- The Washington Times - Friday, January 1, 2010

HONOLULU | Conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh remained hospitalized in Hawaii on Thursday after experiencing chest pains similar to a heart attack, according to the guest host on his nationally syndicated radio show.

Mr. Limbaugh was rushed to a Honolulu hospital Wednesday during a vacation.

Guest host Walter E. Williams described Mr. Limbaugh’s pains as similar to the feeling of a “heart attack coming on.” But Mr. Williams said doctors haven’t confirmed whether the 58-year-old had a heart attack, and more exams were planned Thursday.

“Rush continues to rest very comfortably in a hospital in Honolulu this afternoon — actually, it’s morning out there,” Mr. Williams said, taking account of the five-hour time-zone difference between the East Coast and Hawaii. “He had a comfortable night, and he’s getting good medical attention.”

Mr. Williams, an economics professor at George Mason University, was already scheduled to fill in on Thursday while Mr. Limbaugh was on vacation.

Kit Carson, Mr. Limbaugh’s chief of staff, told the Associated Press that Mr. Limbaugh left for his Christmas vacation on Dec. 23 and was due to return to his show Jan. 4. Mr. Carson didn’t have any information on whether that schedule would change.

Mr. Limbaugh broadcasts from a studio near his mansion in Palm Beach, Fla.

Honolulu television station KITV reported that paramedics took Mr. Limbaugh to the Queen’s Medical Center in serious condition from the Kahala Hotel and Resort.

The report said that Mr. Limbaugh was seen golfing at Waialae Country Club — a country club next to the hotel — earlier this week.

With his sarcastic put-downs of liberal politicians and policies, musical parodies and self-promotion, he began capturing conservative listeners in the late 1980s and grew to become the highest-rated radio broadcaster in the U.S. Recently, he’s found a renewed purpose and has boosted ratings by railing against Barack Obama’s presidency.

His three-hour weekday show is heard on about 600 radio stations across the country, and more than 14 million people listen to him at least once a week. Just last week, he was crowned Adweek magazine’s Radio Personality of the Decade.

Americans said in a poll in November that Mr. Limbaugh was America’s most influential conservative voice.

In 2001, Mr. Limbaugh reported he had lost most of his hearing because of an autoimmune inner-ear disease. He had surgery to have an electronic device placed in his skull to restore his hearing.

Two years later, Mr. Limbaugh acknowledged he was addicted to pain medicine. He blamed the addiction on severe back pain, and took a five-week leave from his radio show to enter rehab.

Mr. Limbaugh began his talk-radio career on KFBK-AM in Sacramento, Calif., where he had his own show from 1984 to 1988. The station continues to air him live.

“We wish him a very speedy recovery and wish him the best of health,” Operations Manager Alan Eisenson said Thursday. “We’re looking forward to having him back on the air.”

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