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RUSH: Snerdley is urging me to do the TMZ. Speaking of Twitter and pop culture, your host invaded pop culture and came out smelling pretty well in the process. I’ll tell you what. Let’s give you a little tease ’cause I’ve got seven or eight sound bites on this, I think. Let’s start with this. This was last Thursday, actually. I have to take a break, but let me set this up. Remember I made the statement, kind of a throwaway statement in talking about the frat boys at OU, Oklahoma U?

I said if Kanye West made a song out of the lyrics those guys were chanting, and sang it at the Grammys, he’d get a standing O. He’d probably win a Grammy and everybody would be celebrating it. I expected, as has become par for the course, that the Drive-Bys that night and the next day would report on what I said with the usual allegations of racism and snark. Instead, the exact opposite happened. They all reported on it with great reverence and respect and said that I had a point.

This is what gave rise to TMZ to do their own quote/unquote “investigation.”


RUSH: Okay. Here you go, last Thursday on the syndicated TV entertainment magazine TMZ Live during a segment about me and my remarks comparing the Oklahoma University chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity shut down because of their racist chant. And I said that if Kanye West had sung those lyrics at the Grammys, it’d be given awards and applause and all that. Here’s how they began their segment on this.

HARVEY LEVIN: I am fascinated by this. People are dismissing what Rush Limbaugh said, a lot of people are.

KELLY BERNING: That’s a really polarizing statement.

HARVEY LEVIN: ItÂ’s a polarizing statement.

KELLY BERNING: By the way, do you love his little, like dig to Kayne, “Kim Kardashian’s husband”?

HARVEY LEVIN: Kim Kardashian’s husband. (laughter) I’m not necessarily subscribing to it. I just think it’s more interesting than just dismissing it. But there is a whole thing that we got into in the newsroom just yesterday about that white people cannot use the N-word because it is a cultural word. African-Americans can, but then the issue is, can somebody like Kayne sing a song like that where it’s about hate.

RUSH: One of the producers then joined the conversation, thinks that Kanye’s song with the same lyrics would be a hit because if Kanye did it, it would be social commentary. Here’s how that sounded.

PRODUCER: The answer is, if you were to take the exact lyrics of that song and put it in a song, would it be a hit? The answer is yes, because it would be social commentary, right? He’d be doing it as almost like a battle cry against it.

HARVEY LEVIN: I don’t know what Rush’s ultimate point is, whether he’s saying that the song isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be, I’m not sure what Rush’s —

PRODUCER: I know what Rush is doing. Rush is trolling, which he makes his living being a professional troller, and that’s fine.

RUSH: All right, see, now here the producer — this is what fascinates me. The producer makes my point. And notice how he does it. If Kanye did those exact lyrics, he would get an award because if Kanye did it, he would be criticizing it. Kanye would be engaging in proper social commentary. When the frat boys do it, it’s racism. But Kanye automatically has a motive of goodness attached, making my point. And yet these clowns still proceed to call me a troll.

There’s more here. The next bite was 29 seconds and I only have 25 before we get to the break. Because it does become favorable to me. You may say, “Well, Rush, I thought you said the –” I did. And it does. There’s like seven bites here, folks, as they continue to discuss this among themselves on TMZ Live or whatever it is. So hang on here through the break and you’ll see what I mean. And you’ll end up being proud that your host unfiltered this way in a positive way.


RUSH: All right, here we continue now with the TMZ. This is cut five. They took a phone call. In fact, to maintain the context, go back and play the sound bite number four again. This is where one of the producers chimes in and says, without saying I’m right, he says, (paraphrasing) “Well, yeah, Kanye, if Kanye said the same things that the frat boys said, it would be a hit, ’cause it’d be social commentary. Who knows, Kanye might even be criticizing it.” They’re just imagining all of this, but the guy is making my point with his comment.

PRODUCER: The answer is, if you were to take the exact lyrics of that song and put it in a song, would it be a hit? The answer is yes, because it would be social commentary, right? He’d be doing it as almost like a battle cry against it.

HARVEY LEVIN: I don’t know what Rush’s ultimate point is, whether he’s saying that the song isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be, I’m not sure what Rush’s —

PRODUCER: I know what Rush is doing. Rush is trolling, which he makes his living being a professional troller, and that’s fine.

RUSH: Okay, neither of these two guys know what I’m doing, and this is their problem; it isn’t mine. I’m not trolling. I’m making my own social commentary, that racist words in somebody’s mouth will be praised. Racist words in somebody’s mouth will be praised if they’re sung by a certain guy, they will be praised and awarded. And some guy will come along and even make an excuse for it and call it social commentary.

Whereas somebody comes along, identical same words, and they’ll be thrown out of school. I’m not trolling. I’m merely pointing out rampant hypocrisy. And, by the way, the frat boys are not the source of this stuff. The frat boys are simply repeating what they’ve grown up listening to. The frat boys are products of their environment. The frat boys were just sitting out there drinking beer probably trying to impress girls, who knows what, they get thrown out of college. College can do it, don’t misunderstand. I’m a defending the frat boys. And I’m not trolling. I’m simply pointing out — and, look, this producer comes along at TMZ and is willing to give Kanye the benefit of the doubt.

