RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, the stink, the rot that is CNN is amplified and amplifying all day. They continue, bloggers and others continue to find even more setups and more plants. For example, I didn’t watch the little panel discussion with the 24 undecided Republican voters after the debate. They found them at the University of Tampa. It turns out there probably aren’t 24 Republicans, period, at the University of Tampa. There was a show after that, that Campbell Brown hosted on dirty campaign ads and David Bossie and his group are considering suing CNN unless they retract it, because it was a full-fledged hit piece. It was exactly what I said yesterday. This was a setup job. I will not be convinced by anybody at CNN or anywhere else that this was random, that it was accidental.
In fact, look, ladies and gentlemen, what one of the lead stories in the New York Times today is, has to with gays in the military. Why, yes, ‘A New Push to Roll Back ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, New York Times. Thom Shanker, Patrick Healy. Patrick Healy, by the way, the stenographer for the Clinton campaign. ‘Marking the 14th anniversary of legislation that allowed gay men and lesbians to serve in the military but only if they kept their orientation secret, 28 retired generals and admirals plan to release a letter on Friday urging Congress to repeal the law. ‘We respectfully urge Congress to repeal the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy,’ the letter says. ‘Those of us signing this letter have dedicated our lives to defending the rights of our citizens to believe whatever they wish.’ … Few issues have split the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates this year as clearly as whether to repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy.’
I have been watching this campaign. I’m not aware that it is that big an issue. Few issues have split the Democrat and Republican presidential candidates this year as clearly as whether to repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’? ‘At a debate in June, all of the Democratic candidates said they favored rescinding the policy. The Republican candidates, meanwhile, have favored continuing it, saying that it is a sensible approach or that it would be a distraction to integrate openly gay service members into the armed forces at a time of war. … Among Democrats seeking their party’s presidential nomination, John Edwards has sometimes tweaked Mr. Clinton — and by extension, Mr. Edwards’s rival Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York — for bowing to military brass and going along with the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ compromise. Mrs. Clinton has been a steady critic of the policy, though she is careful not to rebuke her husband for his actions in 1993. She has said he did the best he could, as a new president, maneuvering around a political land mine.’
Now, folks, you’re going to have to help me out here. I’m a student and observer of the scene. I’m unaware that this is an issue such that few have split the Democrat and presidential candidates this year, I didn’t know it was a big deal. Regardless of that, CNN grabs this brigadier general, and he’s a former guest on CNN back in 2003 or 2004, he’s from Santa Rosa, they fly him in to Florida, they give him a microphone, they give him a chance to rebut what the candidates say, they tell us they had no clue, and then two days later the New York Times is running a story about the new push to roll back ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ In the meantime, it’s a policy — at least the New York Times gets this right — initiated by Democrats, initiated by Bill Clinton. And yet they bring in this brigadier general to harass and hector Republicans about it when that debate was supposed to be featured questions posed by undecided Republicans. CNN, you stink. You’re an absolute abomination. You are a disgrace, and more and more people are finally seeing it now, even Howard Kurtz writes about it today. Mara Liasson was on the Fox News Channel last night, I got a quote from her about it I’ll share with you.
RUSH: After my latest rant on CNN, I got a note from people: ‘Rush, you’re giving these people too much credit. They’re not that smart. They don’t talk to each other enough to be able to construct a debate like that that aired Wednesday night that’s totally planned and orchestrated as a hit job.’ I don’t care how you explain it. If that’s true, that still doesn’t say much about them. It says they’re incompetent. They’re either incompetent or they are deceitful and libs. I, frankly, don’t care which. But I lean more toward the fact that they knew exactly what they were doing, that liberals, by definition, seek to ‘expose’ conservatives and Republicans, seek to play gotcha with them and mock them and make fun of them.
That’s what every one of those questions did. Those questions… Listen to the Washington bureau chief and the senior vice president for CNN said this before the debate. He said, ‘This debate is to let Republican voters pick from among their eight candidates. We’re trying to focus mostly on questions where there are differences among these candidates. There are plenty of animated figures out there; there are certainly some funny questions. But more importantly, there are hundreds, if not thousands of really good, solid questions from real people on real issues.’ Now, this is an abject distortion of what CNN’s purpose was. CNN’s stated purpose was to go find undecided Republican voters to ask Republican candidates about Republican issues, but instead, what do we get? We get two Jesus questions. We get a Bible question and a Jesus question. We get two abortion questions that have nothing to do with abortion. They’re straight out of the Democrat Party playbook in terms of how Democrats look at Republicans on abortion, and on Jesus, and on religion. It could all be boiled down to they look at Republicans and conservatives as racists, sexists, bigots, homophobes. So whether they planned to or not doesn’t matter. It’s groupthink. How else…?
