RUSH: So what do you think the big news from over the weekend is? No. The fact that Rodney King died is not the big news from over the weekend. The big news from over the weekend is not that Obama decided to bypass Congress and usurp the Constitution. No, no, no, no, no. The big news was that some reporter had the nerve to try to ask Obama a question about his actions while he was reading his teleprompter announcing his latest dictate. I kid you not. It was all over the Sunday shows. They want this guy censored. They want him thrown in jail for not showing proper respect to the king, this Neil Munro from the Daily Caller.
They want the Daily Caller shut down. They want Chatsworth Osborne Jr. strangled by his bow tie. It’s amazing. It actually is not, but that’s what’s given the White House press corps and the rest of the people inside the Beltway the vapors. Imagine heckling the president by asking him a question. They want this guy’s press credentials rescinded. Neil Munro is his name, from the Daily Caller.
Greetings, folks, it’s great to have you here, telephone number, 800-282-2882. The e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com.
I watch all this. I listen to all this. Anybody ever heard the name Sam Donaldson? Oh, for crying out loud, what do you think Sam Donaldson did to Reagan all during the eighties? In fact, the press had a technique during the eighties, and it’s something that took hold and for all Republican presidents thereafter it has been utilized. Yeah, Rather did it to Nixon. I mean this is common. This is what journalists are supposed to do out there. When Reagan finished an appearance, Sam Donaldson would either shout a question, and then everybody would start shouting questions, as Reagan walked away. And they kept it up, and the whole point was to make Reagan appear aloof and unresponsive and sometimes even senile, feeble, deaf, unable to hear. It was all part of a campaign.
We went back. The Daily Caller found this. In fact, Chatsworth Osborne Jr.’s outfit, went back and found a 1987 AP story: “Why Do Grown Men and Women Shout at President Reagan? — According to many, The Daily CallerÂ’s Neil Munro breached protocol by shouting a question during a Rose Garden statement by President Barack Obama on Friday. But an Associated Press article from 1987 reveals that MunroÂ’s behavior was hardly unprecedented. Over at the conservative media blog Newsbusters, Tom Blumer has unearthed an Oct. 14, 1987 AP story by Christopher Connell that asks, ‘Why do grown men and women shout at President Reagan?’
“In the piece, Connell explains and justifies aggressive behavior by reporters that cover the White House. ‘Grown men and women are shouting at President Reagan at the top of their lungs,’ Connell wrote. ‘They do it for a living.’ Get over it.” He didn’t write “get over it.” I threw it in there, ’cause that’s what he means. “Get over it.” It’s what they do for a living. Not anymore. They’re stenographers today. You ask the president a question when he’s usurping the Constitution, and guess who gets in trouble? You do. You’re not supposed to interrupt the king like this.
“Connell noted that the shouting even took place at ceremonies.” But this guy Connell, Christopher Connell, 1987 AP story, ended up blaming Reagan and his aides for all this. “But they say the blame rests with Reagan and his aides who have sharply curtailed opportunities for the press corpse to engage the president under more civil circumstances.” So Reagan wasn’t doing a whole lot of press, 1987, Iran-Contra, Reagan’s not appearing a lot. When he went out there they just shouted left and right before he speaks, during his comments, when he’s leaving the podium they shouted, and it was his fault because he wasn’t giving them enough of an opportunity to shout at him and to interrupt him.
Now, one reporter, there might have been two, but one reporter basically asked one question and the press corps chases this guy all the way down to the Washington Monument. (laughing) I don’t know, folks, we just have to laugh about it, but a lot of it is not funny when you get right down to it. But Mr. Blumer at NewsBusters notes that this aggressiveness by the White House press corpse occurred throughout both of Reagan’s terms, likely in an attempt to make the president seem aloof and standoffish. And all Munro did was ask the question that should have been on the mind of every American watching: Why do you favor foreigners over Americans here? You’re gonna flood the job market with 800,000 illegal kids, or yutes, where are you giving them precedence and favorable treatment over Americans?
The news media used to call that speaking truth to power. But not any longer, ladies and gentlemen. How about Helen Thomas? (imitating Thomas) “Mr. President, Mr. President.” Helen Thomas and Sam Donaldson, what a tag-team duo that was. Some of these names may not mean anything to you, at least in terms of their historical context, but there’s nothing new under the sun here. Asking questions, this is mild. Obama gets kid-glove treatment for crying out loud. They wear mittens when they go in there and ask these questions. They’re making him out to be a baby. Can’t handle a question from a website news organization.
