RUSH: Okay. So, according to a writer at the Huffing and Puffington Post, a guy who used to run Algore’s TV network — does anybody remember the name of Algore’s TV network? Current TV. It then became Al Jazeera TV. Al Jazeera bought Algore’s network. And of course everybody said it’s kind of crazy because Algore and global warming and climate change and anti-fossil fuels, and who did he sell out to? Al Jazeera is Qatar, which is an oil state.
Anyway, a guy that used to run Algore’s TV network, Current TV, named Michael Rosenblum on Twitter, has a piece at the Huffing and Puffington Post: “Donald Trump Is Going to Be Elected.” The election is over. Nobody knows it yet because nobody knows how to look at this. His thesis is Donald Trump’s going to be elected.
“The American people voted for him a long time ago.” They voted for him when reality TV swept the nation. “They voted for him when The History Channel went from showing documentaries about the Second World War to ‘Pawn Stars’ and ‘Swamp People.’ They voted for him when The Discovery Channel went from showing ‘Lost Treasures of the Yangtze Valley’ to ‘Naked and Afraid.’ They voted for him when The Learning Channel moved from something you could learn from to ‘My 600-lb Life.’ They voted for him when CBS went from airing ‘Harvest of Shame’ to airing ‘Big Brother,'” and King of Queens.
“These networks didn’t make these programming changes by accident. They were responding to what the American people actually wanted. And what they wanted was ‘Naked and Afraid’ and ‘Duck Dynasty,'” and all of these Real Housewives of every damn city in the country.
“The polls may show that Donald Trump is losing to Hillary Clinton, but don’t you believe those polls. When the AC Nielsen Company selects a new Nielsen family –” and I did not know this, by the way. And there are only about 1,200 Nielsen families nationwide. Did you know that? TV ratings are based on 1,200 households? Well, they’ve had to make some modifications. They go to DirecTV and TiVo and they try to get ratings from people with delayed watch and so forth, but the Nielsen TV ratings are basically 1,200 families. And when they sign up a new family, they ignore what that family watches for the first three months.
The reason they do is because the family tunes in to PBS and all kinds of stuff they think is highbrow to impress the Nielsen people. It’s kind of like a reverse Wilder Effect or a reverse Bradley Effect. In other words, you tell the pollster you’re voting the black guy when you have no intention of voting for the black guy just so the pollster doesn’t think you’re racist. Well, apparently this happens with TV ratings. You get the Nielsen box — and, by the way, the box connects and it records what you watch. There’s no way to fake it. So you have to watch what you want reported to Nielsen. And they ignore a new family for the first three months ’cause they’re watching junk.
They’re watching PBS. They’re watching all this highbrow stuff, opera, you name it, and so they ignore it for the first three months because after the first three months the Nielsen families then settle in and begin to watch what they actually watch. ‘Cause people lie about what they’re watching in the first three months. After three months of watching PBS and Live from the Kennedy Center, they go back to the Kardashians.
“The same goes for people who are being asked by pollsters for whom they are voting. They will not say Donald Trump. It is too embarrassing. But the truth is, they like Trump. He is just like their favorite shows on TV.” Trump is their favorite TV show. The campaign is their favorite TV show. And things like what happened yesterday just make it even better.
Here’s Hillary out saying that Trump is a racist, and Trump responds, “No, you’re a bigot.” It’s a food fight. The presidential campaign has become reality TV to the low-information voters. In fact, one of the most controversial aspects of the presidential campaign has become, “Did Hillary Clinton rig opening a can of pickles on the Jimmy Kimmel show earlier this week?”
A major controversy — (laughing) — has erupted. Kimmel had her on, she was gonna prove that she’s strong enough to be president. So he brings out a jar of pickles and sees if she can open it. She goes through this massive gyration like she’s just using every bit of strength she can. She rotates her whole body and finally she cracks the lid, and the audience applauds. And conspiracy theorists are claiming the whole thing was rigged, that the lid had already been loosened. (interruption) You think it was rigged? I’ve got two people here on the other side of the glass, you think the Hillary, Jimmy Kimmel bit was rigged?
There you go. Even my staff, ladies and gentlemen, has now gone fully immersed into the notion that the campaign is a reality show. It’s entertaining, and you watch it to see what kind of outrageous thing is gonna happen next. You don’t judge anybody in the middle of it ’cause you don’t want it to end. You just watch it and you absorb it.
