RUSH: We’re going to get to Trent Lott’s stuff. We’re going to get to the Fairness Doctrine stuff. I go away for a week and the whole left ramps up trying to get rid of me. It isn’t going to happen but they’re all flirting with it and talking about it. We’ll get to that and immigration of course. The early thinking is, I gotta tell you this, just have to be honest, the early thinking is that the Senate bill is going to pass this week, they’re going to achieve cloture, they’re going to shut off debate. It’s not a guarantee it passes, but it’s very likely. What’s happening is that the White House — you know, it’s really interesting in Missouri, too. Kit Bond will not say how he’s going to vote on this. Claire McCaskill of the Democrats says that she’s probably going to vote against it. What the White House is doing here is the White House, Lott, and Lindsey Grahamnesty are trying to convince Republicans to vote for cloture in exchange for letting them have their own amendments. Lott wants an amendment in there, for example, that would eliminate green cards, in his mind would eliminate amnesty. He says if they’ll let me have that, then I’ll vote for it. So the White House is trying to tell these guys, ‘Okay, we’ll give you your amendments.’ Most of the amendments will be killed, and the bill could then likely pass. So we’ll just have to wait and see. It’s gotta go to the House, if this all happens. The fight is still new, folks, it’s still young, and there’s plenty of time to deal with this. We’ll get to all the details as the program unfolds here.
RUSH: All right, Trent Lott. He made this comment actually before last week, but only yesterday did he show up on Fox News Sunday to discuss this. What he said was talk radio is running America. We have to deal with that problem. It’s about the immigration bill and how the people on talk radio got the immigration bill killed. And Lott thinks it’s a problem. So he shows up on television yesterday with Chris Wallace and Senator Dianne Feinstein. One of the questions that Wallace asked Trent Lott was this. ‘Let’s start with the controversy over talk radio because Senator Lott you stirred up quite a hornet’s nest this week when you said, ‘Talk radio is running America, we have to deal with that problem.’ Here was the reaction from a conservative talk show host.’
RUSH ARCHIVE: Talk radio is the American voter. That’s what bothers Trent Lott.
WALLACE: Senator, your response.
LOTT: One of the mistakes that we have made many times on legislation is it’s introduced, it comes out of committee, we bring it to the floor, we never bother to explain what we’re trying to do and what is in it. I think that was the mistake that was made with immigration. Talk radio defined it without us explaining that there were reasons for it and the good things that were in it. So the onus is not on them. It’s on us to do a better job of communicating what we’re trying to do.
RUSH: Trying to slither out of this.
LOTT: — look, I’ve been defended by talk radio many times —
RUSH: Damn right.
LOTT: — and I will support their right to tell their side of the story, right, left, or the middle, forever. I don’t think in this Fairness Doctrine it would try to require that there be X-amount on both sides is fair. So, you know, it’s caused quite a stir, but, you know, it goes with the territory.
RUSH: What a slither job that was. He slithered out of that. Well, I can’t describe how things in my life have slithered out of my control and keep it family oriented, but I’m telling you, this is — (laughing) — he did not want to be held account to this. ‘Oh, that’s not what I mean.’ So the next question, ‘Senator, I’m not going to let you off the hook quite that easily. You said this also last week. ‘I’m sure senators on both sides of the aisle being pounded by these talk radio people don’t even know what’s in the bill.’ Now, I talked to some of the talk radio people, and they say you make it sound like they’re leading around their listeners like a bunch of sheep. They say, look, they know what’s in the bill, the listeners know what’s in the bill, and they don’t like it.’
LOTT: As a matter of fact, I do talk radio in my own state in particular, but others, and I’m sure Diane does, too. I was doing one interview, and the talk radio host said to his credit, ‘What are you trying to do here?’ And I explained that we were trying to improve a bad situation. And that’s a summation of it. And he said, ‘Well, tell me four things in this bill that you think are significantly better than the current law.’ So I ticked them all. He said, ‘That’s in there?’ I said, yeah. See, that’s the point. It’s not that they are maliciously trying to —
RUSH: Oh, here we go.
