Kathleen Hall Jamieson Proves This Show Can Be Understood by Liberals

RUSH: We have some audio sound bites today. Mr. Snerdley, do you remember the name Kathleen Hall Jamieson? Kathleen Hall Jamieson is at the University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg School. And she is one of the few academics to have analyzed this program over the years and for the most part gotten it right.

Well, she was on C-SPAN over the weekend and analyzing this program within the realm of media that it takes place. And it's amazing. She gets most of it right again, which proves that it can be done. So I'll have those audio sound bites coming up for you.

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RUSH: Okay, to the audio sound bites we go. Kathleen Hall Jamieson. She is a media analyst and scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, the Annenberg Center that analyzes media and stuff. I don't want to embarrass her here by singling her out. You know, people that I end up praising in the Drive-By apparatus fear for their reputations, and I'm not trying to inflict any professional harm, reputational harm on Ms. Jamieson at all. But over the years -- and she's one who studies media and writes about it, incredibly lengthy and in-depth studies of various aspects of media. Not just print, but broadcast and how they operate and who does it and who's a journalist and who isn't and what they report.

It's very thorough. And she is one of the few who's ever really taken the time in her studies to study this program and report on it and get it right. She's gotten closer to it -- and it's not hard. I mean, all you have to do is listen here for six weeks and you can figure out what's going on. But she's one of the few who have done it.

She showed up on C-SPAN2 yesterday, a program called In Depth, and the host is somebody named Peter Slen. He's interviewing author and University of Pennsylvania professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson. She’s got a new book, Echo Chamber. His question, “In your book Echo Chamber, you suggested that if Rush Limbaugh, the editorial pages of The Wall Street Journal and key players on Fox News were confronted by a serious Republican presidential contender whose proposals and past deviated from Reagan doctrine, they would marshal against that

candidate.”

So to translate his question: You write in your book that if a Republican presidential candidate came long here who was diametrically opposed to Reagan policy-wise and other things, that these guys, Limbaugh, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, Fox News, would align against that candidate. Is that true?

JAMIESON: Proved incorrect. The natural impulse, and we were studying this in the context of multiple elections, for Rush Limbaugh was to maintain basically a traditional Reagan Republican perspective on the field and play an important role in helping to vet primary contenders for the nomination but then, once it got to the general election, to move behind the Republican candidate

RUSH: Okay. So let me translate. What she's saying here is that in her studies over the years of me and this program, that what I traditionally did was find the closest Republican candidate to Reagan and then while not endorsing, 'cause I never do that in primaries, help to vet other contenders on that basis. But then once the general election comes, whoever the Republican nominee is, is who Limbaugh gets behind.

She's pretty much right about that. So what this is being set up is how -- she said proven incorrect. She was of the belief that I would be among those opposing Trump because he has nothing in common with Reagan in a lot of ways. The question from the moderator, “Rush Limbaugh often refers to his segments as entertainment.”

JAMIESON: We did a survey at one point that gave people a list of individuals and asked which of these are journalists, and a surprising percent considered Rush Limbaugh to be a journalist. And I actually understand that at some level. Because what Limbaugh does is offers a great deal of accurate factual information that is the basis from which we can get a consensual argument on each side. So to that extent, he's performing a journalistic function.

RUSH: Translation -- well, she got it right. She said I present both sides. In order to present my side to you, I present the left-wing side. I tell you what the liberal version of something is before giving you the conservative version, so you have something to compare what I'm saying against what I oppose.

I'll play it again. Remember the context of this. The first bite doesn't quite get to what she's really -- and let me see if the third bite -- she's really stunned that I was not a Never Trumper, is really what this whole thing -- she thought I would be among the Never Trumpers as a conservative who would be repulsed by Donald Trump.

And where she misses it on that, I think, is she expected me to become a Never Trumper based on ideology. To her Reagan equals prototypical conservatism. I mean, that is the standard against what everything is measured. If somebody doesn't measure up, then Limbaugh is not gonna support them. But what she's missing, and all of the Never Trumpers miss, is that the objections to Trump by the Never Trumpers is not ideological!

Trump is implementing many of the policies these conservative Never Trumpers have devoted their lives to and they still oppose him and it's not because of ideology. It's not for anything -- it's personal. They just don't like Trump as a person. They don't like his manner, they don't like his mannerisms, they don't like his hair, they don't like the way he speaks, they don't like his basic existence. It doesn't matter what his ideology is.