Remember last week, might have been the week before, these days all run together, but TIME Magazine’s Mark Halperin asked for a truce. We were laying too many gloves on Obama, called for a truce. Okay, let’s stop making a big deal out of these comments that these candidates make that they don’t really mean, a little off the wall, let’s stop blowing this stuff all up. Well, Chris Cillizza, Democrat frontman, yesterday in the Washington Post: “Can Any President Succeed in TodayÂ’s Political World?” It’s so mean out there and it’s so partisan out there that, you know, I don’t think any president could actually govern anymore because it’s so, so mean.
Here’s how he starts his story. “Lost in the chatter about whether President Obama will win a second term in November…” See, they admit that’s the chatter, whether Obama will win a second term. “Lost in the chatter about whether President Obama will win a second term in November is an even bigger — and perhaps even more important — question…” Can you believe the Drive-Bys say there’s something more important than whether or not Obama will win a second term? What, pray tell, might that be? Well, let’s read further.
“Perhaps an even more important question is: Is it possible for a president — any president — to succeed in the modern world of politics?” Are these guys throwing it? It’s impossible. It’s impossible for poor President Kardashian to govern. It’s so mean out there. “Consider this: We are in the midst of more than a decade-long streak of pessimism about the state of the country…” No, we’re not. The streak’s three-and-a-half years. Maybe four at the outside. There wasn’t any kind of pessimism about the country in 2005 and 2006. The pessimism began in 2007 when Pelosi and the gang took over the House and started implementing their policies. The pessimism began when Obama was elected, then did the stimulus, then did health care, started doing damage to the economy, that’s when the pessimism began. There wasn’t any pessimism before. Nothing out of the ordinary.
But, anyway, “We are in the midst of more than a decade-long streak of pessimism about the state of the country, partisanship is at all-time highs and the media have splintered — Twitter, blogs, Facebook and so on and so forth — in a thousand directions all at once.” Damn it, we don’t own it anymore! (sob) We don’t dictate anymore. (sniffling) All these people are doing it! Everybody’s a journalist. I thought I used to do something special. I was a reporter for the Washington Post, and now everybody has a Twitter account and I don’t count for beans. (crying)
It is so bad, Obama can’t govern!
(sigh) Washington Post, whining is not attractive. Complaining, whining… I don’t know how to deal with whiners anyway. Do you? I literally don’t know how to deal with them. No, I’m serious. Well, maybe I laugh at them. I don’t know how to deal with them. Anyway, Cillizza says, “We are in the midst of more than a decade-long streak of pessimism,” but you see what we have here? The mainstream news media is pining for the days when they had total control over setting the agenda. That’s what he means here by Facebook, blogs, Twitter, and so on.
(sobbing) There are so many people out there who do what I do, and they all have readers. (crying) You know, writing at the Washington Post used to mean something, so I know how he feels. Back in the days… I’m not making an excuse for him, but in my line of business and work, back in the day it was just ABC, CBS, NBC. When you got a job at one of those places, it was special. There were only three places you could work. Then CNN came along. It was different. Cillizza isn’t old enough; he wasn’t part of the monopoly.
He remembers it, but back in the day it was the three networks, the Washington Post, New York Times, and that was it. Maybe TIME Magazine. They determined the news agenda. And it was that that was attractive to all these guys. That attracted them to get into the news business, and now they’re in the news business. And they look at the golden age not as now, but way back then. They’re really offended that some jerk can type 140 characters on Twitter and get more attention than somebody with a byline at the Washington Post or the New York Times.
It would irritate you, too. And we also have, I think understandably because Chris is young, a total ignorance of history. You know, up until the 1970s, even small towns had a couple of newspapers, sometimes more, and there were a variety of political views. The liberal mainstream media’s total control over the flow of information has been a relatively recent and short-lived phenomenon. But it existed, and they long for it. And the partisanship of today? Oh, it’s so bad!
Like it’s so partisan? One reporter asked the president a question! Stop and think. One reporter asked a question and it was the news all weekend. The news was that one reporter asked a question and that he was partisan. How many reporters were at that press conference? It wasn’t even a press conference. It was a little announcement of how, “Hey, you know what the Constitution means to me? (Raspberry)!” President Kardashian strode into the Rose Garden and said, “Here’s what the Constitution means to me. (Raspberry)!” One reporter asked the question, and we’re told there’s too much partisanship out there.
The partisanship of today is just as strong as it was in the days of Nixon. Do you see the press trying to drum this president out of power? Well, they did during Watergate. And in their minds, they succeeded. They hated Nixon. And I’m the new Nixon. They’re trying to drive me out of business. Oh, grab audio sound bite number three. I have to thank Sarah Palin. She was at the RightOnline Conference. The right-wing bloggers and so forth met out in Las Vegas over the weekend. Americans for Prosperity put the thing on, RightOnline, and she was the keynote speaker. She touched on a lot of things, including this.
