Vicious personal attacks, distortions of his quotes, and outright lies and fabrications.
Those are the three major tactics the Left has deployed in its campaign of character assassination, Media Research Center's Tim Graham illustrates in a brand-new special report: "A Rush to Ruin: The Left’s Character Assassination Campaign Against Rush Limbaugh."
You can click here for the PDF version.
Below the page break we've appended the executive summary:
Legendary talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh recently joined a group seeking to purchase the National Football League’s St. Louis Rams, which spurred the latest attempt by the American left-wing media to destroy Limbaugh, or at the very least marginalize him as an extremist – and, they hope, marginalize the millions of American conservatives who agree with him and enjoy his radio show. Some have even wished on national television that he would die or be killed – including Chris Matthews on MSNBC on October 13. Last year, HBO’s Bill Maher publicly wished he had “croaked” from a drug overdose.
Almost from the beginning of his nationally syndicated radio show in 1988, Limbaugh has exposed the worst in journalists who are supposed to honor fairness and accuracy. Even today, with Obama and the Democrats numerically dominating Washington, the leftist media portray Limbaugh not as a commentator, but as a clear and present danger who must be curtailed.
Increasingly, the Left is acting on the principle that the ends justify the means. Anything goes in an attempt to demonize Limbaugh – even the basics of Journalism 101. Obvious distortion and even outright fabrications are being used in this campaign to ruin Limbaugh. The Media Research Center has repeatedly exposed how the media’s loathing of Limbaugh has led to vicious incivility and utter recklessness with basic facts. The leftwing media’s character assassination campaign against Limbaugh falls into three categories
Vicious Personal Attacks: While journalists fiercely chronicle and protest the most obscure mockeries of Barack Obama, these supposed guardians of civility have insulted Rush Limbaugh as a “troll under the bridge,” a “human vat of vitriol,” and a “car-wreck-quality spectacle.” Limbaugh’s admission of an addiction of Oxycontin in 2003 wasn’t an occasion for media compassion, as most addicts receive, but a chance for anchormen to declare they were wearing a “permanent smirk.” Journalists even assigned Limbaugh’s “anti-government” rhetoric as a cause behind the bombing of an Oklahoma City federal building in 1995.
Distortions of Limbaugh’s Quotes: “News” reporters have often deliberately twisted Limbaugh’s words in TV interviews and radio routines beyond recognition. Limbaugh’s declaration that he wanted President Obama’s liberal policies to fail was presented as Limbaugh wanting the nation to fail. They mangled Limbaugh’s politically incorrect parodies, like the song “Barack the Magic Negro,” in which an Al Sharpton impersonator sings about how Barack Obama isn't an authentic black. It didn’t matter than the parody was based on a black film critic’s Los Angeles Times article titled “Obama the Magic Negro.” Some journalists even compared Limbaugh to Sister Souljah, a rapper who suggested after the Los Angeles riots in 1992 that the country needed “a week to kill white people.”
Outright Falsehoods and Fabrications: When leftist authors and bloggers circulated fabricated Limbaugh quotes, “news” networks and columnists picked them up without giving the slightest appearance of checking for an air date or an audio clip. Opponents of Limbaugh’s Rams bid are currently claiming Limbaugh said the slavery of blacks “had its merits,” and even claiming that Limbaugh praised James Earl Ray, the convicted assassin of Martin Luther King. Supposedly professional cable networks used empty, undated citations like “Rush Limbaugh On The Radio” (CNN) and even sourced a linebacker:“Cited by James Farrior, Pittsburgh Steelers” (MSNBC). In 2007, the liberal media and Democrats in Congress rose up as one and claimed Limbaugh said that soldiers speaking in the media against America’s wars were “phony soldiers,” when Limbaugh was referring to men who made false claims of serving abroad.
Liberal media figures suggest it is a national injustice that Limbaugh has the popularity and influence that he has when his words are so vicious. But while they suggest he needs to be marginalized by the media and the Republican establishment, their coverage and analysis and mockery of Limbaugh has crossed every line of civility and now shows contempt for the elementary rules of evidence.