Let’s start from with Matthews from the top and audio sound bite #3, Mike, and before playing it, I just — we played it in the last hour and I got a couple of interesting e-mail reactions from people at Rush 24/7. That’s the subscriber side at RushLimbaugh.com.
“Dear Rush: Please tell Mr. Matthews that I’m not on Interstate 70, I’m sitting here on the 11th floor of a corporate office building in my St. John’s pant suit listening to you on the net while I generate spreadsheets for a Fortune 500 company.” This is a woman named Brown. I won’t mention her first name.
“Dear Rush: Chris didn’t read the CBS report just like he didn’t read the swift boat book. Liberals don’t want to hear anything that differs from their biased world view. Mega dittoes, ray Lynch from Bella Vista, Arkansas.”
So, um… and that is dangerously close to I-70. It’s just about a half state away, maybe a state away from I-70 but at least he’s not moving. He’s at home. All right, we got three Matthews sound bites. Here’s the one from last night on Hardball talking about talk radio and the new media and the CBS Dan Rather controversy.
MATTHEWS: When you get up tomorrow morning and listen to talk radio — Limbaugh or any of those folks of the right all day long — you know, we can predict right now they’re gonna be blasting this report as inadequately banging Dan Rather! They have an audience, and the reason there are highly paid conservative pundits is there’s a huge market for such punditry, and out driving trucks and driving cars across the United States, across Route 70 — rather, Route 95 — going south! All those highways are filled with cars! All filled with the noise from the right saying, “You’re right! They’re wrong! The big east liberals are all dead! Look at this guy Rather! He proves it!”
RUSH: All we’re doing, Chris, is reading the report and the thing that we focused on today focused on Mary Mapes. The interest thing about the report it makes Rather almost a robot. It makes Rather a non-player, a nonentity. Rather is an empty suit. Rather just shows up and does what we think all news anchors do and that is: read the TelePromTer, newscast starts 5:35, make-up, sit down, read the TelePromTer to make sure it looks like you’ve seen it before, and then do the news. Ah, but he was overworked and distracted, he was doing so many things, managing editor, doing 60 Minutes, 60 Minutes II and all these other things, interviewing witness — uh, uh, uh, guests. (Laughing.)
So anyway, Matthews made a phone call. I don’t know where. I think he called MSNBC today. It might have been Imus, he might have called Imus, but anyway, he’s on the phone, and he thought about it overnight and I guess he decided it’s not really my fault, it’s Roger Ailes’ fault.
MATTHEWS: I believe that this is at the heart of the big fight over American journalism right now! It’s what Fox is all about! It’s what it’s Roger Ailes is all about, and it’s when Rather is all about! There is a real fight here, a big fight in American journalism and politics the last ten or 20 years, and it’s really Roger against Dan, and it’s why Fox has done so well because they basically put up a network which is anti-CBS! It’s an alternative to CBS and the people over the country do watch Dan Rather over the years! They saw him fight with Nixon they saw him go after the senior Bush and they figure he’s a Democrat liberal (snort), and, and, and the Fox is the so-called “fair and balanced” network” which the means they’re not Rather which means they’re on the right as much as they think Rather is the on the left and this is the real fight and you were putting down that fight as not important this morning. I think it’s at the heart of American politics this morning, this fight.
RUSH: Um, well, that’s certainly an element of it. There’s no question, Chris, but this got started a long time before Fox News — this is again, blame it on the right wing. This fight exists because Roger Ailes doesn’t like Rather or Rather doesn’t like Ailes, and Bush is in the middle of it. Chris, I’m gonna tell you one more time why this is happening: It’s because the mainstream media has been lying to the American people for 40 years, if not longer. What used to be the dominant media — often called the “mainstream” media, called the “partisan” media — refused to actually do journalism. You were doing advocacy journalism while lying to the American people that were being objective, and as long as there was no counterweight, as long as there was no opposition, the mainstream media got away with it — even though people in this country knew what they were seeing was bogus and slanted and, it was not admitted to, and then about 16 years ago a talk show started which spawned a whole new media, and I’m not saying this ego-wise. I’m telling you the progression of events here.
