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The Medium is the Message: What Obama Says Is Irrelevant

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: How many of you have heard of Marshall McLuhan, "The medium is the message"? Do you realize how many people misunderstand what "the medium is the message" is? A lot of people do, and it's classic. Let's look at Obama's five appearances on the Sunday shows. Now, I have here the Washington Post, Howard Kurtz: "Obama's TV Blitz: On The Air, but Off His Game?" Sunday was an effort to have Obama's message break through, but Bob Schieffer felt like he was at Dunkin' Donuts. Bob Schieffer said, (paraphrasing) "I don't like the fact he's on four other shows. Like you go into Dunkin' Donuts, you get a number, you stand in line, you get an order, they call your number when your order is ready or whatever. I don't like it." Kurtz said he didn't break out. He wasn't trying to break out.

The definition of the medium is the message -- and Marshall McLuhan thought this up in the sixties, used to be taught in journalism, probably still is, history and principles of journalism. A lot of people don't know what it means, medium is the message. "Oh, yeah, TV is the medium, that's where you gotta get your message." No. That's not what it means. He made TV the message. Not what he said on TV. He made the fact that he's on TV the message. Marshall McLuhan's point was that the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, which creates a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived. It's what does television do to Obama, not does what he said on TV matter to him. So it's not what Obama said all weekend, that doesn't matter. It's the medium he was on, television. That's why he didn't go on Fox. And he's all over television all the time. It's Big Brother, it's Orwellian, Obama wants for you to associate television with him. We all love television. We can't get enough of it. What he says is secondary. So what he said about Afghanistan, it's secondary. It's not important.

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RUSH: Let me try to be a little bit more clear or specific in my analysis here of the medium is the message and I think how people are making a mistake by judging Obama by virtue of policy and what he says because he doesn't really have one, it's a broken record, there is no Obama plan for health care, and that's the point. This media blitz is not just all five Sunday shows, Letterman tonight and all the stuff that happened today and all last week and ad infinitum. The message is that Obama Obamacare is good. He's not trying to convince anybody with his actual policy. There isn't any Obama policy. Marshall McLuhan's point was "that media itself, not the content it carries, should be the focus of study. He said that a medium affects the society in which it plays a role not only by the content delivered over the medium, but also by the characteristics of the medium itself."

So Obama, whenever he's on TV, it's good, Obama good, Big Brother, Orwellian good, Obama good, talking health care, good. The specifics, "Ah, they're not really all that big a deal," doesn't change 'em does he? He's not responding to any criticism per se, and when he does respond to it he just lies. "You are going to be able to keep your doctor, you are going to be able to keep your insurance." No, you're not. No point in doing government-run health care if that's the plan. Let people keep their doctors and so forth. Look at this, 42% -- this is Rasmussen -- 42% of the uninsured don't want Obama's plan. But he doesn't have a plan! And I'm not splitting hairs here. "Among the uninsured, 58% favor Obama's health care plan. Forty-two percent don't want it. I mean that's a striking number, even 42% of the uninsured don't want his plan, and he doesn't have a plan. It's not all that complicated what he's doing. Now, the question is, is it going to work? Well, the Public Policy Polling people out of North Carolina have another post today just now, I saw it, that Democrats are continuing to lose independents across the board on policy after policy after policy. So something's gotta give at some point. But they still seem to be locked onto this notion that all we gotta do is put Obama out there and magic happens, doesn't matter what he says, it just matters where he is and how often.

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RUSH: Martin in Staten Island, great to have you on the EIB Network, sir. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Rush. Thanks for taking my call. I'd like to give my perspective on the whole health care issue as someone that has just recently gone through it all.

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: I got sick with pneumonia earlier in February of this year and was hospitalized for three months.

