Back in the early to mid-1990’s when I was working at WTMJ I served two straight years as president of the Milwaukee Press Club. Every year the club presents a Sacred Cat Award at its annual awards ceremony. The Sacred Cat Award recognizes excellence in journalism at the national level.
At one of our board meetings we discussed who we should pursue for the next Sacred Cat recipient. I suggested Rush Limbaugh citing his massive popularity and what a tremendous draw he would be. Our banquet was held in the main ballroom of the Pfister Hotel at the time and I told my colleagues Limbaugh would assuredly sell out the place.
In retrospect there was probably a very good chance we couldn’t have afforded Limbaugh, but that issue never came up.
After I mentioned Limbaugh the room went completely silent. You have heard a pin drop. I wasn’t laughed or scoffed at or criticized. My suggestion quickly, calmly, and without fanfare was simply rejected and the subject was changed to other possible award winners. And I know why. It wasn’t Limbaugh’s asking price that we never bothered to investigate
In the 1990’s these individuals received the Sacred Cat:
- 1990 – Maria Jimena Duzan
- 1991 – Art Buchwald
- 1992 – Lynn Sherr
- 1993 – Judy Woodruff
- 1994 – Mark Russell
- 1995 – Fred Graham
- 1996 – Bob Vito
- 1997 – Michael Bloomberg
- 1998 – Matt Lauer
- 1999 – Michael Isikoff
Matt Lauer. Michael Bloomberg. Judy Woodruff. Lynn Sherr. But no Limbaugh.
God bless Rush.