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Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, we are not going to play the audio of the Virginia Tech shooter on this program. It’s airing constantly on cable. I think Fox News finally just suspended all video, both on their website and on the network. But the repeated replay of this stuff is literally nuts. You know, sports networks (well, the big networks that televise sports), refuse to televise some idiot that leaves the stands and runs around nude on the field or whatever. They don’t do that because they don’t want to encourage copycats.

Well, look at what’s happening here! And they’re groaning to us at NBC about how tough this decision was. ‘Augh, it was just agonizing! We didn’t know what to do!’ I don’t believe that for a minute. I think they got this, and they said, ‘Whoa, look what we have! We have an exclusive,’ and they rubbed their hands together (rubbing hands) probably so fast and so hard they could start a fire. I’m telling you, this is flirting with disaster. The constant replay of the video and the pictures of the shooter on cable TV, is truly obscene. There’s nothing newsworthy about playing this stuff thousands of times. So who last night and into this morning is responsible for demeaning and coarsening our culture? It is not ‘talk radio,’ ladies and gentlemen. Who’s giving this killer the perverse legacy that he sought? It is not talk radio, ladies and gentlemen. It is one of your major, big three networks: NBC. He mailed this stuff to NBC, not to talk radio. Can you imagine if he had mailed this stuff to me, what they would be saying today? (interruption) In the middle of the carnage…? I don’t care when he did it, Snerdley. Yes in the middle of the carnage, he takes time-out, but he chose NBC for a reason. I don’t know why, but I would love to know. He could have sent it anywhere. He could have sent it to ABC. He could have sent it to CBS.

He could have sent it to talk radio, but he chose NBC, and I would love to know why. Maybe it’s the only address he had. I don’t know why. But can you imagine if this guy had sent this stuff to me, what they would be saying? I’m going to tell you, if they had sent it to me, I would have contacted the authorities; I would have turned it over and I would have not aired it because I don’t want to be involved. I would not want to compromise any investigation that’s going on or anything of the sort. NBC is out there saying, ‘Oh, no, no, no! We turned this over to the authorities.’ Well, they did, but that was after they made copies of it and started using it before the authorities down in Virginia had gotten a chance to analyze it, and they’ve said, ‘There’s nothing new here, really. We knew all of this. This is not anything that’s earth-shattering.’ So if there are copycats now… The Columbine guys live in infamy and immortality in the sense that people know what they did, but not in the way that Cho is going to. He has secured his legacy. It is a perverse legacy. He wanted it. There’s no question.

Why else send this stuff to a network? He mailed this stuff to NBC, and if there are copycats who get ideas from the constant playing of this… You know people. Look at all these websites we have now. We have MySpace.com. We have YouTube. We have all these spaces where kids and young people are putting every detail about themselves and their lives on the Internet, because everybody wants fame. Everybody wants to be known outside of their circle of friends and family. Everybody is seeking some sort of adulation, feedback, recognition, what have you. So the idea that there might be copycats here is not a forlorn thought — well, it’s a forlorn thought, but it isn’t a stretch to assume that that would happen. So if there are copycats who get ideas from the constant playing of these video clips and photos, who’s going to be responsible for this? It will not be the National Rifle Association. It will not be the fault of the gun that the next user uses, and it will not be the fault of talk radio, and it will not be the fault of George W. Bush. Who will be responsible for the next copycat, if there is one?

You know, they pretend that the constant playing of this stuff is ‘newsworthy,’ and it may be once or twice, but to go overboard like this is shameless. So what can we say? These are the people that sit in judgment of what’s proper and improper in ‘the media,’ in all forms of media — and they routinely sit out there, and they rip the Internet, and they rip talk radio because, of course, ‘There’s no editor and there are no boundaries and it’s just full of hate speech. It’s full of all of this,’ and, you know, this mantra is being picked up. I’m reading more and more newspaper columnists saying this. I read a guy in Cincinnati, who wrote an absolutely nonsensical piece blaming talk radio for the ‘incivility’ that exists in our culture today in our society, and I’m going to tell you, this guy cannot possibly ever have listened to me. He quotes me in this thing out of context. They have no sense of humor whatsoever. But there’s an all-out assault on talk radio now, ever since the Imus thing and it’s actually preceded Imus, but guess what? Guess what? If you want to see this rotgut, if you want to see this insane lunatic, where do you have to go to see it?

