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RUSH: You expected us to be here today, and here we are. Everybody else is on vacation, and we here at the EIB Network are live from the offices of America’s Anchorman. Great to have us with us, my friends. It really is. Snerdley, let’s do Open Line Friday on Tuesday today since this is it. I will not be here tomorrow or the rest of the week or next week, back at it on January 5th. Telephone number 800-282-2882, the e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com.

What? No, I’m not going anywhere. The Madoff thing. I’m staying here. You know, it’s bad out there. This actually has become a status symbol. We were talking about public relations and the rich, and the phoniness with which they operate and so forth. It has now become a status symbol among the rich to say that you got ripped off by Bernie Madoff, because everybody is losing money in the market, everybody is, but it makes you special and unique if you lost money because of Madoff. These people don’t think it makes ’em look stupid. It continues to elevate their status, they think. So there are people actually saying, ‘No, I won’t be coming down to Palm, maybe a couple weekends this year but, you know, the Madoff thing, we’re not going to be able to be quite as active.’ I’ve had people tell me that who heretofore I didn’t know they were involved in the Madoff thing, (laughing) it’s amazing. Anyway, ladies and gentlemen, the program today will feature a wide variety. We will cut a wide swath through our stacks of stuff, as well as deal with our normal pre-Christmas program.

It’s deja vu. Today in the UK Daily Mail, and now everywhere on US websites, is a picture of Barack Obama in a boxer swimsuit with a totally bare upper torso, showing him to be in quite good shape. Drudge got hold of this picture and also got hold of a similar one of Vladimir Putin. He’s running an online poll asking people to vote on who looks more buff, and so far Putin’s winning 18,000 to 12,000 for Obama, and I’m kind of surprised, I thought Obama would run away with this, given the popularity of The Messiah. So now, ladies and gentlemen, it’s not just what he says but how he says it, but now how he looks when he says it. And the Drive-Bys are having Obasms over this. They just think it is the coolest thing.

Now, not to nitpick here folks, but is this the right image for what Obama calls the worst economy since the Great Depression? Seriously, people are getting laid off, they have been ripped off by Bernie Madoff, some people are working two and three jobs, Obama is blasting anybody who gets a bonus, and he’s showboating as a workout freak in Hawaii who manages to find time for golf, and he says the worst is yet to come. Just as the Clintons popped up magically on that beach down in the Virgin Islands about three weeks before the Lewinsky story broke, you know damn well that Obama intended for this picture to get published in as many places as possible. If you get a Republican, you get grief for golf. I get grief for talking about golf from my audience, for crying out loud. He’s being praised for going out and playing golf in the middle of the Great Depression 2 in which he says things are going to get worse.

Remember when Bush would go on vacation, Bush 41, Bush 43, and all the Drive-Bys, ‘They don’t care, they’re not in touch, they’re detached from reality.’ I think this could be a plan to keep celebrity magazines in business, a stimulus plan, if you will, for image magazines. Maybe it isn’t image, though. This is the thing to consider. Maybe it isn’t image. Maybe this is who Obama is. If it’s good enough for a president, who’s to say that Caroline Schlossberg doesn’t have the right lack-of-stuff to be a US Senator? Have you seen, she will not release any of her financial data until she is appointed? It’s nobody’s business — (laughing) — the Drive-Bys are hitting her pretty hard. I have to say that the Drive-Bys, they’re hitting her pretty hard. It’s somewhat comical to watch this. Let’s go to the audio sound bites, ladies and gentlemen. We will start yesterday and last night. We have a montage of Drive-By Media figures swooning over Obama’s Hawaiian holiday.

CUOMO: (music) Aloha, President-elect Barack Obama says Mele Kalikimaka on a bright Hawaiian holiday. We’ll take to you to the $30 million retreat where the future first family is spending Christmas.

SPENCER: (music) The president-elect vacationing in the Aloha State; inside his incredible $30 million vacation retreat.

YUNJI DE NIES: (music) The Obama’s, along with close friends, rented three houses, worth more than $30 million. Each a spacious 5,000 square feet with waterfalls and a lagoon pool that flows throughout.

