RUSH: After 26 years of being misquoted, purposely taken out of context, misreported upon, lied about, some of this stuff now is beginning to get to the point I need to comment on it. Most days I just let it go by, not wanting to elevate it. But what the left, and particularly the leftist media, is attempting to do in twisting my comments about the Robin Williams suicide yesterday cannot go unnoticed. In fact, I didn’t even know that I was on the hot seat ’til I got an e-mail about 20 minutes ago about all the crap I was getting. I said, “What crap?”
I was sent a series of links all spawned by Media Matters. Media Matters took it all out of context and then fed all these other outlets, and they ran with it. The upshot is that all of these media people think I am just a reprobate, a cold, heartless guy because I accused Robin Williams of committing suicide because he was a liberal. And I did no such thing. I don’t know why he committed suicide. This is my point. And neither do they. They are the ones trying to tell us why. They are the ones trying to explain it. They are the ones justifying it. They are the ones glorifying it.
What I did yesterday was express some real concern over the fact that the way they are glorifying this — and I made this clear that I’m not comfortable with the glorification of suicide. Life is too precious. We all only get one. And I was worried about this, the coverage of all this leading to copycats, people wanting to get the same kind of treatment in the media, in the pop culture media. People seeking the same kind of laudatory coverage, greatness, genius, all of this stuff. I thought it was irresponsible the way this was being covered yesterday because they don’t know, either, why he committed suicide.
So what I did was analyze the coverage, which is what I do every day on this program, is analyze who the left is. I didn’t presume to know why Robin Williams committed suicide. I didn’t know yesterday, and I don’t know today. But they do. They claim to know. All these people giving me the business claim they know why. And it was that that I was analyzing.
Now, I want to go back. We have about two and a half minutes of what I said yesterday. I want to replay it for you, even though you were here and heard it. This is what’s being taken out of context, and, as you will hear, this is about media coverage and my analysis of it and ancillary, related things. But all of these low-rent, despicable, irresponsible, pathetic so-called media watchdogs on the left are trying to make it sound like I said that Robin Williams gave up because he was a liberal, and he’s hopelessly doomed to misery and despair because that’s what liberals are devoted to. And I said no such thing.
Here it is. And then, after this, I have some backup. I have some, as Lanny Davis would say, “poof.” Some drop-down proof that what I was telling you yesterday about these people, the way they do this, coverage this, talk about it, is true. Sit tight for that.
Here’s what I said yesterday that’s being totally distorted, taken out of context — and predictably so, by the way. I should have known yesterday. I should have given you a heads-up it was gonna happen. Here it is.
RUSH ARCHIVE: So our last caller from Des Plaines, Illinois, wanted to know, “What is the politics in the coverage of the suicide of Robin Williams?”
RUSH: Stop the tape.
RUSH ARCHIVE: Well, I believe there is some.
RUSH: Stop the tape. Did you hear what I said? “‘What is the politics in the coverage of the suicide.'” Not, “What is the politics in the suicide.” And that’s what I addressed. Resume tape.
RUSH ARCHIVE: But I don’t think that the politics is driving it. I think there was, on the part of media and Hollywood, genuine affection for the guy that is driving it, but there is politics. If you notice the coverage is focused on how much he had, but it wasn’t enough. “He had everything, everything that you would think would make you happy. But it didn’t.” Now, what is the left’s worldview in general? What is it?
If you had to attach not a philosophy but an attitude to a leftist worldview, it’s one of pessimism and darkness, sadness. They’re never happy, are they? They’re always angry about something. No matter what they get, they’re always angry. They are animated in large part by the false promises of America, because the promises of America are not for everyone, as we see each and every day.
I mean, right here there’s a story on the Fox News website. Do you know, it says right here, that the real reasons that Robin Williams killed himself are he was embarrassed at having to take television roles after a sterling movie career. He had to take movie roles that were beneath him, sequels and so forth, and he finally had to do television just to get a paycheck because he was in so much financial distress.
He’d had some divorces that ripped up his net worth, and he had a big ranch in Napa that he couldn’t afford any longer and had to put up for sale, and a house in Tiburon that he couldn’t afford anymore. This is all what’s in the Fox News story. He had it all, but he had nothing. He made everybody else laugh but was miserable inside.
I mean, it fits a certain picture, or a certain image that the left has. Talk about low expectations and general unhappiness and so forth. Right here it says that one the contributing factors to Robin Williams deciding to kill himself was “survivor’s guilt.” It’s in the headline.
RUSH: Now, all of that — all of that — is repeating what media said. Every bit of that. None of it was characterizing what Robin Williams did or said because I don’t know, and neither do they. They were the ones offering the excuses, the reasons. They were the ones wringing their hands and lamenting how sad and unfortunate it was. I was trying to explain to you why. They are who they are.
