RUSH: This is last on NPR’s On Point. They have a guest host of this program named Jane Clayson. She interviewed an author named David Shipler. His book is Freedom Of Speech: Mightier Than The Sword. Kirsten Powers is also on this show. More about that in a moment, because she acted like she didn’t know me. It’s disappointing.
Anyway, first things first. The host says to David Shipler, the author of Freedom of Speech: Mightier than the Sword, “You write about people like Rush Limbaugh using racial imagery to criticize Obama with no repercussions. But you write in the book about an ice cream store employee who put racial epithets of Obama online and was fired. One’s punished, one is rewarded,” meaning me. Here’s the reply.
SHIPLER: Let’s face it, it’s money. Rush Limbaugh does make millions of dollars, and he brings in — has a huge audience. I think he’s America’s master propagandist. If you use the definition of propaganda that I heard when I was a Moscow correspondent from a Soviet professor, who described it as a truth, a truth, a truth, and then a lie. You weave in facts that are indisputable, or then half facts, semi-truths, and then by the time you got the listener engaged, you put in a lie or a semi-lie. I love to listen to Rush Limbaugh, actually. I do listen to him when I’m driving at the right time. There’s practically no place in the country where you can’t pick him up in the early afternoon because I really want to know how he does this. It’s very clever.
RUSH: Can you imagine this, a full-fledged leftist admitting or claiming that he doesn’t know how to lie and massage things to move his agenda forward? This is projection. This is exactly what these guys do. They are the ones that propagandize, and worse than that, they indoctrinate, which is what public and private education is becoming, and certainly university education. It’s not mind opening, it’s mind closing in its indoctrination.
You know, I think this program, I was thinking about this driving in because I don’t admit this much, folks, but sometimes some of the criticisms of this program really rub me raw, and especially the criticisms of you being a bunch of idiots and mind-numbed robots. This program, compared to what you get anywhere else, this is Harvard. This program is higher education. This program is a cut above practically everything in the media, from the way the information’s presented, the depth of the information, and most importantly, the way you are treated.
You are respected. You are assumed to be intelligent enough to be able to handle everything that I throw at you in terms of things that interest me. The depth that we get into on these issues, we go way beneath the surface and you’re right there keeping up with it all. This is one of the brightest, most intelligent outposts in the American media, and it has been for 25 years and counting. It’s these other places that dumb down everybody and seek to limit their learning and exposure to new ideas, things, and so forth.
RUSH: Now, folks, look, I know this is a great illustration of a widening divide that exists between people in this country. This idea that — and remember how this question is all about how I am racist when it comes to Obama. My criticism of Obama is racist and there are no repercussions that come to me because I make so many people so much money that I have freedom to get away with being racially critical of Obama.
But they never offer any examples of it, because they can’t. So what they’ve created is the idea that any criticism of Obama is now racism. And that was from the get-go, by the way. That was the way it was set up. One of the advantages of having the first African-American president on your side is that any criticism of him whatsoever is automatically targeted or charged up to racism. This has been one of the greatest tools to silence any criticism of Obama. It’s just that I’ve not shut up. I have continued my relentless criticism, substantive, issue-oriented criticism of Obama.
The Republican Party has stood down. The Republican Party took the bait. The Republican Party, “Okay, okay, I don’t want to be called racist, please don’t call me racist, I won’t criticize Obama. I may criticize his policies, but please understand, I’m not criticizing him.” That’s been their attitude. But I have not been intimidated or, if you don’t like that word, I’ve not been persuaded to curtail my criticism of Obama. And so my criticism of Obama’s effective, so it has to be tagged as racism or bigotry or something to discredit it, which is how these people operate.
And that’s what this little sound bite’s all about. “Limbaugh, yeah, he just lies and makes things up. Got some truth in there just to seduce people. He builds his audience with a little truth here, little truth there. Then comes the big lie about Obama. Man, I marvel at how he does it.” All there is on this program is 100 percent total honesty. And those times we’re wrong, it’s not because we’re trying to be wrong. This program is a daily devotion to accuracy. There’s nothing in it for me to be wrong about something. There’s nothing in it for me to lie about something to create a false impression in your mind. There’s nothing in it for me to convince you that something that’s false is true.
I don’t have an agenda. I don’t have an issue-oriented agenda. I mean, I’m not in politics; I’m in the media. But I do have a duty to you, and that’s to be who I am and be honest. I don’t make things up. These guys, they can’t figure out how an audience of this size was attracted, number one, and they can’t figure out how it’s been maintained, particularly when they have all done everything they can to destroy this program over the course of the number of years we’ve been on. They haven’t been able to.
