Limbaugh lashed out at Media Matters and NBC, having declined invitation from Today to respond

››› ››› ANDREW IRONSIDE & ANDREW SEIFTER

On the May 22 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, in response to segments on the May 21 editions of NBC's Today and MSNBC's Scarborough Country highlighting his "Barack, the Magic Negro" parody, Rush Limbaugh claimed: "Now, here's what gets me about this. This whole thing came from this website called Media Matters for America. And the drive-by media, NBC, Dan Abrams, the Today show people, everybody, CNN, they rely on this religiously to find out, quote-unquote 'find out,' what happens on this program." Limbaugh continued: "They don't listen to this program. Dan Abrams didn't listen to this program about any -- he doesn't know what happened here. His source is Media Matters for America and maybe a couple of newspaper columns."

Limbaugh then attacked Media Matters Senior Fellow Paul Waldman, who appeared on the Today and Scarborough segments: "The hack is presented as an expert. The Media Matters guy is an all-knowing expert. Nobody's ever heard of him; he's never accomplished anything. He's just a hack working for a front group for the Democrat [sic] Party, and they know this, yet they continue to do this." He asserted: "They know, Dan Abrams knows, and so does everybody else at NBC and CNN, that Media Matters is a [Sen.] Hillary Clinton [D-NY], George Soros, DNC front group." As noted repeatedly, Media Matters -- which is not affiliated with any political party or candidate -- has never received funding from Soros, either directly or indirectly. Limbaugh also falsely claimed that Waldman characterized him as him as a "pig" in his comments on Scarborough Country about the song parody. In fact, Waldman made no such comments about Limbaugh.

Additionally, Limbaugh maintained: "It underscores completely their dishonesty. They were not interested in our take on this, and our take is the take. I mean, we are the record on this. I am the record on the whole 'Barack, the Magic Negro' parody." In fact, as Limbaugh himself acknowledged on the May 18 edition of his program, he declined an interview with NBC to give his "take" on the subject, asserting: "They're [NBC] a leading news organization of the world, and of course their call was to invite me to appear on the Today show, and there is no way. I don't do that, especially under these circumstances." During Today's report, NBC correspondent Michael Okwu told viewers that "Limbaugh declined an interview."

As Media Matters has documented, Limbaugh's "Barack, the Magic Negro" parody first aired during the March 19 broadcast of his radio show. Limbaugh highlighted a March 19 Los Angeles Times op-ed that described Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) as "running for an equally important unelected office, in the province of the popular imagination -- the 'Magic Negro,' " a term used to describe certain benevolent African-American characters in movies and other popular culture.

On his May 21 show, Limbaugh said that the song is "not even a hit piece on Obama" and accused Today of misrepresenting the song: "There's no other way this could happen. This -- and they don't even understand the point of the parody 'Barack, the Magic Negro.' It's a piece on Al Sharpton. It's not even a hit piece on Obama." Limbaugh later referred to Obama as the "Magic Negro" in the context of criticizing a May 21 article about Obama's marriage published on Salon.com by Debra Dickerson -- whom Limbaugh referred to as a "feminazi" -- stating, "All right, you've got another liberal here taking out after the Magic Negro. Do you hear this? This guy's nothing more than a doormat. She -- that's truly bitter. These are angry women. I'm telling you, these militant feminazis are angry."

Media Matters for America has documented Limbaugh's history of racially charged insults and parodies, which include:

  • Limbaugh recently aired a parody (subscription required) mocking reported tension between Sharpton and Obama, a claim apparently stemming from a March 12 New York Post article. Set to the tune of Aretha Franklin's hit song "Respect," a voice parodying Sharpton's sings: "R-E-S-P-E-C-K. Wha-choo mean it ain't spelt that way? R-E-S-P-E-K-T? I need a dictionary!" Greg Sargent documented Limbaugh's parody on the weblog Talking Points Memo.

  • On the February 1 edition of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh responded to a Reuters report on a University of Chicago study that found that "a majority of young blacks feel alienated form today's government" by asserting: "Why would that be? The government's been taking care of them their whole lives."

