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Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: The views expressed by the host on this program documented to be almost always right 99.7% of the time. It is the most listened to radio talk show across the fruited plain, it’s the most talked about talk show.


It is the most quoted, the most reported on, discussed host talk shows across the fruited plain. Here, as an example. Grab audio sound bite number eight. This was Saturday morning, C-SPAN, Washington Journal. Do you remember Jim Warren? Yes, you do. He was on the McLaughlin Group. Chicago Tribune, had the bowl haircut, except it went down to his shoulders. Remember that guy? He’s head of the Poynter Institute, P-o-y-n-t-e-r, Poynter Institute for Media Studies, chief correspondent. I think he also might have been an editor at one time of the Chicago
Tribune. It was either the McLaughlin Group or the CNN version of that show that Robert Novak hosted. I can’t remember which one. But that’s who he is, Jim Warren.

He was on the C-SPAN Washington Journal on Saturday, or as people in my home down say “Saturrrday.” He was on there “Saturrrday” morning. And John McArdle was the host of C-SPAN Washington Journal on Saturday morning talking to Jim Warren about conservative media and Fox News. And McArdle said, “What are your thoughts on the role of Fox News and these media echo chambers that we hear about, the people who watch Fox.” So he’s being asked about Fox News. You got that. You understand that. He’s being asked about Fox News and the media echo chamber from Fox News. Okay, here’s Warren’s answer.

WARREN: There is a somewhat unified amalgam of forces out there, and some of it might be traced to the coming of talk radio in the late eighties and in particular with the astonishing success and impact of Rush Limbaugh. Then the coming of Fox News, where you did have these forces, which are sort of playing on a similar ideological page and have had huge impact. But to say that all of America is looking at ’em, to say that that’s their only source of news, to say that they, you know, alter the public agenda and legislative agendas all over the country, I think that would be giving them more credit than they deserve.


RUSH: So basically he’s right. I mean, the whole thing started in ’88, this program, then Fox came along in ’97, which is about, what, ten years later. And course there’s the blogosphere, there is conservative websites now. There’s all kinds of other conservative TV and radio programs, of course. He’s admitting that there has been a huge impact, but he’s right about something here, in a sense, folks. The Drive-By Media, it’s fascinating for me, even though this is an “if something happens in the forest and nobody’s there, does it make a sound.” I’m in the forest, I am the forest, and these guys start talking about me and this conservative media. And these people in the Drive-By Media really do think that the audiences here are mind-numbed and they’re incapable of making their minds up on anything without being told how to think or what to think.

From the first day of this program that was a charge that was made. This program started, they had to find a way to explain it ’cause they couldn’t. You talk about outsider, establishment versus outsider, I was the original outsider when it comes to media. I didn’t know anybody. I didn’t network. There was no way I was gonna get anywhere near this kind of job in the establishment. It was never, ever gonna happen.

I never spent time getting know to know anybody, didn’t network, didn’t grease the skids, didn’t develop personal relationships where there is quid pro quos. I didn’t go to the universities, none of that stuff. And so they had no idea who I was, and they had to try to explain, what is this? It was so foreign to them, because they’re so uniform, they on the left. You watch CBS, it’s the same as NBC, it’s the same as CBS every night. Read the Washington Post, it’s the same as the New York Times, for all intents and purposes.

But this was different. They had to have some way of explaining it. And just like you have a bunch of conservatives now trying to insult Trump by insulting his voters, same thing happened here. The audience to this program was routinely maligned and characterized as a bunch of dolts who were incapable of making up their own minds. And it was just the exact opposite. People glommed onto this show because it was the only show that echoed what they already believed. The show was a validation. But the Drive-Bys don’t look at it that way.


And so the Drive-Bys and everybody else in the establishment media look at this and Fox News, and they think everybody who watches and everybody who listens only does what they’re told and is influenced completely by what they hear here. Which is why, when the Democrats win elections, they start writing celebratory stories about how I have lost my influence. And, by the same token, if Republicans win, there will be stories about how somebody on talk radio’s responsible for it.

And I just want you to know, I do not think either are true. If I had all the influence they claim, if Fox News had all the influence everybody claims it did, if the alternative media were as omnipotent and powerful, the Democrats would not have won an election the last 25 years. But of course they have. Snerdley, what are you doing? Well, no, no. It’s the way they try to explain it. We make ’em nervous, so anything they can tell themselves to make ’em think we’re not really intruders, we’re not ready a threat. So when the Democrats win an election that’s how you’ll get a story: “Is talk radio losing its impact? Is talk radio losing its influence? Is talk radio on the decline?”

It’s every election. Every election cycle. And, by the same token, when Republicans, like when Eric Cantor loses, here they come, oh, no, they get all frightened. Talk radio did in Eric Cantor. It’s predictable. In in both scenarios they do something very key: They insult the intelligence of the audience, which is something I have never done here. Basically Warren is in his own way saying that. He chose to say it in a way that’s different from what I have, but he says, look, you know, to say that Fox and Limbaugh alter the public agenda and the legislative agendas is giving them more credit than they deserve, and it comes from fear.

But the people assigning this are people who think they have all this influence themselves. The people analyzing whatever influence there is or isn’t here, they are the people who think they are in charge of public opinion and motivating it and inspiring it to public action. And that’s why they’re in panic, because they have opposition now. We’ve kind of brought ’em out and this competition has made them finally admit to being who they really are: leftist activists. They’re not people who are objective and unbiased and uncaring about the outcome of event. They’re totally invested.

I’ve always tried to keep everything in perspective in this regard, but he’s essentially right about that, only to the point where he says that, you know, I think they get more credit than they deserve. We don’t seek that kind of credit, by the way. Snerdley will tell you, and he gets frustrated every time I do, I downplay that kind of credit because if it were true, honestly, the Democrats would never have won an election in the 25 years I’ve been doing this.

You can’t dispute that, right? (interruption) Look, I know there are other mitigating factors why Democrats win, like vote fraud and any number of other things and rotten Republican candidates. No, no, no. Snerdley gets worried when I start diminishing myself. He thinks I’m trying to be falsely humble. I’m just telling you the truth here. I think it’s important one does not lose perspective. At any rate, Jim Warren, I give him 90% on his analysis.

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