“Oh, if he did it, why, it would be social commentary and he would be opposing it.” He’d have no idea if that’s what it would be. But he’s making my point. This is exactly it, it would be perceived as good, as quality. It would win an award. I’m telling you, this kind of dichotomy where people get thrown into jail or thrown out of school or what have you, for using the same words that others win awards for, that doesn’t fly. Double standard, triple standard, what have you. Well, next up, they took a call. They took a Skype call from a viewer named Nikki in Denver.

NIKKI: My name is Nikki and I’m from Denver. I want to just say for the record that I am not a Rush Limbaugh fan at all, but I felt like he had a point. Because I notice there are a lot of rap songs that say a lot of hateful stuff and kids would sing along to it knowing theyÂ’re hateful but they would sing it because it’s popular. I feel like that if Kayne made a song from this it would be a hit because a lot of kids nowadays are just — they don’t care. They just think, oh, Kayne is singing it so it must be cool. So I think itÂ’s going to be a big hit, even though it’s sad to say I felt like Rush Limbaugh had a point.

RUSH: So Nikki in Denver got my endgame. One of the viewers at TMZ got my endgame. (interruption) What’s scary, that a TMZ viewer got my endgame? No, let me tell you something. Nikki (imitating Nikki), “Look, I’m not a Rush Limbaugh fan.” She probably is. “I’m not a Rush Limbaugh fan, but he has a point.” They always have to qualify, “I’m not a Rush Limbaugh fan — but, but, but. I don’t know what Rush’s endgame is.”

I don’t have any endgame. It certainly wasn’t to get on TMZ. I draw inescapable conclusions to the obvious. I guess what I do is say things others are afraid to. Anyway, this kept going, so they got their call from Nikki, and then after taking the pulse of the people in their audience, Nikki from Denver, Harvey Levin, who, by the way, I have jokingly said is the modern-day Walter Cronkite. Well, TMZ is what CBS News was to some of us growing up in the sixties and seventies. TMZ is.

Whether you like it or not, TMZ is source authority. TMZ’s unassailable, and Harvey Levin runs the place. He has unparalleled respect of the people that watch TMZ. They think he doesn’t lie to them. They think he doesn’t make it up. They don’t think he’s got an agenda. He’s just telling ’em what is, in that realm. And so here’s the next bite, after taking the pulse of the people, their caller Nikki from Denver, Harvey gets into an argument over my worth to society.

HARVEY LEVIN: You know whatÂ’s interesting about Rush Limbaugh is that he comes up with things that are really polarizing. It doesn’t matter whether you agree or disagree with him, he makes people think and he frames arguments…

PRODUCER: This is preposterous. What Rush Limbaugh did was he took the vile thing that those guys did and he said, “Okay, you know what, you guys are only mad because theyÂ’re white.”

HARVEY LEVIN: You’re missing my point. I’m not saying you have to agree with him. What I’m saying is, there’s a legitimate debate that people are having. You can’t say that everybody whoÂ’s talked against you on this is insane.

RUSH: And I did not take the vile thing these guys said and say that people are only mad because they’re white. That’s not what I said at all. I didn’t even talk about the race of the frat boys. I just said that if a rapper sang these lyrics, which rappers do every day and they win awards with it every day … I was speaking the obvious. Look at the problem so many people have with the obvious. But this wasn’t over.

HARVEY LEVIN: We put a poll up on the site asking whether Rush…

PRODUCER: Oh my God, we put a poll up on the site.

HARVEY LEVIN: I don’t even know what the results are.

PRODUCER: Ninety percent, Rush is right.

KELLY BERNING: No, the poll is “Is Rush Wrong?” And 46% say yes, and 54% say no.

HARVEY LEVIN: I honestly didnÂ’t know what the result of that was.

EVAN ROSENBLUM: That’s pretty good.

RUSH: Notice they didn’t say “Is Rush Right?” Their poll was, “Is Rush Wrong?” And 54% said no. Now, one of their producers (imitating producer), “I know what it’s gonna be, 90% Rush is right, right?” But 54% of the TMZ audience did not think that I was wrong. Then TMZ decided to ask Kanye about it at LAX Saturday night.

WEST: I’ve — I’ve been out of town, man, I don’t know everything that is happening. I’m gonna check in. I’ll let you know the next time I see you.

RUSH: He didn’t know what they were talking about, he hadn’t heard about it, so he says. Well, that’s what happened on TMZ. So it ended up… (interruption) No, I’m not joking about Harvey Levin being Walter Cronkite. It’s a funny comment, but I’m telling you, to a TMZ audience, Harvey Levin is gospel. What TMZ says, they don’t question it. The same thing with the E! Entertainment audience. Pop culture news sources these days have profound respect for their audiences.

Here’s the thing. Everybody watching TMZ wants to be on it. Everybody watching TMZ wants to be on the red carpet where TMZ is covering it. Now, you probably do not want to be in the NBC Nightly News. That’s the difference. The NBC Nightly News, this problem, that problem, you don’t want to be there. Everybody watching TMZ hopes to someday be on it. That means they’ve got a lot of respect for it.


RUSH: I don’t have to troll. These clowns ought to take just one day and listen to this program and honestly try to figure out what happens here and they might learn something about a lot of things.

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