  • On his January 24 radio show, Limbaugh referred to Obama and actress Halle Berry as "Halfrican American[s]." Also, on the January 16 broadcast of his radio show, Limbaugh called Obama a "half-minority" and said that "the media ... are in the midst of Obama-gasms" because "Barack Hussein Obama" has formed a presidential exploratory committee.

  • On the August 23, 2006, broadcast of his radio program, Limbaugh commented on a season of CBS' reality TV program Survivor in which contestants were originally divided into competing "tribes" by ethnicity. Limbaugh stated that the contest was "not going to be fair if there's a lot of water events," which he later supported by citing a March 2 HealthDay article reporting that "young blacks -- especially males -- are much more likely to drown in pools than whites." Limbaugh also stated that "our early money" is on "the Hispanic tribe" -- which he said could include "a Cuban," "a Nicaraguan," or "a Mexican or two" -- provided they don't "start fighting for supremacy amongst themselves." Limbaugh added that Hispanics have "probably shown the most survival tactics," that they "have shown a remarkable ability to cross borders," and that they can "do it without water for a long time, they don't get apprehended, and they will do things other people won't do." When the Survivor producers decided to dissolve the show's racially segregated "tribes" after only two episodes, Limbaugh declared that "[t]here can only be one reason for this. ... [T]hat is the white tribe had to be winning."

  • On the February 14, 2006, broadcast of his radio show, Limbaugh invented a "racial component" to explain Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett's departure from the Ohio Democratic Senate primary race. While reporting on Hackett's decision to withdraw from the race against then-Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) for the seat then held by Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH), Limbaugh asserted: "And don't forget, Sherrod Brown is black. There's a racial component here, too," adding that "the newspaper that I'm reading all this from is The New York Times, and they, of course, don't mention that." In fact, Brown is Caucasian -- a point Limbaugh acknowledged later in the program. Brown defeated DeWine in the 2006 midterm election.

  • On February 7, 2006, Limbaugh said he "kind of like[d]" a caller's statement that Obama "is the Donovan McNabb of the U.S. Senate." The statement was an apparent reference to Limbaugh's controversial 2003 comments about McNabb, a quarterback for the National Football League's Philadelphia Eagles, which led to Limbaugh's resignation from his position as a commentator on ESPN. During the September 28, 2003, edition of ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown, Limbaugh said that "[t]he media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well" and, therefore, that McNabb "got a lot of credit for the performance of this team [the Eagles] that he didn't deserve."

  • Limbaugh has repeatedly referred to American Indians as "injuns," as Media Matters has documented.

  • As Media Matters also noted, Limbaugh has described illegal immigrants as an "invasive species" that U.S. courts willingly permit to enter the country.

In addition, according to a June 7, 2000, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) article, "As a young broadcaster in the 1970s, Limbaugh once told a black caller: 'Take that bone out of your nose and call me back.' " In the early 1990s, "after becoming nationally syndicated, he mused on the air: 'Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?' " According to FAIR, "[w]hen Carol Moseley-Braun (D-IL) was in the U.S. Senate, the first black woman ever elected to that body, Limbaugh would play the 'Movin' On Up' theme song from TV's 'Jeffersons' when he mentioned her. Limbaugh sometimes still uses mock dialect -- substituting 'ax' for 'ask'-- when discussing black leaders." FAIR also reported that "[i]n 1992, on his now-defunct TV show, Limbaugh expressed his ire when Spike Lee urged that black schoolchildren get off from school to see his film Malcolm X: 'Spike, if you're going to do that, let's complete the education experience. You should tell them that they should loot the theater, and then blow it up on their way out.' "

From the May 22 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: Here's what is amazing to me about this, this is the thing to learn. Their report last night was actually a thing that was spawned by a Today show report that aired yesterday, and the Today show report and what happened last night exposes the total dishonesty and lack of professionalism that is creeping into NBC News. When they call -- when the Today show called us Friday afternoon and said they wanted to do this, we sent them reams -- we gave them a special website link, that they could go educate themselves on everything about this from beginning to end. We gave them the sound bites of Al Sharpton saying, "No big deal," Barack Obama saying it was dumb. We gave the original column from the Los Angeles Times where the term "magic negro" was thrown into the public domain. They ignored it all. They even went out, they talked to [conservative columnist] Michael Medved in Seattle, to get one voice opposing their take on it, and they didn't use any of the interview they conducted with him.

