RUSH: Rusty, Franklinton, North Carolina. Great to have you with us on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Rush, thanks for taking my call, and congratulations on 32 years.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: I’ve always wanted to ask you this: Did you ever meet Paul Harvey, and, if you did, what was your takeaway?
RUSH: Oh, sure. I met him. It’s funny, actually. It’s a good story, the first time I met Paul Harvey. “Good day!” It was at the Chicago Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony where I was being inducted, and it was a big night. I had a lot of family there. They came up from Cape Girardeau. This was in Chicago.
Bruce DuMont was running the National Radio Hall of Fame. The crew from the NPR Morning Edition, they were getting in that year. Larry King was the emcee. They broadcast this thing worldwide because I was getting in. I was the most famous inductee, and Paul Harvey was there. He was instrumental. He was one of the key figures in the Radio Hall of Fame — and he lived in Chicago, of course.
So… This is one of the instances of naivete that bit me in the back. I was told that DuMont said, “Hey, Sally Jessy Raphael wants to be the one to induct you.” I said, “What?” “Yeah, Sally Jessy Raphael.” This was the night of the induction. I said, “Well, okay. What could go wrong?” (Snort!) (chuckling) What went wrong is she stood up there, and she said, “I don’t think this man should be inducted in the Hall of Fame. He calls women like me ‘fem-Nazis!’ (sic)”
I’m thinking, “Oh, for crying out loud. This is the only time I’m gonna get inducted in the Radio Hall of Fame, and this b-i… had to get up there and do this.” My mom’s in the audience. My brother’s in the audience. My brother is steaming, and so was Paul Harvey. Paul Harvey was livid. Sally Jessy Raphael — who’s about 5’2″ when she’s not wearing those rockabilly high heels — is just beaming at me.
I just totally ignored her, and I went up there and I thanked everybody — the American people — and gave my remarks and so forth. When it was over, I met Paul Harvey, and he shared with me that he was very disappointed in what had happened and so forth and what she had done. On the following Saturday… That was when the ceremony took place.
I think it was a Saturday night in Chicago, and it was, I think, the following Saturday on Paul Harvey’s Saturday show, and I think his Saturday broadcast was like a 15- or 20-minute thing. But he did a piece. He devoted, I think, over half broadcast to me being inducted in the Hall of Fame, and it was so great. He was… Well, I just remember the one line.
“There’s nobody who does what Rush Limbaugh does, and so there’s nobody ever who can do it better.” He was effusive in his praise, and part of the reason was he felt it necessary to defend the Hall of Fame. Nobody was happy with what Raphael did. She had duped everybody. Bruce DuMont was apologizing. The NPR people loved it, Larry King loved it, but half the other crowd didn’t.
I remember flying home, dropping my family back in Cape Girardeau, and I was still ticked off on the airplane, and my mother asked, “What are you so upset about? You just got in the Hall of Fame.” “Yeah, look how it happened. You can only do this one time, Mom. I mean, I can’t go do it again. You can’t get inducted next year the right way.” “No, you should be proud. That’s never happened to anybody before.”
(laughing) “Well, that’s… (laughing) Well, that’s probably true. Nobody’s probably been inducted by somebody protesting their induction.” Although I think Marlon Brando came close at the Academy Awards one year. I don’t know. But she always had a unique way — a unique, positive way — of looking at things. (interruption) Look, I don’t know where Sally is. You know, my TV show was taped in the same building, on the same floor, that her stupid show was taped on.
And there was somebody on her staff… I still don’t know who. You may know who it was. There was somebody on her staff who surreptitiously, privately and secretly got us a photo of Sally Jessy Raphael without any makeup. Now, I don’t want any of you ladies getting upset with me here. This came in over the transom, and I know it’s not polite to comment on such things.
But I don’t think I have ever seen — in a single human — a starker contrast between makeup and no makeup as was exhibited in that picture of Sally Jessy Raphael. And I think — correct me if I’m wrong — that picture ended up in a television. (interruption) Yeah, the switcher made a mistake and that picture was up there for like ten seconds (by mistake) before we realized it. (interruption)
Yeah. Yeah. It’s strange the way things work out. But, I mean, she was part of the liberal broadcast contingent that had their nose out of joint that I had become successful at all. But Paul Harvey, I met him, I think, one or two other times, but he was… Oh! He had lost his voice for a very, very long period of time, and his son was sitting in for him.
There was a time where I was having trouble with my voice, and we couldn’t figure out why. This was back during the television show days. And I remember I had to take… They sent me on a cruise, folks. (chuckling) They were forcing me to take vacations. They sent me on a cruise down through the Panama Canal, and they told me, “Don’t talk to anybody. Just rest your voice,” and it worked.
But during that, I got a note from Paul Harvey recommending his otolaryngologist — his doctor — who he believed in. Nah, he was… To me, he was just a terrific, terrific guy. He was, I think, exactly what you’d hope he would be. If you idolize somebody, if you have a high opinion of somebody and you never met ’em, and you meet ’em, you hope they wouldn’t disappoint you.
He was a great guy.
RUSH: I think that picture of Sally Jessy Raphael might show up at www.RushLimbaugh.com sometime. I’m pretty sure, actually.