RUSH: Well, folks, this is incredible. This is incredible. There is a story in The Politico today written by Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen, called “Obama, The Puppet Master.” They are so ticked off over this golf weekend, being shut out. They’re talking about Obama just mistreating them in the media and denying them access, how he’s a master at limiting and shaping and manipulating media coverage. These guys are just a bunch of puppets and Obama is the puppet master. It’s incredible, and I’m gonna share it with you, excerpts of it. Of course, with expert commentary as the program unfolds.
I’ll tell you what it’s made me think, that we might want to start considering, at least talking about registering journalists, just like we have to register guns. Background checks and all of that. Because this is mental illness. This is bordering on delusion, this piece. It really is incredible. So I think we ought to do to the First Amendment practitioners what they want to do to the Second Amendment practitioners. We ought to register these journalists.
We ought to do background checks on these people to see which of them are mentally ill, and, if they are, deny them access to the public airwaves and the newspapers as so-called news reporters or journalists ’cause they’re dangerous. They are dangerous to the republic. The Second Amendment doesn’t mean anything, why does the press get a free pass? I don’t know, folks, I’m just talking out loud. These are great examples of the constant and never-ending explosions taking place in my fertile brain.
We’ll talk about this sequester business. Because, once again, my theorem announced last week is being documented again on this story. Obama’s gonna have nothing to do with it. Obama’s out fighting! He’s doing everything he can to make sure the kids aren’t starved and their schools aren’t shut down. Obama’s out there suggesting that the sequester is a “meat cleaver” on the economy. It won’t help the economy. It won’t create jobs. It’s a meat cleaver approach and he’s gotta save America from the Republicans. And the media? — ha! ha! — because Obama’s such a wonderful puppet master…
Yeah, the guys at The Politico say, “Obama’s so good, we can’t resist. We know when we’re being puppetized; we know when we’re being used! We know when we’re being manipulated, but we’re so susceptible and he’s so powerful at it, that we can’t resist,” and they make the point in like the second paragraph. Here: “President Obama is a master at limiting, shaping, and manipulating media coverage of himself and the White House.” Now, to show you how on the defensive they are, their second paragraph says, “But not for the reason that conservatives suspect, namely, that a liberal press willingly and eagerly allows itself to get manipulated.”
Of course that’s right. You don’t need to be manipulated. You agree with Obama! You don’t need to be manipulated. This is what’s funny about this. These guys are acting like they’re just innocent dupes. That’s why I think we need to have ’em registered. Background checks! Find out how many of ’em have delusional mental disorders. These guys actually want us to believe that they’re out there doing their jobs, and Obama is such a Svengali… “This guy, I mean, he’s Enrico Caruso! This guy is manipulating us. We can’t resist it. We can’t stop it. It’s not because we’re liberals. It’s because he’s so good at it!”
It fits the theory. Here’s Obama setting himself up as uninvolved, minding his own business. He’s fighting these powerful forces that want to take a meat cleaver to the economy, and he’s not gonna let it happen. This guy named Andy Lancaster tweeted the following sometime recently. I guess it was this morning, or last night late. “CBS News: Congress being on vacation isn’t stopping Obama from trying to solve the budget crisis. / Dear God.” He’s causing it! The budget crisis is his creation! Every time we have a budget crisis, it’s his creation. The Politico guys admit it, unwittingly. He’s the puppet master.
They really have blown his cover here with this story, ’cause Obama’s getting away without appearing to govern. “Obama is part of the fight. Obama’s not governing. He’s campaigning! He’s trying to stop these dastardly Republicans and these powerful forces.” Here comes The Politico saying Obama’s this masterful puppeteer. He is just manipulating all of us, and evidence of that manipulation is in this tweet. Andy Lancaster tweeted it. He’s not the CBS News guy. He just tweeted it. “Congress being on vacation isn’t stopping Obama from trying to solve the budget crisis.”
