Rush Limbaugh

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BRETT: I was first struck by hearing Rush’s analysis on the world of environmentalism and that sort of stuff. Now, go back to the beginning of this hour — the top of the hour radio — when we played that great interview with Rush’s grandfather and his mom back in the early days of EIB. Before Rush knew better, he accepted a few mainstream media interview requests hoping to use it as an opportunity to educate the masses.

He quickly learned that they had an agenda when it came to him and weren’t interested in the truth of what he thought or why. They just wanted to set him up in embarrassing gotcha moments and further the caricature that they were trying to create. Now, media nastiness aside, Rush never wavered in his beliefs. He’s always been consistent, as this example from an interview he did with Charlie Rose three decades ago demonstrates.

RUSH: I want to go back to January 7, 1992. This is in the days before Fox News, before cable news became something other than CNN. It’s really before massive amounts of conservative talk radio existed. So this is back in the days where I used to be invited on shows like PBS Charlie Rose and so forth, ’cause I was the only national conservative voice they could bring on to try to expose as a kook or humiliate or what have you. Those days are over now. But the reason I want to go back to this is because the subject is climate change and global warming and all that.

I want to demonstrate my consistency to you. I want to demonstrate how old this issue is. Charlie Rose, January 7, 1992, asked me why I talk so much about radical environmentalism and if I really believed that it was a guise for socialism. I was telling people this 26 years ago — well, 30, but this interview was 26, 28 years ago. Here is the bite…


ROSE: Listening to your show, there are a lot of people who believe you are now begin… I’m beginning to hear people call and say, “Are you as extreme as you sound?” Because you tend to say all — all environmentalists are extreme, and —

RUSH: No, I don’t.

ROSE: But — (sputtering)

RUSH: No. No.

ROSE: That’s what they’re saying. They — (crosstalk)

RUSH: No, no. This came up today.

ROSE: I know. That’s why I picked it up.

RUSH: You’ve obviously listened to my award-winning program today.

ROSE: (chortling) Yes.

RUSH: I don’t think that all environmentalists are extreme.

ROSE: All right.

RUSH: I think that the Ted Dansons of the world who say, “We’ve only got 10 years left to clean up this planet or we’re not gonna be able to live,” that’s extreme! But I’ll bet you if you had Ted Danson out here, you wouldn’t ask him about his extremism.

ROSE: Oh, I’ll betcha I would.

RUSH: You’d say, “Ted, what…?”

ROSE: No. No, no, no. Why are you saying that? I would say that?

RUSH: Okay. Well, most people media wouldn’t.

ROSE: (laughing)

RUSH: He’d give some flowery answer about how he cares. “Ted, you’re so wonderful.” I think what you have are a bunch of… I think the militant environmental movement… I don’t it’s very large. The militant environmental movement is the home of the new socialists in America, and they’re after the punishment of America. America’s responsible for all this.

ROSE: But who are they?

RUSH: Well, Earth First.

ROSE: Who are these militant environmentalists? Is it the Sierra Fund? (sic)

RUSH: That’s part of ’em. Part of the Sierra Club.

ROSE: They’re out… They’re out to…

RUSH: The U.S. …

ROSE: Wait a minute.

RUSH: (sigh)

ROSE: They’re out to socialize America?

RUSH: Damn right.

ROSE: Okay.

RUSH: Here’s how. Here’s how. Here’s how, Charlie. To socialize America, the first thing you do is you say, “America’s responsible for the destruction of the planet. It’s American lifestyles, hairspray. It’s smokestacks.”

ROSE: But are you saying that there’s no damage from hairspray from fluorocarbons and all that?

RUSH: I am saying… I am saying that the vanity of humanity is amazing to me.

ROSE: (laughing)

RUSH: I do not believe that we have the ability to destroy this marvelous creation. We can damage it.

ROSE: Yeah.

RUSH: But we make a mess by existing, and we’re the ones who can fix it. And you need freedom, you need democracy, you need technological advancement. You don’t need rolling back of progress in order to fix these things, and that’s what these people want to do. Now, Charlie, I’m not an extremist. I get up in the morning. I read the papers.

ROSE: Okay.

RUSH: I look at the traditions and institutions of this country that I believe have made it great under assault and defend them.


RUSH: And that’s exactly what happens here. But you see, this is 1992, folks. Many of you were not born then. Many of you were not listening then, and that’s how long this issue has been going on, and I forecast it.

“I’ve been planning on doing this for a while, and I’m gonna do it.” It’s nonsense. These are the exact same people who, by the way, will tell you that the climate needs to remain static but that the Constitution is a living, breathing document. Lou is right on point here in Tampa, Florida, joining us. Lou, welcome to the program.

CALLER: How are you doing? What we’re going through today with the Green New Deal and the cancel culture is what you just played from Rush.

BRETT: Mmm-hmm.

CALLER: I started listening to Rush in an unconventional way. I started with the TV show in 1993 —


CALLER: — and then once I started my lawn-maintenance business in 1998, I was able to listen every day for three hours a day.

BRETT: Mmm-hmm.

CALLER: But he warned us. I think eventually he got to the point where he started calling the green movement — which used to be called the climate change or global warming. He basically got down to the point where he started calling it the new home for the Communist Party.

And what we’re dealing with today shows that, when we’re canceling people because we don’t agree with them or the government’s gonna tell me I can’t buy a gas automobile anymore come 2035. Those are all things. I mean, he warned against the SUV, like, “They’re coming after your SUV,” and people laughed at him when he said that.

BRETT: It’s true.

CALLER: “No, no, no. There’s no way anyone’s ever gonna tell you what car you can drive.” You know, it doesn’t matter how far back you go on certain things. I mean, the seat belt laws were designed to start getting you used to the restrictions that they were continuously coming up with. So those are things that he warned about and what we are dealing with today — and if we don’t get a hold of it, it’s gonna just keep getting worse.

BRETT: Rush was incredibly prescient in that regard. We only have to go back to that famous parody (and I’m sure you’ve heard it many, many times) In a Yugo about the importance to go and buy and drive the Yugo, and then you get run over by a big bus or whatever it was that took you out, and that’s what we have, right?

Because if you can sell fear and you can control the moving of the goalposts, you’ve got all the power. You can scare people and then tell them, “Well, no, you haven’t done enough yet. You haven’t done enough yet. You haven’t done enough yet,” and that’s the thing, and I think Rush was instrumental in pointing out the fact that what do these people really…?

What do these people really know in terms of expertise in great call, Lou, and I’m glad you’re out there and I’m glad you found the program in the early nineties on the TV side and then going into radio, which is really outstanding.

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