RUSH: This is Saturday night in Annapolis, Maryland, there was a panel discussion called Winning the 2008 Election, and Joe Klein, who’s a columnist for TIME Magazine, had a question from an audience member. Audience member said, ‘There’s a tendency in the media to balance the coverage, and they always seem to offer Republican explanation with equal weight to someone who is performing oversight on the Democrat side. Do you think there’s a different role the press could play in reporting the oversight and not talking about it in terms of political aspirations?’
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 gonna nothing to do but sit home, twiddle their thumbs, and opining 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: Whoa ho-ho-ho-ho! What a mouthful, and have I not told you everything he said, in terms of how that is the way they think? He just blamed me and his own customers, the public. The news media is the one business I know of where the customer is always wrong, always wrong. Customer complains, and the Drive-Bys, ‘Well, you’re too stupid to understand what we’re doing. We’re not going to listen to you. We are experts; we are editors; we are trained journalists; and you don’t know what we do, you haven’t the slightest idea, and you’re going to take what we give you whether you like it or not,’ and they’re not taking it anymore. Circulation is down, viewership is down in some of these networks, particularly newspapers and magazines, and they’re losing ad revenue. The monopoly is gone, and he knows why. The monopoly is gone because there’s an alternative media that sees thing with a far wider panorama than those in the Drive-By Media see things. It’s amazing how narrow their vision is. It is amazing the things they don’t see, and yet they tell us they are the most informed, they are the most educated, they do all the work finding out what we don’t know and then telling us about it but, man, if it doesn’t fit their narrow little vision of what they want the country and the world to be, it doesn’t even get in to their minds. They don’t even have a chance to process it.
So now they’re starting to get panicky here about losing revenue. He says if they lose the revenue then we’re not going to have the money to send the reporters out there to do all this great work that we reporters do. Then the ultimate slam, calls me a parasite. What he’s saying with that is that if it weren’t for the great work that Joe Klein and others are doing, I’d have nothing to talk about, that I wouldn’t know anything, and I can sit at home and twiddle my thumbs and all I have to do is come in here and react to what they do every day and that that’s my show. And of course that’s what they think. They don’t listen. You do, and you of course know the difference.
RUSH: Seriously, folks, how does TIME Magazine do a 100 most influential people of the year issue and not put me in the list? Whether it’s good or bad influence as far as they’re concerned, I mean, for crying out loud, I make so much news for the Drive-By Media, from Michael J. Fox to the elections, I’m quoted all the time in terms of what I say about Democrats and Republicans. So Joe Klein, if anybody is a parasite, you people are the ones that are turning into parasites out there. You can’t do news anymore without doing polls.