RUSH: Bridget in Greenwich, Connecticut, you’re next on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush, how are you?
RUSH: Fine. Thank you very much.
CALLER: Hey, I’m calling because I just wanted to make a comment about the hypocrisy regarding Don Imus versus David Letterman, and Don Imus several years ago was excoriated for the comments that he made about the women’s basketball team at Rutgers, and yet occasion and Les Moonves didn’t hesitate to fire Don Imus, and yet David Letterman is getting a free pass for essentially calling Sarah Palin slutty and then showing the arrogance to go on and continue to make jokes about her family — and it just shows, it won’t be happening if Sarah Palin was a liberal instead of a conservative.
RUSH: Well, there’s also a big difference between Imus and Letterman, and that is Imus fell over backwards apologizing. He went down to Rutgers and he met with those basketball players, and he heard from them how his comments hurt. He spent two hours with the Reverend Sharpton on the Reverend Sharpton’s radio show. And still, the same company that has an agreement with David Letterman, CBS, threw Imus away, threw him under the bus, even though he had apologized. And there’s another big difference. Let me make one other difference. Letterman’s comments about Sarah Palin and her daughter were planned. They were written in advance by writers. They were put on cue cards or whatever it is that Letterman uses during his opening monologue. It’s a teleprompter, I don’t know. Imus, nothing written down on a radio show.
Well, there might be some hosts that are incompetent that have to have things written for them, but Imus is not one of those. Imus was just reacting to a comment one of his cohorts made, a stream of consciousness and so forth. He apologized for it when all the excrement hit the fan. Letterman is not only not apologizing, he is making it worse. But, you’re right. We’ve got CBS defending what Letterman had said. One of the ways that he’s being defended is, ‘Hey, look Palin put her kids out there! I mean, if Palin is going to put her kids out there, they’re fair game.’ Well, whatever happened to the notion that family is off-limits? And in fact Obama even said so during the campaign last year: Leave the family alone. And they do. They left Chelsea Clinton alone. They leave Obama’s daughters alone? Can you imagine if anybody made a joke about Obama’s daughters, what would happen here? You know, I think I have somewhere in my stack here the quote, or maybe it’s a sound bite of Obama saying something back then about leaving the families alone. I guess it’s not in the sound bites. I saw it somewhere. I’ve got it somewhere. Cut four. Well, it’s Palin saying it. But I know I’ve got the exact quote somewhere here of Obama saying it, too. Somebody went back and found his quote from the campaign. Anyway let’s play sound bite four. This is Sarah Palin today with Matt Lauer on the Today Show, and Lauer finally says, ‘Look, Letterman tried to explain this. Does he owe you an apology?’
PALIN: In the campaign Barack Obama said ‘family is off-limits. You don’t talk about my family,’ and The Candidate Who Must be Obeyed, everybody adhered to that, and they did leave his family alone. They haven’t done that on the other side of the ticket and it has continued to this day. So that’s a political double standard. He doesn’t have to apologize to me. I would like to see him apologize to young women across the country for contributing to that, kind of that thread that is throughout our culture that makes it sound like it’s okay to talk about young girls in that way, where it’s kind of okay, accepted, and funny to talk about statutory rape.
PALIN: It’s not cool, it’s not funny.
RUSH: The left really doesn’t find much wrong with this. ‘The Palins put their kids out there. I mean, they’re fair game.’ Well, the Obamas put their kids out there all the time. They’re on shopping sprees in Paris. They have vegetable garden shots. I remember during the campaign Obama was in Kansas City during a Democrat convention one of the first days, and he was doing some town meeting and at the convention that night they put Obama on the camera from the home of some resident in Kansas City and his kids were there. And they got the Chyron graphic wrong. The Chyron graphic said Obama in St. Louis, one of his daughters thought he was in Kansas City so the daughter was very cute and said, ‘Daddy, where are you?’ The kids are out there. She’s right there’s a double standard, but it’s more than a double standard.
There is a viciousness about Sarah Palin, or towards Sarah Palin just as there is a viciousness toward Miss California, Carrie Prejean. You cannot throw out of the mix — I’m sorry, folks, I know some of you are not going to like me saying this, but — they’re both attractive. They’re both well spoken, and they stand up for what they believe; and it’s the exact opposite of the dominant, perverted liberal culture of the day, and so it has to be slapped down. It has to be destroyed, and if you can do it by making a joke about Sarah Palin’s daughter and so forth, go ahead and do it. When you view yourself as godlike and you view your enemy — i.e., Republicans and conservatives — as the epitome of evil you tell yourself anything’s okay to get rid of evil. There are no boundaries in getting rid of evil. Letterman has just sunk to a shadow of himself. He used to be genuinely creative and funny back in his NBC days, but he has now just degenerated into an angry old man, filled with cynicism, not humor. It’s a sad thing to see, actually, because he was so good at one point and apolitical. But he’s like everybody on the left. They’ve just become enraged about things. Even after their side wins, they’re just enraged.
RUSH: We have that sound bite that I remember of Obama. This is September 1st of 2008. He was in Monroe, Michigan, and he held a press conference, Jake Tapper of ABC News said, ‘Governor Palin and her husband issued a statement today saying their 17-year-old daughter Bristol, who is unmarried, is five months pregnant. Do you have any reaction?’
OBAMA: I have said before and I will repeat again, I think people’s families are off-limits. And people’s children are especially off-limits. This shouldn’t be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Governor Palin’s performance as a governor or her potential performance as a vice president. And so I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories. You know, my mother had me when she was 18. And, you know, how family deals with issues and — and, you know, teenaged children, that shouldn’t be the topic of — of our politics.
