RUSH: This is Brian in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Hello.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. How are you, sir?
RUSH: Just fine, sir. Thank you for asking.
CALLER: Conservative, right-wing, Christian dittos from North Carolina.
RUSH: Ah! Just the kind of people that Barack Obama says the Democrats don’t like.
CALLER: Yeah. Oh, by the way, just a good old southern saying: Just keep laying the hardwood to Nurse Ratched, okay?
RUSH: (laughter) I really know no other way.
RUSH: I just know no other way.
CALLER: I really appreciate that. Let me take you back to the first hour, Rush, if I may and my comment is, the difference between ‘screening’ an audience as the president of the United States, you know, security issues —
RUSH: Are you talking about the planted questions —
CALLER: Yes. I’m sorry.
RUSH: — that the Clinton campaign is denying happened but that Mrs. Clinton says she won’t tolerate, and she didn’t know about it?
CALLER: Yeah. It blows — well, it doesn’t blow my mind because we’re talking about Clinton, Inc., but — that we would be talking about screening people to come in for the president of the United States and then planting questions. I mean, to me that’s a huge difference.
RUSH: Well, it’s not that Bush plants questions. He takes questions from the press at these press conferences, and none of those questions are ‘planted.’ The idea that Bush plants questions and so forth, or that every other candidate does it, too, which is what the Clintons said, it’s just like, ‘Well, everybody lies about sex, too.’
RUSH: Nobody has any morals. Nobody has any ethics. We’re not any different than anybody else. Everybody does this stuff.
CALLER: Well, Maha Rushie, I know you can give a good explanation to me and the listeners. What is the difference between ‘screening’ what our president does and the obvious ‘planting’ of the Clintons?
RUSH: Well, are we talking about screening a personal appearance the president makes somewhere where the public is gonna be there?
RUSH: It’s a security procedure.
CALLER: Yeah, that’s why it makes sense to me. Come on.
RUSH: I could give you a better analogy using the way I run the EIB Network’s Rush Limbaugh program. We ‘screen’ calls. We do it for a specific reason. We try to find the best callers. This is a radio program. Callers are not highly trained professionals like I am. They are not specialists in broadcasting, and so we try to find people that either have passion or something unique to say, or who will make the host look good — and that’s done not by complimenting the host, but by inspiring the host. That’s why I say I’m a ‘benevolent dictator.’ We do not grant everybody the right who gets through on the phones to speak because some of them will be so boring that the audience will leave, and I can’t have that. To bore the audience, that’s probably the only genuine fear that I have in running this program. So we ‘screen’ to find the best, and they can be critical; they can be off-the-wall wacko, or what have you. But planting calls to make the host look good or whatever, never, ever happens. Sometimes, it’s embarrassing. I have people, friends of mine who want the phone number so they can call in to say things, and I will not do it. I just will not do it. That’s artificial. You know, on a talk show, the callers call you, and they get through or they don’t get through. We don’t call the callers. So it’s a big difference. The Clinton campaign is not screening. They are planting. They’re actually putting people in the audience with a specific question that Mrs. Clinton the candidate knows is coming, pure and simple, and the reason for that is, security — of the political kind. She doesn’t want to get questions like she was asked at the Philadelphia debate. She wants to get questions where she can offer her meaningless little pandering slogans and then make people think she’s ‘thoughtful and deep and connected,’ and all that sort of stuff. It’s all show. It’s all designed to protect her. That’s not what we do here. That’s the best way I could illustrate the difference.
RUSH: Santa Ana, California, this is Noel. Noel, great to have you, sir.
CALLER: Oh, hi, Rush. Hey, I was just calling to say, I know you plant questions. You’ve been doing it for years, and you planted them in the Hillary campaign, and Obama, and Giuliani, and Romney. Any time you have a caller who calls and says, ‘I’m a longtime listener,’ you know they’re a thinker.
CALLER: And they just asked the hardball questions, not the softball questions, and I like those folks, so thanks for what you do. You do a great job. Keep it up.
RUSH: I appreciate it, but I’m a little bit confused. I might have misheard you. Did you say I plant questions?
CALLER: Oh, you’re Johnny Appleseed of American political debate.
RUSH: (laughter) The Johnny Appleseed of — I love that. I’m going to steal that.
CALLER: Hey, it’s yours.
RUSH: Johnny Appleseed of American political debate. So you’re saying because I inspire thought, that plants questions in the minds of the audience, who then, if they ever have contact with a candidate, might ask these questions, and voila, question gets planted?
CALLER: Oh, with the candidates, fellow citizens, their neighbors, you bet.
RUSH: Well, as you know I don’t often get introspective and think about the profound impact I’ve had on American politics, but you have made me face that front and square. That’s really nice of you to say. I appreciate that.
CALLER: Well, you’re welcome Rush.
RUSH: All right. Have a good day out there Noel, Santa Ana, California, the Johnny Appleseed of more than politics.