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Sound Bites: The Train Wreck That Passes for TV "News" in 2010

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Larry King Live has become a total train wreck. People sometimes go to train tracks to watch a train wreck, they go to auto races to watch a crash, and here we got Larry King every night with one. He had Eric Massa on last night and they had this exchange about Rahm Emanuel.

KING: You're both in a gym, right, no women are there, you were nude, too, right? He's walking around nude, the fact that he's nude is immaterial, he's angry at you because you're going to vote against this president's bill. That sounds like a tough chief of staff getting angry at one of the members of his own party who's going against him. The fact that he didn't have clothes on and you were coming out of a shower is immaterial.

MASSA: No, it's just terribly awkward, it's terribly awkward.

KING: Yeah.

MASSA: When was the last time you had a political argument with a naked man? It just doesn't --

KING: Never.

MASSA: -- work well. Well, and that's my point.

RUSH: Okay, they're heading on down the tracks.

MASSA: By the way, I owe Rahm an apology. I went over the top. I don't think he'd strap his children to the front of a locomotive. He'd strap my children to the front of a locomotive.

RUSH: So King says, "Well, you said, quote, 'Not only did I grope him, I tickled him until he couldn't breathe and then four guys jumped on top of me.' So you did grope somebody, right?" This is Larry King Alive last night. "So you did grope somebody, right?"

MASSA: Larry, when you grab someone and you're wrestling, I don't know how to describe that word. So if that's the word that -- that you want to have an entire debate about, then I can't stop you.

KING: No, I'm just asking the -- you said you groped --

MASSA: Yeah, I --

KING: A lot of people associate groping with sexual.

MASSA: Well, it wasn't sexual, period.

KING: Okay.

RUSH: What Massa shoulda said is, "Well, to each his own, Larry." Now, the next bite, see if you agree with me that the train comes off the tracks here.

KING: We have to ask, are you gay?

MASSA: Here's that answer. I'm not going to answer that. In year 2010, why don't you ask my wife, ask my friends, ask the 10,000 sailors I served with the in the Navy.

KING: No, all right.

MASSA: I'm not going to answer that. It's an insulting --

KING: I didn't mean it to insult you.

MASSA: Not me. It insults every gay American. That somehow classifies people -- why would anybody even ask that question --

KING: Because --

MASSA: -- in this age?

KING: -- you said you groped someone, who was a male.

MASSA: And, Larry, and I explained what that was three times.

KING: Okay.

MASSA: Come on, now.

KING: We're just asking you to set the record straight. I'm not offending -- at least I'm not trying to offend, certainly would not offend the gay community, or meaning to.

RUSH: Of course not. What's wrong with being gay? So -- (laughing) And tomorrow night Mikhail Gorbachev here on Larry King Live. (laughing) Everybody rushed in to have this kook on. It was funny. So let's just keep going. Last night Anderson Cooper 360 had David "Rodham" Gergen on there. Cooper said, "What do you make of the whole tickle fight?" This is CNN, with about 25,000 viewers.

GERGEN: I don't know whether this fellow needs media help or mental help, probably both. I think he's sort of a mess. In some ways he's become a political corpse. The best thing we can do is put a sheet over him and move on. He does not have the goods in making this wild charge about the Democrats forcing him out.

RUSH: Is it political corpse or political corps? It depends on who's pronouncing the word, I guess. So they had Pelosi last night on Charlie Rose, and Charlie said, "He's now become the darling of the conservative talk radio people, Rush Limbaugh --" no, Charlie, this is another thing that took on a life of its own. But anyway, that's why they had him on because they thought that I was supporting this guy. Anyway, here's what Pelosi said.

PELOSI: So what? I mean the point is this is a very sick person. He has been diagnosed with cancer, perhaps his judgment is impaired because of his -- the ethical issues that have arisen and he is no longer in the Congress. Poor baby. Poor baby. Sometimes we really exaggerate our own importance in a lot of these things.

RUSH: Poor baby. Poor baby. Speaker of the House. Larry King: (imitating King) "Are you gay? Well, because you said you groped a guy. I'm not saying you're gay, you did." (laughing) "Really? Rahm was naked? What did that look like?" (laughing)

So we got Dan Rather out there saying back in the good old days when we were reporting on civil rights and I was able to make stuff up and nobody was able to prove that I was making it up, everybody knew I wasn't a racist but now Obama is so bad that he couldn't sell watermelons on the side of a road if a state trooper was stopping traffic for him. Now, Rather worked where? He worked at CBS. This morning on the CBS Early Show today Harry Smith had a colonoscopy live on camera. They did this after the story on Massa claiming that Emanuel walked into the gym shower with no clothes on. So they went from the nude conversation about the health bill here to colonoscopy on camera. And during the procedure, we have a portion of this, Katie Couric is in there offering encouragement, and Dr. Mark Pochapin, the doctor performing the procedure -- now, this is the network of Murrow and Cronkite now airing colonoscopies, and they wonder why nobody is watching.

COURIC: You have apparently a very long colon. By the way, I just want to point out I'm wearing my splash shield because I was told I was going to be in the splash zone, and I could have gone all day without knowing that.

POCHAPIN: Sorry about that, Katie.

COURIC: Thank you. Anyway --

RUSH: So that is the CBS Evening News anchor, Katie Couric, describing being in the splash zone of a colonoscopy at breakfast time on the CBS morning news after a story on Eric Massa and Rahm Emanuel nude in the House gym. We also learn Harry Smith's colon is very long and that Katie could have gone all day long without knowing she was in the splash zone. (interruption) Is Harry gay? I don't know if Harry Smith's gay. What does it matter? Oh, Larry King wants to know. Well, no. I don't think so. But I wouldn't know. I wouldn't care.

Now, let's go to last night's Joy Behar show. Have you figured out the joke yet you guys? Have you figured out the Joy Behar joke? Well, that's the point, if you find a way to make that connection you'll find yourself on the floor laughing yourself silly. Okay, last night Joy Behar had sex columnist Dan Savage and political correspondent Nia-Malika Henderson about Dan Rather and the watermelon comment.

BEHAR: Of all the fruits to choose, why would he choose watermelon? There's an orange, there's a cantaloupe, any other fruit. Why that?

SAVAGE: If you drive through Texas in the summer, it is watermelon that is sold by the side of the road. Dan Rather is almost 80 years old, and you can hear Chris Matthews and the other guests on that show jumping in to interrupt him like you would interrupt great grandpa at Thanksgiving. I don't think Dan Rather is a closet racist.

BEHAR: So it's a Ratherism?

HENDERSON: Yeah, that's what it seems like. I'm from South Carolina. And, yeah, people do sell watermelons on the side of the road.

RUSH: Yeah, but there aren't news anchors who talk about Obama being unable to even if a state trooper was stopping traffic for him. But, nevertheless, this is what passes now for what goes on in prime-time in what is called the mainstream media: colonoscopies, splash zones, why couldn't he have chosen another fruit?

END TRANSCRIPT

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