RUSH: Now, I want to say here at the start that I know the vast majority of you in this audience have at best a passing interest in the approaching hurricane, Hurricane Irma. If you live anywhere west of Florida or Georgia or South Carolina, North Carolina, you probably don’t care that much. I remember when I grew up in Missouri, the weatherman would tell us when hurricanes hit, but it was nothing that was ever gonna affect us, and so there was not a direct emotional connection to it.
But I want to spend the early moments here of the program on Hurricane Irma because, ladies and gentlemen, your beloved and respected host is being slimed and smeared with a fake news campaign that has been ongoing for three days, which, in the bottom-line analysis, confirms pretty much everything I have said. The fact that in the midst of all that’s going on here, so many people have to take time out from what they’re doing to try to trash me?
I’m just a guy on the radio. I’m not even a guy on TV! And yet efforts are underway to once again for, I don’t know, the tenth or 12th time in my career, to entirely trash, slime, smear, and destroy me over things that I did not say, over points that I did not make. This is occurring in place like the Washington Post, second day in a row there. The Associated Press, CNN, Headline News, some other cable networks and so forth.
I have a theory about this, folks. I think the reason that I’m able to get under their skin is that I am one of the few who bucks their conventional wisdom, and I do it effectively, I do it persuasively with intelligence guided by experience and logic. Yesterday I told you they live in this safe cocoon that they have built for themselves, where everybody in the cocoon thinks alike, talks the same, they’re uniform. Anything that’s outside that cocoon that tries to get in causes anger and panic, and they react by lashing out with a need to destroy that which they think threatens what they’re saying.
So what I’m saying about this or what I did say to them constitutes a threat, because otherwise it wouldn’t be any big deal. If I were this irrelevant and if I didn’t matter and if I was this crazy and I was this off the wall, they would ignore it, because they wouldn’t have to point it out; everybody would think so. But of course very few believe that, and the only people that believe those kind of things are those that have no experience listening to the program.
I mean, some of the things that their saying… two hit pieces in a row from the Washington Post today. “Rush Limbaugh’s Hurricane Survival Guide: Stop Buying Water and Don’t Listen to the News.” Neither of those two things did I say. I never got close to saying either, and no reasonable, sane person ever would.
So what did I say that has these people so discombobulated and upset? And I’m telling you, it all revolves around their politics. And I continually poke holes in their balloon about this and they just can’t handle it and they go livid. All I do is identify what they’re doing. They are the ones exaggerating. They are the ones using this destructive event, which is going to affect millions of people horribly, they are the ones using it to advance a political agenda, not me. And all I’m doing is pointing that out.
And simply to say that, just that, causes them to lose their grounding and their common sense. And when they lash out, they lie, and they say, as Al Roker did, that what I’m suggesting is near criminal! What I’m telling people is near criminal! Here’s a summary of what I said to anybody in the path of this hurricane: Take emotion out of the equation. I explained how severe weather events are opportunities for big ratings boosts in the media and explained how it happens.
I explained how severe weather events impact retailers and how some retailers are smart enough to coordinate advertising with television stations. It happens! It doesn’t mean it’s bad. It happens. It helps to explain things. And that’s all I do.
Severe weather events are opportunities to advance political agendas, and they are. You can’t miss all of the talk from Harvey on about climate change and people trying to persuade people that it’s behind all this, when it isn’t. I explained there are several hurricane models. They all show numerous and differing possible tracks.
And these things can happen because all kinds of different atmospheric conditions are in play here, and a change in any one of them can change a forecast track, not the fault of the forecasters. It’s so complex, climate, atmospherics, meteorology, it’s so complex it can’t be predicted with certitude other than six to 12 hours out. It is not an exact science. And I said if you’re panicked that you can’t find bottled water. Turn on the tap.
I didn’t tell anybody not to drink water. I said there’s a thing in your kitchen called a sink and above that is a thing called a faucet, and there’s either one handle or two, one for hot, one for cold, or you turn the one handle in the right direction, bammo. Until the water gets shut off because of the hurricane you’ve got water out the wazoo in your house. You could fill up the bathtub. You know what you could do? You could get Ziploc trash bags and partially fill them, like 75, 80% of the way, and put them in your freezer. Just load your freezer.
