RUSH: CNN just looks silly today. They need to turn over reporting to professional journalists like me: America's Real Anchorman. CNN: "The US Coast Guard tried Friday to prevent a boat from entering a security zone on the Potomac River not far from the Pentagon where [The One] was at an event commemorating the 9/11 attacks. There were reports on police scanners that the Coast Guard fired ten rounds of ammo but those reports couldn't be confirmed." Let's go to the sound bites, and I want to ask Tom Friedman and Tom Brokaw who were on Meet the Press this past Sunday saying, "The Internet's a sewer, and there's no filter out there, and you've just can't believe anything you read or hear unless you hear it from us: The professional journalists in the mode of Walter 'Klondike'." So here's Heidi Collins in our first series of sound bites illustrating CNN erroneously reporting shots fired on the Potomac near Obama.
COLLINS: The Coast Guard has apparently fired some type of shots. We, quite frankly, do not know if those were warning shots. Ten rounds were fired on a boat that came into this restricted space that is very well known in the area of the Potomac that you are looking at right now.
RUSH: Now, CNN next up played a tape, audio of the Coast Guard apprently speaking to a suspicious boat. The Coast Guard speaker is heard saying, "Slow down or you will be fired on."
COAST GUARD: If you don't slow down, stop your vessel and exit our zone, you will be fired upon.
COLLINS: All right, once again that's some of the communications that we heard the Coast Guard. To me, Fran, if you could -- if you were able to hear that and if you are still with us, it sounds to me like that was actually communication with the suspicious boat.
RUSH: Now, we go back to Heidi Collins here, major concern. We have a montage here. A major concern during the exercise was the president's safety. It turns out the whole thing was a training exercise. Now, remember, President Bush was criticized for taking evasive actions during the actual 9/11 attacks. Obama got the hell out of there when this exercise started. But here's the montage of CNN concerned and fretting over Obama's safety during the training exercise.
COLLINS: What happens to the president during something like this? Does the motorcade go this way to get him back to the White House?
COLLINS: We are learning, too, uh, just to make sure that we're, uh, as accurate as we can be in the middle of all of this: The president is back at the White House. Would this be a normal route? Or, I mean, I guess, uhh, there's no normal route because you have to change it up. Nobody wants to know exactly where he is at all times.
COLLINS: He's at the White House. He is, uh, secure in that building. It is interesting, uh, to talk about these routes obviously, uh, constantly changing so that there is no pattern for which mode (sic) of travel the president would be taking.
RUSH: No, not "mode;" route! (sigh) Anyway they then later on learned that it was all a training exercise and there were no shots fired. As part of the training exercise, the guy on the radio talking to this so-called suspicious boat shouts "Bang! Bang! Bang!" and somebody at CNN hears that "Bang! Bang! Bang!" and thinks, "Oh, shots have been fired!" So on CNN's Newsroom later on after all this had been cleared up and understood, Heidi Collins spoke with the former Bush Homeland Security advisor Fran Townsend about a Coast Guard safety training exercise on the Potomac River and said, "Would they run a training exercise on 9/11? Why would they do that?"
REPORTER: As I once said about the buzz over lower Manhattan: It would be "felony stupidity" if they decided to run a training exercise on September the 11th at the same time that the president was at the Pentagon. It is inconceivable that any person in the government would have approved a training exercise on this day. The government has made these sorts of mistakes in the past, as we have seen. It really would be a tragic, horrible mistake -- for which people should be held accountable, by the way -- if there is a training exercise like this in this area on this day.
RUSH: I'm sorry, but to me this all ends up back on the desk of Barack Obama. I guarantee you, folks, Air Force One does not take off without him knowing it is going. It's his airplane. Moving Air Force One is an official decision. Nobody takes it out for a joyride, and they flew that thing over lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty and they had people scared to death because it was at an altitude that people couldn't tell them it was Air Force One. There was no preannouncement it was Air Force One. It just looked like a jumbo jet, you know, doing a flyover. It turns out we still don't know who was on that airplane and why. They told us they were out getting new pictures of Air Force One next to the statue. I have heard, I can't confirm it, that a bunch of campaign contributors were on that flight; that it was just, you know, a payback. But who knows.
So I guarantee you, Obama knew that was going to happen. There is no way -- and they fired some little schlub in the military office for that, but there is no way that he doesn't know, because he's a gotta be told, "Look, you can't make a sudden decision to go anywhere 'cause this plane is gonna be up there taking pictures over the Statue of Liberty." He has to know. So they had a training exercise here on 9/11, he's at the Pentagon, the training exercise with the Coast Guard on the Potomac. Look, it's the Keystone Cops up there. It's the same bunch of people. It was just a community service exercise. That's all the Coast Guard was doing: Exercising community service, renewing our service and our commitment to service to keep our community strong so forth. Now, let's go back and listen to Tom Brokaw and Tom Friedman from Sunday Meet the Press on the New Media sewer of misinformation.
BROKAW: A lot of people will repeat back to me and take it at face value something that they read on the Internet. And my line to them is, "You have to vet information." ... [B]ecause there is so much disinformation out there that it's frightening, frankly, in a free society that depends on information to make informed decisions. And this is across the board, by the way. It's not just one side of the political spectrum or the other. It is across the board, David. And it's something that we all have to address, and it requires society and political and cultural leaders to stand up and say, "This is crazy."
RUSH: Yeah, well, what would you say about CNN today, Tom, my boy? What would say about CNN just going nuts here reporting something that wasn't true? Is CNN a sewer? Let's listen to Tom Friedman.
FRIEDMAN: The Internet is an open sewer of untreated, unfiltered information, left, right, center, up, down, and requires that kind of filtering, by anyone. And I -- I always felt, you know, when modems first came out, when that was how we got connected to the Internet, that every modem sold in America should actually have come with a warning from the Surgeon General that would have said "judgment not included."
BROKAW: (haughty chuckle)
FRIEDMAN: Okay? That you'd, um, have t-to upload the old-fashioned way, church, synagogue, temple, mosque, teachers, schools, you know. And too often now people say and we've all heard it, "But I read it on the Internet," as if that solves the bar bet, you know? And I'm afraid not.
RUSH: Yeah, it's a sewer. I'll tell you what. I have a joke I play on people: I'll tell people a false story, make up something, and they say, "Where did you hear that?" NBC!