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The Oprah Should Apologize for Katrina Lies

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Kelly in Moline, Illinois, who has patiently held on, wanted to make a comment here about James Frey, the author of this book. What is the name of this book? A Million Little Pieces. Still selling like hotcakes, hell, people don't care, good story is a good story, true or not, ask Jayson Blair. So still selling well out there, and Oprah finally turned on the guy after trying to save her reputation by defending the premise on Larry King Alive. She flip-flopped, has thrown the guy under the bus yesterday, and Kelly here wants to comment on it. What is your comment about all this, Kelly?
CALLER: Well, I'm watching the show yesterday, and it just burned me to see these journalists who acted all holier-than-thou and just rained judgment all over James Frey. And I just kept waiting for Oprah to ask these so-called journalists, who I believe write in New York papers, if they had ever embellished a story or misled readers to sell more papers or to further their careers, and I think that what Frey did was wrong, but he did not deserve to be crucified, especially by these hypocrites.
RUSH: Well, you know why they were crucifying Frey, don't you?
CALLER: Well, I know they don't like to see anybody succeed.
RUSH: No. No, they have to protect the Oprah.
CALLER: Right, oh, gee.
RUSH: They must protect the Oprah. They can't allow anybody to do damage to the Oprah, and this Frey guy nearly did. This Frey guy faked her out. This Frey guy duped her, got his book mentioned on her book club out there selling lots of copies. Turns out the whole thing is, well, the vast majority of it is fiction. As I say, it still is selling well. And Oprah had to go on Larry King Alive when this Frey guy -- Frey went on with his mother on that show, I think, and Oprah called in and said, "Despite what people are saying, it's still a great story, and the elements of truth here that matter to people about overcoming drug and alcohol addiction, that's relevant." The pressure didn't let up, and the pressure on the Oprah was getting a little hot and heavy, and so the Oprah had to go out and do a flip-flop job yesterday and did. They brought this Frey guy on and they fried Frey, and then Oprah, you know, salvaging her reputation, she had Frank Rich on yesterday, and Frank Rich compared the lying of James Frey to the lying of George Bush. Oh, yeah, and then Maureen Dowd was on MSNBC last night talking about Oprah's credibility. Let's go to the audio on all this, and I've got a little companion story here that I want to throw in the mix. But first Oprah, this is from her show yesterday as she confronted author James Frey, accusing him on live TV of lying in his book, A Million Little Pieces. This is how she opened.

OPRAH: I made a mistake, and I left the impression that the truth does not matter. And I am deeply sorry about that.

RUSH: All right, fine and dandy, yeah, we all feel sorry for you, you got duped by this guy, Oprah. But you know something, folks? Seems like every other show that Oprah does is about Hurricane Katrina. She seems obsessed with it. Have you seen the stories, by the way, that New Orleans may become a vanilla city (story)? Have you seen...? (interruption) Well, 80% of the blacks that have been displaced are not going back. I know I predicted this. I predicted this. Some brilliant wiseacre in New Orleans said, "You know, we just figured out if they didn't have the means to get out on their own, how do they have the means to come back on their own?" Add to that, most of them don't want to come back; I mean this was a liberal panacea, this place, right? It should have been. There should have been no discrimination. There should have been no unemployment. There should have been no poverty. There should have been no unhappiness. There should have been no misery. This was Utopia. This is a place run by liberals and Democrats for who knows how long, and yet what do we hear? There was racism; there was poverty; there was unemployment. I mean, it was a living, breathing example of liberal failure amongst a nation of tremendous and great prosperity. Then you had school bus Nagin, the mayor, saying it's going to be "a chocolate city." He said God wants it to be a chocolate city. By the way, you know who did the study on finding out that 80% of the black population aren't coming back? Brown University. That's right. The Tootsie Roll University does a survey showing that New Orleans is going to end up becoming a vanilla city because 80% of the black population is not going to come back.
It seems like every other day Oprah still does a show about Hurricane Katrina. She's obsessed with it, and she has broadcast a lot of stuff that's not true and she knows it isn't true and everybody knows it. She's still stuck on all that phony, fallacious reporting that the media was engaging in, in the two weeks after the hurricane hit -- and this is not just some meaningless book and author. This is the Oprah trying to gin up all this angst and anger and keep it roiling. Here, let me give you an example. Let's go back to the week after Katrina, Oprah and Ray Nagin cried at the Superdome over supposed rapes and murder of children, all lies that we now know did not happen. School Bus Nagin said, "You're getting ready to see something that I'm not sure you're ready to see. They have people standing out there, they've been in that friggin' Superdome for five days watching dead bodies, watching hooligans killing people and raping people. That's the tragedy. People are trying to give us babies that were dying." <a target=new href=" http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/04/AR2005100401525.html">(story)</a> | <a target=new href=" http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-rumors27sep27,0,5492806,full.story?coll=la-home-headlines">(story)</a> | <a target=new href=" http://www.nola.com/newslogs/tporleans/index.ssf?/mtlogs/nola_tporleans/archives/2005_09_26.html#082732">(story)</a> | <a target=new href=" http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/29/national/nationalspecial/29crime.html">(story)</a>
OPRAH: What happened and didn't have to happen, happened to children. It's pretty overwhelming. It makes me so mad. This makes me mad. This should not have happened.
RUSH: And it didn't! And yet she has yet to do a program saying it didn't happen. Oprah Frey and her ongoing television show on Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Let's go on now to another guest that she had yesterday. This is Frank Rich of the New York Times, and he says this about today's world. She brings Rich out to somehow connect the lies of James Frey and his book to George W. Bush.

