RUSH: Kathleen in Dayton, Ohio, you’re up next, and thanks again for waiting. Hello.
CALLER: It’s my pleasure, Rush. Libertarian gun owner tomorrow is my birthday dittos.
RUSH: Well, happy birthday.
CALLER: Thank you very much. And I am just thrilled to talk to you. I was so angered by Joe Klein’s comment about parasites like Rush Limbaugh when two-thirds of what —
RUSH: Let’s go back and play that bite, because this happened about two hours ago, and that’s how long she’s been waiting to talk about this. I want the audience listening to know what you’re talking about, okay?
CALLER: All right.
RUSH: So just hang on. Saturday night in Annapolis, Maryland, there’s a panel discussion called ‘Winning the 2008 Election,’ and somebody asked a question, and I’m not going to repeat the question because it makes no sense, but something in the question really agitated Joe Klein of TIME Magazine. This was his answer.
KLEIN: I am really getting sick and tired of people bashing the press all the time. At this point we’re pretty well battered and we’re losing advertising revenue, and unless we can actually have the revenue to go out there and the credibility to report these issues, all of these right-wing talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, who are parasites on our reporting, are going to have nothing to do except sit home, twiddle their thumbs, and opine about things that they have no data for. In general, yes, we make mistakes. Yes, we — you know, we’re not perfect. If you want to complain about the press, complain about the public.
RUSH: Now, you know what he’s saying? He’s saying that without them, we wouldn’t have a show here. I wouldn’t have a show because I wouldn’t have any data to report on, and of course he also complains the public’s an idiot, they’re losing advertising revenue, the public’s dumb, and so forth and so on. That’s what Kathleen wants to reply to here.
CALLER: And as a public relations professional who has been doing this for 17 years, the general public needs to know that I’d say two-thirds of what shows up in the newspaper, on television, in a radio news report is generated by people just like me.
RUSH: Absolutely! I’m so glad you said this. The journalists hang around their fax machines or now their e-mail, waiting for the latest release from Clinton, Inc., or what have you. I learned that early on. When I got to New York in 1988, I had this misguided, naïve belief that if there were profile pieces of people in the newspaper, it was because they’ve done something noteworthy and they’ve achieved something and everybody noticed it and so the media wanted to inform. But that’s not how it is. They have flacks like you that are out there pushing this stuff, and if the flacks have a good relationship with the news people, you’re going to get a favorable piece.
CALLER: Absolutely. I work in a professional organization of public relations folks, and I have to say that I’m in the minority as a Libertarian, as someone who has more conservative views. Most PR professionals get along extremely well with the people in the media. Talk about parasitic, the media couldn’t exist without us and we couldn’t exist without the media. It is a symbiotic relationship.
RUSH: This woman is more right than you know, ladies and gentlemen. In addition to what this means, it means, for instance, that journalists are lazy, wait for people like you to bring ’em stories.
CALLER: Well, it’s not that they’re lazy. I mean, some of them definitely are. It’s that they’re trying to shovel content into a 24-hour news chasm that because of the —
RUSH: Oh, my heart bleeds.
RUSH: My heart — oh, it’s so hard. Being in news is so hard. Let me ask you a pointed question.
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: Not about you, but in your industry, how many of the PR flacks value their relationship with the media far more than their client of the moment? For example, how many PR flacks urged their clients to actually do things that might not be good for them, just to maintain a relationship with a certain news organization, because the clients are going to come and go, but the relationship with the news organization is going to say the same. So you dump one client after whatever work needs to be done is done, another client comes along, you still want access. So is it not the case that most of these PR flacks have a little bit more allegiance to the news people than their clients?
CALLER: I am sad to say that that’s probably very true.
RUSH: Thank you very much.
CALLER: And also, I’d like to make a point about Joe Klein whining about their ad revenues are going down. Their ad revenues are going down because their circulation is going down because they are less and less relevant.
RUSH: Well, he knows that, but he’s blaming people like me for it for distorting what they do, destroying their monopoly. You know, monopolists never like losing their monopoly, and they had one, and it’s gone.
CALLER: Yes, absolutely. And in my profession in particular, I’ve been doing this for 17 years, and I really kind of despair over the future of organizations and people, if you do what I do, because I look at my job as helping to communicate good news. I am not a flack in the sense that if you pay me enough money I’ll say anything you want me to say, I have integrity and I choose the clients that I work with.
RUSH: That’s not what I meant by flack in this case. By flack I mean you’re out there giving them news ideas that they don’t come up with on their own.
CALLER: Oh, they don’t have time. They just don’t have time.
RUSH: Don’t give me ‘they don’t have time.’ They got all the time in the world. It’s called legwork. It’s called putting your nose under the rug and finding out what’s there. They’re obsessed with one thing, and that is they’ve gotta take down power, wherever it is, and that generally is Republican power that they want to take down. They want to promote Democrat power. But that’s what they’re taught in journalism school. You bring ’em something to help take down power, like the DC madam or whatever, and they’ll love you. Look at Elliot Mintz. He was the PR guy for Paris Hilton. She just dumped all over him. It was his fault. He’s gone. I guess he got fired, or he left on his own or whatever. But the PR flack taking the hit here.
