RUSH: I have to tell you, I sometimes have to dial myself back. You know, I’m aware of everything — it’s my job — I keep up to speed, and I have a blessed memory. The brain chemistry I have is such that my memory is wonderful. And sometimes it’s helpful, and other times it ends up being frustrating, such as this whole situation with Bill O’Reilly and Fox News.
Let me ask you a question. Have you ever wondered why not a single left-wing media figure is ever the target of advertiser boycotts? Have you ever noticed that, and, if you haven’t, please take notice of it, and then ask yourself, why? What in the world could explain the one-sidedness of this? How is it that a woman who is now out there berating Bill O’Reilly as a subhuman dryball happily once dated Anthony Weiner and is currently on CNN giving commentary about this and many other things?
Now, this is a subject I have become, out of necessity, an expert in. And it’s also a subject that is very delicate to discuss, because it probably would behoove me to not share everything I know about this. I’m already a big enough target. I’m already more famous than most people should ever hope to be, and, as such, that has a direct effect on the size of the target that is on me. And you always do what you can to reduce the size of the target while not reducing your presence.
But, if you’re interested in this, if you’re fascinated by it — this is not a defense or anything of the sort of Bill O’Reilly. This is all about the modern American nature of politics and how things happen, why they happen, how they get done, and so forth. If I wanted to defend O’Reilly, I could. But it’s not about that. Frankly, what surprises me is — and this is where I’m approaching the quicksand, ladies and gentlemen. What surprises me is that there has been so little learned about how to deal with this.
Let me share with you as an illustration what I’m talking about. I have no idea what this is. Somebody sent me this today. It’s an email that contains a link to something called the Transom Happy Hour. Now, I think this is a part of the Federalist website, but don’t nail me to that. I don’t really know. Whoever this blogger is is weighing in on O’Reilly. And the blogger makes the point, doesn’t care about O’Reilly, never watched O’Reilly, didn’t like what O’Reilly wrote about Reagan, but… And of course that’s obligatory. You have to distance yourself from the target who’s being destroyed here. You can’t ever get close to defending a target unless they come after you. So you have to say, “I don’t care one way or the other, Bill O’Reilly, Bill O’Shmiley, Ted Baxter doesn’t matter to me.”
Then you get to this paragraph. “The upshot is it worked. The one-two punch of New York media calling up every agency, advertising agency, corporate advertiser, keeping lists of advertisers who stayed on and those who fled, worked. As a publisher of a center-right Web magazine, this is disturbing. It sets a very bad precedent about the power of advertiser pressure.”
When did this guy — when was he born? It didn’t even happen to him and he’s just now noticing how this works? “The one-two punch of New York media calling up every agency and corporate advertiser, keeping lists of advertisers who stayed on –” i.e., with O’Reilly “– and those who fled, worked. As the publisher of a center-right magazine, this is disturbing. It sets a very bad precedent about the power of advertiser pressure and sends a message as an organization that you can essentially be blackmailed into getting rid of –” no kidding!
Whoever this is has just awakened to a reality that’s been around for decades here, and it’s a one-way street. It never happens to people on the left. “Similar corporate pressure could easily bankrupt any for-profit, right-of-center publication which is one reason so many are gravitating instead to the security of nonprofit and not commercial, not selling advertising.” The big mistake — I’m getting very, very close to the quicksand. Do you mind if I go there? The mistake being made here is that corporate America is not where this starts.
This blogger believes it sets a very bad precedent about the power of advertiser pressure and sends a message, da-da-da-da-da, lists of advertisers who stayed on and those who fled. This does not start with the advertisers. They are the victims of the entire process themselves. They just happen to be the first people that get hit.
The way this works is this. The New York Times runs a story, and the story talks about how valuable O’Reilly is to Fox News and how much money O’Reilly is generating, and this irritates everybody that reads the New York Times. They don’t want to see this. They don’t want to see how successful O’Reilly is. They don’t want to see how big Fox is ’cause they hate it. They hate Fox, they hate O’Reilly, they don’t want to see any of this. And the New York Times pounds ’em with how much money O’Reilly is making, how much money he’s generating for Fox, how powerful Fox is, and they see as they read this.
And then the New York Times lowers the boom and points out that O’Reilly is a serial whatever and has paid off $13 million to other women to shut up. There has to be an outlet for the anger. Then what happens is where the real story begins. And it is not that advertisers are reading the New York Times and going, “Oh, my God, I can’t have my product there,” and they call their agency and say, “You get us out of there.” That is not how it happened. That is what they want you to think happens, but that’s not how it happens.