Not talk radio. You have to go to the Internet or you have to go to NBC cable TV. So let’s set these people up, folks, for what might come after this. Let’s set them up. Let’s focus on them. Let’s make sure that they have some accountability and responsibility for this. By the way, is it just me, or does it appear to all of you that the Drive-By Media just loves this story? They just love it! That may be the worst thing about this Virginia Tech situation, how much the Drive-Bys love it. It’s shameless, and sickening. They just love it! They flood the campus with their own reporters, disrupting cell service for people who live there. It’s the quintessential definition of what the Drive-By Media is all about. Why did this mass murderer decide to send this garbage to NBC? You’d have to assume that one of the reasons he sent it is because he thought and knew that they would do exactly what they’re doing now. They’re out there saying — I’ve actually read some idiocy out there that says, ‘Well, you know, this Virginia Tech…’ Well, Obama said it. The Virginia Tech situation and the Imus situation, ah, they have a lot in common: the coarsening of the culture, talk radio, and so forth. Let me tell you, the only thing that Virginia Tech and the Imus situation have in common is N-B-C.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Let me make a comparison for you. Here is NBC playing this stuff over and over and over again. However, when terrorists dispatch and decapitate Iraqis or Americans, that can’t be shown. ‘Oh, no, no, no! That’s too graphic!’ We can’t look at the replays of the planes hitting the World Trade Center. ‘No, no, no, no! That’s too emotionally draining. It’s too soon!’ Why, even when the movie United 93 came out people in New York said, ‘It’s too soon. It’s too traumatic! We can’t watch this.’ But we can certainly watch video of snipers from Al-Qaeda in Iraq taking shots at American soldiers on CNN. But we cannot see terrorists decapitate Iraqis or Americans. That can’t be shown. We can’t see any of the horrors perpetrated by our enemies, ladies and gentlemen. ‘Oh, no, no, Mr. Limbaugh! That’s just too traumatic. Why, the people can’t handle that.’ That’s not the real reason. Maybe it’s because it might anger and make resolute the American public against vicious killers, who have no regard for human life. So while we can’t watch that we are treated to this over and over again. This guy’s gotten what he wanted. As I say, they played this stuff more times than this guy pulled the trigger, and you could look at this as an unpaid advertisement for the next crazy.

‘Go ahead and come out and blaze away! Give us the scoop, and you’ll get all kinds of coverage.’

What’s the message NBC is sending with this? It’s disgusting to watch this bastard rant on and on and on, and, as I say, playing this tape is the Drive-By Media at their worst, and I hope there is a backlash out there against this. At some point the public will turn on this. You can only handle so much of it, all this Anna Nicole Smith and these stories that end up being 24/7 for five or six days in a row. At some point, people get fed up. I think it’s one of the reasons talk radio is so successful, in fact, folks, because while these networks are talking about all this other stuff 24/7, we’re actually doing news here. I like to say we’re doing the job the Drive-Bys used to do. Well, I don’t know if they ever did it, but they did a better job of covering ‘news’ in the past than they do now. I know there’s always going to be the Car Wreck Syndrome, the Rubbernecker Syndrome in this country. People want to see the car crash. There will always be the prurient interest in the public.

That’s why there needs to be responsibility on the part of people who deal with the public in this way. The responsibility seems to have evaporated, and you have to know — you have to know — there are countless of unbalanced minds out there being inspired to become famous like this guy. The odds of that happening are better than not, and we have evidence for it. All you have to do is go out and commit your atrocity, because NBC’s advertised for you. NBC has sent you the message! ‘You want to go make a copycat action here? You be the first to send your videotapes and reasons why and so forth to NBC, and you, too — if you give them the scoop you, too! — will be made famous like this sicko at Virginia Tech.’ As I mentioned, I had 15 people staying with me this weekend, I had a big party, 35 or 40 people came over, and it was amazing the discussions. They were all like-minded people. I don’t pepper my parties with token libs just to spice things up. I don’t do it. (interruption)

Not — (interruption) Nope, not even… (interruption) Because they’re not entertaining, Snerdley. They’re not. They can shut discussion down in a whole bunch of ways. When I’m throwing a party and it’s for the purposes of having a good time, I’m not going to make sure there are a couple loopers there, a couple of ringers, tokens here just to supposedly ‘spice it up.’ I’m not going to use them as circus acts like they use us, when I want people to have fun. We were all talking about, multiple times, the state of the Drive-By Media in America today, what it’s become, and it was said by one of my guests that they’re not just ‘not trustworthy’ any longer, and irresponsible. They’ve now become dangerous. The Drive-By Media has simply and purely become dangerous. Listen to this. This is Meredith Vieira today on the Today Show, how she opened the program.

VIEIRA: I will tell you that we had planned to speak to some family members of victims this morning, but they cancelled their appearances because they were very upset with NBC for airing the images.

RUSH: Well, you hear something like that, and it gives you hope, because these families did not want to be exploited, and they didn’t want to have to look at this stuff and then offer commentary, all for the benefit of NBC. What would have been the benefit of this? They sensed that and understood it, and they canceled their appearances.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I just want to say one thing here in repetition of what I said in the first half hour of the program, because I really do get fed up with all these elitists, these snot-nosed, snivelly little liberals in their enclaves of newsrooms writing these worthless, uninformed pieces on how talk radio is ‘coarsening the culture,’ and how some parts of the Internet are coarsening the culture.

