RUSH: This TV show, The ’90s, National Geographic, they used an interview with Lewinsky as their promo hook for this. Well, I had no idea that I am such a big part of this. I should have figured I would be but since I’m not self-absorbed and always thinking about me, I didn’t even stop to consider that a three-night series on the nineties would have me in it, ’cause I’m not an egomaniac. So I get the audio sound bite roster from So last Monday night, July 7th, was the first night National Geographic Channel’s The ’90s: The Last Great Decade, is what it’s called, and they’re doing a segment on the Oklahoma City bombing. Oh, yes. And then-President Bill Clinton’s speech there. Here is Dan Rather, CBS Evening News anchor at the time, and Rob Lowe, the narrator, and me.
RATHER: It would be hard to find any presidential speech in the last half of the twentieth century or end of the twenty-first century that was better attuned to the moment.
LOWE: Clinton’s speech temporarily restores faith in his presidency. But the war is far from over. Republicans have a very lethal weapon at their disposal.
RUSH ARCHIVE: An excellent role model for the youth of America or anybody else needing guidance, for that matter, I am Rush Limbaugh.
RUSH: A lethal weapon. I was described as a lethal weapon at the Republicans’ disposal in the nineties. Now, Dan Rather was talking there about Clinton’s speech at Oklahoma City where he blamed me, as being one of the best speeches in the last thousand years that a president’s ever given. No speech more attuned to the moment. They were having orgasms over Clinton’s speech. And he had gone, he had blamed wild voices on the radio. And when we raised holy heck about that, the White House backed off, “No, no, no, no, we were talking about short-wave radio of the Michigan militia.”
No, you weren’t talking about Michigan militia short-wave radio. Everybody knows what you were talking about. Anti-government voices and anti-government rhetoric on the radio. Then they talked to Bob Turner and Newt Gingrich, and Bob Turner at the time was president of Multimedia. Multimedia syndicated Rush Limbaugh the TV show, syndicated the Sally Jessy Raphael show, as tough as that was, Donahue. But they were the syndicator, Bob Turner, he ran for Congress in New York last time around. So that’s his voice you’ll hear first, and then there are clips of me and Newt in there and Rob Lowe again, narrator.
TURNER: Rush has incredible appeal in taking complex political and social issues, synthesizing them in a way people understand.
RUSH ARCHIVE: If there was ever a program that inspires independent thought, it is this one.
GINGRICH: Rush would be able to say, “No, no, this is all baloney. Here’s how you ought to think.”
RUSH ARCHIVE: The views expressed by the host on this show will soon become federal law.
LOWE: Never, ever underestimate a man who overestimates himself.
RUSH ARCHIVE: You know what all caused this? Me!
GINGRICH: He had about 23 million listeners. Well, that’s every tenth American. So when he said something, you were getting messages across to a large part of the country.
RUSH: “Never underestimate a man who overestimates himself.” See, people on the right, they’re just never funny. No, no, no, no. There aren’t any such things as conservative funny people. This is something these people on the left always thought, like when I say, “Talent on loan from God, they actually thought I was calling myself God! They didn’t know what to do with me.
They came up to me, “Do you really think you’re God?”
I had reporters ask, “Do you really think you’re God? Is that what you mean? ‘Talent on loan from God?’ Do you really think you’re God?”
“No. In fact, that is a statement of profound humility. What is it about that you don’t get? I’m on loan — I’m gonna die someday — from God. I am created by God. My talent is on loan from God. What do you not get about that?”
“Well, it sounds to me like you’re calling yourself God, like you think you’re better than everybody!”
But you let your average left-wing comedian utter that line and it would be called one of the funniest, most creative artistic lines in all comedy. Anyway, moving on.
Chatsworth Osborne Jr. (that would be Tucker Carlson) is next in this sound bite and Newt Gingrich and Rob Lowe.
LOWE: Rush Limbaugh is personally credited with helping Republicans win those 1994 midterm elections.
CARLSON: That was the moment that the Republican Party began to rely on talk show hosts to make its case for them.
LOWE: (sinister music) And it’s partly thanks to Rush why Newt Gingrich is king of the Hill.
GINGRICH: There was a brief period when the president was clearly on defense, clearly didn’t quite know what he was doing.
RUSH ARCHIVE: How is it that the Democrats keep approaching people as though they’re stupid?
RUSH: You know, Chatsworth, that’s a good point. One of the things that did happen, and it may not have totally vanished, is Republicans in Congress did begin to shut up and let talk radio make their case for them. He’s right about that. I think some of that largely still goes on today. I’m not happy about that. Don’t misunderstand.
RUSH: Okay. Just a couple of more. This is the Clinton Oklahoma City Bombing speech. It was in Minneapolis, April 24, 1995, and this is the real reason that the liberals and the Drive-Bys loved Clinton’s speech. This is 35 seconds, and all the rest of it is irrelevant. This is why they said it was the best speech ever.
CLINTON: [W]e hear so many loud and angry voices in America today whose sole goal seems to be to try to keep some people as paranoid as possible and the rest of us all torn up and upset with each other. They spread hate. They leave the impression that, by their very words, that violence is acceptable. You ought to see. I’m sure you are now seeing the reports of some things that are regularly said over the airwaves in America today. … (banging podium) It is time we all stood up and spoke against that kind of reckless speech and behavior!
RUSH: Right, right, right. They all thought it was directly aimed at me, and that’s why they thought it was the best speech ever. Never mind the fact that the bomber, his own self, Timothy McVeigh, cited Clinton and the Waco invasion and what happened at Ruby Ridge as his motivation. It had nothing to do with the voices on the radio. When we challenged ’em on that, they said, “No, no, no! We meant the Michigan militia shortwave.”
No, you didn’t.
Nobody listens to the Michigan militia shortwave broadcast! It was a crock. And never mind the fact that the Republicans rely on talk radio to make their case. What about (chuckles) the Democrats relying on the Drive-By Media every day to make their case? And then there was this, ladies and gentlemen. Bill Clinton was flying in to St. Louis on Air Force One. He did an interview with KMOX radio in St. Louis on June 24, 1994, and out of the blue started complaining about me.
CLINTON: After I get off the radio today with you, Rush Limbaugh will have three hours to say whatever he wants.
BRENNAN: Would you like to leave a message?
CLINTON: And I won’t have any opportunity to respond, and there’s no truth detector. You won’t get on afterward and say what was true and what wasn’t.
RUSH: The President of the United States, from the bully pulpit — the most powerful man in the world flying over St. Louis on Air Force One — complaining about me, saying there’s no way he can respond. That was a year before blaming me for Oklahoma City.