Who’s been on vacation? Obama’s been on vacation! CBS News is right in there. Yep, siree, Bob. “Congress being on vacation isn’t stopping Obama from trying to solve the budget crisis.” So you see, this is how it happens. The low-information voters, they see the tweeted headline, and it’ll get repeated and it will be followed and gazillions of low-information voters will see it, and the conclusion is that Obama is desperately fighting to save their food, save their water, save their thermostat, save their air-conditioning, save their houses, save their jobs, ’cause these dastardly Republicans want to take a meat cleaver to everything.
RUSH: Let’s now go to Jim VandeHei. He’s half of the writing duo that has this piece out on Obama being a puppet master. This is yesterday, Politico’s video blog Behind The Curtain on their website. Jim VandeHei, the executive editor, said this about Obama and the media…
VANDEHEI: We’re taking a look at President Obama as the puppet master, all the different strings that he pulls with the media to get very favorable coverage. This has been the biggest critique, uh, by conservatives, uh, and we argue in our column that it’s an accurate critique.
RUSH: Yeah, and I have their column here. By the way, Politico has a Web page called Politico 44, because Obama is the 44th president, and right now the headline at Politico 44 is, “Obama to Do Local TV as White House Reporters Fume.” So Obama ticked off the White House correspondents by not letting them have access at the Floridian over the weekend. He did grace them with ten minutes of casual, off-the-record conversation in the back in the plane returning to Washington yesterday.
He gets back to Washington and he hears how ticked off they are at him, and so (as authoritarian statists are wont to do) he’s flipped ’em the bird and he’s granting a lot of interviews to local TV and not talking to the White House national correspondents, and they are fuming. Now, here’s the story — and, by the way, this is way too long to go the whole thing so I’m just gonna highlight this for you. But it is quite illustrative. “Obama, the Puppet Master.”
“President Barack Obama is a master at limiting, shaping and manipulating media coverage of himself and his White House.” So right here at the beginning of the story they lay the groundwork. “Hey, you know what? We are tricked. We’re manipulated. Don’t hold us accountable. This guy is so slick, he’s so good that he somehow makes us write what we write every day. We have no control.” And then the next paragraph says, “Not for the reason that conservatives suspect.” So right off the bat they’re very defensive.
In their first paragraph, they admit Obama’s a master at limiting, shaping, and manipulating coverage. Meaning, we don’t criticize Obama here, because he’s so slick and manipulative, but it’s not because, “the liberal press willingly and eagerly allows itself to get manipulated.” Oh, no, we’re not that bad. “Instead, the mastery mostly flows from a White House that has taken old tricks for shaping coverage (staged leaks, friendly interviews) and put them on steroids using new ones (social media, content creation, precision targeting).”
Now, this is bovine scatology here, folks. None of this would be possible without a news media as a willing accomplice to this. If Obama’s the puppet master, they are willing puppets. They are eager puppets. They are eager manipulators, or eager to be manipulated, happy to be. They like the guy. And I’ll tell you again, you can’t take the racial component out of this in terms of journalists, the fact that they’re gooey-eyed over this presidency. Plus the liberalism, plus they hate Republicans as much as he does. So any victory he has over Republicans, they celebrate it, too, they’ll help. But they’re trying to set it up here. They’re not willing accomplices, you see, they’re being manipulated, but not because they’re liberal, but because Obama’s so good at it. There’s never been anybody better.
Now, the media never had any trouble complaining about Bush’s attempts to manipulate them. Even when he wasn’t trying, they accused him of it, and they said he’s not gonna get away with it. If the media were unhappy about all this manipulation… I mean, what triggered this? A weekend of golf where Obama shut ’em out. That’s what triggered all this. It’s like a jilted woman. It’s like a jilted woman who’s out for revenge now for a while. If they were unhappy about any of this, they would have been screaming bloody murder before Obama was elected in 2008. You talk about manipulation, they manipulated us all during the 2008 campaign.
