The Rush Babes Phenomenon


TODD: I want to talk to Brian in north Alabama. Brian, you're on the Rush Limbaugh program as Todd Herman filling in for our departed friend. Brian, welcome to Rush's show.

CALLER: Thank you for taking my call. And my condolences go out to Rush's family and the staff there and all of his listeners. I wanted to touch on a point you made earlier about you can't separate the family. My mom and dad listened to Rush from the get-go. My dad he's passed, but my mom still listened, and she's cried nearly every day since he died.

This morning at work a lady that I work with -- a coworker, Connie -- came up, and she was talking. She wanted to get a tattoo. Now, Connie you would not think would ever get a tattoo, and they're like, "What?" "Yes, I want it to say EIB," and people didn't realize what she was talking about, but I knew. I was thinking, "Okay."

She started asking about different tattoo parlors around where she could get this tattoo. But it just goes to show, the family -- her family -- can't be separated. Now, I've got blood family I have nothing to do with; they have nothing to do me. But America, true Americans -- I don't care if you're Hispanic, you're black, you're white, you're Indian, whatever -- what religion you are, if you're atheist. If you're a true part of the family, we accept as you are and we all, by God, fight together to the end. And that is the crux of what Rush was trying to get across to this nation, is that: By gosh, we're family and we fight for the good of the country to the end.

TODD: Yeah. It's interesting, you know, God Almighty contains -- or sees no races, right? He's with us all, and it's a beautiful way to say that, and I can hear that you're feeling emotional. I want to let you know that, folks, are still pretty emotional. And I just want to say, Brian, I hear that in your voice, and I don't want to make light of the situation 'cause I know that you're emotional and your dear mother's emotional. First of all, what's your mom's name?

CALLER: Margene.

TODD: Margene. From the EIB family to you, thank you for all these years of support. God bless you. Now, Brian, I have an idea for Connie. And this would be predicated upon just thinking a bit about Rush. What if Connie were to get a tattoo that said, "Connie the Rush Babe" on her arm?

CALLER: (laughing) There you go.

TODD: "Connie the Rush Babe." Right?

CALLER: There you go.

TODD: Okay.

CALLER: Absolutely. I can see her rocking it.

TODD: I can see her rocking it, too, with the hearts and EIB in the middle, maybe the Golden EIB Microphone surrounded with flowers. Does Connie have favorite flowers?

CALLER: Oh, that I don't know.

TODD: Okay. If she has favorite flowers --

CALLER: I'll get with her husband on that.

TODD: (laughing) Good man, Brian. Smart move. Well, if it's not flowers, maybe she has a certain caliber of ammunition she enjoys that can surround the heart, being a good conservative woman. But will you run that by her, "Connie the Rush Babe"?

CALLER: I'll do it.

TODD: Okay.

CALLER: I will do it.

TODD: I appreciate the call. Thank you, Brian. Thank you, and God be with you. See, now, Rush Babe, that was an invention that people misunderstood this. And I want you to hear something here that just proves that Rush Limbaugh knew that women were not monolithic, and the phenomena of Rush Babes on Facebook absolutely proved it.

RUSH: "Rush Babe" is not demeaning or insulting of women in any way. It is an acknowledgement, ladies and gentlemen, that a proud conservative woman is innately attractive for her independence or intellect or commitment to real values and doesn't mind being called a babe. It's a compliment to a well-adjusted woman. Hey, babe, how are you? It's not an insult. Rush Babes for America is a compliment. Only in the land of the left would calling a woman a babe to her face be insulting, such as stigmatizing or ignoring the existence of her brain.

Do you remember -- I never forgot this, just to show you the generation -- a great director was married to Julie Andrews, Blake Edwards. He got a lifetime achievement award at the Oscars one year, and he gave all of his thanks to the best "broad" in the world. The best broad he'd ever met, his wife, Julie Andrews, and you could hear a gasp in the room amongst the young actors and actresses who thought he was insulting her.

He was engaging in shock value, but back in his day, World War II generation, women were broads. It did not mean they were cows like it meant when I was in high school. The dames, they were broads. Go read a Mickey Spillane novel. Anyway, he just called her a great broad. It was the best compliment he could give her, and she took it that way, of course. And that's what Rush Babes is. It's not at all insulting.

