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RUSH: Let me give you an example of the recent attempt by the Drive-By Media to establish a narrative and how that narrative has now been blown to smithereens, and yet the Drive-Bys won’t give it up. This all started last Wednesday or Thursday. And, by the way, let me take a new tack on this. When I talk about the Drive-By Media, of course you know to whom I refer. I refer to CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, ABC, the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, LA Times, you name it. It would be easier and shorter to list all the member media that are not part of the Drive-Bys. But I’ve never really gotten specific about what is the number-one culprit of all of these people, and that’s the Associated Press. The Associated Press is the one area of the Drive-By Media which still does have its monopoly. The Associated Press is the news service for however many newspapers are left in this country. What is it, three or four thousand newspapers? From the New York Times to the Washington Post and down to the Rug Rat Central in a town of 25 people that has a weekly newspaper, they all subscribe to the Associated Press.

The Associated Press sets the agenda and the narrative, along with the New York Times. The New York Times sets the agenda for network television coverage. The Associated Press, think of it as a massive gazillion-times-larger enterprise than Media Matters for America, which is nothing more than a liberal hatchet job website that exists to take members of the New Media out of context and to besmirch their character and credibility and honor. The Associated Press has no competition. Whatever they write about Iraq, whatever they write about me, whatever they write about domestic oil drilling; gets printed in 4,000 or whatever number of newspapers there are. And American citizens, who may not even like the Drive-By Media that they watch on cable TV, read their local papers, see the little thing, ‘(AP)’, many of their stories not even bylined and it is accepted because nobody really takes on the AP. We just take on ‘the media’ in general. But who feeds the media? Who feeds these people? In large part, they’re not reporters anymore.

The AP is just an enlarged fax machine that sends out talking points disguised as news stories. Now, last Wednesday or Thursday, there was one of these stories, and it involved me. And I’m not bringing it up because it involved me. I’m bringing it up because it’s just a recent and good example because of what’s happened since. This story mentioned me and conservative bloggers in the second paragraph as being responsible for the rumor and spreading the rumor and continuing to keep the rumor alive, that there was a tape of Michelle Obama from the pulpit of Obama’s church using the term ‘whitey’ in a way that would be very damaging to Obama. Now, the real genesis of this is a left-wing Democrat hack, a guy by the name of Larry Johnson. He said he had the tape; he started the rumor. Larry Johnson is the guy who spread the rumor that some of the Drive-Bys picked up because they were so excited about it, that Patrick Fitzgerald had indicted Karl Rove on a Friday afternoon, long before Libby had been indicted.

As you know, Rove was never indicted, but the left-wing blogs picked it up and some of the Drive-Bys. They were just dying to go with it. Some of them rumored that it existed, because they didn’t want to be cut out of this if it was true, they wanted to be in on the scoop. This is the guy that started this rumor. It was started three weeks ago, or maybe a month ago now. Maybe even longer than that. I didn’t comment on it for three weeks. Then I saw Bob Beckel on Fox on the Tuesday night, I think, of the South Dakota and the Montana primaries, and there was Beckel, and he was all worried. He said he’s heard a lot of rumors, heard a lot of stuff. This thing is going to hit tomorrow. Normally he ignores this kind of thing, but this really had him worried this could be a huge problem. It was worse than her thesis, Michelle Obama’s thesis at Princeton or wherever it was that she went to college. So after that I said, ‘Whoa, I mentioned that Bob Beckel mentioned this!’

I was the last one to say this because, frankly, I never saw any evidence of it, and I never heard anybody say they had seen it. All other kinds of people… I’m actually… (sigh) I’ll address this in a specific way. I’m getting the credit that a lot of other people actually deserve. So why did the AP put me in this story with the conservative bloggers? Why did they put me there? Why didn’t they put others who are actively talking about it, on the radio and in the conservative blogosphere? Why didn’t they put others? Why did they put me in there? Well, I’ll answer it in a second. After putting me in there, guess who picked it up? After the AP put me in, the Obama website puts it on their new website. It’s Fight the Smears. FightTheSmears.com — and number one, the number-one entry on the FightTheSmears.com website at BarackObama.com is, Rush Limbaugh says there’s a tape, and that I’m out there promoting it. The first smear mention is ‘LIE: Rush Limbaugh says a tape exists of Michelle Obama using the word ‘whitey’ from the pulpit of Trinity United.’

