Feb 18th, 2021 | In the News

TOM'S THOUGHTS ON RUSH LIMBAUGH'S DEATH Like his father's death, the death of Rush Limbaugh brings Tom complicated feelings.

Tom interviews Rush Limbaugh in his LA studio over 30 years ago.


Rush Limbaugh's appearance on the Pat Sajak Show the night Tom introduced him for the first time to a live LA audience at a watch party at a downtown LA hotel on March 30, 1990.


Don't get too nostalgic about old media




Submitted by Drago on

My first exposure to talk radio was on Chicago's WLS 890 in 1990. I was a kid then and found myself fascinated by an afternoon show hosted by Bob Lasiter. I know you know who he is, Tom, as you've mentioned him in the past. That was around the time that the station changed its format from music to talk. The program director was another guy that you're familiar with, Drew Hayes. They brought in Rush Limbaugh and built the station around his show. It was not long after that when I heard the Tom Leykis show for the first time (long before Leykis 101) in the 10pm timeslot.

I must admit that I didn't really get into Rush at the time. He was one of the few syndicated shows on a line-up full of local hosts and the show seemed a bit too corporate. I was more into the local hosts and never really went out of my way to listen to Rush's show, but would occasionally listen a bit here and there and would appreciate Rush's insight over time - mainly when he discussed non-political topics and gave advice to people on success (similar to some of Tom's shows). Nobody could deny that the guy was talented and built a huge following. Many many people hosted shows on WLS over the years but none were there anywhere near as long as Rush. Gotta give him credit for that.

Despite your differences with Rush, you guys played a huge role in revolutionizing the radio industry. Thank you for that. You were two of the guys in that made radio exciting and it's a shame what these big conglomerates have done to the industry.

Submitted by cpk on

Always wondered - was Rush the "Right-wing whack-o" you always referred to - (right before "or a convicted felon")?
I first heard KFI when I was doing my on-earth penance in Wyoming. We could actually listen from there, and I used to have to drive a lot through WY and UT into NV and often KFI was the only station I could get, aside from a few country music local stations. And, listened to a lot of Rush, because that was the only thing on in those dark, pre-SiriusXM days. I always hated him and none of his spew ever changed my mind, but certainly influenced millions of listeners. I think he was one of the first to really propagate the notion of an "us vs. them at all costs" mindset that helped set the stage for Gingrich et al and the declining politics of the GOP with its Frankenstein culmination that was/is Donald Trump. Maybe if he hadn't done it someone else would have, but, because he was so good at broadcasting, and was such an effective communicator, he was able to do the most damage.
Thanks for this - and, your last sentence was my favorite.

Submitted by UncleKenta on

Oh man, I always thought the right wing wacko was Rush and the convicted felon was G Gordon Liddy because he was in radio too. No matter what, it is a tough thing, when a person ghosts you and you have no idea why. Worse when you reach out to them, and you then know for sure they are ghosting you. As usual, Tom gets the wisdom of it all correct. Sigh.

Submitted by jimwalsh2001 on

I remember a magazine article I read in the nineties (which magazine I don't recall) that traced his apparent decline from the night he spent in the Lincoln Room as the guest of Bush 41. From that moment (so said the article) he went from being a radio entertainer to a "serious player" on the political scene. I will say that it was about the time I started to think he had jumped the shark...

Submitted by marcpacheco16 on

Tom, I used to listen to him religiously when he was on the morning KFI schedule, the "EIB Network"... I personally felt the need to hear the opposite argument and opposing view. He did have a way of framing shit for his listeners, which in my honest opinion, was very compelling to non well-rounded people. Especially if one listened to him religiously. My blood would sometimes boil because of the way he talked about my ethnicity and immigrants (Mexicans). I totally get your feeling though. I had a friend from childhood that I would feel torn if he passed... I no longer talk to this friend because he's a die hard trumper. It would also indeed be hard to drop the hammer on this friend ...

Just curious, from your memory, what did he think of your views on women, being married, being single and your Leykis 101 views? He was married 4 times, yet amassed tremendous wealth... ???