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RUSH: I’m going to give you an example of something here. This ’24’ story in the New Yorker by Jane Mayer starts out innocently enough with who Joel Surnow is and he is a conservative and so forth. You know that’s a crime, too, to be a conservative in Hollywood. You gotta raise the red flags over that, and then slowly… When Jane interviewed me — I knew what I was in for here, by the way. I’ve been there, done that. She started off innocently enough. ‘Oh, tell me about your friendship with Joel and how did it start? Nah-nah-nah-nah,’ and she wasn’t taking any notes. She was at the mall with her kids, and after about 15 minutes, she said, ‘What about the torture? You know, the ACLU,’ and so forth, and I said, ‘You guys are just on a mission here. You’re going to try to discredit this television show.’ This whole thing, this whole New Yorker story, is nothing more than a continuation of the Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, Club Gitmo, discredit the US military, shame this country over torture — as though it’s commonplace, as though it is common practice, as though that’s what defines the US military!

Inherent in this — and, folks, I have to tell you, inherent in this — is some of the most righteous indignation among some of the most ignorant people about what happens in war. The idea that war is as highbrow and as clean-cut as a bridge game at the Harvard Club? Spare me! And these people who are writing all this outraged, righteous indignation over torture haven’t the slightest idea what is at stake on the battlefield with this particular enemy, and we never, we never hear about the torture they inflict. We never hear about the atrocities that the enemy inflicts. Hell, when the enemy commits atrocities, somehow we are responsible for it! We get blamed for it, either through profiling or we’re too big of a superpower or what have you. Anyway, this story in the New Yorker has now triggered all kinds of follow-ups. This is the way it works in the Drive-By Media.

It’s now triggering all kinds of supplemental stories elsewhere in the Drive-By Media, such as this. This is CNN on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer last night talking to the info babe Carol Costello about ’24’. By the way, folks, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. We’re not defending the TV show ’24’ here. We’re not even talking about it. We’re talking about the attempt to destroy an institution that has kept this country safe: the US military. That’s what’s happening here. This is just the latest vehicle being employed. So Wolf says to Carol Costello, ‘It’s a hit American TV series seen around the world, and critics say it may be encouraging US troops and others to engage in torture.’ I haven’t heard anything more ridiculous. Now, the New Yorker story asserts this, and they’ve gone out and they’ve got quotes from people that say this. But, folks, I have to tell you, this is so ridiculous, it’s so patently absurd that highly trained and disciplined members of the US military are getting ideas from a television show!

Where do you think the television show gets its ideas? You think these guys in Hollywood are making this up out of their heads? Some of them do, but they have manuals. They’ve had conversations with people. This is also in the story, in the New Yorker. They’ve consulted experts on this. Do you think the US military doesn’t know about torture? Do you think they have to get ideas about it from a television show? So you get a twofer here. You get to try to destroy the US military and a television show at the same time. So anyway, Wolf says, ‘It’s a hit American TV series seen around the world. Critics say it may be encouraging US troops and others to engage in torture.’ Here’s a montage of Costello’s report and you’ll hear a voice here of a terror analyst by the name of Ken Robinson.

COSTELLO: You know it’s hard to wrap your mind around this one: a TV show influencing professional soldiers, but there are some who say it is and it’s dangerous. An advisory to our viewers, although ’24’ is a fictional TV show, the images from the program we’re including in this report, well, some of them might disturb you.

RUSH: Oh, come on!

COSTELLO: Torture as a tool is used often and effectively in the Fox TV counterterrorism drama ’24’. ’24”s good guy torturing his own brother. Jack Bauer, the tough, sensitive undercover operative justifies his —

RUSH: Stop the tape a second! His own brother, in the TV show, happens to be working with people blowing up nuclear bombs in the country! The whole premise of the show is the ticking time bomb scenario. It’s a television show, Carol! What a dip [bleep] you are. It’s a TV show. It’s got a scenario, the ticking time bomb scenario! His brother…! This is absurd. It’s as though they’ve never heard of this show before. Jack Bauer may as well be Superman. He may as well be Steve Canyon. Why don’t you go gripe about what Superman does or Batman does in some of these movies. Look what the Batman did to the Joker, Jack Nicholson. Come on! You want to talk about torture? This is absurd. Play the rest of it.

