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Media Shifts to Damage Control as Politico Smear Fails to Take Out Cain

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  I am starting to sense it. I am starting to see it. When I sense it, when I see it, it is probably true. That's been my track record. I think I detect the media heading into damage control on the Herman Cain story.  A lot of media are. This day five now, and still nobody knows what he did.  Not a single media outlet can report what he did!  Some are even suggesting that The Politico had no business running this story. These are other journalists who are beginning to say this. ... The media is also in damage control over the Occupy Oakland riots the night before last.  I mean, yesterday the media was trying to pretend the Oakland protests were peaceful; the very model of a love fest, but now the truth is coming out along with some of the pictures and they're switching over to damage control mode -- and they're doing the same thing in the Herman Cain story. 

Really, folks, five days now, and nobody knows what he did.  Think of all the news stories there have been, think of The Politico and how they got this ball rolling, and after five days there has yet to be a report what he did.  Nobody knows still. Five days!  As Wes Pruden, former editor-in-chief of the Washington Times, points out when he ran the Washington Times newsroom: If somebody like The Politico reporters would have brought this story to him, he woulda thrown 'em down the steps -- and if they survived that, he would have fired them. (paraphrased exchange) "You're telling me you want my newspaper to publish this rotgut?  What do you got?  There's nothing here! I want names, places, activities, things that happened.  There's nothing here!"

"No, we want to run this, and we want Cain to respond to it. We want him to provide the information." A lot of even seasoned journalists don't like this. I've got sound bites you can tell they're getting edgy because they're getting all upset at me playing the race card in reverse on these guys. The reverse race card works every time it's tried when I play it and it's got them all ticked off. So we've got that to do.  Here's Washington Post, ABC poll: "70% of Republicans say the Cain allegations don't matter."  Can I tell you...? Folks, behind the closed doors of the mainstream media outlets, that poll (because it's in the Washington Post) I can't tell you how that ticks 'em off!  This was supposed to destroy Herman Cain, and I'll tell you something else.

It was supposed to destroy every other Republican by shifting the focus to all of them in this matter; getting them to comment, to not comment, to pile on Cain or what have you.  I'll tell you what: There's a question out there that I really think needs to be asked, because the way the media is doing their backtrack on this -- the way they're doing damage control -- is the same thing as yesterday. They're starting to focus on how "poorly" Herman Cain is handling this, which of course we (on the cutting edge) were on that aspect of the story yesterday.  "He's doing such a lousy job handling this."  How about a poll on how good a job Obama's doing handling the economy?  What do you think a poll like that would look like?  Well, we already have that poll, and it's called, "What do you think of the direction of the country: good, bad, worse, horrible, what?"

Only 16 to 30%, depending on the poll, think the country's headed in the right direction.  So on what do you want to judge a candidate or a political person's qualifications? On how he's handling a no-name, no-information, empty "scandal" (with quotation marks around it), or how he's handling the US economy? As I said yesterday: I don't care, folks.  No matter what happens here, every Republican candidate for the nomination -- every one of them -- is so superior to Barack Obama, it's laughable.  Of course the Drive-Bys know that, and Democrats know that.  But when you have the Washington Post and ABC News in their joint poll saying that 70% of Republicans don't care about the Herman Cain allegations, what that can be translated to is the following:

"Politico, you failed.  You attempted, along with others in the mainstream media, to take out the guy, and you failed.  Your influence isn't what you thought it was.  Alana Goodman at Commentary magazine writes, "Basically, the entire Washington media could have collectively called in sick all week, and it wouldn’t have made a difference – at least not for 70 percent of Republicans. The latest Washington Post/ABC poll, one of the first to be taken post-scandal, reports: 'Seven in 10 Republicans say reports that [Herman] Cain made unwanted advances toward two employees when he was head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s -- allegations which have been stiffly rebutted by Cain’s campaign -- do not matter when it comes to picking a candidate.'"

Could it be...? In determining why this result is what it is, you could say, "Well, maybe people don't care as much about sexual harassment anymore.  Maybe people recognize what it's always been: A tool for advancing liberalism," or maybe people are just fed up with the media in its modern incarnation, particularly Republicans.  We know that's true.  We know that most Republicans, even if they're RINO Republicans, are fed up with the way the media is going about conducting business these days.  Herman Cain's manager, Mark Block, was on Fox this morning, American Newsroom.  He was on there with Martha MacCallum and he said this is the last day he's gonna talk about this.  He said the media and everybody has turned Washington into a cesspool, and we are not going to swim in that cesspool anymore. We are not gonna play by the rules that the media has established. 

