Opening his program on Monday, Rush Limbaugh referred to a Politico item by Hanna Trudo, who reported on his appearance on the February 19 edition of Fox News Sunday.
Trudo opened by claiming that "Rush Limbaugh says he doesn’t buy the notion that Russia influenced the election of President Donald Trump." Rush observed on the air that this isn't what he said. Then Trudo doubled down and incorrectly "quoted," using quotation marks, what Rush allegedly said.
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Both the video and the show's transcript demonstrate that Rush did not say what Trudo claimed. Her misquote distorts what he said. And the establishment press wonders why the average American distrusts and despises them.
Here's what Trudo wrote:
Here is what Fox's transcript says:
Okay, maybe the transcript, which as always is marked as "a rush transcript" which "may be updated," got it wrong.
Here is the video:
Transcript of video:
The first thing that’s going on, Chris, in my view, it is preposterous to believe that the Russians had any effect on the outcome of voting in this country. It’s absurd. There is no evidence. Zilch, zero, nada.
The New York Times has run two stories that are basically propaganda on this -- one in October, and one this past week. And both stories clearly say: no evidence.
Rush said what the Fox transcript says he said.
Later in the interview, Rush made it crystal clear that by "voting" he was referring to the mechanics of the election itself:
This business that the Russians hacked the elections, this is serious, serious allegation that is impossible. The Russians could not have had any impact whatsoever on voting. Either how they were cast or how they were counted.
It's quite easy to believe that Trudo's failure to correctly quote a very easy-to-transcribe (and record) statement was not accidental. Her misquote broadens the scope of that to which Limbaugh referred to include other items which might "influence" an election, such as "leaks," including documents from the Democratic National Committee which were probably relayed (and not leaked) to WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks' leadership has consistently denied that Russia or people acting on Russia's behalf gave them the documents.
In its 2007 Mission Statement, Politico claimed that:
There is more need than ever for reporting that presents the news fairly, not through an ideological prism. One of the most distressing features of public life recently has been the demise of shared facts.
People who can't even get a quote right should spare us their lecture about "shared facts."
Why do Americans mistrust and despise the press? One of the reasons is that their reporters can't or won't get even the most basic facts right.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.