Limbaugh has repeatedly smeared progressives, media by linking them to terrorists

In the fallout over comedian Wanda Sykes' comments about Rush Limbaugh, Media Matters has revisited the numerous instances in which Limbaugh has attacked Democrats, progressives, and the media by linking them to terrorists.

In the fallout over comedian Wanda Sykes' comments about Rush Limbaugh during her May 9 appearance at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner, Media Matters for America has revisited the numerous instances over the years in which Limbaugh has attacked Democrats, progressives, and the media by linking them to terrorists.

Examples from Limbaugh's nationally syndicated radio show and elsewhere include:

  • June 24, 2008: Limbaugh stated: “I will guaran-damn-tee you there will not be a terrorist attack before the election. And you know why there won't be one? Because they want Obama elected.” He later falsely claimed, “Hamas has endorsed Obama. Hamas has endorsed Obama.” Limbaugh also asserted that “every time I hear [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad speak, every time I hear a tape from [Al Qaeda leader] Ayman al-Zawahiri or a so-called dispatch from bin Laden, whenever I hear from any of these Middle East Al Qaeda terrorists, I think I'm hearing Democrat [sic] Party talking points."
  • April 15, 2008: Limbaugh asserted: "[T]he Islamofascists are actually campaigning for the election of Democrats. Islamofascists from Ahmadinejad to al-Zawahiri ... Osama bin Laden, whoever, are constantly issuing Democrat talking points."
  • February 29, 2008: On Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, guest host Laura Ingraham interviewed Limbaugh, who said, referring to a photograph of then-Sen. Obama dressed in traditional Somali clothing that was posted on the Drudge Report, that Obama “look[ed] like Ayman [al-]Zawahiri.”
  • September 20, 2007: Limbaugh claimed that Obama and bin Laden were “on the same page” with regard to the deteriorating situation in Pakistan. While discussing a newly released audiotape reported to be from bin Laden in which he calls for Pakistanis to overthrow then-President Pervez Musharraf, Limbaugh asserted: “Well, we've got another tape from -- I get these guys confused -- Osama bin Laden. Another tape says he's going to invade Pakistan and declare war on Pakistan and Musharraf, which, ladies and gentlemen, puts him on the same page with a Democrat presidential candidate -- that would be Barack 'Uss-Obama.' ”
  • July 2007: For several days in July 2007, a graphic on the front page of Limbaugh's website depicted a screen shot of C-SPAN's Washington Journal doctored to show bin Laden appearing as a guest identified as “Mr. Osama bin Laden, D-Afghanistan.”
  • October 19, 2006: Limbaugh declared that the recent surge in insurgent violence in Iraq indicated that “terrorists around the world, particularly those in Iraq, are voting Democrat today.” Limbaugh maintained that “the terrorists, the Islamofascists, the jihadists” are the “key voters in this year's election,” and that "[t]hey are trying to create as much havoc as possible; raise the level of violence in order to affect the midterm elections." He added: “What could be the best outcome for [the terrorists]? Cut and run, right? Whose strategy -- whose policy amounts to cut and run? Democrats.”
  • August 21, 2006: Limbaugh stated that even though then-President Bush pledged he would purportedly “never” criticize the patriotism of his political opponents, Limbaugh would continue to “challenge the patriotism of people who disagree” with Bush and his plan for Iraq “because the people that disagree with him want to lose.” Limbaugh added: “It's about time we do challenge their patriotism. The far-left fringe in this country is actively seeking our defeat. A wacko judge in Michigan [presumably a reference to U.S. District Court Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, who had recently ruled that the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program was unconstitutional]: actively seeking our defeat. Jimmy Carter: actively seeking our defeat. Bill Clinton, John Kerry, and Al Gore may as well be seeking our defeat. So should [then-Connecticut Democratic Senate candidate] Ned Lamont [whose name Limbaugh pronounced like 'lament'].”
  • June 27, 2006: Responding to a June 23, 2006, New York Times article describing a secret Bush administration program designed to monitor international financial transactions, Limbaugh asserted: “I think 80 percent of their subscribers have to be jihadists. If you look at The New York Times and the kind of stories they're leaking and running and the information they're getting, it's clear that they're trying to help the terrorists. They're trying to help the jihadists.”
  • April 26, 2006: Limbaugh remarked that a new videotape released by al-Zarqawi “is an excellent opportunity to remind all of you that it sounds just like the DNC [Democratic National Committee] is writing his scripts now.” Limbaugh also claimed that Zarqawi “sounds like Democrats,” including “Howard Dean, Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry ... Carl Levin, Nancy Pelosi.”
  • April 11, 2006: Limbaugh accused the Democratic Party of using the immigration debate as a “vehicle” to gain voters, proclaiming: "[I]f you're Al Qaeda, come on in over the southern border! The Democrats will take your votes as well!"
  • April 8, 2004: Limbaugh stated: “Senator Kennedy, a simple question. Does it please you to learn who your friends are? Does it excite you, Senator Kennedy, to learn that the militant, firebrand, murderer of American civilians and military personnel is on your side, Senator Kennedy? Does it encourage you? Does it invigorate you? Does it inspire you, Senator Kennedy, to know that a murdering Al Qaeda-related terrorist has taken up your argument for use against his enemy? How does that make you feel, Senator Kennedy? Does it embarrass you? Because it should. Or does it probably excite you and think you're making headway now. You've got the enemy aligned with you.”

Additionally, on the April 27 edition of his radio show, as an example of how “much fun” he and his guests “have when we get together,” Limbaugh stated that one of his friends said that terrorists “don't need a second act, Obama is the second terrorist act.” Limbaugh continued: “I mean, I had opinions at my house going all over the ballpark, and these are all, in their own right, involved, intelligent people, but somebody actually thought Obama is terrorist attack number 2, Obama is the follow-up to 9-11.”