CALLER: Yeah, and again publicists who work for celebrities, that’s a whole different animal, that’s really a whole different animal in our profession, but I think that is much closer to what the DC madam does for a living than — (laughing) — than what I do for a living, at least I’d like to think so. But, yeah, this is a totally different subculture within the PR industry itself. But, you know, if people had any idea how much so-called news is completely manufactured by people like me, because I can take any set of facts, and my job is to take the set of facts that I’m given and to communicate it in such a way that is most beneficial to my clients.
RUSH: You don’t need to convince me. I’ll never forget. This is some years ago — 12, 15 years ago — some outfit in Chicago just called themselves a medical group. I forget the name of the medical group. They got a logo, put it on a fax, and they faxed out the news that the AMA was wrong about the basic food groups, that they had the pyramid inverted. This group puts it out, and the Drive-By Media ran with it, made big news on the nightly network newscast that night and so forth. It turns out the group was just a bunch of people with a fax machine. They’re activists but they had no accreditation, and they just got the — ‘Oh, look at this, big news,’ shakes up the existing power structure, and it turned out to be totally fraudulent.
CALLER: Absolutely. And if you as a consumer, if you simply consume without questioning news from any source, any source at all, even the Rush Limbaugh Show, and if you do not scratch the surface and do any kind of due diligence to find out what is going on and who is communicating that message, if there is an angle to a story, find out who is pushing out that angle and you’ll get a lot more insight into what the truth really is.
RUSH: Exactly right. Thank you. Your sense of timing, by the way, is perfect, too. Thanks very much, Kathleen.
RUSH: Phil in Dayton, Ohio, thanks for waiting, sir. Nice to have you on the EIB Network. Hello, sir.
CALLER: I tell you. Thank God you are saying this stuff about the media. Like the previous caller, I am also a PR hack and have been doing this for more than 30 years. (Laughing.) And I can tell you without a doubt that anything that utters forth from any Drive-By Media outlet is without a doubt almost completely false, if not completely false, including that report out of Sacramento. When you played that, I was just like screaming at the phone. I could take that thing apart, and the only thing true in that report was that you called Barack Obama or rather Shanklin called Barack Obama the magic negro. That’s it. That’s the only thing that was true in that entire report. The only thing that was true.
RUSH: Yeah. And of course what informed them? Nothing. They went on the air totally ignorant about it. They were force fed this information by whatever news sources they trust. Those sources have an agenda, and, bam, it gets on the air. They’re running a video on their website that is not ours and not mine. It was produced by enemies of this program or people that want to try to make it look worse than it is. Just a bunch of liberals out there with all kinds of black caricatures — they’re putting it up there as mine. They know now it is not mine, and it’s still up there.
CALLER: I think you’re giving them too much credit by saying that they’re ignorant. I think that’s kind of a thing that I would love to see you talk more about, because what you do is invaluable to this country —
RUSH: What do you mean I’m giving them too much credit? What are they, then?
CALLER: They’re out and out deceitful. They know that this is not who you are. They can’t chew food and be that dumb. They just could not consume food and be that stupid to not know who you are after all this time.
RUSH: So you’re saying that this is a purposeful hit, and that they know exactly what they’re doing.
CALLER: Exactly, exactly.
RUSH: Well, then why do they want to make themselves look like morons and ignoramuses?
CALLER: Because the vast majority of the public doesn’t listen to you, unfortunately —
RUSH: In Sacramento the vast majority does. Their poll is going down to defeat in big numbers.
CALLER: Well, that’s true. I’ll tell you, that’s the only light at the end of this tunnel is that TIME Magazine is now TIME.com and that the New York Times and the Washington Post and ABC and NBC and CBS, all of these guys are going down the tubes slowly, and unfortunately too slowly for me, but slowly, but surely they’re going down because more and more people are basically tuning out. They’re just disgusted. Every time you turn on the TV, all you get is bad news. It’s like a flood, an inundation of bad news, a deluge, and people are just going, screw it, I’ll tune in tonight, kind of enthused, and that’s it, and they’re tuning them off. The more they do that, the more they, I think —
RUSH: Well, look, everything you say is true. They are losing circulation, they’re losing audience. But, they still have power. They’ve got people believing, 35% of Democrats if you didn’t see this Rasmussen poll, 35% of Democrats in this country, people, not elected Democrats, but just people who are just Democrats, think that Bush knew that 9/11 happened before it was going to happen — or knew it was going to happen before it did.
CALLER: And that’s why I say, you’ve gotta stay on this because they do, yes, have too much four, and my son is on his way, even as we speak, to Iraq for his second tour.
RUSH: Well, you know, I don’t like this argument they have too much power. Power is something that’s earned. Nobody grants it to them. People say that about me, too. Nobody granted me any power. I earned it. They are who they are; they have to be battled as such. I’m not going to sit around and say somebody needs to take their power away from them. That’s theirs to be lost, and it’s happening. We are in the process of doing it. The best illustration I can give you, Phil, and it’ll make you feel better, Walter Cronkite was able to kill the Vietnam War with one sentence, in one telecast back in the sixties when he proclaimed it can’t be won and Johnson said not only have I lost mid-America. He didn’t even seek reelection because of that. Now, it’s taken them four or five years to get a majority of opinion in this country against the Iraq war — if it is. I, frankly, don’t even believe that’s true, because if it were they wouldn’t have been able to override the President’s veto on their defeat bill. I don’t believe the polls they put out. But, look, like I don’t know how much more I can discuss the media than I already do. We’re on the case, Phil, and I appreciate your call.