I am remaining ideologically pure here while the Never Trumpers are abandoning their ideology. I don't know that she missed that or is not specifically looking for it. And I've run into this a lot in the early days of the campaign. There were a lot of people who thought that I would be leading the Never Trump movement. Because Trump is not conservative and Trump's not talking about the basic conservative mantras like cutting spending and reducing regulations and so forth.

And I had to explain to people why I'm not a Never Trumper and explain to people that the Never Trumpers are not Never Trump because of ideology. They're not abandoning Trump because he's not conservative enough. That has nothing to do with the reason they oppose him. To me that all just seemed trivial and trite. Particularly what we're up against.

It’s quite obvious Donald Trump was the only chance we had to stop the forward march of liberalism and everything attached to it. There wasn't one other Republican in the primary -- maybe Ted Cruz, but he wasn't gonna win. There wasn't anybody else that was even gonna come close to opposing the left-wing Obama agenda status quo that Hillary Clinton stood for.

There wasn't one person, there wasn't one person that was gonna have the guts to run against Hillary Clinton the way that needed to be run so that he could win, she would lose.

Anyway, I'm up against it. Take a break. But I'll play the sound bite against so you can. Snerdley's in disbelief that she got that right, but she did. We'll back.

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RUSH: The truth of the matter is that Donald Trump's policies are the most conservative since Reagan. I mean, Trump is much more conservative than Romney would have been or McCain. I mean, no question. McCain would not have even been a conservative. And Jeb, there's no contest here.

And the idea that the Never Trumpers abandoned Trump because he was not conservative, that's not at all why. The Never Trumpers are embarrassed of Trump. I tell you, Trump has shown that the Never Trumpers were never necessary, that all the money people donated to the Never Trumpers was worthless! What did they ever do that got results? “Donate here to keep this organization alive so we can keep the conservative message front and center,” and people sent money because that's what they did.

And here comes a guy that's actually gonna mobilize on these policies and actually try to implement them. And he's universally applauded and received well by these same people that have been donating, most of them, and what do the Never Trumpers do? They react in outrage at his manners or mannerisms.

But the idea that Never Trumper opposition to Trump is based on ideology, that he doesn't pass some conservative litmus test, that's not really what they're -- It's a class thing. He's just not good enough, he's not decent enough, he's not sophisticated enough, he doesn't have the right pedigree for this. It's strictly class. It's strictly arrogance and an elitism coupled with a shock that somebody actually can implement this thing and didn't ask anybody a dime to do it.

Now, the Kathleen Hall Jamieson bite, I was gonna play it again, but actually it goes with the next sound bite. We broke them up, but it actually goes together so I'm gonna get to them after the break coming up. We'll get back to your phone calls.

The Victor Davis Hanson paragraph today, or column today -- I'm gonna lift a paragraph from it -- on the Barr investigation and what needs to happen and an update on the Mueller report, Papadopoulos, Devin Nunes. We're loaded. Trump's tariffs on the ChiComs. All coming up.

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RUSH: Okay. Back to the sound bites. Mr. Snerdley could not believe this and wants to hear it again. Kathleen Hall Jamieson from University of Pennsylvania on C-SPAN2 last night, a program called In Depth. She has a new book called Echo Chamber. She's a media analyst and one of the few that's ever really taken the time to study this program and get it right. So the question that inspired her answer: "Rush Limbaugh often refers to his segments as 'entertainment.'" Now, before I play the sound bite here, I'm not the one that does that.

It's the left that does that, whenever they feel the need to discredit me. The next minute or the next hour I could be "the titular head of the Republican Party." But I have never put myself in such narrow terms as "entertainment." This program combines a whole lot of things in one presentation, and it's the only presentation where numerous things are combined: Serious discussion of issues, combined with irreverent satire or parodic humor.

You don't find those things combined except here, and that's why so many people have a tough time needing this program out. But Kathleen Hall Jamieson gets it.

JAMIESON: We did a survey at one point that gave people a list of individuals and asked which of these are journalists, and a surprising percent considered Rush Limbaugh to be a journalist. And I actually understand that at some level. Because what Limbaugh does is offers a great deal of accurate factual information that is the basis from which we can get a consensual argument on each side. So to that extent, he's performing a journalistic function.

He then puts his interpretation, his perspective -- and I would say his "spin" -- on it as do people on the left in comparable venues on the left, but what he's doing in the process is something that I thought was important. When he was doing it across the whole Clinton era, he was providing a coherent ideology for those who were trying to see what the opposition to Clinton looked like.

