Rush Limbaugh on Friday called the New York Times "the public relations department for the Barack Obama campaign and the Democrat Party."
Speaking by phone with the folks on "Fox & Friends," the conservative radio talk show host depicted the media's coverage of Obama during this presidential campaign as "the most irresponsible journalistic exhibition I have seen in my life."
Limbaugh also claimed these same biased news outlets do polls today exclusively "to shape opinion, not reflect it."
What follows is a partial, rough transcript of this discussion (video embedded right):
STEVE DOOCY, CO-HOST: Let's ask Rush Limbaugh. He's joining us live from somewhere out there somewhere in TV land. Good morning, El Rushbo.
RUSH LIMBAUGH: Somewhere out there in TV land indeed down there in the sunny climes of south Florida, you guys. Great to be with you on "Fox & Friends."
BRIAN KILMEADE, CO-HOST: Congratulations on the 20 years. Rush, a lot of people are saying the distance that Senator McCain is from Senator Obama is the same thing Al Gore was from Governor Bush at the time. Do you see a lot of similarities there?
LIMBAUGH: I heard you talking about the polls just a minute ago with Chris Wallace. You know me. I have a more cynical view of people than what I call the drive-by media. The drive-by media do these polls and for the longest time whether it is a presidential opinion poll or a poll 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 these 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, CO-HOST: 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. I'm 57 years old. They've always been liberal and they've always been biased but I have never seen them in the tank like this, and I think the purpose of that, they're doing two things. They know there is a new media out there and there is a competition with the new media and they are trying to show themselves they can still move public opinion. They're trying to show themselves they can get the country they want. Now they're not even hiding the bias. They're profoundly in the tank, and the purpose is, I think, to really depress people into thinking this is over, that McCain has no prayer.
DOOCY: When you talk about shaping opinion, historically, newspapers do it on the opinion page where they say we're behind this guy. Well, today in the pages of the New York Times, the old Gray Lady, she is endorsing Barack Obama, the same day a poll comes out from the Times where they have got Barack Obama up by 13 points. We have talked to pollsters who say you can effectively drive a poll toward the answer you want, the result you want, You think the New York Times is doing something like that here?
LIMBAUGH: Two things about the Times. I think it's classic that yesterday Standard & Poor's officially proclaimed the New York Times as junk on the day they endorsed the Messiah, the lord Barack Obama the most merciful. Number two, why is the New York Times junk? Why is their advertising revenue down? Why iare their pages down, why is their circulation down? It's because they're no longer the New York Times. They are the public relations department for the Barack Obama campaign and the Democrat Party.
We couldn't have said it any better, Rush.