I never said it. AP didn’t say it, but they got the ball rolling, and once AP links to anything or alleges anything, then stories begin to be told — and you know what happens when people start telling stories. So I am Lie #1 at FightTheSmears.com on Obama’s website, and I had nothing to do with it. So why me? Well, there’s a reason for this. It’s very simple. The Drive-By Media is agenda-oriented. They have an agenda. Their agenda is the destruction of conservatism as a viable political force in America and the Republican Party as well. Since they hate me in the Drive-By Media — and I don’t say that with any disappointment, don’t misunderstand. I’m not whining, ‘They hate me. Why do they hate me?’ They do, and they should! I’m the guy responsible for their having lost the monopoly. For 20 years, we have been just blowing holes in all of their credibility. There’s no reason they should like me.

But, as is the case with all liberals, their universe extends no further than themselves. So they think that everybody in America must also hate me, and so they are very comfortable putting my name in this story for two reasons. They hope to discredit the story. They hope to discredit me, because they look at me as America’s number-one conservative. Whether it’s true or not, that’s how they look at it. So they could discredit the whole movement by putting me in there and linking me with this story. It furthers the notion that conservative Republicans are racists, sexists, bigots, homophobe, the cliches that they all use. So this is an attempt by the Associated Press — and the reporter, by the way, was Nedra Pickler — to establish the narrative of the ‘whitey’ tape, that it had nothing to do with a liberal Democrat, Larry Johnson; that had only to do with racist, sexist Republicans who were spreading this vicious rumor, and causing poor old Obama to have to reply to it and so forth.

And then this gets picked up in every newspaper in the country. I have, for PR purposes, a little service here that clips any story that’s got my name in it; and there were 2,500 that came back on Thursday and Friday with this Nedra Pickler story. So it’s all over America that I was involved in this whole thing, and I never was. I never said I’d seen it. When I talked about it, I did describe it as a ‘rumor.’ I even went so far as to suggest that maybe, folks, be very careful with this, I said, ‘It might be that she’s saying ‘why’d he,’ a contraction: ‘Why did he?’ and people are thinking she said ‘whitey.” I brought up the source. I brought up that the source of this was not credible, a guy named Larry Johnson who, as previously explained, is a left-wing hack. Larry Johnson is in absent any of these stories in the AP or the rest of the Drive-By Media in terms of being the guy who got it all started. This is a hit piece on me and the conservative blogosphere, and they are fit to be tied as well at the AP, which is, you know, understandable.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Let’s start with audio sound bite number two first, Mike. Let’s go back to June the 3rd. Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends. It’s early in the morning, and Alisyn Camerota is talking with Bob Beckel, and he says this about Michelle (My Belle) Obama.

BECKEL: I always hear rumors. I hear thousands of them in the course of a presidential campaign. But this one I have heard from enough sources, it worries me. I won’t get in details on what it is except to say that there is some thought that there might be a very big shoe dropping on Michelle Obama tomorrow —

CAMEROTA: Wait a minute.

BECKEL: — and that — yeah. I can’t tell you what it is because I don’t want to perpetuate the rumors. But I will tell you this, it is — whoever is promoting this thing is doing it in enough ways, in a very smart way that it gets to me in ways that make me get worried about it. Normally I don’t worry about these things.

CAMEROTA: But it’s your understanding that this is bigger than, say, a college thesis paper?

BECKEL: Significantly.