I understand their curiosity. I understand their frustration here. But if you want to talk about a lie, a lie, a lie, and a truth, you’ve just described Obamacare. You’ve just described the stimulus bill. You’ve just described Obama’s amnesty. You’ve just described the treaty with Iran. A truth, a truth, a truth, and then a lie.
Anyway, that’s not even what propaganda is. Propaganda, original definition of the word comes from the Catholic Church, to propagate the faith. Propaganda, propagate. That’s the original root of the word. And then of course the Soviets commandeered it because that’s what their system was made of. But the number of lies that have been told about Obamacare alone, you could write books about them. You know Obama said 36 different times, “You like your doctor, you keep your doctor,” 36 different times, “you like your health care plan, you get to keep it.”
How many times did Obama promise us that the deficit would not get any bigger because of Obamacare? How many times did he tell you your premiums would go down $2,500 a year? I mean, where do we stop? It’s not where do we start with the lies that have come out of this administration; where do we stop with them? There’s no end to them. And to listen to me accused of propaganda — if there’s anybody getting away with dishonesty in attracting their audience in American media, it’s the Drive-By Media.
Anyway, there’s another sound bite here, because Shipler, after saying, “I love to listen to Rush Limbaugh. I actually do listen to him when I’m driving at the right time, and there’s practically no place in the country where you can’t pick him up in the early afternoon, ’cause I really want to know how Limbaugh does this. It’s very clever.” And then he added this.
SHIPLER: For example, he talks about Obama as “angry.” Obama has spent his career trying not to be the angry black man, much to the chagrin of some of his supporters, and Limbaugh gets away with it. He says Obama has a chip on his shoulder, that, you know, he’s part of the group that’s now gained power and they’re gonna show the rest of the country, and there’s gonna be race riots.
RUSH: Are there not race riots? Did I start them? There are race riots. They’re getting worse. They’re becoming more numerous. Was it racist to predict them? I have nothing to do with them starting. I have nothing to do with them actually happening. I just read the tea leaves. And when did it become racist to say that Obama’s angry? Of course Obama’s angry. You’ve seen it. We’ve all seen him angry on TV. What makes that observation racist?
Well, obviously it isn’t racist. It’s another in a never-ending list of ways that they attempt to discredit Obama critics in the eyes of fellow liberals and low-information voters. Obama angry, that’s a stereotype, angry black man. Then Limbaugh, he’s using it to — I don’t know stereotypes. I’m just commenting on what I see. I’m commenting on what I know.
Obama does have a chip on his shoulder. Half the people in this country do, bummed out about the way it was founded. Bummed out about certain things that have happened in this country over the course of 200 years. A lot of people have a chip on their shoulder. Obama’s got the power to do something about it. There are race riots. Obama is angry. And, see, it’s racist to point that out. This is supposed to quell me. This is supposed to quiet me, supposed to frighten me. “Oh, my God, can’t stand that, they call me racist, it’s gonna be bad. Okay, I’ll shut up, I’ll shut up.” That’s how the Republican Party’s reacted to this, but I haven’t.
Now they get to Kirsten Powers who was also on this show. She’s got her book called Silenced: How The Left Is Stifling Free Speech or whatever. And the host said, “Kirsten, what do you think of this? Do you agree with Shipler?”
POWERS: I don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh, so I can’t speak to what he’s doing, but I also have to say I take issue with the idea that saying somebody’s angry is racist. We have to be able to say that an African-American president can be angry. I mean, that’s not — to me that just shouldn’t be out of bounds. I think that’s chilling.
RUSH: It’s a little disappointing. I spent 45 minutes on the phone with her last week interviewing her for the upcoming issue of the Limbaugh Letter. I’ve had some e-mail exchanges back and forth with her about this. There was even — well, one other thing I will not share. I don’t want to embarrass her. But this, “I don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh so I can’t speak to what he’s doing.” She’s talked to me enough, I mean, she’s talked to me enough to know. She just didn’t want to weigh in.
I defended her when she initially came under attack from her friends on the left for writing this book. It’s one of the things I asked her about in the upcoming interview in the Limbaugh Letter. I asked her how her friends have reacted. She said, “The book isn’t out yet,” and it wasn’t, it came out on the 11th of May. We did the interview a few days prior. And so it really wasn’t out yet, and a lot of her, quote, unquote, ideological friends hadn’t read it; but once they had and once she started going on TV, they started attacking her left and right and her reputation, and she was very worried about it.
