RUSH: Surfing around yesterday my RSS feeds, and I have some Yahoo! News feeds on my RSS, and I got one from Reuters. One of the things that occasionally you will find on an RSS feed is a wire story rewrite. You will see the original with red lines through what has been revised, red lines through what was eliminated. Let me read to you the first version of this story about the Iran presidential election from Reuters dated yesterday. “Hard-line President-Elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad” I have trouble reading between the lines here yesterday, “sparked western fears about Iran’s nuclear program and helped push oil prices over $60 on Monday but EU analysts warned against any hasty judgments.” They replaced “hard-line President-Elect Mahmoud” with “ultraconservative President-Elect Mahmoud.” We’ve encountered this countless times before, folks, where the mainstream press takes the tyrants, the dictators, the thugs of the world and calls them “conservatives” and “ultraconservatives” and that’s what Reuters did.
They started out “hard-line” president-elect and changed it to “ultraconservative” president-elect “faced an uphill task on Monday to assuage concerns.” That was replaced with “sparked Western fears about Iran’s nuclear program,” and there are other things, “in the West that he will adopt a tougher policy on Iran’s nuclear program and roll back freedoms at home.” All that was stricken out, replaced with “ultraconservative president-elect Mahmoud sparked western fears about Iran’s nuclear program and helped push oil prices over $60 on Monday.” That’s the final version; the original is — and I couldn’t print it from my RSS feed. I had to take a screenshot of it. Oh, and what is this? Some outfit, some group at the University of Missouri Columbia J(ournalism) School surveyed over 2500 Americans and they found out radio listeners have the most extreme political views; newspaper readers the least extreme political views, and I am cited as the reason why. A red-letter day, folks, the left in full attack mode.
RUSH: Let me give you a little bit more on the survey here. “Recent studies indicate that Americans are becoming increasingly extreme in their political, ideological and cultural views.” Of course, given what we just heard from somebody on campus of the University of Missouri J-School, I don’t think you can get more extreme than hanging effigies of Bush, saying “Bush = Hitler,” and having a radical Muslim stop traffic in the middle of one of the quadrangles there and start lecturing the students. “From issues such as stem cell research to the environment, Americans are clinging to viewpoints that are increasingly opposed to one another, a phenomenon that some researchers attribute to the highly contested 2000 presidential election…” I know why this is. You know, there’s a story I had from yesterday’s stack Michael Barone writing about this in US News, “Why you all this partisanship…?” I’ll tell you about it here in just a minute. I’ve got my own theory. I know why this is. The 2000 election is but one small adjunct to it, one small part of it. It’s a much bigger story, and it’s right in front of our faces. Really I guess the simplest way I could say it before I give it to you in detail: For the first time in their living memory, the left has serious intellectual opposition and doesn’t know how to deal with it — and as such they are retrenching and retreating, not into intellectual positions but emotional positions that really express their anger at not being a monopoly anymore. They are just livid that they don’t run the show. They’re just livid that they’re not the mainstream anymore. Conservatives are no more partisan today. I’m no more partisan than I’ve ever been. I’ve been a partisan all my life because I have passionately held views and beliefs. They are my core. But they’re no different today than they were 15 or 20 years ago. In fact, I get e-mails, “You’re moderating too much, Rush. You need to hit back a little harder like you used to!” I think this new partisanship is strictly all behavior modification on the part of the left.
RUSH: Okay, back to this University of Missouri Journalism School survey “indicating that Americans have become increasingly extreme in their political, ideological, and cultural views. On issues such as stem cell research, the environment, Americans are clinging to viewpoints that are increasingly opposed one another, a phenomenon that some researchers attribute to the highly contested 2000 presidential race. Now researchers at the University of Missouri Columbia School of Journalism have completed a study suggesting that it is the type of media a person consumes, not necessarily the message, that determines how polarized people are on a certain issue. A telephone survey of 2,528 adults in the US; a survey respondents answered a series of questions on the government, religion, and a combination of those areas and then air polarization scores were calculated. The study found that radio listeners were the most polarized news consumers due in part to shows hosted by conservative political commentators such as [El Rushbo]. Conservative listeners have their ideals reinforced by the shows which ultimate do even more extreme views. So we’re back. See, nothing has changed, when it comes to the elites, the rap against this program has always been that you people are idiots. You are mind-numbed robots. You don’t know anything until you tune in to me every day to, A, find out what to think, B, find out what to do, and C, get your marching orders.
And this survey tends to confirm what the elites think, that you are only passionate about your beliefs because you’re sponges and you soak up my passion and I stoke your fire, and I send you out there all enraged. Now, obviously there are flaws in this whole thing, and the flaw is the premise. The flaw is the premise that these people started with to try to find out why. It really isn’t a mystery. Those of you who are conservative as am I know that you’ve been a conservative for a long time, most of your lives. Those that are recent converts, I have to excuse you from this explanation, but we’ve not changed. We simply react to some of the outrageousness that we see on the left. The left is whose changing. Karl Rove is exactly right. The liberals — actually I don’t know if they are changing. I think this is maybe always who they’ve been. They just are challenged for the first time in their memory and they don’t know how to deal with it. They literally have no idea how to deal with it. I think the partisanship in this country comes from the paranoid left, which believes in all kinds of conspiracy theories. “The election was stolen! The war is about oil! It’s all for Halliburton! Cheney is running the show! “You name it. They’ve got a conspiracy theory to explain everything because they can’t accept one reality and that is that they’re losing and they have been losing now consistently for 15 to 20 years, and they just can’t deal with that, folks, and so they’re getting rid of this mask, this disguise that they’ve always had. We’re finding out who they really, really are, who they’ve always been. It’s not a pretty site.
RUSH: One other little item from this Missouri J School survey. “Internet news consumers were some of the least polarized consumers they found. But if they keep on, Internet users could experience the same reinforcing process that could be taking place with conservative radio listeners,” and you Internet users could also become extremists, too! You have been warned!