I'm sure the talk show host can defend himself just fine; however, the following shows just how low MSNBC will go to trash Republicans and conservatives any chance they get. On last night's Rachel Maddow Show, the host used a long-known ersatz quote supposedly uttered by Rush Limbaugh to, well, y'know, get some cheap digs in:
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, CONSERVATIVE RADIO TALK SHOW HOST (discussing Newt Gingrich's views on Judge Sotomayor): I didn‘t know why he retracted it and I still don't. I'm not retracting it. Nobody's refuted it. She would bring a form of racism and bigotry to the court.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MADDOW: When you get called racist by the guy who says the assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr. should get the Medal of Honor, consider yourself honored. Also, nauseated.
For what's behind this "quote," we have to turn to the blogs as usual. Smash Mouth Politics has the definitive lowdown on this supposed Limbaugh utterance. First, its only source appears to be from Wikipedia, which, as everyone should know by now (especially hosts of major cable news shows!), is far from a verified, trustworthy bastion of information. Second, the quote has been excised and added back several times.
The earliest mention of the alleged quote was on September 9th, 2005 by zedlappy who wrote this about what Rush allegedly said: “You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray. We miss you, James. Godspeed." [4/23/98] ”zedlappy” cited to a Wikipedia article as his source. For those newbys, Wikipedia is a cite that anybody can make shit up and it gets quoted as authority by idiots. Hereafter, every time I reference the Wikipedia article I am talking about this one. Unfortunately, it apparently has been edited many times since 2005, so we can’t know exactly what it said then. But now it attributes the quote to Rush Limbaugh, but lists it as “DISPUTED” because the article currently lists the source of the quote to a book “101 Persons who are really SCREWING up America“ by (2006) by Jack Huberman. Hereinafter I’ll call the book “101 Persons.” But note, the book came out in 2006 so it could not possibly be the source of the original Wikipedia article! ALSO NOTE: The Huberman book does not list a source!
My guess is that someone edited a phony Limbaugh quote into Limbaugh’s entry and then Wikiquote removed it when they realized that it was a phony. No media source links. No transcript links.
My emphasis. There's much, much more at Smash Mouth, the conclusion of which is that absolutely no one has any definitive source on this supposed statement from Limbaugh.
I mean, really -- Rush supposedly made this highly offensive statement in 1998, yet it took seven years for someone to make a note of it on the web? Are you serious??
(Cross-posted at The Colossus of Rhodey.)
(Thanks to NB reader John R. for the tip.)