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RUSH: Last night I went up to Washington. As I mentioned on the program yesterday, I flew up to Washington, the Grand Hyatt, for the Media Research Center’s 20th annual gala, the DisHonors Awards. It’s a terrific show they put together every year. During the year they collect the most outrageous in four or five different categories liberal media statements — audio sound bites, printed, published stuff — and there’s a panel of judges that selects the winner in each category. I am on that panel. The DisHonors Awards goes through all the nominees, and then the winner is announced, and somebody always accepts for the winner. It was hilarious last night. The whole thing was hilarious. One of the new things they’ve started is the annual ‘William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence.’ I, quite fittingly, was the first recipient of this award. I received it last night, and here’s the plaque. I’ll put it up in front of my face here so you can see through the glass. I have to hold this with two hands. It’s very, very heavy, and I can’t zoom in, but we’ll get pictures of this later this afternoon. Brian will handle that with our ten mega pixel Sony camera that we got here from Comp USA. We’ll get the pictures up there for you. By the way, I mentioned yesterday that we were going to link to the Media Research Center’s website on our website so that if you wanted to watch the video of the whole program last night you could — and we were afraid this was going to happen, and it did happen.

It always happens. We crashed their server. So last night very few people were actually able to watch this. What we’ve done is, we’ve made audio of my acceptance speech available on the website el freebo. It’s on the free side of the site so anybody can listen to it. If you are a subscriber, if you’re a Rush 24/7 member, we’ve got a high quality video stream available. It’s up, and our servers can handle the load. It’s about 20 minutes. They were running long last night, about an hour late, and I was the last up and looked out in the audience. People had been sitting there for a while, so I cut my remarks from the scheduled hour and a half to 20 minutes. Everybody had just a fabulous time.

Let me give you some of the ideas of who the winners were last night. The overall winner of the absolute stupidest, dumbest, craziest quote all year went to Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the publisher of the New York Times. He also won in the category, ‘God, I hate America.’ He won the award for that category. What he said was last May at a graduation address at the State University of New York, New Paltz, apologizing to graduates. He said, ‘You weren’t supposed to be graduating into an America fighting a misbegotten war in a foreign land. You weren’t supposed to be graduating in a world where we are still fighting for fundamental human rights, whether it’s the rights of immigrants to start a new life or the rights of gays to marry or the rights of women to choose. You weren’t supposed to be graduating into a world where oil still drove policy and environmentalists have to fight relentlessly for every gain. You weren’t, but you are, and for that, I, Arthur Sulzberger am sorry.’ Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic. His empire has lost $800 million in the last year or two, and he also earned the quote of the year award for that. Michael Steele, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland, accepted the award. This was funny, too because you know these people aren’t going to show up to accept their awards. So Michael Steele accepted for Arthur Sulzberger. The ‘Dan Rather Memorial Award for the Stupidest Analysis’ was presented by Neal Boortz, and it went to Katie Couric for her 60 Minutes interview last September of Condoleezza Rice. Couric noted that Rice rejects the notion that the US is a bully, imposing values on the world. Rice said, ‘Well, what’s wrong with assistance so that people can have their full and complete right to the very freedoms and liberties we enjoy?’

Couric’s reply, which won the award, was, ‘To quote my daughter, who made us the boss of them?’

