RUSH: Mr. Snerdley tells me he’s being bombarded with phone calls about the Don Imus and Rutgers situation, and I must admit that I’m having e-mail inquiries about the same subject. … My inclination was at first, my instincts were, to avoid this whole circumstance, but it is apparent that I’m not going to be able to. To me, this really isn’t so much about Imus. Imus is who he is, and everybody has always known who he is. It’s more about the people that have propped Imus up and have looked the other way over all these years over all these things, and it’s about a lot of hypocrisy in the Drive-By Media. I don’t know why people are so worried about what Imus said, because hardly anybody ever hears it, he has so small an audience these days. His show is a classic illustration of buzz creating the impression of a large audience when the large audience actually doesn’t exist. His ratings have been declining for quite a while, which happens. But the guests that he has on this program, the Drive-By Media people, continue to hype it and make it appear larger and more influential than it actually is.
So this kerfuffle has broadcast his comments about the Rutgers basketball team, the girls basketball team, far beyond what anybody in his audience knew about it until this all happened. It’s a striking feature in my e-mail. ‘I never heard of this show. I didn’t know what it was until all of this started happening.’ So whatever was said has reached a whole lot more people than it would have had it been left alone, because Imus’ show just doesn’t reach that many people. He’s tried to walk a fine line for a long time. He’s tried to be cutting edge with his satire and jokes, and then he’s tried to be mainstream with that NBC gaggle of reporters and Newsweek types and the authors, and just like Senator McCain, I’m sure that Imus thought that liberal reporters and authors would give him cover in events like this, credibility and that sort of thing. But it apparently has not done that.
I think we should be clear about some things here. The Today Show attacked Imus today, but NBC owns the network that runs his simulcast of the radio show. CBS owns his radio show. NBC runs his simulcast on their MSNBC cable network. Every NBC reporter for the network of any stature, has been on that show or wanted to be on that show, including Chris Matthews and others, and now they’re acting like they don’t know the guy!
Al Roker is out there demanding he be fired, demanding he be canned. This has gone too far. The very network that propped this guy up and made him seem like the Second Coming is now acting like, ‘Oh, this is horrible. This is outrageous,’ blah, blah, blah. ‘Why, we don’t know what we’re going to do about this.’ They pretend to objectively report on this man as if they didn’t know about him and his sidekicks all along. They’ve known, for whatever number of years they’ve been going on the show, what happens on this show. To them it was a great opportunity to sell a book that they had written, or to amplify some report that they had done. It was just more media exposure. The one thing that TV people can’t get enough of is a camera or a microphone, and he offered it to them, and now all of a sudden, with a couple of exceptions, they’re trying to report objectively here as though, ‘Why, we don’t know this guy! Why, we’re just reporting on this as it’s happening.’ I also find, in all this, that NBC and MSNBC get a complete pass, as do their reporters, as do Newsweek and TIME reporters. All the other reporters that go on the show are getting a free pass. You know, I’ve always heard, ‘If you go on some show or you take action in support of somebody that’s doing something, you are tacitly supporting it by virtue of not condemning it,’ and so forth.
Yet all these guests that have created the buzz about the show and made it seem much larger than it actually is and has been for quite a while, are acting as though they are independent from it and were not part of creating the atmosphere that allowed this kind of thing to continue to occur there. I mean, let’s face it, folks. If it weren’t for the Drive-By Media, the Imus show would have been off the air a long time ago. They made him who he is in his current incarnation. He has no ratings. He did the right things: he’s out there backing Kerry for president; he’s attacking the war effort in Iraq — and he’s trying to buy some sort of allegiance with all this. He’s out there throwing my name around as if that gives him cover, and that’s gutless. He can’t stand on his own two feet. He’s acting like a little six-year-old in a sandbox: (whining), ‘It’s not as bad as what someone else did, waaaaah!’ But that’s what it is. The media are so cowed. This is really the crux of this, to me. The media are so cowed, they won’t say diddly about Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson’s past racist, anti-Semitic comments. Meredith Vieira did on the Today Show today but she apologized to Jesse Jackson before bringing up his Hymietown remark. ‘I’m sorry, Reverend Jackson, to bring this up…’
At least she brought it up. She apologized first. They’re cowed! They’re afraid to death of these guys. You know, Sharpton? You can talk about words, and you can utter words. Sharpton’s actions with Tawana Brawley actually harmed some people’s lives, and he’s got a ministry. He has a radio show. The Democrat Party embraces both of these guys. Hillary kisses their rings. Nobody says diddly when this happens, talking about Sharpton and Jackson. Yet they all of a sudden now get to decide who’s acceptable and who is not? Sharpton and Jackson get to decide who should be on the air and who should not be on the air? Sharpton has a radio show. They tell me that. I didn’t know it. I knew he was going to get one. I never heard about his radio show ’til all this video from yesterday. Look what he’s said. Look what Sharpton’s said and done. He’s got a radio show.