I don’t know. I pointed out to her that one of the things that I do — and it was an effort to inform her of what happens here — one of the things I do is I get up every day and I see the people that I like or care about or the institutions that I like and care about, I see them under assault and I come here and defend them every day. It’s basically what I do. Because we are under assault in this country, those of us on the right, what we believe in, our traditions, institutions, everything’s under attack. I come here and I defend them every day. And in the midst of defending them, I try to promote what we believe.
I defend a lot of people that come under attack. So this is kind of disappointing to act like she doesn’t know who I am and doesn’t know enough about me to be able to enter the fray. But it’s typical. A lot of people do not want to happen what happens to them when they enter all of this. And the left really capitalizes on that. They have learned that they can easily intimidate people into shutting up and going away. It’s gotten to the point they have figured out they can easily intimidate people into essentially conceding and not even joining the fight.
It’s happening in gay marriage. It’s happening with militant gay issues all over the country and any other number of leftist issues. Intimidation, threats, in-your-face, character defamation on Twitter, you name it, it’s an all-out assault. It’s totally understandable that most people wouldn’t want to get anywhere near any of that; they just want to live their lives. And the left the capitalizes on that, takes advantage of it, and they’ve learned very easily who they can silence, who they can intimidate, and once something like that works, why change it, why give it up?
This is why they continue to be so focused on talk radio and Fox; we haven’t caved. And that’s the real reason, aside from the ideological problems they have, the left has, the real reason they just are relentless here is because they’re frustrated we haven’t given up like the Republican Party has. They’re frustrated we haven’t caved and gone away. So they continue to mount the pressure and do what they do. It includes whatever it takes to discredit and get rid of opposition, be it character defamation or racial attacks, you name it, anything’s fair in ridding the playing field of any opposition from their point of view.
RUSH: Now, back to David Shipler. This is after Kirsten Powers has said, “You know, I take issue with saying somebody is angry is racist. I don’t think that’s true,” they went back to David Shipler, who claimed that I’m the world’s best propagandist, you know, a truth, a truth, a truth, and then a lie. And he wrapped up the segment.
SHIPLER: If you read the transcripts of what Rush Limbaugh says, he doesn’t leave it there. He links it to a whole social movement that is very threatening, and it’s kind of scary.
RUSH: He’s talking about the comment that, you know, Kirsten Powers said, “Hey, wait, just calling Obama angry is not racist.” So Shipler here is coming back, “Well, if you read the transcripts of what Rush Limbaugh says,” as though they’re hard to find and very mysterious, “if you read the transcripts of what Rush Limbaugh actually says, he doesn’t leave it there. He links it to a whole social movement that’s very threatening and it’s kind of scary.” Well, damn it, there is. Obama is the head honcho of a massive transformation of the American culture, the American society and our government.
What the hell is there to deny here? It is a major social movement. And it does threaten a lot of people. What do you think the Tea Party’s all about? Do these people have literally no idea how the things they are doing are perceived by average, ordinary Americans whose lives are not centered and focused around this every day? People are scared to death. I can’t tell you the number of people who ask me if I think we’ve lost the country. I can’t tell you the number of people who come up to me and tell me we already have and I’m just whistling into the wind here.
RUSH: You gotta love this place. Moonshine Creek, North Carolina. First time we’ve ever had a call from Moonshine Creek, North Carolina. It’s Jim, and great to have you, Jim. Hello, sir.
CALLER: Hey, thanks, Rush. Mega dittos from a mind-enriched robot.
RUSH: (laughing) I like that. I like that.
CALLER: I just wanted to make a couple points. Rush, I’ve been listening to you for, gosh, I think 20 years, and I just want people to know, you don’t have a racist bone in your body. And from what you say to what you do, it shows that. People on the left want an open, honest, intelligent dialogue about race. And you are the only one that does that, the only one out there.
And, number two, if you’re really going to look at what is hurting race relations, I want every minority to think that the Democrats and the guilt-ridden liberals, in my opinion, Rush, have treated them and their votes like chattel. Worse than back when people were owned, they look at them as ownership, as property, especially their votes, and they buy ’em with programs. The last time straight opportunity came to them was from Reagan, and before that it was Lincoln, and I’m talking about all minorities.
