The facts aren’t entirely accounted for as yet.
Update | 8:15 a.m. Rush Limbaugh, the pre-eminent conservative talk radio host, was said to be resting at a hospital in Honolulu after suffering chest pains Wednesday afternoon.
Mr. Limbaugh, who is on vacation, may place a call to his popular program. His syndicator, Premiere Radio Networks, said to listeners that the host would “keep you updated” on Thursday’s edition of “The Rush Limbaugh Show.” The program is being led by substitute hosts this week; Mr. Limbaugh was scheduled to return on Monday, Jan. 4.
Premiere Radio Networks had no further comment on the radio host’s condition.
Update | 1:23 a.m. Rush Limbaugh’s Web site this morning confirmed that the talk show host had been taken to a hospital, saying in a posting:
Rush was admitted to a Honolulu hospital today and is resting comfortably after suffering chest pains. Rush appreciates your prayers and well wishes. He will keep you updated via RushLimbaugh.com and on Thursday’s radio program.
The statement was issued after a Honolulu television station, KITV, reported on Mr. Limbaugh’s hospitalization Wednesday.
The station said that paramedics responded to a call at 2:41 p.m. from the Kahala Hotel and Resort, and then took Mr. Limbaugh to The Queen’s Medical Center, where he was listed in serious condition.
A hospital spokesman, N. Makana Shook, would not not comment on the report when called by The New York Times Wednesday night, and Mr. Limbaugh’s associates could not be reached for comment.
The KITV report said that Mr. Limbaugh has been in the islands during the holidays, and had been seen golfing at a local country club next to the Kahala Hotel and Resort.
Mr. Limbaugh is the country’s leading purveyor of political talk radio, reaching millions of listeners on about 600 stations. “Limbaugh is a master of the airwaves,” Michael Harrison, the editor of the radio industry publication Talkers Magazine, said last year. “He is the best talent on the air in modern broadcasting.”
Which certainly tells you all you need to know about modern broadcasting. As for Rusty, who’s obviouosly rich enough to enjoy the top-notch health care he works constantly on depriving from “leesser” mortals it’s time for a trip down very recent memory lane.
“On October 3, 2003 the National Enquirer reported that Limbaugh was being investigated for illegally obtaining the prescription drugs oxycodone and hydrocodone. Other news outlets quickly confirmed the investigation. He admitted to listeners on his radio show on October 10 that he was addicted to prescription painkillers and stated that he would enter inpatient treatment for 30 days, immediately after the broadcast. Limbaugh stated his addiction to painkillers resulted from several years of severe back pain heightened by a botched surgery intended to correct those problems.
A subsequent investigation into whether Limbaugh had violated Florida’s doctor shopping laws was launched by the Palm Beach State Attorney, which raised privacy issues when investigators seized Limbaugh’s private medical records looking for evidence of crimes. On November 9, 2005, following two years of investigations, Assistant State Attorney James L. Martz requested the court to set aside Limbaugh’s doctor-patient confidentiality rights and allow the state to question his physicians, stating it was necessary because “I have no idea if Mr. Limbaugh has completed the elements of any offense yet.” Limbaugh’s attorney opposed the prosecutor’s efforts to interview his doctors on the basis of patient privacy rights, and argued that the prosecutor had violated Limbaugh’s Fourth Amendment rights by illegally seizing his medical records. The American Civil Liberties Union issued a statement in agreement and filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Limbaugh. On December 12, 2005, Judge David F. Crow delivered a ruling prohibiting the State of Florida from questioning Limbaugh’s physicians about “the medical condition of the patient and any information disclosed to the health care practitioner by the patient in the course of the care and treatment of the patient.”
On April 28, 2006, Limbaugh and his attorney, Roy Black, went to the Palm Beach County Jail to surrender after a warrant was issued for his arrest on the charge of doctor shopping.According to Teri Barbera, spokeswoman for the Sheriff, during his arrest, Limbaugh was booked, photographed, and fingerprinted, but not handcuffed. He was then released after about an hour on $3,000 bail. After his surrender, he filed a “not guilty” plea to the charge. Prosecutors agreed to drop the charge if Limbaugh paid $30,000 to defray the cost of the investigation and completed an 18-month therapy regimen with his physician.
Limbaugh asserted that the state’s settlement agreement resulted from a lack of evidence supporting the charge of doctor shopping. Under the terms of the agreement, Limbaugh may not own a firearm for eighteen months and must continue to submit to random drug testing, which he acknowledges having undergone since 2003.
Previously, Limbaugh has condemned illegal drug use on his radio broadcast and has stated that those convicted of drug crimes should be sent to jail.
Roy Black, one of Limbaugh’s attorneys, stated that “Rush Limbaugh was singled out for prosecution because of who he is. We believe the state attorney’s office is applying a double standard.”