Now, here's what gets me about this. This whole thing came from this website called Media Matters for America. And the drive-by media, NBC, Dan Abrams, the Today show people, everybody, CNN, they rely on this religiously to find out -- quote, unquote "find out" -- what happens on this program. They don't listen to this program. Dan Abrams didn't listen to this program about any -- he doesn't know what happened here. His source is Media Matters for America and maybe a couple of newspaper columns.

They know, Dan Abrams knows, and so does everybody else at NBC and CNN, that Media Matters is a Hillary, George Soros, DNC front group. They know it has no intellectual integrity. They know that it exists to smear people who question the Democrats. And yet they bring on one of its hacks to talk about a conservative with little or no exposition about the hack. The hack is presented as an expert. The Media Matters guy is an all-knowing expert. Nobody's ever heard of him; he's never accomplished anything. He's just a hack working for a front group for the Democrat Party, and they know this, yet they continue to do this.

It underscores completely their dishonesty. They were not interested in our take on this, and our take is the take. I mean, we are the record on this. I am the record on the whole "Barack, the Magic Negro" parody and why and how it came about. That's ignored. I am the record. They try to rewrite the record and make the record what Media Matters says, and they know that this is happening. And yet they do it. It underscores how completely in the back pocket of the Democrat [sic] Party that Dan Abrams and MSNBC and anybody who works there, or at CNN, is. They're totally in the back pocket of the Democrat [sic] Party.

There was nothing professional about this thing. It was kind of funny. As I'm reading the transcript, [Wall Street Journal columnist] John Fund was on there, and Dan Abrams said, "Why is Limbaugh getting away with this? I mean, is he too big to bring down on something like this?" And Fund kept saying, "Well, where is the outrage? There's no story. This is 2 1/2 months old. What's your peg? There's no story. There's no outrage. Where's the outrage? There never has been any outrage over this." And that's what this piece was about: trying to drum up some outrage. They're trying to create the outrage that doesn't exist so that they can maybe take someone else out and put a notch in their belt. And they're doing this fully knowledgeable that they are working hand in hand with a Democrat [sic] Party front group. You know, this Media Matters bunch is practically the producer for all of MSNBC. If it weren't for Media Matters, MSNBC would lose 80 percent of its programming.

Now, the difference is, when I comment on MSNBC, or when I comment on CNN or comment on The New York Times, I watch it. I don't read a conservative website to tell me what happened there. I don't read -- I don't -- we don't read some media watchdog site and find out what somebody else heard or read in The New York Times or on one of these cable networks. I watch the stuff. It's painful, but I watch the stuff. I've actually seen -- do you think they actually listen to this program? If they had listened, if they'd gone to my website that we gave them, if they'd read 10 percent of what we said, then they would have known there's no story.

But they wanted to do -- the story was written before they called us. The story was produced before they called us. They're just -- they're hacks. I mean, the drive-by media has become a full-fledged partner with the Democrat [sic] Party.

And it was sort of laughable last night, "Where's the outrage? Well, there's no story here." Fund kept trying to tell them, "You guys, there's no story." And finally somebody said to the Media Matters hack, "Do you [unintelligible] Limbaugh to be fired?" "No. But I think Vice President [Dick] Cheney should stop going on his show. And I think high-ranking government officials should stop appearing on his show. The man's a racist and a pig," and this sort of stuff. You know, throwing all this stuff -- they didn't even understand that the parody is about Al Sharpton. They didn't even understand that it's a riff on Sharpton. John Fund tried to tell him that, and that kind of silenced him for a while. Well, it didn't silence him, but you can see it surprised him a little bit.

