Author and commentator Mark Steyn, who frequently filled in for Rush Limbaugh as the host of his syndicated radio show, told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Wednesday that Limbaugh’s staying power was due largely to his connection with his audience.
“He was a brilliant broadcaster,” said Steyn of Limbaugh, who died earlier Wednesday of complications from lung cancer at the age of 70.
“It wasn’t what he was talking about. It was how he talked about it,” Steyn said. “He made politics fun. He brought in all the elements. He had 20 years as a not-terribly-successful disc jockey where he had honed his craft. So he was able to use humor. He was able to use parody, songs. He was brilliant at it. He was better than anybody … He had no fear that any of the talents that came along after him would ever surpass him. He was simply the best. He invented this forum.”
Steyn added that Limbaugh’s loyalty to his friends and employees helped him stay atop the ratings.
“I think he was a fantastic employer and a brilliant friend to many, many people. That is why people came and joined the EIB Network. We know there are big-name celebrities who can’t keep a secretary for six weeks,” he told Carlson. “People came to the EIB Network and they never left.”
That connection and loyalty extended to the host and his listeners, Steyn concluded.
“He was beloved in a way that I don’t think — radio is a very intimate medium,” he said. “You are driving around in your truck and it’s like the guy is in your head for three hours. But Rush had a connection beyond that.
“I had a couple of guys working at my house for months, as is the New Hampshire way. Every day at 11:59 [a.m.], they would hang the transistor radio on the chimney and blast it, [and] sit up on the roof, listening to Rush. Nobody wanted to miss that. Incredible. Nothing like it.”