Toasting Rush Limbaugh and His Place in America

The great Rush Limbaugh is gone. Even though it’s been inevitable for a year, it is still shocking. Rush was a true original and had a supersonic career by any measure you can think of. In addition to the obvious, he launched the careers of Sean Hannity and Mark Levin, and inspired dozens of others. He impacted elections, notably the midterm thrashing Democrats received in 1994. He first saved AM radio, then saved FM radio. That is not an overstatement. He almost saved Donald Trump’s second term, which would have been a spectacular swan song.

Rush is awarded the Medal of Freedom (YouTube screengrab)

Now we have Joe Biden, the cancel culture, and pod casts. Who knows if America or radio will ever be saved? Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, what many American Thinker readers surely remember -- but which some new readers probably do not realize -- is that this website had an extraordinary relationship with The Rush Limbaugh Show for a number of years. This was primarily during some very important events in our nation's history, including the run up to the 2008 Obama-McCain Election, the rise of Sarah Palin, Obama’s first term, the Obamacare debate, the rise of the Tea Party movement, and the beginning of the 2011 Primary Season to name a few.

During part of that time, American Thinker was arguably the most quoted website in Rush’s lineup. Editor in Chief Thomas Lifson has some insight into why and how that started, and it is part of a remarkable series of events that led to a second and even more exceptional behind the scenes relationship between Rush’s show and American Thinker.

I was blessed to be very involved in the second part of that relationship, but make no mistake, it was Lifson engineering that first relationship that brought me to American Thinker in the first place. For those who don’t know, Thomas Lifson is well connected and well regarded far beyond what his under the radar public profile would indicate. I’ll let him decide whether to ever expand on that or not. The fact is, he gained the trust of someone who worked with Rush, and with that, numerous American Thinker authors rode that trust and got quoted to 20 million people, many of whom came on over to AT on the web as a result.

From Rushlimbaugh.com 2009

There’s nothing quite like being featured on Rush’s show. Nothing. His show is center court of conservative thought.

I wanted to be part of that, and after being too involved in business for 15 years and letting my political writing go dormant, it was Rush’s regular use of American Thinker articles that prompted me to start writing again and to submit to AT in the first place. You see, I had this silly notion that Rush might relate to my style of humor, aggressive counterintuitive use of analogy and my confident, er, arrogant style. The problem was, I knew this about Rush after listening since 1988 -- but Rush didn’t know a damned thing about Edmund.

So Thomas, I admit it. I looked at AT as my ticket to Rush’s Show. Guilty as charged. But you knew that.

It took a while to gain Lifson’s trust, which was rather insulting to me at the time, but I understand the reason for it. Finally, on March 14th, 2008, Lifson let an article of mine slip by, into the blog section. Thank goodness Rush’s prep assistant didn’t let it slip by. The piece was based on my theory that Jeremiah Wright was a valid campaign issue in 2008 because Obama had specifically chosen him as pastor to burnish his “black street cred,” which was nonexistent after years in Hawaii, Kansas and Harvard. Rush’s opening monologue of that day featured the piece.

That led to Fox News Sunday talking about Rush Limbaugh’s black street cred theory a few days later. Thanks to the amazing reach and impact of Rush, American Thinker was impacting the national conversation. Only El Rushbo could deliver that kind of influence.

For three more amazing years, numerous American Thinker authors got that thrill of being cited by Rush for their work. This also set in motion an amazing series of back channel events regarding the ties between El Rushbo and AT, a channel that I was hip deep in into March 2011.

At an appropriate time, perhaps Thomas Lifson will allow me to share some more of this little-known story.  As for today, we toast the amazing Rush Limbaugh, mourn his death, celebrate his Salvation, and recognize his profound impact on this nation and conservatives everywhere. I am humbled and honored to have been part of the American Thinker story, and a tiny part of the Rush Limbaugh story, since 2008.

Edmund Wright is a long-time contributor to American Thinker, Breitbart, Newsmax, Talk Radio Network, and yes, The Rush Limbaugh Show. He is also author of numerous political books.