TODD: This is where the left, again... I don't know if it's... Well, no. Let's say this. Part of the left sees women as monoliths because they need to, the same way that Joe Biden was perfectly comfortable saying, "If you have trouble deciding whether to vote for me or Donald Trump, you ain't black."

They have no problem putting people into these boxes because the boxes have been so fortuitous and such a good political tactic, that you use these things as political tactics, and suddenly you begin to believe these things. You suddenly begin to believe that women are all one thing and all offended by one thing. And this goes, I think, to also the grounding of Rush and also his optimism.

I believe that Rush felt, when he took a call from one of us, that he could do what politicians call "human connect," and what Rush might call talking with us. The good-hearted people can see the glimmer -- or even it would be sense the glimmer -- in Rush's eyes. He says, "Oh, so you must be a Rush Babe." I've heard that a hundred times.

If I've heard it a hundred times, I've heard it a thousand times, "You must be a Rush Babe." There are gonna be some people who get deeply offended by that, and that's okay, because you can't be a genuine human without offending people sometimes. And cancel culture is, of course, trying to chill all this. And Rush defeated cancel culture as we talked about.

Cancel culture that came from the White House! That's it. It's the genuineness. There are people who pull punches and people who chill their own speech because they're afraid. They chill their own analysis because they're in fear of this current culture, and there are gonna be people who pay a cost for that, and for people who don't. But our Rush, if you ever got on the air with him, and that "shhh" sound goes, and he welcomes you to the show, it sounded like someone picking up the phone to talk to a buddy.

That's just the way he did it.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Sondra in New Jersey. Sondra, you're on Rush Limbaugh's program. It's Todd Herman filling in on EIB. Hi, Sondra.

CALLER: Hi, Todd. Thank you so much for taking my call, and I must compliment the phone screener. He is extremely sensitive and professional. But what I wanted to say today is, "How could I not thank Rush Limbaugh this whole year giving me strength to deal with my husband who yesterday had a liver transplant?"

All through the year, he was very negative and very down, and I was listening to Rush every day saying, "I am so grateful to get up every morning and start my day," and I would say to my husband. "Michael, why don't you be like Rush? Be positive. Be grateful that you're here having breakfast and doing your day." I have to say, Rush is strong and brave, and he taught me how to teach my husband to be like that.

TODD: I loved hearing that. I love it, and I was just --

CALLER: It's the truth!

TODD: You know what? There's a power of prayer. Harvard did this study once. They intended to disprove the power of prayer. I read this in a book. I'll have to pull it out sometime and reference the actual study. But they found out that when people are being prayed for and they know they're being prayed for, they do better than people who are just being prayed for, and they all do better than people who don't receive prayers. So Michael in New Jersey, what if we just transfer some prayers to your husband and let him know.

CALLER: Awww.

TODD: The biggest radio audience in history, even with the rank amateur guest host here, are praying for Michael, right?

CALLER: (chuckles) That is so nice.

TODD: And listen, this is on audio in archive at RushLimbaugh.com. You listen to how Rush lived his last year of life.

CALLER: Yes.

TODD: There were no doldrums.

CALLER: Yup.

TODD: And you have a choice. I mean, you can be negative, and that's not going to help you be healthy. You can be positive, which does help and gives you quality of life. Is there anything else we can do for Michael from afar?

CALLER: No, you've said it all. You did a beautiful thing today, saying that, and I just want you to know, I've been listening to Rush all my adult life, and I love him, and I will miss him, and I do miss him. But I like that you'll keep him going every day like you're doing, because he's one-of-a-kind.

TODD: (laughing) That's an understatement.

CALLER: One-of-a-kind.

TODD: There's no doubt about that. Sondra, thank you so much for calling Rush's program. Oh, just a lot of prayers for you and Michael. You see what I'm talking about. This is from... We could go across the country. We could do this. I promise we could do this. I promise. Given the power and the reach of the program that you've built with Rush side by side, I promise we could go throughout the country and we could gather calls like that.