This manipulation business goes two-ways, and these people in the media manipulated media consumers throughout the 2008 campaign, and the past four years they have been doing it as well. There hasn’t been any criticism. There hasn’t been any vetting. There hasn’t been any speaking truth to power. There hasn’t been any attempt to hold Obama accountable for anything. But all because they got shut out of the Floridian this weekend and missed seeing Tiger Woods and Obama on the links, their noses are out of joint.
And then they say, “And it’s an equal opportunity strategy: Media across the ideological spectrum are left scrambling for access.” So Obama’s out there manipulating everybody. He’s using all these new tricks: social media, content creation, precision targeting, and media everywhere are left scrambling for access. They all want to talk to Obama, and he’s dangling that carrot in front of them, manipulating and manipulating and then denying them.
“The results are transformational,” writes The Politico. “With more technology, and fewer resources at many media companies, the balance of power between the White House and press has tipped unmistakably toward the government.” Oh, cry me a river. The poor news media just don’t have a chance up against the brilliant people in the Obama White House and regime. The balance of power, so many news media have had cutbacks. They’ve cut back staff. They’ve cut back bureaus. There’s more technology but fewer resources, and the balance of power, they’re powerless. They can’t do anything. Obama is just running roughshod all over them.
How hard is it to write a story on Obama lying about green energy? How hard is it to do that? How hard is it to write a story critical of Obama’s economic policies? How hard it is? Why do you need any resource other than a computer? What am I missing? Why is it so hard to question what the president says? You have a White House, you have a computer, you have a website, and you have a keyboard, and you write on there, and then it goes to your website, it goes out. What resource do you need beyond what you’ve got? Oh, they wouldn’t get access if they criticized him? That’s the manipulation? That’s the manipulation? So they’d be on the bad list and get treated like Republicans if they’re critical of Obama, and they need access to do their jobs. No, they don’t.
I don’t have any access to Obama. I got zilch, zero, nada access to Obama. That hasn’t stopped me. I don’t want access to Obama. I don’t need it, either, but I also am not a journalist. “This is an arguably dangerous development,” writes Politico, “and one that the Obama White House … has exploited cleverly and ruthlessly.” He hasn’t had to exploit anything. Our so-called free press has given away their power and responsibility with both hands. And they’re tied up with pink ribbons. But it’s all because they’ve been manipulated by a master puppeteer.
I gotta take a break, folks.
RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, The Politico guys get a little upset when they perceive me as being unfairly hypercritical here. I know they’ll hear about this. When you guys write this kind of stuff, those of us out here who are consumers of news, we don’t understand when you talk about how hard your job is. We don’t find it difficult to learn things that are true about Obama that you don’t seem to be able to find, and we don’t have any access. You know, those of us out here critical of you, we don’t think you’ve deigned to even investigate Obama and tell us who he really is, not like you go after Obama’s opponents.
This is a really bizarre paragraph, this next one here in The Politico story. Listen to this paragraph. “Conservatives assume a cozy relationship between this White House and the reporters who cover it. Wrong. Many reporters find Obama himself strangely fearful of talking with them and often aloof and cocky when he does. They find his staff needlessly stingy with information and thin-skinned about any tough coverage. He gets more-favorable-than-not coverage because many staffers are fearful of talking to reporters, even anonymously, and some reporters inevitably worry access or the chance of a presidential interview will decrease if they get in the face of this White House.”
Now, I would think a self-respecting journalist would be ashamed to admit any of that. They are admitting that they are cringing in fear of the White House, and they’re also admitting that they cannot possibly be critical unless somebody in the White House tells them something that’s critical. So they say, “Well, we can’t report that the administration’s lying about that until they tell us they’re lying.” But you didn’t wait for Nixon to tell you he was lying. And you didn’t wait for Bush to tell you he was lying about something, to accuse him of it. We don’t hear any of this until Obama was safely reelected, and now we’ve got the navel-gazing going on, and the introspection going on.
