RUSH: Big Democrat debate tonight. It’s being called the CNN YouTube debate tonight, and everybody is wondering, because Obama is going to have to do something, since Hillary’s not faltering at all. Her flip-flop positions on the war are not hurting her at all. Obama’s raising — how about this money? Democrats lead by $100 million in the money race in terms of donations. Where are all the stories in the Drive-By Media about fat cat liberals and fat cat Democrats? Have you noticed, by the way, that since the Democrats are leading in the money race, why, there’s nothing wrong with the campaign finance system. Oh, no, it’s perfect. It’s working exactly as planned now, but when the Republicans lead in fundraising, ‘Well, we need campaign finance reform. It’s not right. It’s not fair. There are more Democrats than Republicans. We ought to be leading.’ Now they are, and there’s nothing wrong. Everything is just fine.
At any rate, Obama’s going to have to do something. This is being touted here as the first real debate. People are wondering, ‘Are the gloves going to come off during the debate tonight?’ It’s in Charleston, South Carolina. There was a little bit of a dust-up on CNN yesterday, Wolf Blitzer’s show, and if that’s any indication, then the gloves may in fact come off tonight. And, of course, since this is the first YouTube debate, where the Internet is going to be involved, we have the obligatory story about those who are now left out of campaigning. Yes, ‘Millions of Americans who can’t afford computers, let alone Internet access, are being left out of the 2008 presidential campaign.
Monday night’s Democratic candidates’ debate in Charleston, S.C., is a perfect example of the digital divide that leaves poor Americans unable to take part in the process, The Washington Post reported Monday. Co-sponsored by the Website YouTube, questions for the debate have to be sent via the Internet in video form.’
I’ve got some of these questions that these people have sent in, and if they use any of them, it’s going to be hilarious. The people at CNN have been looking at some of these questions coming from YouTube, and you know what’s striking? Hardly any questions about Iraq. Nobody can believe that. Why, this is the people. YouTube is the people. Where are the questions about Iraq? There are very few of these that have been posed so far, and it backs up what I’ve told you, that this is something that has been way overblown in terms of the attitudes and the opinions of the American people. Now, about this Internet divide. This is another one of these obligatory stories, the haves and have-nots. We’ve got a new innovation, and yet some Americans can’t participate. All they gotta do is turn on the television. They don’t have to have a computer to follow a campaign, the absurdity of that assertion. But whose fault is it that they don’t have computers? Whose fault is it they can’t afford computers? Obviously it’s our fault, those of us who do have computers. It’s not fair.
And get this. You know what the Gore tax is? Remember the Gore tax, folks? It’s on every phone bill in this country. It’s a ten-year-old telephone tax, and actually it’s older than that. The Gore tax was just a revision of the original tax. The original tax on everybody’s phone number, you can’t even find it. It’s there, but forget the poor, the intelligent can’t decipher a phone number. Just look for the amount due and pay it. You go nuts looking at all the taxes and trying to figure out what tax is what, but it’s there. This tax, from the early days of the invention of the phone, was intended to bring phone service to rural Americans. Long ago that was accomplished. There’s no need for that tax anymore for that purpose. Then ten years ago, they updated this tax to help bring affordable service to rural areas, it turned into something quite different, a bottomless and politically protected well of cash for cell phone companies that do big business in rural America. Over the past four years, there’s been nearly a tenfold increase in government subsidies paid to a handful of so-called competitive providers, cell phone companies paid by the fund to offer service in rural areas wherein existing carrier already receives a subsidy. The universal service fund is what this is called. It’s collected $44 billion over its ten-year lifetime from a surcharge on the phone bills of nearly every American. In 2006 the fund collected $6.6 billion, money that flows to four programs, 1.7 billion paid for skrools and libraries to connect to the Internet. Two smaller funds subsidize phone service for the poor and rural health care facilities. The largest chunk, 4.1 billion last year flows to the aptly named High Cost program, the source of the current controversy. That money is paid directly to phone companies that do business in mostly rural areas where the cost of delivering service is high. Phone service, cell phone service can mean Internet accessibility in rural areas.