RUSH: Everybody knew what he was talking about. Alisyn Camerota knew. This had been out there for a couple weeks. Beckel knew who it was that was supposedly supplying all these great rumors that was getting this some traction. Then last night back on Fox — and I don’t know why they keep having him back here; he is as discredited as anybody else they could find. Bob Beckel, they got a program on Sunday night at eight o’clock called Strategy Room, and he’s talking to guest Bret Baier. And he says, ‘Look, FightTheSmears.com has been set up by the Obama campaign. What about that, Bob? Do they need to do this kind of thing?’

BECKEL: If you got some evidence, it’s fine, but these guys don’t have any evidence. This story that they ran about Michelle Obama, which, by the way, I got in some trouble on by trying to cut it off, and — and — and Rush Limbaugh got on the radio and said, ‘Well, Bob Beckel mentioned it.’ I did not mention it. I said that there were smears coming around, one of them had to do with Barack Obama. But that gave Limbaugh the chance to say it all over again.

RUSH: So you see how this works? He didn’t say anything about Barack Obama, he was talking about a big shoe dropping on Michelle Obama, and everybody knew what he was talking about. He did not try to cut this off. He tried to expand it. He tried to amplify this rumor. He wanted this rumor to be picked up by even more people. He knew who was behind it, and then they throw me in. So it starts with the Associated Press putting my name in the story, when I had nothing to do with this. Now since it’s in the AP and it’s in the annals of the Drive-By Media narrative, okay, I had a role, I was the one who spread it, so now it’s free and clear for hacks like Beckel and anybody else who wants to include me in the story, and including me in the story, they think is more damaging to conservatives ’cause I’m target number one. So Rush Limbaugh got on the radio, said, ‘Well, Bob Beckel mentioned it. I didn’t mention it.’ Yes, you did, Bob, we just played the soundbite. Bob Beckel says he didn’t mention it. He said there were smears coming around, one of them had to do with Barack, but that gave me the chance to say it all over again? It’s probably the first time I had talked about it.

BECKEL: I always hear rumors. I hear thousands of them in the course of a presidential campaign. But this one I have heard from enough sources, it worries me. I won’t get in details on what it is except to say that there is some thought that there might be a very big shoe dropping on Michelle Obama tomorrow —

CAMEROTA: Wait a minute.

BECKEL: — and that — yeah. I can’t tell you what it is because I don’t want to perpetuate the rumors. But I will tell you this, it is — whoever is promoting this thing is doing it in enough ways, in a very smart way that it gets to me in ways that make me get worried about it. Normally I don’t worry about these things.

CAMEROTA: But it’s your understanding that this is bigger than, say, a college thesis paper?

BECKEL: Significantly.

RUSH: Significantly. Yeah. Then last night Beckel tries to deny that he had anything to do with it, that he was trying to shut it down, that I picked it up and ran. So, see, now the blame is with me, for wallowing in it, for furthering it, for giving it impetus, for giving it weight when it didn’t have any prior to that, and it’s now even manifested itself on my friend Howard Kurtz’s show on CNN’s Reliable Sources. Howard Kurtz is a better reporter than this. He uses a sound bite of me taken totally out of context that fits the narrative that he undoubtedly first read about in an AP story. This is yesterday morning, and you’ll also hear Obama and Kurtz on this bite along with me.

KURTZ: Among the other falsehoods swirling around about — there’s this story that appeared on certain sites about Michelle Obama supposedly having used the word ‘whitey’ in some kind of talk or rant at church or elsewhere. Rush Limbaugh was one of the ones who talked about it on the air, and Senator Obama was asked about that afterwards. Let’s watch.

RUSH ARCHIVE: They’re waiting to use it in October of Michelle going nuts in the church, too, talking about whitey this and whitey that.

OBAMA: There is dirt and lies that are circulated in e-mail, and they pump ’em out long enough until finally you, a mainstream reporter, asks me about them. And then that gives legs to the story.

