RUSH: Snerdley said to me, ‘These people, this audience, they’re going to need you more than ever if McCain loses.’ I said, ‘Don’t worry,’ because, folks, let me tell you what’s happening, whether McCain wins or loses, we are going to rebuild the conservative movement.
We would not be in this predicament were it not for the fact that a bunch of wayward conservatives lost their way and a bunch of Republicans who got focused on the wrong way to win elections. If McCain wins or loses, it’s rebuild the conservative movement. That’s the focus, and that’s going to be an upbeat, positive thing. It’s going to be an interactive thing. It’s what happened in 1994. You know, Clinton wins ’93, we rebuilt the conservative movement, won the House two years later, first time in 40 years. Don’t panic. Let me show you what the Democrats are planning. This actually gives voice to it. Jeff Bingaman yesterday in Albuquerque on our affiliate, the EIB affiliate KKOB, this is during the Jim Villanucci show. Villanucci talking to Senator Bingaman. Villanucci says, ‘Talk radio listeners are concerned about the Fairness Doctrine. Do you think there will be a push to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine?’
BINGAMAN: I don’t know. I certainly hope so. I would want this station and all stations to have to present a balanced perspective and different points of view, instead of always hammering away at one side.
RUSH: Now, Mike — talking here to the broadcast engineer — start-stop in this next bite, so be standing by. Jim Villanucci then says, ‘Well, in this market, Senator Bingaman, for example, you’ve got KKOB, got us, if you want liberal talk you’ve got Air America down the street, you’ve got National Public Radio. If you have satellite radio, there’s a lefty talk station there and there’s a righty talk station. I mean, do you think that there are people who aren’t able to find a viewpoint that’s in sync with what they believe?’
BINGAMAN: My thought is that radio and media generally should have a higher calling than just reflect a particular point of view. I think they should use their authority to try to — and their broadcast power to present an informed discussion of public issues. You know, KKOB used to live under the Fairness Doctrine. Every broadcast outlet —
VILLANUCCI: Yeah, we played music, I believe.
BINGAMAN: Well, but there was a lot of talk also, at least it seemed to me.
RUSH: Stop the tape. Before the Fairness Doctrine was lifted by Ronaldus Magnus in the late eighties, I think it was 1987, you know how many radio stations were doing talk, Senator Bingaman? One hundred and twenty-five. And you know what was on those stations? I mean sometimes from midnight to six you’d get the wild wackos, the provocational political people, but most of the time it was the correct carrot cake recipe for the holidays, where the next traffic problem was going to be in town. Then you’d have a little segment where if your dog was lost you could call the station, and do lost animal reports. All of this wonderful stuff that nobody wanted to listen to, Senator. One hundred twenty-five talk stations. Senator Bingaman, do you know how many talk radio stations there are in America today? Try over 2,000 since the Fairness Doctrine was lifted, and on those 2,000 radio stations are countless points of view, from the extreme communist left to the wacko whatever it is way out on the fringe right. They’re all over the place.
What Bingaman is saying here is, (paraphrasing) ‘Well, it’s not that. We want every station to be balanced.’ What he wants is for this kind of programming to be stopped. Because of the way the Fairness Doctrine worked and will work, especially the way it will work if it’s ever reinstituted, reimplemented, within five minutes of my show open, 15 or more extremist groups in every city carrying this program will call the station carrying this show, demanding a response to the outrageous thing that I have just said. And then, after the next ten minutes, they would call again. After an hour, the management of the local station would probably have received over 150 phone calls demanding a chance and an opportunity to reply.
At which point the manager says, ‘I can’t keep up with this. In order to maintain my license, I’m going to have to do all this and grant all these people all this access. I gotta put amateurs on the radio? I gotta put talentness, complaining whiners on the radio? I’m not going to mess with it.’ And that’s how it works. It’s not that the Fairness Doctrine is passed and all of us go away. It’s that local stations will not put up with the grief they’re going to get. And that’s what Senator Bingaman and that’s what the Democrats want. They don’t want balanced programming on a radio station. They want no conservative programming on a radio station. He sounds all concerned and educated here, but make no mistake. Here’s the rest of his bite.
BINGAMAN: And there were a lot of talk stations that seemed to do fine. For many, many years, we operated under a Fairness Doctrine in this country. I think the country was well served.
RUSH: Stop the tape. A hundred twenty-five radio stations talking about carrot cake recipes for the holidays. Hell, I’ll tell you a little story. I got to Sacramento in 1984, my first real big break to do a talk show, and the Fairness Doctrine was in force. I got to town, it’s October of ’84. We’re a month, maybe three weeks from the election, the Mondull and Reagan reelection. So I get into town early, I’m driving around, I’m listening to the other talk station, there’s another talk station, I’m listening to the market, and nobody was talking about the election. Nobody was talking about it. Now, the morning news guys, ‘The latest news of the election is, latest poll shows Ronald Reagan down 50 points with Walter Mondale three weeks –‘ all that kind of garbage was going on, but nobody was talking about the election, honest to God, folks, it was carrot cake recipes, it was the latest fashion show going on at Neiman Marcus or what have you. And I said, ‘This is going to be a gold mine! Nobody’s talking about it!’
So I got out there and started talking about this stuff. In fact, Morton Downey, Jr., got fired, that’s how I got the job, he got fired for a political comment. He told a bad joke, he used a slur word about Chinese people, refused to apologize, bam, he’s gone. Then he went on to New York to do that ill-fated big-mouth TV show. And to this day still don’t know whose mouth is bigger when it’s open, Morton Downey, Jr.’s or Susan Estrich’s. I’m just talking about size, not what comes out of it. But I remember, I said something one day about some issue, and some local community black leader called, demanded to come in and respond to what I had said. Management bent over, grabbed the ankles, ‘Oh, sure, come on in,’ called me and said we gotta have this guy in here, so he came in, and I had to give up an hour of my show to this guy. I did my best to make it entertaining, but I mean I had to let him speak in order to let him have his access to Fairness Doctrine. It was the most boring damn hour of radio I’ve ever done, and that’s how this stuff works. So Bingaman doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about in terms — 125 radio — well, maybe he does know exactly what he’s talking about when you get down to it, because he wants all of this kind of conservative talk, because it’s effective, shut down. He says, ‘I think the country was well served.’ And then here’s how he ended it.
BINGAMAN: I think the public discussion was at a higher level and more intelligent in those days than it has become since.
RUSH: Man, would I have loved to ask him for examples of that. By the way, even with the Fairness Doctrine, NPR is going to be there all day, all the time, and all liberal. Conservatives aren’t going to complain to the Air America station because conservatives are smart enough to know that even if they get on the air there, nobody will hear what they say!