Limbaugh attacked "this new website"; Decried use of his quotes "out of context"May 11, 2004 8:46 PM EDT ››› ANDREW SEIFTER & GABE WILDAU
On his May 11 nationally syndicated radio show, host Rush Limbaugh renewed his attack on the "Lib media" and appeared again to be accusing Media Matters for America of printing excerpts of his program out of context.
Limbaugh: gives context of Skull and Bones comment -- "was actually relating to the media"
LIMBAUGH: [A]nd I -- I'll tell you why I used Skull and Bones. You know, I was tweaking them, because Bush is Skull and Bones, and it's Yale, and they think Bush didn't qualify to get into Yale. That Bush is a phony-baloney and they hate -- normally they hate Skull and Bones. The Media hates Skull and -- except those that are members. But they hate it, because it's super-secret, and it doesn't allow them in. And so I thought I was actually relating to the media by calling this a Skull -- I thought I was helping them criticize Bush. Yeah, this is the kind of stuff Bush did in college instead of learning stuff.
But no, they missed that totally. I really was trying to relate to them. I was trying to give them a line that I thought they would appreciate the nuance of. But no, they've totally missed it, because they're reacting in shock and emotion and seeking an opportunity to inflict a little knick or two, fire some BBs at the battleship of Rush Limbaugh in an attempt to inflict a little harm here. But we're not, we're not only still floating, we're still steaming through the waters here.
So no, I've been amazed that they missed the Skull and Bones re - I couldn't -- I didn't even say college initiation, a caller said that. I said Skull and Bones. I said it specifically for a reason, because I was trying to help them take another route to Bush. They've missed it, and they're coming back at me with it. Idiots.
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Now, let's look at this -- this prison business. When the first two or three pictures came out, and you know which ones they are -- the pyramid picture, which is what looks like a Skull and Bones initiation, the pyramid, the guys in the hoods, and we've got the female prison guard with a cigarette dangling from the mouth. And we had this -- the guy in all -- in all black, hooded, and so forth, wires attached to various extremities. And there was -- there was one other picture.
And I said, "Well, you know, what's the big deal here? This just looks like an average Skull and Bones initiation." That quote, made the first day the pictures were published, is all that I am quoted as saying. Well, maybe one other little quote. I forget what it is. But in this instance, not one journalist -- and that's what they are -- not one journalist has picked up the phone or sent me an e-mail, and said, "What do you mean by this. Do you really think this?"
Not one journalist has dared ask me for the context of the remark. Not one person -- not one -- no Conservative journalist has either. If there are Conservatives upset with me, I want to tell -- no one has gotten hold of me. And I'm assuming that they're not listening to the program, because otherwise they would know the context of all this. You can't -- I mean, I've spent 10 to 12 hours on this subject and said a whole lot on it, but that one comment seems to serve the purpose of those who have an agenda.
Limbaugh on Media Matters for America: "let's just see how much of this, this total explanation" shows up on "this new website"
LIMBAUGH: And there's this new website that the Libs have set up out there, and one of the things they have is a couple of guys that transcribe this program, and they select certain out -- outtakes or excerpts, and they put them on the Website, and it's become a clearinghouse for Lib propaganda. So the Lib media goes there, sees what's there, and then repackages it as news.
And never once have I been asked for detail, context, explanation. No one has asked me anything about -- and just because they don't want to know anymore than -- because that quote is just fine for their agenda-driven purposes. Now, I know this, so why get upset about it?
If I may be really honest, and of course, I'm always striving to do that and to share with you my feelings, I have to tell you, folks -- and I -- I've -- this is the third time I -- I will have said it in this context, and say it again, because it's the best way I know to put this in -- in context. Here I am. Who -- who am I? I am a radio talk show host. I am a kid from Missouri who wanted to be on the radio. And now, all -- that's all I've ever wanted to do. I've wanted to be the best at what I am and the best at what I do. True. But on the radio.
Now, all of a sudden, I have to be discredited in order for the Left to win. I have to be discredited for their agenda to gain primacy in this whole story. And so that Skull and Bones quote is everywhere. And it's being asked of everybody. "Do you condemn Limbaugh?" Not one of the people who has been asked to condemn me has bothered to get hold of me to say, "What the hell?" I mean even -- somebody who's maybe upset with me even, "What the hell are you doing to us? Why are you saying?" Nobody has even asked me that.
I have not other - but why should they? I'm on the radio for five hours -- or three hours every day, 15 a week. All they have to do is turn on the knob, and they're not even making that effort, those who are putting this -- so, am I upset about -- ... No, folks! To tell you the truth, I'm honored.