COSTELLO: — save America from the Islamic extremists who have just detonated a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles. That the fictional hero would torture is disturbing to Human Rights First. It worries American soldiers want to be like Jack. And while that sounds farfetched, Ken Robinson, a national security analyst who served in special operations units, including the CIA, says ’24’ is becoming a problem.
ROBINSON: The United States military is concerned about it because they’ve started receiving evidence that soldiers in the field have been impacted by it downrange in Iraq, utilizing, uh, techniques which they’ve seen on ’24’ and then taking them into an environment in the interrogation booth.

COSTELLO: A general from West Point went to meet with ’24”s writers to get the show to depict torture in a more realistic way — to show the audience such tactics often don’t work, are against the Geneva Convention, and hence have consequences. We did hear from the Department of Defense, in fact it sent us this statement. It says, ‘Our policy is to treat detainees humanely. Our men and women who handle detainee operations are professionals and they understand the difference between a TV show and reality.’

RUSH: Yeah, well, that should have been the focal point of your story instead of this Ken Robinson guy, ‘The US military is concerned about it. They’ve started receiving evidence that soldiers in the field have been impacted by it downrange,’ (Sigh.) ‘utilizing techniques they’ve seen on ’24’, taking them into an environment, in the interrogation booth.’ (Sigh.) Anyway, the whole point of this is — if you missed the first part of the show — I’m bouncing off a letter, an e-mail we got from a soldier, an airman in Iraq who says there’s great news going on over there and doesn’t understand why nobody knows it; why all these people are losing faith and so forth. And I’m trying to give you a down-the-line sort of illustration here of all the assaults that are taking place. Now, Gail Shister today in the Philadelphia Inquirer: ”24′ Tamps Down the Torture — It wasn’t protests that carried the day, but the programmers’ belief that torture had gotten ‘trite.” Now, I don’t want to give any trade secrets away here, but this is so much BS as well.

I’ll tell you what I’m talking about here in just a second. Let me read the story: “Fox’s 24 will become less torturous, not because the US military, human rights groups, and children’s advocates want it to. Howard Gordon, executive producer of the hit thriller,” is the one saying that we’re going to tamp it down. “The decision to cut back on torture is driven by creativity, not criticism, according to Gordon. In its sixth season, 24 has become so torture-heavy that it borders on cliche, [Gordon] says. ‘What was once an extraordinary or exceptional moment is starting to feel a little trite. The idea of physical coercion or torture is no longer a novelty or surprise. ‘It’s not something that we, as writers, want to use as a crutch. We’d like to find other ways for Jack to get information out of suspects,’ says Gordon. ‘Our appetite has decreased. Personally, I think the audience may be tiring of it as well. My wife says it’s too much.'”

There’s the real reason why the torture is coming out of “24”: the writer’s wife’s tired of it. Now, the point is, we have to see when this torture actually comes out because… well, I can’t give away too many secrets here, but what is this? This is February the 15th? They’re probably finished with episode 20. They’ve probably only got four more to shoot, maybe six more, max, and people are reacting to the torture that’s happened through episode nine! Now, episodes ten through 18 at least are done, and they’re not going to go back. The idea that what’s happening now is going to have an immediate impact on next week or the next week after that is just flat out wrong and BS. Let me grab a quick phone call here before we go to the break. This is Jay in Seattle. Thanks for waiting, sir. Welcome to the program.

CALLER: Good morning, Rush. I just wanted to explain what torture is. Torture is when you read a letter from a guy like Tazz that’s over there risking his life each and every day, and the United States Congress and the United States Senate are on the floor every day calling Tazz a liar, and they call the generals a liar, and when you take six people who — in total that were convicted in Abu Ghraib, tried and convicted under a US military court martial and you — label 3.1 million military American servicemen and women as torturers, that is torture. And that’s what the Democrats do to our military each and every day.

RUSH: Amen. I don’t need to add anything to that. Well said.