The whole thing has been misconstrued, misunderstood. These people are dense. They really are dense. They are totally guided by their ideological templates. And their templates right now are, "Destroy conservative talk radio." Because it is the most democratic forum out there. And it's effective because we connect with you. You are more informed than -- and by the way, there are Pew Research surveys to show this. You in this audience are the most informed audience in media, by virtue of what Pew Research says. You have more knowledge of what's going on out there because you listen to this program, because so many different things are discussed.I guarantee you, outside the San Francisco Chronicle, which reported it, no one else will report on John Edwards taking 55 grand from UC-Davis, a public institution, for a speech on poverty.

Things that never appear in the drive-by media.

From the May 21 broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: So I didn't get up to see what the Today show did today, but I knew what they were going to do before they did it, because I predicted it to you on Friday. We sent them -- I just want you to know what happened. We sent them reams of data. [Producer] H.R. spoke to the producer three times Friday afternoon. They interviewed Michael Medved about it to get a voice agreeing with my side. They didn't use him at all. They just used this, this hack from the George Soros-funded front group for the Democrat [sic] Party, Media Matters For America.

And it was -- they -- it was pathetic. You know, they're posting the lowest ratings they've posted in years. They're just barely ahead of Good Morning America. They get a smaller audience than we do. And it's just -- they had to try to get this wrong. There's no other way this could happen. This -- and they don't even understand the point of the parody "Barack, the Magic Negro." It's a piece on Al Sharpton. It's not even a hit piece on Obama. And it's -- everything in it was originated by liber-- you know all this. Here I am, I'm doing a three-quel now. This is about a 14-quel. Trying to explain this. And they just don't want to get it right.

I've got the piece here, the audio, but I don't even know if I want to play it. Well, it's just giving more attention to the Today show and the stupid reporter that they used and -- that's all it is, it's just a smear. I mean, it happens every day to me. All right, well, I'll think about it.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: And we're back on the cutting edge of societal evolution. Rush Limbaugh, having more fun then a human being should be allowed to have.

Snerdly shared with me an interesting point of view that he has on NBC's hatchet job piece today on "Barack, the Magic Negro" on the Today show. And I've got the piece. I don't feel like playing it. It's -- you know, it is so bad. It's -- I think you're right. The more I think about it, I think they did this in a perfunctory way. I think they want me to start railing against them because the Today show's numbers are in the tank.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: Because there's no news value in this thing. And they didn't present it with any news value. It's -- it had no place. There was nothing to peg this story to, nothing to peg their little piece on "Barack, the Magic" -- it's a 2 1/2-month-old story.

And nobody's talking about it other than these Democrat front-group websites. So that's why I'm thinking about not playing it.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: All right. You've got another liberal here taking out after the Magic Negro. Do you hear this? This guy's nothing more than a doormat. She -- that's truly bitter. These are angry women. I'm telling you, these militant feminazis are angry.

From the May 21 broadcast of NBC's Today:

MATT LAUER (co-host): We begin this half-hour, though, with radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. He makes living poking fun at Democrats. But now some think he has gone a little too far in taking on Senator Barack Obama. Here's NBC's Michael Okwu.

OKWU: It was the line --

DON IMUS [video clip]: That's some -- that's some nappy-headed hos there.

OKWU: -- that got us all asking, when is the line crossed? But weeks before the Imus controversy, Rush Limbaugh started airing this ditty about Senator Barack Obama --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN (singing) [video clip]: Barack, the magic negro, lives in D.C. --

OKWU: -- which leads some to wonder, has Limbaugh been getting a free pass?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN (singing) [video clip]: --'cause he's not authentic like me.

OKWU: The voice, a white political satirist imitating Al Sharpton.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN (singing) [video clip]: Some say Barack's articulate and bright and new and clean --

WALDMAN: This is basically the radio equivalent of a black-face minstrel show. You know, going back to Amos and Andy and all of those kind of racist shows of the past.

