RUSH: I am being — I was gonna say “pressured” — encouraged by the staff to not drop this attorney general business only because of an opportunity to talk about Janet Reno, and it is kind of an interesting story. Many of you who are lifers here are familiar with this.
You may have forgotten it but this will jog your memory. Others of you may not know of this. Janet Reno launched the Waco invasion as the attorney general for Bill Clinton, and she was not their first choice. Remember, they chose somebody to be attorney general, and whoever it was had not paid the nanny or had not filed payroll tax for the nanny.
Whoever that was got sent packing, and it was always thought that it was Hillary that decided on Janet Reno, and that was easily believable, both on the surface and after an in-depth analysis. So Janet Reno becomes the attorney general, and not long after the early heady days of the Clinton administration, David Koresh of the Branch Davidian sect, was ensconced in, ah, some dilapidated buildings outside Waco, Texas.
Janet Reno had the reputation of being devoted to children, even though she had none of her own, and there were children in the Branch Davidian Compound, as it was called. To make this story really short, one day Janet Reno was told that some of the children in the Branch Davidian compound, a religious sect, were being abused. She then launched the Waco invasion.
She sent tanks and other military vehicles, and they launched an all-out assault on this thing, and they burned it to the ground. It happened while this program was on the air. I’m sitting here watching the Branch Davidian compound literally be torched by the United States government and Janet Reno. All the while, I’m not believing that Reno acted on her own. She’s too new.
This is too big an action for Reno. By the way, it was this incident that was one of two that reputedly caused Timothy McVeigh to go over the edge. When he saw what was happening, the full force of the federal government being used in this way to attack religious people under the guise they were kooks and freaks and there was child abuse going on. So Janet Reno burned the place down.
Lots of people died, including the children. Well, this required oversight. It required a congressional investigation of Janet Reno. During the investigation, which I naively believed… I mean, John Conyers and the Democrats ran everything back then, so I figured what was gonna happen was an effort to cover up for Janet Reno, ’cause they circle the wagons. They protect each other.
So I thought it was basically gonna be a circus act thing but nothing really of any consequence was gonna happen. Well, lo and behold, John Conyers went in there, and he just launched on her, and he did everything he could to destroy this woman, and I thought in the process that he was being disrespectful and rude. Not what he was learning, not what she was saying, but just his treatment.
I thought it was unproductive.
This is not how you treat an attorney general. If you really want to find out why she did what she did and when it all started, this is not the way to go about it. He was just preaching. He wasn’t seeking information. He was just on his high horse. I happened to mention that I thought Conyers was being rude and unproductive even though it was well known that I was not a supporter of Janet Reno, obviously, or the Clinton administration.
Well, not long after that came the White House Correspondents Dinner, the last one I’ve ever attended. And during the White House Correspondents Dinner, President Clinton told a joke. Now, I was a guest of the Washington Times. I forget the name of the reporterette who had invited me, but I was not far from the C-SPAN table. Brian Lamb was there with Susan Swain. Remember them?
I had not lost my hearing then, but it was in the big room at the Washington Hilton. Twelve hundred people were in there. For some reason, I was having trouble hearing and keeping up, so I didn’t catch it the moment it was said. But I saw everybody turn and look at me. I only later learned what Clinton had said. After it was over, this is where Dee Dee Meyer gave me a kiss. Remember that?
After it was over, Chris Matthews (back when he was still sane), came up to me at the end of the event and said, “You can’t let that stand! You cannot let the president of the United States call you a racist! You cannot let that stand — and the Rush Limbaugh I know is not gonna sit here and take this.” He was livid that it had happened. Here is what Clinton said. This is audio sound bite number six. It goes by fast. It’s eight seconds.
CLINTON 1993: Did you like the way Rush took up for Janet Reno the other night on his program? (snickers) He only did it ’cause she was attacked by a black guy.
AUDIENCE: (uncomfortable laughter)
RUSH: There was a little bit of uncomfortable laughter, and then silence, and everybody turned and stared at me, ’cause the president of the United States just called me a racist. He said that when I was, you know, defending Janet Reno, it was insincere. It was simply that she’s being attacked by Conyers, who’s a black guy. “See the way a Rush took up for Janet Reno?”
Folks, by the way, if I may go back to my program on Monday, I was talking about them assigning to us our intentions and their attempt to make everybody believe that we are at heart mean, extreme racists, sexist bigots and all that. And that whenever we behave in ways that are not racist, sexist, bigot, we’re just trying to camouflage who we really are. So when David Koch gives a $100 million to a hospital, he’s not really doing it because he cares about patients and sick people and kids and hospitals.
He’s trying to cover up the fact that he’s a mean-spirited, racist, bigot and hateful person, and that’s why he does it. But whenever I, or any conservative, engage in charitable act, we don’t really mean it. We’re just trying to fool people. We’re trying to convince people that we’re not who we really are. That’s how they do with it. That’s what this is. “You like the way Rush took up for Janet Reno the other night? He only did it ’cause he was attacked by a black guy.”
What he was saying is, “Limbaugh couldn’t care less about Janet Reno. He couldn’t care less the way she was treated. He probably hates her guts,” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. “But because he’s a racist, he couldn’t stand that a black guy was attacking a white woman.” That’s what he was saying, and this is how this gets cemented in the minds of low-information voters. So, anyway, I did call the White House, and I demanded a retraction from this.
I think it was somebody at USA Today who thought it was all funny, talking about that it was all funny. Later in the week, a White House spokesman did not apologize but got really close to it. Clinton never did, but somebody speaking for him got close. They said, “That’s not what the president meant,” blah, blah, getting as close as they could without apologizing. But ever since then, I haven’t been back to this thing, and there’s nothing that would ever get me to attend one. It’s just gotten worse.
So that’s why I don’t go to these things anymore. In the midst of all this, Janet Reno continued to be attorney general, and there was the Elian Gonzalez thing. The kid was stolen from home down in Florida, taken back to Cuba and so forth. We had all kinds of fun with Janet Reno, and the staff here wants to hear one of the parody tunes that we put together with Janet Reno back in the heyday.
It’s just sort of a trip back, a nostalgic look back to the Grooveyard of Forgotten Favorites, the Reno bit that has not been heard for a while. (playing of spoof song) That’s right. It was Kimba Wood and Zoe Baird who were the first two Clinton attempts at attorney general before El ReÃ±o. One of them had a judge problem; the other had a nanny problem and not paying their FICA taxes. One of them employed an illegal immigrant, is what it was.
It was Judy Keen who invited me to the White House Correspondents Dinner. She was at USA Today. The first time I went to the White House Correspondents Dinner, it was as a guest of Washington Times, and I ended up… I didn’t have a car driver. I just caught a cab front the hotel was over, and shared a ride with Patricia Ireland from the NAGs. Patricia Ireland. I was in the front seat; she was in the back.
Oh, my God, you talk about ice?