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Cable News Trivializes and Diminishes

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I mentioned something yesterday in the form of a question.  I said, "Can you think of one group of people that never go on TV to discuss their work?"  They never participate in analysis of their work after the fact. They don't defend what they do. They don't attack other people who do it, there's one group, and it's judges.  I want to ask you a question.  I'll get back to this teenager suing her parents in a minute 'cause I brought this up yesterday.  I owe it to you to close the loop on this. 

When Jon Stewart originally said this about what goes on in Crossfire, I kind of disagreed with him.  But my thinking on this has changed, not because of Stewart, but because of the formula that has become news. It's not even news anymore.  Everything on cable TV has a left and a right to it, and they never solve anything.  It's not even about that.  It's bad show business as well.  It's the same stuff, it's just recycled over and over, and what happens during all this is that everything talked about begins to diminish. 

The subject, the things being discussed lose their integrity, lose their dignity, and they cease to have any weight to them or about them.  And, as such, everything gets trivialized, and everything gets positioned for the lowest common denominator in the audience, which is the stupidest people.  I mean, whatever your programming, you've gotta make sure that you hold the audience, and they've dumbed it down so much that they've just trivialized everything.  Things that really matter are now just argumentative points. 

But if you look at judicial decisions... The best way for my to illustrate this is, can you imagine, say, after Citizens United. After that decision can you imagine, say, Justice Scalia showing up on Fox or anywhere and sitting with Juan Williams or Bob Beckel or take your pick, while they accuse him of racism, bigotry, or whatever else, and demand that he justify himself? "Who do you think you are?" 

Can you imagine Scalia answering it and justifying and explaining and trying to tell these locoweeds why the ruling was what it was, and why he thought of it the way he did?  And then he would leave, and they'd bring in another pack of people to talk about it, and it would be with the usual bromides and the usual assaults that Scalia's a right-wing, stupid idiot. He doesn't know what he's talking about.

He's biased, and all the usual insults associated with Bush or Reagan or whatever they would do say. It wouldn't take very long, and everything the Supreme Court does would become trivial. It would lose its stature.  I submit to you that this is what's happened to so much in this country that used to have weight and dignity and seriousness to it.  It's all now just fodder.  You know, they don't allow cameras in the Supreme Court for a reason. 

They kept TV cameras out of courtrooms for the longest time for a reason.  They kept TV cameras out of the Senate longer than they put 'em in the House.  You put a camera somewhere, and you artificially change what otherwise would happen. (interruption) Yeah, it's partially that.  When you're on TV, it's what you look like that people remember, not what you say.  But more importantly, it's people become self-conscious. 

I mean, you can't help it.  There's a camera there. You cease behaving normally because you become self-conscious. You start thinking, "How do I look? How am I sounding? Oh, it's a camera! I want to be seen." You maneuver to try to be seen and you do things you otherwise wouldn't do, say things you otherwise wouldn't do.  So the smart people say, "You know, we're not going to trivialize the court system by introducing cameras to it."

By the same token, they have not trivialized it by bringing these judges on TV.  The judges won't do it.  They refuse to do it.  They will not debate or discuss what they do, any aspect of their ruling or why to anybody.  They may go out and make a speech, and they may explain their opinion on a particular case to some law students or what have you, but they're not gonna go on Crossfire and let what's his name...

What's the guy, the communist? They're not going to let Van Jones sit there and start spewing a bunch of ignorant BS, liberal claptrap, in response to it.  Now, if you look at what's happened to every other institution that has given itself over to cable... I'm not saying we gonna stop it. You can't put the genie back in the bottle.  This just hit me one day.  I don't even know how it came to mind. 

But what hit my mind was, I was watching one of these shows. It doesn't matter which one. They're all the same no matter where you go.  It's the same formula, and that's why I don't watch it. You can predict what's gonna happen. You can predict who's gonna say what. You know nothing's gonna get solved. You know nobody's gonna be persuaded.  There isn't gonna be any end to it. Nobody is gonna change their mind about anything.

But what does happen is that whatever it is being discussed just loses its stature and its dignity and it becomes a vehicle for all of these people on TV to demonstrate their own smarts or however they use their appearances on TV.  But judges... By the way, I'm not holding out any special reverence for judges.  I'm just pointing out, they're the only group that does not do this. 

Folks, I'm gonna tell you. This is why I stopped going on TV explaining what I do.  I do it right here. Anybody who wants to find out what I do, how I do it, and what I think, can tune in.  I don't need to go on TV and have somebody make me justify what I do, and neither does a judge.  Antonin Scalia or take your pick. Breyer on the left, Ruth "Buzzi" Ginsburg, they don't need to go on TV to justify to those people what they've done.

They don't have to justify their decisions. They don't have to justify their thinking on this.  The media gets hold of you and you're an automatic suspect, particularly if you're on the right.  HR will sit there tell you, TV show after TV show, they call every week, and they use different enticements.  "Hey, whatever he wants to talk about. It doesn't matter what," and I always say no, because I know what it's gonna end up being. 

Whatever I most recently said that they read about on Media Matters, they're gonna ask me, "How dare you!"  That's always what it's gonna be, and I don't have to justify myself to these people.  I'm not gonna go on these places and be put on the defensive and explain. I'll be glad to go on and analyze things that are happening, but I am not gonna go justify myself, because then you diminish yourself.

You automatically, by agreeing to do that, accept the premise that you have to justify what you're doing.  I don't accept that premise.  If you want to find out what I do, listen here.  If you want to find out how I do it, listen here.  If you want to find out what I think, tune in.  It just hit me one day that the legal system -- judges, now former clerks -- are all over the place.  You'll have some retired judges, but not even very many of them.

You'll have some former attorneys general that will show up, but they are lawyers. 

But you don't see a lot of judges, even retired judges show up on TV justifying some decision or verdict of theirs from their past or their career.  It's just sort of an awakening realization that I had whenever this hit me. This is a six-month-old revelation.  I've been waiting for the right opportunity to explain it -- to have something happen out there to bounce off or as a transition -- and this Lois Lerner thing is as good an illustration as any. 

I mean, here we have serious constitutional violations, serious.  

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  As I was saying, you have Lois Lerner and her friends -- her liberal Democrat leftist friends at the IRS -- sabotaging the constitutional rights of American citizens using one of the most feared branches or agencies of the government, the IRS.  That has been trivialized and dumbed down now to, "Darrell Issa wouldn't let poor little Elijah Cummings speak," and this is what cable news is doing to everything. 

They're trivializing it, turning into low-information, soap opera-type fare, and just... As I say, we can't put the genie back in the bottle.  I'm not advocating that. I'm just making an observation.  Can you imagine how little respect people -- and I don't know how much they have now. But can you imagine how little respect people would have for judges if every night there was a judge on TV having to answer to some so-called media personality and justify his ruling, in whatever case?

Not just Supreme Court justice, any judge.  There's a reason they don't do it.  There are many reasons why they don't do it, but imagine if they did.  Imagine how much of the veneer, the aura of respect for all of that would diminish over time as well, as it became just another set of talking points, argumentative talking points or what have you.  

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  I got an e-mail.  I am not saying judges are better than anybody or above anybody and shouldn't deign to submit themselves, not at all.  I'm talking about respect, rule of law, the institutions and traditions.  Some people might disagree profoundly with me, "I wish we could have at some of these leftist judges and expose 'em."  I understand people that think that.  "I wish we could get Ruth Ginsburg on the Hannity show and let them have at it." You might have that point of view.  If you do, I understand it.  I just think about what's happening everywhere else and how trivialized and A-B everything has become because of it. 

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