RUSH: See, so he makes a statement but his acolytes don’t follow him on this, but he now occupies the lofty position of we’re going to leave it alone, we’re not going to talk about it. Then as everybody continued to beat up on Palin and her kids, he stood silent. He remained silent. He coulda stopped this, ‘I don’t want to win this way,’ could have stopped it being the highbrow and high-minded guy that he supposedly is.
RUSH: Yeah, people still say that Sarah Palin, she put her kids out there, they’re all over the place. How many magazine covers have Obama and Michelle and the kids been on? It’s too many to count.
RUSH: Now, ladies and gentlemen, it’s very rare these days when a public figure Republican defends me and doesn’t throw me overboard, but it happened last night. It happened last night on the Greta Van Susteren show on Fox. She was talking about this Letterman-Palin business, and she had as a guest the former Republican governor of Massachusetts, Jane Swift. And Greta’s question was this: ‘I’ve defended Secretary of State Clinton. I have defended Governor Palin from personal insults. They’re fair game for policy, but where are all of the feminists? Is it because this is the child of a Republican?’
SWIFT: Who knows what has to do with party politics, although I think Rush Limbaugh should get credit for standing up for a common standard of decency and I doubt there are many liberals who will recognize that, but the truth is, it’s wrong, it was a bad joke. David Letterman maybe should go back to his stupid pet tricks. The other thing people are missing is this isn’t like an unscripted moment. This is a joke that’s written beforehand and that he chose to deliver and I think that carries with it a special responsibility versus perhaps just saying something that you later regret.
RUSH: I made that point a moment ago. This joke’s written in the afternoon; it’s on the cue cards or whatever Letterman uses. They had to run it back and forth. I know there’s some women on that staff over there. Did no woman on the Letterman staff look at this and say, ‘Wait a minute, that’s a little overboard.’ Of course not. They’re all liberal women. It’s all fine and dandy. The decency thing is, you know, we can get lost and caught up in meaningless arguments such as, ‘Well, Palin put the kids out there. They were on the cover of magazines, and one of them practiced abstinence and then got pregnant.’ All of that to me is irrelevant. The whole thing was indecent. See, good comedy has to have an element of truth in it. That’s what makes comedy biting and funny is that there’s an element of truth in it. There was no truth. This was just a full-fledged slam. It was a disrespectful, cynical slam. And there had been nothing that brought it on. Palin wasn’t doing politics at the ball game. Her daughter wasn’t doing politics at the ball game. They were sitting there with Giuliani, who had invited them to go. It was not decent. It was not something that very many people would say in public, period. But the double standard clearly exists, and it always will. There’s nothing that’s going to change it. This is just one of the realities of life that those of us who are engaged in politics have to live with and to understand.
Chicago, this is Sharon, nice to have you. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Hi. Thank you, Rush. I decided this morning I was going to take a stand about what David Letterman said, and I e-mailed CBS and I told them I would never have his show on in my house again, never. It just seems this obsession they have with Sarah Palin, it is so far over the top. It’s almost irrational. They just won’t leave her alone.
RUSH: You know, irrational is right, irrational is exactly right. They’re scared to death of this woman.
CALLER: Well, that’s exactly what I said. I e-mailed her, too, and I told her what I did and I told her, ‘they’re so afraid of your strength,’ that they’re not gonna stop until she’s destroyed. It’s not bad enough they’ll stick the knife in her back, but they twist it by attacking her children.
RUSH: What point, if any, is there a backlash and there is some sympathy that is extended to Palin and her family?
CALLER: Well, I hope people recognize it for what it is. It’s not about being a Democrat or a Republican. Sarah Palin, the election is won, Obama won, and I just don’t understand why they don’t leave her alone.
RUSH: Because they’re afraid of her.
CALLER: They’re afraid of her.
RUSH: They’re scared to death of her.
CALLER: They are.
RUSH: And anybody else that surfaces. Look, this woman was drawing 20,000 people, or more, at campaign rallies. She was the sole source of excitement and passion during the Republican campaign.
CALLER: But they’re going to reduce her to a joke, and that’s what they’re trying to do with all of this. That was so mean-spirited to do that to her daughter.
RUSH: Let me ask you this. Do you think she made a mistake in responding to it?
CALLER: No. I don’t I don’t think so. I’m sure she gave it a lot of thought. I’m sure she gave it a lot of thought. And I think the point she made is that, you know, he’s a pervert to even talk about stuff like that about a 14-year-old girl. And I think it’s the truth. I think people need to hear her stand up for herself so she’s not one to be —
RUSH: I wonder if Letterman’s going to start telling jokes about people who have children out of wedlock.
CALLER: Oh, I doubt it. I saw him a few times when somebody would ask him, ‘When are you going to marry your baby’s mom?’ and he would just bristle, you could just see he didn’t like being questioned about that.
RUSH Yeah, his private life is totally off-limits.
CALLER: It’s totally off-limits. Exactly. I think what he did to those girls, I mean, it’s hard enough to be a teenager these days, but to have yourself being held up to ridicule on national television when you didn’t ask for it. That girl came there for a charitable event with her mom.
RUSH: It’s not even a question of asking. Who would ask to be treated like that? It’s not a question of asking for, it’s not a question of Sarah Palin put the kids out there. It’s a question of common decency.
RUSH: So what if she put the kids out. What politician’s family has hidden the kids? They don’t hide the kids. They use them, and then they hide them, and then they use them, and then they hide them.
CALLER: But I think the liberals are just obsessed with destroying Sarah Palin.
RUSH: Well, there’s no question — exactly right. Sharon, thanks. Very gutsy —
CALLER: Love your show.
RUSH: — of you to call with this opinion from the hometown of The One, Chicago.
RUSH: Thank you, Sharon.
CALLER: Thank you.
RUSH: Have a great weekend. I was not faking that call.