Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – I would just like to remind you, those of you that called me a traitor, treasonous, seditious, idiot, imbecile, name your pejorative, because we refused to buy into the yard sign caucus and instead stuck with the poll or polls. We told you you should buy into this because this is telling you your campaign is failing and you’re not going to win. We’ll accept all of your apologies because we know it was in the heat of battle and a larger, more magnanimous man should accept contrition from others. I ask for contrition often. I don’t always get it from you people but I ask for it. I’d be happy to accept yours because it was just a fit of passion. Check out the rest in today’s transcript…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: I would just like to remind you, those of you that called me a traitor, treasonous, seditious, idiot, imbecile, name your pejorative, because we refused to buy into the yard sign caucus and instead stuck with the poll or polls. We told you you should buy into this because this is telling you your campaign is failing and you’re not going to win. We’ll accept all of your apologies because we know it was in the heat of battle and a larger, more magnanimous man should accept contrition from others. I ask for contrition often. I don’t always get it from you people but I ask for it. I’d be happy to accept yours because it was just a fit of passion.
Are there going to be any repercussions from this? This is the question that Friedersdorf is asking and Rod Dreher, who writes at The American Conservative magazine is asking, and Daniel McCarthy when he was on the show last week asked. Do you still trust these guys? Do you still think there’s some integrity there? The reason Andrew and I do this show the way we do it and try to be as nonpartisan as possible, given the environment we’re in, is to maintain some integrity and credibility so that you would rely on us, so that you wouldn’t go [mocking] “You were wrong on that. You misled us. You got this wrong.” Sometimes when we do get things wrong, we always issue retractions, either on the website or program.
Not to toot our own horn, but I’m just pointing out to you that there is an awful lot of stuff going on, an awful lot of stuff that passes as media these days and presented as fact that is just dangerous propaganda. It is making people think about things in a manner in which they would not if they were not led to believe these things. That’s what Friedersdorf is writing about. Nate Silver was the guy that was hired by the New York Times to construct the New York Times poll of polls. Silver was called every name you can imagine by certain media cranks of the alleged conservative stripe. He was wrong, a henchman, that’s a liberal rag, don’t believe anything you read in the Times. Silver was correct; Dick Morris was wrong. As a matter of fact, Dick Morris couldn’t have been more wrong if he tried to be wrong. Here’s what Friedersdorf writes, in part:
Before rank-and-file conservatives ask, “What went wrong?”, they should ask themselves a question every bit as important: “Why were we the last to realize that things were going wrong for us?” Barack Obama just trounced a Republican opponent for the second time. But unlike four years ago, when most conservatives saw it coming, Tuesday’s result was, for them, an unpleasant surprise. So many on the right had predicted a Mitt Romney victory, or even a blowout — Dick Morris, George Will, and Michael Barone all predicted the GOP would break 300 electoral votes. Joe Scarborough scoffed at the notion that the election was anything other than a toss-up. Peggy Noonan insisted that those predicting an Obama victory were ignoring the world around them. Even Karl Rove, supposed political genius, missed the bulls-eye. These voices drove the coverage on Fox News, talk radio, the Drudge Report, and conservative blogs. Those audiences were misinformed. Outside the conservative media, the narrative was completely different. Its driving force was Nate Silver, whose performance forecasting Election ’08 gave him credibility as he daily explained why his model showed that President Obama enjoyed a very good chance of being reelected.
Mike: Remember here on this program, the Friday before the election, I read from Tim Carney — a guest on this show and one of the better writers out there, and he is a conservative but he approaches his job from a nonpartisan, journalistic point of view. You can be conservative and be honest at the same time and conclude that not every conservative is always right. As a matter of fact, they are prone to error just as much as the hated, evil liberal is. Carney was within one point, AG. I don’t know how he missed the one point. He predicted 297 and could see it going as high as 331. It was ultimately 332. I don’t know where the one point came from, but he was largely spot on. He almost nailed it, to a point.
Outside the conservative media, the narrative was completely different. Its driving force was Nate Silver.
Mike: By the by, ladies and gentlemen, this is another great example of critical thinking at work, not being a partisan but applying critical thinking, going: Yeah, Romney is in big trouble. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I’ll ever forget this, I was surprise to see Andrew online Tuesday night last. You were in the chat room and I was here doing our Founders TV coverage on the website with Kevin Gutzman and Jack Hunter and myself and a few other friends. I looked over at the chat — I should have saved it. At about 7:30 in the evening, 8:30 East Coast time, your chat to me basically said, “This is so over for Romney.” You never had any doubt, did you?
AG: The sign that Pennsylvania had been called before Florida, North Carolina and Virginia simply made it seem quite obvious that the Democratic turnout was way above what a lot of the people on Fox News thought it would be.
Mike: We received angry people calling this show, calling us names, screaming and hollering at me, wanting to know who had gotten to me. Remember, Stephanie Cutter bought me a Maserati. By the way, when I was on my way to Houston on Friday — I was there for a ReFounding Father Society meeting Saturday night — I got passed by a Maserati. Have you ever seen a real, actual, live Maserati? I’ve never seen one.
AG: I don’t think on the road, no.
Mike: I know Joe Walsh had one that went 185. [singing] This guy was not doing 185 when he passed me, but he was going pretty fast. I’m looking in my rearview mirror because I could see him coming and there was a little bit of traffic around Lafayette, Louisiana. I’m looking in my rearview mirror going, “Wait a minute, that’s a weird grill. What is that?” I didn’t get that close of a look at it. There’s some kind of a red firebird, no, it’s a trident. It’s right there on the front. There’s no front bumper on this thing. It doesn’t have a bumper on the front of the Maserati. It’s just a beautifully-styled long grill with that red trident. I’m looking at it going, “What in the heck is that?” having never seen a Maserati before. He blows around me. I swear, fire coming out of a four-exhaust system. I followed him, tried to catch up to read the name. It was a black car, two-door coupe, and the word “Maserati.”
