BREITBART: Rush to judgment: A media hopelessly divided

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ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The mood at the Omni Shoreham Hotel late Saturday afternoon was off the electrical meter when Rush Limbaugh took center stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Hundreds of revelers packed the Regency Ballroom and hundreds more filled overflow rooms, hallways and stairways to watch on wide-screen TVs. It was a rare and much-anticipated public appearance of the man so powerful that President Obama singled him out for destruction in his administration’s first days.

Conservative pundits, party leaders and movement bigwigs took special care to position themselves close by so they could hang on every word of the only person who actually could accomplish what the three-day conference was all about - jump-starting the flagging conservative cause.

Fox News joined C-SPAN in carrying the nearly hour-and-a-half experience, while CNN broke ranks with the “mainstream media” and aired most of the speech as well.

It was an address that could have altered the election had it been delivered early last fall by any Republican presidential candidate.

About midway through Mr. Limbaugh’s clear-headed, timely and sometimes rambunctious call to ideological arms, my BlackBerry began buzzing with elated text messages from across the Omni and across the nation.

A friend in Los Angeles e-mailed a one-liner: “Best speech I have ever seen.”

My urbane father-in-law, the first person I knew who copped to listening to Mr. Limbaugh and who has been witness to most of the big events of the modern age, called it the “most thrilling thing [he’s] seen on TV.”

Hugh Hewitt simply titled his post-speech blog post “The Speech, 2009” and wrote: “Rush gave a speech … that will be talked about for years and even decades.”

Spokespeople for CPAC said it was the best-received speech in the conference’s 36 years. And that included Ronald Reagan, who, by the way, was no rhetorical slouch.

By any measure, Mr. Limbaugh hit the ball out of the park. He may have done so for the team that, these days, many people are rooting against. But the ball did land over the fence.

On the other hand, the “drive-by media” - as Mr. Limbaugh aptly refers to his business competition and ideological foes - portrayed a completely different event.

Clearly taking their cues from Mr. Obama - as well as Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid - the Fourth Estate, without the benefit of a Frank Luntz focus group or an instant poll, immediately labeled the speech as “angry” and alienating to “moderate voters.”

The netroots, the mainstream media’s devious protector from its left flank (e.g., the Huffington Post, Media Matters and the Daily Kos) also opined as if they had witnessed a hate crime.

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About the Author
Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is the chief political correspondent for The Washington Times, the author of five books and a nationally syndicated columnist. His twice-weekly United Feature Syndicate column appears in newspapers across the country, including The Washington Times. He received the Warren Brookes Award For Excellence In Journalism in 1995 and in that same year was the host and co-writer of ...

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