and my profession understand — in that they have been pitted in
this corner for so long that two years or four years is not going to be
an eternity to them. They will stick with him, at least the ones I
have spoken to. This is anecdotal, I understand that, but nonetheless it is how I do my reporting. I believe, based on these interviews,
that they’re going to stick with him for a long time.
And here’s the shocker. They’re really happy with what he’s
done. I don’t think the press actually understands that. They don’t
understand that they see his flurry of activity, this willingness to
show himself rolling up his sleeves and just doing the work people
sent him to do, as a positive. Is he polished in the way he does it?
No. Have there been missteps? Absolutely. Nonetheless, it is the
flurry of activity that is important to them and that he is continuous with his campaign promises. Even if they don’t all materialize,
he is showing a willingness to go against the grain and at least
attempt them, and that is just as important to his voters.
RUSH: I think you’re dead right that the current media establishment, the drive-bys, as I affectionately
call them, still have no idea. They have
no idea what’s hit them. They have no
idea who Trump supporters are. You
can watch the way they are trying to destroy him to see that they don’t understand why he’s popular. On CNN, I was
watching that little media guy they’ve
got, Brian Stelter, do this big report that
Trump lied about the murder rate.
Trump said the murder rate is the highest it’s been in 47 years — instead of
“the murder rate is rising at its fastest
pace in 47 years.” This little CNN guy is
up there trying to prove Trump lied, he
doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
But the thing he doesn’t understand is
Trump’s voters couldn’t care less.
ZITO: No, they couldn’t.
RUSH: They don’t care whether Trump is precise on statistics. It’s
not about that. They’re trying to discredit him in ways they’re not
going to succeed, and they have no idea yet.
ZITO: Here’s the thing, Rush. I am now a contributor at CNN, but I
still live in Pittsburgh — where you used to work. And as a teenager I believe I saw you in the window of the Chamber of Commerce building, if I remember correctly.
RUSH: [Laughs] You would have. That’s where the studio was, KQV.
That’s exactly right.
ZITO: KQV. I remember. That was a big thing for a teenager to go
down and watch the disc jockeys. Oh, that was a very cool thing for
a teenage girl to do! Anyway, so here’s the problem, and I see this
when I’m in Washington and New York, and I’m sure you remember
this from living in New York. John Smith does his report, and everything he talks about is anti-Trump. There’s no social consequences for
him, because the people he knows think the same way he does, no
matter if he’s at a soccer game with his children, or whether he’s at a
cocktail party, or if he’s going on a double date with his wife and some
friends. Everybody thinks the same way, and they do not think the
same way that people outside of the Beltway do.
They don’t know anyone like my family. They don’t go to
church every Sunday with people like my family and, therefore,
there’s no consequences for them when they are on the news. They
just don’t understand people out here. People talk about the discon-
nect, it’s now become a cliché. I travel to New York and I travel to
Washington all the time. The most telling thing for me is when I
drive because for three hours between Pittsburgh and Washington,
D.C. everything is pretty Main Street. But you get just 20 minutes
inside the Beltway and all of a sudden there’s a completely different
world. It is tangible and it’s real, and it’s almost as though there’s a
line of demarcation that separates us.
There’s this stereotype of who the Trump voter is. People believe
they’re uneducated. They believe they’re predominantly white.
They believe they have been impacted by trade or by heroin. That’s
not the whole story. Here’s the thing that really went underreported
in this entire election. What I found in my reporting is that most
Trump voters are educated, with at least a bachelor’s degree. Most
of them are upper middle class, and most of them live in towns
outside of places like Pittsburgh or Cleveland or Dayton
or Columbus, and they live in the same towns that their
father’s father’s father lived in.
It’s about knowing that their children and their
grandchildren are not going to have the same experiences that they have had. That is as important to them
as getting a bonus is to someone working for a tech firm.
There is as much value to them in community and family as making six figures is to someone who lives in Silicon Valley. But they are devalued by the media because
that intangible doesn’t have any number associated with
it. The elites do not understand it. Those voters were integral in
putting Trump into the White House. It wasn’t the poor working-class wife. It was those suburban men and women who do not want
to lose that power — not “power” you find in Washington or in a
boardroom, but the power to keep their community and their family the most important thing.
RUSH: Salena, I don’t think they even really want to understand the
ZITO: Not necessarily, yeah.
RUSH: They’re totally comfortable with the categorization that
exists; that they’re basically hayseed, uninformed religious freaks,
chewing tobacco, out of work for a long time and falsely blame
NAFTA for it. I think they don’t want to learn who the Trump supporters really are. On Fox today I saw Shep Smith spend a whole
segment trying to expose Trump for lying — responding to Trump’s
claim that the media is not accurately reporting terror attacks.
What Trump’s done here, he’s got them reporting on themselves.
It’s masterful, really, whether that was the intent or not.
RUSH: It really is. These people are wringing their hands: Trump lies,
Trump’s stupid, Trump’s incompetent. Meanwhile he’s getting his
cabinet confirmed. He’s going to get Gorsuch confirmed. He’s win-
“It’s incredibly hard for a parent. Say you have kids, 8, 9, 10, and
you have to explain to them what that pink hat stands for. I mean,
come on.” — SALENA ZITO