Block said, "The fact of the matter is The Politico article if it was held up to the same standards as the code of ethics -- of the code of ethics for journalism the people involved would be fired." This is Mark Block, who is a target of the media this week as being the architect of the guy who's "mishandling" this; who's advising Cain poorly, making Cain look like an idiot.  This Block guy, he's the guy that puffed on a cigarette in the TV ad.  They hate the guy!  So he finally has awakened.  He also said that the Cain campaign's "considering its legal options and may sue Politico over the as yet unsubstantiated allegations," and that's what they are.  Five days now, folks.  Do you realize, in one day we knew what Clinton had done with Lewinsky -- and we knew that Newsweek spiked the story and that the estimable Matt Drudge ran it. 

We knew on day one what Clinton did, and he was advised to go out there and lie about it, and it didn't work.  Five days running, and we still don't know what Herman Cain did and there doesn't appear to be anybody in the media who can tell us.  The media is openly begging for the women to "come forward and tell their stories."  Wait a minute, don't you know?  How could you run the story without knowing what the women were gonna say?  You need the women to come forward and tell the story?  Why can't you just report it, if you know it?  Why is it incumbent upon the women -- who don't want to come forward, apparently? So that's where we are on that story.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: The Politico with another story.  I'll tell you, this bunch is the most sex obsessed people I've seen since I don't know when.  Imagine if Ken Starr had been this obsessed! There's a big, long story here by Kent Vogel and Maggie Haberman and Alexander Burns (three people), and I can tell you what it says in six words: More anonymous Cain details from The Politico.  More anonymous details.  This bunch is positively sex obsessed, and now it's in damage control mode.  "Herman Cain flatly denies the most serious allegation facing him ... but POLITICO has learned new details making clear there were urgent discussions of the woman’s accusations at top levels of the National Restaurant Association within hours of when the incident was alleged to have occurred." What's new about that?  We all knew that. 

"The new details -- which come from multiple sources independently familiar with the incident at a hotel during a restaurant association event in the late 1990s -- put the woman’s account even more sharply at odds with Cain’s emphatic insistence in news media interviews this week that nothing inappropriate happened between the two." What "new details"?  We still don't know what they are! I'm not kidding when I say "anonymous details."  Not anonymous sources.  We've got anonymous details now make up the bulk of a story!  If I didn't know better I would say journalism had created a new standard.  Anonymous sources has now morphed into anonymous details.  "In recent days sources ... have offered new details of the incident.

"The woman in question, roughly 30 years old at the time and working in the National Restaurant Association’s government affairs division," we know all that, "told two people directly at the time that Cain made a sexual overture to her at one of the group’s events, according to the sources familiar with the incident. She was livid and lodged a verbal complaint with an NRA board member that same night, these sources said," but still we don't know what!  Remember, the Duke lacrosse case? Seasoned reporters hounded those kids, based on no evidence -- none, zero.  "Seasoned reporters," and many of the faculty at Duke signed all kinds of whatever they were, supporting the accuser, condemning the lacrosse team members; and remember how that turned out?

It was a total, fabricated, made-up story that was believed simply because it fit stereotypes of the left, it fit the narrative, it fit a template -- and then there's this.  This is back to The Politico, from Jonathan Martin.  This scandal now, folks, really intensifies.  "Joel Bennett, the attorney for one of the women who complained about Herman Cain at the National Restaurant Association said Friday that his client's settlement was dated in September of 1999 and signed by the trade group's general counsel but not Cain. Cain had already left the organization by then, before his three-year term was up..."  So when was the settlement signed?  9-9-9!  September of '99! 

What will the media make of this? The settlement date, September of 1999, equals "9-9-9," the same name of Herman Cain's economic plan.  Somebody needs to call the dethroned Dutch sociologist and have him make something of this for us.  To the audio sound bites we go, and we are... What did I tell you, start number five?  Starting at number five, last night on PMSNBC Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson was on to discuss the Americans for Herman Cain ad.  And he was asked, "Okay, obviously that was Limbaugh's voice, and they're calling it 'a high-tech lynching.'  They're playing the race card on this.  What do you think of this, Gene?"

