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Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup" | Creative Commons License,

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Free: Listening Online to Radio's "Numero Uno" Talk Radio Host, Rush Limbaugh

By Vicki McClure Davidson


Listen for Free on Internet to Rush Limbaugh, Supreme Conservative Radio Talk Show Pundit


Rush Limbaugh, Supreme Conservative Radio Talk Show Pundit

Love him or loath him, Rush Limbaugh is currently the purported top talk-radio host in the United States. Behind his "Golden EIB Microphone" in Florida, he has been the most consistent (and arguably, loudest) voice of conservative Americans for two decades. You can listen to him on either AM or FM radio in your locale or for free through various Internet streaming audio radio programs (detailed info on that later).

With his brilliant understanding of American history, the US Constitution, US law, and his love of country and capitalism, Rush informs his listeners, via 600 radio stations, of his observations and conclusions and "gut feelings"—five days a week, he relentlessly lambastes what he views as Washington, DC corruption and scandal; shady, dishonorable, liberal, or greedy politicians; the gossip-mongering "Drive-By" media of the nation's major TV news outlets and newspapers, and a gamut of other sensitive or unpopular issues and policies that affect our lives politically and socially.

With an ego as big as his heart, Rush has many loyal listeners. They call themselves "Dittoheads" and they number in the millions. In a country where the airing of just liberal views is becoming increasingly more prevalent, Rush is one of the few remaining successful conservative voices in syndicated radio (Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, and Sean Hannity are others). To his fans, he's a national hero with some forgivable ego flaws and keen instincts and insights. To his critics, he's controversial, anti-liberal, and overbearing. Ultra-liberal writer/comedian/politician Al Franken wrote a book in 1996 titled "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big, Fat Idiot"... absolutely no love there, eh? In the opening sentence of her review of Franken's book, Jeanne Kirkpatrick wrote, "It remains a mystery why the New York Times would ask me to review this dreadfully foul little book." (Guess Franken wasn't able to juggle unleashed venom and humor successfully.) And Franken's book listed for $21.96 retail in hardback in 1996, not cheap. Kirkpatrick also questioned if Franken out and out fabricated his accusations and diatribes against Rush just so that he could sell more books. It's back to either you love Rush or loath Rush, as stated earlier. A narrow "gray zone" exists when it concerns opinions of Rush.

While I don't agree with Rush on everything, I agree with him on many things (or, at least will consider them) and have a huge amount of respect for him. He is extremely funny, despite most of his doom and gloom predictions. A fascinating man... so much so, he was selected in late 2008 by journalist Barbara Walters as one of the Top 10 Most Fascinating People in America and featured him on her televised special. A decade or so earlier, she had also picked him for the questionably lofty title (when Miley Cyrus is also included in Walters' Top 10 lineup, you have to wonder), so Rush holds two "Most Fascinating People" acknowledgments from Walters.

His drug addiction to painkillers, for which he's publicly apologized for and has been treated for, has left him almost totally deaf, although he's continued to host his radio show with the aid of a prompter.

Ann Coulter—controversial and prolific conservative writer, commentator, and corporate lawyer, was asked in a January 2009 interview with Betsy Rothstein of The Hill, who she admired most in the world. Coulter's response was, "Living right now, maybe Rush Limbaugh. I know that sounds obvious. He's like a Ronald Reagan who never ends." The interviewer then asked, "Would you want to date him?" to which Coulter responded, "None of your beeswax."

In response to attacks and criticisms made by liberals and assorted people in Washington, Michelle Malkin, respected conservative political commentator, had this to say about the bashings in a December 2008 posting on her blog at

Michelle Malkin's 2008 response to bashing of Rush Limbaugh


Here are a few of Rush's quotable gems (there are many more posted daily on his website) that have caused an uproar with non-conservatives:

Rush Limbaugh's website at is well-designed and has daily transcripts of his shows posted. The site offers listeners membership (a paid subscription) so they are able to listen to his show online, watch video footage from the show's video cam, and have unlimited access to the show's transcript archives. However, it's a bit pricey, in my opinion, to listen to it via the Internet (the Rush 24/7 membership is between $50 to $80 a year, depending on which plan you sign up for).

He is syndicated here on FM radio in Arizona, but at work, I don't have access to a radio, only headphones and Internet streaming audio. Listening to Rush online is my most practical course of action. However, most of us "regular Joes" who are cinching in the belt to be frugal simply can't justify spending that kind of money, even if I truly believe Rush is worth every penny of it. So, should you not be able to listen to him, his website, with transcripts from earlier that day, are available for you to read for free. These is no set time for his website to be updated, but typically, I've noticed that the new transcripts are usually uploaded by late afternoon of the same day they aired.

