RUSH: I guess I missed this because I haven’t seen Nightline in I don’t know how long. But apparently Nightline did a recent show with — who is this comedian? Well, I can’t find the name in the story here real quickly. Kathy Griffin, comedian Kathy Griffin. You know, I’m not into pop culture. I never heard of her. Have you heard of her, H.R.? I don’t know who she is. Doesn’t matter. I mean, I’m not surprised. The whole point of the Nightline show was to paint conservatives, including me, as too cowardly to help the USO, and this story is posted at NewsBusters.org. “In a December 23rd USA Today front-page story, ‘USO Cheers Troops But Iraq Gigs Tough to Book. Safety concerns, disagreement with the war keeping many celebrities from volunteering,’ reporters Martin Kasindorf and Steven Komarow related how actor-comedian Robin Williams ‘who, like others, has been an outspoken critic of Bush’s management of the war. Wayne Newton, a Republican who backs Bush, says, ‘Some stars have turned down the USO because they thought some performances would amount to endorsing the war,’ but on a Friday evening Nightline story, Terry Moran through his use of sound bites from two left-wingers, portrayed cowardly conservatives including Rush Limbaugh, who isn’t a stage performer, as the problem facing the USO in trying to get stars to go to Iraq and Afghanistan. Moran asserted…” Do we have sound bites of this? We do? I thought I saw this on the list. Here. We have a little sound bite. Grab #24. This is from the program, Friday night is when it was on Nightline.
MORAN: Comedian Kathy Griffin has done one USO tour to Kuwait and Afghanistan and signed up for another soon to the Middle East. A self-described “D-list celebrity” and opponent of the war, she, too, loves performing for the troops, and she wonders why some vocal war supporters have stayed home.
GRIFFIN: I think Rush Limbaugh should go over, you know, put your money where your mouth is.
RUSH: Hmm. Hmm. Now, isn’t this interesting? “Rush Limbaugh should put his money where his mouth is and, you know, go over.” All right. As you people who listen to this program regularly know, about a year ago, in February, I went to Afghanistan and did not just one tour. I went to four or five different bases, spoke to all kinds of troops, and I also did other things as well, had chock-full days. My website is full. To this day, you can go to my website and read the transcripts of the reports that I filed from — “filed” — I called in. Reporters “file” stuff and I’m not a reporter. I went over there. I did a troop visit, and I called in every day or most of the days and gave a summary of what happened, what I had seen, what I said, and what I did over there. I have asked the USO and the defense department numbers of times to go to Iraq and Afghanistan, and finally one of my requests was answered by the US department — well, the Agency for International Development, which is part of the state department, run by — just resigned from this position — Andrew Natsios, but I went over.
Mary Matalin was with me for the whole week. It’s where I introduced myself to the show “24” on the plane ride over. How many times have we talked about it on this program? You know that I have made requests. I’m not going to mention any names, because the purpose here is not to get anybody in trouble. It’s not Rumsfeld, but I called the defense department. I called the secretary of defense’s office about September, two years in a row saying, “If you need somebody to go over at Christmastime, I’ll go,” and both times I heard, “Oh, you’re one of the most requested people we get to come over,” and I never heard back. Now, the USO, I don’t know that I officially requested the USO, but they’ve never invited me, either. Now, I remember this story in December. This story in USA Today was all about the fact that the USO is out there whining because they can’t get enough celebrities to go, precisely because too many of these celebrities feel that going over would show their support for the war.They still say they support the troops but they can’t do that, because you don’t support what the troops do. So now it’s morphed into the reason, according to this “D-list comedian” on Nightline, and Nightline Friday, the real reason is that all these conservative stage performers are too cowardly to go over there. Now, this is an interesting question to me in a purely professional sense. I have the most listened to radio talk show in history, have the most listened to radio talk show in America, and at any given time we have up to 24 million people listening during a week. We hit about two million people a show, and at one time there was between 4-1/2 and 5 million people listening to the program. I have a website. The Afghanistan trip that I took was made a huge deal of on this program and on my website. Now, how is it that a program like Nightline, in preparation for this broadcast, cannot find out who has and has not been to places like Afghanistan and Iraq?
How is it that they can’t? Is it my responsibility? Not knowing that they’ve got a show coming up, is it my responsibility after I get back to send out a press release to all of the news networks so that they know what I have just done? Maybe so, because they obviously don’t listen to this program, and I’ve known that for a long time because as often as I get misquoted here or as often as some other places’ websites will take me out of context and the mainstream press will eat it all up and report it as though it actually happened. What are we supposed to do? It’s made me think: how do network news people learn anything they know? And I myself have said on this program that the fastest way to get a story anywhere is to send out a fax or a press release to some reporter because that’s how most of them find out what’s going on, and they have their sources and they have their little enclaves in which they live.
