During an interview with host Brian Lamb Saturday evening on the C-SPAN cable TV channel, Martin Baron – who has been the executive editor of the Washington Post newspaper since January of 2013 – stated what many liberals and Democrats are afraid to admit: Rush Limbaugh should now be considered part of the “mainstream media.”
His reason for this claim during that edition of the Q&A program? Because Limbaugh is “the most successful radio talk show host in the country. That would make him mainstream media.”
The conservative icon played a segment of the interview during his program on Tuesday afternoon in which Lamb asked the editor some interesting questions: “What's the impact over the last years of people in the talk show business? What effect does that have on the mainstream media every day?"
When people “talk about the mainstream media,” the editor noted, “they are the mainstream media in many ways. I just don't think this should affect us. I think the thing that we should do is stick to that purpose, stick to that mission and not be distracted by attacks on us.”
Limbaugh then stated:
It's hard to know what he's saying if you're a layman, and I'm not a layman. I'm a highly trained specialist. I know what he's saying here.
These guys don't get it. The mainstream media has a specific definition, legendary, liberal, whatever you want to call it media, the old guys that have dominated since the beginning of time.
“And this is all about the fact their monopoly's busted up,” he continued. “That's what Brian Lamb's actually asking about.”
“You know, these talk radio guys come along, and they've totally blown up your business model,” Limbaugh continued. “He didn't say this,” but “this is what he means. That's why you need a highly trained specialist like me to analyze the question.”
He's basically asking: "You guys had a monopoly, then the talk show guys come along, and Limbaugh, and they beat you up every day, and they're ragging on you every day,” the radio host noted. “What are you gonna do about it? How's it affecting the way you're gonna do your business?"
“And this guy says, 'Well, you know, they're mainstream media now, too,' which is designed to criticize me,” the conservative radio host stated.
“So 'mainstream' is designed to take a hit, make a hit on my prestige, if you will, because people in this audience don't like the mainstream media,” Limbaugh added before stating:
Lumping me in with it is supposed to be a mild criticism, and he admits here that what they have to do is sort of stick to that purpose, stick to that mission, not be distracted by attacks on us.
He's admitting it's hand-to-hand combat now. Their mission is to do battle with us, not report the news, but he admits they're in an ideological battle, the media versus -- well, the mainstream media, the Drive-Bys, as I call them.
As NewsBusters previously reported, just four months into his new job, Baron defended the Post's lack of coverage regarding the trial of “abortion doctor” Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia during April of 2013 by stating that he hadn't heard of the story until readers began emailing him about it.
“I wish I could be conscious of all stories everywhere, but I can’t be,” he said. “Nor can any of us."
“We talked about the story during the day on Friday and decided that, in fact, the story warranted our staff attention because of the seriousness and scope of the alleged crimes and because this was a case that resonated in policy arguments and national politics,” said Baron.
“In retrospect,” he noted, “we regret not having staffed the trial sooner. But, as you know, we don’t have unlimited resources, and ... there is a lot of competition for our staff’s attention.”
Baron added: “We never decide what to cover for ideological reasons, no matter what critics might claim. Accusations of ideological motives are easy to make, even if they’re not supported by the facts.”
In the years since then, the executive editor has done his best to stay out of the spotlight while being a regular guest on programs carried by C-SPAN. However, his comment about Rush Limbaugh being a member of the “mainstream media” will probably earn him more unwanted attention than he's had in quite a while.