RUSH: Somewhere in Washington state. This is Rob. I’m glad you called, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Thank you so much. God bless you, Rush, for taking my call. I’ve been a Rush Baby since 1988 and developed quite well listening to your show. To get to the point, I also started my county job at that time. And on Thursday, December 18th, there was an all-staff meeting where I was informed that opinionated talk show radio stations — specifically, you — were disruptive and I was instructed not to play it anymore and it is prohibited. I asked for that in writing and they gave me in written form, and it says… I’m not gonna mention the county, but they’re directed me to “refrain from playing or listening to opinionated talk show radio stations during work hours. It’s been determined to be disruptive to the environment. To clarify: Staff member may opt to listen to this on your breaks, in your car, with your windows rolled up…”
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait, wait. I’m not catching this all. Are you saying that you could…? They granted you permission to listen to it in your car if you had your window rolled up?
CALLER: Only on my break.
RUSH: Only on your break during work hours?
RUSH: Never in the office?
RUSH: Ever. Never, ever in the office, and only during the workday, on break, in your car with the windows rolled up so nobody else would be disturbed?
CALLER: Correct. But this is the disturbing part, Rush. “Warning: Failure to abide by this directive will be considered insubordination and therefore will subject the violator to disciplinary action.”
RUSH: So they were telling you they could fire you if you violated this dictate?
RUSH: And how long ago was this?
CALLER: Specifically you.
RUSH: Yeah, but how long ago did this happen?
CALLER: December 18th.
RUSH: Wow, December 18th. Just after the elections.
CALLER: I had a two-week vacation after this —
RUSH: I’m coming up on a break. Is there more to this story or is that pretty much it?
CALLER: Well, my choice… I’m a loyal listener to you.
RUSH: Hang on. Hang on. We gotta take a break here. We’ll get the remainder here when we get back.
RUSH: Okay. Now we’re back with Rob somewhere in Washington State. Okay, so on December 18th you get a directive. You work for the county — an unnamed county. You don’t want to name the county. You work for the county. They tell you, no longer can you listen to talk radio, particularly the Rush Limbaugh program during work hours; only on a break, and only if you’re out of the office in your car with the windows rolled up. Is that about it?
CALLER: You’re spot on.
RUSH: All right. Now, what about other radio stations? Can employees during work hours listen to, say, all-God radio? Can they listen to Top 40 radio? Can they listen to Chinese opera? Can they listen to whatever they want to listen to.
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: They can?
RUSH: They can? So the radio can be on in your office to anything except me?
RUSH: So what did you do?
CALLER: Well, my life has never been the same, Rush. I don’t know really what to do. I feel, you know, violated and discriminated against, and I can’t… It’s hard to go to work now. I just feel like I’m… I don’t even know how to explain it.
RUSH: I understand how you feel. Everybody else can listen to whatever they want.
CALLER: Right. I don’t know. I don’t even… I’m so glad you took my call ’cause I can’t express truly how I feel besides majorly violated. It doesn’t seem like I’m in America. After the e-mail, I said, “Good-bye America.” I don’t know if you go out… You read it, but I just… I don’t even know where I’m at, even. How can someone of that stature dictate what goes into my ears, you know?
RUSH: Well, that’s the thing. A business can run itself the way it wants. The First Amendment doesn’t apply there.
CALLER: Well —
RUSH: It’s a state government. It’s true. I forget this is a state government. The US Constitution might apply. Well, I don’t know. You might be able to win this depending on if you wanted to take it on. I don’t think you would view as worth it to do that, because even if you did win it they’d see to it that you’re not there.
RUSH: But I understand you feel like a family member has been kicked out of the house — and this family member, you like.
CALLER: Well, I’ve been imprisoned, in my mind. So I’m not allowed to enjoy simply things. I’m being educated by you on a daily basis.
RUSH: Well, let me ask you this. Did you have the radio on when you were listening to this program? Was it too loud? Was it, say, offending the settlements of some fragile liberals that might be in the office? Could they hear it while you had it on?
CALLER: No. The original meeting came directly after another meeting that didn’t really go all that well for everyone, and it was after that meeting that this was brought up.