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: At the time I had no medical coverage. I have two jobs, but the medical coverage for one job was too expensive and the other one doesn't offer it, so I had to go to the emergency room. I was admitted, the Medicaid kicked in, paid for my hospital stay, covered my family. And for the president to say that there are people dying in the streets and that there are people that are being turned away is simply not true. I'm someone who has worked his whole life, came into a situation where I was basically between life and death for a week on the cardiac care unit, I lost half of my lung due to the illness. I'm looking as a matter of fact to go back to work next week from the beginning of this year. The situation is that there are people that have situations like myself that fall into the gaps in the system, but the system does have a response to that now, and for him to say that everything needs to be overhauled is ridiculous. What really needs to be overhauled in what I've dealt with so far in New York is the human services commissions. I am now facing eviction because I haven't been able to make my rent payments during the time I was out sick, and because my wife was working part time actually penalized us. And I don't know what to do, and it's so frustrating to hear the president say that, you know, what he needs to do is change everything because it doesn't work, and I'm living proof that it does work.

RUSH: Well, Michelle Obama, by the way, on Friday had this most incredible story in which she said that her daughter was diagnosed with possible meningitis and she said her first thought was, "Oh, thank God we have insurance. Thank God we got hold of a pediatrician who got us into the emergency room and we were covered." And I'm thinking you go to emergency room, you're covered, you don't need insurance. By law the emergency rooms treat people that show up. I also don't believe that the first thought she had when she was told that her daughter might have meningitis was, "Oh, thank God we've got insurance." I doubt that insurance entered her mind in any way, shape, manner, or form. The health of her daughter was the overriding concern and deal with whatever it all costs later on. I've got a story somewhere, I can't find it, I thought I printed it out, I must not have. This story that 45,000 people die because of no health insurance. Washington Times did a story on this I think it was late last week and it's just BS.

It's like there were three million homeless and there never were. It's all BS, they just make up these numbers -- 45,000 people die because they don't have health insurance. People tell stories like yours all the time. We never hear the Obamas talking about what a great health care system we have. We never hear them credit anything about this country. We never hear them credit anything about the private sector. They just rip it to shreds. They never say one good thing about our health care system, not one. It's annoying as hell, frankly.

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RUSH: Every time something happens out there, every time anything happens out there that opposes Obama, he always says, (imitating Obama) "Ah, that's nothing, I'm not paying any attention to it, that doesn't represent America, no, there's nothing to see there, I didn't hear Reverend Wright for 20 years, I never heard any of that, I'm going to throw him under the bus nevertheless like my typical white grandmother, but I didn't hear what he said. The 9/12 rally there on the 12th of September, I didn't even know there was a rally, I didn't even know what it was about, not a big deal, not on my radar, George. ACORN defunded? I didn't even know about ACORN. I'm not paying attention to that. I got really important things to do here." And when he does it, tips off the State-Controlled Media, that's how they deal with it, "Ah, it's no big deal, that's just chump change, we don't have time to report on these insignificant news items out there. We gotta cover the big stuff." Every time.

"Junk Science Expert Sounds Alarm on Insurance Study." This is from last week in the Washington Times. "Steve Milloy's 'junk science' detector started running high when he got hold of a new study in the American Journal of Public Health claiming nearly 45,000 Americans die from a lack of health insurance. According to the study, titled "Health Insurance and Mortality in US Adults," working-age Americans without insurance have a 40 percent higher risk of death than their privately insured counterparts. It also includes a chart showing how many people have died state by state, supposedly because of lack of insurance. For example, researchers say 4,675 Texas have died because they didn't have insurance during their study period.

"Mr. Milloy, founder and publisher of Junkscience.com and co-founder and portfolio manger for the Free Enterprise Fund, said the study was created to boost President Obama's health care agenda. Mr. Milloy reminded that Mr. Obama recently told Congress people would die if they didn't have insurance. 'Everyone in this room knows what will happen if we do nothing,' Mr. Obama said in his Sept. 9 address. 'Our deficit will grow. More families will go bankrupt. More businesses will close. More Americans will lose their coverage when they are sick and need it most. And more will die as a result. We know these things to be true.'" It kind of chokes you up when you hear this, right? We hold these truths to be self-evident. Now, Milloy says the study is going to "give Mr. Obama more specific numbers to use in order to ramp up public support for his plan. 'They are trying to create these factoids that they can beat opponents over the head with,' Mr. Milloy said."