For those of you who think this just happened to be the result of an uncoordinated, uncommunicative CNN staff, let me ask you this. Do you remember when Bush chose Cheney to be his vice president? Every media figure on cable news or who has a column in Newsweek or TIME Magazine or the Washington Post, New York Times, or on TV: ‘Cheney brings gravitas.’ We have a montage that takes a minute and a half to play, with not one repeat. You’ve got Jonathan Alter in there. You’ve got Sam Donaldson, twice! Now, you tell me: How is it that 50 Drive-By journalists can come up with the same word to describe a political event, the selection of Dick Cheney as vice president for George W. Bush? ‘He’s got gravitas.’ Well, somebody had to come up with it first, and what would cause somebody to suggest ‘gravitas’ to Cheney? A bias against Bush as an idiot, uneducated, unserious, unsophisticated frat boy! So he chooses Cheney. Well, they’ve already got this picture of Bush based on nothing other than their own liberal prejudice, and so here’s Cheney, who has been in government for a long time. He’s been secretary of defense. He’s been chief of staff. He’s been a number of things for decades.
‘Ah, he brings gravitas!’
Now, do they all pick it up, or did some of them sit around the bar one night and talk about this; they came up with the word and everybody went and used it? How many times I made a joke about this, but it’s true. If you miss the NBC Nightly News, no big deal. Watch the CBS Evening News. If you miss the CBS Evening News, no big deal. Watch ABC’s World News Tonight. If you miss that, no big deal. Watch CNN. If you miss that, no big deal. Watch MSNBC. If you miss that, read the New York Times. If you miss that, read the Washington Post. If you miss that, read USA Today. If you miss that, read the LA Times. If you miss that, read the San Francisco Chronicle. If you miss that, read the Chicago Tribune. If you miss that, read…pick your paper. Virtually every one of those sources, the same story will lead and have the same take on every story. It’s no different — and they wonder why viewership is plummeting, advertisers are dwindling. They wonder why circulation at newspapers is going down the tubes. If you miss this show, you’re not going to get it anywhere else, for example. So I don’t, frankly, care whether these people have conspiratorial meetings at CNN to figure out how they can screw conservatives, because, frankly, I think that’s their purpose anyway! They don’t have to get together and talk about it. That’s the reason they exist — that, and to promote Hillary.
RUSH: I want to play one more sound bite, Mara Liasson last night on Fox News, Special Report, fill-in host Bret Baier, says, ‘Let’s read the CNN statement about this today: ‘CNN cared about what you asked, not who you are.” Doesn’t help, CNN. ‘This was the case for both the Democrat, Republican CNN YouTube debates,’ no, it’s not. Anyway, ‘Mara Liasson, is this true?’
LIASSON: CNN does itself a great disservice when it doesn’t apply the exact same kind of criteria to both debates. I covered both of them. In the Democratic debate, I don’t think there were any questions that were clearly coming from, you know, a Republican point of view. They were generally sympathetic. They were about global warming, and health care, and education, all kind of Democratic issues. They weren’t challenging them. There was one anti-tax question, I think. But they weren’t challenging the basic principles of the Democratic Party. There were lots of questions last night that were. I think the question about the Bible was mocking. I think one of the abortion questions was clearly not from someone who was pro-life, it was the opposite. So, you know, and they also tended to find people who were on what you might call kind of the Libertarian end of the spectrum among Republicans. Now, that, I think, is an artifact of the YouTube community itself, which tends to attract younger people.
RUSH: All right, Mara Liasson, they found people to mock the Republicans. They don’t do this with Democrats. And, frankly, as I said, I don’t care, folks, it doesn’t matter to me whether they did it on purpose or whether they just stumbled into it. They are CNN, they are the Clinton News Network, and they are who they are, and this is who liberals are, and this is who populates the majority of the Drive-By Media as well. I’ve been able to laugh at these people for the last four or five years, but this for some reason has me incensed. This has me incensed. These people portray themselves as holier-than-thou, the best of the best, the most informed and erudite, the most understanding, tolerant, and compassionate and so forth, all they care about is reporting news to get to the truth. We’ve always known that is a crock. It’s tough enough to beat Democrats as it is. When the Drive-By Media joins them and becomes an adjunct to the Democrat campaign, I’m going to just tell you something: CNN — you want to know what you are, you are nothing more than opposition research for Hillary Clinton and the Democrat Party. You are nothing more than the dirty-tricks arm of the Democrat Party. That’s what you have been become. You are there to aid and abet the Democrats and however you have to misrepresent and lie about Democrats’ opponents, you will do it, and you call yourselves a news network.