According to Mr. Rosenblum here at the Huffing and Puffington Post, “We are a TV-based culture. We have been for some time now. The average American spends 5 hours a day, every day, watching TV. After sleep, it is our number one activity. More shockingly, we spend 8.5 hours a day staring at screens — phones, tablets, computers. And more and more of the content on those devices is also video and TV.
“If you spend 5-8 hours a day, every day, for years and years doing the same thing it has an impact on you. For the past 40 years, we have devoted 5-8 hours a day staring at a screen — every day. And we haven’t been watching Judy Woodruff,” which is his means of conveying we’re not watching PBS. But we never did. Now, don’t be fooled by something here. PBS has never been a ratings winner. Don’t be fooled. I mean, the idea that we used to all sit around and watch the Newshour with Jim Lehrer, that’s a bunch of hooey.
Same thing with NPR. “In the 1950s, early television was allowed, with many restrictions, to be an observational guest at political conventions. They were quiet ‘flies on the wall,’ carefully and quietly commentating on what they saw way down below. They did not get involved in the process. Today, they ARE the process,” at conventions and everywhere else. Today, political conventions are nothing but carefully directed TV shows. Likewise ‘debates.’ They exist only to entertain a TV audience. TV and entertainment now dictate everything political. It is a never-ending show. The biggest reality show on air.” And Hillary Clinton sucks at it, and Donald Trump is great at it.
“In 1825, the great French gastronom Brillat de Savarind said, ‘Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.’ Today, in America, we can safely say, ‘Tell me what you watch, and I will tell you what you are.'”
And the guy’s serious, by the way. There may be some tongue-in-cheek in this, but there are a lot of people who are being made very uncomfortable by this campaign. If I wanted to, I could give you the reasons why. Take a look at what happened yesterday. Hillary goes out, she’s in Reno, Trump has his rally at one o’clock, Hillary does her appearance in Reno at three o’clock. And it is classic. It’s once again a Democrat candidate unloading on a Republican as a racist. She didn’t just play the race card, she played the whole deck, folks.
Now, the people who are watching politics seriously, it was devastating and it spelled the end of Trump, that’s it. And depending on where you go in the Drive-By Media and in left-wing blogs and websites, they’re celebrating. They think Hillary hammered the last nail in Trump’s coffin yesterday and it is over. But it isn’t. In the past, it would have been. That was devastating what she did yesterday. The allegations, the accusations, it was devastating.
But something else happened. Trump fired back with every bit the salvo that Hillary launched. And so the soap opera script continues to be written and the reality show goes on. Still being debated today is has Trump flip-flopped on deportation, amnesty, immigration? It remains a major controversy, because every time Trump opens his mouth about it, something changes from the previous thing that he said.
Last night he was on with Anderson Cooper. (imitating Trump) “No, no, no, nothing’s changed. They gotta go. They gotta go. We’re gonna find, we’re gonna find the gang leaders, we’re gonna find the thugs, we’re gonna find the criminals, we know where they are, we’re gonna get ’em and they gotta go.” And he [Anderson] kept saying, “How are you gonna find all the –”
“They gotta go, they gotta go. Can they come back and be citizens? Yup, but we’re gonna kick ’em out first. They gotta go and then they can come back in.” And then Trump says, “I don’t know how many they are, 11 million, five million, we don’t know, but we’re gonna find out.”
Then I find out it isn’t Ailes. Rudy Giuliani says it’s Chris Christie that is responsible for Trump moderating his tone. But you talk to Trump, he’s not changing anything. Nothing’s changed. You still gotta leave before you can come back in. Still gonna build a wall. And then Trump fires back at Hillary and her salvo on racism. By the way, on that. I’ll tell you what I think her purpose is and why she may have miscalculated on this. This is the one thing the Democrats, they always seem to either — if they know it, they’re willing to run the risk. It wasn’t just what she said about Trump.
You have to realize Trump has a slew of devoted reporters. And everything Hillary said about Trump can be said about his supporters. I mean, you can’t separate the two. If Trump is all these horrible, racist, bigoted, just yucky things, so are the people supporting him. And those people are gonna rally to Trump’s defense ’cause they’re not gonna like being attacked by Hillary Clinton who they think is the most corrupt Democrat they could have nominated as their candidate for president this year.
