RUSH: To the phones we go, to Pam in Baltimore. Pam, great to have you. Has it cooled down a little bit there?
CALLER: No, it hasn’t. A little teeny bit. It was really steamy hot the past couple of days.
RUSH: Yeah. I saw that. It’s miserable. It is July, though.
CALLER: Yeah. It is. I was gonna ask you about something, but before I do, I have a proposal for you — a challenge, perhaps.
RUSH: I just got married.
CALLER: I know.
RUSH: I just got married June the 5th.
CALLER: I know. You sound like you were very, very happy. It’s the first time I ever heard you sound like that on the radio. (giggles)
RUSH: It’s true. I mean you’re absolutely right.
CALLER: So I’d say congratulations to you and your wife for that.
RUSH: Thank you very much.
CALLER: But I have a question first and then a proposal.
CALLER: Is there any particular reason why, Rush, that I never see you outside of what appears to be your comfort zone, a conservative-type place whether it’s conservative talk radio or conservative news media? I mean is there any reason why you don’t kinda, you know, shake it up a bit and appear on shows that are not strictly conservative?
RUSH: Oh, yeah. There is. Most definitely.
RUSH: I’ve reached a point — this is actually a very good question, Pam. It’s something that I wish everybody would experience. I wish everybody could experience it. I wish everybody could achieve what I have been fortunate enough to achieve. There’s not one thing in this life I have to do that I don’t want to do.
RUSH: I don’t want to go on television shows with one-tenth the audience the radio show has, and I don’t like talking with people who don’t know what they’re talking about and get into contrived arguments and debates where nothing is solved. I don’t want to go places where somebody’s only looking to notch their belt with whatever they can do with me. I have the most listened to radio talk show in the country. I don’t need to go anywhere else to reach people.
RUSH: They come to me.
CALLER: I understand that but just like, say, for the sake of your listeners and other people who may be interested and your positions, something that compares to… Because there’s a radio host who I don’t know if he’s reached out to you — I’ve heard him reach out — as far as having an honest debate, not, you know, any kind of trickery or anything else. His name is Warren Ballentine, and he would be willing to meet with you on your terms at any place to actually sit down and have an honest discussion on your views I guess versus his. And your audience can compare and you may be able to reach people that are not strictly in your audience.
RUSH: Well, in the first place, I don’t know of the person you are mentioning.
CALLER: Okay. He knows Armstrong Williams. Are you familiar with Armstrong Williams?
RUSH: Oh, yes, I am familiar with Armstrong Williams. But I didn’t know he had a radio show because I don’t listen to anybody else who does radio.
RUSH: Because, again… Pam, you’re gonna misunderstand this. But professionally, the way I approach this psychologically: There isn’t anybody else on the radio. I show up here at noon each day, in my mind, my audience knows nothing until I tell ’em. All right?
RUSH: There isn’t any anybody else. Why should I go on a radio show that in my mind doesn’t even exist just because somebody has issued a challenge?
RUSH: I mean, that’s trickery in and of itself, which is what you’re engaged in, because you said you wanted to talk about the New Black Panther lawsuit —
CALLER: I do!
RUSH: — and now you’re asking me why I don’t go run around on radio and television shows that have no viewers or audience.
CALLER: Well, I did want to talk about the Black Panther lawsuit, and I did say that but I was just listening to you and you said some other things that just made me think, and I’ve thought about that because I hadn’t seen you in ages. I mean, I’ve seen you on Fox and I know Barbara Walters interviewed you once, and I just thought I would ask the question. But in reference to the New Black Panther lawsuit, I was wondering what your take was on it, because I listen to your show quite a bit and I didn’t hear you talk about it. Your producer said that you had. But I didn’t. And I was wondering what your position was on it.
RUSH: My position on New Black Panther lawsuit is based strictly on what the line attorney who handled it is saying about it and that is that he was told to drop the charges and to forget about it because the Eric Holder Justice Department is not going to pursue cases brought against black defendants. So it seems to me that we have quotas and actual racism going on in the Department of Justice. You have voter intimidation as well. I mean these people, these guys, were trying to intimidate people from showing up and voting or voting the wrong way. I just know if it were the Klan standing out there at a black polling place, you wouldn’t be asking me why in the world I have a problem with it.
RUSH: Now, folks, I want to explain something here. Many people are going to misunderstand what I told our previous caller from Baltimore. She asked me why do I not go on the other shows. I was honest with her. In fact, I don’t have to go on these shows, to appear on these shows. I am a regular particularly on some of these cable TV shows. They play audio, video from this show. They quote me in context and out, accurately and inaccurately. I don’t have to go on those shows to appear on them. What I want to explain here, it’s just a professional thing. A lot of people are gonna take what I said as an insult, and I don’t mean it as an insult to anybody. But I have never listened to anybody else on the radio. There’s a specific reason. I don’t want to end up copying anybody, accidentally or on purpose. The best way to eliminate your own originality is start getting ideas from other people.