The advertisers are not taking the initiative here. The advertisers are themselves being inundated with what they think is tens of thousands of complaint emails and tweets from people they believe represent tens of thousands of legitimately angry citizens. When in truth it is a bunch of bots, Facebook bots and Twitter bots that may have been generated by no more than 10 people, made to look like tens of thousands. And that’s all she wrote.
When the advertisers are swarmed with that, if Fox, O’Reilly, if the salespeople are not prepared, if they don’t know what’s going on, and if they can’t hit these advertisers and explain what’s happening to them and tell ’em to ignore it, that it’s all part of an organized campaign and that these tweets do not represent real people.
Because, you know, liberals, sponsors of O’Reilly have been have you noticed many of them sponsor the Clinton Foundation? Many of them… There’s a serial all edged rapist. I mean, you talk about sexual abuse? Bill Clinton’s wife ran the bimbo eruptions units when he was in the White House to seek and find the women who might accuse Bill Clinton of sexual abuse (and other things) and destroy them. And advertisers never leave the Clintons, and donors never leave the Clintons. Why is that?
Because donors and advertisers never receive massive numbers of complaint emails from all of these Twitter and Facebook bots. It’s a one-way street, and… I don’t mean to sound arrogant or condescending about this. But I’m literally shocked that so few people literally know what happens here because they’re not prepared to deal with it. O’Reilly could have survived this. Weeeeeell, let… I say that with guarded… There are other factors involved here that you don’t know about that might have made it impossible for O’Reilly to survive.
And I’m sorry to sound mysterious about that, but it’s corporate intrigue. It all gets combined, nevertheless, and the result is what you see on TV today. It’s nothing but a giant, full-fledged, manufactured smear — and don’t forget where it started. It started in the New York Times. “No, Rush! No, Rush! It started with O’Reilly.” It did? Well, that stuff’s been going on (allegedly) for years. How come he’s not gone ten years ago? It started with the New York Times, and then the other players pick up the ball when it’s their turn to pick it up and run with it and do what they do.
And this is what happens. O’Reilly is not the first, and he will not be the last. But it still boils down to one thing: The left cannot beat Fox News in the arena of cable news. The media, the left cannot beat Fox News. The only option they have is to destroy it. Because they can’t outcompete it as is evidenced by ratings day in and day out since 1996, when Fox debuted. The standard operating procedure for the left is not to level the playing field but to close it. It’s to deny participation on the playing field, not level it. No tolerance. No fairness.
Their objective is to destroy the opposition because they can’t beat the opposition in the arena of competition where both entities are battling — and that would be, in this case, cable news. And it’s a story here that has repeated itself. I’ve been doing this over 25 years, and I’ve seen this I don’t know how many times. As I say again, it’s not trying to be know-it-all-ish or any of that. But it really doesn’t surprise me that as long as that has been going on there doesn’t seem to be — other than in certain places (ahem) — a viable strategy to deal with it.
RUSH: Okay. Back to the phones. Bill in Atlanta. Welcome, sir. Great to have you on the program today. How are you?
CALLER: Thank you so much, Rush. When you were talking earlier about Bill O’Reilly — and I was hoping you would address this issue — and I’m the same age as you. The first one of these cases I can remember is Anita Bryant in the 70’s, who was the spokesman for Florida orange juice, and they destroyed her career for coming out against gay rights. And this was at a time when the vast majority of public support was on her side, but it didn’t matter.
CALLER: So it just shows to me how a small very vocal group can wield outsized influence, as you were talking —
RUSH: Well, look, that is a point. But in examining this — and this a fascinating aspect of it to me, and I’ve delved into it, I’ve had to, why does it work? And I know the answer to that. The small number of people are able to make themselves look, regardless of the era, like they are the vast majority, when they’re not.
RUSH: So I checked the email during the break, and somebody asked me a question. I’m glad I found this, by the way. I mean, you would not believe how many thousands of emails we get here just during the program. I’m glad I found this. Somebody remembered the opening segment of the program and talking about this fiasco with O’Reilly and Fox News, that I pointed out it all started not with O’Reilly and whatever he’s alleged to have done. This all started in the New York Times.
And somebody said, “What’s the big deal about that?” Well, now, it’s kind of obvious to me, but if it isn’t, then I’m happy to explain it. There are two aspects of it. The fact that it starts in the New… Why did the New York Times do the story? Out of the blue, they want to do a story on O’Reilly or Fox with whatever number of payouts to women over…? Where’d this come from? Nothing just comes out of the ether, folks. They’re not sitting there at the New York Times waiting for ideas to pop into their heads and then one second some reporter says, “You know what?