“They find his staff needlessly stingy.” What do you mean, needlessly stingy? You don’t seem curious to learn anything about this administration or Obama and his motives. He writes that Mitt Romney doesn’t care if a guy’s wife dies of cancer, and you go out and ask Romney, “Why do you not care if a guy’s wife dies of cancer?” rather than investigate why the hell Obama would make such an outrageous claim. I don’t know. We just don’t see your job as that hard.
RUSH: Sticking with this Politico story for one more moment, let’s use another example — Benghazi — and let’s take what we have learned from The Politico piece. Now, they say that they can’t really be too tough because the White House denies access, and they can’t really report on things if they’re not given access. Well, let’s look at Benghazi. You have four dead Americans, and those of us who are consumers of news have not seen any curiosity at ABC, CBS, NBC, Politico, Washington Post, New York Times.
We haven’t seen any curiosity on your part to find out what really happened. Now, apparently you can’t report on what really happened in Benghazi unless somebody at the administration tells you. Well, the big question about Benghazi right now is — and, by the way, for three weeks we were lied to by the regime and told that all that happened was because of a video on the Internet. Now, you just parroted that. Is that how you’re manipulated? ‘Cause we didn’t believe that.
Common sense said that nobody saw that video. We knew inside of two days that this was not caused by a video, that it was a planned attack. Where were you guys in this? Were you not even curious? Do you expect Obama to call you in and tell you where he was for those eight hours that nobody could find him — and, until he tells you, you can’t report on it? Because the big question is: “Where was Obama?” At 5:15 he told Panetta, according to Panetta and Hillary, “You guys do what you have to do here to save American lives,” and then Obama’s off.
Panetta said he never heard from him the rest of the day or night. Now, if that were George W. Bush or Ronald Reagan, you would be digging up every rock that you could to find out where the hell the president was while these four Americans were under assault. But with Obama, you didn’t seem to care — and what you seem to be telling us is that you can’t report on that until somebody in the administration tells you where he was. And if the story is, “Well, he talked to Panetta, and Panetta was told to do what he has to do,” and that’s it until they tell you, where’s the investigative aspect of what you do?
Where is your sense of curiosity?
When did it happen that you automatically believe everything an administration says?
‘Cause I’ve never seen that until this regime. It was a little bit of that with Clinton, but I never saw it with Reagan and I never saw it with either Bush. Whatever they said, you didn’t believe. You tried to prove it was a lie. There’s no such effort with Obama. Where Obama was for eight or nine hours is a big deal when it comes to Benghazi, and you don’t seem to be interested in it! You say you can’t tell us where he was until he tells you.
Well, is he gonna tell you he was playing basketball with Reggie Love?
I don’t think so.
Is he gonna tell you he was out at Five Guys burger joint?
Is he gonna tell you he went to sleep? Is he gonna tell you that?
No, because it’s embarrassing that he wasn’t around! It’s a big deal, and they’re trying to cover it up! So we’re hearing from you that until they tell you, you can’t report on it. Man, I would love to be covered that way! I’m just telling you guys at Politico, I would love to be covered that way. Until I tell you something, you can’t report on me! Until I tell you something, you can’t tell anybody what I’m doing — and you know something else I would like?
I would like to require that every one of you who report on me actually listen to the program instead of reading from a third party what I’ve said! But you’re telling us, when it comes to Obama, you can’t report on what’s happening there until somebody in the administration or Obama tells you — and if they choose not to tell you, then there’s nothing suspicious about it, and your hands are tied. Then there’s this little passage: “At the same time, this White House has greatly curtailed impromptu moments where reporters can ask tough questions after a staged event — or snap a picture of the president that was not shot by government-paid photographers.”
Well, let me tell you what I remember about that.
The president strode out into the Rose Garden one afternoon and made some remarks about something (I forget what it was), and a reporter from The Daily Caller by the name of Neil Munro asked a question. This was an impromptu moment. It was an impromptu question, after a staged event, and what did you guys do? You guys at Politico joined in attacking Neil Munro for having the audacity to ask Obama a question at a staged event. You said that wasn’t the right time to ask that question.
