RUSH: Okay, let’s talk about the media here for just a couple of minutes. We actually talk about them every day, but yesterday I was threatening to talk about the… Wait. This is Tuesday. So, yeah, yesterday, was an object lesson in how the media operates, given how Dan Rather and Mary Mapes are trying to rewrite history about that whole boondoggle of theirs where they either accepted forged documents or actually participated in the forging of documents in order to try to prove that George W. Bush copped out of His National Guard service.
Which he only got because his “daddy” was big and powerful and his “daddy” wanted to keep him out of Vietnam. So George got to go National Guard but never showed up. And Dan Rather had breaking news, and they had this dubious source — this lunatic named Bill Burkett. Look, I don’t need to rehash the whole story. The point is that it was exposed as a fraudulent story and that the documents were forged and none of it was true. CBS fired both of them. Dan Rather sued; his suit was thrown out.
There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that these two people made this story up or accepted a forged bunch of documents that contributed to it being a story because they wanted to effect the outcome of the 2004 race. And so a movie has been made recounting the entire episode based on a biography written by Mary Mapes. Now, the reason for the movie is very sympathetic to Rather and Mary Mapes and leaves open the possibility that they’re the ones that got screwed, that they really were on to something.
The reason this is done, — again, just to remind you — is not just to save or protect or maybe reconstitute the reputations of these people. It is for people who are not born yet. The movie, once it’s made, it’s out there. It’s in the box office. It’s gonna be on Netflix forever, and for people who were too young back in 2004 to remember what happened, they’re gonna see the movie and they’re gonna believe what the movie says about this. So they’re gonna think that Dan Rather told the truth and that George Bush copped out of National Guard service.
And it’s just another in the long litany of things that Bush lied about, Bush was dishonest about, whatever. And it’s part of the ongoing leftist effort to continue to keep minds interrupted and distorted and filled with lies, just like HBO is in the process of producing and filming a movie now about the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings. That happened all the way back in 1990 when a bunch of people today were not alive then or were at a young to know what’s going on, and Clarence Thomas beat it back then.
Clarence Thomas was confirmed, and it was made apparent that charges against him were bogus, but that won’t do. The left has never accepted that. They say Clarence Thomas got confirmed despite sexually harassing Anita Hill. So they’re making a movie for future generations to know who Clarence Thomas, quote/unquote, “really was.” And this is how they corrupt popular culture. Well, the same thing is happening here with this movie called Truth.
Now, the way Mary Mapes and Rather are now going by the rehabbing of their reputations and the rehabbing of this story is to change the focus. No longer is the focus on, “Was Burkett full of lies?” and, “Were the documents forged?” The focus now is, “Hey, we were just asking the question! Hey, we were just engaged in the process. And I, Dan Rather, fully expected CBS to back me up. CBS had always backed up their anchors. Cronkite and me! He was flabbergasted when CBS wouldn’t even let me ask the question.”
They didn’t just ask the question. They asked and answered it, and then they convicted George W. Bush, and it was all lies. So now what they’re out doing is suggesting that all they were doing was raising a question, and that’s all any journalist ever really does, is raise questions. And so we were just engaged in a normal journalistic process. We were attempting to track and follow a story to where it took us, and we were cut down. We were cut down by powerful forces who did not want us to get to our answer.
And that, folks, is a derivative of what we all recognize now as another journalistic attack: The seriousness of the charge versus the nature of the evidence. I first heard about that in the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings, because there was never any evidence that Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed Anita Hill. It was “he said, she said,” and they dragged her into this at the tail end of the hearings when it looked like he was gonna be confirmed. We learned all kinds of things that she followed him everywhere he went in his career.
And so they asked some big, important feminist leader during the midst of the hearings, “Why are you pursuing this?” “The seriousness of the charge!” “But you don’t have any evidence.” “The seriousness of the charge is such that the nature of the evidence is not important. We must track this down! We have a serious charge here.” Well, actually, that’s the second time. The first time I heard about this “seriousness of the charge” business was 1989, ’90, when a book was written by a Columbia professor named Gary Sick (aptly named, I think) in which he alleged that George H. W. Bush secretly met with the Iranians in Paris in 1980.