PALIN: Look at the Big Kahuna, the fearless leader of some of us Dittoheads, Rush Limbaugh.
AUDIENCE: (applause and hoots)
PALIN: Look what they try to do to him with him being the center of these massive campaigns to try to silence him. And I think of Rush when my girls and I were trucking down the road in our truck. And radio’s blasting and Kelly Clarkson’s song comes on. And I think of Rush when it says, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” These yahoos out there doing all that they can to try to get Rush to sit down and shut up, they’re making his point every day with the double standards and the hypocrisy. And he just comes back stronger and stronger and more credible because they make his point for him. What a gig he’s got. Just let him talk!
RUSH: Right on. Sarah Palin. Thank you, Governor Palin. That was at the RightOnline event, our guys in Las Vegas over the weekend. But the partisanship of today? Nixon. Reagan. I don’t know if you were alive or, if you were, if you’re paying attention. They hated Reagan! Every press conference it wasn’t one Neil Munro, it was all of ’em. And we just found this ’87 AP story. NewsBusters dug it up. They did it on purpose to make Reagan look like he was out of it when he refused to answer the questions.
And, by the way, Cillizza’s here and he’s worried, “Ohhhh, this is terrible.” Let’s go back to the beginning of his piece here. “Lost in the chatter about whether President Obama will win a second term in November is an even bigger — and perhaps even more important — question.” There is something more important than whether Obama will win? (Gasp!) Who knew? That question is: “Is it possible for a president — any president — to succeed in the modern world of politics?” I want to point out to you that even during all this partisanship back in the seventies and eighties, Nixon was reelected. Reagan, reelected.
Clinton? Tons of partisanship during the Clinton years. They even impeached him! Clinton, reelected. They all managed to accomplish things in their second terms, including Nixon, despite the news media’s best efforts. They all governed. But now there’s so little faith in Obama! That’s really what this adds up to. There’s so little confidence and so little faith in President Kardashian, now Halperin wants a “truce” and Cillizza says, “Oh, no. It’s so partisan I don’t think anybody can govern.” Obama was special! He was better than anybody else. This guy makes the sea levels fall just by showing at an apple orchard!
RUSH: Look, it’s a teachable moment. I want to stick with the Chris Cillizza thing a little bit more ’cause there’s more to his piece here that needs to be dealt with. Notice now that a reporter — one reporter — asking the president who has just (raspberry) the Constitution, is called “heckling.” Now this guy was “heckling” the president. And Chris Cillizza quotes another Democrat frontman, a guy named Chris Lehane, who was big with Clinton and Algore. And Chris Lehane says, “We live in an era of high-definition politics.
“Every flaw is exposed, which makes it supremely challenging to effectively govern.” Look at how far Obama has fallen! He was so above all of these normal, humdrum, everyday, lowbrow concerns. He was superhuman. He was messianic! And now, the system is bigger than Obama. The partisanship dwarfs Obama. An “era of high-definition politics” makes it practically impossible to govern. This is from a Clinton flack about whom we knew almost too much, and Clinton got reelected despite everything that was known about him.
But we still know next to nothing about President Kardashian. We knew next to nothing about the guy. And his administration has managed to be the least transparent in history, thanks to a subservient lack of curiosity by an un-inquisitive media. But Cillizza says here, “News is being made … literally every minute of the day across the world and, as president, Obama is forced to read and react to virtually all of it,” which is untrue. Obama doesn’t react to anything. He’s got his own agenda, which is fundraising and (raspberry) on the Constitution.
Obama hasn’t responded to Fast and Furious, has he? Obama hasn’t responded to solar power scandals like Solyndra, has he? Obama hasn’t had to respond to anything he doesn’t want to respond to! The recent so-called heckling in the Rose Garden shows he doesn’t have to respond to that. What do you mean, poor Obama has to respond? “The fracturing of the media makes it hard,” Cillizza says, “to push a clear message…” Yeah, I’ll bet it does.
RUSH: Continuing on with a teachable moment. I must, if you’ll indulge me, make mention of this again. Chris Cillizza claims that, this is a quote: “News is being made — and covered — literally every minute of the day across the world and, as president, Obama is forced to read and react to virtually all of it.” Which isn’t true. Obama doesn’t have to react to anything. Fast and Furious, Solyndra, solar power failures, Keystone pipeline, none of it. He doesn’t have to respond to anything. Economic destruction. He’s not being forced to respond or react to anything.
