Rush Limbaugh, Ray Bong, and Katrina lies

Ray Bong outside Mrs. Taco in Vista, 2016/The Grapevine.

Rush Limbaugh: We’re back on the air at WWL AM 870 in
New Orleans today. They’re getting back to normal in the city, and WWL is
resuming normal operations, so we’re back. Ray, great to have you with us.

Ray Bong: Hello, Rush...

Ray “Ray Bong” Davis of Lafitte is my only friend crazy enough to be able to talk himself past hell’s palace guards, and speak with the devil himself: Rush Limbaugh, the conservative lie show host who did more to advance racism in America than Robert E. Lee, and who finally did the right thing last week at the age of 70, by fucking all the way off, into his grave.

Listen to Ray Bong’s Rush Limbaugh dialogue by clicking:

Ray Bong dialed up the Rush Limbaugh show in November 2005, just weeks after Katrina flooded New Orleans. “The radio stations had all been on Katrina news 24/7 up to that point,” remembered Ray, “but one day I heard them announce they would be resuming regular programming, starting with the RushLimbaugh show.”

Ray’s job takes him driving all over the south, and while adding thousands of miles to his odometer he often found Limbaugh a funny distraction. “I obviously don’t agree with anything he says,” Ray told me, “but he’s on the radio in every single city, and it was funny, and every once in a while there might be some truth in it.”

But on the November day when Ray tuned in to see what stupid old Rush Limbaugh had to say about Katrina, he was horrified to hear Rush telling his huge audience that “everything’s getting back to normal in New Orleans.” This at a time when the city was, in reality, desperate for help, and would be for years.

Limbaugh’s really was a special kind of lie-based evil, which he managed to spread to every radio station in America, and FOX News, and eventually our first Limbaugh-like president, Donald Trump.

Upset, Ray dialed the bastard’s show.

When Rush’s on-air producer answered and asked about his politics, Ray admitted his liberal leanings, but charmed the guy, then waited on hold for a half hour. “The whole time I’m waiting, I am writing down notes, and googling facts, things I want to say if I get through,” Ray recalled. When Rush Limbaugh finally put Ray on-air, Ray deftly held his own with the devil, as the following transcript attests (CLICK HERE to listen to the audio):

Rush Limbaugh: We’re back on the air at WWL AM 870 in
New Orleans today. They’re getting back to normal in the city, and WWL is
resuming normal operations, so we’re back. Ray, great to have you with us.

Ray Bong: Hello, Rush.

RL: Hi.

RB: You know, things are not returning to
normal. I know that you love New Orleans. I wish that you would come down here
and see for yourself what is happening. The President came to New Orleans and
gave a speech in front of St. Louis Cathedral when his response to Hurricane
Katrina was drawing some criticism: all lies. None of the things that he
promised are happening. At this moment small businesses are going down the
drain, nothing is being done to help the people who live in the 9th Ward and
Gentilly and the Lakefront to come back, and today…

RL: Wait a second — why are small
businesses going down the tubes?

RB: FEMA. What FEMA and the Small Business
Administration are doing to the people now is worse than the flood.

RL: Really?

RB: Yes.

RL: (sarcastic)
Wow. That is saying something.

RB: What is there to come back to? New
Orleans is gonna be a city with about 200,000 people in it this time next year.
We won’t have an NFL team anymore. They’re gonna cut and run. The NFL leaving
New Orleans is very symbolic of America leaving New Orleans, like, “Y’all
are doing OK now.” I wish you, Rush, would come down here and see for

RL: Well (exasperated pause), I have some friends there,
and I’m not hearing this from them. I know it’s bad, but I’m under the
impression that the main problem that the local officials have, is they don’t
have enough Democrats coming back who fled or…

RB: You know, the people in New Orleans
aren’t concerned about those kind of issues anymore, about who’s a Democrat or
who’s a Republican. We’re worried about what’s gonna happen to our city.

RL: Well, I understand that. I’m just
telling you that Mayor Nagin and the governor are concerned — this is where I
thought the answer would be to the question, what’s
wrong with small business
. What I’m being told is — and you’re
gonna have to tell me whether this is true or not — that wages down there are
going up because they have to make pretty good offers to get people to move
there and work, and there is a great opportunity for employees to go there.
That’s what I thought the small business problem was, there aren’t enough
people to work.

RB: There’s no place for people to live.

RL: Well…the whole city? There’s nowhere
to live in the whole city? The French Quarter? They’re gonna do Mardi Gras, for
crying out loud.

RB: Well, yes, Mardi Gras is a big business
in New Orleans. Think of all the hotels and the restaurants — this is where
people’s jobs are.

RL: Yeah, but you’re saying none of that
is operating?

RB: The pace at which it is being done is
so slow. As you can imagine, if you had a business, you need cash flow.

RL: Yeah.

RB: This is the problem. What I can’t
understand is why America isn’t spending 24-hours a day trying to rebuild New
Orleans instead worrying about Iraq.

RL: (defensive)
Aww, how long did it take us [to go there?]…

RB: The question is whether America can
rebuild New Orleans.

RL: Well, there’s no question America can
rebuild New Orleans.

RB: 34 billion dollars to build a
flood-controlled system that will protect America’s fine city from now on.

RL: What about it?

RB: That’s what we are asking for, and
that’s what they’re dragging their feet on. And did you know that Texas gets
100% of their oil and gas separation revenues and Louisiana gets 10% or — it’s
a very small…

RL: Ok, you’re not gonna want to hear

RB: Louisiana could get 40% of those
revenues and we could build our own levee… (Here,
Ray claims, they turned him off before he began screaming the raw truth.)

RL: You see, the problem with that is, you
did that once and they didn’t hold. And we the taxpayers of this country sent
gobs of money down to the Corps of Engineers, to the local and state
departments that are in charge of building those levees, and the money didn’t
all get spent on the levees, and we see what happened as a result. Now we’re
being asked to do it again? I think they’re just taking some time to make sure
that the money goes to where it’s intended to go this time, not to the same old
hands that are gonna siphon some off for themselves and their buddies in the

Psychedelic guru Ray Bong played Escondido’s old Metaphor Cafe shortly after he played Rush Limbaugh’s
Hurricane Katrina’s lies up close and personal/The Grapevine

The next day Ray concocted six different techno dance remixes featuring Limbaugh’s fat-tongued voice (LISTEN here. They are good!).

The Times-Picayune mentioned Limbaugh’s first day back on the air mentioned, “Caller “Ray from New Orleans,” who “clearly prompted Limbaugh to question some of his sourcing on the state of New Orleans, which the host did out loud right after a commercial break. It almost sounded like backtracking, a first for Limbaugh.”

Most of us liberals and progressives would have confronted and quickly offended the devil, and been cut short before delivering any decisive blow to our foe. Ray Davis should be commended for getting the truth across enemy lines on behalf of New Orleans.


Michael Patrick Welch, renowned New Orleans writer, musician, teacher and friend of The Escondido Grapevine, journalist/musician/author of New Orleans: the Underground Guide, The Donkey Show, and this new collection Famous People I Have Met:

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