RUSH: Now to the audio sound bites. This is from C-SPAN this morning. Steve Scully, the host. The topic today was talk radio and the immigration debate, and Scully takes a call from Huntersville, North Carolina, on the C-SPAN’s Republican line, and he says, ‘Who do you listen to, caller, and how does talk radio influence the debate, if it has?’
C-SPAN CALLER: Rush Limbaugh came along, a much more polished gentleman, I think a better thinker, and certainly a more elegant speaker, and he influenced me a lot. I think the tone of your question sort of indicates that these brilliant gentlemen who speak on the radio are themselves influencing the mass of the population. It’s the other way around. They’re reflecting what we think.
SCULLY: And if you say that talk radio is a reflection of America —
C-SPAN CALLER: Yes.
SCULLY: — and Rush Limbaugh represents or — or provides a vehicle for those to express their points of view —
SCULLY: — do you think talk radio will ultimately result in the demise of this legislation?
C-SPAN CALLER: I don’t know what will happen in Congress. I have no idea, but talk radio is what, as a boy, I remember the speakers on the street corner talking to the crowds. This is the same thing: people face-to-face.
RUSH: Yes. I’ve made that point here constantly. When the first charge was leveled on the second day of this program back in 1988, August 2nd, that I was speaking to a collection of mind-numbed robots, that I was a Svengali, a piped piper; you people were vacant, and all you did was reflect what I was saying, it was just the exact opposite. This program is a success because it reflects what you already think and gives you ammo and abilities to explain to others what you think rather than just say, ‘Well, I just feel it.’ You’ve got ammo now. Plus it’s entertaining and informative, all that sort of stuff. We have made converts. I’m not denying that. But Scully said, ‘If you say talk radio is a reflection of America, represents or provides a vehicle for those to express their points of view…’ Other shows may do that. I don’t take enough calls to do that. Early media requests would ask me, ‘What are your callers saying?’ I never accept the invitations because I didn’t know. I don’t take that many calls. I would never tell you that what happens on my show with callers is representative of America, because I don’t take enough to know that, and there’s nothing scientific about it. We take callers not based on what they think but whether they can speak well, you know, briefly, get it out quickly and all that. Here’s another one. This is Wall, New Jersey, a caller to C-SPAN this morning.
C-SPAN CALLER: I think talk radio is very uninformative. Like your show, I’m calling now, and I can say whatever I want. On talk radio, people like, ah, Rush Limbaugh — and people listen to these people and form their ideas based on what these people tell them! A lot of times they go on for an hour without even taking a call from an individual.
C-SPAN CALLER: What they do is they pontificate about what they think.
C-SPAN CALLER: Those people are adamant supporters of the war. They’re adamant supporters of Bush. And they are, in my opinion, the most destructive element in our country today.
RUSH: Yeah, ‘people who speak’ are the most destructive element. That’s the kind of guy that the liberals, like Dianne Feinstein and all these Fairness Doctrine people are speaking to. I’ve explained the philosophy of this program. This program is not an over-the-back-fence show. Other hosts have guests and they take all kinds of calls, and that’s fine. But you listen to this program for a variety of reasons, and the primary reason you listen to this program is to hear me! I’ve yet to have somebody say, ‘You know, I really love your show. The callers on your show are better than any other show!’ I don’t mean to put people down, but I never hear that. ‘That one caller? My God! I’ve never heard anything like that. That was great.’
RUSH: Look, you people that call the program, you know I love you. Don’t misunderstand what I just said — if you remember it (laughing).