RUSH: If you’ll forgive me, ladies and gentlemen, I must delve here a little bit into something that has to be with me. Last night, the Big Story with John Gibson, Lanny Davis. Gibson says, “Do you think this is an example of what you’re talking about in your book?” They’re talking about The Path to 9/11. And of course the liberals cannot defend Clinton’s failures on terrorism, so they do what they always do, and they send an attack dog out there to try to discredit the critics of Bill Clinton, and that’s why Lanny Davis was on. He’s got a book out, what’s the name of his stupid book? I can’t even remember the name of the book. At any rate, this is what Lanny Davis said in response to John Gibson’s question.
DAVIS: The very same people, like Rush Limbaugh, who were very, very happy to see this particular false depiction of President Clinton go on the air, were at the forefront of trying to get the Ronald Reagan, and successfully did get CBS to pull Ronald Reagan. Rush Limbaugh engages in hypocrisy.
RUSH: Right. Now, stick with me on this. Later, on the same network, the Fox News Channel, The O’Reilly Factor, he’s talking to Lanny Davis. O’Reilly says, “I believe the media is driving the gotcha game. It’s the media and then some of the folks unfortunately follow along.”
DAVIS: The ABC movie was just as unfair and fictionalized in many respects as was the CBS depiction of Ronald Reagan. Where was Rush Limbaugh about Ronald Reagan? He wanted that pulled.
RUSH: All right, now, I didn’t see either of these programs. I got e-mails from people last night describing for me the comments made by Lanny Davis. And my initial reaction was, I didn’t remember talking about the Reagan movie at the time, and I certainly don’t remember suggesting that the movie not air. So I got hold of Koko, the webmaster at RushLimbaugh.com, and I said, I need you to do an archival search on everything I said about this movie. And there’s a reason, ladies and gentlemen, why I don’t remember saying anything about it. I was off the air for five weeks during the controversy. I was out in Arizona undergoing rehabilitation for my addiction to prescription painkillers. I had nothing to say — when I got out, the controversy was over. The controversy was — and I weighed in on it at that point, but even looking at the transcripts of everything I said about it, I never once suggested that the miniseries or the movie on Reagan be pulled.
We’re going to put the transcripts up at RushLimbaugh.com. Let?s see. The first thing I said, November 17th of 2003: “Look at the Reagan movie. The Reagan movie got canceled off CBS. They moved it to Showtime. I mean, would that have happened ten years ago? Would that have happened 15 years ago? Hell’s bells, no way, folks, not only would the Reagan — it would have been in the theaters first and then on CBS, and it would have been produced ten years ago. They snuck around, they tried to wait and sneak it in on us, but no, be confident out there, folks, these people have had their day.” November 21st, 2003: “The Reagan story, look what they’re going to do with that, show you how America has changed. It got canceled, media says a bunch of right wing wackos did it.
“Nope, the American people know the truth about Reagan and didn’t want to see that fine man besmirched by Barbra Streisand and her husband in connection with CBS, particularly when he was not able to defend himself about it or react to it.” November 25th, 2003: “That’s why that stupid movie on the Reagans was a bunch of hogwash because the essence of Reagan wasn’t even in that movie because the people who hate Reagan don’t — I mean they had the essence, and they’re nowhere near oriented toward promoting that.”
And then in June of 2004: [Excerpt: What they’re really angry about, folks, is that Reagan did not turn his presidency over to AIDS. He did not start making speeches about it. In the movie The Reagans, that CBS canceled and did run on Showtime, there was an original scene in this movie that they had to take out when people found it was in there because it was not based on any fact whatsoever. In this movie, the Reagans, the one that James Brolin, Mr. Barbra Streisand starred in, there was a scene in the residence of the White House with the Reagans in bed, and it’s either they’re waking up or going to bed or reading the papers or whatever, and Nancy is begging Ronnie to do something about AIDS. “Ronnie, these men, these people, are dying, you’ve got to do something.” And Reagan doesn’t say anything. And she keeps pleading with him and keeps begging him. And he’s reading the papers with his glasses pulled down on his nose. “Please, Ronnie.” And he ignores her, and she gets frustrated and can’t believe it. That never happened. And the person who wrote the script for the movie admitted she had no perspective for it, no historical record for it, so I think they pulled that scene out — I’ve not seen this thing as it’s aired on Showtime, but that scene will give you an example of a little bit of an illustration of the animus that existed.]
I go on to describe it some more and talking about what they’re really angry about, folks, is that Reagan didn’t turn his presidency over to AIDS. This was during the funeral and aftermath and so forth. So at no time did I ever engage the public or encourage anybody to pull the movie, and it already happened when I returned back to the Golden EIB Microphone after five weeks. That’s not a big deal, and unlike John Lewis, I’m not going to sit here and go batty about it, but I was a little curious last night because I didn’t remember participating in this. This is the reason why.
You know, maybe we will do a movie, Lanny, “How a Stained Blue Dress Destroyed a Presidency”. You know, we could do that. After that we could go out and do the “Kidnapping and Beheading of Bill Clinton” and send it to some film festival, see what reaction we get to it is. But, at any rate, Lanny Davis probably just assumed, since I am the conservative movement, since I am the leader of conservative thought. They just assumed Limbaugh had to be behind it because Limbaugh, they think, is the power that made ABC run this miniseries. I just wanted to correct the record because I didn’t say anything about it primarily because I didn’t have the chance to say anything about it. Lanny, I’ll tell you what, just say it was a dramatized quote and you don’t have to be held to total accuracy. Just say that and I’ll forgive you.
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