You guys practically chased Neil Munro down to the Washington Monument, and you gave him holy hell for what he had done, and some members of the White House press corps demanded that Neil Munro lose his press credentials, and they physically chased him off the White House grounds. Yet you write here, “[T]his White House has greatly curtailed impromptu…” Sam Donaldson didn’t wait! Sam Donaldson wasn’t waiting around, or Dan Rather. At the end of a staged event, they just asked the question.
But you’re saying the White House “has curtailed impromptu moments.” So what we hear you saying is that you can’t do anything the White House hasn’t granted you permission to do. Well, that doesn’t make you media anymore. It makes you an adjunct of the administration. Maybe I should start threatening the media with denial of access, too. Maybe I should just threaten everybody in the media: “No more access! I’m not talking to you anymore,” and see if that gives me more favorable coverage.
I just find all of this extremely interesting and curious, and do you know what’s driving all this? What’s driving all this is, Obama had a guy’s golf weekend down here in Florida. Tiger Woods was in there and the Harmon brothers for some lessons, and Obama didn’t let the media in. So they’re sitting there and they’re thinking, “You know, we give you everything! We give you favorable coverage. We look the other way on everything.
“Whatever you want us to say, we say. And you treat us like dirt by not letting us get a photo of you and Tiger Woods, by not letting us into the Floridian to hang around. All we want is a little water so you can turn us into mud and you won’t even give us that.” I find all this fascinating. So what I’m hearing here in this story is, “Whatever the regime says is the truth, and it’s what’s gonna be reported, be it that this video is responsible for Benghazi or whatever.” Or, “Until Obama tells us what happened, we can’t report on it.”
From an article on Politico 44: “Obama Interrupted by Heckling Reporter — In a surprising breach of etiquette, President Barack Obama’s Rose Garden remarks on Friday were interrupted by heckling from reporter Neil Munro of the website Daily Caller, whose editor-in-chief is conservative commentator Tucker Carlson.” All he was doing was attempting to ask a question at an “impromptu moment” after “a staged event,” something you say that you’re denied.
Munro did it, and when he did it you jumped in his chili and chased him down to the Washington Monument! I don’t know which reporter actually did the heckling story but it’s Politico on their 44 Web page: “President Barack Obama’s Rose Garden remarks on Friday were interrupted by heckling from reporter Neil Munro,” and the reason why they called it “heckling” is because Munro is from a conservative media outlet, The Daily Caller.
All Munro was doing was what The Politico people say the White House is not letting them do anymore. “[T]his White House has greatly curtailed impromptu moments where reporters can ask tough questions after a staged event…” So what we hear is, you can’t do anything that they don’t let you do, and you’re manipulated here. But it’s not because you’re liberal!
You’re being manipulated ’cause Obama’s such a great puppet master. We just don’t see any curiosity. We see you wanting to do everything to keep this man from being embarrassed or proven wrong or worse. But we think that you guys are the cover-up. You guys aren’t Deep Throat. You guys have become what you so often have criticized. This is willing accomplice-type stuff, and you’re being disrespected, so you want to get it off your chest.
RUSH: You know, I don’t really think we have a free press anymore, and it’s somewhat obvious. What we’ve got, we have a bunch of skycaps running around carrying Obama’s bags. And when he doesn’t let them get on the plane, they get their noses out of joint. “Hey, man, we’re carrying your bags, can’t we go on the trip?” They’re throwing a tantrum over the fact they didn’t get in there to have a couple of adult beverages and hang around like they were members of that club.