And struck a deal with them to keep holding the American hostages in Tehran throughout the campaign so as to look bad for Jimmy Carter and then release them when Ronald Reagan won. Gary Sick writes a whole book about this. There’s no evidence! Gary Sick even said that Bush was flown to Paris on an SR-71, and nobody knew it. It’s a very fast plane. Get over there and back before anybody knows what happened. And Thomas Foley, who at the time was the Speaker of the House, said, “This is a very serious charge. We must investigate this.”
This was during the reelection campaign for George H. W. Bush like in 1991 or ’92. It was part of… This was 12 years later, and there’s Foley saying, “The seriousness of the charge means we must investigate here in the House,” and they did. There was a full-on House investigation where, of course, no evidence was turned up because it was all day made up, totally fabricated. Once again, the fact that there wasn’t any evidence didn’t matter. It was “the seriousness of the charge.”
So here we have Mary Mapes and Dan Rather, and there’s an article in the New York Times about the people in the movie, stars and so forth, and John Koblin, who is the Times reporter, quotes the director and writer of the movie James Vanderbilt. He said, “Mr. Vanderbilt said that he did not want to impose a specific point of view in the movie but instead wanted to simply raise questions.” Of course they don’t want a specific point of view but the point of view is that Rather and Mapes made it up!
So they’re changing the whole focus to: Oh, we just wanted to raise questions! That’s all good journalists do is raise questions and follow the answers. “As a filmmaker,” said the director, “I’m not interested in reprosecuting something…” BS, Mr. Vanderbilt. “‘As a filmmaker I’m not interested in re-prosecuting something, so much as this was a fascinating story and telling it through these characters eyes was the most interesting way in,’ he said. At the center of it all, he said, ‘are these documents, and there is an unknowable mystery about them.'”
No, it’s not unknowable. We know everything about them! They are forged. But, no, it’s an interesting process. Mary Mapes, in the movie, Cate Blanchett plays her character, and at the Times she definitely shouts loud and clear, “They don’t get to do this! They do not get to smack us just for asking questions,” talking about CBS. So Mary Mapes is the producer of the 60 Minutes piece, Rather was the anchor, and they are “going after” them because the documents are forged.
The whole thing’s been exposed as bogus. But in the movie rewrite of history, “They don’t get to shut us down just for asking the question. All we’re doing is following the process.” We’re journalists. We’re just asking questions. “They do not get to do this. They do not get to smack us just for asking the questions. “So this is the way the media, when they’re caught trying to implement their agenda and establish their narrative, reacts. In this case, they were trying to beat George Bush and elect John Kerry in 2004, and they had a story that Bush faked his National Guard life. Never showed up.
It was big power, big daddy got him into the Guard, Bush never went. They were gonna try to discredit him as a phony president, a phony patriot and all of this. And when that was exposed, “No, no, no, no, we’re not concluding anything. We’re just asking questions. They can’t do this to us. They can’t smack us for asking questions.” At a symposium, at a forum to discuss the movie, Mary Mapes said that the movie provides us “a wonderful opportunity to discuss issues of class and privilege in the Vietnam War.” Really, that’s what you get to do here?
This whole thing, your attempt to destroy George W. Bush now is nothing more than exploring issues of class and privilege? So that’s how they do it. This is the object lesson. When caught, they revert to, “Hey, hey, we were just following the evidence. We were just asking questions. We were just engaged in the process of putting together a story, and you shut us down because of where you were afraid it was going.” And to this day what Dan Rather says is, even admitting that the documents, something’s wrong with ’em, he says it doesn’t matter because the story is the true. Our mistake might have been in using some of these documents, but the story is true. And that’s what they hang their hat on.
They go to their grave saying the story is true, despite the evidence that has shown it was all made up, or 90% of it, and featured forged documents. But it doesn’t matter, it’s true. We just didn’t have enough time to actually assemble all of the conclusive evidence. That’s how the media circles the wagons. And after this happened, don’t forget they had an awards ceremony, set up a brand-new award never been given to anybody before, for Rather. Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings arranged a giant awards dinner because they have to circle the wagons around each other, because they’re all in the same business.
They’re all liberals. This is about liberalism. It’s about advancing the Democrat Party agenda and Rather got caught. And rather than Dan Rather going down and taking everybody with him by association they arrange a big dinner to give him an award for doing such a great job on the story and standing up to the big devils at CBS News. And that’s how they do it.
