Rush Limbaugh on the Monday, April 2, 2018 broadcast of his radio program:
RUSH LIMBAUGH: I have one more montage that we’ve put together from the Grooveyard of Forgotten Sound Bites. This one takes us back to 1995. Now, the reason we’re doing this is just to, once again, nail the Drive-By Media. Sinclair media, 173 television stations, had their on air news anchors read a statement claiming that Sinclair is not fake news. That it’s straight up and down straight news and that they engage in standard journalism techniques and practices and that they will not engage in one-sided reporting as is happening throughout much of the rest of the news media.
This has angered much of the rest of the news media because this is Sinclair, which is a conservative ownership group, trashing the Drive-By Media and referring to it as fake news. Donald Trump picked up on it, tweeted out how he’s very proud of Sinclair and finds it ironic that the Drive-Bys are upset that Sinclair is making all of their anchors read the same statement. I mean, that’s not journalism. This is a corporation mandating its employees execute policy, and that’s not what journalism is.
And so what we’re trying to illustrate here, that’s what the Drive-Bys do. They are the ones that speak with one language, one tongue, that have one point of view about every story, and no matter where you go, that’s the angle you get. The narrative, the story, doesn’t matter where you see it, it always has only one take, one particular point of view. And we’ve shown that with a bunch of montages from our Grooveyard. Here’s one all the way back, the budget battle of 1995.
Now, this is where the Republicans were lied about in the big budget battle that resulted in a government shutdown over the fact that there were supposedly school lunch cuts in the Republican budget, and so the Democrats began alleging the Republicans wanted to starve kids! Republicans were going to starve kids. Republicans wanted American kids to be hungry. They wanted them to go to school and not be able to eat lunch.
They actually said this. And the media parroted it. And of course it was silly. There wasn’t a cut in the school lunch budget. But the Democrats even had school kids in Louisiana writing letters to Republican members of Congress saying, “Mr. Congressman, I can’t learn if I’m hungry. I want to learn, I want to be educated, but I can’t learn anything if I’m starving,” as though parents would let their kids go hungry if the government didn’t buy ’em lunch, and the whole thing was absurd. And rather than the media point that out, the media joins the chorus about how mean-spirited the Republicans are and how they’re trying to starve the children.
So we put together a montage. This happened on Rush Limbaugh The Television Show. This is 23 years ago. The gravitas montage was from 2000, so that’s 18, 19 years ago. This is 23 years ago. The people on this sound bite are Richard Gephardt, Democrat, Missouri; George Stephanopoulos; Dick Durbin: Ted Kennedy, Patsy Schroeder, congresswoman from Colorado; Paul Volcker, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, representative Jose Serrano, Democrat, New York; Paul Wellstone, Jerry Nadler of New York, Pat Schroeder again, Albert Nguyen, Luis Gutierrez, and representative John Lewis of Georgia. And here it is.
THOMAS BARRETT: Why do the Republicans want to take apples and milk away from six year olds?
LYNN WOOLSEY: Starving children is not the solution.
RICHARD GEPHARDT: The Republicans are taking food out of the mouths of millions of needy children.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s cruel to kids.
DICK DURBIN: Stop declaring war on our kids.
TED KENNEDY: War on their children. War on their children.
PAT SCHROEDER: I also would like to speak to a moment about the mean-spiritedness I’m hearing about on the floor today.
PAUL VOLCKER: But how can they be so mean-spirited?
RICHARD GEPHARDT: These cuts are mean-spirited.
JOSE SERRANO: The mean-spirited Republicans.
PAUL WELLSTONE: It is mean-spirited. It is vicious.
JERRY NADLER: These draconian, mean-spirited and immoral cuts in funding.
PAT SCHROEDER: We’re seeing draconian cuts.
ALBERT WYNN: Once again, they’re playing Robin Hood in reverse, taking from the poor to give to the rich.
LUIS GUTIERREZ: We’re gonna let the kids go hungry again.
JOHN LEWIS: They’re coming for our children. They’re coming for the poor. They’re coming for the sick, the elderly and the disabled.
LIMBAUGH: There you have it, John Lewis, who was beat upside the head at Selma with our giant finale there. Now, this is one of those things that I have to tell you, we put this together in 1995, and even when it was happening, I’m saying, “There’s no way anybody’s gonna believe this. This is just so far beyond the pale that nobody’s gonna believe this. That everybody is gonna join me in laughing themselves silly at this.”
And yet there were plenty of Democrat voters who bought into it hook, line, and sinker, believed every bit of it, or at least voted as if they did and acted as if they did. And of course the media was right in giving all of these people as much time as they wanted. Now, you talk about sounding like a bunch of parrots and something ridiculous? And this is why Republicans to this day are scared to death of government shutdowns because this kind of crap beat them. I’m sure they were sitting there saying, “Nobody’s gonna believe we want to starve kids!”
So you think the partisanship of today has reached a new low and the Democrats of today are as mean-spirited and outrageous as ever. That may be, but 1995, 23 years ago, they were just as vicious, and they were just as big a bunch of liars. And they used the same kind of defamatory allegations. And, of course, what do you say to, “You’re trying to starve our kids.” What do you say? “No, we’re not trying to starve your kids.”
The minute you accept the premise here you’re almost dead. “No, I don’t want to starve your children. No, there aren’t any cuts in the school lunch program.” It furthered the idea, it furthered the belief that the Republicans are anti-children, anti-government assistance or what have you. But the immediate point is, you talk about parroting, talk about sounding identical and the same. Remember, there were no media people in this sound bite, but they’re the ones that gave them the voice. They’re the ones that helped them make the point.
RUSH: I want to go back to the montage, 1995 school lunch program. You heard it. Republicans want to starve kids. Republicans are mean-spirited and extremist. They’re coming for our children. War on our children, war on our children.
The Republicans, as I said, never pushed back on it. They never reacted to it. Now, in part, that was because nobody thought anybody would believe that. The standard mode back then was, “Nobody’s gonna believe this. We want to starve kids?” Well, enough people did. And not that Republicans want to starve kids, but because the ground had been laid that the Republicans are mean-spirited and don’t care about people, whereas Democrats do.
Now, my point is Republicans, didn’t respond to that, and they didn’t respond to anything that happened after that. They never responded to any of this crap, including George W. Bush and Karl Rove never responded to any of the defamatory allegations made about them for eight years. And Republican voters were fit to be tied because they were being tarred and feathered too.
One person has come along since 1995 and pushed back against it. It happens to be Trump, and he got elected. Because he pushes back against it, he refuses to accept these people’s premises, and he throws it right back down their throats. And that is one of the many reasons why Trump remains popular and one of the reasons he was elected and it still remains a good lesson.