Miggs Burroughs, Rush Limbaugh, And The Brainwashing Of My Dad

In the 1980s, Miggs Burroughs listened to Rush Limbaugh on WABC.

The Westport artist — already a local celebrity — did not agree with the radio host’s politics. But Miggs found him funny, and appreciated his insights into what was percolating (“or not”) in conservatives’ minds.

(“This was way before he coined ‘femi-Nazi’ or became the offensive, pandering ultra-conservative he is today,” Miggs notes.)

Rush Limbaugh today.

Rush Limbaugh today.

In 1988, when Limbaugh went national — with more than 100 radio stations — Miggs invited him onto his public-access cable TV show, “MiggsB on TV.” (His interview subjects included folks like Westporters Martha Stewart and Patty Hearst.)

Miggs asked Rush via postcard, requesting he check one of several wacky reasons like “My career will implode” and “I will know what it’s like to have no one listen for a change.”

A week later in Grand Union, a woman breathlessly told Miggs, “Rush Limbaugh is talking about you on the radio!”

Miggs Burroughs today.

Miggs Burroughs today.

Rush had read Miggs’ postcard on the air, and asked his audience to vote on whether or not he should do the show.

Everyone said no — it was a stupid public access show, or Miggs was boring.

To his credit as a contrarian, Miggs says, Rush agreed. There was one stipulation: Miggs had to supply transportation to and from New York.

A friend of Miggs’ owned a limo company, so the deal was done.

On a freezing January night, they got ready to talk. Someone called in a bomb threat to Cablevision, so the two huddled outside for an hour. Rush had not worn an overcoat.

“He was a good sport, and very courteous,” Miggs recalls.

Rush Limbaugh and Miggs Burroughs, on the set in 1988.

Rush Limbaugh and Miggs Burroughs, on the set in 1988.

Because Rush had recently ranted about the homeless in New York, Miggs had set up a 3rd chair. He set a mannequin there, with a sign saying “Hug me, I’m homeless.”

Miggs also asked Westport prankster Alan Abel to call in with recipes for cooking the homeless that Rush would pull off the streets. Rush was a bit peeved, but stayed to the end.

That was that — or so Miggs thought.

About 2 years ago, movie director Jen Senko found Miggs’ interview with Rush on YouTube, and asked for the original tape. Miggs had no idea why.

Turns out she was researching her next film. “The Brainwashing of My Dad” is about how the media influenced her Democratic father to become a conservative.

Miggs forgot about the request, and went back to being Westport’s favorite pro bono graphic designer.

Then last year, Westporters Jim and Chris Corgel told Miggs they’d seen him in a movie at a film festival in Chicago. Yikes! he thought.

He still does not know which clip is used. He’s only seen the trailer:

But Miggs has high hopes. Senko has a good track record. Actor Matthew Modine (“Birdy, “Hotel New Hampshire,” “Weeds”) is one of the producers. The film has already won film festival prizes.

It premieres at the Cinema Village theater in New York on March 18. It will also be released on iTunes.

No word on whether Rush Limbaugh will mention it — or Miggs — on his show.

For Miggs Burroughs’ full interview with Rush Limbaugh, click below:

Brainwashing of My Dad

7 responses to “Miggs Burroughs, Rush Limbaugh, And The Brainwashing Of My Dad

  1. Dan….it’s actually a serious film. Lots of humor,for sure,but if you’re wondering how in the world your angry, ultra-conservative grandparents,aunts,uncles, and friends ever “got that way” then it’s a must see!!
    Miggs was great. No surprise there. We emailed him from the theater.
    PS It was actually shown at Michael Moore’s annual Traverse City(Mich) Film Festival last summer…tcff.org

  2. I listen to Rush , but only in my car. I won’t let him into my home.
    One of his favorite hobby horses is global warming which he claims is ” a conspiracy by liberals to raise your taxes, decrease your freedom, and enlarge the power of the government.” A pure nugget of science denial.

    He likes to ridicule people with plug- in electric cars, pointing out that the electricity generated in the electric power station, which the car requires, is creating pollution. He doesn’t seem to realize that the power station is much more efficient than a gasoline engine under your hood.

    I will watch the film. Thanks for the story
    ADW Staples 1956

  3. After so many years away from full-time Westport it was a treat to see Miggs with Rush Limbaugh for 30 minutes. Dan, as usual a great public service.

  4. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    Trying to follow the interview, I’m more focused on the red (ked) sneakers.
    I had a pair when Nixon resigned (summer ’74) and now they’re back among the 20-somethings.
    Must be true that fashion isn’t about trends — it’s about political history.

  5. Miggs,

    Loved this interview and was surprised at the almost contempoary sound bite of this interview. Great entertainment! As Rush indicated, your style was to let the guest take lead, your calm, relaxed yet thoughtful persona was in itself quite effective. You are an extremely versatile man, kudos!

  6. A. David Wunsch

    “Miggs was a douchebag ..”

    That vulgar remark is uncalled for, and only diminishes Mr. Deecken.

    ADW Staples 1956