Limbaugh -- like Beck and Byron Williams -- embraces phony Petrobras drilling conspiracy theory

Blog ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

Like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh has aggressively promoted the conspiracy theory that the U.S. is funneling money to Brazilian oil company Petrobras in order to enrich George Soros.

As Media Matters has documented, the theory that the Obama administration lent $2 billion to Brazil's state-owned oil company Petrobras in order to protect Soros' investment has been pushed by Glenn Beck

and it is completely discredited by the fact that Bush appointees to the Export-Import Bank were the ones who unanimously approved the loan. To say nothing of the strategic and financial interests to the U.S. that the loan guarantees -- which are in no way connected to taxpayer money -- will advance.

Limbaugh returned to the subject today, shouting that "we" were "funding the Brazilians drilling for oil." Limbaugh did not explain how the U.S. government was "funding the Brazilians."

Limbaugh delved further into the conspiracy theory as far back as August 2009, reading from a Bloomberg article about Soros' investment in Petrobras and then claiming that the Obama administration gave "$2 billion to Brazil, most of it to George Soros and the company he's the largest stakeholder in."

Rush also promoted the theory in June, claiming that "the Brazilians are continuing to drill with U.S. financial aid off their coast." Criticizing the Obama administration's decision to suspend some oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of the BP oil spill, Rush explained:

The Brazilians are going nuts. In fact, their oil company, Petrobras, is doing great. Buy their stock, folks. That's an oil company going to go through the roof. We're paying federal money, George Soros money to help 'em drill. Mexico is still drilling. And this ban, this ban is indefinite. This oil drilling ban is indefinite. So all that high-tech equipment, the rigs, the top personnel, they're going to have to go someplace else for jobs -- like Brazil or Mexico or Venezuela. And it will be years before they come back. Do not think this is accidental, and tonight tell me he's not doing anything. He is marching on toward one of his immediate objectives which was the destruction of the US private sector.

Beck and Limbaugh are not pushing their completely bogus conspiracy theory into a vacuum. As John Hamilton reported in "Progressive Hunter":

But my interviews show how Byron was motivated by his belief in a grand conspiracy involving George Soros, Barack Obama, Petrobras, and the Gulf oil spill -- a theory for which he frequently cites Beck and Alex Jones.

Like Beck, Byron insists -- falsely -- that Tides is a front group for Soros to fund radical activities.

Byron says that he had researched Tides on his own before seeing Beck attack the foundation on television. In his letter to me, he singled out Beck and DiscoverTheNetworks as key sources of information on Soros and Tides.

At one point Byron told me, "I haven't seen any programs with Tides and Beck," before reconsidering a moment later. "He mentions it, you know, just as a footnote or a side note in his programs."

Indeed, I hunted down the June shows on the Soros-Obama-Petrobras conspiracy that Byron insisted I watch and found Beck attacking Soros and the Tides Foundation.

Having seen Beck raise the conspiracy, Williams says he became enraged when Fox News didn't pursue it further. Asked by's Walsh if he still would have concocted the plot "if it hadn't been for Fox News," Byron said: "I'm actually mad at Fox. I'm mad at them because they go on to something else. It's like they drop the issue, and it lands on a shelf somewhere to collect dust, and that's what's happening to the truth, it's going out and collecting dust. And I'm saying you're not going to let these people get away with this stuff. You can't let them get away with it. So this is my action because of Fox's neglect."

Posted In
Environment & Science, Drilling, Energy
Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck
The Rush Limbaugh Show
Byron Williams
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