RUSH: So I checked the emails during the break. Like clockwork, enough of them on the same theme that I could summarize them. “Rush, whatever you’re talking about here — Trump, you talk about the Republicans, Obama and so forth — nothing’s gonna change with the media the way it is. And all of it is academic, Rush. You know it. You just don’t remind us enough of it. But the media being who they are… You know, you ask, ‘Why has conservatism continued to…?'” I did ask the caller a question: You know, it seems like 1988 and going forward there was more and more conservatism available in the media.
But that conservative presence in the media has not been reflected in elections. Well, maybe the midterm elections of 2010, 2014. But even then, folks, let me ask you a question about that. You voted in 2010, 2014. You’re part of the Tea Party and you show up and you just vote. Republicans said they needed the House, and you gave it to ’em; then they said they needed the Senate, and you gave it to ’em. Do you feel like winners even after those two elections? Probably not, because you really didn’t think the Republican Party was going to change their stripes and start acting on all this. And the media…
I’ve tried explaining it any number of ways. I’m gonna try a different way here, using a really clever analogy I came up with. But I’ve got the sound bite I could play here for you if I wanted to take the time. Essentially, there is no media, folks. There just isn’t any media in the sense that there are reporters out there uncovering things you and I don’t know and telling us what they are. I mean, that’s what the news is: You turn on the news every night, whatever you watch, and you’re expecting to see things that you didn’t know happened. And that’s not what it is.
That’s why we began calling it the daily soap opera, or it’s just the place on radio and TV where Democrat Party agenda is advanced. But it isn’t media. The White House press corps isn’t there at a press briefing. It’s not… They’re not news gatherers there. There really isn’t any media. You have people talk about the media as a coequal branch when talking about Republicans. “You know, Republicans have to overcome the media, and then the Democrats.” Wait a minute. Why should anybody have to overcome the media? The media is news gatherers. Why in the world are the media a factor?
Well, of course they are a factor, and the reason is they’re not media. They happen to pretend or portray people running around finding out things nobody else knows and telling everybody, but that’s not what they do. You don’t need 70 people in a White House press conference to tell people what happened there. You need a camera and maybe a couple reporters, and that’s it. With the camera you might even not need the reporters. But, you see, media can’t trust you to watch Obama without them telling you what you just saw and analyzing it. Jonah Goldberg wrote about this today, and this is really a classic way to understand what I’m talking about: The daily soap opera, rather than media.
There’s a blogger out there by the name of Ace of Spades, and this guy is good. The Ace of Spades, whoever he is, has written numerous times about things that happen on this program, and he gets it. The guy is… It’s almost like he’s here when he starts commenting on things, controversial things he’s able to identify. For example, when the media gets exercised over something I say that they find righteously indignant, he understands it was a joke and that they have no sense of humor whatsoever.
But here’s the point — and Jonah Goldberg reminds us of this. He wrote a blog post about three years ago that was titled “The MacGuffinization of American Politics.” Do you know what a MacGuffin is? “‘In a movie or book, ‘The MacGuffin’ is the thing the hero wants,’ Ace writes.” So in the Maltese Falcon, for example, the hero wants the Maltese Falcon, but there’s always somebody trying to stop the hero from getting what he wants. There’s always a villain in every book, in every movie. In every story you have the hero and what he wants, and that is the MacGuffin.
The Liam Neeson movie Taken, the MacGuffin is his daughter. His daughter’s taken by terrorists; he wants her back. The villains, the terrorists, don’t want him to get her back. The whole thing is about who’s gonna get the MacGuffin. This piece that this Ace of Spades blog wrote is that’s how the media covers Obama, and I have observed this in different ways over the years. For example, when it comes to… Have you ever noticed the Democrats always set the agenda? Whatever the Democrats say they want, that’s just what’s gonna happen. There’s no questioning the policy!
Did the media ever question anything about Obamacare, the intricate do’s and don’ts, the policy cogs? No, no, no, no! Obama just wanted it. With every issue, the coverage of Obama is: “Will he get? How will he look? Does this help or does this hurt Obama?” There’s never any questioning of what he wants in terms of is it good, bad for the country or not. It’s just, “Hey, Obama’s the hero, and he wants Obamacare,” and so the coverage is totally devoted to whether or not Obama’s gonna get it. Now, in that scenario, who are the villains?