ROBINSON:  It's interesting that people like Limbaugh who always accuse the likes of me of playing the race card (chortling) when I write about racism and its continuing presence in American society are awfully quick to play that same card, duh, when they think it's to their advantage.  Uh, I assume that means that Rush is now gonna change his position on affirmative action, on a whole lot of other things in this race that's involved.  I guess not.  I guess probably not.

RUSH:  What is he babbling about?  Does somebody want to translate that for me?  They can't handle it when their own technique is thrown back at 'em, when their own technique is turned on 'em, they just can't stand it.  "It's interesting that people like Limbaugh who always accuse the likes of me of playing the race card when I write about racism are awfully quick to play that same card when they think it's to their advantage."  I'm doing nothing based on any advantage whatsoever.  I'm simply describing what I see, and there's no question that this is being done to a black conservative and that the left doesn't like black conservatives.  The left doesn't like Hispanic conservatives.  The left doesn't like minorities who are conservative, who show an ability to rise to the top of any organization they're in. 

The left doesn't like it. (interruption) Well, that's right.  I have crossed a line because the charge of racism is theirs exclusively to make.  No one's allowed to make that charge, and here I come making the charge, and they can't deal with it. It hits 'em right upside the face and they don't know what to do, except call foul.  "You can't do that! That's what we do.  You're not allowed to do that! You can't call us racists! You're the racists! You can't do that especially now 'cause it's true. You can't call us out like that.  You're gonna blow up our whole game if you keep doing this. You gotta shut up! We're gonna start trying to make fun of you and now maybe say you're in favor of affirmative action!"  What an odd connection to make there, but it didn't stop.  Different show, MSNBC, Lawrence O'Donnell talking to a Politico writer (sigh), Maggie Haberman about me. 

The question: "Rush Limbaugh's out there saying these women are lying."

I have not said that.  Has somebody produced to me where I've said that?  I have never said the women are lying.  All I've said is, "We don't know what happened," and on day five we don't know what happened because the accusers in the media have not told us what happened.  I did say, "What if there's another version of this?"  I have pointed out instances where women have lied about this, but I didn't accuse these women of it.  So, anyway, the premise of the question is flawed, but nevertheless the question was asked.  "Rush Limbaugh's out there saying these women are lying.  Rush Limbaugh -- who doesn't know who they are, who believed every single word of every
female accusation ever sent the direction of Bill Clinton or any Democrat for that matter but especially Clinton -- firmly believes these unnamed women are lying."

HABERMAN:  In terms of the Rush Limbaugh piece of it, I think that you're seeing, you know, generally a lot of rallying in the conservative media around Herman Cain.  There has been a lot of criticism about the fact that this was reported on; uhhh, a lot of defense of Herman Cain, a lot of insistence that it couldn't be true. Some of his loudest support has come from that direction.

RUSH:  It's not support of Herman Cain, by the way, although I can see where the media might think that.  It is not support of Herman Cain so much as it is we've all had it with your tactics in the media.  We've had it with the double standard.  We've had it with people like you elevating Bill Clinton to superstar status.  We've had it with you looking the other way during the Tawana Brawley lies. We've had it with you in the Duke lacrosse story.  We've had it with you trying to cover up for John Edwards!  We've had it with you lionizing Ted Kennedy and Chris Dodd, of "waitress sandwich" fame at La Brasserie in Washington.  We've had it with you holding up as national heroes reprobates like this, and we've had it with you trying to take out our people on the basis of no knowledge whatsoever. 

We still don't know what you think Cain did -- and until you can tell us, as journalists, with incontrovertible proof, we're gonna doubt you because you have given us every reason in the world to not trust your reporting, because it is biased against us and our side and our people.  That is inarguable! That is as obvious and honest as the sun comes up.  Even Clinton has given up trying to deny the accusations against him.  Clinton doesn't even deny them anymore.  He knows he doesn't have to.  You've made him a hero, and you continue to make him a hero by telling us that Cain is not handling this the right way, and we know who you think did handle it the right way: Slick Willie! 