It was an appeal to the Never Trumpers. And the message was, “I’m giving you a route to abandon this guy. I’m characterizing this guy, Trump, as the biggest shred of human debris we’ve ever seen, and I know you don’t want to be associated with this. I know you don’t want to think that Trump represents your party, and you don’t have to now. I am giving you a way out. All you have to do is agree with me, which should be easy, and we can join together and defeat Trump.” That’s the unspoken attempt that Hillary was making yesterday.
In a way, it’s kind of like the debate that happened between Algore and Jack Kemp in 1996. Algore was the vice president. He and Clinton were running for reelection, and Bob Dole was a Republican nominee. He had chosen Jack Kemp as his vice presidential running mate. So they had a debate, and in the middle of the debate, Algore praised Jack Kemp for not being a racist pig like the rest of his party.
Gore goes on this rant describing all the racism and the bigotry that you find in the Republican Party and then said, “But Jack is not one of those people. Jack, I understand you’re not part of that group.” And Jack Kemp said, “Thank you, Mr. President,” rather than defending the party. Well, Hillary, a modified version of that same — oops, I just saw the clock, folks.
RUSH: Quickly: On C-SPAN’s Washington Journal today, a viewer called in. Listen to this. It’s a guy named Victor from Silver Spring, Maryland.
VICTOR: Hillary is personal for me. I’m 69 years old. I’m legally blind. My sighted wife — who is an extreme liberal — as soon as the Clintons got into office, she gave me an ultimatum: Either the marriage or Rush Limbaugh.
C-SPAN HOSTS: (chuckling)
VICTOR: I picked Rush Limbaugh; she dumped me. Rush has said on his show many times that Hillary will remind every man who’s been through a divorce — with the way she screams and yells, she does remind me of my former wife, who I cannot stand.
RUSH: That’s Victor from Silver Spring, Maryland, on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal today. You heard them chuckling there, whoever the guests were on the roundtable. They were chuckling. He chose this program over his wife. She gave him an ultimatum when the Clintons got into office, and he chose me. He chose this program.
RUSH: I checked the email during the break. There’s a couple of interesting things here. First on the pickle business, on the pickle jar. It’s funny and all that, but let me be serious about this. The whole thing is a giant distraction. The whole bit, Hillary Clinton opening a jar of pickles on the Jimmy Kimmel show is a giant distraction.
Hillary Clinton has a thyroid problem. That’s what we know. She has either an overactive or underactive thyroid and she’s taking some sort of medicine or a combination of medicines for it. It has nothing to do with her physical strength. The thyroid presents other problems. That’s why she needs to take time off and rest and recoup and this kind of thing. It becomes a question of can it be controlled with medication. She goes on Kimmel, and they try to distract everybody with showing, “Oh, yeah, plenty strong. I got all the strength in the world. I can open that jar of pickles.”
So she makes a big production out of opening a jar of pickles and people react to it. The whole thing was a distraction. It was a misdirection, if you will. It was designed to steer everybody away from what really plagues her health-wise. And it’s typical Clinton behavior mode. It’s a typical trick. Now they’ve got everybody talking about, well, sorry, not everybody talking about it, but those who are are talking about an aspect of it that’s irrelevant. But it’s fun. It’s harmless.
RUSH: Okay, now, I have a theory, and this could be all wet, but there’s some things here that are really, really hard to nail down about this campaign. I also want to circle back to something that we led the program with today, a column at the Huffing and Puffington Post by a man, Michael Rosenblum. It’s the guy that ran Algore’s network, Current TV, before it was sold to Al Jazeera.
He has a piece, which I don’t think is totally satire. I mean, there’s some tongue-in-cheek in it obviously, but his piece is designed to slap Democrats and leftists upside the head and say, “This election’s over. You people, you don’t know it yet because you don’t know how to judge the American electorate, but Trump’s already won this thing, and it isn’t even gonna be close. And the polls are not catching it.”
