The “Today” show is going to make the most out of its interview with Rush Limbaugh. Jamie Gangel sat down with the king of conservative talk radio for an interview that airs over two days – next Monday and Tuesday.
Here’s a partial transcript:
GANGEL: Beyond politics, were you moved in any way to see an African-American elected president?
LIMBAUGH: Yeah. But I got over it very quickly. I mean, he’s president of the United States. His skin color doesn’t matter to me. His policies are what matters. The intentions. His ideology. Plans that he has for the country.
GANGEL: Is there anything good he’s done?
LIMBAUGH: Maybe. I can’t think of it.
On what he would say to President Obama:
LIMBAUGH: I’d be honest with him. I’d be, look, the president of the United States is the president of the United States. He’s my president too. I want– you know, I want this country to succeed. And if he invited me up there to chat, I would owe him the dignity and honor of being honest.
GANGEL: Who are you doing your show for?
LIMBAUGH: My audience. For ratings. I will admit it. Let me shock the world right here on NBC. I am doing my show for ratings.
So we wondered: is NBC News stretching an interview with one of the most newsworthy, controversial and interesting talkers around over a two-day period, just for ratings? “Today” show EP Jim Bell tells TVNewser, “The ‘Today’ show interviews everybody. Monday’s show will be a good example: just as we are happy to have Rush Limbaugh’s perspective on things for our audience, we are also happy that we’ll hear exclusively from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton too.” Nice double plug, Jim. Now about those ratings…