I want you to ask yourself: ‘Who is responsible for demeaning the culture last night and today?’ It isn’t talk radio. Who is giving this killer at Virginia Tech the perverse legacy he wanted? It isn’t talk radio. He mailed this stuff to NBC, not to anyone in talk radio — and if there are copycats who get ideas from the constant playing of these video clips and these photos, who’s going to be responsible for that? Well, when it happens, I’m going to make you a prediction. If and when it happens, the next such event as this, the template will be out in full force. It will be the NRA’s fault. It will be the gun’s fault. It will be gun control. It will be George W. Bush’s fault. It will be Charlton Heston’s fault. But I want you to know and I want you to remember that if there is a copycat or are copycats, neither talk radio, neither NRA, neither George W. Bush, nor Charlton Heston will be responsible. It will not stop them from trying to make the claim, but it is not the case. Let’s move back to the audio sound bites now. Here’s a portion of the Chief of Police Steve Flaherty’s remarks. After the program yesterday, he held a press conference.

FLAHERTY: NBC News in New York received correspondence that we believe to have been from Cho Seung-Hui, the gunman responsible for the fatal shootings in Norris Hall. The correspondence included multiple photographs, video, and writings. Upon receipt of this correspondence, NBC News immediately notified authorities — and I certainly want to commend NBC News for what they’ve done, the way that they’ve secured this information, the way they’ve handled it with dignity.

RUSH: All right, now, that was after the program yesterday, and that’s the Virginia State Police chief saying that NBC turned over the materials immediately. But next up we have Steve Capus, who is the president of NBC News, and he sort of contradicts that. He got a question — he was on Hardball last night with Chris Matthews (who, as far as I know, has not offered to resign to make his slot available to a minority) — ‘How did you learn about this package coming through Rockefeller Center and how did you deal with it?’

CAPUS: When it, uh, arrived at NBC headquarters, it was originally flagged by the letter carrier who, uh, pointed out to NBC security that it had a return address from Blacksburg, and — and so it was immediately brought to the attention of security even before anybody opened it. NBC security, um, opened it, uh, and handled it appropriately and, you know, everybody who — who touched it wore gloves and — uh, to, you know, keep everything intact. And we immediately, uh, contacted authorities, and, um, that set forward the — the chain of events. They requested that we not release some of the information until they had a chance to — to take a look at it, and we honored that request.

RUSH: All right. Now, I want you to hear what comes next, because Matthews said, ‘Well, did you await the authorities before opening the package?’

CAPUS: Ummm, no. The package was opened by NBC security, and, um, you know, as I say they handled it in the appropriate manner. And everything I’ve seen is — is, uh, copies that were made, so they didn’t — it’s not as though they were, you know, pushing around the originals around here.

RUSH: Whoa, of course! So you copied everything so you would have it to use. You turned it over to the authorities, yeah, but you copied everything so that you would have it to use. So even they knew at some point last night that they had to do a duck-and-cover on this, and they have the positive word from the authorities down there, the state police chief. But it is clear what this is about. It’s about ratings, if anybody doubts that. It’s about ratings and competition, so you can say, ‘Well, market forces drove this,’ but they’re always saying, ‘Well, where is the responsibility in the alternative media? Where is the responsibility!’ Where is the responsibility in the Drive-By Media, needs to be the question that every American needs to be asking! Where’s their responsibility? Where’s their judgment? Where’s their fairness? Where’s their objectivity? To get rid of Don Imus and use this, the same network? I mean, they may not be mutually exclusively. They can do what they want, but they are compounding Imus tenfold, ladies and gentlemen, with the airing of this putrid, obscene crap and granting immortality and a legacy to the shooter.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here’s the sound bite. The Virginia State Police chief, Steve Flaherty, held a press conference today. We played yesterday’s sound bite from him earlier. Let’s go to audio sound bite number three. This is late yesterday after my program, Steve Flaherty, the Virginia State Police chief.

FLAHERTY: NBC News in New York received correspondence that we believe to have been from Cho Seung-Hui, the gunman responsible for the fatal shootings in Norris Hall. The correspondence included multiple photographs, video, and writings. Upon receipt of this correspondence, NBC News immediately notified authorities — and I certainly want to commend NBC News for what they’ve done, the way that they’ve secured this information, the way they’ve handled it with dignity.

RUSH: That was yesterday. This morning, the same man, Virginia State Police Chief Steve Flaherty held a press conference and said this.

FLAHERTY: We were rather disappointed in the editorial decision to broadcast these disturbing images. I’m sorry that you were all exposed to these images.

RUSH: Chief, how can you apologize for NBC? You can’t apologize for NBC. Now, NBC is out there saying, ‘Well, we gave this stuff over to law enforcement. We had communications with them,’ and da-da-da-da-da-da-da. But obviously they made copies of the stuff before they turned it over to the authorities, law enforcement down in Virginia.

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