In the early 1990’s I was lawyering in a downtown Denver high rise office building and taking daily noontime runs on the Cherry Creek bike trail, which meanders through downtown along Speer Blvd. The trail follows the creek below street level allowing one to run for miles without having to cross streets or wait for traffic. Handy for people who work downtown, it’s a wonderful asset for the City of Denver.
I would listen to rock music stations on an FM Walkman while running. The music was supposed to allow me to “disassociate” and enable me to run faster. It didn’t work because the music played on the radio was irritating. I needed something else. I’d heard a lot about the Rush Limbaugh radio talk show, most of it derogatory. Limbaugh was a big mouthed jerk, from what I had heard. I thought that if I listened to something that got my blood boiling it would at least be a different form of irritation. It might make my run go easier than putting up with the cacophonous noise offered as “music” on the FM rock stations. But the first time I actually listened without distraction I was surprised. Limbaugh was making sense to me. After about a week of listening while running I started making tapes of Rush’s show on a boombox with the speakers detached when work took me away from my run so I could listen in the car on the way home in the evening. I’ve been hooked on Rush ever since.
I didn’t know until I started reading Andrew Breitbart’s book Righteous Indignation, that he came to Rush Limbaugh in a similar way. He first listened as an experiment to prove to himself that he wasn’t going to like Rush, but soon became a Dittohead. The following is an excerpt of a good read by TWB at The POH [pursuit of happiness] Diaries, Why We Need Rush Lmbaugh, with excerpts from Breitbart’s book:
I happen to like grunge rock, but thankfully for the rest of us, Andrew Breitbart despised it. He began listening to AM talk radio and liked the idea of being part of the conversation. He also happened at this time to be getting close with his future wife Susie. Breitbart not only loved her, but he was quite fond of her father Orson Bean.
I was attracted to Orson’s wit and depth of knowledge of everything. This guy had appeared on the Tonight Show couch seventhmost of any guest. His Opinion mattered to me.
One day I asked him why he had Rush Limbaugh’s book The Way Things Ought to Be on his shelf. I asked him, “Why would you have a book by this guy?” And Orson said, “Have you everlistened to him?” I said yes, of course, even though I never had. I was convinced to the core of my being that Rush Limbaugh was a Nazi, anti-black, anti-Jewish, and anti–all things decent. Without berating me for disagreeing with him, Orson simply suggested that I listen to him again.
Breitbart, Andrew (2011-04-15). Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World (p. 33). Hachette Book Group. Kindle Edition.
What followed, as you can imagine was a metamorphosis of sorts. Breitbart started listening to Rush Limbaugh to prove that Orson was wrong. To prove that his [Breitbart's] world view was right. But one hour, turned into three. One listening session turned into weeks and then months. Breitbart was astounded.
Most important, though, Limbaugh, like the professor I always wanted but never had the privilege to study under, created a vivid mental picture of the architecture of a world that I resided in but couldn’t see completely: the Democrat-Media Complex. Embedded in Limbaugh’s analysis of politics was always a tandem discussion on the media. Each segment relentlessly pointed to collusion between the media and the Democratic Party.
Breitbart, Andrew (2011-04-15). Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World (p. 34). Hachette Book Group. Kindle Edition.
Andrew Breitbart then writes, “And so it began.” And so it began, indeed.
The day after Andrew Breitbart left this world, Rush Limbaugh eulogized him on his radio show. He spoke highly of Breitbart and touted all of the the things that all of us loved about, and will miss about him. But what struck me the most (after the fact as it turns out) about Rush’s kind words for Breitbart, was what he didn’t say. He didn’t take credit for turning a floundering, lost, liberal young man into the conservative powerhouse that he turned out to be.
When Rush spoke about Breitbart’s “conversion”, he simply said, “something happened.” Incredibly humble. Rush has inspired, and continues to inspire greatness in countless millions. That’s why he’s under such a relentless assault right now. That’s why we need him now more than ever.
We lost someone irreplaceable in the conservative movement five days ago, we can’t afford to lose another.
Andrew Breitbart was an exceptional American. It takes exceptional Americans to breed exceptional Americans. Rush Limbaugh is an exceptional American. Andrew Breitbart was proof of that.
Read the whole thing.