And we could feature calls like that. We're gonna get to Rush's speech at CPAC. We're going to get... This was a decade ago, and how prescient it was and how optimistic it was. You'll hear that next hour -- and a life Rush saved by being on the radio. We were talking about Rush Babes. Let's get this in real quick: Anna in San Diego, California, and I'm so pleased you called Rush's show. It's Todd Herman on the EIB Network. Hi, Anna.

CALLER: Hi, Todd. It's such an honor to talk to you and to be on the show. (chokes up) Sorry, I didn't mean to get emotional, but I --

TODD: Okay.

CALLER: -- I am inspired by the lady that called about being a Rush Babe because I consider myself a Rush Baby and a Rush Babe. My dad is the one that turned me on to all of this, and he also taught me like the greatest lesson that I ever learned just as a person, and it was like Rush was that vehicle. So I have this magnet that says "Rush Babe." I am a Rush Babe.

TODD: (laughing) I love it.

CALLER: (laughs) I do. It's really great -- and, of course, I get a lot of comments when people come to my house. But I remember my dad... See, I grew up in Kansas City, so Rush has been on our radio since I was a kid. So when I tell 'em I'm a Rush Baby, I really am, and then I grew up to become a Rush Babe. But one day we were driving, and he had Rush on the radio.

I said, "Dad, why do you listen to this guy? He seems so moody and angry," and my dad looked at me -- he's a sweet, sweet man -- and he said, "Rush is a very exciting and excitable guy." He said, "You hear this emotion, but you're not listening to his message," and he challenged me to listen to Rush for a week, and I started to listen, and he said, "You're not gonna know who these players are. You're not gonna know the current events."

TODD: Yeah.

CALLER: He goes, "I'll help you with that. But just listen." And that was in the late eighties, and here I am today, and I have --

TODD: I love it.

CALLER: -- rarely missed a day --

TODD: Yeah.

CALLER: -- with Rush. But I love the difference between hearing and listening, and it has helped --

TODD: Yes.

CALLER: -- me in my life --

TODD: I love it.

CALLER: -- to be a better person.

TODD: And we're up against the clock. I want to tell you something -- listen very closely, 'cause I know you're a lifetime, long Rush listener -- Anna is one of my top 10 favorite female names.

CALLER: (laughing)

TODD: (laughing) All right, Anna, thanks for calling Rush's show.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

TODD: Tim in Turlock, California. Tim, you're on the Rush Limbaugh program. It's Todd Herman failing at filling in. Tim, my apologies for leading you onto the air with an error.

CALLER: (laughs) That's all right. I love your passion, Todd. Man, I tell you, I've become a big fan of yours.

TODD: Thank you.

CALLER: The ultimate Rush Babe was Rush's mom. I started listening to Rush in 1988 after my brother told me about him. So I had a topic that I was gonna talk about. It was about the movie Born on the Fourth of July with Tom Cruise. And while I was on hold, Rush brought his mom on like he did often --

TODD: (laughing)

CALLER:

CALLER: -- and he had a conversation with her.

TODD: (laughing)

CALLER: So when he hung up, I knew I had him because he didn't tell his mom he loved her, and he's speaking to her. This is Compuserve days, back in Compuserve before Rush 24/7.

TODD: (laughing)

CALLER: There was a guy who transcribed every Rush's show. Anyway, I knew I had him. So I didn't get to my topic. I said, "Rush, I'm totally ashamed of you." He said, "Whoa. Whoa. What's up?"

TODD: (laughing)

CALLER: I said, "You got your mom on here with all these millions of people. You hung up, and you didn't tell her you loved her."

TODD: (laughing)

CALLER: So he said, "Snerdley, get my mother back on the line right now." So Snerdley called his mom back and he had to humbly apologize to her and tell her how much he loved her --

TODD: (laughing)

CALLER: -- and it was awesome. So he let me talk to his mom.

TODD: Oh!

CALLER: We had a conversation. I got a whole segment out of him. So I talked with his mom and had a wonderful conversation with her and told her how proud I was, 'cause me and Rush are the same age. So I telling how proud I was of her son, and then he played a parody. My brother had a favorite parody. It was called Sensitive Nineties Kind of Guy.

