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CNN Had a Chance to Save Itself with Me

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Julie in Clarksville, Tennessee.  Hi.  Welcome to the EIB Network.  Hello. 

CALLER:  Hey.  Hi, Rush.  We have listened to you forever, but I've never persisted in getting on until I heard you say that somebody thinks little brother is just a normal college kid.  That really steamed me.

RUSH:  Well, it steams me, too, 'cause he's not a kid.

CALLER:  No, he's not a kid, and our daughter's graduating from college a week from Friday, and she's a normal college kid.  She still believes in American exceptionalism and she has listened to you.  We shut off the television when she was in third grade.  We just really tried to be sure that we were in charge of what was going into her brain.

RUSH:  I don't blame you.  I totally understand.  You look at what kids are exposed to in school, what they're hearing, what they're being taught, what's on television for 'em to expose.  Look, just today we had the sound bite, he was a normal college kid. He was smoking pot. He was watching YouTube videos.  There's nothing to see here.  I'll tell you, it was said earlier on this program that Obama's in denial.  I don't think Obama's in denial, but I'm gonna tell you, a lot of the left has to be.  They cannot come to grips. Do you realize their whole worldview is blown up every time one of these things happens.  They believe they're creating utopia. 

They're really blown to smithereens when this happens.  They don't understand it.  These people ought to love us.  We've had Obama in the White House for five years now, four and a half years. We got rid of that evil Bush. We got out of Iraq, and we're gonna close Gitmo, we haven't got there yet, but we're condemning waterboarding. We're doing our work.  We're ragging on the Tea Party.  We're doing everything these people hate us for. We're fixing it  Why are they still bombing us?  They think they identify.  They think these people are blowing us up because they hate the country the same way liberals don't like the country.  So the liberals think, well, we gotta clean it up and get rid of the grievances these people have and they'll like us.  And when that doesn't happen, they're just confused. 

Here's Brian, Studio City, California.  Hi, I'm glad you called.

CALLER:  How you doing, Rush?  It's an absolute pleasure to speak with you.  The reason why I'm calling, I'm gonna feel silly actually making this point considering you just gave us those stats about the cable news thing, but I'm gonna ask you, you're doing this low-information voter thing, which I think is a great thing, but unfortunately I don't think it's gonna go fast enough for our country to be saved.  So I'm actually challenging you to either approach CNN or CNBC or somebody like that to get an hour-long show on their network.  Part of the reason is because the only time you're in the news is when you're misquoted, so, you know, the people that listen to you understand your point of view --

RUSH:  I understand.  You know what, I really appreciate it. I know how frustrating it is for you all.  You listen here every day. You know everything I say. You like the program, you like me.  You hear me being reported about, it's all lies and misquotes and made up, and you get mad and you want to do something about it. You want me to do something about it. 

Let me take a break here, but I'll continue with this when we get back.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: So Brian in Studio City, California, "You need to get on CNN, Rush, because the only time you're on mainstream TV, you're misquoted, or you're lied about."  I understand how you feel, folks.  You listen to this program, or you have in the past.  You know what happens on this program.  You know who I am.  You know what I am and what I'm not.  Then you turn on television and you see me characterized in ways you know are not true, and it makes you mad.  And you want something done about it, and you want me to do something about it, and you wonder what can be done about it. 

What I've learned is, nothing can be done about it.  What I've learned is, the more you act upset about it, the happier they are and the more intense it gets.  It presents a real dichotomy.  The purpose is to mischaracterize me.  And not just me.  Any Republican or conservative that they think has credibility has got to be discredited, maligned.  In their view the worst thing that could happen is if I became, quote, unquote, mainstream.  So they are always gonna do things that keep me portrayed as a fringe figure.  I know how frustrating it is.  I mean, I go through the same thing when -- well, what I do here every day.  You know, I see people that I respect and admire being maligned, I come in here and I defend 'em. 

Clarence Thomas was under assault when he was nominated. I came here and defended him.  I had not even met him.  I knew what they were saying about him wasn't true because I know liberals.  I knew the whole Anita Hill thing was BS.  I knew the Coke can and all that was BS.  I knew it was a Democrat, liberal, trumped-up effort to destroy him.  Robert Bork, same thing.  That's what I do, actually.  I get up, I do my show prep, and when I see people or institutions or traditions that I respect, admire, revere, or believe in under assault, I defend them.  Yet the portrayal of me is that I'm this Mad Hatting attacker, that I get up every day and attack people and lie about 'em and say horrible things about 'em.  That's not at all what happens on this program. 

In fact, if I may be so bold, I think that's one of the problems in conservative media.  There's not enough of that.  A lot of times a prominent conservative will be assaulted in the media and the rest of the conservatives will run away from it. They don't want to take the risk of defending it 'cause they don't want to be tied to it.  So a lot of times conservatives are left hanging on their own out there.  But I defend them.  I defend conservatism.  I defend the ideology. I defend the traditions, the institutions, the people that are under assault here.  It's what I do. 

About going on CNN.  It almost happened one time.  Let me tell you the story.  Walter Isaacson, who was the managing editor at TIME, was transferred over to CNN, which is part of the TimeWarner media conglomerate empire.  And I knew Walter.  I had met him at a couple of lunches at Mr. Buckley's house and a couple of other places, and I liked him. I got along with him.  He most recently wrote the biography on Steve Jobs.  So one day I got an e-mail from one of his emissaries, and he wanted to meet and talk.  What they ultimately proposed was: We want you to come over and do a 30-minute NFL pregame show on CNN, and after that, you do a one hour Sunday morning show, whatever you want to do on it. 

