Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Kilgore, Texas. Phillip, I’m glad you called, glad you waited. Welcome to the program, sir.

CALLER: What an honor, Rush.

RUSH: Thank you.

CALLER: What an honor.

RUSH: Thank you very much, sir. I appreciate that.

CALLER: You know, I’ve been listening to you so long, it’s just like talking to an old friend. You’re very, very good at what you do.

RUSH: I appreciate your saying that. Thank you very much, sir.

CALLER: And one more thing before I get to my question. I just appreciate you allowing Mark Davis to host your show. He’s truly missed in Dallas.

RUSH: Well, he’s a good guy.

CALLER: Yes, he is.

RUSH: You will not find anybody harder working and more loyal than Mark Davis. Whoever he works for has got one of the most loyal employees they could ever have.

CALLER: Oh, yes. Hey, the question I have for you, I heard you talking earlier about CNN’s dismal —

RUSH: Are you Mark’s father?

CALLER: No, sir, I’ve just listened to him ever since he’s been in Dallas.

RUSH: I’m just funning’ you, you know.

CALLER: (laughing) Well, thank you, sir. You know, one other thing before I get to my question. You know, the one thing I love about you the most is your sarcasm. It’s truly genius. I appreciate the way you add that to your show.

RUSH: Thank you, sir. And thank you for getting it.

CALLER: Oh, yeah, it tickles me to death. I love sarcasm and you’re probably the most sarcastic person I know. (laughing) But the question I had, you were talking about CNN and their dismal viewership, if you were allowed to, how long would it take you to turn CNN around and make it similar to what Fox is?

RUSH: Couple of days. Just the announcement that I was going to run CNN would add a million viewers a night, just the announcement that I was gonna run it would cause a million people to start tuning in. And then when we started making changes, it wouldn’t take long at all.

CALLER: Yeah. I think you’d probably do it within a week anyway.

RUSH: That’ll never happen. Don’t sweat it. Well, let me just tell you something. This is a classic CNN. This is classic. A good friend of all of ours, Bob Tyrrell, his magazine’s the American Spectator. And the American Spectator has been around long before I started my radio program. Even in Sacramento, back in 1984, the American Spectator was, I guess, the foundation building blocks for me in establishing conservative — they’re one of the places that helped me to understand why I knew what I knew, why I thought what I thought. And Bob Tyrrell, you talk about humor and sarcasm, he has a column called The Continuing Crisis, and he has a way with words that’s unique.

There are a lot of people today writing, a lot of people blogging, and Bob Tyrrell is classic with his use of words. Some of the stuff that he wrote in the Continuing Crisis back 1984 and ’85 when I was living in Sacramento, I just envied it. Anyway, he’s got a new book. His book is called The Death of Liberalism. And he firmly believes that liberalism is dead, as a practical matter, just in terms of numbers. He said the numbers of people that are liberal is not all that high. He said liberalism doesn’t have policies that work. And he makes this case. See Snerdley’s in there frowning. “Liberalism isn’t dead.” And of course as a living, breathing, functioning ideology, of course it’s not dead. Tyrrell’s point is that if we all grew up and matured a little bit and stopped being afraid of these people, we’d understand what a genuine minority they are.

If we honestly assess the results of their policies, they’re disastrous. They don’t work. Liberalism doesn’t work. And he goes into the reasons why it looks like liberalism succeeds, why it looks like it’s powerful, but his point is that liberalism has died. Not that it’s no longer alive and around, but in terms of substantive relevance, liberalism is lost. Anyway, it’s a great book. And you might disagree with it when you read it, but you should. It’s been out a couple of weeks ago or so, Death of Liberalism. And his name is spelled with two R’s and two L’s. R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. Just Amazon search it, Death of Liberalism.

Anyway, he was scheduled to be on CNN to be interviewed about his book. He was going to be interviewed by our stalker, Carol Costello. Carol Costello is the CNN reporter that’s assigned to follow me around in the news and then report on what I’m doing. Of course, Carol never listens to the program or calls me. To report what we’re doing she reads Media Matters or listens to excerpts of sound bites of the program to learn — it’s amazing how so few — and this one of Bob’s points, by the way. All the news media’s liberal, and here they’re writing on me, for example, or on his magazine. They don’t read his magazine when they write, they don’t listen to this radio show when they write about it. They have to go somewhere else to find out what they think happened here.

At any rate, he was scheduled to be interviewed in a typical book publicity interview on CNN by Carol Costello and his book publicist received word that he had been disinvited. The reason CNN disinvited him is because Bob had called Obama a stealth socialist. And that, they thought, at CNN was being rude to Obama. So no appearance on CNN with Ms. Costello. And I have this on highest authority from somebody at American Spectator. American Spectator, by the way, is where Jeff Lord works, who’s been doing some fabulous reporting on the left lately, ever since this phony Republican War on Women stuff.

Now, you look at all the names that CNN people called George Bush. Hitler, Bush-this, but maybe what upset CNN was that Bob calls him a stealth socialist. Maybe they’re upset that he didn’t call him a full-fledged out-of-the-closet socialist. Maybe they’re upset he called him “stealth.” Anyway, he was disinvited because of this. What I would do with CNN — well, it’s not hard. Basically, what I would do is I would have every editor there listen to this program and then, in primetime, everything we covered on this program would be treated as the news of the day, ’cause that’s what I do. I do the news of the day. They ignore the stuff that we find on this program. I just put the news on that they don’t find interesting or that they don’t think is news.

This is a broad, broad overview. I mean philosophically what CNN’s gotta do is decide who they want to be and then admit it. Right now they’ve got themselves believing that they are objective, nonpartisan journalists. They believe that MSNBC is liberal, that Fox is conservative, and that they are Edward R. Murrow. It’s what they think. Don’t doubt me. It’s exactly what they think. They also believe that the news should have no opinions. (laughing) While they’re full of opinions. The problem is they won’t own up to their opinions. They won’t admit to it. You’ve gotta be competitive in the arena in which you choose to battle. And it’s very clear what cable news has become. It’s become personality-oriented opinion, unabashed, fearless personality opinion. Anything else is pretense. And if you’re gonna do personality-oriented opinion and then deny that’s what you’re doing, then you’re never gonna pull it off because people are gonna realize you’re not even being honest with yourself.

But the fix, I don’t want to lead anybody to believe that it would be simple. Don’t misunderstand. But I do think if it were announced that I were gonna be running CNN, can you imagine the excrement storm from everywhere if that happened? But the tune-in factor would be through the roof, the curiosity tune-in factor. Do any of you doubt that you could improve it? Every one of you thinks you could improve it. Just go show by show. Go segment by segment. Nope, wouldn’ta done that, here’s the way to do that. Segment by segment you could fix CNN, show by show.

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