It’s still hard for me to believe Rush Limbaugh is gone.
His voice is on my radio as I type this trying to get me to switch my cell phone service to Pure Talk.
I saw the photos from his graveside service in St. Louis,
I heard about the glee that his death brought leftists everywhere on the internet... but it’s still hard to believe he’s gone.
Rush was a general... a counselor... he could see the political battlefield better than anyone on the Right. From what I’ve read, Rush was the most trusted Trump advisor who didn’t have the last name Trump. When lung cancer took him, it took far more than just a radio host - it took a cultural force of nature and voice that millions of Americans relied on to shoot it to 'em straight and have a few laughs along the way.
Can he be replaced?
No, there will ever be the "Next Rush Limbaugh" because there was only ONE Rush Limbaugh and anyone who tries to imitate the King will only fail in the process.
What's more, Rush Limbaugh is inextricably connected with Talk Radio which seems like an aged medium that is giving way to podcasts and other streaming type platforms. So the successors to Rush Limbaugh may not be traditional radio talk show hosts, but rather just be talkers in some form or another.
So who do we think might be successors to the hole left behind by El Rushbo? Let's take a look (in no particular order):
Personally, losing Rush really makes me miss Andrew Breitbart even more. We could use Breitbart (the person) now more than ever. Breitbart was a titan of his time and did more to invite new voices into the discussion than anyone before him or after him.
You are sorely missed, King. RIP.
Glenn Beck wears his heart (and faith) on his sleeve, and is a solid conservative. His network, The Blaze, has built a following over time and has some decent talent spreading news and ideas via radio, The Blaze TV Network, and social media. I enjoy listening to Beck when I can, but I don’t think he can read the tea leaves like Rush did. Beck and his dry erase board are great at telling you what has happened, but not as good as telling you where it goes from here.
Tucker is extremely popular and (most importantly) trusted. I think he could slide behind his own golden microphone and have a wildly successful radio career. If the EIB Network was looking to continue on with new talent, I would think Tucker would be one of the first names on the list to run with.
Carlson is truly a master orator and connects with his audience during his evening monologues. He brings with him a churlish demeanor and is an artist at taking on media-made sacred calves and cutting them down to size. It must drive them crazy.
Tucker is funny and is not afraid to let his audience know that he's having fun doing his show and it's ok for you to have fun watching him. More than anything, Tucker Carlson invites actual Americans on his show and discusses things that matter to the people. Whereas CNN brings on Gretchen Whitmer to help her sell her lockdowns to Americans, Carlson invites the business owners and parents actually effected by her decisions. That's why Conservatives love Tucker Carlson, he throws up a shield and wields a club to hit back at a culture that seems to have particular disdain for them.
That's why Carlson has the ears of Conservatives right now and why he'd be a great choice to try and fill Limbaugh's shoes - that being said, Tucker is also currently the most popular cable news host in the history of cable news, so who knows if he'd even be interested.
Hannity's Fox News show and radio show are popular. I personally find him to be an abrasive blowhard with grifter traits. Between tv and radio he does have a massive footprint that could help fill the vacuum left by Limbaugh. Still, I don't think Hannity ADDS to the discussion anything of real merit - he's a reactionary and tends to play down to his audience. I feel like this is the reason why Tucker Carlson has surpassed him at Fox. To his credit, Hannity DID invent the nickname "Humpty Dumpty" for CNN Media Reporter, Brian Stelter and called him the name to his face one time. . . that's pretty based:
Levin has the respect of his contemporaries and it shows when they speak to him or about him. His radio show airs at night and is already nationally syndicated. He’s got an impressive resume having worked in the Reagan Administration. Levin’s radio show and Fox News show allow him to reach a lot people. He’s better at predicting Democrat’s next moves than Beck or Shapiro are. Mark has dealt with the swamp for years, and in Rush’s absence, he may very well be a place where people turn to.
In many ways, Shapiro is already on his way to becoming his own version of Rush Limbaugh. Now before you throw something at the screen, hear me out. I don't mean that Shapiro possesses the charisma or personality or the presence of Limbaugh, but - like Rush - Shapiro has become a flashpoint for controversy in our culture. Ben Shapiro (who's wife is a doctor, by the way), trends on Twitter seemingly once or twice a month based on something he said on his show, The Ben Shapiro Show. He's constantly used by Lefties as an exemplar of all that's wrong with conservative media. Shapiro makes all of the right people furious and it's hilarious to watch them turn this spindly orthodox Jew into LITERALLY HITLER. Shapiro's podcast is the fourth most listened to podcast in the United States, he writes books, he helps run The Daily Wire and is a conservative presence throughout our culture (much to the chagrin of his haters). So Shapiro is building himself an empire, very much in the mold of one that Limbaugh once occupied.
Still, Shapiro will never "replace Rush" because Shapiro is decidedly nerdy. Limbaugh was a cigar smoking, golf-playing, sports loving Alpha Male, that loved to show off his bravado on the radio. Shapiro is not that - he's a violin playing nerd that can't talk about culture in a way that doesn't expose the fact that . . . he's a nerd.
But that's OK - we need Ben Shapiro to be Ben Shapiro, a guy that has an impressive ability to take liberal media talking points and provide a straight-forward, reasonable and relatable conservative response. He connects with young people in a way that nobody else in conservative media can or does - which is why the illiberal left constantly smears him in effort to make him less accessible to people who might otherwise agree with him.
Moreover, It's admirable that he and his company. The Daily Wire, is trying to produce movies and films that would otherwise never stand a chance in uber liberal Hollywood. The Daily Wire folks deserve kudos for immediately reaching out to Gina Carano after she was let go by Disney and committing to letting her produce her own film. Who knows if it will be any good, but they decided to put their money where their mouth is and that's commendable.
So let the nerd be a nerd and don't expect him to try and be the next Limbaugh, thats OK.
Having written conservative blogs for almost 20 years, Erickson has built a nice following and reputation. A lot of people got to know him as blogger, editor in chief, and eventually CEO of RedState. Others got to know him because Rush himself trusted Erick with the golden EIB microphone as a guest host when Rush was away. He now hosts his own radio show out of Atlanta’s WSB Radio station and is Editor at The Resurgent.
What makes Erickson interesting to me is that he's kind of a natural blend of "traditional radio guy" with a honed social media presence. Limbaugh, for all of his successes, never seemed interested in taking his voice to social media. In that respect, he decided to stick to what he knew and didn't want to get involved with the Twitter swamp. Erickson is definitely not Limbaugh, in fact, he told a group of people that very thing on the Clubhouse App the other night, but he is a very good radio listen and does understand the Twittersphere in a way that helps bridge generations.
He may not be the next Limbaugh, but Erickson is someone that deserves more of your attention.
Donald J. Trump
If Trump were to decide he wasn’t going to run again in 2024, he’d be free to start Trump TV and a new social media platform. He’s reportedly had interest in doing both. Trump loves going around legacy media and communicating with his fans directly. If he were to start his own tv network and social media platform, nobody would be able to silence him ever. President Trump has gained a large, loyal following since entering the political arena. Any adventure he tried along the lines of tv and social media would be strongly supported by tens of millions of Americans - including millions who'd listen every day just out of pure spite.
That'd be something.