RUSH: Three salutes to Mike Pence from Indiana. He basically proposed an amendment to disallow federal funds to be used to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, and it won big, 319 to 100-something. When the rubber met the road, the Democrats did not have the guts to vote for this. It wasn’t even close. Here we have five sound bites. You gotta hear what David Obey (D-Wisconsin) said on the floor of the House yesterday, but here’s Mike Pence first.
PENCE: I believe what we will do in this legislation will demonstrate a bipartisan commitment to freedom on the airwaves at a time that intemperate remarks are being made by others in Washington DC, both within the Capitol Building and one the punditocracy that surrounds this Capitol Building. This Congress — in bipartisan numbers, I trust the numbers will be large — will say yes to freedom on the airwaves, yes to the freedom of expression, and yes to the freedom of the press. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reject the Unfairness Doctrine.
RUSH: And they did. It was massive. It was a little bit more than a symbolic vote, and all bets are off the table if the Democrats win the presidency. As things stand now, the FCC could reinstitute it this afternoon if they wanted to. They have the authority. It would be subject to legal challenges and so forth, and it would have constitutional questions as well, but nobody’s got the desire to do it. It’s just these people are talking about it. I want to comment on something that Dick Durbin said yesterday. Dick Durbin, the senator from Illinois, said, ‘I have this old-fashioned idea that when Americans hear both sides of the story, they’re in a better position to decide,’ and I want to go on record — and I want any of you in Illinois or any of you in Washington that know Senator Durbin to tell him — that I agree with him. I agree with him wholeheartedly. I, too, have an old-fashioned idea that when Americans hear both sides of the story, they are in a better position to decide. It’s just a shame Dick Durbin doesn’t agree with what he said. I believe what he said. He doesn’t, nor does Senator Feinstein, nor does Senator Kerry. They don’t believe in this both sides of it. That’s the big ruse here. Now, follow me on this. Take me out of the immigration debate. Take all of talk radio out of the immigration debate and ask yourself a question: Would you have gotten both sides?
If you think you would have gotten both sides, from who? From where? You might have heard the phrase ‘comprehensive reform.’ You might have heard a litany of one-sided talking points designed not to work but to get votes, but where would you have heard the other side? Where would you have heard the flaws? ‘What flaws?’ Where would you have heard the costs? ‘What costs?’ What would you have heard about the lack of enforcement? ‘What lack of enforcement are you talking about?’ Well, the fence that will never be, the deceptions. Would you have heard the same promises that have been made for 40 years? The mess is worse, not better. You would have heard the same stuff that we’ve been hearing over all of these years in immigration debates, and you would have not heard ‘the other side.’ Would you have learned the long path to citizenship was a trick, a gimmick? How can I fool you today? There was no incentive for citizenship in this bill. As late as yesterday we played the audio sound bites. There was Ted Kennedy still working this deception. His idiot riff was (Kennedy impression), ‘Well, erra (grumbling). We can’t find them. (unintelligible) We don’t know where they are, $250 billion in buses go around and so forth!’ He talked about how hard they’re going to have to work and how many fees and fines and so forth they’re going to have to pay.
None of that was true! So where did you end up getting both sides? The Drive-By Media wasn’t giving you both sides of this. The Drive-By Media has chosen sides. If they had done serious reporting and pointed out the tomfoolery coming from Ted Kennedy’s mouth, the deception would have been dumped, and a long wait would have been a long wait for an illegal to become legal and you would have bought it and you would have believed it. You would have believed that all of this stuff about fines and stuff was true. You would have had to dig deep. You could have found out what bogus information was being presented. But the point is, the irony is, the only way America can get both sides of the story is not less talk radio, but more talk radio. We are equal time, and I’ve been saying that since we first started in 1988. We are equal time. The dominate media had a monopoly. All of a sudden we come along in 1988, we are the equal time. This just illustrates that they have no desire for both sides of the issue. That’s the dirty little secret, and it’s not such a secret. They don’t want opposition speech. They don’t want opposition opinion. They don’t want to have to be hassled with it; they don’t want to be bothered by it and they certainly don’t want to have to debate it because they know that they will lose. Now, listen to this, this is David Obey (D-WS) on the House floor following Mike Pence’s remarks.
