May 12, 1995, Friday 11:15 AM
SHOW: RUSH LIMBAUGH (9:00 PM ET)
LIMBAUGH: Thank you very much and welcome back. RUSH LIMBAUGH, the television show. It's great to see you. I want to go back to this show on April 24th of this year and--and remember at this time we're--we're about five days after the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. And we're into this period of time where talk radio--and, of course, when you say talk radio what everybody thinks of is Rush Limbaugh--talk radio is responsible for this because of the extremist nature of the programs and it could inspire these lunatics to do what they did and this is what I had to say about it in part. Watch.
(Excerpt from April 24, 1995, RUSH LIMBAUGH)
LIMBAUGH: Let me tell you who my audience is. My audience is the rescue teams trying to save lives in Oklahoma. My audience are the law enforcement officials who are trying to bring to justice these lunatics who blew up the building. My audience is made up of the people who've lost loved ones, who've had members of their families wounded and injured. The people who make up my audience are mainstream Americans who are as repulsed by this as you or anyone else is.
(End of excerpt)
LIMBAUGH: Now let's move forward to May 1st of this year. I want to show you an editorial cartoon that ran in the Tacoma News Tribune. The cartoonist is Chris Britt. You've see this picture of the fireman--it was on the cover of every newspaper and magazine. That fireman is Chris Fields. The baby is Baby Baylee. And the cartoonist decided to get his point across by drawing that cartoon and putting the fireman's thoughts in the bubble, "Damn right-wing radio." This cartoon outraged a number of people in Seattle. Our radio station in Seattle is KVI. John Carlson hosts a radio talk show there. He got hold of the fireman in question, Chris Fields. He interviewed him on Wednesday. We got a copy of the program Thursday, and I'd like you to listen to the relevant parts of the interview that pertain to the cartoon and this program. Roll the tape if you would--it's audio.
(Excerpt from KVI-Radio talk show)
Mr. JOHN CARLSON (KVI-Radio): What do you think of that cartoon?
Mr. CHRIS FIELDS (Oklahoma City Fireman): D--yeah, well, I--I wouldn't want to talk to him on the telephone, I'd just like to meet him one time this--this cartoonist. That--that's--that's the most ludicrous thing I've ever heard in my life. I--I would say if you could probably get McVeigh to ever answer a question, he probably never listened to Rush Limbaugh or anything like that. He may listen to those ultra, ultra conservatives. I know--everybody at my station, we listen to Rush Limbaugh everyday. None of us have any intention of going and bombing any building or anything.
Mr. CARLSON: You're a fan of Ru--Rush Limbaugh?
Mr. FIELDS: Oh, I imagine. Yes, sir.
Mr. CARLSON: I distinctly remember Rush Limbaugh when--when talk radio was under attack from elements of the mainstream press and--and others--politicians here and there, and some would think President Clinton--he--he made a point of saying that he considered him--he considered his show to--to be reflecting the values of the rescuers themselves, not the people who made the rescue necessary.
Mr. FIELDS: Mm-hmm.
Mr. CARLSON: And--and that he held you guys up as heroes and that he was proud to count you guys as supporters.
Mr. FIELDS: Yeah.
Mr. CARLSON: And--and you appear to be validating that.
Mr. FIELDS: Yes, sir, it's without a doubt. You notice now they're coming--well, I don't know if I should get political or not. But it--I think what the president did was just throw that statement out there about talk radio as a blanket--threw it out there as a big old blanket to see how it's perceived and when he seen that wasn't perceived very well, you notice he came back and his people had to come out and say, Now we weren't talking about Rush Limbaugh or Ollie North.'
Mr. CARLSON: Yeah. Yeah.
Mr. FIELDS: So--so I just think he just threw it out there as a--in their little way...
Mr. CARLSON: Wanted to see if it would stick.
Mr. FIELDS: Yeah, and he--he seen it wasn't perceived very well...
Mr. CARLSON: Mm-hmm.
Mr. FIELDS: ...by a lot of people. So immediately his people ran out and, you know, covered--covered the bases by saying, Well, now we weren't talking about Rush Limbaugh or'--but he was.
