Limbaugh claimed Media Matters' "purpose" is to "take things out of context"
Research ››› ››› NICK NATALICCHIO
On the August 10 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh claimed that the "purpose" of Media Matters for America is to "take things out of context here and misreport and cast aspersions." The remark came after a caller accused "professional reporters" of taking Limbaugh "out of context." Limbaugh described Media Matters as where the mainstream media -- which he calls the "drive-by media" -- "go to find out what was happening on this program, what was said." Limbaugh continued: "The drive-by media chooses a website to find out what I said, but it's not mine. ... It defies explanation other than they don't want me to be reported upon accurately because they are trying to harm my credibility. They cannot beat people like me in the arena of ideas." After the caller responded, "[T]hey can't do that with somebody like me who's a regular listener," Limbaugh said, "Well, I'm not saying they succeed at it, but they've been tryin' for 19 years to discredit me in the eyes of people like you."
Limbaugh offered no specific examples of Media Matters taking him "out of context." However, it is the policy of Media Matters to post accurate transcripts of comments made by Limbaugh, as well as any other media personality, in their full context. Past examples of Limbaugh being accurately quoted in full context can be found here.
Limbaugh also claimed that Media Matters is "a Hillary Clinton front group funded by [philanthropist] George Soros." As previously noted in response to similar claims from Limbaugh, Media Matters is not affiliated with any political party or candidate and has never received funding from Soros, either directly or indirectly.
From the August 10 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: Back to the phones we go on Open Line Friday. This is [caller] in Callahan, Florida. Thank you for calling, sir. Nice to have you with us.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, how are ya?
LIMBAUGH: Good, sir.
CALLER: Great, great to talk to ya. Hey, listen, you know, I've been wanting to call for awhile on -- I'm kind of nervous, so just bear with me if I --
LIMBAUGH: I will do that.
CALLER: This, this thing with Bill Moyers --
CALLER: -- it goes a lot deeper than Bill Moyers but my problem is is that every time that I see you on -- on the air -- on, like, mainstream media or, you know, on -- any, anywhere you're quoted on the mainstream media -- you're, you're misquoted, and the reason why I know this is because I was -- I was telling your screener that I was in a conference in New York City and on one of the monitors there, they didn't have -- you know, they didn't have the sound up -- but I saw your face and I saw Michael J. Fox's name on there.
And, and so when I heard the news -- I heard what they were talking about, and then immediately I went to your website and -- and here's the deal is that any of these media people can go to your website -- if they're blind, if they're deaf -- they can go to your website and they can get exactly what you said word-for-word. You don't leave anything out of your website on your daily shows, and even if you go back to your archives, you can see -- you can listen to exactly what you said, and there is never any reason for them to take you out of context.
And these people are supposed to be professional reporters. I don't under -- I just don't understand it. If me -- if little old me can walk to my computer within 10 minutes and find out exactly what you said, you know, why is it that they can't? I mean, I know the answer to that, but --
LIMBAUGH: I once again am reminded of the Pew poll that shows vast majorities of the American people think that there is bias, inaccuracy and -- in the drive-by media -- and the drive-by media really doesn't care about the people that are the customers, consumers that they're reporting for, working for.
In this case, you are absolutely right. We have marveled at this ourselves for years. How difficult is it -- especially -- the drive-bys don't listen to this. Well, they probably do, but they'd never admit it. But most of 'em probably don't. Do you know, there's a -- there's one website where they go to find out what was happening on this program, what was said.
CALLER: Yeah, I know.
LIMBAUGH: Media Matters for America. It's a Hillary Clinton front group funded by George Soros and its -- its purpose is to take things out of context here and misreport and cast aspersions. The drive-by media chooses a website to find out what I said, but it's not mine.
CALLER: Yeah, but, you know, all they have -- any reasonable person. I mean, even I -- see, now I've been a subscriber to your website since the beginning.
LIMBAUGH: I know. It defies -- defies explanation other than they don't want me to be reported upon accurately because they are trying to harm my credibility. They cannot beat people like me in the arena of ideas, [caller].
CALLER: Yeah, but they can't -- they can't do that with somebody like me who's a regular listener.
LIMBAUGH: Well, I'm not saying they succeed at it, but they've been tryin' for 19 years to discredit me in the eyes of people like you and --
CALLER: Yeah, but even, even the people that disagree with you -- even the people -- don't you think a reasonable person that disagrees with you even can go to the free side -- I'm not sure about your free side.
LIMBAUGH: You would be stunned at how many don't. You would be stunned at how many fringe kook --
CALLER: Oh, I know.
LIMBAUGH: -- Democrats --
CALLER: Listen --
LIMBAUGH: -- refuse. They don't want to know. They live in a cocoon. They got a worldview --
CALLER: I have a whole family -- I have a whole family who does this.
LIMBAUGH: Well, then, you know. You gotta -- they have a worldview. They live in a cocoon. The image of conservatives is A, B, C, D, and E. Image of Limbaugh: F, G, H, I, J, K. And now anything that challenges that, they don't want to expose themselves to.
CALLER: Yeah, but isn't this -- isn't this part of a bigger picture? If they're gonna lie about you with -- when they know --
LIMBAUGH: Amen. Amen.
CALLER: -- that I can go check --
LIMBAUGH: Amen. If they're gonna run phony photos during the Hezbo[llah]-Israeli war -- as they did -- Photoshopped photos -- and they're running phony photos about a Russian mission to the North Pole -- if they're not gonna -- if they're not gonna report on people like me or President Bush or anybody else accurately, then why would you trust anything else that they --