And this guy’s theory is Americans are watching screens eight hours a day, TV five hours, computers, smartphones, and tablets, three hours. And they’re watching this stuff. And Duck Dynasty, which, for a couple years it was the most watched show on television. Duck Dynasty. And he makes the point even the highbrow TV channels, the Learning Channel and the Discovery Channel, you used to actually be able to learn something on the Learning Channel, and you used to actually be able to discover stuff on the Discovery Channel.
But now it’s just cheap, low-rent, low-information voter type reality TV shows, modern incarnations of the Hatfields versus the McCoys, the latest goings-on in the chop shop, whatever the hell is happening out there, who has the nicest cribs in the gang community. His point is that that’s how America reacts to things now. And, if anything in real life reminds them of a reality show they glom onto it and love it. His point is the presidential campaign has become a reality show primarily because of Trump. The Apprentice, “you’re fired,” all this stuff, a reality show. Trump is great TV. Trump is entertainment TV.
And Hillary isn’t. Hillary is crap TV. His words. Hillary is crap TV; she’s not entertaining, she’s boring, she’s old, and she’s yesterday’s news. His theory revolves around — if his theory is right, then we have to be in the midst of an absolute decline in the American culture. Now, how many of you think that we are? A lot of people do. We’re in the midst of a decline where even the presidential campaign is not immune from the lowest common denominator in America culture.
The presidential campaign used to be way above it. Demand excellence, demand competence, demand policy expertise, you know it when you see it, even if you can’t do it yourself. You want people better than you are as president. You want people much more qualified than you are. His theory is that that’s not the case anymore. That whatever it is that attracts people to television is what’s going to attract them to a candidate and a campaign. And as I say, I think he’s half serious with this. He may even be more than half serious.
You read it, Snerdley. What did you think? You think he’s dead serious? You don’t think there’s any satire in it? Well, something’s different.
RUSH: That speech Hillary did yesterday, F. Chuck Todd comes out and says, “Yeah, I can’t believe there’s not a single Republican that came out to defend Trump.” That’s not unusual. The Republicans don’t defend other Republicans on charges of racism. It just doesn’t happen. It’s one of the frustrating things.
What’s amazing — tell me if I’m wrong — what’s amazing is how many Republicans have piled on and agree with her? Have you seen any? Did Paul Ryan find the nearest camera and echo what Hillary said? Did Mitch McConnell? Did Trey Gowdy? Did Michael McCaul? Did Eric Cantor? Did anybody? Okay, well, where’s that? Where are all the Republicans going, “Yeah! Yeah! We’ve been telling you he’s a racist big.” Isn’t that more interesting?
There aren’t a whole lot of Democrats piling on that, either. I mean, you see pockets of it, a little segment here, a little segment there, but it’s not the dominant story. Hillary’s allegations on Trump, racist.
Try this for a theory. It’s as good as anybody else’s. If you’re in the Trump camp — and I say this sincerely — if you’re in the Trump camp and you know what’s going on, you want Hillary drawn out, because you know that Hillary doesn’t do well when she’s seen. She doesn’t do well when she’s speaking. The more Hillary’s seen, the worse her numbers get. This has been documented to be true throughout this century.
Hillary Clinton showing up, her numbers go down. When she disappears and isn’t speaking and isn’t seen, her numbers either level off or even go up. So if you’re the Trump campaign, you want to draw her out, you want her out there. How do you do it? You make an appeal for the black vote. And what has Trump done? He’s gone out and the last week he’s been just pounding about the African-American population, how rotten they’re being treated, how taken advantage of they are, taken for granted they are.
And what did it do? It drew Hillary out. So she came out, she makes this speech dumping all over Trump as a racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe, pervert, freak, whatever she said. We’ll see what happens to her numbers after all of this. I’m telling you, I’m not grasping on to anything for hope. I’m seriously sitting here analyzing this and trying to make the best and most sense of it I can. There just are a lot of things that are generating reactions that surprise me. And there are other things I expect to be happening which aren’t, reactions that also surprise me.
RUSH: Even Dr. Krauthammer yesterday had to admit we have scraped the bottom of the barrel. We’ve gone as low as we can go in this campaign. Hillary, Trump, everything being said, is just beneath this country like we have never been beneath it. Which is on a par with what the guy in the Huffing and Puffington Post says, which is the country has become a reality show, and he who wants to run and lead the country had better act like the country is a reality show and he’s the star.