“I think I’m going to do a story on what a sexual harasser Bill O’Reilly is.” That’s not how it happens. This is… The reason that it starts in the New York Times is important is because the second aspect is that corporate intrigue that I mentioned that is also behind this, and it’s… (sigh) I don’t work there, so I guess it’s not any quicksand, but there is a battle for power going on there between sons of Rupert Murdoch and Rupert — and they are not conservatives, my friends.
In fact, they are… What’s the generation before Millennials? Is that what they…? X? Their friends are all liberal. Their wives. One of their wives works for the Clinton Global Initiative. One of the wives, when this New York Times story hit, says, “You can’t keep the man on the air! You just can’t. This is embarrassing. It’s embarrassing to watch. It’s embarrassing to Dad’s company! You can’t do this.” And the fact that the story ran in the New York Times was of such profound shock, sadness, and embarrassment, that they felt they had to do something.
That’s why the fact that it started on the New York Times is crucial. There are two reasons for it being important. The fact that it starts the Times not just appearing out of nothing, out of the ether. Okay, so you, here’s the timeline. Story, New York Times. How long did it take before you started hearing about massive advertiser defections? Just a day, right? You think that was natural? No, this was a campaign, folks. That’s why some of this is so frustrating to me, that even after all this time, these campaigns are not immediately spotted for what they are.
And therefore, people are not able to deal with ’em.
And this one should have been expected, given what’s gone on the last two years there. They should have ready for this. But you see, the bottom line is they were. Fox is not… It’s not gonna be the way it is for long. There’s a massive… Well, I don’t want to say “massive,” but there’s a shakeup coming, and it’s generational. It’s generational and political. It’s just like anything else: Nothing ever is constantly the same. There’s change everywhere. But it’s been amazingly easy. I mean, to sit from a distance and watch this, it’s amazing how easy it appears, at least to me, that this massive and rapid transformation is occurring.
RUSH: Leanne, as we head back to the phones, Chattanooga, Tennessee. Welcome to the EIB Network. How are you?
CALLER: Well, thank you, Rush. It’s an honor and I want to thank you for helping me about 15 years ago understand the difference between liberal and conservative and understand that I was conservative and why.
RUSH: Thank you very much. I appreciate that. Really do.
CALLER: But about O’Reilly. I’ve been almost bleeding from the eyes ever since all this junk started. The snowflake journalists, they’re supposed to be strong women that can sit on TV and hold their own with anybody and argue back and forth. And certain ones, I think Shannon Bream, Martha MacCallum, Jenna Lee, others, I just love them to death. And I think they’re strong enough to handle themselves. These little snowflakes who get boob jobs — excuse me — and hair extensions and —
RUSH: Here it comes.
CALLER: — false eyelashes and seven-inch heels —
RUSH: Here it comes.
CALLER: — and Spandex dresses and cutaway leather like they’re going to a nightclub. And then when somebody takes the bait, it’s, oh, they get all teary and run to a lawyer. Get over it. I mean, it’s maddening. I used to work someplace where a man had a little gathering of women and they would tell off-color jokes. And the first time that happened —
RUSH: Oh, you cannot do that, no, no.
CALLER: No. You know what I did?
RUSH: Even if she’s wearing Spandex, hair extensions, and seven-inch heels, you can’t tell the joke.
CALLER: Well, where I worked this guy would do that, and I said, “Oh, that’s not for mixed company,” and just walked away. And from then on he said, “Oh, I don’t think Leanne’s gonna like this one,” and I’d know to leave. But if he had followed me to my desk and kept saying, “Hey, listen, this is good,” then, you know, I might have a reason to go to H.R. or something. But I can handle myself. And I think MacCallum and any of these women could say in a nice but firm, clear way, “Take a hike. I don’t appreciate that.” But they get all teary, “I need a safe space. I’m a strong journalist, but he said something that made me just feel so bad.” I mean, it’s disgusting to me.
RUSH: Well, here’s the thing, Leanne, you have not, obviously — I’m going to engage here in a bit of speculation — my guess is, because of your experience, as I am deducing from listening to you, and your age, you probably have not come under the influence or spell of the modern era of feminism. My guess would be that even when you have encountered it you’ve rejected it.
And yet you’d be amazed at the number of women today who are the product, particularly if they are college graduates. They’ve taken women’s studies course. They’ve been conditioned to think of men this way. They have been taught what to do if this kind of behavior they sense has been aimed at them. It’s just different eras. You come from an era where a guy gets fresh with you and you slap him or you insult him and you send him away with his tail between his legs.
There’s a different era of how that’s dealt with these days, particularly in business. I’m glad you called. I really appreciate your perspective on this. I have to take a break, though, now. I’m thinking of seven-inch heels, Spandex here.