RUSH: Reggie in Dover, New Hampshire. Hi, Reggie, great to have you with us here on the EIB Network.
CALLER: Rush, first-time caller, longtime listener, truly an honor.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: I’m very excited. Hey, Obama’s acting classes must have paid off because yesterday his preplanned question with the Huffington Post reporter, that totally threw me for a loop. I couldn’t believe that.
RUSH: You know something? Anybody can say this to you. Anybody can say this to you. I rolled in, I left Hawaii at — what time was it? When did I get wheels up? Seven o’clock Monday night, so I left here at 1 a.m. and I rolled in at about I think 9:30. And I didn’t sleep on the plane. I was wired up and so forth. I got home and I tried to get some shut-eye and I couldn’t so I watched the Obama press conference at 12:30 yesterday. When that second question came, (paraphasing Obama) ‘I know there’s somebody here, Huff Po, probably got a question about people in Iran.’ I said, ‘This is staged.’ From the moment I saw this, I said, ‘This is a setup, Huffington Post?’ And it was indeed staged. Here’s how it all went down.
OBAMA: I know Nico Pitney is here from Huffington Post.
RUSH: Of course you do.
OBAMA: You and all across the Internet, we’ve been seeing a lot of reports coming directly out of Iran. I know that there may actually be questions from people in Iran who are communicating through the Internet. Do you have a question?
PITNEY: Yeah, I did, but I wanted to use this opportunity to ask you a question directly from an Iranian. We solicited questions last night from people who are still courageous enough to be communicating online. And one of them wanted to ask you this: ‘Under which conditions would you accept the election of Ahmadinejad?’
RUSH: Now, anybody with half a brain listening to that knows the whole thing’s a setup. The story is Obama did not know what question he was going to get but that they put the Huff Po guy in there and that the Huff Po guy agreed to ask a question from an Iranian. Now, the purpose of this, of course, is to provide an image of the great population of Iran desperately wanting to know what Obama’s going to do, desperately caring. The world of Iran is as much devoted to President Obama, the nation of Iran, as are the American people. And here of course is Obama’s scripted response.
OBAMA: We didn’t have international observers on the ground. We can’t say definitively what exactly happened at polling places throughout the country. What we can do is to say unequivocally that there are sets of international norms and principles about violence, about dealing with peaceful dissent, that spans cultures, spans borders, it is not too late for the Iranian government to recognize that there is a peaceful path that will lead to stability and legitimacy and prosperity for the Iranian people. We hope they take it.
RUSH: I don’t know what he knows about Iran and doesn’t know. I really don’t. I don’t know if he’s naive or if he’s just saying all this for public consumption to make people think he’s some kind of new arrival that can really talk and his words have the power to change these guys. He’s dealing with absolute whack jobs. These mullahs are whack jobs. They are lunatics. They are insane dictators. Worldwide norms? This is from a country that’s one of the lead sponsors of terrorism. This is from a country that teaches its people — well, other Arabs. They’re not Arabs, but they teach Arabs to put bombs on their infants and send ’em out to blow up themselves in buses. Anyway, the mission was accomplished, except everybody in the press corps knew it. The Politico is writing about it today. Everybody in the press corps knew that this whole thing was set up. They talked about it yesterday afternoon on Fox, Martha MacCallum talked to the reporter, Mike Emanuel, and the question, ‘There’s something that I think bears talking about a little bit. A reporter brought in from the Huff Po, the president knew what the reporter was going to bring to the table, some saying it was a little bit out of the ordinary.’
REPORTER: Definitely unusual behavior, Martha, when the president of the United States goes from an Associated Press question to Huffington Post. The reporter was escorted in by a deputy press secretary, the reporter, Nico Pitney, says that he’s been blogging about 20 hours a day about the Iran issue, somebody from the White House reached out to him, made clear that they would like a question directly from an Iranian, therefore he was escorted into a packed briefing room for the news conference and called on pretty quickly after the Associated Press.
RUSH: Associated Press gets the first question, since Helen Thomas is, you know, off chewing cud somewhere, and the first question always goes to Jennifer Loven of AP. The Politico story is that the reporters in the front row looked over at Rahm Emanuel, who laughed at them, smiled, gave them a wink. Everybody was in on this. Do you remember, however, the outcry over Jeff Gannon at the Bush press conference? The media claimed that he was a fake reporter with a fake name, used a question proposed by me, is what they said. It was a national crisis. February 2005, here’s a montage of that.
KEITH OLBERMANN: He misquoted Senate Minority Leader Larry (sic) Reid, as having forecasted an economy so bad it would produce soup kitchens. The remark was actually made in jest by the conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh.
HOWARD KURTZ: He’s in a position to ask the president of the United States questions like Harry Reid is talking about soup lines while Senator Reid never talked about soup lines. That was a characterization he picked up from Rush Limbaugh.
JUAN WILLIAMS: This guy was repeating exactly the kind of allegations coming out of Rush Limbaugh’s mouth.
RUSH: So when I throw a question out there and some reporter gets it, the whole thing is a trick, the whole thing is a stunt, stupid question, who is this guy? Wolf Blitzer talked to Jeff Gannon, and they asked him, ‘Should I call you Jeff or James?’
GANNON: Please call me Jeff Gannon.
BLITZER: So explain the discrepancy. Your real name is James D. Guckert?
GANNON: Yes. Well, it’s pronounced Guckert.
GANNON: It’s a professional name. I used it because Jeff Gannon is easier to pronounce and easier to remember.
BLITZER: But you haven’t legally changed?
RUSH: They went out and they tried to destroy this guy and the whole notion of a put-up, fake imposter, imposter reporter, a fake reporter. And yet a blogger gets in yesterday and Rahm Emanuel’s looking at the front row of the press corps winking and smiling at him.