RUSH: Patty Naugatuck, Connecticut. Great to have you, I’m really glad you waited, and hello.
CALLER: Oh, thank you so much for taking my call. I’m so glad I got in to talk to you about this, because I’ve been observing the election, and my perception is this, sir. I think this election, the strategy used against Senator Cruz has been by his opponents, has been one of three things. And the first one actually is the composition of smear. So this way we redefine his character, we take away the character of him, and he’s now Lying Ted. He is no longer trusted, and they use this over and over again and they keep repeating it.
And the second thing they do is they create faux perceptions. Every single win that Senator Cruz has gotten has either been rigged or stolen. And he creates this perception so that everything that Senator Cruz does, including the landslide victories that were used in the last election you talked about, that, if you state something, the opponent is actually going to take away. They actually had a landslide win, but the perception now with the change of language has been the distortion and actually we’re gonna lose with the shutdown. The shutdown did not lead to a loss; it led to a landslide victory. Senator Cruz’s engineering of his ground game and his air game and his plans for years should have been his brilliance, his intellect, and what he’s going to do for us as a leader. Instead it’s being that he stole it from us. It diminishes the value of the win. The third thing they do is induce fear.
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait. Just don’t lose your place, but who is “they”?
CALLER: Okay, the “they” could be this. First this is Donald Trump. He creates the smear, he creates the faux perception, and the third thing he does is he induces fear. With a Republican candidate — or the Republican, Mr. Boehner, what he actually does is he’s trying to smear him, but he’s also trying to distort the perception that the shutdown led to loss. And, in fact, the shutdown led to victory because he stood up for his principals, for the people, and instead of losing, they won. They just have to whisper the word “shutdown” and they want the perception to be lose. When in fact shutdown associated with principles and doing what the voters said you would do, the people would support you more.
RUSH: Right. Okay so the “they” is Trump and the Republican establishment?
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: And the media, have to throw the media in with those two.
CALLER: Hm-hm and the third thing that they do is induce fear. Donald Trump uses this over and over again. He’s going to use Senator Cruz and if they go to the election, he is convincing people by intimidation, talking about maybe riots in the streets, induce fear, there’s been discussion of calling delegates and threatening, it induces fear to use the leverage to change people’s votes. So by inducing fear, again, we change votes. So what we do is we smear, create faux perceptions, and intimidate to have the chosen results. This way if we destroy Senator Cruz’s character, who has been principled, who is trusted, we diminish him, that he’s distorting, he’s stealing things, that he’s Lyin’ Ted, we now have changed and redefined Senator Cruz.
RUSH: Well, you’re right about that and it’s profound, if there’s anybody who is, you know the phrase “clean and pure as the wind-driven snow,” it’s Cruz.
RUSH: If there’s anybody who is morally — I don’t want to use the word “superior,” but he’s got an unquestioned character.
RUSH: And they have been, the proverbial “they.”
CALLER: If you say a big enough lie over and over again —
RUSH: What would you do? Look, this is what happens to conservatives, be it Cruz or if it’s just Democrats versus Republicans, this is what they do to Republicans as well.
CALLER: Yes. Exactly.
RUSH: Okay, so they’ve done it. What’s Cruz’s recourse, if you think he has one?
CALLER: Point out the strategy, point out the plan, identify the factors, and use it to benefit yourself, that he is not the liar. In fact, he’s being smeared to be a liar, when in fact he isn’t a liar. He’s actually trusted.
RUSH: I know, it’s dicey. We’re back to square one. You want somebody to fight back against the smears, and he’s not. Satisfactorily to you, anyway. And who, by the way, who owns that one? Trump is now known as the fighter. It’s amazing. But I have one observation.
RUSH: What a great call we just had. You talk about a woman that was able to A, B, C, D, one, two, three, four explain exactly what’s happened to Ted Cruz. It’s the same lament, I mean, if it’s not about Cruz, in her case it’s accurate to say what’s been done, the things that have been done to change the perception of Ted Cruz, but are not those the same things that are used to change the perception of Republicans at large outside of presidential races. I mean, exactly what has been done to Cruz is exactly what the media and Democrats do to Republicans every day just in a normal political sense outside of this campaign.