So, anyway, we’ve got a new concern here. We got a bottomless pit tax that should be getting everybody phone service and Internet connectability. We’ve had all kinds of programs to give computers to people in the schools and so forth, and yet, ladies and gentlemen, on the eve, on the day of the first real Democrat debate, we need to cry, we need handkerchiefs because the poor, as always, are being left out, when in fact they’re not, because everybody in this country has a television, left out by Democrats in fact because it is the Democrats are the ones who have made the promises to rectify all of these situations.
RUSH: The format is set here by Kit Seelye in the New York Times to ‘bring new voices into the process.’ What new voices? Just because some people now send in their questions on YouTube rather than e-mail them? What new voices? There aren’t any new people out there. Same population, just using different ways to communicate. Here are some of these voices, and what great voices they are. ‘One young man shows a clip of President Dwight D. Eisenhower warning about the influence of the military industrial complex and then asks the candidates if that is still a relevant concern. ‘If so,’ he asks, ‘how would you help to protect America from its undue influence?’ Another asks the candidates if they would put their friends in important government jobs. ‘Or are you going to hire the best and the brightest?’ he asks. ‘Or are you prepared to tell us that your friends are the best and the brightest?’ A black man standing in front of a check-cashing store asks the candidates how they would stop predatory lending in low-income neighborhoods. A college student wants to know if the candidates would lower the legal drinking age to 18 from 21. Another video-maker asks: ‘If you had to choose a current Republican presidential candidate as your running mate, who would you choose, and why?”
So these are the new voices. These are the wonderful new voices, and we are so excited and happy about it. Of course we’re also sad because some of the new voices will never be heard, because they can’t afford Internet service, nor will they ever be able to afford a computer. ‘It’s just not right, Mr. Limbaugh. It’s an unequal distribution of resources in this country. It’s not fair.’ Okay. No questions on the issues, and the guy that’s screening these videos is David Bohrman. He’s the Washington bureau chief for CNN. He’s ‘been sitting in a production bus in South Carolina for several days scanning the submissions and helping pick which ones to broadcast. … Mr. Bohrman said he had been surprised by how few questions there were about Iraq, how broad the age range was of the questioners and how many of the videos showed a person just talking into the camera.’
You know, I think what can be said here so that the Drive-Bys who easily get caught up in their own perception of fads, apparently have this belief that YouTube consists of people who are a cut above and are engaging in this process, and they’ve got this notion simply because it’s talked about, they’re products of buzz. YouTube is just people, average people from all walks of life who have basically one desire, and that’s to be known. It’s an amazing thing that’s happening to our culture. Everybody wants fame. Everybody wants some attention, and they’re willing to give up all kinds of privacy in order to get it. So, the vast majority of the questions from YouTube are going to be just what they would be if average people walked into this debate with little screening or anything else, which is why these public questions are always screened. It’s why CNN is screening these YouTube submissions even now. But the idea that this represents some new revolution, I mean, it’s a new media revolution in terms of how people communicate with each other, but it’s not new in terms of who the people are. The idea that it represents some sort of unique, brand-new, never before in existence type of person involved in the political process is absurd. It’s the same people that have always either been involved or not been involved with the same irrelevant, stupid, or bright questions, depending on the person. There’s nothing new about it other than the method of transferal.
RUSH: Now, there’s a former TV critic out there. I think this guy used to write for USA Today. His name is Jeff Jarvis and he’s got a website named BuzzMachine.com and he’s not happy with the way CNN is handles these YouTube videos. He’s among many who have criticized CNN for retaining control over which videos are shown, as opposed to showing the ones that viewers watch the most or rate as the best. Now, two thoughts about that. Number one: it would be tempting — if I ran CNN, I would certainly let the public choose which ones to use. If I ran CNN and did this show, what I would suggest is this. I would suggest, as the president of CNN, ‘Absolutely right! We’re going to let the audience vote on their favorite YouTube questions for these candidates in the debate tonight, and then we’re going to air those,’ and then I would come on this show, and I would tell everybody, ‘Pick the most ridiculous, stupid, out of the world questions you can.’ That’s why CNN cannot lose control over this. Above all else, this is a show. CNN is in this for ratings. They’re not going to turn over the all-important questions to these candidates to a bunch of dingbats who don’t know what they’re doing. The idea is that it should be voted on by the public in this kind of forum.