TODD: (laughing)

CALLER: I have not heard that parody in so long. So if those guys can dig up that parody, it was so cool.

TODD: (laughing)

CALLER: But, yeah, I definitely was, like, the hero of my town for at least a week.

TODD: (laughing)

CALLER: I had that claim to fame that I was the only guy, the only caller that got to talk to Rush's mom.

TODD: Well, you may be the only caller (laughing) who ever successfully called Rush out that way.

CALLER: Exactly.

TODD: I'm feeling a little left out, honestly, because, Tim, you could have really just nailed me for the dual errors -- correcting an error and then making another one -- but you were too kind to do that.

CALLER: Yeah, I coulda got you, too. But, you know, time is valuable, and I didn't want to rub on you but, yeah. I got Rush good man. I got him.

TODD: Wow. You broke... You know what? Tim, you know what else you did? You broke the prime directive of callers.

CALLER: Yep.

TODD: What is the prime duty of a caller when they were calling the Maha? Who was prime duty?

CALLER: Get to the topic. (laughing)

TODD: That's secondary. That's tactical. The prime duty of the caller...?

CALLER: Make him look good!

TODD: There it is!

CALLER: Make him look good.

TODD: Yeah, yeah.

CALLER: Oh, man, I should get a EIB badge or something like that from you guys.

TODD: (laughing) I'll tell you what, we're giving you from afar... I'm pinning a badge into the air, but you don't want me pinning badge, because I've made two mistakes, 'cause I could make a third mistake and actually stick you in the chest with the pin. So let's make --

CALLER: Yeah, that'd be worth it.

TODD: (laughing) Let's make it a sticker. I'm putting a sticker on you. Tim, that's a great, great memory, man. I really appreciate you sharing that with us. That is just awesome.

CALLER: He was very special. Very special time.

TODD: Well, thank you for the phone call, Tim, all the way from Turlock, California. It's just amazing. See, I told you that you weren't gonna believe these calls that we have -- and so much more lined up. We'll talk more. We'll get to this clip that relates to Rush Babes. If you missed the phone with Anna, it was a remarkable phone call.

She grew up a Rush Baby. Yeah, was born a Rush Baby and became a Rush Babe, 'cause her dad got her to listen. Through Rush's passion, he got her to listen to the message and to learn from the message, and then she grew up into a Rush Babe. So we spent some time last hour going through the actual meaning of Rush Babedom.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

TODD: Now, at some point this program -- with Rush obviously at the helm -- went from talk show to nationwide phenomenon to cultural phenomenon . And I would... In fact, I'm gonna think about when that happened. Was it the bake sale, Dan's Bake Sale? Was it Rush is Right, those bumper stickers?

Was it the books? Was it the TV show? At some time, it became a cultural phenomenon, and Rush's personality and wisdom and intelligence, and you and the loyalty of these advertisers, these small businesses that Rush Limbaugh made big. Believe it or not, there was actually talk of a Dittohead dating site.

RUSH: Catherine in Austin, Texas. You're next. It's great to have you. Hi.

CALLER: Hi. It's an absolute honor to get to speak with you. I grew up a Rush Baby, and in our family we like to say you're the best friend we've never met.

RUSH: Thank you. Thank you very much. I like that.

CALLER: Yeah. So I live in Austin, Texas, one of the most liberal, atheist cities in all of America. And my fundamental viewpoints could not be more polar opposite. So I was wondering if you have ever thought about doing a Singles for Rush dating website.

RUSH: (chuckles) A Singles for Rush dating website?

CALLER: That is correct. I personally think that anybody who calls your show is a quality person.

RUSH: You're right about that. In fact, you know, I've never thought about a dating website. One of the problems with that is, obviously all the women would want to choose me, and I couldn't be available on my own site. But, you know, you're right about something. You really hit a point. We engage in a lot of audience outreach here. We started doing it during the Revere books, and it continued through a number of different outlets.

And we've made it very easy for people to reach out to us if they want to share things with us about what the program has meant to them, how long they've been listening. We have found the most incredible people make up the audience of this program.

