Limbaugh distorted NBC report to baselessly suggest audience chanted, "No more pit bull," in response to Obama's " 'lipstick on a pig' joke"

››› ››› MATT GERTZ & GREG LEWIS

Cropping and distorting a report by NBC News' Lee Cowan, Rush Limbaugh baselessly suggested that the audience at Sen. Barack Obama's September 9 campaign event in Virginia chanted, "No more pit bull," a reference to Gov. Sarah Palin, in response to what Limbaugh called Obama's " 'lipstick on a pig' joke." In fact, Cowan was reporting live from the Virginia event at which Obama made his "lipstick" remarks and said: "[A]t an Obama rally we were at earlier today in Michigan, the crowd actually started chanting 'No more pit bulls.' "

During the September 10 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh cropped and distorted a report by NBC News' Lee Cowan to baselessly suggest that the audience at Sen. Barack Obama's September 9 campaign event in Lebanon, Virginia, chanted, "No more pit bull," a reference to Gov. Sarah Palin, in response to what Limbaugh called Obama's " 'lipstick on a pig' joke." Limbaugh aired a cropped audio clip of Cowan saying, "[A]t an Obama rally, the crowd actually started chanting, 'No more pit bulls.' " In fact, on the September 9 edition of NBC's Nightly News, Cowan, who was reporting live from the Virginia campaign event at which Obama made his "lipstick" remarks, stated: "[A]t an Obama rally we were at earlier today in Michigan, the crowd actually started chanting, 'No more pit bulls' " [emphasis added]. Limbaugh then asserted that Cowan's comment was evidence that Obama's audience "laughed and they applauded his joke. They did not think it was just a standard used political cliché that is overused by politicians of all stripes. ... They loved it and they started shouting, 'No more pit bull.' "

A September 9 post on the washingtonpost.com blog The Trail reported that, at an event in Dayton, Ohio, that day, "Killing time while waiting for Sen. Barack Obama to start a speech on education policy this morning, a clutch of students in the bleachers at Stebbins High School" chanted "No pit bull! No pit bull! No pit bull!" Obama appeared at separate events in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and Flint, Michigan, on September 8. Regardless of which campaign event Cowan was describing when he mentioned "an Obama rally we were at earlier today in Michigan," it was clearly one that occurred before Obama made his "lipstick" remarks.

From the September 10 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: Here is last night's NBC Nightly News. The reporter, Lee Cowan, who's traveling with Obama, reported this.

COWAN [audio clip]: At an Obama rally, the crowd actually started chanting, "No more pit bulls." Pretty sarcastic reference to that lipstick joke that Sarah Palin made at the GOP convention.

LIMBAUGH: All right, now, this is the same day. This is last night. This is the same day that Obama makes the "lipstick on a pig" joke, and his crowd is out there chanting, "No more pit bull." So, it is very obvious that his -- they laughed and they applauded his joke. They did not think it was just a standard used political cliché that is overused by politicians of all stripes. However, his audience -- and this is his problem on this -- his audience laughed. They loved it and they started shouting, "No more pit bull."

From the September 9 edition of NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams:

WILLIAMS: But first, to the campaign trail we go. John McCain is finding the crowds are bigger and louder when he's with his political partner, while the Obama campaign is hoping they'll get more traction by using a little more grit. That's where we begin our two reports tonight. Lee Cowan covers the Obama campaign for us, starts us off in Lebanon, Virginia, tonight. Lee, good evening.

COWAN: Well, Brian, one of the things that the Obama campaign is really trying to figure out now is how you deal with the McCain campaign's increasing focus on their personal stories at the top of the ticket -- not just John McCain's, but especially Sarah Palin's. In fact, she's gotten so much exposure lately that, today, at an Obama rally we were at earlier today in Michigan, the crowd actually started chanting, "No more pit bulls." Pretty sarcastic reference to that lipstick joke that Sarah Palin made at the GOP convention.

Posted In
Elections
Network/Outlet
Premiere Radio Networks
Person
Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin
Show/Publication
The Rush Limbaugh Show
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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