RUSH: I happened to mention the previous half hour that I happened to be discussed on the Fox News Channel last night, and I have three sound bites here, and I want to get into them. The premise was based on a phone call that I received yesterday. It’s one of many I get, and you’ve heard them, and countless e-mails. And, you know, not just e-mails and phone calls. When I’m just out and about, people mention things like this to me.
We had a caller yesterday, “You know, Rush, Fox News just doesn’t seem as conservative anymore. I don’t know. They’re always attacking conservatives. They’re attacking and some they’ve got all these liberals on there now, these analysts and their experts of whatever, strategists, and just they’re always going after conservatives now. And that debate? I just don’t understand. What does it mean?” And so I sought to explain to yesterday’s caller what I thought the explanation for this was. Bill O’Reilly aired that and then began a discussion of it with Katie Pavlich, who is the editor of Townhall.com.
So here is O’Reilly setting it up…
O’REILLY: Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh said this.
RUSH ARCHIVE: I think Fox is burdened with this belief that everybody in the media thinks that theyÂ’re conservative and they donÂ’t want to be thought of that way. So they will purposely hit conservatives hard to show that they are not friends and not biased in favor of conservatives.
O’REILLY: Now, speaking for myself, I hit everybody hard if that’s necessary, and that’s the way the media should cover politics.
RUSH: Okay, so that’s O’Reilly playing the sound bite, clip of me, and then reacting to it. And the point… By the way, yesterday’s not the first time I’ve said this. I’m blue in the face saying it. I think it’s true not just to Fox. I mean, hell, it explains half the behavior pattern of the GOP establishment. They’re tired of what people think of them and they want to correct them or disabuse them of the notion. And, you know, you get inside these capitals, the Washingtons, the New Yorks, inside these places, and the culture where the left runs them.
The Democrats run both the corporate and social culture in these towns, and I don’t have any doubt that being accused of being conservative is not cool to a lot of people. And so to demonstrate that they’re fair… I don’t think it’s really trying to demonstrate they’re not conservative. I think the better way of saying it is that there’s some people at Fox — and I don’t know that it’s a corporate thing; I just think some people think that if they go after conservatives, that they’ll be seen as fair and not in the tank for anybody. It’s no more complicated than that.
And I think it’s true of not just of people the media or at Fox, but if you ever encounter conservative-on-conservative crime, so to speak. I think one of the explanations is that whoever’s doing the criticizing is attempting to curry favor with whoever the power structure where they live is so that they will not be lumped in with all these crazy, wacko, pro-life conservatives and so forth. So, anyway, O’Reilly said, “No, no, no, no! Speaking for myself, I hit everybody, if that’s necessary.” Katie Pavlich, TownHall.com, brought on. O’Reilly said, “Katie, what do you think of Mr. Limbaugh’s statement?”
PAVLICH: I think that he’s wrong. Fox News is exactly that. It is a news outlet. We provide the news. Megyn Kelly of course is one of those people who’s been in the news a lot for asking a certain candidate a question that their supporters didn’t like. Fox News anchors and reporters aren’t purposely going after conservatives. They’re simply asking questions about their records and about their positions, and that is called journalism. It’s not about purposely going after them to somehow prove that they’re not conservative. Journalists here are simply doing their job.
RUSH: O’Reilly says, “Well, if you ask somebody’s candidate that they’re supporting a tough question and they don’t like that because on talk radio the host favors somebody and they’re not skeptical of that person.”
PAVLICH: Conservative audiences in general have been complaining for years about the mainstream media being biased toward their presidential candidates, Senate candidates. You can’t complain about the media not holding Barack Obama accountable, for example, but then also complain when journalists at Fox News or at other outlets are asking Republicans some similar questions about their positions.
RUSH: Didn’t they just make my point there? Didn’t they sort of in a circuitous way make my point? They want to be known tough on both sides. They want to be known as being able to be tough on both sides. But nobody as NBC or CBS or ABC or CNN worries about that. Does anybody ever get mad at CNN for the way they might go after, say, Bill de Blasio? Have you ever heard it happen? Have you ever heard anybody complain at CNN about the way — Michael Moore, take your pick, whoever, it doesn’t happen, does it.
I don’t think it’s a complicated thing here at all. What O’Reilly’s point is, we’re in Broadcast News. We do not have chosen sides, chosen candidates, we do not have favorites. But talk radio does. Talk radio, the hosts always favor somebody, and they’re never skeptical. They’re not skeptical of that person. Au contraire. I think talk radio holds more people accountable and in a tougher way than you’ll find in a whole host of places. But, anyway, that’s what it was. People were curious about it.