Thank you, Rush Limbaugh

Rest in peace, Rush Limbaugh.

How do you thank a guy for a million laughs, and so much more?

Like so many millions of your fans, Rush, I will miss your daily broadcasts.

But we all owe you so much that I just want to thank you publicly for what you’ve done for me, and for all of us.

Thank you for absorbing more slings and arrows of outrageous fortune from the Deep State than any other public figure in the last 30 years except for Donald J. Trump.

Thank you for the first wholly Republican-controlled Congress in 40 years in 1994, which you so responsible for that you were made an honorary member of the House freshman class of 1995.

Thanks for saving AM radio for a generation.

Thank you for stoically enduring the boycotts, the drug problem, the hearing loss, the woke mobs (remember ESPN?) and the political persecutions like New York’s attempt to make you pay income taxes long after you moved to sunny South Florida.

Thank you for never taking yourself too seriously.

Thanks for being the absolute best lead-in any other radio-talk show host could have ever dream of having.

Thank you for all the great nicknames from old Top 40 songs, including for local Massachusetts politicians Mike Dukakis (“Nowhere Man”), Ted Kennedy (“The Philanderer”) and Barney Frank (“My Boy Lollipop”).

I remember first hearing about Rush in the late 1980s. Then WHDH, which was at the time AM 850, began running him on tape delays, on Saturday afternoons.

I couldn’t believe what Rush was doing on radio – he was Jerry Williams for the next generation, Jerry Williams on steroids.

No wonder Don Imus hated you so much, Rush.

Thank you for teaching all of us other hosts how to properly utilize sound cuts, even before the digital era, when it became so easy to pull up audio clips.

Thank you Rush Limbaugh, despite how ultimately disappointing the George W. Bush presidency turned out to be, for working so hard to spare us what have been the unimaginably worse presidencies of Al Gore and John Forbes Kerry.

Thank you for decades of deflating the insufferably bloated egos of TV network “news” anchors and reporters.

Thank for those unforgettable shorthand descriptions of, say, John Kerry (“who, you may not have heard, served in Vietnam”), not to mention such memorable phrases as “the drive-by media,” “talent on loan from God,” and “random acts of journalism.”

Howie pays tribute to Rush Limbaugh in Hour 1 and Hour 3 of Wednesday’s show.

Thanks for your unfailingly good humor, and the fact that you were “up” every afternoon at noon, no matter how you may have felt inside.

Thanks for reminding us, every afternoon at 12:07, just how great a song “My City Was Gone” by the Pretenders is.

Thank you for reminding us every day that you don’t need a fancy academic pedigree, or even a college degree, to succeed, not to mention be the smartest guy in the room.

Thank you being, as you used to say, America’s anchorman, not to mention, providing show prep for the rest of the media.

Thank you for your occasionally brutal honesty, such as when you said that you hoped the new president Obama would fail – because you understood that if he succeeded in what he wanted to do, the American people would pay a terrible price.

Thanks for every once in a while reading from one of my columns, or playing a cut of me from my show – it didn’t always make my day, Rush, it made my week.

Thank you for driving President Bill Clinton so crazy that one morning on Air Force One, speaking to the morning hosts on KMOX, the blowtorch station in Rush’ Limbaugh’s home state of Missouri, he whined and said something like, “It’s so hard to compete against a guy like Limbaugh who has three hours a day.”

In other words, Clinton was complaining that a journeyman radio guy had a bigger bully pulpit than the president of the United States.

Thank you for giving me, and a hundred others, brand-new careers, that I might add paid so much better than newspapers or spinning 45’s on a dying Top 40 station.

One of my listeners, Jay from Chelsea, texted me yesterday afternoon:

“Forget Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper, TODAY is the day the music died.” Vaya con Dios, Rush. Go with God.

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