(End of excerpt)
LIMBAUGH: So I--when I--when I first heard this, and it was about 10 minutes before the end of my program on Thursday on the radio I--I--I can't describe how I felt. It was not, Yeah! Yeah!' Noth--nothing like that. It was--it was just a simple confirmation of--of--of what I knew to be the case. And I--I must tell you, folks, and I--I hope this doesn't embarrass you because we--we don't use this program as a pulpit. I don't do sermons. But it is things like this that--that let you know that there's--there's got to be something more going on than just the human experience on earth for--for this interview to have taken place.
I--in fact, I first heard about it because a caller to my radio program called to tell it. She had heard this program on KVI and that prompted up to call the radio station and ask if we could get a copy of it. And we want to again, thank them--John Carlson at KVI for making this available to us. But it--it's just a heartwarming story and to think anybody could have gone and asked this fireman. Anybody could have gone and--and did so, but it took this guy out in Seattle to do it. And I just wanted to share it with you because it's--it brings back all the emotions of this thing.
But there's the voice of a real hero. There is--there's the voice and this--this is what the whole issue was about, is people like Chris Fields and the people who've been emotionally scared for the rest of their lives by this event. It was never about talk radio. It was never about the media, period. The media would like to think they have so much importance, that the world revolves around them. But in the real scheme of things, the media ought not even be seen. They should just be there chronicling the events, factually and objectively that occur, not interceding, not interrupting, not imposing themselves and then not seeking to blame one branch of the media that they don't control--talk radio--for all the rest it that happens.
So, again, thanks to Mr. Fields, the fireman, not for what he said, but for what he does and for what he's devoted his life to. And thanks also, again, to the people at KVI in Seattle for making the tape available to us.
Well, take a break here and be right back after this.
LIMBAUGH: Hey, hey, ho, ho. We're back. Now, my friends, we want to talk about the president's anti-terrorist legislation. This is designed to keep things like Oklahoma City from every happening again. Here's what he said would result from his anti-terrorist legislation during commencement exercises at Michigan State University. Now don't worry about anything. It'll be OK. Here's what he said.
(Excerpt from Michigan State University commencement exercises, May 5, 1995)
President BILL CLINTON: We can do this without undermining our constitutional rights. In fact, the failure to act will undermine those rights. For no one is free in America where parents have to worry when they drop off their children for day care or when you are the target of assassination simply because you work for our government. No one is free in America when large numbers of our fellow citizens must always be looking over their shoulders.
(End of excerpt)
LIMBAUGH: All right, fair enough. I mean, everybody says, Hey, yeah we've got to do this and it won't encroach on anybody's freedom.' So that--that was like a week ago. I get up, I'm reading USA Today on Thursday morning and lo and behold I see this headline. Look at that, Clinton's military police plan under fire.' So what is this? I've not heard that Clinton wanted to use the military in domestic police actions as part of his anti-terrorist legislation. I read the story--it says right here, President Clinton's plan to use the military to fight domestic terrorism was attacked Wednesday by defense experts,' blah, blah, blah. I said, Wait a minute.' Talk about a violation of the Constitution.
And in this story--here are some quotes from some experts, Caspar Weinberger, former secretary of Defense said, When you ask the Army to detain, disarm and disable people, you're going way beyond what the military role should be.' Phil Gewtis or Phil Gutis, I'm not sure how you pronounce his name--from the ACLU said, Military involvement in law enforcement is one of the trademarks of repressive regimes.' Senator Patrick Leahy Democrat, Vermont, We should not make things worse with bad legislation.' Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican, Utah, There is a fear out there that the federal government's becoming too intrusive into all of our lives.' I mean, that's--these are just some quotes from this story.
My friends, this is shocking--the military in domestic police action. You know, this--I--I think represents a--a--a great illustration of just how this president doesn't understand what the purpose of the military is. The purpose of the Army and the Air Force and the Navy and the Marines--when you strip it all away, it's to kill people and break things. It's to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States to prot--prevent--prevent us from attack. They're not police. They're not trained to be policemen--although, that's what we're using them for in Haiti. They're not Meals on Wheels distributors. These are not people designed to patrol the streets and so forth. Only in rare exceptions do you bring in the National Guard maybe to handle riot situations.
But this, I bet, comes as a surprise--as a surprise to a lot of people, as it did me. So now you know and I'll tel--you-you give the military police powers in this country and whatever he said in Michigan State about, No, nobody's going to lose their freedom it'--it's just not true when you've got the military patroling the streets. Go to a country where it happens and see how you feel about it.