As a Rush Limbaugh caller (I spoke with Rush
I can say it has been fun. Here are a few tips:
1. If you are calling to confront Rush with one of his lies, don't tell
the screener; you'll never get on. Instead, act like the perfect foil;
don't act particularly bright and tell the screener you want to talk
about something Rush is currently discussing. In my case, I wanted to
confront Rush with his 9/30 lie about Gore on Larry King (see my
post "9/30 Rush catches Gore's 'lie' on Larry King Live." So when Rush
asked for Gore voters to tell him why Gore is qualified, I made sure to
mention integrity; Rush took the bait and I confronted him with his
distortions of Gore's words.
2. When you start talking, don't stop until he interupts. Don't leave
any dead air in your conversation for him to interject. I spoke at a
hurried pace without pauses. If I needed to stop and think about what
to say next, I would used verbal clutter like "you know" and "I mean."
3. Tape it. Play the radio in the other room and tape it. Also, put
tape recorder in the room in which you are on the phone so that you can
catch them if you are muted. I was muted for the last minute of the
conversation, so when he was ostensibly talking with me and getting in
the last word, I was responding, but nobody listening to the radio
could hear me.
4. Understand he has a big home field advantage. Muting, getting in
last word, and being able to interupt you better than you can interupt
him are just a few of his advantages.
For my own part, I was able to get across my points:
1. I confronted Rush with his distortion of what Gore said on Larry King Live.
2. I confronted Rush with his distortions of the Love Story flap. He had to
correct himself when he said, "He [Gore] tried to make people think he was
the subject--he and Tipper were the subject of Love Story..."
3. I was able to broadcast a plug for the Dailyhowler.com, a web site
that gives accurate and impartial information about Gore's statements.
4. I was able to give information about Bush's embellishments and
padding of his resume. Bush was no oilman when he first ran for
Congress in 1978--and even after that, his role as oilman largely meant
schmoozing with Daddykins's rich buddies.
5. I was able to give remind people of Reagan's humungous whoppers.
6. I was able to mock Rush and the hard Right. I had a blast!
Here's a transcript minus any disfluencies (e.g., "you know" and "I mean").
RUSH: Back we go to the phones, on this, the most-listened-to talk
radio show in America. It's James in Los Angeles. James, hi, how are you?
JAMES: Hi. Great. Surferdude anti-dittos from Los Angeles.
RUSH: Surferdude, way to go. Nice to have you, sir.
JAMES: Yes, yeah. I'm a big fan of Al Gore because really I think
there's no other person in this country who has the blend of total
experience, not only legislatively but in terms of the executive--and
then not only that but the integrity to become President.
RUSH: Bill Clinton is the greatest President in the history? The man
who claimed he created the Strategic Petroleum [Reserve]? The man
who-- the man--he can't tell the truth--integrity?
JAMES: Oh, oh, you know Rush, the whole thing about calling Gore a
RUSH: Hold your thought there. I've got to take a break. Hold your
thought. Don't lose your place. We'll come back and continue after
the bottom of the hour.
[Bottom of hour break]
RUSH: We'll go back to Los Angeles. James, the self-described
surferdude, welcome back. I hated to interupt you but I had to. Okay,
my comments on Al Gore's pathological lying?
JAMES: Yeah,for example, if the case is so clear-cut, why do you have
to make things up against him? For example, on September 30, you said
that Gore had said on Larry King Live that for the past 24 years that
he had supported McCain-Feingold and then you called him an idiot and
a liar. You were saying that's absurd and all that. But actually, Larry
King had thought that Gore had said that he supported McCain-Feingold
since 1976, which he didn't. Rather, and Gore corrected Larry King and
told him that it wasn't McCain-Feingold that he supported but rather
public financing of federal elections. And the thing is, calling Gore
a liar like that and other things is dishonest on your part. And the
internet journal, the Daily Howler has pointed that out, how it's so
much the critics of Gore's so-called lying are so much dishonest--more
dishonest than they claim Gore is himself. For example, the whole Love
Story thing. Now when Eric Segal wrote the book, he based the main
character upon Al Gore and his roommate Tommy Lee Jones. Now the only
thing Gore got wrong in that whole thing was that Tipper Gore was not
the lead character. He based that upon a newspaper report. And then
you and others act as if Gore had based the whole thing out of whole
cloth, which is certainly not the case. and I think that's--
RUSH: Those are minor--
JAMES: No, no--
RUSH: They are. they are. Still it's true. He still tried to make
people think that he was the subject--that he and Tipper were the
subject of Love Story--
JAMES: He was--- [almost inaudible]
RUSH: And public financing of campaigns. Do you realize that the
current campaign laws that we have date to '74 and '75 right after
Watergate. For him to be thinking of public financing of campaigns
in '76 or '75. We just got a new set of campaign laws following
Watergate. I think it is a little questionable. The Buddhist
fundraiser. Was it a fundraiser? It was. He knows it. He knew it. He
had memos saying so. If you want to sit there and and actually try to
defend that, then--
JAMES: You missed the point, Rush. The point is that you mischaracterized
his so-called lying and that's the important point of it--
RUSH: No, I'm not mischaracterizing at all. We're losing the language.