Reagan Republicanism was a coherent ideology, and to the extent that Fox and Limbaugh and the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal were within that boundary, they were actually educating a large constituency to think from that perspective. And the question now as we make the transition to the Trump presidency, is: Is there coherence there that can be explained in a comparable kind of fashion?

RUSH: What she's saying is: With Trump there, has Reaganism been blown up and have all of these Reaganites -- like me and the Wall Street Journal -- just thrown Reagan overboard in our support for Trump. Now, a lot of people on the right happen to think this. But they are being imprisoned by things that they should not even be shackled by. For example, Trump is doing more conservative things than anybody since Reagan. He's talking more conservatively than anybody since Reagan. He's implementing more conservatism, and he is fighting liberalism more than any Republican I can remember.

What else is there? We're in a different era today than we were during the era of the Clintons. The Clintons were basically the setup for what was to come. We're now faced with what kind of country we're gonna be in the future, and the stakes have become -- well, I think they've always been great. But there is really only one person in politics that's got the guts to stand up to the left on a daily basis and do it, and that's Trump. Now, part and parcel of conservatism...

And I think this is where some of the Never Trumpers even fall short. But in my mind, if you go back and you listen to every day of this program for 30 years, in addition to conservatism out the wazoo, you know what you also get? Anti-liberalism. You get criticism -- consistent, constant, correct, indisputable criticism of the left. Part of conservatism is opposing the left, and I think this is where so many on our side have dropped the ball. They don't see it that way.

They see conservatism as a standalone way of life that you promote. But in a context where conservatism is in a contest with liberalism, that's where they can't be counted on. Because they will not... These are the reach-across-aisle types. These are the (impression), "We must show the country we can work together." Those of us on the conservative side right now know there's no commonality. There's nothing to reach across the aisle to compromise on. They have to be defeated!

These are the people that believe in open borders. These are the people that believe the country is incorrigibly corrupt from the day of our founding. There's nothing to compromise with these people on. So an inherent part of conservatism, to me, always has been opposing the left at the same time. Now, there have been those who have arisen and said, "That's all conservatism is anymore. Conservatism, you can't even find anybody to tell you what it is.

"All conservatism is, is opposition to the left." Well, it kind of defines itself, then, doesn't it? If all conservatism is, is opposition to the left, that's pretty damn important to me -- and it's pretty damned explanatory. It's not all that hard to figure out what conservatism is if it is opposition to liberalism, opposition to communism. Conservatism is not a series of litmus tests. (impression) "We believe in small government. We believe in tax cuts. We believe in cutting regulations."

Of course we do, but those are not the defining things. Those are the results of what you believe in, but they are not paramount. It all depends on what we're facing at the time. And one of the biggest problems -- and admit this, folks. One of the biggest problems that we've had, you and me and all the people like us, is that the people we've been voting for do not see the country as in any kind of a contest or any kind of a crisis.

They don't see open borders the way we see open borders. They don't see the attack on the American founding the way we see it. This has been one of the big bugaboos. This has been one of the big frustrating things. They campaign as though they do, and they got elected, and they stop opposing the left and they stop acting like there's anything at stake here. And it's not conservatism that's undergoing a transformation.

It's people claiming to be conservative who aren't, who are not following through on it, who are not championing it. You cannot champion conservatism while accepting liberalism. You just cannot do it. The objective of liberal is the elimination of everybody and everything opposing it. They have no desire to compromise. Walk across the aisle, shake hands, get along? That's not what they're about. They are about destroying everybody. They tried to destroy Mitt Romney, and there he is, still on their side.

They tried to destroy John McCain, and there he was still on their side. They tried to destroy George W. Bush, and they voted for Hillary. This, to us, is counterintuitive and doesn't make any sense. I mean, to cut to the chase. Supporting Donald Trump does not undermine or undercut traditional belief in and support for Ronald Reagan at all. Quite the contrary.

Conservative ideology is a definite set of things, and it's a definite set of beliefs. And we've always been accused of being rock-ribbed, inflexible, we must always maintain these litmus tests, and if we don't, we're not really conservative. Well, screw that. Everybody has to adapt.

Look at this. Here's a story: “United Nations Report: Humans Accelerating Extinction of Species.” Our species is not going to go instinct, certainly not because of climate change. You know why? Because we adapt. We have always adapted. Human beings alone have the ability to consciously, knowingly adapt. It's what we've always done. We don't give up, we don't cave in, we don't whine and moan, “Oh, it's getting hotter outside, oh, my God. We gotta find Elon Musk to take us to Mars.”