There’s any number of ways to come up with water if you can’t find any bottles at a grocery store. That is all I said. But major American news outlets are out saying I told people not to drink water, you don’t need to buy water, there’s no dire emergency, there’s no dire consequences, it’s all being made up by forecasters because of global warming. I didn’t say anything was made up.
ADAMS: I think a lot of this is actually an unfair characterization of what he said. I went back and listened I to the tapes to hear what he said.
CUPP: Tell us!
CUPP: Well, wuh?
RUSH: Okay, so that’s T. Becket Adams, the one guy — the one guy — that’s been on TV talking about this who admits he went back, listened to the show, read the transcripts, and properly understands it. So after that, the next guy is somebody named John Devor of the… He’s a freelance journalist. After hearing that… After hearing that, here is what happened next on this show.
DEVOR: Telling people what they want to hear is great business. That’s what it is. Confirming fears, confirming biases —
WOMAN: A lot of people in Florida listen to Rush.
DEVOR: They do. “This hurricane is hyped up; I’m gonna stay here,” and God forbid something happened to them, Rush are never have to take responsibility for that. He doesn’t have to!
RUSH: He didn’t even hear what T. Becket Adams said because he didn’t care. He goes on this show with a bigoted, prejudiced, biased attitude of me based on years and years, probably, of disinformation and fake news about me. He totally… This is idiocy to have somebody explain, “Hey, I went back and listened. Let me tell you what he actually said,” and then for this guy to come out and continue to mischaracterize it and say that I am responsible for people not leaving the area? I never said stay here. I never said don’t leave.
It’s up to you! I don’t think you’re my kids. I don’t think I’m your parent. I think all of you have the ability to make up your own minds on these things, and I don’t presume to believe that you don’t. I’m not the one that treats my audience like children, incapable of getting out of bed every day. It’s these people that do that. I have paramount respect for you. I have so much respect for you and I have no doubt of your intelligence — and that’s why and how I deal with this and you every day on this program. It is they who treat people as incompetents, as incapable, and bordering on with contempt at times.
Now, there’s a bunch of more sound bites on this S.E. … (interruption) I don’t know. I don’t… (sigh) Maybe, but the point is, they had a roundtable discussion here with people presented as experts and none of them had any idea what they were talking about! They were simply reacting to their own bias and prejudice about me. One guy said, “Hey, you know, that’s not what he said. It’s a big mischaracterization,” and it didn’t stop what was happening anyway on this show. So it’s an instructive teachable moment about how cable TV operates, about bias and prejudice in the news. But what it also does, folks: Why do they care so much? What is the big deal?
Al Joker doesn’t even know what happened here. Probably yet hasn’t taken the time to figure it out. But it must mean, folks, that my commentary on these people always hits close to home, because their reaction is typical of the left. Rather than debate or argue with what I said, just try to slime and smear me. That’s how they do it, and they do it anybody credible that is in opposition to them. Don’t engage in the arena of ideas, ’cause they can’t destroy the credibility of whoever is saying things they don’t want to hear.
They’re nothing more than adult versions of the snowflakes on college campus who use violence to shut down anybody who might inflate for penetrate their little cocoon of safety. Okay. So that’s that. There’s 10 total sound bites of me in the sound bite roster today, and not just about the hurricane. Guy on the radio.
RUSH: I’ll tell you this, folks. In a sane world, the media would be thanking me for trying to avert panic. I mean, when local police departments are called to grocery stores to guard a delivery of bottled water which happened, I think, a couple days ago over in West Palm Beach. A bottled water shipment arrived, and the local police were called by the grocery store to guard the truck while staff/employees unloaded it. There was a four case limit per family. Now, that’s not necessary when everybody has water in their home.