Well, your good old, reliable Republicans are the villains, and they are always portrayed as the people trying to deny our beloved hero what he wants. Ace of Spades says that this became clear to him in a revelation one night. He was watching Chris Matthews interview Obama, and he didn’t get one question! He didn’t ask Obama one question about how Obamacare works. Every question was one degree or another: How do you feel about Boehner opposing it? How do you feel about it? What will make you happy? Do you think you can get it?
What it was was irrelevant!
The details of what Obama was going to do to the American health care system didn’t matter. All that mattered was whether or not Obama was going to get it. If somebody comes up and says, “Obama was born in Kenya,” the story becomes, “Will Obama succeed in refuting this charge and then can we make these villains making the charge look like reprobates?” No examination of the allegation or examination of the issues. No examination. But herein, folks, lies the answer of Trump’s success. In other words, the media covers things as stories that you would read about in a book or watch in a movie or a television show — and in this case, in the Republican primary, Trump was not the villain.
Trump wanted the nomination, and all these other Republicans and their supporters didn’t want Trump to have the nomination. So who became the villains? What Trump wanted became the story. “Will he get it? Will Trump get to 1,237?” Did not Ted Cruz become a villain in the middle of this by virtue of trying to stop the hero by getting delegates in all of the state conventions? Everything Cruz was doing was legal, it was aboveboard, but it was portrayed as Cruz is the villain, and here’s Trump and what he wants and will he get it? “Will he get to 1,237 before the convention? And if he doesn’t, will they block him?”
And that’s became the news. And therefore, the substance of Trump policies never got covered, because it wasn’t what interested the media. So, going forward, which story will the media find more interesting, Trump’s or Hillary’s? Does Hillary even have a story? Does anyone even care? Hillary has a resume. What is the story in Hillary’s resume? Four dead in Benghazi, illegal emails, trafficking in classified information. The media hasn’t gone there on that yet because when covering that aspect of Hillary minus Trump, the story is the same.
Will Hillary survive or will the villains…? Comey and the FBI and the Republicans, will they succeed? There isn’t any coverage of whether or not Hillary actually broke the law. The media’s not interested in whether or not she actually trafficked in classified data. The story is whether or not the villains, in the eyes of the media, will win or can be stopped. But when you change the dynamic and make it Trump versus Hillary? Well, we already know the media has already once gotten caught up and captured and totally engrossed in the Trump story ’cause they don’t know how it’s gonna end day to day.
They don’t know how it’s gonna end minute to minute. They know what Trump wants. They are fascinated with the idea, “Can Trump really get this?” Because Trump, there’s nothing professional about him. He doesn’t have a speechwriter, doesn’t have a teleprompter. He doesn’t have a pollster, he doesn’t have a consultant, he doesn’t have campaign staff. He hasn’t been fundraising. He hasn’t done anything you’re supposed to do. Look what he’s doing! They are fascinated. When you get down to Trump versus Hillary, how is this gonna manifest itself in the media?
But Hillary doesn’t have a fascinating story to get behind. She doesn’t fascinating story to tell. The only thing about Hillary is, you know, “first female president.” That’s it, and that’s nowhere near, by the way, as powerful or penetrating as the first African-American president. I mean, women, yeah, I mean, make the case that they’ve been victimized. But they can’t put themselves in the same shoes as slavery’s legacy for example. Now, women might try to make the case. Hillary might try to make the case about not being ought to be able to vote, but it ain’t gonna fly.
The whole idea of the first female president is not nearly as momentous or exciting as the first African-American. So you take that away from Hillary, what’s her story? What is fascinating? What’s interesting about Hillary? Coughing fits? The lump in her throat that she has to cover with the Mao jacket? What’s her story? She’s been there, done that. (interruption) Bill? Yeah, yeah, that’ll excite the media, what role will Bill have, versus the Trump story. But in all of this, the key to remember is that we’re not talking about media.
And, I mean, the Ace of Spades example that Jonah Goldberg remembered here (and that made me remember it, too), is that Chris Matthews interview with Obama, during the run-up to Obamacare. Not one question about it. And when you stop and think, there never is for the Democrat. The media never questions the substance of anything the Democrats do. The coverage is always, “Will they get it? Will they get what they want?” And, really, it’s even worse than that. It’s not, “Will they get it?” It’s “How soon will they get it, and what are the villains gonna do to try to stop them from getting it?”