LOTT: — distort it, and this is a complicated bill with a lot of moving parts. Some of it I don’t like. You know, I’m not committed to voting for the final product. The wheels may come off. But I am committed to trying. That’s what the United States Senate should be trying to do.
RUSH: Well, Senator Lott, ladies and gentlemen, has asked to say something to those of you in this audience as a result of this controversy. (Trent Lott message spoof.) You know what I thought about doing today? I ought to not tell you; I’ll just do it one day. No, I’ll tell you. I actually thought about showing up here today with a gag in my mouth and still talking to you. To speak as though I am being gagged, sort of like I used to put the condom on the microphone to illustrate safe talk or the absurdity of safe sex and to put the gag in my mouth and say, ‘Hi, folks, this is Rush Limbaugh, the man who is running America.’ And, by the way, when they say talk radio, they mean Rush Limbaugh. Coming back from Vermont on, I guess Thursday afternoon after we played up there, we had Fox News on the airplane, and I’m watching, they’re playing videotape of me in the studio doing the program and talking to somebody about this Think Progress report or this Center for American Progress, the John Podesta group that thinks that there’s a big problem with talk radio, needs to be handled legislatively.
One of the gentlemen on the airplane, one of the guests said, ‘Why are you in this?’ I said, ‘Because I am talk radio.’ He’s a Connecticut guy, not sure what this was all about, reads the New York Times. I’m watching this, and it is kind of surreal. So I thought about showing up here with a gag in my mouth, as the man who runs America. But let me say this. As the man who runs America, and Trent Lott I don’t think successfully slithered out of that comment — if I’m running America, here are my decisions today. I’m going to have more decisions for America tomorrow and maybe even some the day after that. I have decided today as the man who runs America to move Trent Lott from the Senate back to the House. I have decided that tax cuts are no longer temporary. They are permanent. I have decided that September will be American Excellence Month. I have decided that energy independence will be a reality and not a slogan. Therefore I am authorizing ANWR on a fast track and we’re going to build ten new nuclear plants starting tomorrow. Number five, I pronounce speaker Nancy Pelosi a failed leader of the House.
If I’m running America, all of these things and much more will be happening within days, within weeks. The whole comment illustrates a bunch of things. It illustrates their anger. They want to ram this immigration bill down everybody’s throat without anybody seeing what’s in it. That’s what’s sort of entertains me, amuses me. They complain that we don’t know what’s in it, and we do know what’s in it. It’s been analyzed upside down, inside out, left, right, top to bottom. We do know what’s in it. That’s the problem. We are responding to this on substance. They’re the ones that put this together in a dark room with no committee hearings, none of the usual procedure by which legislation becomes law was followed with this. It was all done under cover of darkness, and they wanted to ram this through with nobody knowing what was in it, and precisely because we do what’s in it and what the problems with it are, the substance, the opposition is on our side in this. That’s what bothers powerful elites.
RUSH: Let’s move on to the comments made by Senator Feinstein yesterday on Fox News Sunday. She appeared with Trent Lott, and here’s the question that Chris Wallace asked. He said, ‘Let me bring in Senator Feinstein. Oklahoma Senator Inhofe says that he overheard Barbara Boxer and Hillary Clinton three years ago complaining about talk radio saying that there should be a legislative fix. Both of them deny it ever happened. But let me ask you about yourself, senator. Do you have a problem with talk radio, and would you consider reviving the Fairness Doctrine, which would require broadcasters to put on opposing points of view?’
