RUSH: Now, folks, before we get into the meat and potatoes of the program today, I want to get a little personal here. This is the time of year where I often become the most reflective and thankful for all of the blessings that I have had my entire life. And the blessings that I have had obviously extend to my family, the people who work and have worked here at the EIB Network.
But this year is a little different. This year has something added to it that is unique. Every year about this time we get the top 50 list, the top 10 list of this or that, the best cars, the best movies, whatever, the most influential in the media, the most influential here — but there’s always a group left out. And it’s you. The most influential audience in all of media is right here on this program, hands down, no contest. Because without you, none of anything that happens here would have happened. It would be all academic if it weren’t for you.
And then all of these end-of-the-year reflectives and retrospectives and analysis of what’s been important and what’s been popular, it’s always the American people left out of everything. It’s always assumed that the American people are kind of mind-numbed and simply do what they do as a result of those who influence them. And it’s always been my approach because it’s always been my belief that you are not mind-numbed and that you are not robotic. That you in fact are very intelligent and you’re perceptive. You wouldn’t be here otherwise.
I have made it a point because it’s in my nature to treat everybody I talk to as though they are fully capable of understanding me and in many cases, smarter than I am because the point is to relate and to communicate and to be understood, if that’s your objective. And it certainly is mine. I’m not here to be misunderstood, and I’m not here to mislead, I’m not here to practice deceit or misdirection. It’s the exact opposite.
And so I’ve always assumed that you are independently intelligent, educated, informed, opinionated, and desirous of knowing and learning more. And I have always assumed that you’re not thinking what you think because of me or anybody else, that you are independently capable of making up your own minds about things. And it seems that that attitude about audiences is not common. It ought to be, but it isn’t.
‘Cause in each of these lists — most influential here, most important there, the one thing that’s always assumed in these lists is that the people being influenced know nothing on their own and if it weren’t for the influencers, then nobody would know anything or nobody would think anything. And I think it’s the exact opposite. I think many of the people that make these end-of-the-year lists don’t have half the brains that you do, don’t have half the intelligence, perceptiveness that you do. And especially if we’re talking about media lists.
But it’s even bigger than that. I want to play a couple sound bites today to make my point, that you are the most influential audience in all of media. And I say audience simply not to label you, but that’s what you are, you’re an audience to this program, and you listen to it, react to things that happen on it in ways that no other audience does. And I’m talking about compassion and giving, charity supportiveness, loyalty, you have it all, or I wouldn’t be here, and I wouldn’t be thriving the way I have. I wouldn’t have enjoyed this. I wouldn’t have had the blessings that I have if you weren’t there as you are.
So the two sound bites are from Fox & Friends today. They did another segment — I didn’t know this was gonna happen. Which is not a big deal other than to tell you I didn’t know about this until I got the sound bite roster about a half hour ago. It was a segment on Fox & Friends on Tunnel to Towers paying off yet another mortgage of a family from Fort Worth, Texas, the family of police officer Garrett Hull. So here is Ainsley Earhardt talking to his widow, Sabrina Hull. She says, “Tell us what happened to your husband a year ago?”
HULL: In September of 2018, he was helping get some bad guys that were doing armed robberies all over the Fort Worth area and there was a shootout and unfortunately my husband was killed in the line of duty.
KILMEADE: What’s the last year been like for you?
HULL: Horrific, but also amazing ’cause I’ve seen so much good come out of so much horrible. I was literally sitting at my husband’s grave site when Frank called to tell me that they were going to pay off our mortgage. Garrett was our main source of income. I have two daughters. How am I gonna keep our home? How am I gonna pay the bills? What am I going to do? So, when Frank called, I had no words for the gratitude I feel.
RUSH: So here is the widow of the police officer, Garrett Hull from Fort Worth, Texas, who was killed a year ago. He was the breadwinner, primary provider. She had no idea how she was gonna go on, how they were gonna keep their home or any of that. She had a chance meeting — well, it wasn’t chance. That’s the point. She was sitting at her husband’s grave site when Frank Siller called her from Tunnel to Towers. Here’s Frank Siller talking about it.
SILLER: I just listened to Sabrina here, and I didn’t know that she was at her husband’s gravesite when I was speaking to her. And we know the difference it makes in their lives. So, Sabrina, this is your paid mortgage here.
DOOCY: Oh wow.
SILLER: Here today.
HULL: I really love you all.
SILLER: Well, the viewers from Fox & Friends and Fox in general and most certainly Rush Limbaugh —
SILLER: I’m wearing another one of his shirts (laughter) here today.
DOOCY: Stand Up for Betsy Ross.
SILLER: Listen, he donated $5 million, you know, and going.
KILMEADE: Still going, right?
SILLER: Still going, and this is why we were able to do — in the Season of Hope — 24 homes in 24 days to relieve the mortgages or give mortgage-free homes. That’s RushLimbaugh.com, and the proceeds for these Stand Up for Betsy Ross shirts is coming to the Tunnel to Towers.
