RUSH: A month ago I went on a riff about the lone remaining monopoly in the Drive-By Media, that being the Associated Press and I pointed out how dangerous they are. They still have a monopoly in the sense that every newspaper in the country subscribes to their service and prints their BS. Yesterday, Politico.com ran a story about the new Washington — or the editor, bureau chief, whatever; Washington bureau chief; I forget what title he has, Ron Fournier, the former White House reporter. He has decided — and I don’t know how long ago they decided this, but it probably coincides pretty much with my noticing it, but they decided, he decided — from now on the AP is going to start putting opinion in the news, that people are just too stupid to figure out what the news is without an opinion being thrown in there. Honestly this is what they said. I had the story in the stack yesterday. I think I have it close; I’m summarizing it pretty closely.
Ron Fournier said, yep, we’re going to have to put opinion in the news because… And it amazed me when I read this is that they didn’t think they had been doing this for all of these years. But now the cat’s out of the bag. And the bottom line is, ladies and gentlemen, I shouldn’t say this publicly, but I know that you know me well enough, and you will not misunderstand me. Ever since the news of my contract extension was announced, there is a mad dash on the part of many people in media to get into the opinion business, because they’re thinking, ‘Man, really? There’s a boat that we’re missing here,’ they’re saying. You’ve got all of these television people now having their agents call radio stations trying to get radio talk shows. You now have AP suggesting, informing us they’re going to start inserting opinion in their stories. At the same time this is happening, the LA Times gets rid of its editor; the Chicago Tribune gets rid of its editor, and do you know — can I make a comment? — both papers are owned by the Tribune company?
Both papers are owned by Sam Zell. Sam Zell is a broadcaster. Do you know who Sam Zell brought in to run his newspaper company? He brought in Randy Michaels. Now, who is Randy Michaels? You may not know who Randy Michaels is. He’s one of the greatest creative radio guys in the history of radio, and Randy Michaels is now running newspapers. So the newspapers are being taken over by radio people. The newspaper people are trying to get into radio. The newspaper people at AP are now gonna try to get into opinion (which they have been doing all along) saying their stories have too much gray. There’s just too much gray out there in the average news story. But morons that read it can’t understand it without an opinion in there. Now, two things stand out. I’ve always warned people: ‘Don’t try this at home. I make this look easy. The great always make what they do look easy, but you shouldn’t try it at home.’ Now, all these people are going to try to do opinion.
What they don’t understand is the reason their circulation is plummeting, the reason their ad revenue is plummeting, is precisely because they have been doing opinion disguised as news, and it’s opinion that a lot of people don’t want. I would venture to say that most of their subscriber losses are coming from people who are conservative who are simply sick and tired of being insulted every day with the same old narrative. We’ve got, what, four years of an Iraq war and the story every day is the same. It parrots the Democrat Party line whatever it is. I don’t need the LA Times and Chicago Tribune for this. So it is amazing what is happening here. A well-known, at least in the business, broadcast genius is now running the Tribune newspaper. You know how this has to grate on him? You know how it has to grate every time Michaels or his underlings send a memo out there, just gnash their teeth on this? So Ron Fournier running the AP says we’re going to stick opinion in our news stories now to help people out.
People don’t want that. When it comes to journalism, if somebody’s going to say that they are a journalist or their enterprise is journalism, people, rightly, have expectations that it’s going to be informative, that it’s going to be news, that it’s not going to have opinion laced subtly or overtly throughout the piece. When you accuse these people of bias, they have a cow. They consider it a huge insult, and then tell you again that you don’t know enough about their business to comment on it for closing the loop that you people and all of us are just idiots. Yet, there’s a story out there. NBA ref Tim Donaghy, apparently they have now discovered, was betting on games, and perhaps was fixing games he called in order for his own benefit. Is that about right, Brian? I don’t follow basketball that closely, but probably he was. He was refereeing games that he had bet on, and he was finagling calls and so forth to facilitate the outcome he chose.
They found out that he’s been talking to another ref during all this. There might be another ref involved. The commish, David Stern, said there aren’t any refs involved before this latest news hit. But it’s not the point. The point is that the AP is just livid over the fact that there might have been bias in the NBA, that the referees might have had, or at least one might have had, an interest in the outcome of the game, and they are offended as they can be and they’re talking about how the NBA and sports in general is now under severe scrutiny, and people are really questioning the fairness of it all from steroids in baseball to who knows what’s about to go in football to the referees in basketball. They need to look in the mirror. If they’re going to get that outraged over bias in the NBA, how about, do you think maybe your readers might get a little tired of your bias?
You people in the Drive-By Media have chosen an outcome on every election I’ve been alive — and every election I’ve been alive, your chosen outcome has been the Democrat win. You put forth your business charter as being just as fair and just as uninterested in outcomes as do the referees at the NBA. So I find it just ironic and wonderful they get so upset about a sports event that might be fixed, the outcome might have been decided other than by the competitors on the court. Yet this is the business that gave us Dan Rather and the phony Bill Burkett documents, trying to actually turn an election — and then they circled the wagons and gave him an award because he was being rightly criticized for this.