You won't find many people ambivalent about Rush Limbaugh. The conservative talk radio show host has a strong following of listeners who tune in for three hours Monday through Friday to hear the Cape Girardeau native address the issues of the day with his straightforward and unabashed opinion.
On Aug. 1 Limbaugh celebrated the silver anniversary of his nationally syndicated show.
Limbaugh got his start in radio as a youngster in Cape Girardeau working as a disc jockey on KGMO. Today's listeners and critics know him as the conservative talker not shy about offering his opinion, but Limbaugh's story is interesting.
Limbaugh has been fired seven times. Beyond radio, other career stops include a stint working in sales for the Kansas City Royals. But with a passion for the spoken word, Limbaugh eventually developed a hit show in Sacramento, Calif. The start of his nationally syndicated show on Aug. 1, 1988, was the next step, and now his listenership is about 20 million.
At times Limbaugh's comments go overboard -- something he's previously admitted. He is at his best when championing a conservative message with clarity and humor -- which he does regularly. In addition to being an entertainer, Limbaugh is a great communicator. He has the ability to sell a free market-vision that makes sense to many people.
While political talk radio has grown over the years, few have come close to Limbaugh's acclaim. His show rarely includes guests and only a few callers, yet he's able to command the attention of many. The Limbaugh Letter, a monthly publication, showcases his excellent interviewing skills.
There are things Limbaugh has said that we do not agree with, and at times this is counterproductive. But it's fair to say most of us have said something we wish we could take back. The difference is that Limbaugh has a national voice.
Regardless of political opinion, Rush Limbaugh's story offers encouragement. His confidence and passion for what he does are key attributes. His perseverance has paid off. At this 25-year anniversary, that's the story to be told.