And I don’t know that anybody’s come up with a response for it. The Republicans clearly don’t have a response for it. That’s one of the many reasons why Trump is where he is. Trump, although, you know, you could argue whether or not there have been similar efforts to change the perception of Trump. But he’s been the guy that has actually taken it back to the media, taken it back to the Democrats in many ways, in ways that Republicans don’t do, and this is one of the primary reasons that Trump has the support that he does. That’s no revelation; I’m sure you all know this.
But what’s Cruz to do about it? Everything the caller said is right, everything. But for Cruz — and I asked her, so what’s the recourse? She said Cruz has got to go out and start telling people that this is what’s happened. Well, I know that’s the instinctive thing to do, but actually think about that, envision a press conference this afternoon or tomorrow or whatever with Ted Cruz detailing all of these things as a means of correcting the record, explaining who he really is, how would it be perceived? Yeah, it would be perceived as, well, I don’t know about “whining” but it would certainly make Cruz appear defensive about it.
So the candidate can’t do it, in many cases the target of this kind of attack can’t do it. But there has to be a way to do it. Again, I use Trump as an example of how it’s been done, but Trump is not subject to the same litany of complaints that the media and the left throw at Republicans and conservatives day after day after day. Trump’s getting hit, don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying he’s not getting hit. He’s being criticized, but in the different ways.
But what Trump does — and I’m just using this as an object lesson — what Trump does is either get a head start on it, get out in front of it, or just fire back at the people who were gonna hit him before they do or right after they do, that seems to be his modus operandi. You hit him and it’s over. He’s gonna come back at you with 10 times what you hit him with.
Now, the caller that we had — this is gonna get me in trouble here. Imagine if that caller were on television every day as a Cruz surrogate. Trump has his surrogates out there, and Cruz has his, too. Imagine if that caller were out there every day doing that. It would have some impact. I don’t know how overwhelming the success would be, but it clearly would have some impact. But there have to be ways to refute these kinds of things.
Snerdley is saying shouting at me in my ear, “Ad campaigns, ad campaigns.” Yeah, I guess. They have to be well done and really, really, well, targeted. Could end up being very expensive.
I want to go back — it’s related to this, I kind of glossed over it or spoke quickly about it. Campbell Brown, former NBC anchor, Today show, reporter, anchor at CNN, who is now — I don’t know what she’s doing now. Does she do documentaries? She occasionally shows up, you know, once a quarter, does something, but she either wrote or was someplace and spoke of her massive disappointment in the media, the mainstream media, and how they have totally sold out to Trump and how they have squandered everything they are.
They have basically stopped being the media. She’s right about a lot of things, and it is noteworthy because you know as well as I do there are many, many Republicans and conservatives who hate things — put this way — who consider the media to be as big an opponent as any Democrat is. We have two opponents. We have a Democrat Party and the media, which is always on the Democrat side. It’s the equivalent of having the referees in the game all on one side and we have two opponents on every issue every day, everything that comes up.
Campbell Brown likes that arrangement. But what has happened in the Trump campaign, from cable networks to newspapers to internet websites, you name it, but primarily television was her focus. By the media actually going wall-to-wall on Trump rallies, covering Trump rallies with no reporter, not reporting on the rallies, but just giving the whole hour or whatever it is, hour and a half to Trump, and then going back to the studio where anchors then discuss what they just saw and marvel at it and praise it here and there, or question some of it.
But the point is that the media has ceased their primary objective of destroying Republicans when it comes to Trump. And instead they’re propping him up. And the reason they are doing it is the media landscape is changing so fast. It’s becoming so compartmentalized, it’s becoming so niche that attracting massive, big audiences anymore is not possible because there’s just too much competition. There are too many places people can go for news, their Facebook feed for many people is their primary news source, for example. But you can now stream whatever you want on your phone or your iPad.
You can get news in any way, shape manner or form. The network television guys and the cable news guys don’t own it anymore and, as such, they’ve suffered massive audience erosion — Fox News excluded here — and massive financial drain. So what has happened, they have found gold in Trump. Trump attracts and holds an audience like they can’t.