KURTZ: And Limbaugh says that he — this rumor was pretty well widely circulated by the time he mentioned it.

RUSH: Right. So you mention that as the last thing in your report. This little bite they played of me: ‘They’re waiting to use it in October of Michelle going nuts in the church, talking about whitey this and whitey that.’ They leave out what I had said leading up to that, which is my describing for you what is being said about this tape and who has it and how they intend to use it. They’re waiting to use it in October, Michelle going nuts at the church, whitey this, whitey that, I was just advising you what was happening with this thing, long after everybody else had. But so it all starts in the AP, then it ends up with Bob Beckel running with it, Obama puts it on his website as I am the primary culprit, that causes Kurtz to pick it up on CNN, and you see this kind of thing has a life of its own. This is the Associated Press that did this. New York Times didn’t do it, Washington Post didn’t do it, CBS, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN didn’t do it; the Associated Press did it. They did it on purpose.

The Associated Press also has a story out today referring to Joe Lieberman as the Democrats’ public enemy number one. It is a full-fledged hit piece on Joe Lieberman. Democrats public enemy number one, Joe Lieberman, which goes to show that the Democrats do not allow mavericks in their party. They don’t celebrate ’em. They run ’em out and then they destroy ’em, with the help of the Associated Press. But there is, ladies and gentlemen, you see contrary to the AP’s desires, there are now ways to thwart the narrative. The Chicago Sun-Times runs this piece that checks statements made by campaigns and public figures for accuracy and so forth, and here’s what this little piece from the Chicago Sun-Times yesterday said: ‘News item: Barack Obama campaign starts new Web site to fight smears from political opponents at www.fightthesmears.com. The first smear mentioned: ‘LIE: Rush Limbaugh says a tape exists of Michelle Obama using the word ‘whitey’ from the pulpit of Trinity United.’ Well. No. This is what Limbaugh said: ‘The rumor is — and we don’t like dealing with rumors here — but the rumor is that Michelle Obama from the pulpit of this church used the term ‘whitey.’ Some are saying be very careful with this because she might have said ‘why’d he,’ why did he, the contraction ‘why’d he’ instead of ‘whitey.” He added: ‘I can’t find anybody who’s seen it.’ So while Limbaugh was happy to wallow in the rumor, he was careful not to claim the tape exists.’ So this is the Chicago Sun-Times.

The reason I spent so much time on this, of course, ladies and gentlemen, as you well know is not because it involved me, it’s just a recent example to illustrate, ’cause I think not enough time has been spent by those of us who have been trying to blow up the monopoly that’s the Drive-By Media on the Associated Press. The Associated Press has a monopoly still, they are totally in charge, nobody else competes against them in determining what’s in most of America’s newspapers on crucially important news stories, and I tie this to the coverage of Tim Russert and his death because from four o’clock Friday, maybe five o’clock Friday on, the coverage of Tim Russert’s death ceased to be about Tim Russert, it was all about the media. They used the occasion of his death to talk about themselves, to talk about how important they are. And one thing this thing proved, and I’ve made this point countless times as well on this program, the Drive-By Media primarily uses other Drive-Bys as its audience. Their audience is them. Their audience is not news consumers, contrary to what you might think.

They want to shape opinion, don’t misunderstand. But they do their work, they write what they write, they do their TV appearances. It’s all a little cluster. It’s just a circle, and these people do what they do to be seen by their peers, to be judged by their peers. So this coverage of the death of Tim Russert was nothing more than the media demonstrating that in their minds all of this is about them, and this gave them the occasion to talk about their importance and their fears, and their fear is that it’s not just Tim Russert who passed away, but their era and their dominance and their monopoly. And they’re right, and they know it. They presided over their own wake over the weekend, and they will continue to do so as this week unfolds.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: So essentially (to close the loop on this), the AP, the Associated Press, used me to spread the rumor itself! The AP used me to spread the rumor so that they could then turn around and say that I was spreading the rumor. This is how this stuff works.

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