Beth in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I really am glad you waited while I had diarrhea of the mouth there. Great to have you on the program. Hi.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. Hi. Thank you. I agree with you how Obama has been campaigner-in-chief and separating himself from his decisions, but I believe that next year it’s gonna catch up with him. Obamacare will be starting. The low-information voter will be affected by tax increases. There’s a midterm election, and I think that that might be the time the media will not be able to defend Obama the way they —
RUSH: Well, I hope you’re right, because that’s the next phase. That’s what Obama’s aiming at is the 2014 midterms. See, if the Democrats win the House, then he effectively has his dictatorship. I mean, in terms of all practical reality, in terms of the functioning of things, there won’t be anybody to stop him. I think what he’s doing here — look, he goes on a three-day vacation, he comes home, gets off the plane and attacks the Republicans for not acting and want meeting with him and attacks him for being a bunch of reprobates who want to take food away from kids, take health care away from people, fire teachers. He gets off the plane doing this. Is it harder for him to meet with McConnell or Boehner than Tiger Woods?
CALLER: Yes, it is. He doesn’t want to. So he will meet with Tiger Woods —
CALLER: — rather than meet with McConnell and Boehner.
RUSH: He’s star struck. I think he’s gonna take these four years off. No heavy lifting. He’s gonna let Democrats in Congress do all the heavy lifting and get their names on all the legislation, and he’s gonna sit back, make sure his name’s not on anything until after 2014.
CALLER: Well, maybe I’m overreaching, but do you think the Republicans have a chance to win both houses in the midterms?
RUSH: No, but they gotta hold the House. I don’t see ’em winning the Senate, but that’s a long way off, anything can happen. I don’t rule anything out here. I mean, it’s gonna be volatile. These next two years are gonna be volatile as they can be, because there are going to be implementations of very punitive events, things that are gonna cause more job loss, less take-home pay, it’s gonna get brutal. There is nothing on the horizon that indicates positive news for the economy. I don’t care what anybody tells you. We had negative economic growth the last quarter. Who says the housing market’s coming back? The administration says the housing market’s coming back. We had economic growth of minus one-tenth of 1%. The Walmart guys are saying the February they’re having here is the worst in seven years, and they’re chalking it up to the payroll tax.
Diana in Mesa, Arizona, great to have you on the program. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, you know what? It is not a free press anymore when you have to worry about your job if you tell you the truth. I mean, I’m a former sports reporter from Canada, oh, 30 years ago, long before the Erin Andrews of the world. Just a little story that I want to try to tell just from the sports perspective, but you can just sort of crank it up when you think about the political ramifications of it. I covered hockey, and I was on the road with the LA Kings and the Calgary Flames during the Stanley Cup playoffs in 1988, and coach Terry Crisp gave the guys the morning off from practice before a huge game. I got pictures of them, cut B-roll of them, you know, swimming, playing by the pool, drinking, playing cards. And I did sort of a fun tongue-in-cheek piece that aired back in Calgary. Well, that night when they went to play the Kings, they lost, they got skunked. I can’t even remember the score, but 13-3. And, of course, my piece aired back home, and I was worried to death that I was gonna have ramifications from showing them up.
CALLER: And, you know, for telling the truth about the fact that they had a day off. And, you know, when you have to worry about telling the truth —
RUSH: Yeah, but, you know, for you, the way around that, all you have to do is show up wearing skintight leather pants like the sideline reporters do these days in the NFL, you can say anything.
CALLER: Well, not back in the day when I was trying to be one of the first women in the locker rooms and covering and being taken seriously, and, you know, you wanted to do your job, you had to work, you know, twice as hard to prove that you were half as good. But, you know, in doing so, you really took great stock in the reporting that you did, but, you know, here was a fun, tongue-in-cheek piece, and I was literally sweating bullets.
RUSH: Well, but, did anything happen to you?
CALLER: I was worried that I might not have a job or wouldn’t have access to the players.
RUSH: But did anything happen to you?
CALLER: You know what? I just want to say that because I was so new and it was so new having any sort of —
RUSH: Okay, I’ve got ten seconds. You survived it, but I can understand you being worried about that. I mean, for access, the locker room, yeah, I understand that.