The daily quest on this program is to educate and inform people about liberals ’cause I think they are disastrous. The evidence is all around us, how disastrous they are. So it’s massive educational project. By the way, “the survivor’s guilt” in that Fox story yesterday, in case you missed it, the claim was… Again, this is from somebody who claims they know why he committed suicide, and (summarized), “It’s so unfortunate.
“America so dark and it’s just so miserable that even people have it all just can’t get by.” It’s just their worldview. The “survivor’s guilt” is three of his good friends — John Belushi, Christopher Reeve, and Andy Kaufman — all died young. And he didn’t, and he felt guilty. That’s what the story said yesterday. Not me. I don’t know. That’s what they said.
Now, let’s go to a couple of things here that just happened to appear last night and today that make my point for me as an exclamation point. First, in the New York Daily News, a piece by Jennifer Michael Hecht: “Robin Williams Dead at 63: Don’t Let Robin’s Darkness Spread — Losing Robin Williams hurts. Many millions of people loved him wholeheartedly. Others saw him as brilliant but a little too earnest…
“So the pain is widespread. It makes sense that we are talking about it in the media and on the Internet. But it is also a real problem. Mass celebrations of people who kill themselves … can send the wrong message and influence others toward hurting themselves.” That’s exactly what I said yesterday was my fear. My big concern was all of this glorious, laudatory coverage of suicide.
There’s nothing glorious about suicide. There’s nothing genius about it. It’s a sad, sad thing. Yet the coverage of this incident, I fear, could be inspirational for others who are unhappy, depressed, or what have you. “In recent decades,” says Jennifer Michael Hecht, “there have been many sociological studies that demonstrate what’s called suicidal modeling.
“A suicide at a school can lead to a spate of suicides there, and such clusters happen in many other kinds of communities, such as within a profession, or in a geographical area. And after a celebrity suicide, the general suicide rate has been shown to rise — especially for people of the same age and gender. The effect was observed as far back as the publication of Goethe’s ‘The Sorrows of Young Werther’ in 1774, which ends in suicide and was said to cause suicides of young men across Europe.”
Anyway, that’s that. And then last night I’m looking at the Drudge Report doing show prep and I come across — and Drudge had linked, by the way, to RushLimbaugh.com and the entire transcript of that brief audio sound bite I just played for you. Drudge linked to it. I mean, it’s out there for anybody to get the truth about.
But the Media Matters types and the American left, including Politico and Mediaite, just revel in taking me out of context and misrepresenting me purposely and on purpose because it feeds their template or narrative about me. “Russell Brand: Robin WilliamsÂ’’ Divine Madness Will No Longer Disrupt the Sadness of the World,” and this is a well-written piece. This is a heartfelt piece.
This is one of the… In terms of just writing, this is one of the best things I’ve read about this incident, this sad suicide of Robin Williams. But I want you to listen, for those of you who especially heard me yesterday. I want you to listen to this paragraph. There’s actually a couple I want to share with you. “Is it melancholy to think that a world that Robin Williams can’t live in must be broken?”
Well, ladies and gentlemen, that is precisely what I said the left’s analysis of this sad event is. What is the world? “It’s a dark world. It’s a place of pessimism and sadness where there is no happiness. People are just miserable no matter what happens.” That’s the left’s worldview. It is that worldview which leads them to want to implement all of their policies to fix that and create utopia, is it not?
They wish to create utopia, which is impossible because they live in a daily dose of dankness, darkness, misery. They describe it that way!
That’s what they believe — and especially, to some extremes, America is. So when I saw this, I said: Well, this makes my point. “Is it melancholy to think that a world that Robin Williams can’t live in must be broken? To tie this sad event to the overarching misery of our times?
“No academic would co-sign a theory in which the tumult of our fractured and unhappy planet is causing the inherently hilarious to end their lives, though I did read that suicide among the middle-aged increased inexplicably in 1999 and has been rising ever since. Is it a condition of our era?” Is it our era so broken that people are now left to suicide? Is our world so broken that not even the brilliant Robin Williams can live in it?
Is this sad event representative of the overarching misery of our times? Now, folks, it’s uncanny how they make my point each and every day when they just exist as they are. And then there’s this paragraph: “What platitudes then can we fling along with the listless, insufficient wreaths at the stillness that was once so animated and wired, the silence where the laughter was?
