Rush: Libby Conviction Demonstrates GOPers Should Never Trust Media

Commenting on the Scooter Libby trial yesterday, Rush Limbaugh made a very astute point about the whole nasty affair: Libby's conviction ought to tell Republican politicos they can't trust the liberal elite Washington press corps.

Don't try to convince them, don't try to be their friend, the number-one talker asserted. They come to any interview with you with their story already written out beforehand.

An excerpt from yesterday's comment:

Their minds are already made up, because they have a prejudice about what Republicans and conservatives are. So the whole point of talking to members of the administration -- Republicans and otherwise -- is trip 'em up, and what happened here? Russert, Matt Cooper and Judith Miller? It's a bunch of journalists at the center of this and what Libby told 'em, and then the FBI and grand jury and so forth. This juror that came out and talked. He said they have "a lot of sympathy" for Judith Miller, the New York Times info babe that ended up in jail for not revealing her sources to Fitzgerald. The juror said, “I really feel sorry for her. The defense was just pounding her. They were just too hard on her.”

You don't hit the girl. It is one characteristic or aspect of that. But until people learn that you're not going to be able to bring a bunch of reporters in from Washington or New York, and explain conservatism or your policy and have a sympathetic ear (or even an ear that wants to understand what you're trying to do) is beyond me. Why they keep thinking they can do this is also beyond me. I know what you're saying. "What would you do? You have to talk to them." I understand a presidential administration has to talk to them. They have to do press conferences and you have to do all this. I myself have had experience dealing with these people, as you know. [...]

The New Yorker's Jane Mayer, who with Jill Abramson (who is the Washington bureau chief of the New York Times) wrote a book about Clarence Thomas, and just smeared the guy. She was going to do a story in the New Yorker about “24” and so forth. It was going to be basically a profile of Joel Surnow. I was told that she wanted to talk to me about this because she knew that I was a friend of Surnow's. So I called some people who had already talked to her and found out that, basically, it was a story on how the program “24” is promoting torture and just going to be a treatise on torture. So I called her under those circumstances, knowing what this was about, and I talked to her for about 20 minutes. The first 15 were purely social. I'd been on a TV show with her once. Way, way, way, way back, Bob Beckel hosted a local TV show in Washington, a panel show, i.e., the McLaughlin Group. I appeared on the show, and she remembered that, and I have a good memory. I remembered that she had to hustle out of there and go play tennis, and I reminded her of that, and she, “Oh, wow. Yeah. You're right.”

She congratulated me on all my success, how wonderful it all was, blah, blah, talking about, “I understand you're friends with Joel. I understand he had a party at your house.” She was in the mall with her daughter shopping, had her cell phone, and she wasn't taking any notes, and then starts asking me about torture. The last five minutes were what she really wanted my thoughts on and all this other stuff was just setup. Knowing full-well that it was about torture I did my best -- and I was honest, but I did my best -- to tell her, “You know, you're barking up a tree here that's got no branches on it.” But the story was written before it was published, is the point. So what I can't figure out is why other people are not as aware. I'm not trying to give myself credit. This has been learned by experience. This is no great insight of mine. I got sandbagged I can't tell you how many times the first five years of this show thinking you could be nice, fair, and just be honest and they will report what you say. It's not that way with us. It doesn't happen. Why other people don't figure this out...? This is why I get so fed up when I see some of my conservative brethren in the DC media trying to curry favor with the Drive-By Media.

It's why I get so bent out of shape when I see potential Republican candidates and elected officials trying to make the media their best friends, because it's all temporary. Even if it works for a while, come back and the media is going to end up stabbing you! Ask Senator McCain. They're dumping on him after him being their favorite Republican for four years.

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013