VARGAS: Barack Obama and his family arrived to Hawaii over the weekend to a multimillion dollar ocean-front home.

HILL: The president-elect and his family are in Hawaii, where they’re getting a little R&R before the big move to Washington. They’ve rented a $9 million oceanfront home, but the vacation is not all sun, surf and golf.

RUSH: They just love the fact that they get to pack off and go to Hawaii now, instead of Crawford, Texas. They are so happy. But listen to the admiration that they have and listen to the appreciation that they have, (imitating Drive-By Media) ‘Thirty million retreat where the first family is spending Christmas. (panting) The president-elect vacationing in the aloha state inside his incredible $30 million vacation retreat. Oh, isn’t he special!’ Now, we all know what happens when Republicans try going on lavish vacations. Yesterday, PMSNBC live, the anchor David Shuster spoke with correspondent Savannah Guthrie about Obama’s vacation in Hawaii. Shuster says, ‘We just saw the pictures of Obama I guess on the golf course yesterday, and apparently he was requesting spam. Sort that out for us.’

GUTHRIE: He did golf yesterday, 18 holes, and he took a break at the snack bar and ordered, among other things, a local delicacy called the Spam musubi. It’s kind of like sushi. It’s rice and then it has a slice of Spam on it and this particular kind also had an egg and then it’s wrapped in seaweed and it’s said to be delicious and people really love it. Spam musubi.

RUSH: Wow, he’s just like us, folks, he’s just like us, he eats Spam musubi and seaweed. He’s not an elitist whatsoever. Obama eats Spam. I don’t know what the carbon footprint this fun in the sun is, Mr. Snerdley, and I don’t know if any AIG executives are holding a seminar at the same time while Bam is out vacationing here in the aloha state in $30 million worth of rental property. We have another Drive-By Media montage. Obama and the media are calling the pictures of his naked upper torso an invasion of privacy. But listen to the owner of the agency and the boss of the photographer in this piece. You’ll hear him say that Obama gave it up, that they wanted these photos to be taken.

YUNJI DE NIES MONTAGE: The beaches in Hawaii, including the Kailua beach where the Obamas are staying, are all public, and that makes keeping this family vacation private almost impossible. (VO) The photos show the Obamas at ease: the president-elect strolling in swim trunks; his wife, Michelle, in her one-piece bathing suit, private moments that are now an Internet sensation.

GRIFFIN: In our parlance, we would say ‘he gave it up.’ That’s the expression in the business, that he gave up the picture.

YUNJI DE NIES: Photographer Chris Behnke didn’t hide what he was doing as he snapped the pictures from his perch on Kailua bench. Behnke was just 150 feet away from the Obamas. Their security detail has laid out a seaweed barrier in the sand and has been turning people away, but from this close, it’s hard to stop a telephoto lens. It’s something the Clintons had to get used to. They were spotted dancing in the sand on one vacation. It may be part of the job, but that doesn’t make it easy.

RUSH: How stupid this reporter is. How gullible and stupid. Who is this reporter? I don’t know how to pronounce the name, Y-u-n-j-i, Yunji, I guess, and then small d e, N-i-e-s. Yunji de Nies, Good Morning America. ‘The Clintons had to get used to it, they were spotted dancing in the sand on one vacation. It maybe part of the job, but it doesn’t make it easy.’ This is a disgrace to journalism, and it continues to increase as a disgrace. This is all planned, this is all imagery, this is all PR. These pictures were intended to be taken. A seaweed barrier, for crying out loud. What seaweed’s going to stop anybody? A seaweed barricade? He’s either hiding behind seaweed or he’s eating it at the halfway house on the golf course with Spam on top of the seaweed or in the middle of the seaweed or what have you, with some rice thrown in there. These Drive-Bys are just groveling.

Let’s go back to this Clinton thing. I think it was in St. Thomas, somewhere in the Virgin Islands. It was January 5th, the first working day after the Christmas break in 1998. Unbeknownst to everybody at the time it was three or four weeks before the Lewinsky story was going to break, and the Clintons knew the Lewinsky story was gonna break, and all of a sudden on the front page of the Los Angeles Times was a black and white picture of president and Mrs. Clinton dancing in their swimsuits on the beach down there, and it was a fairly close-up picture. It only appeared in the Los Angeles Times. We learned later that there was no music being played, there were no speakers on the beach; they were humming along whatever tune they were dancing to. It was not a flattering photo of either of the two.