FRANK RICH: We live in this world now which this is just sort of the tip of the iceberg, this memoir where anyone can sort of put out something that sort of looks true, smells a little bit like truth, but in fact is in some way fictionalized. You look at anything from Enron, fooling people, and creating this aura of a great business making huge profits when it was an empty shell, or people in the government telling us that mushroom clouds are going to come our way if we don't invade Iraq for months when it was on faulty and possibly suspect intelligence.
RUSH: I mean, there's so much I could say here I don't have time left in the show. Oh, say, so Bush's lying has created people like James Frey? We don't hear a word about what's-his-face, Jayson Blair, from Mr. Rich. We don't hear a word about all of these plagiarists in mainstream journalism. We don't hear about Isikoff who just lied through his teeth about Korans being flushed down the toilet at Club Gitmo. I mean, we're not allowed any of that kind of introspection. We don't hear about the lies of Bill Clinton, and in fact, when we talk about the lies of Bill Clinton let's go to cut ten, Maureen Dowd on MSNBC last night had this to say about Clinton's lying.
DOWD: When Bill Clinton would deceive, he would throw in a semantic clue that let you know he was deceiving. "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." We knew what he meant by that. You know, "I did not..." about dope. "I didn't break the laws of this country." So it was sort of poignant and endearing. He would let you know he was lying, and then the right wing would come down so hard on him and over-punish him, and in the case of Bush, he's just in a completely different reality. You know, they call us the reality-based community, and they create their own reality, and so Bush is just in a bubble, and when you're in the bubble, you don't know you're in the bubble.
RUSH: They think he's in a bubble because he doesn't hang around with them. They're the ones that have created the alternative reality. (doing Dowd impression) "Clinton's lying was poignant and endearing," and that voice was so irritating to me. I thought I was going to hear it more than Hillary screaming about protecting civil liberties! That's the lovely and gracious Maureen Dowd, commenting on the poignant and endearing lying of Bill Clinton. In other words, what she's saying is: "His lying was so cute that we loved it. We appreciated how good he was at it." I gotta take a quick time-out. One more thing on this, because I've uncovered another -- well, I haven't, Raleigh News Observer did -- another journalist, another longtime author, been writing pure fiction, passing himself off as something that he's not.
BREAK TRANSCRIPT
RUSH: We got one more. I want you to hear it. One more Maureen Dowd sound bite just for the irritation factor. The question that she got: "What happens now to Oprah Winfrey's credibility?"
DOWD: Well, Oprah Winfrey, who I think probably already has more credibility than the president, her credibility goes up because, unlike the president, she's willing to admit that, you know, she made a mistake and face up to it, and she's the man.
RUSH: Okay, so there you have it. (laughing) Oprah, I hope you're thankful for your friends. So Oprah's got more credibility because she had the courage to be a man, to admit that she made a mistake. This from a woman who's writing about feminism and all that.
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