It’s tempting. It would be laughable. It would be funny to see how the candidates deal with this. As a broadcasting proposition, it would be silly. Jarvis says, ‘It’s our democracy, not yours, CNN. There is need for order but not control. I know some of these questions might be real turkeys but it would also show that people really care and that democracy is in good hands.’ It might not accomplish that. It might scare people, what is out there. Now, the LA Times has a piece on this CNN YouTube debate, too, and here’s a submission from a guy in Las Vegas speaking to the camera on a homemade video on YouTube. ‘Has your husband, Bill Clinton, engaged in adulterous behavior since he left office?’ That question will not air. Do you think the public would elect and vote that question near the top for the debate tonight? They probably would. It’s a real crapshoot here for this kind of thing. But the bottom line is, you know what this really is? This is just the Democrats and their accomplices in the media salivating over what they think is the newest route to getting the youth vote. They have had all these massive voter registration drives in the past three or four elections, Rock the Vote on MTV, all of these things, and they have been so filled with promise, such excitement, that young people, the youth of America would leave wherever they were — watching MTV, whatever — and drag themselves on down to the polling place and vote for Democrats and it’s just hasn’t happened because the youthful people just don’t show up in as great numbers as older demographics. The YouTube business is nothing more than the latest attempt by the Democrats and the media to extend the youth vote to the Democrat Party. Think of this as the 2007 version of Rock the Vote. Are we seeing Rock the Vote on MTV right now? I haven’t turned MTV on for a while but it obviously didn’t work. So probably the same bunch that was behind the Rock the Vote somehow is involved in this whole YouTube business. Columbus, Ohio, and John, we’ll start on the phones with you today, sir. It’s great to have you on the program.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. How are you?
RUSH: Never better, sir. Never better.
CALLER: I was just calling in because of your comments about this being the same group of people that would otherwise participate is exactly right because the control is still the same, and that was really what strikes me as this is just another, as you said, attempt to recycle or just sort of a new — the greatest thing since sliced bread to get Democratic voters. I just like the idea. I like the idea of having a vote on who you’re going to put to the questioners or what questioners you’re going to but to the candidates. I’d like to see that actually done. Maybe on the GOP side; they can really make you work.
RUSH: Well, it might, but (sigh) saying it’s a crapshoot is the wrong way to go about this. It’s not the way to characterize. See, I can’t separate myself as a broadcast from these debates, and I know that these are first and foremost television shows that are going to be used to promote the network carrying the debate, which is CNN — and the one thing that no broadcaster — well, except for PBS and liberal talk radio — that no responsible broadcaster wants to do is bore the audience. You cannot turn over… Well, you can’t. You cannot turn over a broadcast of eminent high quality to rank amateurs! You just can’t do it, especially when there’s nothing that’s supposed to be entertaining about this. This is supposed to be very, very serious. We’re talking about the future of America, how we gonna get out of Iraq, how the Democrats going to save this great economy and wreck it so that people will be happy again. All these great questions. You can’t turn that over as a broadcaster to rank amateurs. It’s just not done. As I say, there are other places it is done. In fact they take pride in boring people because that’s thought to be high quality. intellectual broadcasting. Award-winning in fact! People that do all these boring documentaries and win all these awards that nobody ever sees, and so a responsible broadcaster, CNN’s got, whether they know how to do it or not, they still have the desire to have a lot of viewers, and you don’t do that by boring the audience with a bunch of rank amateurs. They have to have control over this. I don’t think it means anything negative for democracy just because you let the people into a debate or take questions from the audience or from e-mails or now from YouTube. There’s nothing new about any of this. It’s an image. It’s an attempt to put forth the idea that we’re bringing democracy to ‘the masses,’ and we’re bringing the masses to democracy, the masses to the candidates, and the candidates are going to be confronted with questions from real people. It’s not that at all. There’s really nothing new about this. Pittsburgh and Joshua, thank you for calling, sir. You are on the EIB Network.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. I am the faculty advisor at a local university’s college Republican group, and at least one of those videos, one of the ones selected by TIME.com as one of their top ten questions, was produced by one of our college Republican presidents. The one with the three girls standing in ostrich suits asking them not to bury their heads in the sand, that was produced by our College Republicans doing their summer internship.