G. Gordon Liddy accepted for Katie Couric. The ‘I’m Not a Political Genius, But I Play One on TV Award’ was presented by the great Herman Cain and it went to Rosie O’Donnell for saying that conservative Christians are just as dangerous and militant as Islamofascists. (Pat Sajak accepted the award for Rosie O’Donnell.) There were a couple other awards. The ‘Tin Foil Hat Award for Crazy Conspiracy Theories’ went to Jack Cafferty who suggested the Bush administration might be coordinating with Osama bin Laden, and bin Laden actually accepted. He sent in a tape. Bin Laden sent in a tape accepting for Jack Cafferty last night. The ‘Puppy Love Award’ went to Charles Gibson of ABC for his comments on Nancy Pelosi’s election as speaker when he said, (paraphrasing) ‘Look at that. She can nurse the kids. She can balance the grand kid on the knee and she can protect the children and protect the country at the same time.’ (Ward Connerly accepted for Charlie Gibson.) It was a great, great, great assemblage of people last night. Everybody just had a blast. Now, one thing about the award, the ‘William F. Buckley, Jr., Award for Media Excellence,’ I can’t really describe what an honor this is, because of the importance — and although he had no clue at the time — that Mr. Buckley has played in my whole career, and even my life prior to the career starting. My father and William F. Buckley, Jr., are the two primary inspirational figures and idols that inspired and motivated me throughout my life. I grew up instinctively conservative, but it was those two figures which helped me to understand why and to be able to explain it and not just spout instincts, and in the process being able to inspire others, and that’s how this works. One inspires someone else. One learns how to express what they think and feel, and that inspires others in turn. One of the things I mentioned last night in my little short acceptance speech was that I will never forget the first time I met Bill Buckley. It was at his legendary maisonette on Park Avenue in Manhattan. It has to be 1990, 17 years ago. He had invited me to attend an editor’s meeting of National Review. They did this once or twice a month, and they always did it, it was a tradition, at his home. I had my driver go around the block a couple times while I built up the courage to actually enter this place. The important thing at this event, though, this evening was how Mr. Buckley and his editors, everybody there that night welcomed me into their world. They had no idea who I was. I was just some whippersnapper on the radio. They were intrigued. ‘What’s all this about?’ They were very gracious; they were very accommodating, and it was that night — and you know, meeting your idol and having your idol interested in what you do and then end up being supportive and encouraging, it’s one of the memories that I will cherish, one of the highlights of my life that I will cherish for the rest of my life. That was the first night that I had a sense, if you can understand this, of belonging to the ‘movement.’ And here’s one of the things that I think is, in a way, a little sad. As the movement has grown, it has become more and more competitive and new arrivals in media and publishing and so forth are often viewed as threats now or as interlopers. Everybody is competing to be the ‘leader’ of the conservative movement, the smartest guy in the room, the brainiest guy, the one who’s inspiring all the thought. Everybody today, or a lot of people out trying to be the next William F. Buckley. This creates jealousy and creates guarded personalities and people who become protective of their turf and so forth, and none of that existed when I walked into that editor’s meeting National Review at Mr. Buckley’s home. They weren’t threatened. They weren’t jealous. They wanted to find out what I was made of, who I was, and when they discovered that I shared the same passions and the same desires that had formulated the founding of National Review and its ongoing efforts to spread conservatism, they welcomed me into their world.

My good fortune and the timing of all that is something that cannot go uncommented upon. Those people at National Review back then, they were solely devoted to the advancement of their ideas and passions, and they sought to inspire everybody who shared them. That’s not prevalent today. It’s natural, It’s human nature. All the ascension and the rise of the new media has created all kinds of competition. I’m sure that you dial around your radio, and you hear one conservative host bash another conservative host. Or five conservative hosts bashing somebody else, or you’ll find print conservatives bashing media conservatives and vice-versa and so forth. This only went on back then when somebody had strayed from the dynamic or strayed from the course. Now this bashing goes on more often than not. It’s just typical jealousy and turf protecting and this sort of thing. That was all beneath Mr. Buckley. He didn’t feel threatened by anybody joining him. He did everything he could to encourage me, by the way, and even made a couple stories about me in National Review. Those things, I just don’t think happen today. They do in a certain regard. National Review is still very good about that, but I’m talking about movement wide. So I was highly appreciative of this award last night, to receive the first one named after someone as great and important and personable. He’s just a generally nice man, his whole family is, William F. Buckley, Jr. So thanks again to Brent Bozell and everybody at the Media Research Center, and everybody that was there last night, because it was a hoot. The only thing is I don’t know is who else they’re going to be able to give this award to after I got it, because who else is going to qualify. See? Just kidding. I’m trying to play off my just mentioned comments about the jealousy and so forth in the movement. Nah, there are plenty of people that are almost as qualified to received this award, and I’m sure Bozell will find a couple of them in the next year or so.

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