Media Research Center President Brent Bozell today demanded that CNN and MSNBC prove that radio talk show king Rush Limbaugh uttered a racist quote they have attributed to him as fact after Limbaugh publicly denied having ever said, “Slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back. I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark” on his nationally syndicated airwaves.
"CNN and MSNBC must immediately and publicly source when Limbaugh uttered this phrase. He has unequivocally denied it. Now it is up to the same news media that reported it as fact to prove that it was, indeed, stated," NewsBusters Publisher Bozell insisted in a statement, arguing that if the charges are undocumentable, the offending networks are "100% guilty of character assassination."
The accusations against Limbaugh came in the wake of reports the radio talk show host is part of a group bidding for ownership of the St. Louis Rams NFL franchise. The full Bozell statement is appended below the page break:
CNN and MSNBC must immediately and publicly source when Limbaugh uttered this phrase. He has unequivocally denied it. Now it is up to the same news media that reported it as fact to prove that it was, indeed, stated.
The MRC has overnighted letters to senior executives at both cable networks demanding that they take this sourcing seriously and report back to the public. We await their word.
Either Rush Limbaugh is lying or these networks – willfully or not – are participants in the worst form of character assassination imaginable. They can prove their innocence by documenting this accusation. If they can’t, then they are 100% guilty of character assassination.
Tomorrow we will go public with their response.
For our NewsBusters archive of media bias against Rush Limbaugh, check here.