An ongoing campaign to demonize, delegitimize and criminalize conservatives. Much of the same happened with Sarah Palin.
The Rush Limbaugh media lynch mob
By Toby Harnden
October 14th, 2009
Which public figure can be quoted as having said something bigoted and disgusting and it doesn’t matter whether he did or not because he might have? Who can Big Media brand a racist without checking the facts? Who has to prove he did not say something racist, rather than the accuser proving he did?I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.
It’s also been spread around that he said this, about the death of the man who assassinated Martin Luther King:You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honour? James Earl Ray. We miss you, James. Godspeed.
Here’s CNN’s Rick Sanchez baldly stating at the 1.14 point that Limbaugh made the slavery comment:
Trouble is, he didn’t say either of these outrageous things. And it wasn’t difficult to check, as protein wisdom shows here. They originated from, er, Wikipedia and Wikiquotes. Both quotes ended up in this book – a hit job that doesn’t cite any sources. They’re also included in this internet list posted a year ago and endlessly ripped off ever since.
The irony is, of course, that the people reporting this as fact are the same types who are always denouncing bloggers and the internet as forces of evil intent on destroying proper journalism – proper journalism being the kind that involves checking facts. In the case of Rush Limbaugh, however, it seems to be enough that the intention (i.e. to show the talk radio host is a racist) is considered pure.
Even those who have been primary movers in spreading these malicious falsehoods – which would lead to payouts of hundreds of thousands in British libel courts if lawsuits were ever filed there – are brazenly unapologetic.
Thus, St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bryan Burwell pens this column containing the slavery quote and then follows up with another column with a kind-of-sort-of-well-not-really-at-all mea culpa in which he states that the quote seemed “so in character with the many things that Limbaugh has said before that we didn’t verify it beyond the book”.
OK, so it sounded right and it was on the internet or in a book or something so it was fine to just go ahead and print it as stone-cold fact without any attribution? I wonder which journalism school teaches that?
As Mark Steyn points out, in this instance it’s for Limbaugh to prove the negative – an impossible task. And Dan Calebrese asks why if Limbaugh really is a racist then it takes bogus quotes to “prove” that he is?
Limbaugh is fighting back with legal action and let's hope he is successful in holding the people spreading these lies accountable. These are the same techniques the left used against Sarah Palin and they will keep doing it to conservatives unless someone forces them to pay a price for doing so. Bad enough that the usual racebaiters would be part of this, but the fact that they were joined by a number of "journalists" who willfully spread the lies is worse. And when their error was pointed out they simply dropped one lie and moved to repeating another smear.
If we fail to hold these people accountable for their lies and willful racebaiting they will simply do much worse the next time!