Well, I don't know how, but word leaked out about this.  Maureen Dowd of the New York Times went running to Roger Ailes and asked Roger Ailes what he thought of me going to CNN.  And Ailes said to Maureen Dowd, "I guarantee you, Walter Isaacson is gonna need a security detail to live in his own building.  He's gonna need a security detail from his own employees, since word's gotten out."  And of course once the word got out, it was over, because the employees at CNN, they did, they had a cow. They went nuts. The rest of the media had a cow and went nuts. "How could you hire a racist, a sexist," here came all the things.  And that was, I don't know, after '97, it was after Fox was up and running.  Brian was here, and I had mentioned it to Brian.  So Brian knew. He was hip, he was in on it.  I know you didn't leak.  The process went on awhile.  I mean, by that time I had learned, I had known how to deal with leftists. 

So, for example, in one of the meetings with the people who were gonna be the producers, I said, "I want to know how you guys are gonna handle the first day when I am ripped to shreds and you're ripped to shreds.  Are you going to defend me?  And how would you do it?"  And they had no idea what to say.  I said, "You really have no way to defend your hire here?"  These are produces.  "A newspaper article rips me, or other TV shows rip me, and you don't have any way of going out there and saying, 'No, Limbaugh's not that. We wouldn't have hired him if he was that'"? 

"Somebody calls me a racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe, you don't have anybody at CNN that can go out there and say, 'No, Limbaugh's not that. We wouldn't hire people like that'"?  They were not willing to commit to doing that.  I said, "What the hell am I doing here?"  And the support staff that I was talking to, they were not hip to it anyway.  The meetings were very cold.  In discussing what the program would be, there was not much enthusiasm for it.  So they had a chance to save CNN at one point, and they rejected it. 

So Brian from Studio City said, "You need to get an hour on CNN."  How would that happen?  What do I do?  Call Jeff Zucker? (laughing) "Hey, Zuck, hey, Zuck, El Rushbo here.  I think you need me for an hour."  Click.  He would need a security detail three times larger than Walter Isaacson.  They don't care about this.  Snerdley is saying, "They have shareholders."  No, no, no, no.  CNN, even while they were losing and plummeting to where they are now, even when they were losing everything that caused them to hire Zucker, they were celebrated, they were revered, badge of honor. Even though the audience was getting smaller, they didn't flinch.  They stayed true to the cause of liberalism.  They were willing to lose money for the cause.  They were celebrated.  They were cocktail party chatter, CNN was wonderful, and the same thing will happen now. 

This news comes out about how they're even further down and they're gonna be even more celebrated by the cocktail party circuit.  I guarantee you this, too.  You know, you understand that advertising is what supports all this.  I don't want to let too many cats out of the bag here, but, I mean, Fox has been number one for a long, long time.  And they still weren't getting a majority of the media buys, because the media buyers at advertising agencies are young women fresh out of college, liberal feminists who hate conservatism.  And so they had the sophistication to know that even if CNN was tanking in the ratings, they could still run all the advertising there, keep the financial support up.  And that's what happened. 

When you look at a network, for example, or a show that is by far number one and they're still running penile enhancement ads, what's happening is that mainstream media buyers are sending money elsewhere trying to harm them.  Well, penile enhancement, take your pick.  The Ronco Veg-O-Matic, you know, while McDonald's and Coke and Meineke are everywhere else.  These are things we had to overcome on this program. We have to fight that battle every day here anyway, 'cause these little sniveling jerks are out there trying to scare advertisers. It still goes on.  Anyway, this is a long drawn out way of saying, "It would never happen."  And I don't want to do TV anyway.  You know why, folks?  You know the main reason I don't want to do TV?  Yeah, I don't like it, but why?  If I could just go in and do the show like I do this, I'd do it. 

It's collaborative, and I don't collaborate.  A TV show, by definition, takes a whole bunch of people.  You have sit down, you have to plan it out as it's happening. You have to have guests. I mean you can't do an hour TV show with just clips.  Well, it would be tough.  It would be tough.  So you have to have guests and then you have to have video segments. The producer has to know what's going where. The videotape machine has to be loaded with all the stuff in order. The cameraman has to know where to go when.  It's all scripted. 

And then there are the endless meetings every day to put all that together, and those meetings are arguments with people over what I don't want to do, or what I should do, or what they think I should do that I don't want to do. I have to let them down easy, no, no, no, I don't want to do that, don't care about it.  I don't collaborate.  I have not had one meeting to do this radio show ever.  I've never sat down with anybody and said, "Okay, at 12:17, be ready for this."  Unless we have a guest in here, and those only happen when somebody desperately calls and wants on.  We don't seek them out.  I don't collaborate.  I've been doing this so long my way that television is just foreign to me. 

Hell, folks, I hate makeup.  You have to sit there for 20 minutes doing makeup.  Then you gotta take it off.  You know, Greta Van Susteren will come in here and do an interview, and to do a 20 or 30-minute interview is a two-hour project.  A three hour radio show is a three-hour show, I mean, with the show prep and everything.  I don't have to do makeup. I don't have to sit down and do a meeting with anybody.  There aren't any lighting people that have to come in here and make sure the lighting's right, "Oh, wait a minute. The battery just died on the tape machine, gotta do that segment over." Just none of it, none of it. 

Now, if you could walk into a TV studio without having said a word to anybody, just sit down, maybe the video bites that you're gonna use, maybe the video highlights. You gotta have a rundown of that and know what you have, but if you could randomly choose what you want, when you want, and plug it in, fine, but you can't.  Some people, you know, are drawn to TV 'cause it's face time.  Not me.  If I ever did TV I'd put a mask on because I'm into low profile now, Snerdley.

END TRANSCRIPT

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