No. We adapt. That's what human beings have always done, and life has improved and gotten better. Life is as good as it's ever been, creature comfort-wise, however you want to look at it, economically. And yet we got people running around obsessed about the doom and gloom of the future. You know what's bad about that? When you're obsessed with the future and it's apocalyptic, you can't enjoy the present.

And the problem with that is the present is where we're all living. We're not living the future, and we're not living the past. Liberalism doesn't allow you to live in the present. They focus you looking backwards and all of the damage and hurt that you caused and then they force you to look at the future and all the destruction you are creating that's gonna destroy everybody's future. In the meantime, you don't have time to enjoy the present which is the only place you can be.

The only place any of us can be is the present, and if you don't have the wherewithal to enjoy that then you're hopelessly lost. Which is exactly where the left wants you. And we adapt. You lose your job. You adapt. You get a new job that doesn't pay you what you want, you adapt. It starts raining one day when you weren't expecting it, you adapt. Davenport, Iowa, levees failed, massive floods, they adapt. New Orleans adapted after Katherine.

There were not mass suicides and people, “Oh, well, I guess it's the end of the earth, climate change,” which is the attitude the left wants you to have. We adapt. Humans accelerating the extinction of species is utter garbage. It is irresponsible, utter garbage from an organization that certainly is not pro-American, has no business being believed or credited by people in this country. They have nothing to do with it.

We are living our lives. The U.N. is not. We are not destroying the planet; we're saving it. We're not destroying the climate; we're improving it. That's what the United States of America is. The United States of America shows leadership on all of the things which need adapting to.

Poverty around the world is at an all-time low, and it's because of the United States. And not United States welfare programs. It's because the United States has provided leadership. There have been reductions in communist regimes, tyrannical regimes.

There has been the discovery of resources like oil and other fossil fuels, which has allowed nations to enrich themselves with their own resources, rather than sit around waiting for handouts from the United Nations, which can't sustain anybody or anything, because they, too, are a bunch of fatalists and apocalyptic destroyers focused only on how the present is destroying the future. There's no way anybody can know it.

All you can do is live in the present. But if you listen to the left, your past is illegitimate, your future is destroyed. No wonder you're gonna be miserable and thinking about jumping off the nearest bridge. We adapt. Just like we conservatives adapt to whatever political situations we face.

And right now we are faced with an American left born of the Obama administration and actually 50 years of communist infiltration in this country where they are seeking to destroy the very fabric and identity of this country. We oppose it, we're trying to stop them, we're trying to defeat them. That's the primary purpose, not remaining rigidly loyal to a bunch of premises that may not even be applicable at the moment and calling ourselves conservatives.

We are conservatives, we oppose liberalism. There are a lot of people that are conservatives and don't even know it, for whatever reason don't want to admit it, brand identification being what the left has done. But seriously, folks, the idea that conservatism had to abandon Ronald Reagan in order to support Donald Trump is an absolute myth. And it is designed to make conservatives squeamish about supporting Trump. It's designed to make conservatives squeamish about admitting to be conservative.

When the fact of the matter is if you're a genuine and real conservative, you simply abhor what's happening on the left side of the country, the Democrat Party, and wish that it were stopped and Donald Trump is the only electoral opportunity for that fight to have a chance. No more complicated than that.

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RUSH: Here's the last Kathleen Hall Jamieson bite, and she admits here that this program is an important counterbalance.

JAMIESON: The phenomenon of that media, and we called it a media establishment, in contrast to the more liberal media establishment that we traditionally study and traditionally affected was very important because it was creating a counterbalancing function. People were building up their base of knowledge because the understructure of what Rush Limbaugh puts together is about the actual unemployment rate, the actual GDP.

We lose much of that in traditional news -- 'cause it assumes it, it doesn't articulate it -- and then building an interpretation on top of it. And that provides a coherent basis for people who listen and watch regularly to engage in forms of argument that are deeper. They can go to second and third level of arguments from that point of view. Whether you agree with that or not, that is potentially a valuable function.

RUSH: See, she gets it. She's saying that you are among the most informed people in media. You actually are told facts and then an analysis of the facts, that things are not made up to fit biases or prejudices or whatever. That's Kathleen Hall Jamieson. She takes a great risk staying with this as often as she does, but she sticks with it.

This article originally appeared on Rush Limbaugh

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