RUSH: Back in the days when Obama was sailing on the clouds as The Messiah he didn’t have any concerns about satire. He was very balanced about it. He was on WJR radio in Detroit, our 50,000-watt blowtorch affiliate there with Paul W. Smith. And Paul W. Smith said, ‘I have to do this, because Limbaugh is on our radio station and we’ll see him here tomorrow. You’ve heard Rush Limbaugh’s parody song, ‘Barack the ‘Magic Negro”’?
OBAMA: (laughing) You know, I have not heard it, but I’ve heard of it. I confess that I — I don’t listen to Rush on a daily basis. On the other hand, I’m not one of these people who — who takes myself so seriously that I get offended by — by every — every comment made about me. You know, the — you know, what Rush does is — is entertainment, and although it’s probably not something that, you know, I listen to much, I don’t —
SMITH: But you said not every day, so you do listen a little then, and why wouldn’t you?
OBAMA: I don’t mind. I don’t mind — I don’t mind folks poking fun at me. That’s part of the job.
RUSH: Well, well, well, this was May the 2nd of 2007, over a year ago, he was totally fine with satire. What do you think has changed, my friends?
(playing of ‘Barack the ‘Magic Negro” parody song)
RUSH: Keith Kelly today in the New York Post, a story on the New Yorker cover. (laughs) This just gets even better. Mr. Kelly writes, ‘As it turns out, it might not be just the Obama campaign that’s bent out of shape over this week’s cover of The New Yorker. Rumors have swirled inside Condé Nast, the publisher, that advertisers also were upset with the latest rhubarb, which depicts’ Obama and his wife as Muslims preparing to blow up the Oval Office, the American flag burning in the fireplace. You’ve seen it; you’ve heard about it. The publisher said that ‘he has indeed heard from people, but as far as he knows, none of them has been an advertiser — only disgruntled readers. ‘Our numbers are the first telephone numbers listed in the magazine, so we’re probably getting a lot of the calls,’ he said .’
‘Asked how many angry calls had poured in, [the publisher] said he had no way of gauging. While this type of controversy is the last thing a publisher needs in these troubled times, certainly if it gives advertisers pause, the timing is especially bad for The New Yorker. The magazine is now among the most troubled magazines at Condé Nast, and it remains to be seen if the current controversy upsets the title’s tenuous hold on profitability.’ You know what’s amazing about this? As an accomplished, powerful member of the media, this goes against every theory. This kind of cover and this kind of attention ought to cause massive amounts of new interest in this magazine.
There ought to be people running out there buying this magazine as fast as they can off the shelves, if for no other reason than the collector’s nature of the cover art. And now these stories, advertisers don’t like it and the readers don’t like it? Well, if the readers don’t like it, then something doesn’t make sense to me. Because the Drive-Bys have been saying that their primary concern over this cover was that the idiots and morons in the central part of the country (in flyover country: Kansas and Wisconsin, Missouri, those places) weren’t going to be smart enough to figure it out and they were going to think, ‘Wow, it must be true! Here’s a liberal magazine with Obama as Mohammed and his wife as a terrorist and Muslims on the cover. Why, it must be true.’
That’s what they were afraid of. But yet what we’re told here in this story on the New York Post is that the magazine’s readers don’t even like it. Now, I thought the magazine’s readers were sophisticated. I thought the magazine’s readers were sophisticated and intelligent and the only ones capable of recognizing the brilliant satire that this piece is. Yet, this story says they’re getting deluged with angry readers about the cover. Now, that must mean that the New Yorker’s readers (the so-called elite, the sophisticated) look at the cover and think the New Yorker is also calling Obama a Muslim and his wife an Angela Davis-type terrorist. So when you put it all together, it must mean that the New Yorker has an audience that’s a bunch of boobs, ’cause they don’t get it. Yet the Drive-Bys are concerned that it’s the hicks and the hayseeds, the hoi polloi that are not going to understand this.
RUSH: Harper Woods, Michigan. This is Bob. I’m glad you waited, sir. You’re next. Hi.
CALLER: Hi. I know you don’t like guests on your show, but I wish you would invite Barack Hussein Obama to come on and let him say anything he wants and maybe he would let you answer some of his questions. It would be free advertising.
RUSH: Wait, wait. Maybe he would let me answer some of his questions? You mean bring him on —
CALLER: Yeah, I think he gets easy questioners. Let him come on and say anything he wants, anything, and then let you ask him a few questions about —
RUSH: Oh, I thought you said at first you wanted him to interview me.
CALLER: Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. You let him say anything he wants, let him get some free advertising. I would like to know why he wouldn’t want to come on your show. Everybody would love to be on your show.
RUSH: I don’t think he would come on the program.
CALLER: Well, I don’t think he would, either, but I think you should, for five days in a row, you should invite him, just out of the goodness of your heart, let him say no, and explain why he wouldn’t want to come on your show. Let him explain why he wouldn’t want to be on your show. You’ve got a lot of listeners.
RUSH: Yeah, but that wouldn’t be a hard thing for them to explain. ‘Why should we go on some entertainer’s show? Why should we go on some show the only purpose of which is for this guy to try to slice and dice us? This guy is not a journalist. He’s not interested in what I have to say.’ They could handle that as far as their supporters are concerned. Bob, here’s the problem with this, and I just must be brazenly, blatantly, straightforwardly honest. I don’t care to talk to Obama. There’s nothing I want to ask him. I know everything I need to know. One of the reasons I don’t have guests, period, is ’cause I’m not curious to talk to people. I don’t want to turn over the responsibility, the success of this program to a bunch of rank amateur broadcasters who don’t care about the success of this program. The worst thing that could happen is for the audience to get bored. If I had Obama on, then I’d be faced with the possibility of having to give equal time to McCain, although I doubt he would insist on it in this case, but he would still be entitled to it. I don’t need to ask Obama anything. I know liberals. I know them; I know what they’re going to say before they say it. I know what they’re going to do before they do it. I know how they’re going to explain their failures when their ideas don’t work. I guarantee you, if I had Obama on here in a conversation all that would happen is that people who listen to this program regularly would get mad at me for going soft and not trying to destroy the guy, because I’m a polite person. They would get mad at me for this or either wasting their time having him on or what have you, ’cause they wanted to hear me. So the bottom line is this: If I don’t care to do it, if I’m not interested in it, then it isn’t going to sound good if it happens, plain and simple.