Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this post contained quotes attributed to Rush Limbaugh, which Limbaugh has since denied making. As is our policy when a fact in a blog post is called into question, we gave its author 24 hours to substantiate the quote. Since he has not been able to do so, the quotes have been deleted from the post.
i’ve know rush. in person,i like him. his rhetoric,however is inexcusably divisive. he’s right tho. we didn’t confirm quote. our bad.
Proof that Limbaugh’s threat to sue people over this is being taken seriously? Eh, I doubt it. As I said before, it’s really hard for a public figure to prove defamation. He’d basically have to show that his accusers knew the quote was false and published it anyway; both HuffPo and Sanchez would reply that they didn’t know and were merely lazy, sloppy, negligent reporters in relying on published sources for a quote that they hadn’t fact-checked. The retractions, I suspect, are motivated less by fear of being sued than as a lame nod to journalistic ethics. “See, we correct our highly incendiary errors. …Eventually.”
Meanwhile, it’s safe to say that the Journal’s solved the mystery of why Olbermann, of all people, came to Rush’s defense a few days ago:
What happened here, and is happening elsewhere in American life, is that Mr. Limbaugh’s outspoken political conservatism is being deemed sufficient reason to ostracize him from polite society. By contrast, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, who fires off his own brand of high-velocity, left-wing political commentary but lacks Mr. Limbaugh’s sense of humor, appears weekly as co-host of NBC’s “Football Night in America.” We haven’t heard anyone on the right say Mr. Olbermann’s nightly ad-hominem rants should disqualify him from hanging around the NFL. Al Franken made it all the way to the U.S. Senate on a river of political vitriol…
It is no secret that this country’s politics has become intense across the ideological spectrum. Rush Limbaugh lets his listeners blow off steam and then get on with the rest of their day. But if the people who claim to worry about such things want to see a truly angry right develop in this country, they should continue to remain silent while the left tries to drive Rush Limbaugh and others out of American political life. If that happens, the NFL by comparison will look like an afternoon tea.