RUSH: Well, congratulations. That’s great.
CALLER: We really are not letting it just become the Democrats running this show.
RUSH: Well, is your question going to be used?
CALLER: I haven’t the foggiest idea.
RUSH: you haven’t the foggiest idea. See, that’s the thing.
CALLER: They’re not going to release that to us. They probably won’t tell us about it at all.
RUSH: Well, of course not. What they will do, is they will mix in some questions. They’ll get a highly produced one like that for the employment value, and a couple of times they won’t mind-blowing curve balls at the candidates, and in order to satisfy the masses, they’ll have a couple of dumb questions as well to make sure they’re spreading it around so the dumb are represented, the uneducated are represented, the ignorant are represented, the comedic, like yours, the thoughtful. This is how liberals do things. Everybody will be represented. So you have a shot.
CALLER: I’m hoping that we actually get there because it is an issue-oriented question, and it’s one of their talking points. Social Security reform is what they all want to talk about. I’m hoping that this comes off.
RUSH: What is the question? You said something about ostriches and heads in the sand.
RUSH: What is the question in your video?
CALLER: The question is what will they do to save Social Security — reform Social Security — and save our futures? That’s how the students in the video phrased it.
RUSH: All right. Now, let’s assume that that question is used for the sake of discussion. You’re a bright man. What do you think the average Democrat candidate would say if posed that question?
CALLER: I think they’ll go back to their standard talking points that the Social Security system is a promise that needs to be maintained. We’re not going to hear anything new out of the candidates, raising the taxes, raise —
RUSH: They’re not going to answer the question in the context of reform at all. All they’re going to do is take the opportunity, the occasion of that question to pledge their support for it and to make sure that every elderly person watching knows that they’re never going to lose it.
RUSH: They will not deal with the question. That’s why these things here tonight are pointless. Any debate is sort of a pointless exercise, because these Democrats do not have different yesterdays among them about anything. They all have the same ideas. They all want universal health care. They all want paid-for abortions by everybody else. They all want out of Iraq. There’s not one dime’s worth of difference in any of these Democrats in their positions. Well, maybe Gravel, but doesn’t have a clue, nor does he have a chance, but there’s not a dime’s worth of difference. So this is nothing more than a popularity contest. The inevitability question is always going to fall on Hillary. That’s why Obama is going to have to do something tonight. Regardless the questions that are asked and where they come from, Obama is going to have to do something tonight to get off the dime, because it’s getting close now. This is ‘the first real debate.’ I don’t know why they’re calling it that, since there have been others. Anyway, I appreciate the call, Joshua.
RUSH: CNN has been promoting the debate tonight all week, and they’ve been playing some of the questions that they’ve been getting via YouTube submissions, and last Monday is when they first aired the video question about Mrs. Clinton’s problem with her husband’s infidelity. Here’s that question. It’s ‘Gavin from Las Vegas.’
GAVIN: Senator Clinton, I think you would make a great president, but there’s a question that deserves to be answered before the end of the primaries because it could affect your ability to run against a strong Republican. Has your husband, Bill Clinton, engaged in adulterous behavior since he’s left office? How do you plan to address the issue, whether real or trumped up, by people that would demean your character by trying to imply that your marriage is politically convenient?
