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by Ron Cruger
Rushie spills the truth
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        He’s the most popular commentator on radio. He has over fourteen million listeners a week. He’s the number one talk-show host in the nation. He makes forty million dollars a year. Some hate him. Others adore him and his radical views and statements. Millions listen to what he has to say because he’s always provocative and challenging.
        Rushie’s shows are fast-paced and filled with accusations, innuendo, facts, semi-facts, gossip and outrageous statements.
        He’s the master of controversy. And he’s always loaded for bear when it comes to politics in general and Democrats in particular.
         On this cold day in February, Rushie Rooney was sitting in the first-class section of a Boeing 747 headed for Chicago, Illinois, where he would rent a car and drive to Rockford, Illinois, for a nostalgic weekend. He would visit his old high school and his aunt Becky. He would also drop by the radio station where he got his first job on the air. He had promised the station’s general manager, an old friend, that he would allow a one-on-one interview with the station’s young morning disk jockey and political commentator.
        After visiting Wilson High School in Rockford and receiving a “distinguished alumni” award from the school principal at a jam-packed assembly, Rushie drove to the northern part of town to have lunch with his aging aunt Becky. Then the short drive downtown to the radio station, where the dozen employees met him at the front door with a round of applause.
         After personally meeting each of the station’s employees and greeting his old friend, the general manager, Rushie and the young disk jockey walked to the small recording studio in the rear of the small building.
        The disk jockey, whose listeners knew him by his pseudonym “Rapid Robby,” offered Rushie a chair facing him and said, “Thanks so much for coming to see us today. It’s a thrill for me and for the entire staff to have you here. If it would be okay you and I can sit here and talk for a half hour or so. I know how busy you must be.”
        Rushie replied, “A half hour would be fine and then I have to be on my way. I have a meeting with the governor and then I hop on a plane and return to New York. So, if you have some questions for me, fire away.”
        “Rapid Robby,” still in a state of awe at having the famous Rushie Rooney in the studio with him, had prepared a list of questions for the famous radio star.”
        “Okay, let’s start. Do you hate all Democrats?”
        “Hell no. There are just as many bad Republicans as there are bad Democrats.”
        “Well, then how come you seem to absolutely hate all Democrats when you talk about them on the air?”
        “First of all, what I have is a radio show. Our listeners want to hear exciting and stimulating things. They don’t tune in to hear me say Democrats are wonderful. They want to hear me blast them, so I blast them.”
        “Do you dislike President Obama as much as you seem to?”
         “To tell you the truth, I kind of like the guy. I may not agree with all the stuff he does, like giving money to banks and investment houses, but I get the impression that he’s sincere and wants to help the country get out of this recession.”
        “If you don’t really hate the president why do you spend most of the time on your show berating him, by calling him a socialist or a communist?”
        “I told you. What I have is a show. I’m in show business. The people expect me to have strong opinions, so I give ‘em to them.”
        “What shape do you think the country is in now, you know, with a Democrat president and a Democrat Congress.”
        “I think the country is in sad shape. I have to admit that many of the troubles we’re having today started a few years ago. The big problem is how we are going to fix things like the economy, stop the tricks that the investment houses are pulling, and how are we going to get jobs for Americans. Jobs that are now going overseas by the millions?”
        “You know, I’m sorry, Rushie, but you don’t sound at all like the guy on the radio who is so combative and opinionated.”
        “Well, what you’re hearing is the real Rushie, not the one on the radio. Remember, what I just said. I have a show to do. Some people dance, others sing and yet others act. I entertain people my way. It’s a show.”
        “Okay, okay, but what do you really believe?”
       “I only have a few more minutes left. I really have to go. But just between you and me, I love this country of ours. I think it’s going through a massive change right now. Some of the old rules don’t work anymore. We have the two parties split so far apart I don’t know how to get them to work together. The Democrats and the Republicans are so divided that the legislative process doesn’t work anymore.”
        “What do you think we should do?”
        “Well, I think President Obama should go on television, on prime time, and tell the country the truth. That the government isn’t working very well and things are only going to get worse unless the Democrats and Republicans start working together. I’d even tell him to suggest that if these politicians don’t straighten up quickly the American people should vote them out of office and get some new blood in Washington.”
         “Whew. What else?”
        “Well, I like this idea of the ‘Tea Party.” I don’t want to see these people go nuts and get eccentric, but I would like to see them act civilly and protest strongly until the government gets the idea to change.”
        “Last question, Rushie. Would you support Sarah Palin for president?”
        “I’m sorry, but I couldn’t. She’s very good at getting a crowd excited, but she isn’t really presidential timber. And now I have to go. I thank you for your time and I appreciate your station airing my program. Thanks. Maybe someday I’ll come back and we can actually do a half hour live on your station.”
         “Uh, Rushy, the past half hour WAS live.”
        Rushie just stared at “Rapid Robby.” He sputtered, “But, but, I thought….”