So how did they come up with a number? "They interviewed 9,000 people between 1988 and 1994 and asked, 'Do you have health insurance?' and if you die at some point in the future, they assume your death was caused by the fact you didn't have insurance during that time you were interviewed." It's like me saying everybody who died in automobile accidents in 2007 had eaten carrots within six months prior to the accident. It's the same thing. So they go out and they talk to these people, "Do you have health insurance?" And then if those people die, they take the ones that don't, and if they die it's 'cause they didn't have insurance. They just automatically assign it to them. "John C. Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, agreed that the study was flawed. 'The subjects were interviewed only once and the study tries to link their insurance status at that time to mortality a decade later. Yet over the period, the authors have no idea whether subjects were insured or uninsured, what kind of medical care they received, or even cause of death,' he said in a statement."

It literally is the old carrot joke. Everybody that was born, able to see, and went blind at some point in their lives had eaten carrots prior to losing their sight. You could use any vegetable in there. "NCPA noted that a 'more careful study' completed by the Congressional Budget Office found that low-income people without insurance had a 3 percent higher chance of death, but found no difference among higher income earners. One of the study's co-authors, Dr. David Himmelstein, is a strong proponent of a single-payer system. In addition to working as associate professor of medicine at Harvard University, Dr. Himmelstein is also founder and spokesman for Physicians for a National Health Program." This is no different than Obama using Valerie Jarrett's office with Buffy Wicks, whatever her name is, the vampire slayer of Walmart, to go out there and gender up propaganda from the White House with NEA grantees. So it's a bogus study. Forty-five thousand people die because they had no health insurance, and it cannot be established but they just throw the number out. They just throw it out.

It's the medium is the message, not the fact. If it's said on television, people believe it, pure and simple. And if Obama says it on TV, even better from their standpoint. (doing Obama impression) "Forty-five thousand people died because they had no health insurance, and we know what happens if you don't have health insurance, you're going to die." Oh, no, we can't do that! Gotta get 'em insured. So you can run into otherwise smart people -- there's so many stupid intelligent people out there, Obama voters -- who really believe all this is about is simply giving coverage to the whatever millions that don't have it. That's all they think it is. It's just an act of compassion. They're just clueless about what's really going on.

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RUSH: You know, this whole medium is the message thing, you can say the same thing about Newsweek. I mean they had a cover out there on "Is your child racist?" There's no way to substantiate that a four-month-old baby is a racist. Yet it's there. Because Newsweek said it, it's there. And now killing granny, they're going to come along and the next cover is, "The Case for Killing Granny." Newsweek. "We're all socialist now," because it's in Newsweek. The specifics of the article, nah, the cover is all they care about, whether you read the article, see the ads, is irrelevant to them as is proven by the circulation. What you have to know is whenever they come up with statistics or whatever, a study, they lie.

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RUSH: Now, I touched on this next story here prior to the conclusion of the previous hour, the Newsweek cover last week was, "Is Your Baby Racist?" This week, "The Case for Killing Granny." Now, Newsweek's in a full-court press here to save Obamacare and to change American thinking to boot. It's about a lot more than Newsweek. It's a systematic altering of the way we think and the way we've been brought up. Baby racists? They actually want to prove to me that a four-month-old white baby is racist on the basis of surveys of doctors and so forth and psychiatrists? And now the case for killing granny. I mean this is scary, this is sick stuff. I know they've got low circulation, but the cover is on every newsstand in every grocery store in this country, and that's their only real audience with this rag anymore. It's not the elites. It's just other journalists who read the stuff. But it's not for consumption, at least the contents of the magazine is not for the consumption of the American people. It's the cover and it's the cover on sale at magazine racks and at grocery stores and so forth, "The Case for Killing Granny." "Is Your Baby Racist?" "We're All Socialists Now."

