.
Here’s another thing. When I go on TV, a lot of my friends say, “Well, why watch that, that’s no different than what you say on the radio every day.” That’s another thing. Say 15 hours’ worth of stuff here, how do you save stuff for a mythical TV show or one hour on TV? My theory has been never hold anything back here. Why do that?
I have a newsletter that’s published once a month. I do not say, “You know, I’m not gonna be talk about this this month so I can have a piece about it in the newsletter.” Just can’t do it that way. If it’s out there and it’s interesting, you talk about it, so you can’t help being redundant or being repetitive or what have you. The only reason I’m mentioning all this is that if the day ever came that I had to go back to TV, it could not be playing an hour of this show.
Besides, which hour would you pick? They’re all brilliant. Which hour would you choose? I know what you’re saying, “Do all three then, do all three.” I mean, but any day you’d have to pick the hour of the three every day. But I’m very flattered by Rick’s entreaties and his suggestions. Well, yeah, I know what his point was. I’m not trying to repeat that because then that would be viewed as, “We heard it, Rush, you don’t have to remind us.” It’s a very fine line here.
But just trust me. I heard what he said. I was very flattered by it. I heard him say that, “I don’t care who else is out there, you do a good job of explaining this stuff to people.” And I’ve got emails, “This guy was right. This guy was right. You need to be on TV.” I think the reason people are saying that is because TV today is everywhere. Facebook has TV. Twitter, you can put video on it. You got all these cable networks, and there is a lot of TV, and it seems to be the place to be. But trust me, my friends, we’re doing quite well here.
Anyway, I just wanted to react to him and give his call the respect that it deserves because he was very serious. And it was generated by a question I asked in the first segment of the program today. Is the media an arm of the Democrat Party or is the Democrat Party an arm of the media?
And a friend sends me a note saying: “You keep talking about all these elections the Democrats have lost, but we don’t feel like the Democrats are losing anything. The Democrats are winning every day, that’s all we see, the Democrats are winning! And Rush, what it means is we’ve got to destroy the media, not the Democrats. The Democrats don’t matter anymore. The Democrats are incidental. We have got to defeat the media. Dirty tricks, under-the-table tricks, we gotta use the same tricks on them they use on us. We gotta defeat ’em. We gotta take ’em out.”
I’ve only been hearing that for 30 years too.