RUSH: Folks, I can’t adequately describe how this affects me: $5 million, all from you — every penny of it from you — by buying apparel at my website store and the Stand Up for Betsy Ross campaign, starting out with a $27 T-shirt — one color, white T-shirt. The apparel line expanded to include all kinds of items for the holiday season, which have now become mostly sold out because you have just taken everything that we have, bought everything we have all for the support of this great charity.
Twenty-four homes, 24 mortgages in 24 days. Stop and think where these people would be without you, if this hadn’t happened. No, it’s not me. See, I can announce it. I could do everything that I did, starting with Kathryn and I starting July 4th and July 8th, and announcing it and making the merchandise available. But if you hadn’t stepped up, none of this would have happened. It’s $5 million, on an average-price item of $30, in the course of — let’s see, July, August, September — five months.
That is so, so deeply profound to me. There’s nobody, no other audience out there that could have done this. Now, it’s huge — it’s a huge audience — and that’s one of the explanations for it. But still, it’s all you, and I just wanted to start the program today, because every year at this time of year is when I get really reflective about the blessed, great fortune that I’ve had over what now is — if you count Sacramento — approaching 34, 35 years, and each year the audience has grown, and you are responsive.
You are deeply caring and compassionate. Now, you get fine merchandise in exchange. You’re not just throwing the money at it without any return; I understand that. But still, you step up — and each time we, as a program, make a decision to get involved in a charitable thrust or activity, you always step up. You’re always there, and it chokes me up to stop and think about: $5 million. You know, we live in times where big figures are part of the common, everyday lexicon.
The budget deficit is $500 billion or maybe even a $1 trillion. The total budget’s $3.4 trillion. We’re talking about large numbers that are associated with everything. But $5 million at 30 bucks a pop is astounding. So I just wanted to take a brief moment here to play these sound bites and let you know what you’ve done, what you have made possible, what you’ve made happen, and to express again all of the heartfelt gratitude and appreciation that I have for you for making this happen and for making it possible.
And if there ever is a category, if there is ever one of these end-of-the-year most influential lists that includes audiences, you have no competition. You have no peers. You have nobody who’s even close — and you don’t even know the half of it. You don’t even know the half of it. The $5 million and counting that has been raised through this? Prior to that, there were the multimillions for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
You have stepped up for the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. The amount of charitable support that you have extended over the course of the years of this program, there isn’t… I don’t care. There isn’t a group, other than a charitable foundation which spends its entire existence asking people for money. Aside from that, you have no competitors. You have nobody even close. So I measure influence a lot differently than conventional wisdom measures it. I measure influence a lot different than these end-of-the-year lists.
‘Cause I don’t measure influence on how many people are under my spell or are under my control or because of my various contacts or whatever it is. I measure influence by virtue of how many of you there are and the things that you do, and I’m telling you that I wish there were a way to impart individually to all of you the great feeling of pride and achievement and satisfaction we all get because of what you’ve done.
It’s hard to do that. I hope that you stop and think about what you have done and what it means. A woman you’ll never meet, one of 24 just in… It’s actually more than 24. They’ve paid off more than 24 mortgages. This is just in the recent past: 24 mortgages paid off, 24 homes built. It’s many more than that during the five- or six-month history of this. Stop and think what that means to people, people that you don’t even know. But they fully are aware that somebody out there cares beyond their wildest imaginations.
They know that somebody cares. They know that somebody was thinking about them. They know that somebody — a bunch of somebodies — came through, stepped up in their time of need, when they had no the expectation for any such thing happening. In this case, it’s a police officer that’s struck down. In other cases, it’s a military person, husband or wife, cut down defending the country, making the ultimate sacrifice — and that’s disruptive enough. That’s upsetting enough.
That’s shocking, that’s disorienting, that’s life changing enough.
But then the prospect of losing a home and losing everything else and not knowing where to go next? Helping to maintain the nest, to maintain the home is one of the great offers of security that people in these circumstances need, and you’ve made it all possible. I cannot thank you enough. I’m so humbled by it and blown away by it. I had to take the beginning of the program here to make mention of this, because it’s perhaps one of… This and all the others added together, are some one of the greatest ancillary aspects of the success of this program.
So as far as I’m concerned, you’re it, you’re tops — and I would have to include in this all of the great radio stations that make it possible for all of you to listen and be part of this audience. Great people, wonderful people, coming through on a moment’s notice. I cannot express my gratitude — for me and my family as well. Kathryn spearheading this effort in so many ways to make sure (chuckles) you got what you got, design what you bought, make sure the quality was all there. It’s been an all-in. There were a hundred jobs created because of you — 100 jobs — just to get these orders out, just to scale up and handle it all.
So thank you again.
You are the most influential audience in all of media.