Get the headline, get the graphic into the minds of America, it is insidious. "This week's Newsweek cover exceeds the sheer breathtaking ugliness of last week's cover: 'The Case for Killing Granny.' Alongside a photo of an electrical plug. The cover story is penned by Evan Thomas, (Andover, Harvard, Virginia Law), currently teaching at Princeton, alongside Peter Singer, who believes newborn infants can be killed because they lack 'rationality, autonomy, and self-consciousness' and thus don't qualify for personhood." I'm reading here, by the way, from Cliff Thier at AmericanThinker.com. "There is also an opinion piece declaring that America's 'character' is less than the 'character' of those countries that have government-provided ('universal') health care. It's by Washington Post columnist T.R. Reid (classics, Princeton, who coincidentally is the author of a new book pushing for "fairer" health care). A third 'thumb-sucker' piece titled 'I Was a Teenage Death Panelist' (yuk, yuk) argues that we all need to be 'more comfortable' with death. It also attacks "right-wing opponents" of Obamacare for the 'lie' that Obamacare will include 'death panels.' The author Jon Meacham, Newsweek's editor (summa cum laude, English, University of the South), doesn't explain why that is a 'lie,' and is content to only say that the idea of death panels arose from the 'sensible and humane' idea that families should discuss end-of-life options.

"The central idea behind each of these three pieces is that we spend too much money on people during their last six months of life. We all should be more willing to die, say these writers. And, we should all be more willing to 'let' other people die (by withholding medical treatment, water, food, air, etc.) Newsweek seeks to make us more comfortable with the idea of killing our parents and grandparents. The Obamacare deal they want us buy is that only if more old people die, will there be better medical treatment for everyone else. That is, you and me." That's Newsweek. But you don't have to read the contents. "The Case for Killing Granny." Now, never mind the fact that Obama is out there, (imitating Obama) "I'm never going to pull the plug on grandma, I don't know where that came from, everybody is lying about that." Here's Newsweek making the case. Again, it's all within the rubric of the medium is the message. So you got Obama all over television, we're all socialists now -- is your baby racist? -- and the case for killing granny, all to coincide with the coming to power of Barack Obama. Scary, sick, insidious stuff. As I say, this is not only about changing the way we think, this is about changing our culture, changing the way we've been brought up.

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RUSH: This is Peter in Rochester, New York. Hello, sir.

CALLER: Hey, Rush, it's great to talk to you again. You're not getting paid enough.

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: That goes for Snerdley, too.

RUSH: I'll take that up with myself since I'm in charge of that. Good point.

CALLER: Listen, I'm a physician up here in Rochester. By common sense, can you imagine the liability risk that a hospital would take by turning down or lowering the triage point for a child with suspected meningitis in an emergency room because they have no insurance? It doesn't happen. That would be asking and begging for a lawsuit from --

RUSH: You're referring back to Michelle Obama last Friday saying, "Oh, my God, my daughter might have meningitis, oh, thank God I've got insurance!"

CALLER: Exactly.

RUSH: And we know everybody that goes to the emergency room gets treated, in some cases 2,000 times.

CALLER: In fact, they're triaged and it doesn't -- now, they'll try to ask for insurance but if somebody comes in with 106 fever, a stiff neck and a headache, and the insurance, they'll take care of that later, that person is rushed into care right away.

RUSH: Yep, yep, yep.

CALLER: Now, the other thing I wanted to mention is that when you talk statistics, you say that that side lies when they bring up statistics. There are some true statistics out there. People ought to know that the total pie of health care spending, only 2% is so-called uncompensated care. It's 2% of all health care spending.

RUSH: Wait a minute, wait a minute, what do you mean, uncompensated? You mean the hospital or the doctor is not paid?

CALLER: The hospital has to basically eat it and those people don't have Medicare or Medicaid --

RUSH: You mean it's only 2%?

CALLER: That's right.

RUSH: Whose number is that?

CALLER: I'm not sure, but it's out there. It's out there.

RUSH: But you trust it?

CALLER: Oh, yes. Oh, yes.

RUSH: Well, it would be great if it's true.

CALLER: It is true. It's 2%. And the people with uncompensated care, Kaiser in California did a poll. Two-thirds of the people who have no insurance are happy with their 2,000 visits to the emergency room. And, as you've said, I think 40% don't want Obama to change anything, and those people represent the safety net. So we got a damn good safety net.

