“Experts” on TV Really Don’t Have to Know Anything Anymore

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RUSH: Coming up on the program today, I quite accidentally… The TV is on here, but the audio is never on. My head is always buried in my own show prep and the instruments I use, primarily a laptop computer. But occasionally, I’ll glance over at the phone. But I can’t help it; sometimes I look up. I looked up, and on Fox they were doing a segment on the dangers of vaping, e-cigarettes. I’m sure you’re all… Well, I don’t know. Maybe you’re not all aware.

But there is a major — and it’s not new. It’s a major effort to eliminate vaping, to wipe it out, to cancel it, to get rid of it, to make it illegal, to make it impossible, what have you. And as a result, there’s all kinds of disinformation about it. Now, I don’t want anybody to misunderstand me here. I’m not gonna make the case for it. But what I saw on Fox today is they had some young Millennial woman on there as an authority who made it clear she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

Now, my point here is not to be critical of her. I mean, you’re a young person. They ask you to come on TV. You’re gonna go. If they’re gonna ask you to come on TV as an expert on something, you’re gonna go. TV is a gigantic lure. Well, the problem is that most people watching TV think that guests are there because they are experts. It’s like when I was growing up, before I knew the ways of the world. You know, I’d read the newspaper, and there was some profile on a person. It could have been a scientist, could have been a doctor or an actor, anybody.

Well, little old naive me! I always believed those profiles happened because the person was such a success and so big and so renowned and so well known that the media found them and did stories on them because they had earned it, or they were good. (laughing) I found out later, that’s not how those things happen. All these people have PR agents or other kinds of agents. They’re constantly pitching the Drive-By Media to do a profile or a puff piece on person X.

Mostly, it’s always that. Very rarely is somebody in the media — newspaper, magazine, online, wherever — profiled because it’s genuinely organic. It’s all the result of a campaign to get somebody publicity. And usually the person who’s being written about is paying people as agents and PR people to go out and secure these kinds of media stories. But I didn’t know that growing up. I was like everybody else, I thought it was all aboveboard, legitimate, honest.

I thought if somebody was being profiled — or destroyed. If somebody was being creamed in a newspaper story, I thought, “They deserve it, they must be really bad.” This is how most people look at it growing up, and most people don’t grow out of it. They think of it throughout their lives that way. So you watch, you turn on TV, and you see somebody opining on something. “Oh, this must be an expert. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be on TV.

“That network wouldn’t put just anybody on.” People don’t know. That’s what they think. Well, I’m sorry, it doesn’t work that way. Because everybody today needs a cause, and especially Millennials. Millennials are so in debt. Did you see that story yesterday, Snerdley? The average Millennial is in debt to something like… What was it? Did I see $79,000 or $39,000 is the average? When you take Millennials’ debt total and then average it out with all the Millennials, it’s an incredibly high number.

So they’re in debt, and they need a cause. They need meaning in their lives. They’re looking for ways to matter; so here comes vaping, and we’ve had stories lately that a whole bunch of people have died mysteriously after smoking e-cigarettes and so forth. So there’s a big move to shut down e-cigarettes and vaping in general, and these people just become experts because they… (interruption) It’s $28,000 is the average per-person Millennial debt.

Does that count student loan debt? (interruption) We don’t know. Even if it doesn’t or even if it does, it’s still a large number. It’s disconcerting. It is just… (interruption) Personal debt, yeah, but… (interruption) Well, student loan debt is personal. So I just wonder if it’s a factor in it because some people have that much student loan and more. At any rate, this young woman that was talking about vaping, I can tell you she did not know what she was talking about.

I’m not here to criticize her. That’s not the point. But she was on TV as an expert, as an authority, and she’s trying to make sure that vaping is shut down ’cause it’s bad, ’cause it’s killing people, it’s worse than cigarettes — and it isn’t. Folks, it’s nowhere near as bad as cigarettes. It’s bad. I mean, there’s nothing to recommend it. I wouldn’t recommend anybody do it, other than one circumstance.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Now, I mentioned earlier I was watching Fox News today in the middle of the doing show prep. I don’t have the audio on ’cause it’s distracting. Unless I’m watching TV, I never have the audio on. Because of my hearing problems, all audio is noise. It’s just distracting, upsetting noise. Unless I’m looking at it, I don’t know what it is. I have to be looking at somebody speaking to be able to comprehend what they’re saying, so I have it off. It’s always on mute.

Occasionally when I look up and see something, “Oh!” I see what they’re talking about and I turn on the audio and listen. And I did that today. And they were doing a segment on the Fox News Channel. Bill Hemmer was hosting it on vaping, and the horrors and the evils of vaping e-cigarettes. And there was a guest, a young woman. I’m not gonna mention her name because the point of this is not to be critical of her. I’m trying to protect her because she didn’t know what she was talking about. Yet there she was on TV.

And when you go on TV, when they bring you on as a guest, you automatically have attached to you the idea that you’re an expert, otherwise why are you there? I mean, they could just pull off some anonymous person from Twitter if they wanted to. But no, you figure if you’re watching TV and there’s a guest that is talking about a topic or a subject, you assume the guest is an authority and an expert.

