Burgess Owens recalls first interaction with Rush Limbaugh during ‘Bo Snerdley,’ aka James Golden’s return to radio

U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens credited his first interaction with Rush Limbaugh to the late conservative talk legend’s long-time producer and call screener, James “Bo Snerdley” Golden on Saturday.

Golden’s special on-air appearance at  WABC in New York City was more of a return to his radio roots; it is at the station where he and Limbaugh met and began working together when the late talk giant began his syndicated program in 1988.

Owens, a Utah Republican and former All-Pro, first-round NFL draft pick who played safety for 10 seasons with the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders, told Golden that in 1992 when he was working as a rep for technology company WordPerfect in New York City, he would try to make sure he was in his vehicle during Limbaugh’s show, whose flagship station at the time was WABC.

“I called in and you let me through,” Owens said, adding that the call marked “the beginning of a good relationship” with Limbaugh, 70, who passed away in mid-February following a year-long battle with cancer.

Owens went on to recount how he had lost a business he started shortly after retiring from the NFL and that he was forced to work, for a time, as a chimney sweep.

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 “The first time I had a chance to tell that story was with Rush in ‘The Limbaugh Letter,’” Owens noted, referencing a newsletter the late host, author, and entrepreneur published each month featuring a long-form interview with a notable figure or newsmaker.

The NFL star said “at some point” he wanted “to tell the story,” and Limbaugh gave him an opportunity to do that.

“I think he connected with my thought” which was “that, at the end of the day when it comes down to the black community, it’s gonna be black conservatives [that are] going to make the difference…they’re gonna have to be the tip of the spear. That was kind of the beginning of a great relationship,” Owens added.

“Where I am today, my friend, is based on a conversation that you kind of facilitated, and I really appreciate that in a big, big way,” Owens said.

Golden went on to note that Owens’ congressional win was part of “a 200 percent increase in the number of black Republicans in Congress” before asking the Super Bowl winner to respond to a “declaration of war” from Democrats on Georgia’s new voting rights law.

Owens began by explaining that the GOP is more focused on returning power to states and localities, as envisioned by the founders, while Democrats seek to concentrate more power at the federal level.

“Voting and the voting laws have always been placed with we the people,” Owens said, “closest to the normal folks who get up every single day and make a living.”

Meanwhile, “the left is trying to make those decisions from on high,” he continued. “They love power. And you have to understand that’s what we’re up against right now. We’re up against an ideology that does anything they can possibly do — there’s no shame, there’s no God, there’s no idea of freedom for the rest of us.”

Owens also said that Americans are getting a good opportunity to see the major differences between the GOP and Democrats in terms of which party is more likely to get kids back in school, to open up the economy, and support measures that promote economic growth and individual liberty.

“This is trending the right way,” Owens said, citing the changes in Georgia election law and other GOP-supported legislative priorities.

As for Golden, he has held several executive-level positions in radio throughout his lengthy and successful career.

In 1992, Golden began co-hosting a successful politics call-in show on WABC with Joel Santisteban (The James and Joel Show), which ran until 1998. 

More recently, he founded New Journey PAC, designed to assist black GOP candidates going into the 2020 general election as well as educate the public about conservative principles generally.

Social media users were excited about Golden’s return to radio.

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Jon Dougherty

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