RUSH: Bill Moyers is just one of the latest to launch a Drive-By attack on Karl Rove. In and of itself, that’s no big deal. But something has seriously happened to Bill Moyers. The train’s off the tracks here, and somebody must have stood in front of him, made him take a dirt road here, because he’s heading into the wilderness. This is last Friday on PBS’ Bill Moyers Journal. We have a lot of sound bites. Here’s the first one, a portion of his monologue about the president and Karl Rove.
MOYERS: Karl Rove figured out a long time ago that the way to take an intellectually incurious, draft-averse, naughty playboy in a flight jacket with chewing tobacco in his back pocket and make him governor of Texas, was to sell him as God’s anointed in a state where preachers and televangelists outnumber even oil derricks and jack rabbits. Using church pews as precincts, Rove turned religion into a weapon of political combat — a battering ram, aimed at the devil’s minions, especially at gay people. It’s so easy, as Karl knew, to scapegoat people you outnumber.
RUSH: All right, now, this is just laughable. This is not even worth getting mad about. This is so uninformed, and, frankly, stupid, that it speaks for itself. But in this one bite is practically every element of the template and the prism through which liberals look at conservatives. I mentioned to you earlier they’re all upset because they think Rove divided America by playing to the conservative base. The conservative base is what? Racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe. So when Rove plays to those people, why, he’s dividing the country, and he’s turning those people of horrible values into a majority that’s just damaging liberalism and America and so forth and so on. So it’s all here. And of course Bush is a blithering idiot, he’s intellectually incurious, yet we just heard from Karl Rove that last year President Bush read 134 books. I’ll bet you Moyers hasn’t read 134 books in the last ten years. Intellectually incurious, draft averse, naughty playboy in a flight jacket with chewing tobacco in his back pocket. There’s a caricature of southern — and Moyers is from Texas, too, but this is a caricature here of southerners, you hayseed hicks. He forgot to mention he missed his two front teeth. He forgot to mention the pickup truck with the gun rack in the back. Moyers stayed with LBJ. Moyers was an LBJ hack. Moyers still is a Democrat hack. Here’s the next bite.
MOYERS: If God is love, as rumor has it, Rove knew in politics to bet on fear and loathing. Never mind that in stroking the basest bigotry of true believers you coarsen both politics and religion. At the same time he was recruiting an army of the Lord for the born-again Bush, Rove was also shaking down corporations for campaign cash. Crony capitalism became a biblical injunction. Greed and God won four elections in a row, twice in the Lone Star state and twice again in the nation at large.
RUSH: Now, we never hear from Moyers how many millions and gazillions he has. He’s, of course, not greedy. But Rove knew in politics to bet on fear and loathing. Never mind that in stoking the basest bigotry of true believers, like the Christian right — this is what they think of you and he’s letting it be known here. Never mind that in stroking the basest bigotry of true believers, you coarsen both politics and religion. Oh, by the way, if God is love, as rumor has it. He then finishes by attacking Rove’s personal religion.
MOYERS: At his press conference this week he asked God to bless the President and the country, even as reports were circulating that he himself had confessed to friends his own agnosticism. He wished he could believe, but he cannot. You have to wonder how all those folks on the Christian right must feel discovering they were used for partisan reasons by a skeptic, a secular manipulator. On his last play of the game all Karl Rove had to offer them was a Hail Mary pass, while telling himself there’s no one there to catch it.
RUSH: The interesting thing about this, of course, is that Karl Rove is an Episcopalian and has born witness to his belief and his faith in public countless times and did so on TV over the weekend. So this is insane, the ramblings of a genuine lunatic. Now, he was asked about this on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. Wallace said, ‘Bill Moyers went after you as an agnostic who flimflammed the Christian right. What do you say to that?’
ROVE: I’m a Christian. I go to church. I’m an Episcopalian. I think he may have taken a comment that I made where I was talking about how — I have had colleagues at the White House — Mike Gerson, Pete Whener, Leslie Drune, Josh Bolten and others — who I’m really impressed about how their faith has informed their lives and made them really better people. And it took a comment where I acknowledged my shortcomings in living up to the beliefs of my faith and contrasted it with how these extraordinary people have made their faith a part of their fiber. And somehow or another he goes from taking it from me being an Episcopalian wishing I was a better Christian to somehow making me into an agnostic. You know, Mr. Moyers ought to do a little bit better research before he does another Drive-By slander.
RUSH: Another Drive-By slander. Amen. Way to go, Karl. Ten four, buddy. Rove just ran rings around these people. He ran rings around David Gregory on Meet the Press yesterday. Gregory and these guys don’t even know it. They’ve got their stock questions, Rove starts answering. It’s easy because he knows what their templates, what the questions are going to be, and when Rove starts giving the answers they don’t want to hear, Gregory started interrupting him. ‘Let me finish. Don’t interrupt me,’ Rove said, just asserted himself. (interruption) No, I don’t think Moyers knows how hateful he sounds at all. None of these people know how hateful they sound. They are love; they are the good people; they have care and good intentions in their bulging hearts. What do you mean, ‘Does he know how hateful he sounds?’ He doesn’t think that any liberal can possibly hate. It’s not in them. The only haters are the Christian right, and they hate Rove, it’s now coming out.
They hate Rove because he went out there and mobilized the Christian right. He knew they’re racist, sexist, bigot, homophobes, he knew it, and yet he made them a powerful force, and that’s what divided America. Liberals never think they are culpable or responsible for anything. He knows that Rove is brilliant. They’re the ones that run around with all this arrogance and this superiority thinking they’re the smartest people in the room, and these guys say, ‘Bush, with his tin can of chewing tobacco in the back pocket, draft averse, run rings around the good people, the smart people, the elites.’ I think they are livid. I think Moyers’ body, his internal organs, including his brain, are wracked with resentment and hatred, and he’s being eaten up alive, and he’s letting us know just how much with all these sound bites. Let’s go back to Moyers and his attack on me, Abu Ghraib and the loss of the late elite media monopoly. This is August 9th, Washington, DC, the Association for Education and Journalism and Mass Communication annual convention that he keynoted.
MOYERS: Journalism is under fire today from ideologues. For journalists whose reporting dares to challenge their party line, become a candidate for Guantanamo. Rush Limbaugh, notably, railed against journalists for their reporting on the torture at Abu Ghraib, which he dismissed as a little sport for soldiers under stress. He told his audience, quote, ‘This is no different from what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation. You ever heard of people who need to blow off some steam?’ The Limbaugh line became a drumbeat in the right-wing echo chamber from which so many millions of Americans now get their news. So I wasn’t surprised to read that nationwide survey by the Chicago Tribune in which half of the respondents said there should have been some kind of press restraint on reporting about the prison abuse.
RUSH: Journalism is under fire from ideologues. See, they are not ideologues, because liberalism is not an ideology. They’re not ideologues. Yeah, I railed against them. I think they hate me almost as much as they hate Rove. Here’s one more from the same keynote address.
MOYERS: Journalists and others who tried to challenge the administration’s fallacious evidence for invading Iraq found the patriot police on their tail. Whatever Kool-Aid he’s brewing for the Wall Street Journal, Rupert Murdoch could make a singular contribution to journalism simply by calling Fox News from the Republican fog machine and give it a mandate to report reality instead of attacking those who do.
RUSH: This is the most offensive of all these bites to me, because I am the chief of the patriot police, not Rupert Murdoch, and he knows it.