RUSH: Dick Durbin, the senator from Illinois, was on Fox News Sunday yesterday with Chris Wallace. Durbin actually defended writing a letter to the IRS telling it to investigate a conservative group. Durbin said (summarized), “Hell, yes, I did!” Chris Wallace said, “Why single out Crossroads when you didn’t mention a single liberal group? And there were a bunch of that were applying for tax-exempt status at exactly that point with the word ‘progress’ in their name.”
DURBIN: I can just tell you flat-out why I did it, because that Crossroads organization was boasting about how much money they were raising as a 501(c)(4). Let’s get back to the basics. Citizens United really unleashed hundreds if not thousands of organizations seeking tax-exempt status to play in political campaigns. The law we wrote as Congress said that they had to exclusively be engaged in social welfare and not politics and campaigning, and so here’s the IRS trying to decide whether or not these organizations really comply with the law. Crossroads was Exhibit A.
WALLACE: But, Senator Durbin —
DURBIN: They were boastful about how much money they were raising to beat Democrats!
RUSH: So (summarized), “You’re damn right I did! That Citizens United, that unleashed all kinds of unfairness to us Democrats! That meant that people besides unions could go out and raise money — and for the Republicans! That meant we were gonna have competition. I’m not gonna permit that. There ain’t gonna be any competition here in fundraising. We’re gonna shut the other guys out! That’s why I sent ’em a letter. Damn straight, Chris! What do you think we’re doing here?
“We’re not gonna give the other side a chance to raise any money and compete against us. That’s not what that law was about. That Crossroads guy, whoever did that, are a bunch of charlatans — and that Supreme Court? What a bunch of charlatans! I mean, that was a horrible decision. We’re not gonna put up with it.” So he made no bones about it. Chris Wallace said, “But, you talk about Memorial Day weekend. It’s also about the First Amendment and the very important role that the media play. Honestly, are you comfortable with the idea that the president asked the attorney general to review the attorney general’s own actions?”
DURBIN: What is a journalist today in 2013? We know it’s someone who works for Fox or AP, but does it include a blogger? Does it include someone who’s tweeting? Are these people journalists and entitled to constitutional protection? We need to ask Twenty-First Century questions about a provision in our Constitution that was written over 200 years ago.
RUSH: Oh, you see what they want to do, folks? That’s right! They want to set up licensing of journalists. That’s where the Democrats are headed on this. “You tweeters? You bloggers? You’re not journalists. We are going to determine who is a journalist and who isn’t. We are going to license journalists! I mean, that Constitution’s 200-plus years old. It’s no longer relevant,” is what he means. No, he didn’t say “license journalists,” but what are they talking about?
I mean, if a leading Democrat senator wants to talk about who’s a journalist and who isn’t, and if he thinks bloggers and tweeters aren’t, then he wants to stop ’em. How’s he gonna stop them? Gotta license journalists. So the government will decide who’s a journalist and who isn’t and grant licenses and approvals — and if you don’t get your license and you start doing journalism, you could be sent to jail or you could be reprimanded.
Now, I just want to be clear. He didn’t say those words, but where does it go? You have a leading Democrat senator here trying to say that bloggers aren’t journalists and tweeters aren’t journalists and journalists, who are they? Well, we all know that Fox and AP is journalism. (By the way, Fox won’t be, if these people have their dream.)