FEINSTEIN: Well, in my view, talk radio tends to be one-sided. It also tends to be dwelling in hyperbole. It’s explosive. It — it — it — it pushes people to, I think, extreme views without a lot of information. This is a very complicated bill. It’s seven titles. Uh, most people don’t know what’s in this bill. Therefore, to just —
RUSH: Stop the tape a second. Stop the tape. We do know what’s in this bill. But if you believe that people don’t know what’s in it, tell us! Go debate somebody about the details and the substance of this bill that we can all watch, so that we can all learn, rather than trying to ram this all down everybody’s throat. I’m getting tired of hearing that we don’t know what’s in the bill. I’m really getting tired of this. Talk about hyperbole! This is nothing more than mindless twaddle. It is cliché after cliché after cliché. What is happening here, folks, is this continues to reverberate from the loss of the media monopoly that Democrats and liberals in this country had all the way up ’til 1988 — and they can’t deal with the competition. They can’t deal with alternative points of view. To them, there are no alternative points of view that are legitimate, and so they should not even be given an opportunity to be expressed, and in order to convey that impression to people they say, ‘Well, it just creates ‘extremists’ who are uninformed on things. It’s ‘explosive,” as though what happens in the Senate and the House chamber and everywhere else is not? This is the government overturning, or trying to do away with speech that they don’t like. This is the elected officials — the political class, particularly the left-wingers, the Democrats — trying to eliminate things they don’t want to hear, largely about their views or themselves. So cut to the next bite. The question that he asked her point-blank was, ‘So would you revive the Fairness Doctrine?’
FEINSTEIN: I’m looking at it as a matter of fact, Chris, because I think, um… There ought to be an opportunity to present the other side, and unfortunately, talk radio is overwhelmingly one way.
WALLACE: But the argument would be, it’s the marketplace, and if liberals want to put on their own talk radio, they can put it on. At this point, they don’t seem to be able to find much of a market.
FEINSTEIN: Well, apparently there have been problems. It is growing, but I do believe in fairness. I remember when there was a Fairness Doctrine, and I think there was much more serious correct reporting to people.
RUSH: I don’t think she has the slightest clue what she’s talking about. When the Fairness Doctrine existed, there was no controversial commentary by anybody. Nobody said anything. Radio stations will not put up with constant complaints from one side or the other demanding an opportunity to respond to what just happened. I’ll guarantee you what’s going to happen. If this thing ever happened, and it won’t, by the way, because the industry is too profitable, and the American people are not going to put up with it either. But if it ever did happen, the way it works is this. I go on the radio and I talk about Democrats, or say something about liberals. MoveOn.org calls every one of my 600 radio stations and says, ‘We demand an opportunity to go on and answer Limbaugh,’ and they might do it a day or two, but then every week, if they get constant complaints, they’re finally going to say, ‘Wait, we can’t do business this way,’ and, ‘We don’t want the hassle,’ and that’s the express purpose of this. That’s how this will be shut down, to get station ownership and management to do it simply because they we want to put up with the hassle. It’s not ‘equal time.’ Do not confuse the Fairness Doctrine with the ‘equal time’ rule.
RUSH: I know they are confusing and some people think they’re the same, but they’re not. For somebody like me who talks for a living, to have powerful government officials say there’s not balance in what I do? The liberals have thrown whoever they think are the best at me, andat all of us on the right, and they have not made inroads, and they are not growing. They can’t accomplish anything. Now we have this Center for American Progress — and you heard about this last week. That’s John Podesta’s group. He was Bill Clinton’s chief of staff. He’s a Hillary acolyte, as all these think-tank people on the left are. They’re part of Clinton, Inc. They put out this thing and said, ‘Well, it’s really unfair. We need legislation to fix this.’ Of course, they didn’t tell you that one of the members of the think tank — one of the study authors, I think — actually was a former investor in some liberal talk radio shows. It’s some guy named Woodhull. They leave all of that out. This was not reported. They also don’t factor in the success of NPR, which has a huge audience and is very liberal. This is not about ‘fairness’ at all, as you all know. It’s about silencing criticism and competition that they don’t want to have to deal with.
They don’t want go into the arena of ideas, folks; they don’t want to have debates with us about these issues, because they know they can’t win and they’ve demonstrated that by putting the people they think are the very best they have to offer out there, both locally and nationally, and it bombs. It’s bankruptcy left and right. It doesn’t work. The first guy they threw out there… Do you remember Jim Hightower? Jim Hightower was a former state official in Texas. I don’t know what he was. This is like 1989. This is after a year or two. Jim Hightower was their savior! That bombed out. Then they did Gary Hart, and they did Mario Cuomo. I forget all the names, and each one of these people got massive amounts of publicity and New York Times puff piece profiles, which, of course, I’ve never had. Not that I want one, don’t misunderstand. That permits a United States senator like Dianne Feinstein to decide what is ‘correct reporting’? Does that not scare you? As somebody who speaks for a living, it scares me. Who is she to define correctness? Who is she to sit in judgment and to proclaim that there’s more correct reporting? While the Democrats are trying to shut me down and all of my brethren, they’re also trying to close down Club Gitmo and bring all of these terrorists that are prisons into this country for the purposes of giving them constitutional rights!