Bimbo eruption teams! Send Carville and whoever else out to destroy Ken Starr as a sex pervert, to destroy Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey as nothing but a bunch of trailer park trash.  You supposed feminists in the media loooved Bill Clinton and wished he would come to your bedroom at night as he trashes these women who made these true allegations about him; and you come along with innuendo and five days of smears, and we don't even know what he's guilty of!  We're standing up for our side.  We are standing up for each other.  We're circling the wagons around us.  If you people were trying this against any of the candidates with the same lack of information that you've got, it would be the same thing. 

I sit here and I wonder -- you heard her sound bite -- is she really this closed off and insulated from what this is all about?  Does she really think this is just the conservative media defending Cain because he's a conservative?  Does she really think that even if Cain did it, we'd still be treating this the way we're treating it?  Sometimes I wonder.  I see evidence every day that leads me to believe these people are closed off and walled off in a little small area that they've called their own reality, and it's as distant from the real world as anyplace you could get.  So it could well be that Ms. Haberman is clueless, genuinely clueless about what this is all about -- which is to our advantage, by the way.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  I even remember one time even defended Janet Reno, and Bill Clinton (hero to the left) told a joke at the White House Correspondents Dinner and said (impression), "Hey, did you hear? Huh huh. Did you hear Rush defended Janet Reno on his program the other night?  It's only because she was being attacked by a black guy."  The media in the room did two things.  There was a (gasp!) and then wild laughter as the president of the United States went racist. They applauded it.  Ms. Haberman, we don't know the details of this story because you refuse to publish the details, and I'm beginning to think the details of the story might get in the way of the rest of your agenda.  So the details are gonna remain anonymous in the Herman Cain story.  Here is a montage of the Drive-By Media going full bore on Cain's real problem.

PIERS MORGAN: Is Herman Cain handling this very badly?

JONATHAN KARL: ...Cain handled this so badly.

CHUCK TODD: (outdoor noise) This is a campaign that is falling apart.  Not ready to handle this at all.

LARRY O'DONNELL: How to handle one of these stories?

CLARANCE PAGE: Not the way to handle this kind of situation.

J.C. WATTS: He didn't handle it right.

JOHN KING: (outdoor noise) ...how a candidate and his team handle pressure, handle crisis.

ERIC BOLLING: It's no way to handle this.

RICHARD STENGEL: Voters are looking at how candidates handle matters.

DANA PERINO: You have ten days to get ready for something like this; this is how you handle it?

RUSH:  That's Dana Perino, by the way, joining in from the Bush team, jumping all over Herman Cain.  I wonder how many of these journalists could take 30 seconds of what they dish out?  It's happened now and then and they all start crying wolf.  "Wait a minute, you can't do it! Who I am doesn't matter! I'm not the story! I'm the journalist, I'm the reporter. You -- you can't -- you can't delve into my life and find out how many affairs I've had and whether I've smoked dope, You can't do it!"

Oh, we can't?  Well, we're gonna do that.

"You can't! I'm the journalist! You can't! It doesn't matter! I'm not the story!"

They can't handle 30 seconds of what they dish out.  Jan Crawford, Early Show, CBS today, is stunned that Cain continues to do well.

CRAWFORD:  People are really sticking behind Herman Cain, his supporters are.  That's reflected in a lot of the reporting that we've been doing, talking to voters, particularly out in Iowa; where supporters of Cain say they just think this is going to fade away. They think these charges are, quote, "sketchy," one person told us, and it's just not really that pertinent; and, interestingly, the campaign is still -- still! -- raising lots of money.  And then, finally, I think look at talk radio.  I mean you know that is very important with conservative voters.  The conservative talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh, they are really rallying to his defense, and that could end up being a huge help to him if they stay with him.

RUSH: You know, folks, I apologize. That bite I did not read the entire transcript. I did not know I was also mentioned in that bite.  I don't... (interruption) Well, I know it's my show, but I'm not playing these sound bites just 'cause they mention my name.  I just didn't read the transcript far enough to know that she did.  Where are the calls for the Restaurant Association to release the results of their investigation, which Cain says cleared him?  You know, the media will not even mention that? The media won't even join this call for the NRA to release the results of the investigation.  They just want the women to come forward and the women don't want to.  I wonder what's up with that.

END TRANSCRIPT

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