That wasn’t the case today. And when I saw this, some stuff here is just so incorrect that it needs to be corrected. So I fired off Bill Hemmer a note. I said, “Bill, Bill…” And I laid out the details, just so that he could be informed. Now, the reason I know about this is because I have been a vaper. I have vaped. And the staff in there will remember those days. And I’ll tell you how it happened.

A friend of mine, Mr. Hartley, Mr. Hawaii, his daughter got married at one of their palatial, expansive estates in the northwestern United States. And all of us were there, the golf buddies were all there. And it was a young person’s event. It was a wedding. And so we all got together and said, “You know what? We need to do something to clean up our lives. We need to get rid of some of our vices.”

So everybody said, “Okay I’m gonna give up something.” Some guy said, “I’m gonna give up drinking.” Some guy said, “I’m gonna give up this…” I said, “You know what? I’m gonna give up tobacco.” “You are?” I said, “Yep! If you guys are serious about this, I will give up tobacco. I will shelve the cigars.” But I had a secret. I had a way that it was not going to be difficult at all to do because I was not gonna give up nicotine.

Nicotine is the most addictive drug on earth. Now, a lot of you people, “No, Rush, no. It’s crystal meth. It’s fentanyl. It’s heroin.” No, it isn’t. Those are very, very, very bad, but they’re not the most addictive. Nicotine is. And, by the way, folks, nothing to recommend fentanyl. Fentanyl is a very worthwhile drug for end-of-life cancer patients who are in unsurvivable, excruciating pain.

What they’re doing to fentanyl on TV in these crime shows, you cannot die from inhaling a speck of it. You can’t! It can’t kill you that way. They’re just really taking liberty. But that’s another thing entirely. Why is nicotine the most addictive drug on earth? It’s very simple. The first time anybody has an experience, everybody’s first experience with nicotine is miserable.

Have you ever seen somebody, Rachel, take their first puff of a cigarette? What do they do? They start coughing. They start gagging. Some people start throwing up. They immediately apologize to themselves, they all say, “I’m never doing it again, my God, what am I thinking?” They run to the toilet, “Get those away from me.” And within minutes they’re lighting up their second one.

Have you ever noticed? The definition here of the most addictive drug — any drug that you have a great experience with, “Oh, yeah, give me more.” But nicotine? Everybody’s first experience with it is disaster! And yet everybody goes back within minutes. The minute the nausea ends, the minute the coughing spasm ends, most people are right back at it.

Well, nicotine is what’s in e-cigarettes. But there aren’t any carcinogens in e-cigarettes. The carcinogen in a cigarette’s the tobacco, not the nicotine. The nicotine is the addicting ingredient that keeps you using the carcinogen, the tobacco. Nicotine by itself is horribly addictive. But it does not cause cancer. So the reason e-cigarettes came along in the first place was to help people kick cigarettes, not nicotine.

It was to enable people to be able to keep their nicotine fix but not put carcinogens and poisons in their system. E-cigarettes are just water vapor. Some manufacturers flavor it like bubble gum, cherry, pina colada, they do all kinds of tricks with it, but it’s just water vapored nicotine. The original purpose of them was to help people quit tobacco, not to quit smoking, but to quick tobacco. Now, there’s a problem with them above and beyond that.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Okay. So I’m watching this segment on vaping, and of course you’ve seen the stories this week that there are more and more people dying mysterious deaths. Nobody knows why. It’s very curious. Young people picking this practice up and they’re going nuts and going crazy with it.

The news stories say people are being misled about what vaping is and there are all kinds of ingredients in it that are worse than cigarettes that can be killing you, and I think all of that is a stretch.

Now, I haven’t done this in years, so I must be honest up front. I don’t know what the current status of the companies and the business, the stuff they’re manufacturing is. My experience with this, as usual, you know, I was cutting edge. I was vaping before anybody knew it existed. I gave up vaping before most people knew it existed. I’ll tell you why. I was gonna tell you right now.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: The reason I gave it up is because you never know how much nicotine is in these things, and I guarantee you you’re gonna vape more than you’ll smoke cigarettes. I don’t care how many cigarettes you smoke. Because there’s no carcinogens in it. It’s just water vapor, but you get the nicotine delivery. If you’re addicted to it, you get it.

The problem is blood pressure. I would go to the doctor, standard, ordinary, everyday blood pressure, I never had high blood pressure. Blood pressure would be higher than ever, doc said, “What are you doing?” I said, “I don’t know. Nothing different.” The fact I was vaping never occurred to me. And then one of the people with me at one of those occasions that I was at the doctor, “Well, wait a minute, you’re smoking those e-cigarettes.” I said, “That’s right!”

And the doctor said, “Well, that’s it. All that nicotine in there is causing your blood pressure to spike.” I said, “Oh, I had no idea nicotine did that.” “Oh, hell, yes. It’s not just that your blood vessels contract because of the carcinogens in the tobacco that cause all this cardiovascular. Nicotine can have a drastic effect, in intense quantities, in very high quantities.”

