The late Rush Limbaugh’s longtime call screener, producer, and chief engineer, Bo Snerdley — real name James Golden — gave a touching tribute to the man who invented the conservative talk radio format and saved the AM band in the process more than 30 years ago.
Golden’s emotional segment on Fox News host Sean Hannity’s program Thursday came after Limbaugh, 70, succumbed to stage IV lung cancer after a year-long battle with the disease on Wednesday. And while he had many friends, many in powerful places, there were no who was as close to, or who knew him as well as, Golden.
“Sean, we can’t wrap our arms around this,” Golden told Hannity. “We can’t wrap our brains and our hearts around it that our beloved Rush has returned his talent to God. And we are so thankful for him. You know, Rush is to me a second-generation founding father. This went beyond radio. This went beyond politics. What Rush did for America. One man changed so many trajectories in this country.”
(Credit: Fox News)
“Rush is to me a second-generation founding father. This went beyond radio. This went beyond politics. What Rush did for America. One man changed so many trajectories in this country,” said Golden.
“When Rush began his career, there were 1,200 radio stations roughly doing the talk radio format. Today, there are over 12,000. The number of print conservative publications, very few, today, they — it’s a flourishing market,” he added.
He went on to recall how, prior to Limbaugh’s meteoric rise. “There was no Fox TV. There was nowhere on TV that you could get conservative ideology.”
“He changed the media,” said Golden “He changed the landscape. Rush Limbaugh’s radio show grew for over 30 years. This is unheard of. And our audience from small children all the way up through the senior of senior citizens.”
“And beyond all of those accomplishments, Rush Limbaugh was one of the finest human beings that you would ever want to meet,” he continued, getting emotional once more as he defended his former boss and friend from false allegations of racism.
“A generous, wonderful, beautiful spirit. Humble, a gentleman. Never failed to thank people for the smallest service that they could do to him. He never looked down on people. It burns me to my soul when people sully his reputation with falsehoods, calling him a racist,” said Golden, who is black.
“This man was just an incredible phenomenon and we love you, Rush,” he concluded. “God bless you and thank you, Sean, for having me with you to talk about Rush.”
Limbaugh would over the years include Snerdley in his program, offering him airtime as the “Official Obama Criticizer”.
Hannity remarked that when he and Snerdley worked out of adjacent radio studios at New York’s WABC radio, he would often come in to greet the Limbaugh show staff and witness Snerdley bantering with and at times hanging up on callers.
“There were two shows going on [at once], true or false?” the host asked.
“That’s very true, Sean,” Snerdley chuckled.