NEWS AND OPINION:
Rush Limbaugh died 525 days ago as of Wednesday. Many fans still fondly recall the days of his daily blockbuster talk-radio program, which drew a typical audience of 15.5 million listeners, many of whom would plan their day around the three-hour show.
James Golden — his longtime executive producer who went by the on-air name of “Bo Snerdley” — wrote a well-received book about his experiences on the air, a gig that lasted 30 years. Mr. Golden now anchors a daily talk show of his own on New York City’s WABC. He has not forgotten those earlier days, however.
“Rush Limbaugh was the most incredible, phenomenal broadcaster I’ve ever seen, worked with or known in my life. And I’ve worked with great ones. There was nobody like Rush,” Mr. Golden told Talker’s Magazine in a podcast interview released Tuesday.
“I knew it from the first time I heard him. He was different. He had his own energy about him, he had a compelling manner — and he could make anything he was talking about sound interesting,” Mr. Golden said.
“He had a unique sense of humor that was captivating. And he loved radio. He loved being on the radio, and that came through. His show preparation was legendary and he worked continuously. And Rush never got tired of it,” he continued.
The day came when Limbaugh revealed his terminal cancer diagnosis to his staff, along with his audience.
“He never appeared to us to be frightened. The day that he announced his diagnosis, he called us all together. He was matter of fact. We were petrified, horrified. He never displayed any of that. He was calm, he told us the facts. He never gave into fear — at least not in front of us. He was just incredibly stoic, all the way through,” Mr. Golden recalled.
He also offered insight into the production team.
“Most of Rush’s staff had been with him for decades. It was a family, I mean that in the truest sense. We were devoted to Rush. It wasn’t about money. We loved Rush,” Mr. Golden said, also offering praise for the Limbaugh management style.
“He let you do your work. And that was that,” he noted.
Listen to his conversation with Talkers Magazine founder Michael Harrison at podcastone.com/episode/James-Golden.
Mr. Golden’s book, by the way, is titled “Rush on the Radio: A Tribute from His Friend and Sidekick James Golden, aka Bo Snerdley.” It was published in late November by All Seasons Press.
FUEL FOR THOUGHT
Some observers are wary of President Biden’s seemingly jaunty public demeanor when he addresses troublesome and serious issues now facing the nation.
“Before Joe Biden, the all-time high for a gallon of gas was $4.11 in 2008. Today, a gallon of gas costs over $4.30, and Biden has the audacity to talk about savings? To really drive home the point, here are the 5 months with the highest gas prices on record according to the Energy Information Agency,” advised Tommy Pigott, rapid response director for the Republican National Committee, in a statement shared with Inside the Beltway.
He cited March, April, May, June and July of this year.
“There’s one common denominator — Joe Biden. A president who was actually concerned about helping families wouldn’t be bragging about gas prices right now. He would say these prices are unacceptable. But Biden cares more about saving his political skin than saving Americans money at the pump,” Mr. Pigott observed.
Others have flagged President Biden’s disconcerting public optimism about the inflation and the economy, along with serious challenges like illegal immigration, a recession, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and persistent supply chain issues.
“The real problem for Biden is that this is just the latest chapter in a long, long story of him insisting that everything is going to be fine and then being proven wrong — often quickly. When Biden and his team are confronted with a problem, their reflexive instinct is to insist it isn’t really a problem,” wrote National Review columnist Jim Geraghty.
“A positive attitude can be a great strength, but what Biden keeps exhibiting is a certain naive, unrealistic faith that everything will work itself out,” he later noted.
This week is not ideal for such cheery talk. Other potential threats to the president’s happy narratives this week include wavering Consumer Confidence Index numbers, which have decreased for the third straight month. There’s also the possibility that interest rates could rise once again, while the U.S. GDP could decline.
“As long as Biden and his so-called economic advisers continue to push for massive spending plans and tax increases, Americans will not have confidence in his radical socialist agenda. While Biden likes to claim he understands the pain everyday Americans are experiencing, the administration has done nothing to implement the policies we need to restore the average American’s faith in our economy,” David McIntosh, president of the free-enterprise advocacy group Club for Growth, said in a statement shared with Inside the Beltway.
For the 29th consecutive week, Fox News bested the entire cable realm, drawing a nightly average of 2.2 million prime-time viewers and outranking such non-news competition as HGTV, Discovery Channel and ESPN.
Fox News also marked its 75th straight week topping cable news rivals MSNBC and CNN, and also aired 77 of the top 100 cable news telecasts.
“The Five” had the largest audience of all, with 3.3 million viewers, followed by “Tucker Carlson Tonight” with 3.2 million. A standout victory of note: “MediaBuzz” with host Howard Kurtz nabbed 1.2 million viewers, trouncing CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” which drew an audience of 683,000 viewers.
POLL DU JOUR
• 86% of U.S. adults are “very” or “somewhat concerned” about inflation in the U.S.
• 42% now eat out less due to inflation, 35% drive less, and 16% rely more on credit cards.
• 12% are looking for a better-paying job, and 11% are buying fixed-income investments or refinancing a loan.
• 10% have asked for a raise at work, 10% have moved in with family members to save money, and 9% have looked for a cheaper home.
• 8% have reduced their 401(k) contribution; 7% have changed child-care arrangements to save money.
SOURCE: A Nationwide Retirement Institute/Harris Poll online survey of 1,853 U.S. adults conducted April 19-May 7 and released Friday. Respondents could list more than one response to inflation.
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.