They want to deny my First Amendment right to me while bringing in terrorist suspects (prisoners of war, if you will), and grant them access to the US legal system as though they’re citizens — and then I’m sure you saw the story last week, a list of journalists taking sides. MSNBC had a story about all the journalists out there that contribute to Democrats. But who was shocked by this? Is there anybody in America who was shocked to learn that the supposed unbiased reporters give to the Democrats more than the GOP by nine to one? What’s remarkable to me is that given the imbalance, the left still complains about talk radio, Fox News, any other outlet that doesn’t pretty consistently toe the liberal line. You know, the idea that there’s no bias on the left and that the mainstream Drive-By Media is just ‘what is’ and that’s natural and normal is something that they’ve been trying to maintain for the longest time, but we all know that’s a lie! We all know what the Drive-By Media is. We all know they’re aligned with the Democrat Party and we all know that they’re frustrated, too. Newspaper circulation is down. Their advertising revenue is down. They’re being harmed. Their monopoly is over, and these are Stalinist-type people. These are people who are openly saying, ‘We are going to use the power of the federal government to silence you.’ This guy, Maurice Hinchey in New York, he’s working on his version of the Fairness Doctrine in the House. Dianne Feinstein says she’s looking at it in the Senate. There’s an argument among some people that actually the courts declared it unconstitutional back in 1987. Some people on the left are saying, ‘No they didn’t! All we need to do is reinstate it. All we need to do is win the White House and we’ll just reinstate it.’ That probably will fail, but they’re dead serious thinking about this and trying to do it. High government officials are trying to stifle speech, and it’s not the first time. McCain-Feingold broke the mold on that. I’ll grab a quick phone call here. This is Wes in Brigham City, Utah. Hi, Wes. It’s nice to have you on the EIB Network, sir.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. How are you doing boss?
RUSH: I’m getting a little hot in here, frankly. I don’t know if the air-conditioning is breaking down, but it’s getting a little warm, but other than that, no complaints.
CALLER: You played good golf, hitting the ball good?
RUSH: Say that again.
CALLER: I’m just wondering if you’re playing good golf, hitting the ball good.
RUSH: Oh, for the most part, yeah. I played nine days in a row, and you lose it after the fourth or fifth day.
CALLER: I know how that is.
RUSH: Yeah, I’m happy with the way I was hitting the ball.
CALLER: That’s good. Hey, I understand your animosity and everybody else’s animosity towards this bill, this immigration bill, and I understand the distrust of government. I’m worried, very worried, what are we going to do if there’s a Democrat in the White House and they still control Congress, then what are we going to have? This is not a perfect bill, but it’s better than anything we’re going to get, and I’ve listened to Senator Kyl; I’ve listened to Senator Chambliss — and by no means are they RINOs — and I think based on their voting records, we should give them the benefit of the doubt. I mean, there are some positive things in this bill, and I’m worried.
RUSH: See, here’s the problem. This is actually a good question. I’m glad you’re asking me this question. You have fallen into the trap of believing that the only way to fix a problem created by bad legislation is more bad legislation, something new. We have a problem because of previous legislation creating the circumstances that exist today. This does not fix it. We tried in 1986 to fix it with amnesty. It didn’t work. Now we’re trying to do it again with the same thing. The reasons that they want this bill have nothing to do with immigration. It has nothing to do with citizenship. It has nothing to do with any of that. This is not an immigration bill. This is two things. This is ‘the Comprehensive Destroy the Republican Party Act of 2007,’ and ‘the Democrat New Recruitment of Voters Act of 2007.’ That’s what this is. But you’ve fallen into the trap of thinking that the only way progress can happen in this country is if ‘the government’ passes ‘a bill,’ and we know we’re going to get a bill, and so rather than try to do it right let’s take the lesser of two evils, ‘Because if the Democrats get in and they control the White House and Congress 2008, why, who knows how bad it’s going to be?’ If they get in they can change it and make it even worse! Just because this bill is passed now doesn’t mean they can’t revive it and make it even worse two years from now. We have a piece of legislation, it’s called the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, and if it were enforced — if the current laws were just enforced — we wouldn’t have the problem! But this word ‘enforcement’ seems to escape everybody at the federal level, be it in the new piece of legislation or the current laws that we have. You gotta get rid of this notion that progress and the right thing only results when Mother Government, Big Daddy Government, whatever, passes a bill. The experience that most of us have is that just like the opposite occurs.