In June 2006, Limbaugh was detained by drug enforcement agents at Palm Beach International Airport. Customs officials confiscated Viagra from Limbaugh’s luggage as he was returning from the Dominican Republic. The prescription was not in Limbaugh’s name.
After he was released with no charges filed, Limbaugh joked about the incident on his radio show, claiming that he got the Viagra at the Clinton Library and was told they were blue M&M’s. He also stated that “I had a great time in the Dominican Republic. Wish I could tell you about it.”
I wish you could too, Rusty. But it looks like we’ll have to wait to read what the rent boys have to say in the inevitable posthumous bio.
The good news is WE MAY NOT HAVE MUCH OF A WAIT!
“Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); confusion; difficulty urinating; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat ; seizures; severe dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting; slowed or difficult breathing; tremor; vision changes.”
Can we say “Death Pool” boys and girls?
One Clay Lambert has an interesting site on Rusty and Oxy.
“If you believe a woman named Wilma Cline, the nationally syndicated radio personality Rush Limbaugh would drive three miles from his $23 million Palm Beach, Fla., estate to a Denny’s parking lot so that she could hand over a cigar box concealing dozens of tiny prescription painkillers. The loquacious Limbaugh, his housekeeper says, was often high on “hillbilly heroin.”
Limbaugh has not been charged with any crime. But in the court of public opinion, the jury on the East Coast is more likely to nod in knowing disapproval because OxyContin is never far from the headlines. Meanwhile, in California, Limbaugh’s listeners are probably wondering: What in the world is OxyContin?
One of 59 prescription pain-relievers using the active ingredient oxycodone, OxyContin is most commonly prescribed for cancer patients and others with chronic, debilitating pain. Oxycodone is not new. Neither is its potential for abuse. German researchers noted “striking euphoria” among users of the drug as early as the 1920s, according to a DEA position paper.
Police didn’t become alarmed until 1995, when drug manufacturer Purdue Pharma began producing a powerful time-released version it called OxyContin.
The brand, which is lauded by pain-control advocates, has proven to be the scourge of law enforcement east of the Continental Divide.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reports 454 deaths in 32 states were likely due to OxyContin abuse in 2000 and 2001. The agency determined that nearly 11,000 emergency room visits were due to OxyContin abuse in 2001, a number that has tripled since 1996. The states of Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia all report that at least 50 percent of new drug treatment patients land in rehab due to OxyContin.
Yet in the Bay Area — a place much of the country considers synonymous with drug abuse because of the excesses of the 1960s — the painkiller is all but unheard of.
“I can’t remember a case and I’ve been here a year and a half,” said Capt. Trisha Sanchez, commander of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Narcotics Task Force. “There may be individual cases that I wouldn’t have heard of, but we haven’t seen anything significant.”
Why? Why would a drug have such lethal consequences seemingly everywhere but here?
OxyContin abuse took root in rural communities and quickly became just another cash crop. Down-and-out drug users began pilfering painkillers prescribed to relatives. Before long, they were complaining to their own doctors of phantom ailments that would require medication for pain. Then pharmacies were targeted. Hundreds of pharmacies in the east will no longer carry the drug because it has become such a fashionable target for thieves.
Rich Meyer, a special agent in the DEA’s San Francisco field office, has an economic theory to explain why the drug has been slow to take hold in California. OxyContin sells for about $1 per milligram on the street, Meyer notes. That means a single 80-milligram pill would cost $80. Mexican “black tar” heroin can be found on California city streets in $20 packets.
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy posits that methamphetamine is king here, crowding out all other drugs.
“The San Francisco Bay Area has become a major center for production and distribution of methamphetamine,” according to a profile compiled by the Drug Control Policy Office. “Most of the methamphetamine used in the United States is from trafficking groups operating with the supply from California.”
California’s profile mentions OxyContin only once: “In Los Angeles, the diversion and abuse of OxyContin is considered somewhat serious.”
“People have preferences,” explained Gabrielle Antolovich, executive director of the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Silicon Valley chapter. “It’s pretty common that there are East Coast drugs and West Coast drugs.”
But Terrence McGee says that might all be changing.
“I would say we see three or four cases every three months,” said McGee, lead counselor for First Chance, a non-profit drug treatment center in San Mateo County. “A lot of people are scared of heroin, but people get this medication from their doctor. They don’t understand that you can be addicted in five days. They don’t realize the consequences.”
And McGee noted that prescription drug use is far more acceptable in the suburbs than heroin addiction.
“I would say that, yeah, we will be seeing more of this — especially in San Mateo County,” he said.
And here’s a 48 Hours report on proscription drug addiction by Rusty’s favoirte journalist, Dan Rather.
Not a pretty picture. But don’t worry, Rusty — you’ve got the best health care on the planet. Can’t say that of the average morbidly obese asshole — or the average junkie.
Sing us out Nico