I can't describe for you how heartwarming it is to listen to what people, who participate in these outreach efforts, literally say about what this program has meant to them and me, of course. And so you're absolutely right. The people of this audience are definitely quality people, and I need to thank you for that. Now, a dating website. When I start thinking of things like that, Catherine, I started thinking of liability --

CALLER: Yeah.

RUSH: -- and all that.

CALLER: I know.

RUSH: So you want to find a way to access the great guys that are in this audience?

CALLER: Yes.

RUSH: That's what you want.

CALLER: Oh, yes. It couldn't be more disastrous than what I've currently been through.

RUSH: I'm sure. How did you end up -- were you an Austin native?

CALLER: I'm not. I'm from a tiny town called Troy, Texas. It's about an hour and a half north, and so I went to school at UT at a time when it was much less liberal than it is now.

RUSH: Yeah, but see, the tech companies took over that town and they started bringing their tech employees in. They started setting up their tech stuff like South by Southwest.

CALLER: They sure did.

RUSH: And they just culturally took over. And of course it didn't hurt that it's a university town as well. You know, there was one time, Catherine, I didn't really dabble in it as a website, dating site. I don't know how long you've been listening.

But, oh, within the first three or four years of this program, one of the Snerdleys, I think it was Mario Snerdley, who was one of the original call screeners, suggested that it might be a cool thing if every female caller had a photo with us on file as a requirement before she could go on the air.

So I thought, well, this could be fun, and I mentioned this. I required every woman who thought that she might someday call the program and want to appear to send us a photo so that we could then qualify. You wouldn't believe, Catherine, the photos that came in. I mean, they came in by the tens of thousands. Mario Snerdley, I'd never seen a guy so happy.

CALLER: I bet. (laughing)

RUSH: And women were going out to the beach, taking pictures in their bikinis. Some were taking pictures showing some brownies that just came out of the oven. It ran the gamut. And, boy, did I get in trouble. Oh, did I get in trouble.

I got in trouble from the women who thought it was most sexist thing. Why don't you require pictures of men? Of course, I couldn't tell 'em why this really happened. It was 'cause one of the Snerdleys had the idea. But see, I can't blame it on one of the Snerdleys 'cause I'm the one that actually did it, so I had to take the hit.

CALLER: Not easy.

RUSH: And the pictures are gone. Snerdley took the pictures with him when he left to go work at Entertainment Tonight or some other such thing. But I'm flattered by your question. I'd like to find a solution for your problem, too.

CALLER: I would love for you to as well.

RUSH: What is your solution?

CALLER: I don't really have one. That's why I called the great Maha Rushie. I thought maybe you would have a solution.

RUSH: Oh, okay. Well, Mr. Snerdley here is saying the first step may be for you to deposit a picture of yourself on file here with us.

CALLER: Just let me know the email address to send it to.

RUSH: No, no, no, we are teasing about this. (laughing) But this is a challenge now. You're correct in your assessment of the quality people that listen to this program. And I understand the obstacles in your way living in Austin. A dating website.

That's something, no, we've never actually thought about doing. But I really appreciate you calling and suggesting the idea and the nice things you said. I really appreciate it. It's great that you did, and it's great to meet you and have a chat with you.

TODD: There's only one of the Snerdley brothers still at EIB, and that's Bo Snerdley. So he's behind the scenes most of the time. This came from behind the scenes, a broadcast engineer -- a great idea, great description of what a Rush dating app would be like.

I've never used Tinder. I'm married; I have no use of Tinder, although I did... I checked into it when Tony Fauci was saying in the midst of when it was all this is the most deadly disease ever known to man (impression), "Well, it is okay to go to Tinder and date but, you know, if it gets really romantic, wear a mask," and he's updated that to, "Wear a couple on your mouth."

But I don't want to go further than that. This should be the only dating site if it were a Rush dating site or app where swiping right (laughing) is the good thing to do. That means you in. Swipe left, there's all sorts of weird noises and a cacophonous sound. And your picture's erased or maybe vacuumed off the app. Longtime Rush listeners, you know the reference.