OKWU: For his part, Obama says he doesn't listen to Limbaugh, but says being targeted is part of being a politician.

MICHAEL HARRISON (publisher, Talkers magazine): It's insulting, it's in bad taste, but it's legitimate political satire.

OKWU: Limbaugh declined an interview, but in his broadcast suggests the song is simply a parody based on a newspaper column about Obama written by journalist David Ehrenstein.

EHRENSTEIN: The "magic negro" was chiefly, as a term, used in talking about films in which you would have black characters who would suddenly come out of nowhere and come to the rescue of white characters.

[video clip from The Legend of Bagger Vance]

EHRENSTEIN: I was just simply trying to get a conversation going. How it's gone is another question.

OKWU: Paul Waldman says Limbaugh has no excuse.

WALDMAN: He's trying to get himself off the hook by saying, "Oh, it's somebody else who did it. It's not really me."

OKWU: Media watchdogs say there's no hue and cry to stop Limbaugh because he speaks to a niche audience who either expects this or is willing to let him slide. And his target, in this case, is a public figure, a presidential candidate, not a college women's basketball team.

Funny or bad taste?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN (singing) [video clip]: Don't vote the magic negro in --

OKWU: Legitimate political satire or something darker? For Today, Michael Okwu, NBC News, Los Angeles.

From the May 21 edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country:

ABRAMS: Here now is Paul Waldman. You saw him in that piece, senior fellow at the liberal media watchdog Media Matters. You just saw him in that story. And John Fund from The Wall Street Journal.

Thanks very much, gentlemen, for coming on the show.

All right, Mr. Waldman, you know, you're saying that Rush is getting effectively a free pass here. But, you know, a lot of people are going to say, "Look, you know, we're all sort of going to this point where no one on the radio is going to be able to say just about anything." What's your response?

WALDMAN: Well, you know, if this had been the first time that Rush Limbaugh did something like this, that would be one thing. But he has a long, long history, going back to his entire time in radio, of making these kinds of racist jokes.

I mean, he said that the NAACP should get a liquor store and practice robberies. Just a couple weeks ago, he did another one of these song parodies, with this guy imitating Al Sharpton, singing, "R-E-S-P-E-C-K." And, you know, there are so many other examples. This isn't the first time. It's not the fifth time. It's not even the 10th time.

And so, you know, I think, for the long time, this sort of stuff that Limbaugh does has just flown under the radar. But now people are finally beginning to take notice, and, you know, he has to be responsible for what he says.

ABRAMS: Let's listen to a little bit more of the song that Rush played on his radio show.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing) [video clip]: Barack, the magic Negro, lives in D.C. The L.A. Times, they call him that, because he's not authentic like me. You had the guy from the L.A. paper said he make guilty whites feel good. They'll vote for him and not for me, because he's not from "da hood."

ABRAMS: You know, John, I remember during the O.J. Simpson case that there was a radio talk show host who got in enormous trouble for doing what was a parody effectively of Judge Ito in a Japanese-sounding voice. And the person was blasted for it. Different from what we're hearing Rush Limbaugh doing here?

FUND: Well, people are blasting Rush, but apparently it's not getting the kind of wide outrage that Don Imus got. I mean, that parody has been running for almost two months now. Even Al Sharpton hasn't gotten on his soapbox to complain, and Al Sharpton certainly knows about demagoguery. And Barack Obama says, look, it's dumb, but, you know, this is the way things go. And so he has not taken great umbrage.

The point is, there's a difference between Imus and legitimate political satire. Imus used insulting, derogatory language against defenseless women who should be role models of the community rather than insulted. Rush is going after presidential candidates. That's what all of us do for a living.

ABRAMS: I don't know. I mean, it seems to me that there's an argument to be made that that's a distinction without a difference, that the question is, is it racist or is it not, right?

