Rush Limbaugh phoned into “Fox & Friends” this morning to talk about the election:
Here’s part of the transcript:
LIMBAUGH: The drive-by media do these polls and whether it is a presidential poll or an opinion of the American people on anything, we all know these polls are used to shape opinion, not reflect it, but now we’re getting to the point where in all these pollsters have their credibility to be concerned about and they want to be right at the end of the day, and I think that’s why with a couple of exceptions you’re seeing a lot of polls tighten now, because the race is tight. It’s not over. Nationally, of course, is one thing. You do have the battleground states to be concerned about. It’s not looking bad for McCain out there. I don’t think this is anywhere near over. There is an onslaught in the media to make it seem like this has been long ago over. I think the purpose of that is to suppress and depress Republicans and their vote turnout.
GRETCHEN CARLSON: so you talk about shaping voters’ minds and that’s something we were discussing earlier, what the polls actually do, because who wants to go out and vote for a loser, right?
LIMBAUGH: Precisely. It’s — the media coverage of Obama in this campaign, this is the most irresponsible journalistic exhibition i have seen in my life. . . . Obviously, I disagree with Limbaugh’s assertion that the election is “not over,” but won’t annoy anyone with that discussion. Rush is absolutely right, however, that the “drive-by media” have labored for months to create a narrative of Obama as an inevitable victor, precisely because independent “swing” voters are so vulnerable to bandwagon psychology — as Carlson says, they don’t want to “vote for a loser.”
That the “drive bys” are biased is not news, but Rush’s remarks highlight the fact that the “drive bys” still have influence. I’ve made this point before:
That is to say, the three broadcast network evening news shows have a combined viewership of 21.7 million — more than five times larger than the audience of the highest-rated Fox News program. If Republicans are limited to getting their message out through Fox, they are reaching fewer than 1 in 6 American TV news consumers. And the existence of Fox only serves to validate the bias of the drive-bys, who can tell themselves, “Well, the Republicans have their own network, so I don’t have to worry about Republican viewers.”