RUSH: Let me grab a sound bite. Phil Donahue. I told you I saw him yesterday, I saw him yesterday on TV on CNN.
I hadn’t seen him a long time. He looked good, like he found Vladimir Pozner. He was on with Poppy Harlow and they were talking about the presidential race, and Poppy Harlow said, “Chris Wallace has come out and said that I don’t believe it’s my job to be the truth squad in the debates.” Oh, that’s another monkey wrench we have to throw in this thing. What do the moderators do? Do they go Candy Crowley or when a candidate knowingly lies do they shut up and leave it to the audience to figure it out?
Well, she’s asking Phil Donahue about that by posing what Chris Wallace says. He says, I’m not gonna call it if they lie. I’m not gonna be the truth squad. He’s gonna be moderating one of the debates. But there is an element of fact-checking for whose facilitating the debate. She’s asking Phil Donahue this. Is it the role of moderate to fact check. That’s what Candy Crowley thought she was doing. It’s out of place. It doesn’t belong. But here’s Poppy Harlow sounding like she’s advocating it, and here’s what Phil Donahue said.
DONAHUE: Nothing bothers the press more than bad press, like Matt Lauer got. A lot of pompous press went around saying, “Wasn’t it awful, wasn’t it awful,” and they really hit hard, I think harder than is necessary, a little bit self-righteously. I’m saying let’s relax a little bit and I feel for Lester Holt. I think now he feels obliged to push back. And the result is gonna be verbal arm wrestling. I think if you just let ’em go, their real souls will manifest, will become more clear, and if they’re bawdy and disrespectful and pushy, they will fall of their own weight. Let’s just trust the audience for once.
RUSH: Oh, the Drive-Bys can’t leave it up to that, Phil. You should know that. The Drive-Bys don’t trust the audience. But he’s right. He’s right here, especially about what happened to Matt Lauer and how Lester knows what happened to Matt Lauer, and if Lester doesn’t want to get the Matt Lauer treatment Lester has gotta go easy to Hillary and has gotta really zero in on Trump. Lester knows he’s gotta do this.
So then Donahue expanded on what he said, “Just let ’em be themselves, because the people will figure it out.” And, by the way, when he says, “If they’re bawdy and disrespectful and pushy,” who do you think he’s talking about? He’s talking about Trump. If Trump is gonna act like Trump, let Trump act like Trump. People will figure it out. I would associate bawdy and disrespectful and pushy with Nurse Ratched. Anyway, here’s how Donahue wrapped it up.
DONAHUE: Media’s played a more central role in this election than any of the past elections, although it certainly was important in past elections. You know, Donald Trump is like a guy in a top hat who just jumped out of the cake and hurray for Hollywood, and we’re attracted to that. If I had a show I’d put him on. The coin of the realm is the size of the audience. And he draws an audience. There’s just no doubt about it. I don’t have to tell you. If nobody’s watching, we’re all gonna be parking cars, and he ensures a bigger audience.
RUSH: Phil, he’s been using that line since the first time I ever saw his show. If nobody’s watching, we’re gonna be parking cars. But Trump is great TV. He knows. And he said so.