RUSH: Now, that’s a perfectly good question. It’s a perfectly reasonable question. It’s something everybody wonders: Is Clinton still horn-dogging it out there? Everybody wonders this. Now, do you think they’ll use this question at CNN? Well, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that. Apparently… The odds are they wouldn’t use it, but you know that the Clinton campaign has got to have an answer. They know they’re going to get this question somewhere down the line, maybe not about, ‘Is your husband still cheating on you?’ but what about his past infidelities? Is it going to be a problem in your camp? You know they’ve got an answer for this. You know Clinton, Inc., and the war room has an answer for it. It’s going to come up. At some point, this will come up in this campaign. It may not be in the primaries; it will be in the general. She’s going to be the nominee. It’s going to come up. Somewhere in the general campaign, it is going to come up. They’ve got an answer for it. That’s the point. They’ve got an answer for this whether it comes up or not. It’s something CNN has to think about is if they do use it… I know the Drive-Bys, and they covet access to these people, and if they use this question, will the Clinton campaign immediately put out a press release, ‘This is a problem here. We cannot possibly allow access to CNN as the most unconscionable breach of privacy,’ you know, blame it on Fox or something? They won’t go on Fox because Fox is too whatever. They won’t do it. They won’t use the question. But it’s a question on everybody’s mind, and if they had put this up to vote and the audience got to rate these videos and the top-rated videos were the ones that were used, you damn well know that that would be at the top of the list. You know it. Here’s Zack in Lancaster, Ohio. You’re on the EIB Network, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hey. I’m kind of nervous. This is big for me to get a chance to actually speak to you.
RUSH: You don’t sound nervous at all, Zack.
CALLER: No? Thank you.
RUSH: And if you were a female, I’d say don’t worry about it because this call is going to be like a mink glove on your back but since I don’t go that way, I won’t say that to you.
CALLER: Thanks. Last year in high school, eleventh grade, we had a classroom mock election. The teachers split the classroom into two sides, Republicans and Democrats. Of course me being a Rush baby, I’m a Republican.
CALLER: So we had a chance to come up with what our platform would be. Of course, I’m staunch conservative first, conservative Republican. So we came up with our platform. Now, I was running against a female. So we came up with our speech. I prepped for the debate. The teacher brought the other class over to watch the debate and the speech we gave, plus we made an ad, and the results were not as what we were expecting. In the debate, the Democrats and Republicans both, both the whole class thought it was over, I was going to win right there after the debate, and after the speech.
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. You’re leaving some things out.
RUSH: This is high school, right.
RUSH: You’re 18?
RUSH: So Democrats and Republicans both, the whole class thought it was over, you were going to win right there after the debate. They thought your speech was great?
CALLER: Absolutely. And both sides. I remember walking out of the classroom, them coming up to me, the Democrats, saying, ‘This is over. There’s no way we’re going to win after the debate and speech.’ Well, the results came back. In the classroom that came over to vote for us, the ratio between male and female were one to two, and I lost by six votes.
RUSH: Wait a minute. It was two to one female to male in the class that came to watch?
RUSH: And that class voted?
CALLER: Yes, that’s the class that voted.
RUSH: And you lost by six votes. So the female vote beat you?
CALLER: Yeah, that’s what I believe.
RUSH: What you’re saying is the women hung together against you?
RUSH: So you’re calling to tell me I may be wrong in my statement here that women will not vote for women just because she’s a woman?
CALLER: Right. I’m saying that the generations coming up. These people that voted are two years away from being part of the electorate, and they may be part of that feminist movement, many more of them this time.
RUSH: Well, but that does happen. You know, young women in high school and college are subjected to these feminazi professorettes and so forth, even some feminazi professors, and they do come out of school with their minds sort of poisoned against men. They do, especially in some of the higher rated institutions of higher learning in this country. But if you take a look at real life in other circumstances, most women don’t dislike men. In fact, you know, this idea that women are going to hang together simply because it’s a woman is dispelled in every day life.
RUSH: Cattiness, jealousy, all of these things rise up, but the whole premise here is, even though you got skunked, you think, by women hanging together —
RUSH: — Zack, I don’t know what you look like, but as far as they were concerned it could have been nothing to do with what you said. It could have been the way you look.
CALLER: No, see, I’m not a vain guy, but I don’t think I look terribly bad to where I turned them off to where they wouldn’t want to vote for me.