So I don’t listen to anybody else. Now, this business about don’t I know there’s anybody else on the radio. Of course I know other people on the radio and I know many of them, and they’re, my friends. I’m talking about psychologically coming in here at 12 noon every day. If I were to come here at 12 noon psychologically every day and say, ‘You know, the audience already heard everything I’m going to talk about,’ I would have no enthusiasm for it. I’d have no reason to speak to you. So in my mind when I start here at noon every day, you don’t know anything until I tell you — and you certainly don’t know what to think of it ’til I tell you what I think of it. And as far as I’m concerned, there isn’t anybody else that does this. That’s why I don’t really on anybody else to tell you what I think you should find out. That’s why I spend eight to ten hours a day in show prep.
I’m not going to rely on some other show or another TV network or whatever informing you. That’s my job. So it’s a purely psychological thing. That’s why I joke around: ‘If I haven’t said it, it hasn’t been said. If I don’t talk about it, it’s not worth you knowing it.’ Plain and simple. It’s not meant as an insult to anybody. In fact, it’s a little inside baseball. How do I approach. This how do I do it? And that’s all I meant by it. I was not insulting anybody else who does this, but I was being honest. Why should I go on a show that has 400,000 viewers? I’ve got that many at the corner of 59th and Madison in New York every day. Why should I waste my time on any of these shows? Plus I don’t want to. And as I say, I’m very fortunate.
I’ve gotten myself at a point in life, I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. (interruption) I did all that. H.R. is pointing out I did all this when I was building the show. The first two years every weekend except four I was out doing personal interviews. I did every interview I could. In fact, the people at WABC in New York got tired of all the camera crews coming in every day to do videotaped segments of the program. After a while it became… By the way, I finally figured out none of these people really were interested in what I was doing. Give you an example: Bill Clinton’s State of the Union Address 1994. We get a call from ABC or CBS. They want to bring a camera crew in and get videotape of what happened on my program responding to it, and then they would say, ‘Take some callers. We want to know what the callers are saying.’
I said, ‘Well, then you don’t come here. This program’s about what I think. If you aren’t gonna do a segment on what I think about it, why are you coming in here? ‘Because it’s a pain in the butt for you people to come in here. You disrupt everything. You put these lights up. You gotta put microphones taped on my belt and so forth. It’s a pain in the butt to do this.’ So after they had served their purpose, you know, the, pffft! Don’t need it anymore. Now I don’t do it unless I want to do it. I don’t go anywhere unless I want to. They had it… (interruption) Well, and speaking of which I just got this story.
This story just cleared. This is David Bauder from the Associated Press: ‘Americans avoided television in historic levels over the past week. CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox together had the smallest number of prime-time viewers last week in two decades of record-keeping, the Nielsen Co. said.’ Now, that’s primetime entertainment programming. The nightly newscasts? You know, these people are already dead and buried. They’re in the ground, they just don’t know it. Somebody slipped them a breathing tube and a canteen of water and they’re able to survive down there underground, but it’s over. I guarantee you by 6:30 at night the only people who do not know what’s happened that day are either drunk, stoned, or 85 years old and don’t know how to use a computer and don’t know how to tune a cable channel. Pure and simple.
RUSH: Ralph on I-35 in Texas. You’re up next on the Rush Limbaugh program. Hello.
CALLER: Mr. Limbaugh, it is good to talk to you, a longtime listener. I must tell you however that this entire political situation is your fault, and that is because you and Ann Coulter did not provide us with a prodigy to lead us out of the wilderness. If you had done that, we wouldn’t have the situation with us today.
RUSH: Now, this is interesting. I’ve had a lot of things blamed on me, but not anything like this.
CALLER: Well, we have such faith in you that if you had provided us with a prodigy we wouldn’t have this problem today.
RUSH: Hmm. Why is it up to me to provide this progeny?
CALLER: Well, you are above average in intelligence and therefore must have good genes to match up with Ann Coulter.
RUSH: How many smart people have you seen with absolutely stupid, worthless kids?
CALLER: (laughing) Well —
RUSH: It’s not an automatic. It’s not a given.
CALLER: That’s a very good point.
RUSH: He-he-he. It’s not a given, but I appreciate your sentiment nevertheless.
CALLER: Keep up the good work, sir. I appreciate it.
RUSH: Thank you very much out there, Ralph. Actually, I have stated on occasion that I have blamed myself for the — what would we call it, the political rancor in the country today, and here’s why. If you go back to when this program started in 1988, what did we have? We had CNN and the three networks, the newspapers and the magazines. And back then the media was what they are today. They were purebred liberals, pro-Democrat and so forth. But they were not open about it. They were arrogant and cocky, but there was no constant daily battle going on. Now, since I started this show in ’88, look what’s resulted, all kinds of conservative media now that’s forced the old mainstream media out of their shell, and now they’re activists, they’re no longer pretending to be objective. They are in the mix every day, and so all of this partisanship, the media was always ripping Republicans, but the Republicans didn’t have any way to answer it. It’s in part what led to the creation of this program.
But in the sense that the old mainstream media is now activist, agenda oriented, open about it, is my fault ’cause their monopoly is gone. They don’t have the ability to shape opinion like they used to and they’re angry as they can be about it. They cannot beat the country into submission anymore. They can’t simply get us out of Vietnam. They couldn’t get us out of Iraq. They tried and tried and tried and that roiled the country and divided the country even more. So I’m not blaming myself, I’m not saying I shouldn’t have done it, don’t misunderstand. I’m proud of it. I’m just saying.