As I say, get some large Ziploc bags and fill ’em like 75, 80 full to handle for the expansion happens when you freeze it and put ’em in the freezer and you’ll have that until you lose power, if you’re gonna stay. You’ll have that until you lose power and your water will be fresh and cold when you need it. You could fill a freezer with it. There’s no reason to panic over water. Not right now, not before the thing hits, which all I said. It is being reported I’m telling people not to drink water, not to worry about it, nothing’s happening; the hurricane’s overblown.
I didn’t say anything of the sort. In fact, the environmentalist wackos should even be placed me. They hate plastic! Plastic bottles, they think, end up in landfill and they’re… Well, they come from petroleum, you know, which they also hate. Here I’m urging people not to use plastic. The environmentalist wackos should be applauding me, patting me on the back. They should be thanking me for my environmental concern.
RUSH: I just checked my email, and I had, for me, a fascinating question. We’re back to the hurricane here for just a moment. Bear with me. I have an email — actually, a couple of these, and more than a couple in the last 12 hours. There are people like me who do more than just look at the hurricane center website and watch TV. They try to find as many websites with data on these models as they can, and these people have seen things.
And the one thing, if you know which models the hurricane center pays attention to — and that differs from storm to storm — some people write, “Rush, to me it looks like the models are moving further east out to the Atlantic Ocean, and yet the track is staying. Why aren’t they moving it?” I’ve had the staff asking me that question since yesterday. And here’s the answer, folks, and without knowing it, I’m telling you, it’s what it is: Once they published a track that includes Miami, they can’t change it. Not this close.
Yesterday the official forecast included Miami and up to West Palm Beach and, you know, hugging the East Coast of Florida. Once they do that, they can’t move it off land, unless the models just have this dramatic shift east, which would require the subtropical ridge, the southwestern edge of the subtropical ridge to move out of there. That’s a high-pressure area over the Atlantic, which is what’s keeping the hurricane from turning north now.
You would not believe, it is a Herculean effort that Governor Rick Scott has put into place here. And for the hurricane center to move that track offshore right now, they would never do it, unless it’s so obvious. And it’s not gonna be. So the models might show you that it’s tracking or might track a little further east and not make landfall in Florida, it’s still gonna be close. Even if it doesn’t make landfall in Florida, it’s gonna be close. Do you know the eye of this storm is almost as wide as the state? It’s mammoth, mammoth out there.
Another thing that happens. Bear with me on this. I’ve seen this. I think the hurricane center, for safety purposes, overforecasts for safety, get people expecting the worst, and if you don’t get the worst, then it’s good news. The worst thing that can happen is to underforecast. If they underforecast and say, “Don’t worry, the winds are not gonna get above 90,” and they show up at 125, that doesn’t work.
So when they say “hurricane Category 4, maximum sustained winds 155 miles,” there is a place where that is happening, but it’s not very large. It’s not the whole hurricane. But all of this is done on purpose because — and once it’s committed to, once you reach the three-day forecast range, which we’re in now, 72 hours out, once you reach that, they’re committed.
So this track isn’t gonna change appreciably. Unless, as I say, there’s a massive atmospheric shift. And if that happens you’ll see the hurricane start to move in ways not forecast anyway before the next forecast comes out. So just keep an eye on it. It’s gonna affect Florida no matter where it goes. And the effects in Florida, depending on where, are gonna be damaging.
It’s the same thing with the amount of rainfall, the storm surge, the wind speeds. What happens is the hurricane — this is how this works again — the hurricane center forecasts, and they always forecast the max, ’cause it’s the safest thing to do in terms of preparation and alerting people. It’s always a sigh of relief if they’re wrong on the high side. If they forecast a Cat 4 and it hits as a Cat 2, that’s a sigh of relief. If they forecast a Cat 2 and it hits as a Cat 4, that’s anger, that’s problems.
The media, however, you throw them into this mix, now you have an entirely different universe to deal with. The media takes every extreme that is in a forecast such as this and runs with it as though it is gospel! And then they hype it and hype it and hype it. And then they tie it to climate change, and they tie it to whatever. And it’s not the hurricane center doing that. That is the media. And that’s how they play snowstorms, it’s how they play tornadoes, anything, it’s just the way the media works. So the reality is gonna be a midpoint between what the forecast is and the media hype. You watch. It’ll be the case.