Nobody will watch an hour of Wolf Blitzer, but if Wolf Blitzer is giving over his hour to a Trump rally, they’ll watch it. And it’s reflected in the ratings and it’s reflected in advertising revenue, but — and this is Campbell Brown’s point — more importantly, the news media themselves love it because where they work now has audience again.
So they now know that eyeballs are watching them, and they’re doing it, and it’s happening because they’re carrying Trump, and so the beast feeds on itself. And if Trump is the reason for say, a cable news revival or a particular network revival, then more Trump is what we want. And then more Trump after that.
And you can’t, to continue the theory, you can’t destroy the Trumpster because that destroys what has become your new cash cow. That will destroy what has become the new magnet that you have that attracts eyeballs to your network that otherwise very few people watch anymore.
The traditional wisdom, conventional wisdom is that after conventions, when both parties have their nominees chosen, that the media will then revert to norm and become a 100% lapdog for the Democrat. And some people are thinking, if Trump’s the nominee, that’s not gonna happen this year, and if it doesn’t, it is monumental.
If during the general campaign, I guarantee you, with all of these polls that people are taking on, Trump disapproval versus approval, Trump versus Hillary in this, nobody’s factoring this media phenomenon into it.
What if, just as a little hypothetical game here, what if the media continues covering Trump the way they are now, if he’s the nominee, what if they don’t ever revert to the normal position of destroying the Republican nominee? Because they can’t, because they don’t want to, because they’re newly relevant again, their networks are earning money again. Their networks and their shows have audience again.
Trump has become so important, this explains while they’ll let him phone in a Sunday show where everybody else has to show up on camera. But Trump can phone in. Whatever Trump wants, Trump gets, whenever Trump wants it, Trump gets. And Campbell Brown’s fear is that when the general election finally comes, this isn’t gonna change because they like too much this Trump phenomenon, they’re benefiting from it way too much. But they will not want Trump harmed, they will not want Trump destroyed, because, in doing so, they will essentially end the halcyon days that they are experiencing now.
And Campbell Brown as a legitimate, quote, unquote, real journalist is appalled by all this. The way they ought to be doing this, Trump does a rally, then you have your reporter go on for a stand-up afterward to talk about what a reprobate SOB Trump was, how mean he is, how he insulted people. Where is the reporting, she’s asking.
Where’s the reporting? Where are our media people telling people what to think of what they just saw? They’re not doing it, she says. We are not telling people what they should think of what they just saw Trump do. We’re letting Trump define it all. We in the media are giving up too much power, she says, we have the power to tell people what to think of what they just saw, but when it comes to Trump, we’re not doing that anymore. We’re letting Trump define it all.
She sees the end of media as everybody’s known it. Now, that’s a little bit of an exaggeration because of the panic that has set in. But if it were to manifest itself that way in a general campaign, I guarantee you nobody’s factoring that kind of role for the media in whatever polling they’re doing, general election matchup poll that they’re doing.
But if the media, for example, is not on a daily basis telling their audience how rotten a guy Trump is, what a liar is, how he hates women, what a racist he is, you know, the usual things they say about Republicans, if they’re not doing that with Trump, well, then Hillary has lost over half of herself arsenal. Because the media is who shapes these perceptions of Republicans.
The Democrat candidates get to add on to it, but they don’t have to take the lead; the media has always done it. Our caller talking about the perceptions that have been created of Cruz that are not true, that’s what the media does to Republicans in the normal political day. They’re not doing it to Trump, and if it continues, Hillary’s gonna have to do it herself.
So I think it just adds up to how much is unknown and therefore unpredictable about what the future holds. It’s hard to believe that even Trump is going to, after decades and decades, redefine or neuter or forever change the role of media in politics. But some of them fear it. Some of the Drive-By people are deathly afraid that it is gonna happen, so it’s interesting to factor it in.
RUSH: Campbell Brown is married to Dan Senor, not Jay Carney. That’s Claire Shipman that’s married to Jay Carney. It’s all incestuous there. Dan Senor was the spokesman for Paul Bremer who ran the Green Zone in Iraq after we had kicked Saddam out of the place way, way back in the early to mid-2000. Her piece ran in Politico, the piece that I’m referencing here.