RUSH: Listen to the Washington Post on Sunday. They did a random act of journalism on the unemployment numbers, but they canceled it out with their story on Harry Reid. Listen to this. Listen to the way they start the story on Harry Reid's lie about Mitt Romney not paying taxes. "Republicans on Sunday escalated their attacks on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid."
That's what's happening out there?
"Republicans escalated their attacks on" Harry Reid?
Harry Reid started all of this! In fact, we gotta go to the audio sound bites, and there's one in particular that I want get to. Grab audio sound bite 14. This is our old buddy Jonathan Karl. Jonathan Karl used to be at CNN, where, when he was there -- and I might be doing career damage to the poor guy when I say this. When he was at CNN (and Snerdley will remember this), Jonathan Karl, if he leaned in any direction, it was to the right. Now he's with ABC. (interruption)
No, Brian Ross still hasn't told us who the guy was that shot up the church in Wisconsin Sunday. I know they're saying that he's a white supremacist. That's the Southern Poverty Law Center. But until Brian Ross weighs in, folks, we won't know who this guy really is. We're waiting for Brian Ross to discover whether or not there's a Tea Party member, for example, with the same name in Wisconsin. So don't jump the gun on this yet. Brian Ross and Stephanopoulos haven't weighed in.
This is during the roundtable yesterday, the same roundtable where George Will was talking about how football is killing its players, and it can't be fixed. Jonathan Karl was talking to Stephanopoulos about Harry Reid's remarks about Romney and not having paid taxes. Stephanopoulos says, "You've been covering Harry Reid an awful long time, Jonathan. What do you make about how he's doubling and tripling down on this charge without releasing any evidence?"
Here's the whole thing. This answer, in a nutshell, is the whole story.
KARL: It's one of the most outrageous charges that I've ever seen actually made on the Senate floor. Mitt Romney paid $3 million to the IRS in the one tax return that we've seen so far. He paid taxes. It's a completely false charge. But Reid loves it. The Democrats love this. Because no matter how much he digs in, no matter how much he gets attacked, you know, here or by Jon Stewart, or anywhere else, it gets the story out there again and again. And I'll tell you, Romney played into it by telling Harry Reid to put up or shut up, and then it becomes this back and forth. Instead, he should have laughed it off. He should have made a joke about Harry Reid's imaginary friend and moved on.
RUSH: Now, let me put this in perspective. Here's a reporter who knows it's bogus. A tantamount admission here that Jonathan Karl knows this is bogus. Yet instead of reporting that, the game. Harry Reid's actually pulling this off, why, every time he doubles or triples down, it keeps the story out there, and then the way Romney responds to it, that keeps the story out there. What Romney ought to be doing is just laughing it off, we can argue about that, but the point is the media knows there's nothing to it and yet they're reporting it as though there might be, cause they want the thing to work. They want the tactic to work. So the truth is irrelevant. The fact that nobody has any evidence that Romney hasn't paid taxes, it doesn't matter.
I'll tell you, folks, I remember throughout my entire sterling 24-year broadcast career. As you well know, I have come under attack and under assault countless times, and I've had people, "You can't let that stand. You gotta respond to it." I'd respond to it, and it just prolongs and elevates the story. And people said, "You shouldn'ta responded to it. See what you did? Now they're just talking about it even more." You can't win. Everybody who asks, "Why don't the Republicans say X? Why don't they fight back?" Well, when they do, guess what? The media says, "See? Guilty." Wait a minute. You know there's nothing to the charge. "Doesn't matter, he's acting guilty. He deigned to react." So you react to the charge, now the meme is he must have something to hide, he won't release them. This couldn't happen without a media that's chosen sides. This couldn't happen without a corrupt media, pure and simple.
You can debate all day strategically how to react when something like this happens. Frankly, it is predictable. This is a page right out of the Democrat playbook. I mean I've given you all the examples. George Bush, secret meeting in Paris, 1980 with the Iranians. No evidence. And precisely because there was no evidence, the seriousness of the charge, Tom Foley, Speaker of the House, had to investigate. An investigation was called for. There will be an investigation called for here. Now, I've got a lot of other sound bites coming. Karl was at the tail end of what we have here. All these other people, "What's he hiding? Why doesn't he just release them?" The media knows there's nothing there. The media knows that Harry Reid's lying through his teeth, and yet they're reporting how impressed they are with the tactic. Impressed with the technique.
And here you have it, Washington Post yesterday: "Republicans on Sunday escalated their attacks on Harry Reid." Republicans aren't attacking anybody. They are reacting. They are attempting here to deflect -- you might want to say they're being defensive. Debbie "Blabbermouth" Schultz is out there now demanding that Romney turn over 23 years of tax returns, all but one year of the Rush Limbaugh show. Debbie "Blabbermouth" Schultz wants Romney to release all but one year of his tax returns during the history of this program, 23 years. Here's a question for Dingy Harry. As majority leader he is paid $193,000 a year. How did he get to be worth $10 million?