RUSH: Well, you don't have to convince me. I think it's the best health care system in the world. We never hear anything good about it from the leaders of the Democrat Party.

CALLER: And you know something else, Rush, Ezekiel Emanuel, a doctor who's in close touch with the administration --

RUSH: Hell, he's in charge of their health care plan. It's Rahm Emanuel, the ballerina's, brother.

CALLER: Right. This guy knows the statistics. These people are lying through their teeth.

RUSH: I know. That's my point. When the left comes out with three million homeless or whatever, they're lying through their teeth to advance their agenda, to create an emotional reaction of support for what they're trying to do. They can't be honest about anything and succeed. Dirty little secret. You know, to show you how ridiculous it is, can any of you, in your sixties and seventies, any of you in your fifties, any of you in your twenties, thirties, or forties, can you name for me one major government program that, A, has cost less than they said, B, has resulted in a surplus of savings and has not run up the national debt or the annual deficit? Can you name one? Has Social Security been cheap? Have they saved money doing Social Security? Or has the deficit risen? Medicare, ditto. Medicaid, ditto. War on poverty, ditto. Great Society. Can any of you name a major government program that saved anybody, particularly the US taxpayer, any money? Can you name a government program that costs less than what they said it was going to cost? You can't.

In fact, the government is so inefficient we all make jokes about it. And yet why is it that when Obama comes around and says his health care plan is revenue neutral and will not add to the deficit and we're going to have savings and we're gonna get a $500 billion whatever it is from Medicare fraud, why does anybody believe it? Only because they want to; only because for some reason faith in government for way too many millions of Americans is unshakable. But there's no evidence. I mean the idea that they can produce any statistic whatsoever that's going to show that this many million more will get health care coverage. Yeah, we're going to insure 47 million more people and it's not going to cost us anything. And we're not going to hire any new doctors but everybody's coverage and treatment is going to get better, and it's going to get cheaper, and we're going to reduce the deficit. The only way we can reduce the deficit is to reform health care.

There's not a syllable of truth in anything they said. And there hasn't been, you can't say any of that about any other government program, so why does anybody believe it? "It's compassion, Mr. Limbaugh, it's compassion. People understand the government is trying to help people. It's because people realize they can't do a thing for themselves, the government is gonna help so people want this to succeed, Mr. Limbaugh." That's the voice of the New Castrati, by the way. And that must be the answer. They want it to work, they want it to be. But there's no logical, sane reason to believe anything that Obama or anybody says about this health care plan. The only way to reduce the deficit is to reform health care? (laughing) Yeah, the only way to reduce the deficit is to expand Social Security. It's nonsense! Practical commonsense nonsense.

David in Lafayette, Louisiana, welcome to the EIB Network. Hi.

CALLER: Rush it's truly, truly an honor to talk to you.

RUSH: Thank you very much, sir.

CALLER: I'm just curious, why the heck won't the mainstream media report on the stories you, Hannity, Walter, talk about. Why do they wait two, three weeks when they're so quick to criticize stuff that you say?

RUSH: Are you asking why they don't listen?

CALLER: I mean they have people over there that get paid, all they gotta do is listen to you, listen to Hannity, listen to you all, and you all are reporting stuff --

RUSH: No, no, no, no. Again the wrong context. Of course if they listened, they would hear the truth, and then they wouldn't be able to report what they report, which is why they don't listen.

CALLER: Oh.

RUSH: They have Media Matters. They have their blogs to report out of context what is said here. See, I've often found this amazing. What is so hard, you know, we're not on a super-secret frequency. You don't need a special decoder ring and a special radio to listen to this program. It's the most-listened to radio program in America. All you need to do is grab a radio or get to the website and turn it on. And yet never am I quoted by what I actually said on the radio. It's always, "And according to Media Matters for America," or "according to the Daily Kos," or "according to this or that," and the only explanation of this, this is purposeful. We're the enemy. We have to be discredited and destroyed. The left can't engage in open debate. The left can't be honest about what they believe. They can't be honest about what we believe. They can only discredit our character, impugn our character, credibility, that's the only chance they have. They've got quite a large army and arsenal of people that are engaging in it.

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