OBEY: The right-wing radio today looks at those airwaves as being their own private preserve, and they’re not going to give ’em up at all. But don’t worry. I would not for a second want to see Rush Limbaugh moderate. I want to see the real, raw Rush. I want him and folks like him to be thoroughly and fully exposed to the American listening audience, in all of their bloviating glory. I want to let Rush be Rush, and that isn’t going to bother me if he goes on for hours and hours with his one-sided diatribes. Everybody knows he’s plugged directly into Republican national headquarters, and so in my view, he’s virtually discredited, and I’d like to keep it that way.
RUSH: How uninformed! How literally uninformed. What a stupid thing to say, of all days yesterday, when the media had dubbed me ‘an untamed piece of the GOP message machine.’ (laughing) But all of this is just evidence of what I have been saying. He wants the real raw Rush? You’re getting it for 19 years, Mr. Obey, and we’re doing nothing but growing. ‘I want him and folks like him to be thoroughly and fully exposed to the American listening audience in all of their bloviating glory.’ (laughing) Then he continued. He wasn’t through. He had more to say.
OBEY: I think we ought to let right-wing talk radio go on just as they do now. Rush and Sean are just about as important in the scheme of things, as Paris Hilton. I would hate to see them gain an ounce of credibility by being forced by a government agency or anybody else to moderate their views, and also that they just might become modestly influential or respectable.
RUSH: Yeah, we ‘might become modestly influential or respectable’ if they make us change our opinions, which is not even what the Fairness Doctrine does. It doesn’t make me moderate my views. This is the guy, by the way, this David Obey that you’re listening to is the guy who tried to hide the earmarks. You know, they were going to have this new wide open, brand-new culture the Democrats are going to bring to the House. They were going to get rid of the culture of corruption. This guy that talks about, ‘I want ’em out there in all their bloviating glory,’ this is the guy that does everything he does behind closed doors in the darkness of night where you can’t see it. He was trying to hard those earmarks. The way he was doing it after spending bills had been passed and signed off on, then they would add the earmarks so that nobody could do anything about it — after promising to give them transparency! So really, who has been exposed here? It is Mr. Obey. We’ve got two more. Here’s one more from Mike Pence who followed Obey by saying this.
PENCE: The bipartisan vote that I expect will be recorded today will be an encouragement to people on the right, to people on the left, and people in the center; people in front of microphones and people listening to those people on microphones, because this House will say what some in the other body are not saying, and is that is, ‘We believe in freedom on the airwaves. We reject the archaic doctrines of the past that would have this federal government manage political speech on the public airwaves.’ It is time that we come together as a nation; we move past the archaic rules of broadcasting fashioned for a Depression-era America, and he embrace the dynamic national conversation that is the American media today.
RUSH: So Obey, I gotta get one more lick in here, and this is what he said.
OBEY: There is no prospect of any serious effort to revive the Fairness Doctrine, either the legislatively or legally —
RUSH: Stop the tape. How out of it can this man be? Does he not hear what Feinstein is saying? Does he not hear what Kerry is saying? Does he not hear what Pelosi is saying? Pelosi is vowing to push this forward. Does he not hear this? Or is he trying to send them a message?
OBEY: — and so this has really been another political exercise. I’ve almost given up in expecting that substance will dominate legislative debate. I don’t really expect, on issues like this, uh, to have much, uh, common sense in the House. Uh, you get six like-minded people in this institution, they talk to each other in the cloakroom, and they think they’ve conducted a public opinion poll. So all I would say is, I fundamentally disagree with the gentleman who indicated that, uh, this is a highly important vote.
RUSH: These guys are not distinguishing themselves, ladies and gentlemen. These Democrats are not distinguishing themselves in any way you wish to fashion it or judge them.