White House vs. Rush

In late January 2009, in an unprecedented move by the President of the United States, Rush was publicly attacked concerning his opposition to the $800 billion economic stimulus package that was filled with pork and next to nothing for actual job creation and stimulus and economic help for US citizens. This shocking pork-laden package, designed to make government bigger, was reported in some media and was splashed all over the Internet, but not much was mentioned by the liberal mainstream media. No telling at this point where this is going to go, but there is valid concern that by trying to marginalize Rush and other non-liberals, decimation of free speech and radio censorship may be put on the table by the Democratic Congress (a renaming of the Fairness Doctrine).

Pres. Obama warned Republicans on Capitol Hill that they needed to stop listening to radio king Rush Limbaugh if they want to get along with Democrats and the new administration.

"You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," he told top GOP leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package. To Democrat leaders, he said, "If we don't get this done, we could lose seats, and I could lose re-election. But we can't let people like Rush Limbaugh stall this. That's how things don't get done in this town... I'll be judged by the legacy I leave behind on the economy."

One White House official confirmed the comments, but said Obama was merely trying to make a larger point about bipartisan efforts.

Rush didn't let Pres. Obama's negative comments go ignored. Unabated, he shot back, succinctly explaining his opposition to the pork-ridden stimulus plan and how it would further hurt America:

To make the argument about me instead of his plan makes sense from his perspective. Obama’s plan would buy votes for the Democrat Party, in the same way FDR’s New Deal established majority power for 50 years of Democrat rule, and it would also simultaneously seriously damage any hope of future tax cuts. It would allow a majority of American voters to guarantee no taxes for themselves going forward. It would burden the private sector and put the public sector in permanent and firm control of the economy. Put simply, I believe his stimulus is aimed at re-establishing "eternal" power for the Democrat Party rather than stimulating the economy because anyone with a brain knows this is NOT how you stimulate the economy. If I can be made to serve as a distraction, then there is that much less time debating the merits of this TRILLION dollar debacle.

The attacks from the White House via Obama's well-paid staffers, including Democrat strategist James Carville, continued for months. The embarrassment of government officials, talking disparagingly against Rush and his "fringe" audience to anyone who would listen, such talk shows or letting flawed survey polls about Rush be splashed on the Internet. The government's attacks backfired. Rush's listenership grew despite a shrinking US economy; revenues for his show grew an amazing 12 percent for the first quarter of 2009. Writer Camille Paglia was disgusted and had had enough of the attacks on Rush by America's government: she openly criticized the strong-arm tactics of Obama's staff. Here is an excerpt from her March 11, 2009 Salon piece, "Heads should roll - President Obama's clumsy, smirky staff is sinking him - and resurrecting a deflated GOP! Plus: Lay off Rush! And a Brazilian diva, up close and electric":

Free Barack!: Yes, free the president from his flacks, fixers and goons—his posse of smirky smart alecks and provincial rubes, who were shrewd enough to beat the slow, pompous Clintons in the mano-a-mano primaries, but who seem like dazed lost lambs in the brave new world of federal legislation and global statesmanship.

Heads should be rolling at the White House for the embarrassing series of flubs that have overshadowed President Obama's first seven weeks in office and given the scattered, demoralized Republicans a huge boost toward regrouping and resurrection.

The orchestrated attack on radio host Rush Limbaugh, which has made the White House look like an oafish bunch of drunken frat boys. I returned from carnival in Brazil (more on that shortly) to find the Limbaugh affair in full flower. Has the administration gone mad? This entire fracas was set off by the president himself, who lowered his office by targeting a private citizen by name. Limbaugh had every right to counterattack, which he did with gusto. Why have so many Democrats abandoned the hallowed principle of free speech? Limbaugh, like our own liberal culture hero Lenny Bruce, is a professional commentator who can be as rude and crude as he wants.

Yes, I cringe when Rush plays his "Barack the Magic Negro" satire or when he gratuitously racializes the debate over Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, who is a constant subject of withering scrutiny for quite different reasons on sports shows here in Philadelphia. On the other hand, I totally agree with Rush about "feminazis," whose amoral tactics and myopic worldview I as a dissident feminist had to battle for decades. As a student of radio and a longtime listener of Rush's show, I have gotten a wealth of pleasure and insight from him over the years. To attack Rush Limbaugh is to attack his audience—and to intensify the loyalty of his fan base.

If Rush's presence looms too large for the political landscape, it's because of the total vacuity of the Republican leadership, which seems to be in a dithering funk. Rush isn't responsible for the feebleness of Republican voices or the thinness of Republican ideas. Only ignoramuses believe that Rush speaks for the Republican Party. On the contrary, Rush as a proponent of heartland conservatism has waged open warfare with the Washington party establishment for years.

And I'm sick of people impugning Rush's wealth and lifestyle, which is no different from that of another virtuoso broadcaster who hit it big—Oprah Winfrey. Rush Limbaugh is an embodiment of the American dream: he slowly rose from obscurity to fame on the basis of his own talent and grit. Every penny Rush has earned was the result of his rapport with a vast audience who felt shut out and silenced by the liberal monopoly of major media. As a Democrat and Obama supporter, I certainly do not agree with everything Rush says or does. I was deeply upset, for example, by the sneering tone both Rush and Sean Hannity took on Inauguration Day, when partisan politics should have been set aside for a unifying celebration of American government and history. Nevertheless, I respect Rush for his independence of thought and his always provocative news analysis. He doesn't run with the elite—he goes his own way.