“That fame and accolades are no defense against mental illness and addiction?” Whoa! Here we go again. I lamented yesterday this constant overarching desire for fame on the part of the people that live, breathe, and die on social media. And here’s Russell Brand writing: “[F]ame and accolades are no defense against mental illness and addiction? That we live in a world that has become so negligent of human values that our brightest lights are extinguishing themselves?”
Once again, the world is so dark, it’s so unhappy, it’s so miserable that the brightest among us check out. It’s making my point. None of this is about Robin Williams. I’m commenting on what others are saying about this and the way they’re glorifying it. “That we must be more vigilant, more aware, more grateful, more mindful? That we canÂ’t tarnish this tiny slice of awareness that we share on this sphere amidst the infinite blackness with conflict and hate?”
Can’t we overcome the conflict and hate?
Can’t we love one another?
RUSH: And continuing to prove my point, here’s one more from the Russell Brand column on the Robin Williams suicide.
“That we must reach inward and outward to the light that is inside all of us? That all around us people are suffering behind masks less interesting than the one Robin Williams wore? Do you have time to tune in to Fox News, to cement your angry views to calcify the certain misery?”
So is that what you’re gonna do, you’re gonna turn to Fox News, you’re so mad, you’re so miserable? You’re gonna turn on Fox News to have your anger and misery calcified, confirmed. Don’t tell me that there isn’t politics in all of this. And then Russell Brand says he’s not gonna turn on Fox News. He is going to watch Mrs. Doubtfire, or Dead Poets Society, or Good Will Hunting, and he’s going to be nice to people.
He’s not gonna watch Fox News. No. Calcify his anger. He is going to watch a Robin Williams movie, be nice to people, and be “mindful of how fragile we all are, how delicate we are, even when fizzing with divine madness that seems like it will never expire.” A reference there to Robin Williams.
So I’m just sharing this with you to put an exclamation point on everything I said yesterday in analyzing the media coverage, the glorification, the celebration, if you will, of something that is really a very sad and just really unfortunate thing to happen, a suicide. USA Today: “Furor Over Graphic Details of Robin Williams’ Death.” Oh, yes. This story’s about how everybody is mad at that coroner guy in San Rafael for being so detailed in answering their questions. I have to share this with you, too, so don’t go away.
RUSH: By the way, Russell Brand said that what he was gonna do… He was not gonna watch Fox News and calcify his anger at everything. That’s what you people that watch Fox News are. You’re just mad. You’re angry. You watch Fox News to stay mad! But he not gonna do that. No, no, no! He was gonna watch Mrs. Doubtfire. Well, he might be interested in reading a story from the UK Telegraph.
Which now posits that Robin Williams committed suicide because he didn’t want to have to play Mrs. Doubtfire again in a sequel movie. “Robin Williams’ Friend Reveals Actor Resented Having to Do New Mrs. Doubtfire — Exclusive: Close Friend Says Actor Dreaded Making Films as They ‘Brought out His Demons,'” and they link this to a possible reason for Robin Williams’ suicide.
Dana Milbank. I’ll get into this in a minute. Dana Milbank has a column today in the Washington Post: “Americans’ Optimism is Dying — It is the very essence of the American Dream: an irrepressible confidence that our children will live better than we do. And now it is gone. It has been slipping for some time, really, but a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll this month put an exclamation point on Americans’ lost optimism.”
This is my point. There is some of that. That traditionally has not been what America is all about. It’s another definition of American exceptional. Remember Reagan’s “shining city on a hill” from the “Morning in America” TV commercials. What that actually meant was, there used to be an unbridled optimism about most people in this country, because of what was possible as the result of being an American.
And in the last almost six years there’s been an assault on that. People have been told that that America really never existed. “That America was never real! That America was always a phony America. It was contrived and founded and made up for a relative few people, but that’s never been. America really is like the rest of the world: Miserable, unhappy, dark, filled with fear and pessimism.
“We have no business being happy and optimistic here, given the plight of the rest of the world!” That has always been the battle cry of the left. Now, the USA Today piece. As I say, more on Milbank’s analysis of that poll. But I found this last night, too, and this is classic. It’s a USA Today story, and the headline: “Furor Over Graphic Details of Robin Williams’ Death.”
Ever since the news of the suicide hit, people were wondering, how did it happen? Was there a note? Where did it happen, in addition to why? The media was out clamoring for all the details they could get, and yesterday afternoon the details were provided, as they are required by law. The coroner’s office is public records; the coroner has to divulge the details. They’re made public.
Well, USA Today was not happy about that. “The picture painted was gruesome. No detail, it seemed, was spared. On Monday, Robin Williams’ grieving wife asked for privacy. A day later, the Marin County sheriff’s office revealed graphic facts about the beloved actor’s suicide. Many who watched coverage of the news conference were stunned — and offended — by the level of detail disclosed.