Now, I am not going to be any more descriptive than that, but there was no online poll of this. Just trust me on this, ladies and gentlemen, it was not flattering, especially to Mrs. Clinton, and she had to know it wouldn’t be. This had to be one of the biggest bullets she had ever knowingly bitten, to pose for this picture to try to present an image that all was hunky-dory and cool mere weeks before the Lewinsky scandal was to go public. So one paper, it was the Los Angeles Times, and at the White House press briefing with Mike McCurry on January 5th of 1998, an unidentified reporter said, ‘Mike, there were some surreptitious pictures taken while the president was in St. Thomas for stills and television. Does the White House have any concern that there was a security risk implied by the fact that those pictures could be taken?’

MCCURRY: I think the president is confident that he’s well protected by the Secret Service. I think if there had been any security threat, they would have attended to it appropriately. The issue is a different one which is we try to work in an amicable environment where we help you do your jobs and you respect certain ground rules that we set, and that didn’t happen in this case. Not much of anything we can do about it, but that’s the fact. The president said that he considered the picture an invasion of his privacy. That was his answer. He’s long ago given up any sense that there is any privacy in the White House, and, you know, he just has to live with what he’s put through by all of you.

RUSH: Now, here’s the thing about this. I will never forget this. At the time that this reporter stood up and asked the question, everybody else in the pressroom was clueless. What picture? It had only run one place, in the Los Angeles Times. And, you know, people out there had seen it, no big deal. McCurry wanted this picture plastered everywhere, and so this willing accomplice reporter stands up and asks a ridiculous question. McCurry gets to portray Clinton as a victim of no privacy in the White House when he was on a public beach in St. Thomas dancing while there was no music being played, with his wife. The picture then got plastered all over the place and, ‘Oh, look at this loving couple, what a wonderful, oh, oh,’ because there were all kinds of rumors here with the status of their marriage and this sort of thing. The same thing is happening here with Obama, this is a replay, it is a repeat, it is total PR, it is total imagery, and it is quite telling in that regard.


RUSH: Mr. Snerdley reports to me there are angry liberal Democrat callers that don’t want to go on the air. They want him to pass on their messages to me, and many of them are saying, ‘What’s Rush making a big deal out of Obama going to Hawaii where it’s his home state?’ I didn’t make a big deal out of him going to Hawaii. The Drive-Bys are! The Drive-Bys are talking about how wonderful it is that we’ve got a president-in-waiting renting $30 million worth of rental property that is posing nude from the waist up (on purpose) for image photography. It’s not what he says; it’s how he says it — and it’s how he looks when he says it. The stock market, ladies and gentlemen, is down 40 points on the news that Vladimir Putin is outpolling Obama on Drudge’s hunkiest authoritarian socialist poll, and it’s not even close out there. Putin is running away with this; and I, frankly, am surprised because I thought it would be the other way around.

I thought it would be Obama. continuing on the wave of popularity as The Messiah, who would be skunking Vladimir Putin. But it’s apparently not to be. No, folks. I don’t care where Obama goes. He can go wherever he wants. You liberals are going to have to understand something: I’m not the one that wants to put limits on anybody. You people are. I don’t want to judge anybody by wherever they go. It doesn’t matter to me where he goes. If he wants to go to Hawaii because it’s his home state, fine! Hunky-dory. Plastic banana, good-time rock ‘n’ roller dittos. What I’m talking about is the dual-faced media. George W. Bush stopped playing golf with his father and with his family during the Iraq war because he said, ‘It just doesn’t look good.’ Obama’s out there eating seaweed and Spam. He’s playing golf.

He’s renting $30 million worth of rental property for himself, three houses for his family and friends and so forth. All well and good. And the Drive-Bys are swooning! They’re falling over backward. They can’t say enough about how wonderful this all is and what a great guy Obama all is, and it’s just sickening to see what has become of journalism.

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