We’ve told you about the story about how this fake group in Chicago successfully redefined the food groups before the AMA proved that they were a bogus outfit, and all they did was create some nice little logo, put it on a fax and send the fax out in a very official-looking way, and networks bought it and trumpeted the thing. Do I care that Nightline — I mean, the last thing that I want to do when I come back from a place like Afghanistan is put out a press release and say, “Hey, guess what I did?” because I know how it’s going to be interpreted. You don’t come back — brag is the wrong word, but I didn’t go over there for the publicity of it. I didn’t go over there for all of the reasons that a lot of other people do these kinds of things. I went over there because I actually wanted to send a message to the troops. Last year, year before, we’re constantly in the midst of this partisan political battle in this country. The troops are being ridiculed and impugned and that really intensified this year, and I wanted to go over there just from me, and knowing that what I would say represents the same views you have, our views and our appreciation and love and support for what they’re doing.
They’re all volunteers, and they’re doing what they’re doing to protect the country, to protect their families. They’re doing it out of a commitment — and I didn’t think it was worth them being impugned. So am I supposed to come back and issue a press release saying, “Hey guess what I just did! Guess where I just got back from? I’m available for interviews.” No, I’m not going to do that. I wasn’t going to do interviews about it. I’ve got my radio program to get the message out. But not doing it has resulted in a Nightline broadcast that is just absurd ? and this is the vaunted ABC News machine. Now, my program is on several ABC radio stations — in San Francisco, in New York, in Dallas, in Washington. I saw this story. Somebody actually sent me this last night and I’ve got a couple more copies of it e-mailed to me today by people who saw it, and it just cements and confirms my impression. These people are living in a bubble, and they haven’t the slightest clue.
This Terry Moran guy thought he was making a big point by finding this D-list celebrity to go on and talk about how these conservatives are a bunch of cowards. Now, Brent Baker wrote the story at NewsBusters, and one of the points that he makes, “Well, the USO doesn’t invite media people. I mean, the USO invites, you know, stage performers or film performers or musicians or whatever.” If the USO were going to invite people that did not perform on stage, then why not invite Terry Moran? Why couldn’t we also say Terry Moran’s never gone over there to address the troops, or anybody else on Nightline? They’d go over there maybe to report but they haven’t gone over there to address the troops. Why not lump them in as they’ve lumped me in? Of course, I do a stage show now and then — as rarely as possible, but I do them. But the libs don’t find what I do entertaining, you know. To them I am fingernails on a chalkboard. My audience finds it entertaining, but they don’t. But the fact that they don’t even know about it, the fact that they don’t even know that this has happened convinces me more than ever that they live in a bubble, and it’s more reasonable than ever not to trust or believe what they report because there is a whole world in this country to which they are strangers.
RUSH: This is Judith in Clinton Township, Michigan. Judith, thanks for waiting. I appreciate your patience.
CALLER: You’re welcome. I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your show, and not only is it entertaining but it’s also educational.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: I did see this Kathy Griffin piece on Nightline, and you’re right, she’s enormously uninformed, and so is Terry Moran. He used to be the White House correspondent in Bush’s first term and since he’s not doing that anymore he’s become very anti-Bush. I wanted to also thank you —
RUSH: That’s not new. Wait just a second. That’s nothing new.
CALLER: But I also wanted to thank you for your Adopt-A-Soldier Program. I did do that for some soldiers at Christmastime, and that really gave all of us a really good feeling that we could do that. You know, just go online and do those subscriptions, so I thought it was great that you did that — and why wouldn’t they bring that up, you know?
RUSH: Because they don’t know about it, and even if they did know about it they wouldn’t bring it up. I’m convinced, they’re unaware and uninformed, and one of the things that leads them to that is they already think they know who conservatives are. It’s like the Alito hearings. I told you last week — well, week before last — I’m not convinced that they really didn’t know the truth about Alito and that CAP club that he was a member of and some of these cases. You’ve got Ted Kennedy out there saying, “He’s never, never ruled in favor of a minority plaintiff in his career as a judge.” Well, a couple hours after it was over, four instances of just that happening were produced. Now, I know Ted Kennedy has happy hour and the gym and all this sort of stuff, but he’s got staff doing all these other things, and I really wonder if the staff just looks at Alito. “He’s conservative. He probably never ruled for plaintiffs. Why, he’s a racist; he’s a conservative. We’ll just go out with it.” Now, some people disagreed with me, “No, no, no, they know it. They just think they can get away with it.” Well, either way it’s idiotic. Either way it’s absurd and stupid, and I think that when they look at a conservative in wartime, they see a chicken hawk. They see a big talker who’s never gone to war and they have no credibility, shouldn’t be allowed to talk about it and obviously they’re cowards. That’s the template; that is the mind-set, and they don’t even think to question it because that’s what they honestly believe in their hearts and souls, and it comes as a shock, or maybe it doesn’t, when they learn the truth. But that doesn’t change the way they look at these. So I’m really not sure how to read it other than they are just clueless, they’re just absolutely clueless, and if they’re this clueless about one or two things, how clueless are they about a number of other things? And the answer has to be: Quite clueless.