FUND: Well, Dan, there's a very good way of handling this, which is, where is the outrage? Rush has been doing this for two months. Where are the demonstrators? Where's Al Sharpton? He's not --

[crosstalk]

ABRAMS: But, John, you'd be the same person who would be saying, "We can't let Al Sharpton determine what we do." And now you're saying, "We have to let Al Sharpton determine what we do."

FUND: No, no, Barack Obama hasn't complained. Now, look, as for Media Matters, they've done very interesting work. They've often busted people's chops for hypocrisy. They're the ones who helped bring down Don Imus. Now they're leading this charge.

I'm simply saying, with Don Imus, it resonated. It caught hold of the public's outrage factor. This they're also leading the charge on. It's not catching. It's going nowhere.

WALDMAN: Yes, but the thing is, it doesn't matter that this is a public figure. I mean, the message is the same. And the thing about Limbaugh is --

FUND: Why isn't there any outrage over this, Paul?

WALDMAN: The thing about Limbaugh is that, when it comes to black politicians, he always focuses on their race. You know, when he talks about Rudy Giuliani, he doesn't play a clip of "That's Amore." But when he talks about black politicians, he always using their race to denigrate them. When Carol Moseley Braun got elected to the Senate, he used to play "Movin' on Up" from The Jeffersons. That's what it always comes down to, whenever it's a black public figure for him.

FUND: Paul, Rudy Giuliani has done Godfather impressions. Rush Limbaugh has done Italian commentary about Rudy Giuliani.

WALDMAN: Yes, but what does that mean, then, that anybody -- that Rush Limbaugh can use any kind of racist attack that he wants to, as long as Barack Obama is not willing to pick a fight with him? I mean, it sends the same kind of message to people that, no matter how --

[crosstalk]

FUND: Paul, answer the question. Where is the outrage?

WALDMAN: It doesn't matter if you're an athlete or you're a politician. When you're an African-American, that's how he's going to go after you.

ABRAMS: Hang on. Hang on. Let me -- to be fair here to Rush Limbaugh, let's give him a chance, in his own words, to respond. He blasted NBC on his show today, calling this a non-story.

LIMBAUGH [video clip]: They had to try to get this wrong. There's no other way this could happen. And they don't even understand the point of the parody, "Barack the Magic Negro." It's a piece on Al Sharpton. It's not even a hit piece on Obama. And everything in it was originated by liberals. You know all this. Here I am, I'm doing a three-quel now. This is about a 14-quel. Trying to explain this, and they just don't want to get it right. It's just a smear. I mean, this happens every day to me.

ABRAMS: Paul, what do you make of that?

WALDMAN: Well, you know, he's acting more defensive than he usually does, which I think is in and of itself kind of interesting, that he does keep coming back to this and trying to explain. He's not apologizing. Rush Limbaugh never apologizes.

But, you know, as I said, this is not the first time, not the fifth time, not the 10th time. He does this kind of stuff all the time. And whenever there's a black public figure, race is the focus. And that's what he's going to use to denigrate them. So, you know, these kind of protestations that, "Oh, somebody else said it. It's just humor," you know, those excuses just don't wash.

ABRAMS: And, John, I mean, look, it does seem that the days of just saying, "Oh, it's just humor, it's just parody," I mean, look, he's saying, "Oh, this is a parody of Al Sharpton, not of Barack Obama."

FUND: Which is why I mentioned Al Sharpton. Al Sharpton is not complaining.

ABRAMS: That's fine. But, again, does it really matter whether it's a parody of Al Sharpton or Barack Obama? And are we going to decide, how do we respond, based on how the, quote, unquote, "victims" respond, meaning -- so if the Rutgers basketball team said "We forgive Don Imus," that's it, the story's over. Is that the way that we should go about as a society deciding these things?

FUND: Well, we can certainly go too far in the politically correct form of things and shut down a lot of interesting and lively free speech. Now, Paul, I know that Media Matters is upset about this. Tell me, where else is the outrage? Give me the names.

ABRAMS: Let me ask --

FUND: Where are the prominent figures who are watching this --

[crosstalk]

ABRAMS: Paul, do you want Rush Limbaugh to be pulled off the air?