And then Cillizza goes on to say that, quote, “The fracturing of the media makes it hard to push a clear message but also because roughly half of the American public doesnÂ’t want to hear the message (whatever it is) because it is of the other party.” Isn’t that terrible? Isn’t that terrible? What he’s saying here is, “If there weren’t talk radio and Fox News and right wing blogs, we wouldn’t have a problem here. Obama would be a shoe-in for the election because we’d control the agenda. We’d control what the news was. We’d control what the news wasn’t, and we’d control what people thought about it. Damn it.” “The fracturing of the media makes it hard to push a clear message.” Who, Chris? Who are you talking about pushing a clear message? Obama or you guys, or both?
“The fracturing of the media makes it hard to push a clear message.” Doesn’t Romney face the same stuff, Chris? He’s got a message he’s trying to push. Doesn’t the fractured media make it tough, you guys all aligned against Romney, doesn’t it make it tough for him to push his message, or Chris Christie, or me, anybody trying to push a message, the fractured media make it hard when you guys are lined up against us? You know what really has ’em upset? They are totally in the tank for Obama, and he’s losing. They’re totally in the tank for Obama. They’ve protected him. They haven’t made him have to react to anything. He hasn’t had to face up to one failure, one act of destruction, and he’s losing. They can’t protect him. That’s what really bothers them here. They don’t like all these other obstacles in the way. It’s very terrible, folks. It’s very terrible.
Not only is the so-called mainstream now challenged by the New Media when they try to push Obama’s clear message, “they are even facing ‘sales resistance’ from the public because of our new-fangled two party system.” They don’t think they ought to have to sell anything. They just announce it, report it, write it, and that’s what you believe. I want to tell you how history repeats itself. These people are as predictable, like Halperin calling for the truce — again for those of you who were not old enough or not paying attention back in the 1970s, back in the Jimmy Carter era, Newsweek ran a story asking if the presidency was too big for one man anymore. Is the presidency too big for one man? November 17th, 2010: “Can any single person fully meet the demands of the twenty-first century,” Newsweek magazine. Same argument was used to excuse an overwhelmed Jimmy Carter 30 years earlier. Excuse for Obama, same for Carter.
These people on the left have a very small playbook. When their guy gets in trouble, it’s impossible to govern. Why? Because the media’s fractured. There’s too much opposition. There’s too much questioning going on. There’s not enough loyalty. There’s too much partisanship. There’s too much disagreement. And maybe, just as they asked during Carter, now they ask for Obama, maybe the job is just too big for one person now. The 1970s are 40 years ago, folks, 40 years ago the media was asking the same question they’re asking today about Obama. Is it just too big for one man? It’s funny. It is hilarious to watch all this.
We talked about Sam Donaldson. We went back to the archives, 1983, what would this be, 30 years ago. Ronaldus Magnus is at a White House press conference. At the end, first lady Nancy Reagan rolled in a birthday cake for the president. During this, a birthday cake being rolled in, Sam Donaldson got up and started shouting.
DONALDSON: Anything you want him to do differently?
NANCY REAGAN: I think he’s doing just fine.
DONALDSON: Well, maybe this would be a good time for you to tell him whether you think he should run again. (laughter)
NANCY REAGAN: Oh, no. (laughter)
DONALDSON: You’re not getting too old to run again, are you, sir?
PRESIDENT REAGAN: What?
DONALDSON: You’re not getting too old to run again, are you, sir?
NANCY REAGAN: How would you like a piece of cake, Sam? (laughter)
RUSH: You note the class and character of Nancy Reagan making it into a joke. “Want a piece of cake, Sam?” But I remember back in these days, what disrespect, how could there be such disrespect for the president? Oh, no, Donaldson was lauded, he was a hero, he was promoted all through ABC. Fine and dandy. No quarrel with that. But here, one guy from Chatsworth Osborne Jr.’s operation asks about (raspberry) on the Constitution and so forth, and they heckle this guy and they chase him down to the Washington Monument. They want to string him up. And why, by the way? Let’s listen. We have a montage here from Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, montage of Democrat strategerists and media people complaining about Neil Munro and why was he so disrespectful? Why was he exhibiting such insolence by deigning to ask King Kardashian that question.
EPSTEIN: Would the right-wing be doing this if we had a white President there.
LEMON: They don’t treat him with the same respect that they would treat a white man in that position.
DYSON: Does it have anything to do with the fact that this is the nation’s first black president and the level of disrespect is alarming and stunning?
WILLIAMS: It’s very, very difficult to place race outside of this context.