RUSH: You never know. You just never know, Zack. That’s why don’t take it personally as the reason.
CALLER: I know.
RUSH: You just never know about these things, you know.
CALLER: The teacher told me he thought it was like my speech. He said that I was being a bit too conservative and I didn’t move to the middle. I wasn’t being a moderate. I was being a conservative.
RUSH: Well, now, that possible. But I think in being conservative, you were probably very confident.
RUSH: And you were very sure of your positions.
RUSH: And that threatens a lot of people, not just women. It threatens everybody. ‘Nobody’s supposed to be that sure! But aren’t there two sides? Isn’t he partly right? Can’t he be wrong?’ You know, in a campaign you would have beaten the hell out of your opponent, and they’re all worthless. You’re not saying anything good about anybody out there, and that’s, ‘Gosh, that’s making me feel uncomfortable,’ even though they probably knew you were right. Thanks for the call, Zack. It’s a great experience. Don’t change!
RUSH: Tina in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, it’s nice to have you on the phone. Welcome.
CALLER: Oh, my God, Rush! I can’t believe I’m speaking to you. Rush 24/7 dittos from the liberal utopia of Louisiana.
RUSH: Thank you very much. It’s great to have you here.
CALLER: Okay. Well, my question is, since these ‘experts’ are always wrong, why can’t we name names and get some new ones?
RUSH: Well, sometimes the experts are named, and sometimes they are not. But that is the question. When the experts are wrong, they continually are used. But the point that I was trying to make about the ‘experts,’ is you can find an ‘expert’ that will tell you anything. You can find an expert that will have an opinion on anything, and you can call him an expert or he can call himself an expert. It’s like in lawsuits, in court. Both sides go out and find expert witnesses that will be bought and paid for to tell your side what they want the jury to hear. It’s no different than the Drive-By Media. But it’s most prevalent in the global warming reporting and economic reporting. Especially in economic reporting, because for six consecutive months now the experts used by the Associated Press have been admittedly surprised. So you ask, ‘Why are you still using them?’ They’re using them because they want them to predict bad news and expect bad news when Republicans are running the show.
RUSH: Chip in Cleveland, you’re next, sir, on the EIB Network.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Mega third-time caller dittos, and thank you for taking my call.
RUSH: You bet, sir.
CALLER: I started listening to you 18 years ago in Overland Park, Kansas. Mike Wallace asked Mitt Romney, ‘Have you had premarital sex?’ Do you think that question will come up tonight in the Democratic debate?
RUSH: No. In fact, we’ve been discussing that earlier today. The question was posed on one of these YouTube submissions, and we’re wondering here if it will be used. Some guy from Las Vegas wants to ask Mrs. Clinton if her husband is still having extramarital affairs, and we’re debating whether or not CNN will use the question. Snerdley doesn’t think so. I think it’s a long shot, but I think it’s a possibility, especially since it’s being talked about now on the most listened to radio show in America. Speaking of questions, we have some more questions that we have culled here from people who have submitted them via YouTube to CNN. Let’s grab audio sound bites 20 and 21. The first one is a question for the Democrat debate tonight. The YouTube user identifies himself as ‘Johnny Silver.’
SILVER: My question is, ‘What are you going to do about global warming?’ If we don’t act soon we’re going to end up trying to swim to the mall!
RUSH: Would you love to have that question asked? And I don’t know what this looks like. We just have the audio. Here’s another YouTube question for the Democrat debate tonight from Point Hope, Alaska. It’s video, and the question is asked by a snowman with its lips moving. So somebody has concocted a snowman here, and the snowman’s asking this question of Democrat candidates.
SNOWMAN (high-pitched voice): Hello, Democratic candidates. I’ve been growing concerned that global warming, the single most important issue to the snowmen of this country, is be negated. As president, what will you do to ensure that my son will have a full and happy life?
RUSH: Now (laughing) people are trying to be creative and be funny with these things, and it’s obviously attracting attention. I bet the use rate for every 1,000 entries they get, one of them is usable.