RUSH: Murray in Jacksonville, Florida. I’m glad you waited, Murray, hello.
CALLER: Mega dittos from Jacksonville.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Rush, I saw that interview last night with Chris Wallace. I got home very late and tuned in, and I was absolutely amazed, when they’re trying to basically say that we do not understand and the American public does not understand and that talk radio is making everything one sided. The problem is they don’t get it. Chris Wallace asked about their low approval rating and the only thing they could say is — Trent Lott basically said — ‘Well, we’re not explaining ourselves very well. That’s really what the problem is.’
RUSH: Yeah, but have you noticed that they’re not trying to?
CALLER: Of course not.
RUSH: Where are they? They’re out there saying we don’t know what’s in the bill. Where are they out there telling us what’s in the bill? All they’re doing is insulting us. All they’re doing is saying we don’t know what’s in it, then you’ve got Dianne Feinstein saying, ‘Well, there just isn’t fairness.’ What the hell is fairness? You can’t define fairness. The whole concept of ‘fairness’ is elusive and it certainly cannot be a policy objective. Who gets to decide it?
CALLER: It’s not a policy objective, it’s all about the parties and parties and party power. It’s totally ridiculous. And the American public is fed up, and that’s why they have such a low approval rating. They’re sitting there deluding themselves that they think that we don’t understand. We understand. They’re the ones that don’t get it. You talk about —
RUSH: I’ll tell you what —
CALLER: — we want fairness in the media? I gotta tell you something, one of the things that has absolutely chaffed me several months ago, and it’s still never been brought up and never will be, is when the Chinese — it was on for one day — took one of their satellites out, okay? Where did they get that missile technology? We’re talking about connecting the dots?
RUSH: Yeah, we know where they got it, and if they don’t get it from us, they’re going to end up getting it from Dubai, which just bought the QE2 and is going to turn it into a floating hotel. Oh, yeah! Dubai just bought the QE2. Anyway, look, as I said last week or the week before last: This is a great thing that’s happening. Look for the good in everything. You people are seeing on display every day the dangers of big, unresponsive government.
RUSH: Christine in Madison, New Jersey, I’m glad you waited. Welcome to the program.
CALLER: Yes. Hello, Rush?
CALLER: Hi. Many, many time caller, first time finally getting through. Thank you so much for taking my call.
RUSH: My pleasure.
CALLER: You give me hope on a daily basis. Please keep up the great work.
RUSH: I’ll do that. Thank you. I know they went away. I really don’t. I’ve trying to be mediocre, and I just can’t do it.
CALLER: (giggles.)Well, I’d like to change the subject, for a moment, back to the Fairness Doctrine. I don’t understand. If Congress wants to try and define fairness on talk radio, won’t those definitions apply to other sources of news —
CALLER: — such as TV and newspapers?
CALLER: Doesn’t it occur to them that it might backfire?
RUSH: No, because it won’t apply. It will not apply to TV news. It would not apply to newspapers. If you can get yourself designated as, quote, unquote, ‘the press,’ theoretically they can’t do anything to you because you have First Amendment protection. Freedom of the press is spelled out in the Constitution. But news broadcasts, even these talk show hosts or talk shows on television at night, they might make a stab at going after them, but they’re on cable, and cable’s not regulated. There’s no federal regulation of cable in the sense… This is the Broadcast Act of 1934, essentially, that’s been updated a number of times and has this Fairness Doctrine in it, or had it. This would be aimed specifically… They’re writing legislation to specifically aim this at one element of the media, talk radio, because they don’t control it, and they can’t beat it, so it would not impact any other media.
