Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Hey, look at this. I’m here. I was not driven outta here today. I was literally driven outta here yesterday. I could not stay here. It’s embarrassing, if I were to tell you why, it’s embarrassing as hell. And it is part of having cancer, but it’s just embarrassing as hell. Anyway, I’m here now. Everything’s rocking and rolling, so let’s get started.

JOHNNY DONOVAN: And now, from sunny South Florida, it’s Open Line Friday!

RUSH: Open Line Friday, where we don’t screen the program as tightly — you know, we got new people tuning in every day. And new people tuning in every hour. And so what’s Open Line Friday? Most of you know. See, Monday through Thursday the callers have to talk about things I care about. Do you know what percentage of the audience — we have proven this statistically. This our business. We have to know these things. Do you know what percentage of this audience ever even tries to call? You will not believe this.

And when I first learned this — and, by the way, it’s true of all talk shows that have a significant audience, it’s not just this one. The percentage of an audience that tries to call is less than one half of 1%. Our model projections are 50 million people tuning in. The official audience ratings showing us around 28 million. The percentage of people that try to call is infinitesimally small. And we know this. It’s not hard to figure this out. We have a phone number, and we see how many people are dialing it. And we know how many repeats, how many redials and all this. We know actually how many people.

So, therefore, I learned early on that a talk show should never be done for the callers. They’re too tiny a bunch of people. It’s the listeners, it’s the audience. And so when we screen calls Monday through Thursday, they have to be desirous of talking about things I care about. ‘Cause if I’m bored or if I don’t care, you’re gonna be able to tell. You’re gonna be able to tell. And you might say, “You know what? I’m bored” and change the station or walk away. Can’t afford that.

But, see, that’s the great risk on Friday. On Friday we will take calls from people talking about things I don’t care about, as a service to those people who are denied. I’m a benevolent dictator here. They’re denied Monday through Thursday their chance to appear. But on Friday we open it up but I’ll take the risk and if I have to fake being interested in something, I’ll do it. So that’s the difference in Open Line Friday and the rest of the week. We just don’t screen calls as tightly, but we still screen ’em. So that’s your guideline here — 800-282-2882 is the number.

And I still am seriously thinking about a caller clinic. I haven’t done one of these in 20 years, and a caller clinic is basically done per call. You explain what’s good, what’s bad, what’s disqualifying about each call and hopefully it provides guidance and inspiration, education for future callers to understand their role here, which I’ve always said is to make the host look good, ’cause the host is why people are listening.

How many times have you heard, “You know, I love listening to the X and X show. Man, those callers are the best.” When’s the last time anybody ever said that to you? It doesn’t happen. This is not ego speaking, folks. This is the business aspect, the business side of things. And so when I say the purpose, the role of a caller is to make the host look good, the worst thing that means is praise, sycophantic sucking up.

No. Making the host look good is something that inspires the host to think and be even smarter. It’s not making the host look good. “Man, you’re best. Oh, I can’t find anybody any better.” No, no, no, no, no. You ever watched an interview of anybody — president, any president — and you know that whoever’s conducting the interview is sucking up? It’s not good. It looks like it’s prearranged and it doesn’t work. And that’s not what we’re looking for here. So there’s that.

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