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RUSH: Here’s Dennis in Orlando, Florida. Dennis, I’m glad you called, sir.

CALLER: Hey, Rush! I-used-to-work-across-the-hall-from-you dittos. How you doing today?

RUSH: Fine, sir, thank you. Where did you work across the hall from me?

CALLER: At the flagship back in 1991 through ’93.

RUSH: That would be WABC in New York.

CALLER: Yeah. That would be it, yeah, worked right across the hall from you.

RUSH: You mean the PLJ?

CALLER: Huh?

RUSH: PLJ?

CALLER: No, right across the hall from your office on the AM side.

RUSH: Oh, wow.

CALLER: Yes, a long time ago.

RUSH: Well —

CALLER: Now we’re both here in Florida, where it’s much better.

RUSH: Yeah, but it’s better where I am than where you are because you’re in the middle of the state and it’s a swamp there.

CALLER: I know. I know. It’s okay, though. Hey, I have two different topics for you today.

RUSH: Yeah, yeah.

CALLER: One is about the ‘tarted up, dumbed down’ CBS Evening News, and the other is about Republican presidential candidates.

RUSH: Okay.

CALLER: First about the Katie Couric show. My wife watches this show for the news, and I watch it purely for entertainment.

RUSH: Wait a second! (laughing) Does your wife actually get news?

CALLER: She really doesn’t because there is more actual news in a five-minute radio newscast at the top of the hour than you find in 22 minutes of the CBS Evening News.

RUSH: True.

CALLER: There’s so much filler from top to bottom, I don’t know how anyone can think they’re getting a full dose of the day’s events from watching any network news show, particularly that one. Every day, there’s a little slant to the left. I’m used to that because you’ve been telling us that for years. But the other day, they reported the federal deficit being reduced by one-third in less than a year.

RUSH: Yeah, yeah. I did that story here and I did it with the right context.

CALLER: Katie spent less than ten seconds on that story. Now, imagine if the deficit had grown 33% in the same time period, it would have been a five-part special series with experts all over.

RUSH: (Laughing.) That’s right. Well, you know, there’s a guy named Jeffrey Lord who has a piece in the American Spectator today. He writes about this and one other thing and he says the obstinacy of the media, he says these people are in business. News people don’t want to admit it but they’re in business and they continue to go against the flow. He talks about the size of my audience and other conservative radio hosts and how the talk radio audience today is the most informed, and this just is a lesson that will not be learned. The liberal template cannot be abandoned. Even if they go down the tubes with it, it can’t be abandoned. In fact it’s gotten to the point now where Les Moonves is blaming sexism in America for the fact that Katie doesn’t have an audience.,

CALLER: I’m still amazed that they haven’t taken you up on your offer to —

RUSH: No, no. Of course that wouldn’t happen, because the last high nobody they had was when I did my little commentary there.

CALLER: That’s funny. On the Republican presidential candidates.

RUSH: Yeah?

CALLER: I’m a registered independent.

RUSH: That’s gutless.

CALLER: No, no, it’s really not. I believe, though, that most of the Republicans running right now would be far better for our country than any Democrat. The problem I think is that the Drive-By Media is spending 99% of their time on the current top three candidates, and each one has something about them that, come the general election, they’re going to pounce on and say, ‘Oh, well, you can’t elect this guy.’ I’ve been trying to find the facts about what they call the second-tier candidates and ask myself, ‘Where do I disagree with his or her position, and is that disagreement a deal breaker for me?’ So far, Duncan Hunter is a guy that I like what I know about, but I really don’t know enough about any of these other guys.

RUSH: You know, that’s an interesting thing that you’re doing, because one of the effects of the constant treatment of certain candidates as in the ‘top tier,’ and I guess this derives from polling data, and this is something that the Drive-By Media does. I don’t even think it’s on purpose. It just happens. It’s part of the way they do business. It’s what people end up focusing on, those three, and they never do look at the others, except in one way. They look at the others and say, ‘They don’t have a chance.’ Even if they’re perfect, ‘They don’t have a chance. They’re not electable. Look, they’re only getting 1% or 4% or 5% in the polls.’ So even if they’re perfect…

CALLER: Right. But in 1976, no one knew who Jimmy Carter was until the first couple of primaries. Even in 1980, Bill Clinton was not among the leaders —

RUSH: Well, you’re right.

CALLER: — 1992, sir.

RUSH: You’re right. That’s why people keep begging me and urging me to get behind somebody. It’s too soon, and any number of things here can shake out. I don’t think these people are being real yet. I still think they’re in a bit of a defensive posture trying not to make gaffes.

CALLER: Mmm-hmm.

RUSH: You know, one gaffe can blow you out of this thing.

CALLER: Sure.

RUSH: There are clearly some doing better than others, but it’s too soon, especially if there isn’t one that really lights your fire.

CALLER: Well, now, I wouldn’t expect you to get behind any candidate, at least at this time, but I would love to have you have some of the second-tier candidates on for a segment and just talk to them, ask them some hard questions.

RUSH: Well, see, I understand that. The problem with that is that everybody is going to make a claim to want to be on, and this is going to become the presidential candidate sweepstakes.

CALLER: Mmm-hmm.

RUSH: Frankly, I’m the expert here.

CALLER: Yes, that’s true.

RUSH: Turning it over to candidates to answer questions subordinates me in a role that my audience is not accustomed to me being in, and they wouldn’t listen.

CALLER: You’re probably right.

RUSH: Yeah, being number one is great but there are limitations that come with it.

CALLER: Rush, it’s good to talk to you again.

RUSH: Thank you, Dennis. I appreciate it.

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