President Obama should yank the reins and get his staff's noses out of slash-and-burn petty politics. His own dignity and prestige are on the line. If he wants a second term, he needs to project a calmer perspective about the eternal reality of vociferous opposition, which is built into our democratic system. Right now, the White House is starting to look like Raphael's scathing portrait of a pampered, passive Pope Leo X and his materialistic cardinals—one of the first examples of an artist sending a secret, sardonic message to posterity. Do those shifty, beady-eyed guys needing a shave remind you of anyone? Yes, it's bare-knuckles Chicago pugilism, transplanted to Washington. The charitably well-meaning but hopelessly extravagant Leo X, by the way, managed to mishandle the birth of the Protestant Reformation, which permanently split Christianity.

In a March 2009 Fox news interview, Rush observed, "The difference between Carville and his ilk and me is that I care about what happens to my country. I am not saying what I say for political advantage. I oppose actions, such as Obama's socialist agenda, that hurt my country." He continued, "I deal in principles, not polls. Carville and people like him live and breathe political exploitation. This is all a game to them. It's not a game to me. I am concerned about the well-being and survival of our nation. When has Carville ever advocated anything that would benefit the country at the expense of his party?"


Free Online Listening to Rush's Show

For those of you who want to listen to Rush Limbaugh online for free, without having to tune in to his show on an AM or FM radio, here are some alternative methods:

There are many other radio websites you can try, but here is the site I've used successfully. Go to the WLS 890 AM,, talk radio station website (WLS is a Chicago talk show radio station that streams online audio). Check the site for broadcast times, as they obviously differ in different time zones. Click on any of the links on the page that state, "Listen Live."

Should your browser block the pop-up for the streaming audio, click for your browser to allow the pop-up. Otherwise, sit back and allow the streaming web cast to start (often, there is a short ad that streams before the show streams). You cannot stop the ad nor pause the show once it begins. Should you press Stop, the streaming audio will simply disconnect. You will need to start over again on connection. On the pop up is a volume control that you can adjust, if necessary.

Rush Limbaugh, Conservative & Controversial Talk-Radio Host

Follow a similar course of action for Arizona's FM station KFYI: go to Clink the link on the site's home page that says "Listen Live." El Rushbo or the Maha-Rushie (two of his nicknames for himself) airs at the same time as cited above. Arizona is one of a few states in the U.S. that doesn't go on Daylight Saving Time, so you may need to adjust your listening time twice a year. Note: For some reason, I've not been able to access this station when using Mozilla's Firefox. You may have better luck. Or, try using Internet Explorer or another browser.

Click here for a list of all the stations, by state, on which Rush's show is scheduled. On his website, you can also find information about free podcasts. Go to the website for more details.

UPDATE, June 2010: Congratulations to Rush on his recent marriage to Kathryn... click here and here for more wedding info.

And for wedding photos... Rush Limbaugh's Wedding Photos on Facebook, "Rush in a Hurry," & His Cool iPad Giveaway Sweepstakes.


Related Frugal Café Blog Zone Posts: Rush Limbaugh
August 11, 2010: Minus 22: Tie for All-Time Low for Obama's Presidential Approval Index, but Obama's Pick of Bennet for CO Senate Race Beat Clinton's — UPDATE: Rush Limbaugh Weighs In
July 9, 2010: Limbaugh Transcript: Obama Claims He Inherited "Decade of Economic Uncertainty"... What Decade Is POTUS Talking About?
July 1, 2010: Gore's Sex Scandal Not Going Away: Investigation Re-Opened by Police, Rush Limbaugh Reads Aloud Creepy, Detailed News Story (audio-video)
May 1, 2010: Rush Limbaugh on "Obama’s Katrina": Timeline of Obama Not Taking Swift Action to Contain the Gulf Oil Spill
March 4, 2010: Rush Limbaugh Applauds Rep. Paul Ryan: Decries Cynical Dem Gimmicks & Says "ObamaCare Is a Ponzi Scheme That Would Make Bernie Madoff Proud"
December 28, 2009: Adweek Names Rush Limbaugh 'Radio Personality of the Decade' & "The Sopranos" 'TV Show of the Decade'
March 9, 2009: Follow-Up on Obama Snub of British PM: Appears "Obama Too Tired" from Partying, Not from Being President
March 6, 2009: Snub the Brits - Embarrassing "Change" We Can Count on in Obama’s White House
February 9, 2009: Rush Limbaugh Exposes That Obama’s "Stimulus" Bill Bans Giving $$ to Fix College Buildings if Students of Faith Use the Building
January 20, 2009: From Rush Limbaugh: Cancellation of Some Inaugural Balls Because of High Price Tags


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