Rush Limbaugh Offers to Mentor Al Sharpton

Talk radio king Rush Limbaugh, upon hearing that Rev. Al Sharpton has been the latest figure on the Left given a radio show in hopes of capturing a Limbaugh-like audience, mused about the possibility of having Sharpton on his show and offering pointers. Sharpton has eagerly accepted.

Rush Offers to Mentor Sharpton Behind EIB Microphone (, May 27)

You know, I’ve sat here for it has to be now 14 years. I’m guessing it was two years into this program that the left first started with their attempt to create the Limbaugh of the left. Maybe it’s 13. But I’ve sat here and I’ve watched all these efforts and I’ve watched them come and go and I’ve watched them get all kinds of publicity. I have watched them get promotion. I have watched them get all kinds of adulation from the mainstream press, panted, excited breaths, as the press reports the arrival of the newest candidate to be Limbaugh of the left, and they’ve all bombed. They started in obscurity and descended from there. And now here comes the Reverend Sharpton, and I’m thinking, of all the candidates there have been, Al Sharpton may have the best chance. Sharpton may actually have the best chance, and I’m frankly getting tired of all this. I’m getting tired of every six months seeing a new Limbaugh of the left. I’m thinking — I haven’t made up my mind about this — but I’m thinking of having Reverend Sharpton into this studio and let him guest host the program for like 30 minutes at a time while I am sitting here critiquing him. In other words, mentoring Al Sharpton, and let’s be done with this. Let’s go ahead and create a Limbaugh of the left, and get it done with so the media can be done with their breathless anticipation of the next Limbaugh of the left. Because if somebody’s going to do this and succeed, don’t you think it’s about time they actually learned from people who know how to do it? The one show that’s truly unique in talk radio is this one, and if he’s going to be the Limbaugh of the left, he can go on all those other shows but they’re not going to get him this show.

So I’m just saying, bring him in here now and then and let him host the show. I’ll tell him what he’s doing right and what he’s doing wrong on all fronts, and if he’s willing to learn, if he’s willing to sit here and actually learn so he could become a Limbaugh of the left, we’ll find out. As I say, I haven’t asked him. Now, when I say “guest host” don’t think I’m going to leave. I’m going to be here. I’ll be critiquing after every phone call, after every monologue, whatever he does. I’ll critique. It will be sort of like driver’s ed. I’m going to be in the other seat, folks, as the program is unfolding before your very eyes as the Reverend Sharpton performs, and offer serious analysis and critique of his performance and his effort in a serious bipartisan effort here to reach out to the other side to help them finally succeed at this. Because it’s getting embarrassing to watch all of these vaunted candidates come up and be highly touted by the press and then they all fizzle, they all bomb. I mean, talk about nuke bombs. They all just royally bomb out. Well, I can’t teach him to be talented. I’m going to assume there is some of that, but we’ll find out. That’s what this is all about, HR, to find out if there’s talent there. You know, talent alone is not the answer. You got to teach people how to develop it and how to use it. (interruption) No, I’m going to let him sit behind the golden EIB mic.

Now, I haven’t decided to do this, Mr. Snerdley. This is just speculation here. I’m just thinking about it. You know, I’m acting in the interests of compassion, understanding, competitive balance. I mean, and I actually want to help the mainstream press, which seems obsessed with this notion that the left needs to come up with one of their own that is me. I don’t expect the media to love me ever for anything, HR, and it’s not what it’s about. I couldn’t care less whether the media loves me or hates me. That’s not why I do this. So anyway, I’m just pondering it, thinking about it, and I’ll let you know if I make a decision. I don’t even know if Sharpton would accept it, although I think he’d be here probably in two seconds. He’d try to charter a space shuttle to get here to do it if I extended the invitation. But I know it would be tricky because he might openly resist my attempts to help. He might not be prepared for the disrespect when I’m critiquing him. You know, some people can’t take criticism, even if it’s constructive. I don’t know how Sharpton is on those kinds of things. He thinks he knows a lot already, but I do sense some humility in his comments, that he wants to “take a leaf,” it’s actually a page, but he wants to take a leaf from all the big guys.

Sharpton talked with New York Post’s Lloyd Grove and is apparently quite interested:

Sharpton told me: “I was a little surprised, but I’m willing to take him up on his speculative offer. I think it would be interesting. It would be something that both of us can learn from. He can learn some of the thoughts of the left, and I can learn some of the techniques of the right. Let’s see if he’s serious.”

Yesterday Limbaugh’s producer, Kit Carson, assured me that he’s in earnest. “At this point, Rush is still undecided,” Carson said. “He’s very flattered that Rev. Sharpton is interested in doing this. Rush is still considering giving him some pointers, some tutoring. “Rush also believes that Rev. Sharpton has the best shot of anyone to be the Limbaugh of the Left. He is also very impressed that he has the humility to admit he has something to learn. … So we’ll see.”

This would make for some very entertaining radio. I have problems with Sharpton’s character but he’s undeniably glib and interesting. A lighthearted give-and-take between Sharpton and Limbaugh for a few weeks would be quite fun, akin to the occasional Gordon Liddy – Al Franken interactions.

links via Matt Drudge

FILED UNDER: Uncategorized, , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. BigFire says:

    It cannot be worse than Air America.

  2. Rodney Dill says:

    Teaching Al Sharpton to speak into a microphone?
    Sounds like teaching a duck to quack.

  3. Earl says:

    Bravo, Rush. Count on me to listen! Truly humanitarian and historic!

  4. Anderson says:

    Two guys who really deserve each other.

  5. Adam says:

    Well, the only thing that Rush can teach Sharpton is how to lie, and read the talking points of the Republican Party. To hear the truth, turn off the Wacko-Right Wing Conservative Limbaugh… (Hannity is just as bad.) He has Limbaugh Envy

  6. carpeicthus says:

    Teaching Sharpton how to lie — also like teaching a duck to quack.

    Limbaugh just wants Sharpton to be popular for the same reasons I dread it. It’s a smart move.

  7. Isaac says:

    Maybe he just wants to get him high.

  8. Terry Parker says:

    Sharpton and Limbaugh on the radio together!! Don’t stop there, why not give the WWF a call. Nothing sells like sex and bigotry.

  9. slotrain says:

    Do ya think there will be enough air in the room for those two windbags?