RUSH: Tallahassee, Florida. This is George. I’m glad you called, sir. Hi.
CALLER: Thank you for your time, Rush. I just want to give prayers from a nation of grateful conservatives. But my question is: Considering the dismal ratings of the Democrat Party’s convention, what do you think President Trump can do to ensure the Republicans’ convention is a grand slam, that he hits it out of the park?
RUSH: Well, that’s a good question. I’m glad you asked this to remind me about this, because I talked about it yesterday. I think what this convention has missed is any unpredictability. It has missed any drama. Now, you might say, “Well, these conventions stopped being dramatic when they stopped picking the nominee.” Well, yeah. I understand that. But these conventions…
Even four years ago and eight years ago, the networks televised one hour a night, once it became obvious that all they were is infomercials. You don’t remember this, a lot of you, because you’re too young. But the party conventions used to be where the nominee was picked, and it wasn’t known until the last night maybe or the second-to-last night who the nominee was gonna be, and ditto with the vice-presidential pick.
It all happened at the convention. Then the parties went to the primary system to engage in outreach and let the voters actually have a say in determining the party’s nominee, to get rid of the smoke-filled rooms and the party power brokers. When that happened, the drama ended. Most of it. So the networks cut back to televising only an hour a night — and in some years, they didn’t even televise the first two nights ’cause there literally was nothing going on.
So the parties, to counteract that, would go get some of their more radical members who had run but failed to win the nomination or failed to make a noise, and give them primetime speaking assignments hoping to get the networks to televise it. They’d some real controversial figure. But for the most part, they televised Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday — and the focus was Thursday, because that was when the nominee gave the speech.
Wednesday night was when the vice-presidential choice made his or her speech. But those speeches were live. Even though there was no drama in terms of who, there was some drama because it was live. The outcome wasn’t going to change, but there still was the possibility that somebody would go off script. So after watching what the Democrats did this week, my guess is that it’s gotta be patently obvious to everybody in the Trump campaign what to do.
You don’t prerecord days or weeks in advance important speeches by prominent people. Do them live! If the networks say, “You can’t go live. We didn’t let the Biden people go live,” well, you insist on it. They may not want to go live. Going live carries with it risks. But you can put it all on prompter and go live with it. I still think live… There’s an energy to live that people can tell.
People know the difference in live and tape, and there’s always going to be more interest in something that’s happening live, especially if it’s promoted. But in addition to live, get a live audience for some of this. I don’t care how many, don’t care where. Get live human beings responding to it at the moment that it’s happening. Not a bunch of Zoom squares. Not a bunch of FaceTime audio connections, but actual live people somewhere reacting.
This could be set up. “But, Rush, but, Rush, the networks won’t televise it because they didn’t let the Democrats.” No, the Democrats chose to do it this way. The Democrats took the safe road: Pretaped everything. I mean, Michelle Obama didn’t even know who the vice-presidential pick was. That’s her excuse for not mentioning Kamala Harris. There’s a headline here: “Daily Beast: Liberal Networks Worried Sick About Trump’s Unpredictable 2020 Convention.”
This story’s from two days ago. It is a Newsbusters story, but it’s about the reporters at The Daily Beast and some of the other liberal blogosphere places. “Media reporters at the Daily Beast are insisting that the liberal broadcast networks are incredibly nervous about what Team Trump will want to put on television in the 10 p.m. hour next week, and that’s why they promised only one hour.”
They are deathly afraid.
Look, folks, everybody knows that Donald Trump knows how to put on a show. He is, among all the other things he is, a showman, and he’s not gonna stand for a series of boring presentations like we’ve had this week. Does that mean he’s gonna be part of it every night? Does it mean that he’s going to have people be given assignments that you wouldn’t normally expect to be seeing on a convention telecast?
But they are worried.
They’re worried that Trump might try to score two hours a night by not finishing in one hour. What if he does that? Because you know these are gonna be streamed. You know the Trump conventions are gonna be streamed like the Democrats’ were, and if the networks decide after one hour that they’re gonna cut out and not cover any more, people are gonna be able to go to the stream and continue to watch whatever is happening.
If Trump has the ability to put on a great show and doesn’t finish it in an hour and it just bleeds into a second hour and the networks decide to bump out of it, because they have to be fair to what they did to Biden, it doesn’t matter. Trump can continue on, and the audience will dutifully switch to the stream if they like what they’ve seen, and they’ll abandon the networks to do it.
They’re worried about this. They’re “worried about airing two hours … the networks…” This is what they told the DNC, in fact. They told the Democratic National Committee, the reason they’re not gonna “air their event in full [is] because they’d also have to air Trump’s in full,” and they don’t want to do that, and why don’t they want to do that? ‘Cause they don’t want to help Trump. They don’t want to end up being seen as helpful to Trump.
They’re part of the cabal that wants Trump defeated and gone. They’re very upset. (impression) “We don’t know what Trump’s content is gonna be.” Now, they have known what Biden’s content’s gonna be. They’ve been sharing it. There’s even been some collaboration. NBC News is running a PSA called, “Plan your vote.” Last night both Obama and Kamala Harris joined the effort and told everybody, “You gotta plan your vote!
“Make a plan. Make sure you follow it through and vote.” So there’s already collaboration going on between the Democrats and the Biden campaign. “Executives at multiple networks told the Daily Beast privately that they were still almost completely in the dark about basic details of next week’s RNC, including its format and its roster of speakers.”
(sniveling) “It’s unfair! Trump’s not the telling them what he’s gonna do! The Democrats did,” and they’re afraid. They’re afraid of being hoodwinked. They’re afraid of being tricked. They’re afraid that Trump’s gonna end up using them in ways they can’t stop, to make himself look good and make the Democrats look bad.
“The RNC also promises to be a hodgepodge of Trump sycophants, coronavirus skeptics, and alleged victims of ‘cancel culture.’” Can you imagine if Trump brings a bunch of people out that contradict every bullet point the Democrats are trying to live on, and here are the networks having to cover it? You know, they don’t cover Trump press conferences.
They don’t cover the daily brief that he does even now during coronavirus. CNN doesn’t. MSNBC doesn’t. Trump really holds a lot of cards here. He has the ability to force these networks into covering some of what he does against their will. But beyond that, the answer to your question: Nothing dull, nothing boring, and nothing predictable.
And some live reaction — favorable, laughing, whatever, live reaction. And, by the way, something else that would be as easy as pie for the Trump people to do: Be optimistic. Love your country. Talk about the greatness of America. Talk about the exceptional nature of America; define it. Why are we exceptional? And then put on the biggest defense of the American founding you know how to put on.
You tell people why the founding of this country is the most blessed event that’s happened for humanity in the world since the birth of Christ. You tell people how special the founding of this country is and the people who did it. You can devote a small portion on one night to the founders, to the greatness. I’ll tell you what.
He’s got a foundation for it already in the two speeches that he did, one on the Fourth of July and the White House lawn and out at the… I’m having a mental block. What’s the name of the place where the presidents’ faces are on the rocks? (interruption) Mount Rushmore. Those two speeches would be the great foundation for what I’m talking about here.
Love your country. Explain why. Explain why there’s nothing wrong with it. Point out that not loving America, there’s something wrong with you. Anyway, the possibilities are wide open to them simply based on the fact the Democrats went low and negative and pessimistic and dystopian.