The difference is minorities in this society, I don’t care what minority they are, can get away with anything because they’re disadvantaged and they’ve been discriminated against, and they must be heard and they must lash out and they must strike back against the injustices that have been perpetrated against them. So the same rules do not apply to minorities. They’re allowed to be racists. In fact it’s impossible for them to be racists, I’ve been told, because they don’t have the power to implement whatever racism they might have. Well, you be the judge of that today, as to whether or not they have this kind of power. You know, nobody stopped Sharpton. Nobody objected when he was going to get a radio show, despite what he’s done. Jackson had a radio show, too, TV. They all failed, but nobody tried to stop them. If we want to have a debate about race and speech, let’s go ahead and have it but let’s be honest and open. How can you discuss what Imus said, without discussing what some of his critics have said and done, and these critics have now been elevated to final arbiter status.
RUSH: RUSH: Let’s go to the phones. Mark in Ft. Lauderdale. You’re first today on the Rush Limbaugh program. Nice to have you with us, sir. Mark in Ft. Lauderdale, are you there? (sigh)
CALLER: Yes. Good afternoon, Rush.
RUSH: Good afternoon. Fine and dandy. Thanks for your call.
CALLER: I’m calling regarding this Imus affair, and I want you to understand, I don’t have any personal feelings about Imus one way or the other. I don’t watch his show or listen to it, but what I’ve been overcome with here is the fact that Al Sharpton, of all people on this planet, has been declared judge and jury in this affair. Al Sharpton is an individual who has catapulted himself to national prominence by using racism as a springboard, and I would hope that the people that listen to your show will Google the Tawana Brawley scandal of 1987.
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait, just a second here, Mark. I understand that. I don’t know how long you’ve been on hold, but these are comments that I made just a few moments ago, and let me talk about some of this, because this is the media. Everybody is, I think, focusing on the wrong thing here. The media are not being honest in their reporting. Of course Al Sharpton isn’t clean and pure as the wind-driven snow, and of course Jesse Jackson isn’t. But if you want to sit out there and worry about Sharpton being the arbiter, that happened because Imus went to his show. Sharpton’s out there. The media has propped him up. The media has made him one of these arbiters, and I know it’s confounding and it seems hypocritical, but I’ve tried to explain this. I was once on TV with Al Sharpton on CNBC, and it was way, way back in the early nineties, and Ollie North was the guest host. It was Saturday night, and I had been to a Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation dinner over at Ellis Island. I was the featured speaker, and I had to hustle out of there to get over there to do this show. I did it as a favor to Ollie and Sharpton was the guest, he came in and he was convivial and nice and so forth. We sat down.
I forget what the raging topic of the day was, but after he finished his opening riff, I looked at him and said, ‘I don’t understand why you have any credibility left with people in your community,’ and he looked at me just stunned, and he said, ‘What are you talking about?’ I said, ‘The Tawana Brawley thing.’ I mean, the whole thing was a scam. Look at the lives in that circumstance that were really affected. There were lives genuinely affected by that, and of course the Reverend Jackson has had his own forays into these kind of controversies, but what you have to understand, folks — and I will say this ’til I’m blue in the face. I talked about this last year. It affects our foreign policy with the left and the media. You have to understand something about liberals, among other things. Everybody has tried to define liberals as succinctly and briefly as possible, but one of the things, and there are many, that you have to understand that guides liberals is the fact that they will not be seen as a person who discriminates. Discrimination is as bad a sin as there is. They look at minorities and they see minorities as helpless victims of a tyrannical majority. I’m not even talking race here. This is the reason the Iranians get away with behaving the way they do.
It’s the reason the left is soft on Al-Qaeda. ‘Ah, these are just small little bands of nomads, and the United States is this big, bad bear patrolling the world, trying to take their resources and take their oil and now conquer their countries and so forth. What do you expect these little people to do? The only way they can get noticed is to stand up and kill some of our people,’ and that’s why CNN will go out and actually show video of this happening, of Al-Qaeda snipers shooting Americans. They think it’s about time we got the feeling of learning what it’s like to be a minority, and it’s time for our comeuppance. So, you are just going to have to understand that there are many different sets of rules. A majority is going to be governed far more by the anti-free speech tenets of political correctness than any minority group is. I don’t care what the minority group happens to be, whether it be racial or sexual or gender or what have you. The minority, as far as the left is concerned, by definition has no power. They’re just these tiny little voices trying to be heard. They are sympathetic figures. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are sympathetic figures. There’s another factor in this, too, that you have to understand. The Democrat Party, this all goes down to politics, and you’ve gotta put this in context with the Drive-By Media.