OBEIDALLAH: This is a campaign to delegitimize the presidency, and to me, I think race is a component.
CUMMINGS: The same thing is happening with our Attorney General. These are two men who are doing outstanding jobs, but there are folks who just don’t like it.
RUSH: What two men doing outstanding jobs? So you see, it’s race, folks. It never happened to a white president. Sam Donaldson, I guess I never knew that Reagan was black, ’til today. ‘Cause this kind of behavior, it wouldn’t happen to a white guy. How cheap. How cliched. How simplistic. How predictable. How utterly ignorant of these supposed great minds to suggest that any of this has anything to do with Obama’s skin color, ’cause I’m gonna tell you, it doesn’t. As far as I’m concerned I got over his skin color before he was elected. The historical nature, yep, maybe for a while, but after that, all that matters to me are his ideas, pure and simple. Ideas and policies.
I couldn’t care less about this guy’s skin color. And for these guys to run around and make this kind of accusation, it is cheap, it is predictable, it is cliched, it is ignorant, and it’s wrong. These guys are the same people laughing when Bush had a shoe thrown at him over in Iraq, remember that? Can you imagine if Neil Munro had thrown a shoe at Obama? They laughed. They were upset that the guy who tossed the shoe at Bush missed. Besides, everybody knows that Munro was heckling Obama’s white half, folks. Everybody knows that.
RUSH: Over on Face the Nation on Sunday, Jan Crawford Greenburg — well, not “Greenburg” anymore, just Jan Crawford. She’s the political correspondent. She was a guest there with Bob Schieffer, and she was wondering why President Kardashian would announce this immigration bombshell on Friday if it’s so popular.
CRAWFORD: If this were so popular, so wildly popular with the American people, why would he do this on a Friday afternoon? I mean, in Washington, that’s when you dump documents. That’s when you try to bury the news that you really don’t want people to know about. On Friday afternoon. It seems to me he’s trying to get his base to turn out just like George W. Bush did in 2004; kind of play it both ways.
RUSH: Yeah. If it’s so popular, and if nobody’s paying attention, why do it on Friday? Yeah, she’s right. It’s a good question. We’ll go to phones. We’ll start, Scottsdale, Arizona. Thomas, I’m glad you called and it’s great to have you here. You’re up first. Hello, sir.
CALLER: Good morning, Rush.
CALLER: It’s an honor to speak with you.
RUSH: Thanks very much. I appreciate that.
CALLER: I think there are two underlying points to that Washington Post article. First, you know, they’re assuming that Obama is the best president we’ve ever had and the best this country has to offer. Second, they’re assuming that Obama’s not being successful. Therefore, the only conclusion you can draw is it’s impossible for anyone to succeed as a president.
CALLER: And it must be because of the political environment, not the competency of the president.
RUSH: Exactly right. They have so much invested in Obama. It can’t be him! It can’t be his fault he’s in the forties in the polls. It can’t be his fault everybody opposes health care. It can’t be his fault that Romney’s doing so well. It can’t be his fault. No, no, no, no. Because Obama’s the smartest president we ever had. So if it’s not Obama’s fault it’s gotta be everybody else’s fault. It’s the fact that the media’s fractured; the fact that people are too partisan, too rigid, too stupid, too dumb.
Yeah, exactly right.
And maybe the job’s just too big for one man now just like it was with Jimmy Carter. That’s probably it. The job is just too big. And we in the media… It’s so fractured out there, we in the media can’t get the job done for him anymore like we used to be able to do.
RUSH: John in Leander, Texas. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: How are you?
CALLER: Your comment, reading about these stories about has the modern-day presidency become too much for one man. The answer to that is yes, if it’s a liberal president, because liberal presidents must tell women what their birth control shall be and what little kids shall eat, and all this is completely beyond the capability of any man or woman. However, if the president would simply read the US Constitution and carry out those duties that are there and ignore the other things he wants to do, then, frankly, even if I were president today, this country would be better off.
RUSH: No question. No question. It’s like Mr. Buckley once said: Take the first 500 names from the Boston phone book, I’d rather be governed by any of those people than by the Harvard faculty.
CALLER: You got it.
RUSH: And what you’re saying here is, that the reason the job’s gotten too big is because people like Obama are trying to micromanage everything for everybody and the rest of the world. But what they’re really saying, they think the force of Obama’s personality, the force of his charisma and intellect, that alone should shape events domestically and internationally. And when the magic doesn’t happen, it can’t be Obama’s fault. It’s gotta be the fault of the governed and it’s gotta be the fault of previous presidents and Europe, and the job is just too big for one man. But it’s a great call. It’s a great point, John.