RUSH: Susan in Cline, Texas. You’re next. Great to have you. How are you doing?
CALLER: I’m doing well, Rush. I just called to tell you that you’re right about the water, the hurricane. You’re right about everything, Rush. We just survived Harvey, and Ike before that. We lived here 30 years — and you know, if you’re gonna corner the market on something, it needs to be peanut butter, jelly, and bread, ’cause you can, you know, make your own water as you say. I just pray that this thing takes a right, which they usually do, and I wish you would have told us where you think it’s gonna hit. But I study it, too, and, you know, Harvey was different because it formed in the Gulf very quickly, and they were right on. We didn’t lose power. You know, we’re 200 miles from where it hit and we had 32 inches of rain. So I’m kind of concerned that everybody’s gonna get on the highway and that’s where the water gets you.
CALLER: And they need to evacuate. The problem and everybody kind of just our mayor who’s not my mayor, we can’t vote for him. We live outside. There’s nor to go. You need to let the people that need to get out of the way, get out of the way. Texas is different than Florida, obviously, but —
RUSH: The thing evacuating to further north in Florida may not be enough, if you are even evacuate here, because this storm… Even if it hugs the East Coast going up, the tropical storm force winds are gonna reach across to Tampa and St. Pete. If it cuts the state in half, it’s gonna weaken as it goes up as opposed to half of it staying over water. But there’s no real good scenario here. Did you say you wish I would tell you what I think’s gonna happen?
CALLER: Yes, sir. (chuckles)
RUSH: You realize if I do that… (laughing)
CALLER: It’s not gonna hurt your rating, Rush. You’re always right.
RUSH: Oh, no, it’s not gonna affect my rating, but all it would take… Let’s say that I tell you I think it’s gonna do X, and it doesn’t do X, you think the left could go find some actor to say, “I believe Rush Limbaugh! I stayed right here, ’cause Limbaugh said I had nothing to worry about, and now look! I’ve lost my home, I’ve lost my wife, I lost my Xbox! I don’t have nothing, all because I listen to Rush Limbaugh.” You think they’d have trouble finding someone? They could write a script, hire an act to go on TV and say that.
CALLER: Okay. All right.
CALLER: I just told Mr. Snerdley, these are the order of people I trust: I trust the Lord God Almighty, my husband, Rush, and Trump.
Now, I do have thoughts on the hurricane, but, look, at this point, it would not serve any purpose to say so. I could write my comments down and put ’em in a lockbox and we’d go back after the hurricane and open the lockbox and read to you what I said and see if it happened. But here’s the thing: Right now, all that matters is that the hurricane center can’t move the track no matter what the models do, because once the hurricane center published a mainland hit near Miami and up to West Palm Beach, they can’t move that.
They’re committed to it. It’s part of the way they warn. Even if they think that it’s gonna turn and be offshore east, they can’t move that track in advance of that happening, because they can’t be sure. If they were to move that track offshore east, say tonight at five o’clock, in two hours, and it moves and they’re right, but then late Saturday night it makes a jog left back over land, they would be in deep doo-doo, because people believe them too. And they can’t afford now that they’ve invested and committed to a landfall in south Florida, they have to stick with that until the hurricane makes a move that is off that track. They can’t make a move now because of the model.
I mean, even if the models show it turning due east and making a beeline for grand Bahama, they’re gonna have to wait ’til the actual hurricane makes that move before they can change their track. So if any of you in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, you know, if you’re gonna make sure you’re at every update, five p.m., 11 p.m., five a.m., 11 a.m., be advised in the next couple of updates or more, it isn’t gonna change appreciably from what it is now, unless the hurricane itself makes an unexpected jog either left or right.
There are models on either side of this track right now. There’s a model that still takes this thing into northern Cuba, coming out about Havana and then straight up the middle of the state of Florida after impacting the Keys. That’s the U.K. Met model. It’s way out there on the west. There’s a bunch of other models to the east. So their track is pretty much in the middle of all this, which, as I say, they’re committed to it. So what I think it’s gonna do would not serve any purpose to say at this point.