RUSH: I mentioned at the top of the program that Tom Brokaw is upset. He thinks that the entire White House Correspondents Dinner needs to be rethought. Before we get to that, there’s one Brokaw bite prior. He was on Meet the Press during the roundtable with David Gregory, and they were talking about the presidential race, Obama’s campaign rally. David Gregory said, “‘There’s a strong place for government,’ Obama says. A ‘strong place for government,’ Tom. What do you think of Obama saying that there’s ‘a strong place for government’?”
BROKAW: I’ve been all over the country in the last three weeks and with all due respect to the president, there’s a real wariness out there. Uhhh, they’ve gone from having pneumonia now to having a kind of strong virus when they look at the economy and you could use that old phrase, you know, “Fool me once, uhh, that’s your fault. Fool me twice, it’s my fault.” The fact is, th-th-they want real hard, tangible evidence — in their communities, in their states — that it’s gonna get a lot better. And I think that they have lowered their expectations. We’re not gonna get back to where we were before all this began very swiftly.
RUSH: Um, would somebody explain to me how that equals victory? No, no, no, no, seriously. We’re not France yet. I know in my heart we’re not France. So Brokaw has just described what he sees out there. “It’s tough for the president … real wariness out there, people have gone from having pneumonia to now having a strong virus when they look at the economy,” and they got fooled by Obama once, but not a second time. “People want real hard evidence in their communities, their states that it’s going to get better, and people have lowered their expectations. We’re not gonna get back to where we were…”
I don’t know about you, but I have not lowered my expectations, and nobody on the EIB staff has lowered their expectations — and if they have, and I find out about it, then we’ll do something about it. I refuse to believe this. Now, some people are out of work and may be depressed and so forth, but you’re telling me that this…? Now, I know Brokaw’s not saying it. I’m a jumping off on this into a whole different point now. I don’t think Brokaw is arguing that this benefits Obama. Don’t misunderstand.
I’m just asking independently of this: How in the world does this equal reelection? With this characterization of the people of this country who don’t expect to get back to where we were just three years ago? They don’t expect to get back to 5% unemployment, don’t expect economic growth of three to four to five percent? They don’t expect that? Damn wrong! They do. That’s why Obama’s going to lose. People do expect that. People do expect this country to rebound. We always come out of recessions.
Where did this settle in that people don’t expect that? I’ve got some Obama bites. Well, I’ve got… Well, I’ve just gotta find this Obama bite because we’ve got some bites here of him talking about how it’s gonna be 15, 20 years. I think they start at number… Ah, jeez, everything’s out of order. Is it six, seven, and eight? Yeah, six, seven, and eight. Okay, we’ll get to them in just a second. Here’s Brokaw also during the roundtable on Meet the Press talking about the media coverage of the presidential race, and Brokaw added this…
BROKAW: I was out on the road when the White House Correspondents Dinner popped up again. And I looked at C-SPAN coverage and read all the accounts of it. And if there’s ever an event that separates the press from the people that they’re supposed to serve, symbolically, it is that one. It is time to rethink it. George Clooney’s a great guy. I’d like to meet Charlize Theron. But I don’t think the big press event in Washington should be that glittering event where the whole talk is about Cristal Champagne, taking over the Italian Embassy, who had the best party, who got to meet the most people. That’s another separation between what we’re supposed to be doing and what the people expect us to be doing, and I think the Washington press corps has to look at that.
RUSH: Hmm. Hmm. Yeah, I’ll do my best at explaining it. When I first heard about this, I started asking myself, “What was the White House correspondents dinner like when Brokaw was the anchor of the Nightly News and went to it?” I don’t know. Well, I do know, actually. It wasn’t what it is today. It was not Washington’s version of the Academy Awards without the awards. It was black tie, but the tradition was the president showed up and made fun of himself.
It was a self-deprecating night. The president made fun of himself. It was where the press that covers the president, they just had a… I’ll tell you when the change happened. I know exactly when the change happened. It started between 1988 and 1990, when the media’s monopoly blew up and when the media started openly taking sides rather than hiding the fact that they were taking sides. When it became obvious that the media was itself involved in the ideological battle and not just covering it, the event changed.
And that’s when it became necessary for your allies to show up with you — and the more glittering and the more famous, the better — and once they started inviting outside celebrities to the thing, then the cocktail parties began, ’cause those people have to be entertained. I mean, after all, they call it “the nerd prom” for a reason. So if you’re asking the Hollywood glitterati (which is the top of the show biz ladder) to show up with people near the bottom rung of it, you’d better have something for the top rung people to have fun doing rather than just listen to political speeches.
So you bring ’em in, and you have the pre-parties and the post-parties all to entertain the guests that show up and make it an attractive event for these glitterati guests to accept the invitations. And then the fact that Clooney and people like that are there is supposed to add credibility and glitter to the people in the trenches fighting the ideology war — the media, the reporters, the anchors and so forth — which makes them appear bigger. And so sides were chosen even more. And then they can’t became was the room is 80% Hollywood and Washington/New York media, 20% conservative circus acts who show up to be laughed at and made fun of, all for the purpose of serving this tradition.
Now, the news media is out of touch. There’s no question. But it’s not because they’re serving Cristal Champagne. How can you be out of touch when you’re serving what P. Diddy drinks? That’s what P. Diddy drinks. When he’s not drinking Ciroc Vodka he’s drinking Cristal. All these rappers, all these guys order it by the case at these clubs. So, yes, they’re groupies. The Washington press corps are groupies for both the president (when he’s a Democrat) and for the Hollywood glitterati and showbiz people they invite.
It’s a chance for the gas station attendant to get a date with Cameron Diaz, in a manner of speaking. And then once that happens, and once the media admits that they’re joining the ideological fight rather than ostensibly covering it, then the whole night becomes an extension of what they do every day, which is building up themselves and criticizing and trying to take down and take out their enemies. And slowly but surely the conservatives that show up are dwindling in number, because they know they’re circus acts.
Now, the reason Brokaw is attacking it? I would have to guess that — and I’ve asked this question about Democrats. “Is there an adult Democrat who sees where the current crop is taking this country and doesn’t like it? Is there one Democrat left that really isn’t a radical utopian socialist or statist? Is there one Democrat, like old Bob Strauss used to be, or Jack Valenti who ran the Motion Picture Association? By the same token, are there any media people left who really are embarrassed at MSNBC?
Are there any media people left who really think that the whole industry is losing whatever reputation it had? Maybe that is Brokaw, but he pulls no punches here. Now, it’s not because of Cristal Champagne. It’s ’cause the other stuff, and I don’t think… (interruption) No. No, no, Snerdley. It’s not because he wasn’t there and was jealous and didn’t get to meet Charlize Theron — or Theron? How does she pronounce her name? I’ve never heard it pronounced. What is it? Nobody knows? Well, I don’t, either, so I don’t want to be accused. But these media people have lower approval numbers than Congress has. That kind of stuff matters to ’em.