RUSH: Zero interest in Barack Obama's admissions papers at any of his universities. Zero interest in Barack Obama's transcripts. Zero interest in anything about Barack Obama's past, compared to the endless attacks on tax returns. "Republicans on Sunday escalated their attacks on Harry Reid." Really? Really? That's the story?
RUSH: From the Washington Examiner: "Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is backing up Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) baseless accusation that Mitt Romney hasn’t paid taxes for ten years. 'Harry Reid made a statement that is true. Somebody told him. It is a fact,' Pelosi told the Huffington Post in a Sunday interview. 'Whether he did or not can easily be disposed of: Mitt Romney can release his tax returns and show whether he paid taxes.' Pelosi also added that 'Harry Reid is a person who is, as we know, A, is a fighter, B, he wouldn’t say this unless it was true that somebody told him that.'" It's hilarious. Pelosi, she's never gonna stretch the boundaries of an IQ test.
I've got conflicting reports. There's one story says the White House is not supporting Reid; the other story says that he is. So I don't know, but I don't need a story. I know exactly where the White House is on this. It's their idea. Probably Axelrod's idea. Let's go to the audio sound bites, starting with Bob Schieffer, Face the Nation. Yesterday morning he was talking about this. Let's just listen to Bob Schieffer.
SCHIEFFER: Isn't this kind of like Joe McCarthy back in the era when he said, "I have here in my hand the names of 400 people in the State Department who are communist?" It turned out he didn't, and he was saying the way to prove that they're not is for them to come forward here. I mean, asking somebody to come forward to -- just because there's been an unsubstantiated charge, that -- that -- that's a little thin.
RUSH: Yeah. Now, when you start losing Bob Schieffer -- (interruption) what, Snerdley, what? Well, here's the thing. A guy like Schieffer, Joe McCarthy's worse than Satan himself. Joe McCarthy is worse than Count Dracula seeing the cross. Worse than Nixon. Joe McCarthy is worse than Nixon. So Bob Schieffer is conflicted here, because this is, in his mind, what McCarthy did. It's a little thin. He wants so badly to dive into this, but it's just a little thin because of its close proximity to McCarthy. Same show, Bob Schieffer had as his guest former Governor Ted Strickland, a Democrat from Ohio. And Schieffer compared Harry Reid to McCarthy, and Strickland reacted.
STRICKLAND: The American people deserve to know what is in his tax returns. His father, as we all know --
SCHIEFFER: So you're saying maybe that's not true that he hadn't paid any taxes.
STRICKLAND: Oh, I'm not accusing.
SCHIEFFER: -- didn't? (crosstalk)
STRICKLAND: I'm not accusing him of anything except what he is doing invites speculation, quite frankly. The people want to know why he has his tax returns --
RUSH: No, they don't. Nobody, there's not a person, there's not a normal person anywhere running around talking about this. By normal person, I'm talking about somebody that is not politically oriented. The American people are not chomping at the bit here to have this question answered. It's purely totally fabricated. The media knows that it's been fabricated, it's a lie, but they're fascinated with the game. State of the Union, CNN Sunday morning, Candy Crowley interviewed Robert Gibbs, the former White House press secretary. She said, "To the propriety of the leader of the Democrats in the Senate accusing, based on a source, the presumed Republican nominee of not paying any taxes for 10 years -- is that something that Chicago has encouraged? Do you want him to stop?"
GIBBS: I don't think anybody controls Harry Reid.
CROWLEY: But if you asked him to stop, he would?
GIBBS: You know, again, put the tax returns out. Put this whole thing to rest. Candy, have you ever seen anybody go to such great lengths to not put something out? And when you generally don't put something out, isn't it because you're generally hiding something?
CROWLEY: You will not tell Harry Reid to stop?
GIBBS: I would tell Mitt Romney, if he wants all this debate to go away -- and let's be clear. Harry Reid isn't the one who's made this debate. Mitt Romney has brought this to the fore. This has been something that has been talked about well back into the Republican primaries.
RUSH: You see how this works? Romney, it's his fault. He's the one, he didn't release tax returns. He didn't release the tax returns that Democrats want. Harry Reid's never released his. Pelosi has never released hers. Debbie "Blabbermouth" Schultz has never released hers. That doesn't matter, they say, they're not running for president. I'd like to see Harry Reid's. I'd like to know how a guy earning $193,000 accumulates $10 million in net worth. I'd like to see how that happens in such a relatively short period of time, because he hasn't made $193,000 when he was not the majority leader. Not every senator makes that much. Anyway, this is laughable. But that's all they've got. They can't talk about Obama. They can't sing any of Obama's praises; there aren't any.
So they've totally manufactured the story that Romney's hiding his tax returns, and Harry Reid's got this imaginary friend that told him at Bain Capital Romney didn't pay taxes for ten years. Okay, now it's out there, so Romney's gotta prove the allegation's false. That's who half the country votes for. This kind of irresponsible, shameless thuggery. That's who half the country votes for.