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RUSH: The Washington state Supreme Court — big news here — said in an opinion released yesterday morning that a couple of talk show hosts at station KVI in Seattle did not need — one of these guys, this is John Carlson and Kirby Wilbur. I know both of these guys. Carlson a great guy. They were sued. They were told that their show was an in-kind advertisement for politicians and issues that they supported. ‘The state Supreme Court in an opinion said that the two guys did not need to report their advocacy for an anti-gas tax campaign as an in-kind political contribution. The court has reinstated a countersuit filed by the No New Gas Tax campaign against local governments that initially sued.’ This opinion was unanimous. ‘The majority opinion was written by Justice Barbara Madsen signed by Chief Jerry Alexander and Justices Tom Chambers, Charles Johnson, Susan Owens, Mary Fairhurst, and Bobbe Bridge. Justices Jim Johnson wrote a concurrence which Justice Richard Sanders also signed.’
They all said that the case showed a disregard for core freedoms of speech and association. This is huge. This is a huge ruling, and it is very, very important because the Washington Supreme Court has held that radio talk shows do not constitute in-kind political donations and happily the First Amendment still holds, ladies and gentlemen, even in the era of McCain-Feingold. Yeah, just like the New York Times. We’re just like any other media publication or broadcaster, and this was an effort to go after talk radio specifically by a bunch of liberals up there in the Great Northwest. It’s just one of many efforts that have been and are planned because talk radio… I’ll tell you the thing about talk radio that people are missing. It is the last remaining place for the free and open discussion of all ideas. But it happens to be the place where conservative ideas triumph, and the left does not like that, and they do not want it to triumph, obviously.
So there are many plans such as this to try to shut down talk radio, and you know them all. You know all that. That’s why this is such a great and tremendous ruling. Congratulations to both Kirby Wilbur and John Carlson. They really are good guys. They’re just hard-working people and on most days they’re great Americans. They have their moments. (Just kidding, John. Just kidding.) Let me tell you about John Carlson. Let me tell you a little John Carlson story. After the Oklahoma City bombing, after which the Clinton administration tried to blame me and others, ‘talk radio,’ because we were being critical of government for inspiring McVeigh and Nichols in that gang, we raised a stink about it and of course McCurry went out there, the press spokesman for the White House at the time, said: No, no, no, we didn’t mean Limbaugh. We were talking about the Michigan militia short-wave radio — or whatever he said. And they had a cover on TIME Magazine of an Oklahoma City firefighter holding a mangled baby that had died or would soon die, and John Carlson, when all this is going on blaming talk radio got that fireman on the air, and the fireman let it be known that in his firehouse, it was this program they listened to.
The rescuers, the first responders, were listening to this program, not the McVeighs and not these other people — and it was John Carlson that extracted that from the firefighter, and that ended up making national news. He’s run for governor out there, and he’s himself has been a target, as this case so aptly demonstrated. So congratulations to them because once again a service to the entire business of radio has been rendered. It’s meaningful, well, beyond just the ruling, because when you start talking about the judiciary in the Great Northwest — which is made up, obviously, of a number of liberal elected and appointed judges — you never know with the state of the judiciary, and this was unanimous, even in the era of McCain-Feingold. BREAK TRANSCRIPT
RUSH: We’re back, serving humanity, Rush Limbaugh, with half my brain tied behind my back just to make it fair. I just got a note from Dean up at the website. He said, ‘Rush, there’s one other thing I think I remember about this Oklahoma City fireman story involving John Carlson out in Seattle.’ This is true. I remember this now. ‘After the White House had gone out of its way to indict talk radio,’ and of course back then, talk radio was me, ‘for the explosion at the Murrah building in Oklahoma City, there was a cartoon that ran somewhere. Some cartoonist, editorial cartoonists had done his caricature of the TIME Magazine cover of the firefighter holding the baby that had been killed in the blast. There was a thought bubble coming out of the firefighter’s head in this cartoon, said, ‘Damn right wing radio.’ So the media picked up on that. You remember this now? This aspect of it I had forgotten. But I remember that editorial cartoon now because they redrew that TIME Magazine cover and the firefighter holding the baby, ‘Damn talk radio,’ is what the firefighter is supposedly thinking and that’s because the White House had put the thought out there. That’s when Carlson got the firefighter on the phone, and it turned out that far from blaming me, the firefighter was a big fan, as were all the rescuers that worked in his firehouse. That’s what it was.
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