And the villains get more villainous! The villains get bigger and the villains get meaner. Ken Starr became a sex pervert villain in the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky story. People were scratching their heads. How in the hell can this happen? You have a president who’s out there fornicating (semen’s on the dress to prove it) with a 19-year-old intern. He lied to a grand jury, and the story is Ken Starr is the sex pervert? Well, that’s how it happens. The MacGuffin in that instance was Clinton staying in office. That’s what he wanted, and the media was hell-bent that he was gonna get what he wanted.
Ken Starr wasn’t. So how the media covers Trump-Hillary? Who knows yet how it’s gonna manifest itself, but I guarantee you a lot of people are thinking — and I made the prediction. Well, it’s not a prediction, but I said, folks, it’s entirely possible that the media will continue to be sort of hands off on Trump. Let me put it to you this way: Any Republican, other than Trump, in this primary season who had uttered even one of his insults or gaffes would have been gone. He survived all of them.
Now, there are many reasons why. One primary reason is, his supporters didn’t care — and, in fact (and frustratingly so), his supporters ate it up. His supporters loved it. That’s another thing the #NeverTrump-ers can’t figure out and despise. But the media did, too. The media was fascinated. Trump was ratings. He was money, and still is. He was good copy. The guy, he does improv. He doesn’t do stump speeches. He does appearances like in West Virginia last night. He puts a miner’s hat on. You know what the story was last night, by the way, on that? I kid you not. I read it…
If I read it once today, last night, I read it three places. The media, some in it, were concerned — or hoping — that Trump would have helmet hair when he took the helmet off. They were hoping that he had so much hair spray on, that the miner’s helmet he was wearing would leave an indentation in his hair. That was actually a subject in some of the stories I read. So the MacGuffin… There’s no media. There isn’t any news. The media traditionally is simply an arm of the Democrat Party that is used in service of advancing the Democrat Party agenda, and the Republicans haven’t come up with a way of having a more engaging, entertaining story because the Republican story is never anything other than, “We don’t want Democrat X to have what he wants.”
That’s it. The Republicans have never had, in their story — conservatives, either, have never had… I’m talking this in a media context, now. They’ve never had an agenda or a story that the media would like them to have. The Republicans are never anything but villains. Whatever the Democrats want, yeah, they should get it. We’re for it! (interruption) No, no. I’m just saying, there may be ways unlocking this deadlock here in the way the media covers people, Republicans and Democrats, and there may be a way for Republican to change it around. Trump may be showing how it’s done, but I run great risks in saying that.
RUSH: Dick Cheney says he’s gonna vote for Trump. Lindsey Grahamnesty said he won’t because he doesn’t think Trump’s a reliable conservative. (chuckling). Lindsey Graham says (summarized), “I may not vote Trump. I may not vote in the presidential race, because Trump is not a reliable conservative.”
RUSH: Tom in Redding, California. Welcome, sir. I’m glad you waited. Hi.
CALLER: Greetings from the land of fruits and nuts in California.
RUSH: It’s great to have you here.
GIRL: Hi, Rush.
CALLER: It’s my little kid. She says, “I love you.”
RUSH: I thank you very much.
CALLER: Hey, look. I’m not some slack-jawed yokel named Cletus who lives up with the hicks in the mountains. I come from a middle-class background. I’m a professor now who makes good money. I makes six digits, got three kids. I’ve never voted before. I didn’t vote for McCain, didn’t vote for Romney just because I just didn’t like the cloth they were cut out of. But we are 100% voting for Trump. We see him as Captain America. We really don’t care too much about the lack of, quote/unquote, “depth of his policies.”
RUSH: Hey. Tom, where do you teach? You live in Redding. Where do you teach?
CALLER: I teach at a small school called Shasta Bible College.
RUSH: And you got two degrees, did you say?
CALLER: Yeah, I got two degrees. I studied in Jerusalem. I came back to the States and my family lives here and we teach here. And one of the main reasons we’re voting for Trump besides just we like his personality and his chutzpah and all those kind of things, like I said, he’s a great American — Captain America.
RUSH: There it is. Okay. “Make America great again.” You know, to a lot of people, well, that’s jingoistic. That’s nationalism. That’s cheap, that’s rank, that’s not a movement.