RUSH: I just got an e-mail from a friend who said, “Rush, I like ’24,’ but even I had to turn it off Monday night when they got the drill out, when the terrorist bad guy got the drill out and started drilling the guy’s shoulder.” Now, the point is this… By the way, the person who sent me the e-mail is a good, good, good liberal, all right? Now. (Sigh.) I have found so many people think make believe is truth and truth is fiction. (Sigh.)


The drill did not permeate the skin! It’s Hollywood! It’s make-believe. The blood is colored water or food coloring or Jell-O or what have you! (Sigh.) Yet real-life bad stuff, real-life bad stuff is written off! Fake torture in a television show, everybody watching knows it’s not really happening! Don’t you? Don’t you! It isn’t really happening! They probably do five takes. The actors go home. There’s not a mark on their bodies, unless there’s an accident. Then, of course, there’s a big settlement, and it all works out. (Sigh.) I don’t know. My patience for all this is wearing thin, because the subject is torture, as though the real crime that’s being committed in the world is US torture, not the massacre of innocents by militant Islamofascists! We’re getting away from the point of what all this is about, and we end up blaming ourselves. We’ve got the Drive-By Media ginning up as much anti-American sentiment as possible in concert with the Democrat Party in this country, and in the process we’re trying to tear down an institution which is designed to maintain this country’s freedom and to protect it. That’s its sole purpose, and it is under attack as the criminal element in this war — and I’ve about had it with this idiotic, silly, irrational way of looking at this. We’re a nation of a bunch of pansies! (Sigh.) Geneva, Ohio, this is Beth. Welcome to the program. Nice to have you with us.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. This is an honor, and I really want to thank you for your steadfast support of our troops.

RUSH: Thank you very much.

CALLER: You know, this week —

RUSH: I really am not qualified to talk about the troops, according to liberals because I’ve not been a troop.

CALLER: Well, neither have I, but I do work for a troop-support organization, so I’ll consider myself a little bit knowledgeable.

RUSH: You ever been in a foxhole? You ever been shot at?


RUSH: You’re not qualified to talk!

CALLER: (Laughing.) Well —

RUSH: Thanks for calling, good-bye.

CALLER: (Laughing.) I did want to say, though, that, I have seen this week such a despicable display of these people in Washington. I am ashamed to say my own representative, Steve LaTourette, from Ohio is one of them.

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: And, you know, I am disgusted. I’m absolutely disgusted, and I can tell you right now: the troops see this. They hear this, and it is affecting them.

RUSH: Let me tell you something about your congressman. Why do you think your congressman is breaking ranks with his party and joining the Democrats on this?

CALLER: He’s probably looking at a poll or something.

RUSH: He thinks… See, congressmen run for election every two years.

CALLER: Oh, yeah.

RUSH: So he thinks this is what’s necessary. He’s probably looking at presidential approval polls, Republican approval polls or whatever, and I have no doubt that he thinks this is what he’s gotta do to get reelected.

CALLER: He will not have a sign in my yard the next time, I’ll tell you that. But, you know, thank God our troops have each other to count on right now because they sure as heck can no longer depend on the support from their government or the lazy, spoiled, and I have to say uninformed American public because I am about where you are right now. I am disgusted. So…

RUSH: Well, good. Well, we can form a club: The Disgusted.


RUSH: I’ll tell you something else. Help with my memory here. Mr. Snerdley, remember all the way back, late eighties, early nineties, all of the debates in Congress about violence and sex in television shows? What did Hollywood tell us? “It doesn’t affect kids! No, no, no! It’s just a TV show.” Tipper Gore was on the warpath and Lieberman was on the warpath and McCain was threatening big foot, jackbooted thug action against these people if they didn’t clean up their act — and of course, the Drive-By Media was right in there supporting Hollywood. “Well, this is just a television show! You conservatives are going nuts here. You conservatives and your social values, damn it, you are screwing everything up! You are destroying creative and artistic license. Don’t pick on Murphy Brown! Dan Quayle is an idiot, blah, blah, blah, blah! Murphy Brown, Candice Bergen, is a brilliant artist, a brilliant actress, ten times as smart as Quayle. Shut up, Quayle!” Now all of a sudden, you’ve got a popular show that is associated with conservatives and we gotta destroy it, because of the influence it’s not only having on kids but the influence it’s having on highly trained members of the US military! It’s insulting my intelligence.



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