RUSH: It’s day five of the Hillary photo and my brilliant monologue on Monday about our culture addicted to perfection, and where I ask the salient question: ‘Will people want to watch a female president age daily before their very eyes?’ The coverage has now reached Bangkok, ladies and gentlemen. Ellen Wulfhorst, writing in the Bangkok Post: ‘Hillary Clinton is not only battling for the presidency but, as a controversy over insulting remarks on a conservative radio program showed, she is also combating female stereotypes still prevalent in the United States. Influential talk show host Rush Limbaugh, noting his country was obsessed with appearances, exposed the old prejudices when he launched a salvo at [Mrs. Clinton]. Referring to an unflattering photograph of a haggard, wrinkled Clinton…’ I did not describe the photo that way. I didn’t. They are. I didn’t use the words ‘haggard’ and ‘wrinkled.’ I just referenced it. I didn’t even describe the photo. ‘…Mr. Limbaugh questioned whether America would want to see a woman age, as presidents tend to do, while serving in the White House.’ They go on to quote some of the things I said. They go out and talk to these experts. ”We’ve come a little way,’ said Kathleen Dolan, political science professor at the University of Wisconsin and author of ‘Voting for Women: How the Public Evaluates Women Candidates,” says:
”We’ve come far enough that it’s OK for Hillary to run for president, but we’ve not come far enough for it to be OK for her to run as a creature without gender,’ Dolan said. ‘She’s still a woman running for president and brings all that baggage about stereotypes and image and attractiveness.” I think she’s responsible for that, folks. And then: ‘Remarks such as Limbaugh’s have little influence among voters, said Susan Carroll, political scientist at Rutgers University … ‘People who support Hillary Clinton will continue to support her, and I don’t think a few wrinkles will scare them off, and people who listen to Rush Limbaugh by and large are not Hillary Clinton supporters,’ she said.’ This, ladies and gentlemen, is not entirely true, as Tom Daschle told us after the 2002 midterms. It continued on television last night on the Fox News Channel on The O’Reilly Factor. He had on Bernie Goldberg and Jane Hall to talk about the controversy. His question: ‘Bernie, everybody in the world, including you and Jane, you’ve been photographed — me, of course — in an unflattering light. Is it legitimate for the press to use something like this?’
GOLDBERG: If they’re using it in order to make her look bad, no, it’s not legitimate. It’s out there for two reasons, Bill. Rush Limbaugh made it an issue, and the liberal media hate Rush Limbaugh, so they picked up on it, and because this is one of those subjects that makes some people feel uncomfortable. It’s not fair. It’s not fair that women who are getting older are looked upon one way but men who are getting older are looked upon in a much better way. Well, you know what, it may not be fair. A lot of things are unfair.
RUSH: Bernie’s got it right. That was the point of the monologue! Did you hear the monologue, Rachel? You heard it? All right, then it was the point of the monologue. So my sincerity is now being questioned. Can you believe that? My, El Rushbo’s, sincerity about really being concerned of this unfairness is being questioned. Next, O’Reilly said, ‘Jane Hall, this should go right up your wheelhouse here.’
HALL: Hillary Clinton is running on experience. We want experience and we don’t want wrinkles in a woman running for president. It’s a double standard. Rush Limbaugh said do we really want to see a woman age as the leader of this country day to day. Maureen Dowd said when you want to go after a woman and you don’t like what she stands for, call her a hag. I think the media are deciding that Hillary Clinton’s campaign is in trouble, and this becomes one of those things that people who don’t agree with her put out there and say she’s old and tired.
O’REILLY: I think it was mean-spirited.
RUSH: Okay. So O’Reilly thinks that it was ‘mean-spirited.’ So, ladies and gentlemen, the story continues to survive and thrive out there and will continue to do so, no doubt, because as I said yesterday, I can play these people like a Stradivarius. I can play them like a violin. I know what’s going to tick ’em off. I know what they’re going to focus on. So we’ve been in control of the news cycle on this for five days.