Fox News is part of it, all the new talk shows, the bloggers, it’s all part of it, and these are people that have been watching this joke called “news” the last four years who finally have an outlet, a number of outlets to provide a counterweight to the bogus reporting that has been going on, to the biased reporting that’s been going on. The reason, the reason, Chris, that the new media is working is because it’s honest with its audience about who it is and who they are. The audience knows our bias; the audience knows our desires; the audience knows our preferences. They don’t have to question whether or not we’re trying to fool them by hiding under this pretext of being objective. The mainstream press can’t get over the loss of monopoly that they had. They operate under the same tenets just as the Democratic Party can’t get over its lost of the monopoly and they keep using the same playbook. You have failed to understand who your audience is. You’ve failed, thus, to connect with your audience, and so you claim all this not on yourselves. You blame it on the right wing.
It’s just like the Democrats blaming their losses not on themselves but on themselves but on stolen elections the Supreme Court or some other cabal of right-wing conspiratists who are out there undermining the good old “American process.” The American process, of course, as defined by you guys is when liberal Democrats run everything, and those days are over. And rather than be introspective and look at yourselves and try to figure out where you’re going wrong, why you’re sitting there with a 0.5 instead of the 2.5 that Fox has, you sit there and continue to insult your audience by assuming they’re a bunch of idiots, and you’re going to pound away the same way you’ve been pounding for 30 years, while they’re smarter than you are now! They know more than you’re willing to report to them, and they know angles that you’re not willing to touch. So the CBS report comes out and you blame it on a desire “to get Dan Rather.” You’re missing the boat by 95%. There may be a desire to get Dan Rather but it’s not because they want to get Dan Rather. It’s because Dan Rather is perceived to not have been fair while operating under the pretense of fairness and objectivity all these years. Ditto for all the other networks and the big newspapers and magazines. It hasn’t been fair.
You liberals are the ones that constantly cite “fairness.” This has got to be fair; that’s got to be fair. Yu are the ones that are mostly unfair, and this report, if you just read it, indicates unfairness at the very least. Bias was the name of the game: an agenda acres desire to impact and change the course of an election was the desired result of this, and if you can’t read the report and see that, then how are we to trust you when you watch something happen before your very eyes and can’t tell us what you saw, what we all saw? You tell us a different version of what happened then what we all saw, and we’re all no longer scratching our heads. We have the ability to get it out to what everybody else saw and what we saw, and there are far more people agreeing with our version of what we see than you, and so you want to blame the audience, or blame the hicks in their trucks and cars driving south on I-95. He didn’t say “95.” He said “heading south.” Here’s one more bite from Matthews, also from this morning on the phone on MSNBC.
MATTHEWS: Think about the movies! Just think about Dan Rather standing up to Nixon (snort), and Nixon saying, “Are you running for something?” Which is a pretty wise comment, and Dan sort of lame response, “Are you?” You think about him going into that live broadcast, uh, interviewing George Bush, Sr., where Bush went back at him and said, look, “You can’t judge a man’s record just on one incident,” and that was Iran-Contra, and then you, then you have, have the president [sic], who isn’t really good at this sort of repartee suddenly coming back and saying, “Well, that’s like judging you for the eight minutes you walked off the set.” Well, guess what was standing in the room with George Herbert Walker Bush as he was debating Dan Rather? Roger Ailes standing there holding up cue cards for Bush [sic]. This fight has gone on and it will go on between right and left (groans), between Ailes and Rather.
RUSH: Well, I don’t think it’s going to go on much longer. Rather is retiring and Ailes is only ascending greater and greater heights. See the fight is over, Chris, but you’re fooling yourself if you think that’s what this is — you think this CBS report today is the result of an interview that took place in 1988 and is not the result of what’s been on CBS’ air since?
My friends, this is why I say, “They’re shooting themselves in the foot and hitting higher.” They’re getting dangerously close to vital organs here. They keep pulling the trigger, and they’re aiming it at us, and they’re slowly but surely committing suicide. And of course there’s an old cardinal rule in talk radio about a caller: Somebody calls you wants to be an idiot, get out of the way and let ’em. So if the Democrats want to self-destruct, stand aside, my friends, and watch.
Let’s see, now. Roger Ailes is being blamed by Chris Matthews for all of this that has befallen CBS, but I remember in the midst of the controversy shortly after the report aired and the documents were discovered to have been fraudulent, faked and forged, there were those blaming Karl Rove. Remember that? So they say Rove planted the docs, but I guess that can’t prove that so now Ailes did it. Ailes! Ailes is the one that planted these phony docs in an effort that dates back to 1988 to get Dan Rather. Ailes is behind this, ladies and gentlemen. So it’s an Undeniable Truth of Life: There’s nothing a liberal can do, a mistake, a dirty trick, a gaffe, that cannot be blamed on the right wing.