RUSH: ABC News says that I jumped on the school speech program on September 2nd. I wasn’t on the air September 2nd. Even when I’m not on the air, even when I am on vacation, I move the debate.
HARRIS: By September 2nd, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are all over it.
RUSH ARCHIVE: So he goes out and tells these kids you gotta take personal responsibility. He never even does that in his own life.
HARRIS: By September 3rd, school districts all over the country are coming under pressure not to show the speech to students. The conservative echo chamber is not new, but this White House is operating in a vastly accelerated media environment where you no longer need to be in the presence of reporters to make news. The damage was done. The White House was again thrown off message. Even in their success, you probably shouldn’t expect the right to relent any time soon. In fact, today, Rush Limbaugh urged his listeners to keep at it.
RUSH ARCHIVE: What happened in August is going to be required behavior of all of us for the remainder of this guy’s first term.
RUSH: Oh, man, ABC out there blaming me for the furor over the school speech. Howard Fineman last night on MSNBC, was asked this question: ‘How foolish does this look now that the speech has been delivered? And this Florida GOP chairman who pushed the idea, ‘Oh, this is the second speech.’ When confronted, ‘What’s your evidence there was another speech,’ earlier says ‘I don’t know.”
FINEMAN: The White House sources I have insist that the speech was not changed. There is an undertone of fear here among certain parts of the country to object to the idea that the president is calling on kids to work hard in school and be proud of themselves and do the right thing is crazy, and for Rush Limbaugh to say that it’s somehow unpatriotic to say that it’s patriotic to stay in school doesn’t make sense, especially when back in the Bush administration they accused everybody of unpatriotic activity if they so much as dared to question the president’s conduct of the war, for example.
RUSH: Howard, who said ‘unpatriotic’? I never uttered the word unpatriotic about this speech. What I said was he didn’t believe a word of it, that he would not give that speech to the American people at large, that he does not practice individual responsibility or encourage it in any of his agenda items. For crying out loud, Howard, where are you getting your template-filled information here? If you just listened to yesterday’s show you would know that I said Obama purposely gave a mainstream conservative and insincere speech. ‘Cause I don’t think he meant a word of it. If he did, then let’s see it, let’s see everything he told those kids enacted in parts of his agenda. But they’re not. People aren’t competent enough to take care of their own health care; they’re not competent enough to buy the right car; they’re not competent enough to use energy properly; they’re not competent enough to buy the right lightbulb. So he goes out and tells these kids personal responsibility? It doesn’t fit, Howard. But nobody called it unpatriotic. I called it conservative, down the line conservative. In fact, Obama is the only guy that could have given a speech like this mentioning God twice in a public school. If a Republican had tried that there would be a protest today.
To the phones we start in South Holland, Michigan. Tom, welcome to the Rush Limbaugh program. Hello.
CALLER: South Holland, Illinois. Rush, how you doing?
RUSH: I’m sorry, yeah, welcome to the program, sir.
CALLER: Rush, listen, for years I’ve been listening to you as a local broadcaster. I’ve been on few local stations, but I want your listeners to know, I attended my first tea party put on by the Tea Party Express that came through here into New Lenox last Saturday.
CALLER: It was an experience I’ll never forget. It was great entertainers trying to rally patriotism, accountability. The only time that they ever got a little bit upset was when you mentioned Pelosi, Reid and the fact that they’re trying to take over the country with this health care program. It was nothing but a bunch of grassroots people walking back and forth all day long with them talking to ’em. They had every veteran from the Iraq war, the Gulf War, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, and World War II stand up and be acknowledged for their service, and applauded, they waved flags, they sang patriotic songs. Rush, I walked away from there feeling more American than I’ve ever felt in my life. I turned on the news the next day or that night, on ABC, and you’ve got the most distorted view I’ve ever seen in my life. The helicopter flying overhead completely diminished the size of the crowd with its views —
RUSH: Let me ask you a question here, Tom. Was this a local ABC News cast or was it the ABC national —
CALLER: ABC Channel 7 coming out of Chicago.
RUSH: Well, okay, ABC is ABC, Chicago —
CALLER: ABC is ABC, and I’m telling you, I was so mad at the way they represented us. They called us an angry crowd. Rush, I’m telling the truth, it was not an angry crowd unless you mentioned the health care program, and if you want to talk about the fact that they think that they’re organized, nobody ever — and I walked that place stem to stern about three or four times — nobody ever approached you said there was going to be an organizational thing, nobody ever even mentioned that you should do one thing or the other, but whether we were doing the Pledge of Allegiance, and it was a completely extemporaneous thing when it came to ‘under God,’ everybody just, in unison, brought up the volume about three or four times, and like I said, it was the most —
RUSH: They’re scared.
CALLER: I can see —
RUSH: Tom, they’re scared.
RUSH: The media are scared. The media are scared. Everybody knows that they are carrying Obama’s water. But as I said yesterday, another factor that explains media behavior is they genuinely do hate the people. Not personally because they don’t know the people. They hate the people that were at your tea party. They hate when they stand for. They don’t want those people to win. And you people are winning. Obama’s losing. In every poll on health care he’s losing and that makes ’em as mad as anything does. Because they think they should have the power to shape public opinion like they used to. They get furious when every effort they make to shape public opinion doesn’t work. It makes ’em furious. And so you add that to the template and the stereotypes that they already have of conservatives and people like this who show up and it’s not surprising at all that you would see the report that you saw. ‘Cause they’re just mad. And they’re scared.