CALLER: No editorialists, for example?
RUSH: No. No. No. No. Besides, they would say, ‘Well, we do. We give letters to the editor. We let our people respond. We give our readers get a chance to respond.’
CALLER: Yeah, right.
RUSH: I just took a call from a woman who disagrees with me. You know, regulation of media is, I think, one of the problems with cable news these days, for example. On all of these combat shows, like Crossfire, though it’s not on the air anymore, but the people that produce these things think that every segment, every seven-minute segment has to be balanced and so there’s a formula. You get three or four liberals and one conservative to argue the issue, with the host who is also a liberal, and then you have ‘balance.’ But balance doesn’t have to be achieved in seven minutes. Balance can be achieved in a broadcast. Balance can be achieved in a week. It’s just how you choose to measure it. Television has gotten so boring and formulaic because of this so-called need to ‘balance’ things that you really don’t learn anything watching these programs anymore, not the ones I’m talking about. Crossfire lost its interest to people. It lost its numbers. It’s all too formulaic. Talk radio is the most pure, I guess it’s the purest form of open democracy, divergent points of view that there exists in America today. That’s why the opponents of it want to shut it down. Be very careful how you describe people on the proponent side of this issue. I love to use the term ‘Stalinist,’ but sometimes it’s too off-putting to people.
I remember back in the eighties and early nineties, if you called somebody a communist you really weren’t accomplishing anybody because nobody wanted to believe that communists were among us and that they were that big a deal. Stalinist is the same thing. We need to come up with a new word that means the same thing, and what it means is the government is going to enforce what you say and enforce what you think or you will be penalized, and in some cases, severely, and then you will be prevented from saying what you think, and you’ll be very guarded about saying what you think even in your own home. How many of you to this day, at this moment, when you’re in public somewhere, will want to say something, and you’ll stop and say, ‘Gee, I wonder if I should say this. It might offend somebody. They might overhear it,’ and you shut up? This is exactly like what was going on in the Soviet Union where people feared being overheard by a party member, so they’d go into their bathrooms or into their homes and whisper what they really thought. They wouldn’t dare speak in public.
This is why Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was in jail when he finally wrote his books. He was targeted for murder and so forth. I’m not saying where anywhere near that. I’m telling you the thinking that leads to that is on display here, under the guise of such nice words as ‘fairness,’ ‘correct reporting,’ and all of that — and, by the way, I’m only reacting to this institutionally. If I wanted to react to this personally, I could. The idea that what happens on this program is nothing but a pack of lies, the idea that what happens on this program is nothing but propaganda, the idea that what happens on this program is offered without any concern for facts or truth? Now, that’s insulting. The people that make that claim either know it to be untrue or never listen. But I think they know it’s not true. I think it’s just pure character assassination of an entire media form because they can’t handle it, they can’t defeat it, and they consider it a threat. When government has the power to shut down voices they consider to be threatening, you gotta take that seriously. Not just people like me who talk for a living, but everybody else, because once it starts and nobody gets in the way and stops it. When you have this inexorable force of government with all this power, and the ability to imprison and to intimidate and so forth, people shut up rather than risk that.
People already are beginning to shut up, and when you do not shut up and when you say things that are true and what you really believe — you’re not just saying things outrageously to get people mad — you look at the reaction that people get. There’s less courage in this country for people to say things. I was playing golf with someone, and we’re talking about a friend of ours. We were saying, ‘Yeah, you know what I love about this guy? He will say whatever he wants. He doesn’t care what he thinks about it,’ as though it’s rare — and it is rare! He’s not a broadcaster. He’s just a guy, and he’s a country club member. He’s not afraid to tell the members of club that he thinks it’s being run the wrong way. Most people will shut up. There are fewer and fewer people will really tell you what they think anymore because of fear. That’s what Feinstein and all these other people are trying to impose or instill on people like me, and it’s not going to work. I’m still a little amazed that it’s gotten as far as it has. Liberals are liberals, though. They’re just going to keep going for this one way or the other ’til they get close to getting it.