We don't call liars liars anymore. They misstated it--[garbled due to
both talking at the same time]
JAMES: Al Gore reads the newspaper and sees that somebody in the
newspaper says that Tipper Gore was the basis for the Love Story thing.
Al Gore says that and then Al Gore becomes a liar for repeating a
newspaper story that is erroneous. And Eric Segal, when he was
confronted with these facts, he said that Gore's characterization was
correct and that Gore was not lying when he said this. But you people
on the radical Right, you make it seem as if Gore is a pathological--
RUSH: Thank you. I'm glad to be called radical again. I thought I lost
my touch. I used to be called radical but they don't call me that anymore.
JAMES: Yes, certainly, the hard Right, what I call the--
RUSH: I haven't been called that either. Thank you. Hard radical Right.
God, to be back home.
JAMES: But the whole thing is what about George W. Bush's so-called
lies, his embellishments? You know when George W. Bush first ran for
the Congress in 1978, he portrayed himself as a big Texas oilman.
Well, the only oil George Bush saw at that time was the oil that he put on
his salad. This guy didn't do anything except hang around his Daddykins's
RUSH: James, James, I think you're giving yourself away here.
RUSH: As who you are, what you are. If you really say, do you want to
try to genuinely, honestly say that Al Gore is no different than George
W. Bush when it comes to telling the truth?
JAMES: Oh, and he's no differnet than Ronald Reagan--[laughs] the guy
who talked about liberating the death camps in World War II when the
closest to Europe he got was Southern California. Gee, it's called
being a politician.
RUSH: When did Ronald Reagan say that he liberated the death camps?
He never said that.
JAMES: Yes, he did. Simon Wiesenthal and others said that he said that.
RUSH: He never said that. He never got anywhere saying that because
JAMES: I know. Precisely. He made it up out of whole cloth just as he
did when he talked about those fighter pilots who--it was actually in
a movie--it wasn't something in real life and he portrayed it as
something in real life and [laughing] I have to just laugh at that,
Rush, it's just funny. And then you go around--
RUSH: You can laugh all you want but you're talking about one of the
most respected and beloved Presidents in the nation's history and
that's something Al Gore is never going to attain.
JAMES: Well, we'll bet on that.
[IMPORTANT NOTE: From this point on, whenever I talked, it didn't make
the airwaves. Either Rush or one of his henchmen muted me so I could
not be heard. So essentially, Rush was talking to himself.]
RUSH: But you still--you know what this is--thank you [inaudible].
You're right out of the seminar--you guys. I open it up to Gore callers
and so the campaign headquarters's screech goes out: Hey Limbaugh's
opened up the lines to us so call up and let's get out propagnada
machine spun up and that's what you're doing. You still can't tell me
after about seven or eight minutes what it is about Gore that makes
his experience qualified, his history, qualified to lead. All you can do
is call here and run down Reagan and George W. Bush and come up with
irrelevant defenses of Al Gore. If you can't intellectually admit that
the guy has a pathological problems with the truth. It's not just the
purpose of lies. He's got pathological reasons for it. Then, what
you're saying is that your mind is made up and you're on a mission
here to try to change the subject so as people don't think about the
negatives associated with Gore but rather you got to get them out
there think Reagan, Gingrich, or whatever in order to get votes for Gore.But
you can't call here and tell us why people ought to vote for Gore.
That's what I [inaudible]. Anyway, James, back to the surf.
Don't forget the Uggs.