And, number three, Rush, I just want to say that I’ve been alive a pretty long time, I’ve been really blessed, and I’ll tell you what. This is the worst I’ve seen race relations since the mid-sixties. And I’ve lived through it. And this president and his policies and the policies of Congress and the liberals, whatever you want to label them or however you want to call ’em —
RUSH: I get it. Let me put it to you this way. Let’s assume that we are a minority group. Let’s assume you and I are African-American, we’ve been loyal Democrat voters for as long as we’ve been able to vote, and we thought the election of one of us, Barack Obama, was gonna be the breakout. All the promises that we have heard, all of the good intentions that we’ve been featured with, everything that we dreamed our future would hold was now on the cusp of happening, because the country had finally elected an African-American president.
And after six years of it, there’s more race riots, there’s more racial strife, there’s more black unemployment, there’s more misery, there’s more anger. Would you not be mad, too? Given all these years of promise, you just talked about it, all these years of promise, vote for us and we’ll give you XYZ. All these years of loyalty and all these promises, and it just gets worse and worse and worse. You’d kind of be upset, too, wouldn’t you?
CALLER: Yes, I would. And their empty promises. It would be beautiful if there could be a paradigm shift and people would wake up. The people that talked about you this weekend or on these shows that you referenced, they need to look in the mirror and instead of throwing out the racial epithets at you, they should look in the mirror and see how what they have pushed and fostered, how that has controlled and kept opportunity away from the minorities,
RUSH: That would be great, but that’s never gonna happen, just like it is average African-American voter is not gonna do anything but blame Republicans for his plight.
RUSH: I mentioned earlier that, you know, after NPR finished their attempted defamation of me, we then turn to WNYC in New York. This is New York City NPR, and the Brian Lehrer show speaking with the Albany bureau chief Ken Lovett, the New York Daily News, about New York City politics. And here’s the question. “Former city council member Peter Vallone Jr. is now running to be a judge in Queens tweeting about foreign policy as if he’s Rush Limbaugh or something.”
LEHRER: Former city counsel member Peter Vallone Jr. now running to be a judge in Queens tweeting about foreign policy as if he’s Rush Limbaugh or something.
LOVETT: Eye-popping. Certainly put out a lot of interesting tweets, to say the least, including just a barrage bashing President Obama over everything from ISIS to, you know, his silence at first when the NYPD cops were assassinated. He ripped ’em as the appeaser-in-chief.
RUSH: Well, this Democrat is sounding like Rush Limbaugh, wow, that’s eye-popping. Apparently my name is always right on the tip of their tongues and right at the front of their brains no matter what the issue. And when they have a Democrat that they think goes off the reservation, they don’t call him Cochise. They call him Rush Limbaugh. It’s just amazing.
RUSH: This is Chris in Woodlake, California. Great to have you on the program, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Mega dittos, Rush. Longtime listener, first-time caller. Hey, I wanted to ask you, the liberal media spends so much time focusing on what they say are lies by you. If they were such lies, why do they spend so much time focusing on them?
RUSH: Well, I can answer that. If I understand your point. If I lie so much, why are they spending so much time talking about —
CALLER: Right. If somebody lies, you’re not gonna pay any attention to it. Obviously it’s hitting home.
RUSH: No, what is happening here is an ongoing effort — look, there’s no way I can talk about this without sounding like I’m whining, and I’m not whining, but he’s asked a question. The effort here is to discredit me in the eyes of people that do not listen so as to limit the growth of this audience. They’ve been doing this for 25 years. They’re not trying to prove anything. They don’t even care if what they’re saying is true. They’re just leveling the accusation.
It’s character assassination, defamation, whatever you want to call it, and it’s ongoing, and it happens multiple times a day. I don’t play the sound bites every day, but it happens all the time. My name is taken in political vain all the time, and it’s either racism or lying or extremism or insensitivity, some such thing, and they’re trying to make everybody think that that’s what all of conservatism is, is just a bunch of liars and malcontents and people that don’t want you to have a good time, bunch of moral bumbleheads.
So it’s an ongoing effort to discredit me precisely because of my effectiveness. They don’t really think I’m lying. In fact, they know I’m not. The reason they’re hitting me is because they’re worried about my effectiveness in persuading people that I’m right about them. They never want to discuss the actual issues with me. They never call and want to do that. They never want to get anywhere near the actual issues. All they want to do is call names for the express purpose of discrediting me, and that’s why they’re content to spend so much time doing it.