I called my buddy Andy Lees up and I said, “Dude, I am driving behind an actual Maserati on the road.” I’d never seen one before. I’d seen photographs before but I’ve never actually seen one. You as my agent, will you tell Stephanie I would like the red Maserati? For throwing the election for Obama as I’ve been accused of, put my order in. I don’t want a black one anymore. Since I accepted the bribe, as some of you think, I would like to say I’d like a red Maserati. I want a black Maserati on the back where the name of the vehicle. I’m trying to clarify.
Back to Conor Friedersdorf, writing at The Atlantic magazine about how conservatives were hosed by conservative media. It was disappointing. We ought to write him a letter: not all of the conservative media bought this line of thinking, sir. There were some exceptions. I wish people would point that out from time to time.
Outside the conservative media, the narrative was completely different. Its driving force was Nate Silver…readers of The New York Times, The Atlantic, and other “mainstream media” [Mike: Remember, the MSM is evil and it’s always wrong goes the narrative.] The conclusions of experts are not sacrosanct. But Silver’s expertise was always a better bet than relying on ideological hacks like Morris or the anecdotal impressions of Noonan. [Mike: Remember, Noonan also was using — I even remarked: How in the world could this woman have risen so high in the ranks of hackdom by relying on something as stupefying as the yard sign caucus? How is that even possible?] Sure, Silver could’ve wound up wrong. But people who rejected the possibility of his being right? They were operating at a self-imposed information disadvantage. Conservatives should be familiar with its contours. For years, they’ve been arguing that liberal control of media and academia confers one advantage: Folks on the right can’t help but be familiar with the thinking of liberals, whereas leftists can operate entirely within a liberal cocoon. This analysis was offered to explain why liberal ideas were growing weaker and would be defeated. Today? It is easy to close oneself off inside a conservative echo chamber. And right-leaning outlets like Fox News and Rush Limbaugh’s show are far more intellectually closed than CNN or public radio. [Mike: I think that’s what Daniel McCarthy was speaking about, the closing of the American conservative mind, how the door has been shut. Critical thinkers are not welcome. You challenge the status quo. You challenge the hegemony and the harmonic relationships that we all have with one another because we all 100 percent agree on the way things ought to be and what have you.] Some pundits engaged in wishful thinking; others feigned confidence in hopes that it would be a self-fulfilling prophecy; still others decided it was smart to keep telling right-leaning audiences what they wanted to hear. But guess what? You haven’t just been misinformed about the horse race. Since the very beginning of the election cycle, conservative media has been failing you. With a few exceptions, they haven’t tried to rigorously tell you the truth, or even to bring you intellectually honest opinion. What they’ve done instead helps to explain why the right failed to triumph in a very winnable election. Why do you keep putting up with it? [Mike: That’s a good question, why do you?] Conservatives were at a disadvantage because Romney supporters like Jennifer Rubin and Hugh Hewitt saw it as their duty to spin constantly for their favored candidate rather than being frank about his strengths and weaknesses. What conservative Washington Post readers got, when they traded in Dave Weigel for Rubin, was a lot more hackery and a lot less informed about the presidential election.
Conservatives were at an information disadvantage because so many right-leaning outlets wasted time on stories the rest of America dismissed as nonsense. WorldNetDaily brought you birtherism. Forbes brought you Kenyan anti-colonialism. National Review obsessed about an imaginary rejection of American exceptionalism, misrepresenting an Obama quote in the process, and Andy McCarthy was interviewed widely about his theory that Obama, aka the Drone Warrior in Chief, allied himself with our Islamist enemies in a “Grand Jihad” against America. Conservatives were at a disadvantage because their information elites pandered in the most cynical, self-defeating ways, treating would-be candidates like Sarah Palin and Herman Cain as if they were plausible presidents rather than national jokes who’d lose worse than George McGovern. How many months were wasted on them?
How many hours of Glenn Beck conspiracy theories did Fox News broadcast to its viewers? How many hours of transparently mindless [Mike: There are more implications but I think you get the point.] In conservative fantasy-land, Richard Nixon was a champion of ideological conservatism, tax cuts are the only way to raise revenue, adding neoconservatives to a foreign-policy team reassures American voters, Benghazi was a winning campaign issue, [Mike: That’s one of the ones I never understood, the incessant clamor and chatter over Benghazi. It never ended. Once it started, it never ended, all the way to election day. They’re still using it. Lindsay Graham is still out there acting as though this is the magical elixir that finally equalizes everything and levels the playing field.] Clint Eastwood’s convention speech was a brilliant triumph, and Obama’s America is a place where black kids can beat up white kids with impunity.
Most conservative pundits know better than this nonsense — not that they speak up against it. They see criticizing their own side as a sign of disloyalty. [Mike: I see it as a sign of intellectual honesty. If we’re going to honestly talk about how to get back to where we want to be, you have to be honest. You can’t be misleading. You can’t say things purely for partisan reasons, not if you believe that partisanship is part of the problem, which I believe it is.] I see a coalition that has lost all perspective, partly because there’s no cost to broadcasting or publishing inane BS. In fact, it’s often very profitable. [Mike: Brother, are you speaking to the crowd here?] A lot of cynical people have gotten rich broadcasting and publishing red meat for movement conservative consumption.
On the biggest political story of the year, the conservative media just got its ass handed to it by the mainstream media. And movement conservatives, who believe the MSM is more biased and less rigorous than their alternatives, have no way to explain how their trusted outlets got it wrong…
Mike: I hope we are one of your trusted outlets because we did not get it wrong.
End Mike Church Show Transcript