WALDMAN: No, but I think that this kind of conversation that we're having now today is a really good start.

ABRAMS: All right. But after this conversation, are we good? Can we just say, "All right, let's move on"?

WALDMAN: Everyone has to take a look at whether they want to be associated with this kind of stuff. You know, Dick Cheney, the vice president of the United States, goes on Rush Limbaugh's show all the time. I think we have to ask if that's an appropriate thing for the second-most-powerful man in the United States to do. The stations that carry him, is this the kind of stuff that they want to be putting out everyday? We need to start thinking about this more.

FUND: Paul, where are the prominent people, besides yourself, complaining about this?

WALDMAN: But why does that matter?

[crosstalk]

ABRAMS: Look, I have this thing in the Houston Chronicle.

FUND: Where are they?

ABRAMS: Look, I'll give you one right now. I've got the Houston Chronicle right here. Who cares? I mean, so the country -- the Houston Chronicle said the piece of crude, over the top --

FUND: That's a columnist.

ABRAMS: You said, "Where's the outrage?"

FUND: Where are the prominent people who are complaining about this?

ABRAMS: All right, whatever. I'm just saying. Like, you know, that's the Houston Chronicle. OK, big deal.

FUND: No, it's one writer at the Houston Chronicle.

ABRAMS: I understand.

[crosstalk]

ABRAMS: All right, so there's not a big outrage. That doesn't make --

FUND: So why are we here talking about this?

ABRAMS: Because maybe there should be. I don't know!

WALDMAN: John, does that mean, if Al Sharpton was angrier, then you would say that, yes, this is a big deal and we should make a bigger deal out of it?

ABRAMS: I'm not going to let --

WALDMAN: Is that what you'd be saying?

FUND: Dan, there's no story here. Al Sharpton is not complaining. Barack Obama is not complaining. A writer at the Houston Chronicle is. Give me a break.

ABRAMS: Paul Waldman, John -- no, we can't talk about it anymore. Story's over.

John Fund and Paul Waldman, thanks a lot. Appreciate it.

Limbaugh's parody song "RESPECK":

SINGER: What I want, Obama you got it/What you need is me being quiet/All I'm asking is for a little respeck when you campaign/Hey, Barry, when you campaign

Ain't gonna call your momma fat with my bullhorn/Ain't gonna call your momma fat if we get along/All I'm asking is for my propers when you campaign/Hey, Barry, don't make me beg out here/Please

I, Albert Sharpton, do solemnly swear and promise not to say that your momma's so fat Columbus discovered her first

Ooh, your press is sweeter than honey/I hear you're raising all kinds of money/All I need is respectability and a small loan/ Hey, Barry, just a little bit/Show respeck for the old school

R-E-S-P-E-C-K. Wha-choo mean it ain't spelt that way? R-E-S-P-E-K-T? I need a dictionary! Sock it to me. It's here somewhere. It just takes a minute to look this up, here. Uh, just a little bit. I'll have it in just a little bit. Uh, Republican -- I didn't bring my reading glasses. Here it is. "Respect: to treat with special consideration or high regard. Respectable: worthy of esteem or highly regarded."

From the May 18 broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: Leading news organization of the world, getting -- and, of course, their call was to invite me to appear on the Today show, and there is no way. I don't do that, especially under these circumstances. If they do this, they are going to be in for a rude surprise, because many of their viewers already know the truth of this and will recognize if they do this the wrong way, they do this the typical drive-by media way, and if they do this based on some of the B.S. that's come out of Media Matters, the George Soros front group for the Democrat Party -- if they do this based on this worthless column today in Houston that's so -- it's embarrassingly inaccurate, that hardly anything in it is true, including the reference to the video that we put together.

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Premiere Radio Networks
Person
Rush Limbaugh
Show/Publication
The Rush Limbaugh Show
Stories/Interests
Attacks on Media Matters, Propaganda/Noise Machine
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