And one of the things about nicotine, people that make the e-cigarettes pack it in there because that’s what keeps you buying it. It’s what keeps you coming back. Now, when I was in the midst of this Big Tobacco was in panic over this. It was a way to get nicotine without having to smoke cigarettes, without having to get carcinogens delivered into your system.

So Big Tobacco immediately began working on state legislatures to get them outlawed because they’re dangerous, they pose great risks that people aren’t aware of. Capitalism. There was a gigantic competitor just getting started. And then at one point Big Tobacco started buying up various e-cigarette manufacturers. There’s a whole bunch of manufacturers, whole bunch of brand names. One of the biggest names out there is Juul, J-u-u-l. They’re being sued left and right.

They’re trying to make it clear, we’re not trying to sell this to people that don’t do it. We’re trying to sell these things to people that want to quit smoking. All it is is water vapor. That’s all it is, nicotine and the water vapor. There aren’t any tobacco-like carcinogens in an e-cigarette. If you could find a way to use these things moderately, they would be probably a good way to quit smoking tobacco if you inhale cigarettes.

So let’s go to these two sound bites now that you know what’s what. I’m not gonna mention this woman’s name. She’s a Millennial. The point here is not to cause her any trouble. It’s just an illustration of how television puts people on that really don’t know what they’re talking about in many ways. But they care. So here’s the first question. “What was your experience with vaping?”

GUEST: Basically, the first time I began vaping, it was about the end of 2016, beginning of 2017. I would always use a vape, but I would never use the actual Juul pod itself. I always used a strawberry vape juice and I would just fill that and just keep using that, almost like to the point when I would fall asleep at night, I would just have to keep using it because it was just so addicting.

And then as time progressed I transferred into a New York school at the University of St. John’s where I used my friend’s Juul one night, and I just continued puffing it maybe like 20 to 30 times, just doing that in my system, you know, nothing else, and out of nowhere I just felt really hot, you know that feeling you get – you can tell you’re gonna get stomach sick. And I almost couldn’t even get upstairs to my room in time before I was just vomiting. And it lasted between like two and three hours.

RUSH: No different than the first time you smoke a cigarette. No different. And she just kept increasing the quantities ’cause it was addicting. She liked it, nicotine, the most detective drug out there. Okay. So far, so good. But there’s nothing in this story that is different from any other nicotine delivery, except maybe the patch, and you’d have to put, you know, to equal the amount of nicotine in an e-cigarette you’d have to put 25 patches on your arm. You know, nobody’s gonna do that. So the next bite, “You’re 21. Did you smoke regular cigarettes before this?”

GUEST: No. It’s not a cigarette. So that’s the initial thought, you know, so it couldn’t be maybe worse than that. The flavors are attractive. It’s a new item coming out, everyone’s using it.

SMITH: You saw it out there, you thought it was appealing.

GUEST: I almost think that it’s worse than a cigarette.

SMITH: Why?

GUEST: In my eyes, um, just because it’s addictive and just the age group that’s getting involved. Like, I’ve been outside around campus and had younger people, like maybe someone age 16, come up to me with money asking, “Oh, will you go inside the store and buy a Juul for me and Juul pods?” So there are all ways around it. I see no benefits to the product. So there’s no need.

RUSH: The Juul pod, that’s the nicotine, that’s what you put inside that gets heated up, produces the water vapor that you inhale, and that’s the nicotine. And then they flavor it so that it tastes good while you’re doing all of this. It’s just a nicotine delivery system. To say that it’s worse than cigarettes, that’s a judgment call. There’s no carcinogens in it unless somebody wants to try to claim that this much nicotine is a carcinogen, but nicotine isn’t.

Now, I imagine all of the do-good liberals out there are gonna say, “He doesn’t even know what he’s talking about.” But nicotine’s not a carcinogen, folks. It isn’t. Otherwise the patch, they would tell you not to use the patch, you’re putting a cancer producing patch under your shirt. It’s not cancerous. It’s not a carcinogen. It’s just addictive as heck. It’s the most addictive drug on earth. Do not doubt me on this.

“But, Rush, there’s no mind-altering –” yes, there is. It’s so subtle. The subtlety of nicotine is the thing about it. It’s the blood pressure spike that can be caused by that much nicotine in a concentrated dose. At least that’s my personal experience with it. I would never sit here and generalize and say that my experience with it is normal and what everybody else’s is gonna be. But I can tell you that it’s not worse than cigarettes. But even cigarettes, how many years does it take for them to kill you, if they do? Do you realize that still has not been scientifically proven? We are much more certain of global warming than we are that cigarettes cause cancer.

How many people do you know who have gotten lung cancer, never touched a cigarette? “Secondhand smoke, Rush.” Sorry, folks, not the answer. And how many people do you know who do smoke and have not gotten cancer? Might gotten something else. See, we’re all gonna die of something. Strange as that may sound to you youngsters, we’re all gonna die of something, usually due to genetics.

And so cigarettes, they take years and years and years to wipe you out. Not recommending them. Don’t misunderstand. You know, I’m the adult in the room. This program is where Realville is. This program is where the essence of common sense resides.

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