The Democrat Party is an amalgam of constituencies. These are groups. You know who the Big Labor groups are. You’ve got the teachers unions. You’re going to have to throw the left-wing kook blogosphere in as one of the constituent groups. They’re being pandered to a little these days. You have the African-American vote, the civil rights coalitions, the feminists. All of these different groups compromise the Democratic Party and they’re constantly waging a battle for who gets a seat at the table of power at the Democrat Party, and the Reverend Jackson and Al Sharpton have been granted seats at that table of power, and the reason is, they deliver. On Election Day, they deliver. If they didn’t, somebody would replace them as members of the civil rights coalition at that particular seat at the table of power. Ralph Neas is in this bunch. It’s all these civil rights groups. So you’re not going to have, and you shouldn’t expect for the Drive-By Media and liberal Democrats to hold minorities — Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton — anywhere near the same standard they will hold a member of what they think is a majority. A majority, to liberals, is by definition tyrannical. Minorities, by definition, are victims — and, of course, victims are entitled.
Prisoners in Abu Ghraib: victims. Prisoners at Guantanamo: victims. The evil majority is, once again, engaging in torture and outrageous behavior. The United States is always guilty. The majority is always guilty by virtue of their power in the liberal mind-set. So it is maddening to see that people like Al Sharpton, with his history, and Jesse Jackson with his, become the arbiters of who gets to say what, when, as far as liberals are concerned. Yeah, it’s incredible, but that’s a reality that you’re going to have to face with the Drive-By Media. I’ll tell you, I watched this press conference today from Rutgers, with that coach, and with the president of Rutgers and the athletic director and so forth, and then the students went up there, and I’ll tell you, there were a couple of people who came out in Imus’ defense earlier this week. One is Thomas Oliphant of the Boston Globe, and the other was Howard Fineman, and they both said, ‘Hey, we’re part of the gang. We’re part of the posse here. We’ll hang together. We’ll hang tough.’ It’s going to be real tough for them to do that after that because this press conference today that was held by the Rutgers female basketball team and their coach and all the university officials, that was a made-to-order press conference for liberals in the Drive-By Media to advance the whole notion that there is this tyrannical majority out there. It’s going to be hard for liberals who have all this sympathy for minorities, to ignore this happened today and continue to pretend that, ‘Well, you know, this is making a bunch of…’ because they’re going to run the risk of being perceived –by everybody, not just us — as the total hypocrites that they are.
RUSH: Look, folks, maybe an easier way to explain this is: what you are watching, what you are witnessing here is the twisted knots that liberals have tied this whole society in. You got a liberal perpetrator. You’ve got a liberal judge and jury — and this is an uncomfortable position for them. They’re being pulled and tugged in a whole bunch of different ways. Every time we talk about David Gregory, we could say, ‘Frequent Don Imus guest,’ or, ‘Chris Matthews, frequent Don Imus guest.’ Any number of people, too. ‘Joseph Biden, John McCain, John Kerry, frequent Don Imus guests,’ and, of course, that’s not a problem. But Cheney appears on this show? (sputtering) ‘It’s outrageous! Why, how ridiculous is that?’ I know you’re angry about a whole bunch of stuff. I am, too. I have been for a long time, but part of assuaging some of the anger is just to understand some of the things that lead to what appear to all of us to be absolutely hypocritical and outrageous, such as Al Sharpton being the final arbiter of what some liberal is allowed to say in public. Folks, there’s no sane explanation for it. That’s why the answer is liberalism. There’s no rational explanation for this. You have to understand liberalism if you’re going to understand this. Paul in Philadelphia, I’m glad you called, sir, welcome to the EIB Network.
CALLER: Mega dittos from the city of brotherly love, Rush.
RUSH: Yes, sir.
CALLER: I just want to make a quick point here. Imus says this and Al Sharpton comes out and calls him a racist, but if a black radio host were to say anything like this, it would be a nonstory. It would be normal language for a black person to use towards a woman. I mean, derogatory language is derogatory language, and why doesn’t Al Sharpton say we need to stop all derogatory language?
RUSH: You know, this is another point, and I checked the e-mail during the break and, you know, they write, ‘Rush, about the offensive words that were used here, has anybody turned on the latest top ten rap tunes? We all know what’s in those lyrics.’ (interruption) That’s right. We all don’t know what’s in those lyrics, but look, I’m telling you, Stanley Crouch at the New York Daily News had been writing for years about the debasement of black culture based on some of the lyrics in pop culture tunes. But, folks, it’s not just the black culture. It’s not just hip-hop and rap. Take a look at Hollywood. White people, too, are debasing their own culture with some of the rotgut that shows up on TV, some of the rotgut that shows up in Hollywood movies and so forth. Who’s running all this? It’s liberals! Liberals run Hollywood. Liberals run most of it. Liberals are in charge of the music industry. It’s frustrating, but here again, you know, it’s sort of like if you’re talking to a friend, and you’ve got some people in your family you’re mad at, you could say whatever you want about your family. You can tar and feather them, but if your friend chimes in, ‘Yeah, yeah, you know your brother, ha-ha-ha,’ you’re not allowed. So, the members of the minority group itself are allowed to characterize each other however they want, but don’t you agree if you’re not a member of the group, because you’re not entitled. You’re not allowed, and that’s also at play here.