“Shock turned to anger as the media reported the facts. Investigators in California said Williams’ death was a suicide by hanging. Officials detailed how he was found dead in his bedroom, clothed, slightly suspended in a seated position with a belt around his neck, with one end of it wedged between a closet door frame.”
Now, people asked, “Wait a minute! How can you be in a seated position without a chair?” It’s called rigor mortis. But get this whole thing. Here’s what, again, explains this to me. On one hand, what do you expect, after reporting this event with such glory? Robin Williams was genius, he was brilliant, he was unique. He was special, treasured, beloved, you name it.
But suicide is ugly. Suicide is not glorious. It’s not beautiful. It’s not genius. So the details that the coroner released yesterday conflicted greatly with the romanticized reporting of the preceding day and a half. The details of this suicide destroyed this idyllic picture the media had created. “What? What? No! No! Don’t tell us that! No, no! We don’t want to know! No! Oh, no!”
Because the details destroy the feel-good aspects and characteristics of the way the media was reporting all of this, it doesn’t comport. The coverage and the details of the death don’t comport with the personal image that’s being hoistedup and put on a pedestal. The image of someone dead as the result of hanging by suicide obliterates this nice, warm, fuzzy picture that was being painted throughout the media and all over the social sites.
It’s a shocking reminder that none of this really is the way it’s being reported, which was my attempted point yesterday. None of this really is the way it’s being reported. This is sad, it’s heartbreaking, it’s devastating, it’s ugly, it’s upsetting. But that truth didn’t comport with the manufactured pictures and image. So people got mad at the coroner, and the media got mad at the coroner when he released all of these gruesome details.
“How dare they? How dare they? Why, what about privacy?”
What about privacy? The media all of a sudden is asking about privacy? And then there’s this paragraph in the USA Today story: “But what about the media ethics involved?” I always love it when the media starts analyzing itself. “Al Tompkins, of media watchdog Poynter, said it’s legitimate and defensible for the networks, local TV stations and online sites to carry the news conference live.
“However, that doesn’t mean journalists need to repeat the graphic details.” A-ha! So it’s perfectly fine for journalists to show up with their cameras and microphones and listen to the coroner reveal all the ugliness, but journalists don’t have to repeat it? Well, how’s everybody gonna know if the journalists don’t report it? How about using this same philosophy when it came to the Trayvon Martin case or any other circumstance?
“It’s okay for the cops to report it, but the media doesn’t have to amplify it,” like NBC did, editing a 911 call to make it look like George Zimmerman was a racist! I love it when these guys start analyzing themselves. (summarized) “Oh, it was perfectly fine, perfectly fine and perfectly defensible for all of these networks and stations to carry the news conference, but — but — but that doesn’t mean journalists need to repeat the graphic details.”
So it’s okay for them to know, but they don’t have to tell you. You can’t handle it. You can’t deal with it. Journalists, however, as citizens of the world, have seen all the ugliness up close and reported it. They can handle it. But they shouldn’t repeat it to you, the fragile, the fallible, the weak, the depressed, the pessimistic, the doomed. No, no! They should keep these details to themselves.
Al Tompkins said, “The coroner’s office has an obligation to report what they know. Journalists don’t have the obligation to report that information over and over again in that level of detail.” Really? Is that right? Well, when do journalists have the right to report all these details? When it involves a Republican or conservative, I guess there’s no limits? Journalists can report every detail over and over again and make some up, even!
But when it involves a favored son, protected member of the liberal left, then we’re supposed to dial it back and only the elite few can really know. But they’re not supposed to tell the plebes. “Tompkins also said the subject of suicide requires particular discretion. ‘Suicide experts say graphic details about the exact cause of death — the details of the death particularly when they involve a celebrity — are more likely to have the “contagion affect,”‘ Tompkins said, which can breed copycats.”
Well, again, one of my concerns yesterday. But it is not the details. See, he’s got this exactly backwards. The details of the suicide are not gonna spawn other suicides. The sycophantic, slobber complementary platitudes and nonstop tearful remembrances are what spawn copycats. Is this guy actually trying to tell us that the details of Robin Williams’ suicide are gonna spawn copycats? No, no, no. The details are not. The details are gonna suppress copycats. It’s the fawning coverage that’s going to spread copycats, if there are any.
Okay, that’s it. Folks, I appreciate you indulging me here. But these people continue to purposely distort and take totally out of context. I mean, these are the people that claim that they have the mental acuity and only they have the mental acuity to do nuance. The rest of us are too stupid. Only they are qualified to do nuance. Well, what I did was very nuanced yesterday, and they totally missed it because they intended to.