Limbaugh distorted Scarborough's analysis of Kerry convention speech


On his July 30 radio show, Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that Scarborough Country host and MSNBC convention coverage panelist Joe Scarborough said that Senator John Kerry (D-MA) gave an "empty speech" at the Democratic National Convention on July 29.

While Scarborough did continually insist that Kerry's delivery of the speech was "rushed," he never said the speech lacked substance or was "empty," as Limbaugh asserted. Rather, Scarborough praised the subject matter of the speech, remarking that it was a "great speech," that the "content" was "exceptional," that "the text tonight was without a doubt the best text that anybody has given [at the convention]," and that it was "a great message to take to middle America."

After mischaracterizing Scarborough's analysis of the speech, Limbaugh stated that Howard Fineman, Newsweek chief political correspondent and Scarborough's fellow MSNBC convention coverage panelist, "wrote this little blog and admitted that ... Scarborough got under his skin, made him hot under the collar because he was being critical of the speech." However, Fineman mentioned nothing in his blog about Scarborough's view of the content of Kerry's speech. Instead -- citing Scarborough's critique of Kerry's delivery, which Scarborough had termed a "reality check" for the other panelists -- Fineman accurately reported that Scarborough's criticism of the speech related to its hurried nature: "I got a little hot under the collar when Joe Scarborough presumed to give us all a lecture about the 'reality' of the Kerry speech. Joe said it was a blown chance because it was too rushed."

2004 Elections
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