BRETT: Rush Limbaugh spoke the truth, and he understood the mainstream media so very well. Let me just give you one example of this.
RUSH: Raymond in Potomac, Maryland. Nice to have you here, sir. Hello.
CALLER: It’s an absolute honor to speak with you, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Rush, I really worry about this media. They’ve become so blatant with their efforts to undermine our democracy. They seem to be more powerful than all of conservative talk radio, all of our elective Republicans in Congress and President Bush combined.
RUSH: No, they’re not.
CALLER: And, Rush, why —
RUSH: No, they’re not! Wait a second. They are not. I must stop you. I know why you feel that way, but they are not. If our side… Sadly, they don’t have it, so they… Temporarily, you may have a point. If we had some leadership on our side, they could be nullified. I’m talking about elected leadership at the party level.
We don’t have that right now. You go back and look at the 1980s. Ronald Reagan rammed through practically everything he wanted and defeated the liberals’ best friends in the world, the Soviet Union, without any friendly media except National Review magazine. It can be done. Even when they had their monopoly it could be done.
CALLER: Yes. I agree with that, Rush, but you gotta remember this is different media now. Ever since Bill Clinton was in office, he unleashed a media that’s now out undermining our democracy in ways that the media didn’t do under the Reagan administration.
RUSH: Yes, they did. They have always done it. How old are you?
CALLER: I’m 45.
RUSH: Forty-five. Well, you’re old enough to remember. The media… You have to go back to the Kennedy era and start forward. Even after World War II during the FDR administration, this media has been sycophantic and in the tank. They have been liberals, and they have had an agenda. They always have. Go back to what they did to Richard Nixon. I mean, there’s really nothing new. The only thing that’s really new now — and this is what you are perceiving — is back in those days, they would deny the allegation that they were liberal or had an agenda.
Today, they don’t care to deny it so much, and they’re much more blatant about it. But it’s always been there. In fact, they’re smaller. Their newspapers are losing circulation, newspapers are losing advertising revenue. Their television outlets, their nightly newscasts are losing viewers. Take a look at the advertising in the Nightly News cast. It’s Preparation H stuff. It’s people that don’t have computers and don’t tend to pay attention to news during the day.
RUSH: They have an aging, elderly demographic that reads newspapers and so forth. So progress is being made here. I don’t want you to get depressed on this.
CALLER: Well, I agree with that, Rush, but still at the same time you gotta look. They’re increasing. You’re the person that gives the truth on the radio every day and we all know that. If the mainstream media was giving the same truth that all conservative talk radio is doing — which they’re supposed to do because they’re journalists charged with the incredible honor and importance of giving the truth to the people.
You guys are just entertainers. You don’t have to give the truth. If they were giving the same truth you were, Rush, these liberals that are controlling the Democrat Party wouldn’t be in office, they couldn’t be reelected. So the problem is the media. Why are you not leading a charge to stop this media?
RUSH: Well —
CALLER: You’re doing nothing!
RUSH: Uhhhh, of course we’re doing something. I’m losing you here. Where do you get the idea the media is supposed to be oriented in truth?
CALLER: Rush! The Founding Fathers told us that we couldn’t trust our elected officials. They gave the media constitutional protection in the constitution.
RUSH: Right. But they didn’t say anything about truth.
CALLER: But they were the only private sector entity that was mentioned in the Constitution.
RUSH: Right. But they just said —
CALLER: — in order to give them the power to be our watchdogs.
RUSH: They just said a free and open press. They didn’t talk about the truth.
CALLER: Rush, are you —
RUSH: I’m trying to help you understand here, because your blood pressure is going up! The media has never been about the truth. The media is about balance, the media is about fairness, but it’s not about truth. It’s not even really about accuracy. It’s not about truth. The Drive-By Media today is not about that. They are totally agenda-oriented and they always have been.
Media, journalism, attracts liberals because it is inexorably linked to government, and that’s where liberals go. Liberals are trained to get their tentacles into every nook and cranny of government, control it for the rest of their lives. And media is considered to be an arm of government, because the people in the media and the people in government, it’s a revolving door. Chris Matthews used to work for Cuomo, used to work for Tip O’Neill; now he’s at NBC.
It’s a revolving door. There’s no mystery about who they are. Their impact is blunted routinely. You wait. If it weren’t, if there were no conservative talk radio, as you say, and if there were no alternative media’ there would be no Reverend Wright controversy because Reverend Wright would not have found himself on television. He would not have found himself on TV. Nobody would know who he is.
You wouldn’t have had anybody willing to play the videos of Reverend Wright’s sermons, were it not for the Internet, were it not for Fox News and a bunch of people who were first out with this stuff. It wouldn’t have happened. It’s major, major progress. The Democrats are in a state of chaos and tumult here, as are the Drive-By Media; and they’re not in good financial shape. The CBS Evening News has got the lowest audience in its history since Edward R. Murrow was allowed to smoke cigarettes while on camera!
BRETT: See, that’s the best right there. That is Rush at his absolute best, throwing in that “Edward R. Murrow smoking cigarettes while on camera” line, ’cause that just locks you in. But remember what Rush did so effectively with the media. He played their clips at them and for them. He said, “Okay. Here’s what they said. Boom! This is nonsense.”
Before Rush came along in ’88 on the national scene, what you had was a lot of people walking around saying, “The media’s unfair, they’re biased, they’re terrible. Read my newsletter. Uh, let me tell you again about how they’re based and how it’s terrible, how it’s awful.” Rush did not feel any compunction throwing the spotlight on, watching them scatter, and pointing them out and saying:
“This is what they said here; this is what really happened. This is what they did there; this is what really was meant.” He understood them better than they understand themselves, and so when you look at these folks and you look at what they’re doing… I mean, look, let me give you a good example. Are you looking at CNN right now?
Do you see who’s sitting on CNN? Right now, as we speak, Jeffrey Toobin is back. He was in Siberia. He was in Siberia, and they’re bringing him back. So I guess we have to figure out whatever the number of months was that he was iced, and now he’s back. Now, that is something that Rush would have pointed to and said, “Well, there you go!”
You have cancel culture, and then you have disappear-’em culture and bring ’em back. The standards by which they expect you to live, me to live, us to live, conservatives to live — and the way they live — are completely out of what can’t. It’s like a… If you try to understand those rules, you’ll go crazy trying to do it.