I mentioned the other day, ladies and gentlemen, that National Review had asked me to write a small essay for their 60th Anniversary issue coming up, and I did it. I’m not gonna tell you what the essay is. It’ll come out at some point. I have to add a couple more things to it that I thought of after I submitted it, which I will have time to do because they have to send me the edited version to get me to sign off on it.
One of the things I left out of the piece that I want to put in it is when the Wall Street Journal asked me in January of 2009 to write 400 words on my hopes and expectations of the Obama administration, I said, “I don’t need 400. I can say it in four: I hope he fails.” You know the brouhaha that caused. Now I have been borne out. Everybody — and they knew what I meant then anyway. But now it’s unarguable why I said what I said. I didn’t want any of this to happen. That’s what I meant by “I hope he fails.”
But in the piece one of the things that I point out, they asked, “What are your assessments here of the last 28 years, AM talk radio, effect on politics.” I said the big deal is that we destroyed the mainstream media monopoly. The mainstream media had a monopoly. When I started in 1988, this is all there was, ABC, CBS, NBC, three networks, the evening news. And CNN. And that in broadcast was it. That was it.
I came along, and I was the only national conservative broadcast out there. And shortly after my first guest host, then they began to be offered their own shows, and that grew. Let’s put it this way. When I started this program there were 125 radio stations doing talk. You know how many of them there are today, how many stations do talk today? Over 1,200. So 125 in 1988. Now 1,200. Actually closer to 1,500 stations. It may be more than that. But it’s massive. And the vast majority of them are conservative hosts.
Then the blogosphere got kicked up with the Internet when that broke out. And then Fox News came along in 1996. Their monopoly is gone and they’ve never gotten over it. And, folks, I believe that the mainstream media losing its monopoly is the reason for the hyperpartisanship in our country today. The mainstream media used to hide their bias and their liberalism behind a wall of objectivity that was automatically assumed and granted them. They didn’t have any competition. That’s key.
But ever since the monopoly fell, they’ve got competition, and the competition has brought them out of the shadows and they have been for now 20-plus years, admitting and demonstrating who they are and what they’ve always been. They used to own it, folks. They used to own what was news, what was thought about the news, what was not reported, they owned it all, and now they don’t. And they haven’t recovered from it, and their behavior since is the reason for the hyperpartisanship, and I’ve got a sound bite coming up that will partially demonstrate this.
RUSH: I think it’s sound bite number 20. This is last night on the Charlie Rose Show. The guests are Arizona State University Cronkite School of Journalism Professor Eric Newton, the Arizona State University Cronkite School of Journalism Dean Chris Callahan and Steve Capus, who it says here is CBS Evening News. I thought he was NBC? Anyway, he’s one of the two. And during a discussion about how TV news has changed, Newton, Capus, and Callahan — remember, two of these guys are from the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State, one runs the network news division.
Listen to this little exchange. Basically they admit, folks, they admit that when they had their monopoly they had no regard for what the audience thought. What the audience wanted was irrelevant to what the news was.
NEWTON: We come from the 20th century when the television networks were the giant gate keepers. And nobody was a bigger gate keeper than Walter Cronkite. And now the fence is gone, the gate is gone.
CAPUS: Now itÂ’s a two-way street. For all those years when Walter was doing the broadcast, the broadcast networks had this attitude that we were about to present the news. “And now the news!”
CAPUS: And it was a one-way street, transmitted from CBS and the other networks. And the audience was told to kind of respect it because it’s network programming. And they didn’t really care as much about what people were saying, about what we were doing. But you better care right now.
CALLAHAN: One of the things that we’re trying to teach is audience matters, and audience matters in a way that maybe it didn’t matter 20 years ago.
RUSH: Do you realize, folks, the importance of that? Twenty years ago — it’s actually 25, 28 years — audience didn’t matter. You call and complain about what’s on the news or what’s in your newspaper and they’ll tell you, “You don’t understand the business.” The news business was the one business I knew of which held its own customers in contempt. No other business could get away doing it, but they had a monopoly. There were only three stations you could tune to to watch the news, plus CNN for those who had cable. And now the audience matters. What’s unstated here, there is a resentment for that that you can’t believe, and they are so ticked off they lost their monopoly, and that’s why they hate us.