Do you want to know the truth? I'm not upset about this at all. I am honored. I'm just a kid from Missouri who wanted to be on the radio, and all of a sudden what I say has to be discredited, taken out of context. I -- I just -- this is just another sign of effectiveness, to me. If they can -- if they -- if they can take one or two sentences of all that I've said and try to discredit an entire movement or - what are do they call it -- ideology, I'm -- I'm proud to be the target, because I know who I am and I know what I believe, and I know what I've said. And for every newspaper or TV show that spends time quoting this little thing I said, I've got hours and hours and hours to put it back in context with the people that matter to me most, and that's you, who invest the time to listen to this program every day.
So please, don't -- don't -- don't worry about -- I mean, if you -- if you want to get upset, I understand it, but I'm not. I look at it a totally different way. After all the -- I mean, I'm 53 years old. I've been through a lot, as everybody at 53 has. You learn things. I mean, if -- if -- if this were my second year on the air or first year on the air and this happened, yeah, I'd be worried these people are out to destroy me.
They can't destroy me, folks. The media didn't make me. The media can't destroy me. The media didn't make me who I am. I did that along with you. So if the media didn't make me, if the media didn't -- if they're not responsible for building me, they can't tear me down. They can try.
And I don't know that that's what they're doing, but nevertheless, don't sweat it. That's -- I just -- I felt compelled to answer this, because there must have been over the last three or four days a whole bunch of e-mails from people who think I ought to be angry about it and want me to fight back and this sort of thing. And I've also learned that over the years, that fighting back is not the right way to handle this. You just keep doing what you're doing. Just be who you are and let that be the fight.
Don't -- if you start responding to these people, that's all you're going to end up doing, which is why I was reluctant to even do this. But I wanted to do it one more time, get it out of the way, get it on the record. And let's just see how much of this, this total explanation, including the context of the Skull and Bones comment, let's see how much of this ever shows up in any of these places which have used that quote as a means to be critical, disparaging, discrediting, whatever.
LIMBAUGH: Rich Lowry has a piece today, National Review Online. I think it's syndicated in newspapers as well. People say, well, this -- this tarnishes all of America. And he says, no, it doesn't. But the thing it does, it does represent a slice of America. Our culture is corrupt. No matter where we send people, we've got a corrupt -- we all know that our culture in this country's corrupt. And he makes the point -- this is sort of expanding on a point that I have made earlier. If you take these pictures and bring them back and have them taken in an American city and put on an American Website, they might win a video award from the pornography industry. We'll take a break and be back. Stay with us.
CALLER: Just have a quick comment. I just think it's a little hypocritical that you said that the media is taking some of your comments out of context when really your sound bites that you issue every day seem to be doing the same thing. If you listen to the entire speeches, you can kind of get what some of the Democrats are talking about. The way you --
LIMBAUGH: You know, Rob, I -- I -- I hate to interrupt here. I'm only doing so because of time, but we got your -- your basic point. Here's the difference. In the first place, I don't take them out of context. They are purposely taking me out of context. I'm not complaining about it, though. This is the one -- I want everybody to understand, I'm honored that this is -- don't get -- don't get upset about it.
But Rob, the key is this. Since I get so few qualified Liberals calling this program, I explain to my audience what Liberals mean when they say things. I do more than add context. I know you Liberals like every square centimeter of my naked body, and I'm able to explain what Liberals mean when they say things as well as they are.
LIMBAUGH: You know, there are all kinds of people in this country, some of them Democrats, elected Democrats, who say, "We need to see all these pictures from this prison, from the Abu Ghraib prison. Need to see them. We need to see every sordid detail, because we have a right to know, the American people need to know what's being done in their name, we want to see it. All the sodomy, we want to see those light sticks, have you heard about this?" What are those light sticks? I can't think of the name of them. Some prisoners were apparently sodomized with these light sticks. Now, remember when a cigar was used in the oval office? "Hey, it's just sex. It's not going to get in the way of the way anybody leads or does their job. There's nothing here." Now all of a sudden, we've got to see all of these pictures.
LIMBAUGH: What was done in that prison is not something we want to sanction. Some of it did go right up to the line of approved techniques for interrogation, some of it went way over the line. But the proper way to handle it is behind closed doors, behind channels, instead of trying to make the whole country feel a guilt trip over this and try to use this as a way to harm the military effort overall. The real travesty here, the real disappointing thing to me here is not just what happened, it's how it is being used. The Village Voice piece, you heard me read it to you. It is crystal clear, they're admitting it. This is a pure political opportunity to advance an agenda, both of the press and the American Left ...