RUSH: Two meetings about this. Wow.
CALLER: In the same day. After the first meeting was broke and we were done, we were all re-gathered with a separate smaller crew without the bigger people there, and the immediate staff who I work with. That’s when the directive was verbally given that no more Rush Limbaugh in the shop.
RUSH: Well, why? What was going wrong in there? What was happening because I was on the air in there?
CALLER: I don’t know. We’ve listened to you for 20 years.
RUSH: You know what? They probably found you to be in too good a mood most of the time. You were probably sitting there laughing now and then. You clearly were enjoying yourself.
CALLER: Exactly. I’m —
RUSH: Believe me, that’s enough to offend a liberal. I’m not making that up. If you enjoy yourself, that could be one of the problems. They were offended. But if you didn’t have it up loud enough that neighbors could hear it, what’s the big deal?
RUSH: Well, there had to be something that precipitated this, Rob. It just didn’t happen out of nothing. What caused this? What made the people that run the office become aware of this?
CALLER: Well, I have my personal opinion, that it’s just another way to kind of get at me specifically.
RUSH: Okay. So they’ve got it in for you to begin with?
CALLER: That’s my gut instinct.
RUSH: So what are you gonna do, Rob?
CALLER: Well, that’s my question. You know, I feel like I’m in a marriage with you, and I’m being told I can’t be with my partner anymore. So, oddly enough, I listen to you in secret places, which is jeopardizing my future.
RUSH: Now, you are married, right?
CALLER: No, I’m not. I’m a single guy.
RUSH: Oh, so you are married to me and this show? Okay.
CALLER: Yeah. That’s what I’m saying. My marriage to you and my loyalty —
RUSH: I appreciate that. I’ll bring the condoms.
CALLER: I just… I just… I can’t believe that I got on the air, but I had to have you hear it for yourself, because I am at my wits’ end to even know what to think.
RUSH: Oh, I can tell you what to think about it. That’s not a mystery. You’re dealing with flat-out anti-conservative discrimination in your office, flat-out anti-Rush discrimination. They’re just afraid to hear it. You’re probably enjoying yourself. They don’t like that. They don’t want to subject themselves to this. They’re the ones bothered by it, offended by it. They’re taking it out on you, and they’re probably of the mind-set that you’re not gonna do anything about it.
You’re not gonna challenge them on it, and you’ll just obey. But I know that you’re not gonna give up the program. You and I are not gonna get a divorce. I’m fairly confident of that. Yours is not the first example of this, by the way. This has been going on for the longest time. Rob, the way you have to look at this is, it’s a pain in the butt for you for the eight hours at work. But what this really is, is a testament to the effectiveness of this program. You have to smile.
You have to smile inwardly and outwardly, and you have to know here that they did this because this program bothers them, and it bothers them because it challenges the little cocoon that they’ve constructed for themselves to live in. So they’re behaving like tyrants, and that’s who they are. They’re little miniature dictators, and you have fallen under their ability to wield power on you. Rob, I appreciate the call. Thank you much.
RUSH: Dave in West Point, Massachusetts. I got about a minute, but I wanted to get to you. Hello, sir.
CALLER: Hi, Rush.
CALLER: Glad to speak to you. Thank you for taking my call.
RUSH: Yeah, you bet.
CALLER: In response to the an earlier caller who was being discriminated at work for listening to you, I want him to know — and I want others to know — that I work in the automobile service industry, and every single car I work on, I leave it on conservative radio.
RUSH: That is… What a patriotic thing to do.
CALLER: I have you to thank, Rush, because two, maybe three years ago, I heard a piece that you talked about: Liberals who were asked conservative questions but didn’t know it would usually agree and be on the conservative side. I thought, “You know, if these people drive away and don’t know what they’re listening to, maybe it’ll sink in and change their mind.”
RUSH: That is a brilliant, brilliant thing to do. Based on what you had learned, that is a brilliant thing to do. Something else, for people in the office: Try this. If they won’t let you have the radio on, get the RushLimbaugh.com app and listen to the program with your earbuds via the app. That way, it’s not on speaker. Nobody can hear it if you do it that way.