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‘This Is The Guy Who Created Talk Radio’: Megyn Kelly And Eric Bolling Discuss Rush Limbaugh’s Legacy
LAGUNA NIGUEL, CA - OCTOBER 02: Megyn Kelly speaks onstage at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit 2018 at Ritz Carlton Hotel on October 2, 2018 in Laguna Niguel, California.
Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Fortune

Appearing on Megyn Kelly’s podcast, The Megyn Kelly Show, former Fox News host Eric Bolling discussed the legacy of conservative radio legend, Rush Limbaugh.

“This is the guy who created talk radio,” Kelly said. “You wouldn’t even know who Sean Hannity was if it hadn’t been for Rush Limbaugh. He created a lane that didn’t exist.”

Limbaugh passed away on Wednesday morning at 70-years-old, after a year-long battle with lung cancer. Kelly continued to describe Limbaugh’s meteoric rise from media-unknown to conservative legend.

“He was from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, born in 1951, just for people who don’t know anything about him,” Kelly explained. “He started off as a little sort of helper in some local radio station, and then found his way out of there to report something he called Barn News at another small station, he found a way to make that fun. Then wound up getting a syndicated show, 56 radio stations at first, and it grew to be the most successful, most listened to radio show in the world. 600 plus stations, 27 million people tuned in to hear what Rush Limbaugh had to say on a weekly basis. 27 million.”

Adding context to Limbaugh’s unprecedented popularity, Kelly then noted that Tucker Carlson is “pulling in, at a good night, four, on a great night, six or seven million people. … 27 million people [for Limbaugh], it’s just huge.”

Acknowledging Limbaugh’s huge influence on conservative media, as well as his many additional contributions to American life, Kelly then continued to discuss his critics.

“I get he said controversial things. He’s in the business of talk radio — go find me somebody who’s in the business of talk radio who hasn’t said controversial things. Rush was a controversial figure. But I don’t think he deserved the headlines I’m reading today,” Kelly said, referencing the reaction of the legacy media to Limbaugh’s death, and noting that such mischaracterization and demonization is “how they see not just Rush Limbaugh … but Republicans. This is no accident they tried to tie him and his worst moments to an entire half of the country.”

Eric Bolling responded, saying “I think we’re bound by the words we speak,” and that “Rush was that, he was a provocateur.”

“He was paid very well, by the way, to be that, to be the provocateur, or to say that. He never claimed to be a journalist. He always said he was in the infotainment business, so a little bit of information and a lot of entertainment, I think that’s what he was,” Bolling added.

Later, Kelly discussed the subject of judging the legacy of professional talkers.

“I do think professional talkers, professional opinion makers like [Rush Limbaugh and Bill Maher] who are successful are never going to stay between the rails at all time,” Kelly said. “I bet you dollars to doughnuts when they write up many, many years from now, the obit for somebody like Bill Maher, who’s more on the Left, they’re going to be a lot more generous than they were to Rush.”

After it was announced that Rush Limbaugh had passed away on Wednesday, Kelly wrote on Twitter, “Rest In Peace Rush Limbaugh, the G.O.A.T. in the medium he created.”

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