The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

09 October 2005

Botched Limbaugh Slam


Half-Baked Limbaugh Attack Backfires

After a sloppy attack on conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh and CNN's Daryn Kagan, a liberal "media watchdog" site has taken a major credibility hit.

Gossipy and conspiratorial in nature, the October 6 story at David Brock's Media Matters For America falsely suggested Kagan was sending Limbaugh love notes after a speech by President Bush. Worse, it suggested her relationship with Rush was adversely affecting on-air news judgement.

At least that's how the allegations appear to the Radio Equalizer. It's not entirely clear and we can't seem to find our secret decoder ring. Could swear it was around here somewhere.

Nonetheless, here's an excerpt from the ill-fated Media Matters piece:

On the October 6 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh read a "note" that, he said, came from his "mistress in Georgia," an apparent reference to CNN anchor Daryn Kagan.

According to Limbaugh, his "mistress" said of President Bush's October 6
speech on the war on terror, "This is great. This sounds like you wrote this speech. This sounds like you giving this speech." Limbaugh said he agreed: "And I was going, 'Rah, rah. That's exactly right.' "

In his September 3, 2004, "Reliable Source" column in The Washington Post, Richard Leiby reported that a spokesman for Limbaugh confirmed that he "is dating CNN anchor Daryn Kagan."

And a February 21 article in People magazine noted that "Kagan's romance with ... Limbaugh is getting serious."

Kagan, who is based at CNN's headquarters in Atlanta, is the anchor of
CNN Live Today, a news show that airs weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon ET and that carried Bush's speech live.

Shortly after Bush concluded his speech, Kagan introduced CNN national security correspondent David Ensor, whom she called "our CNN fact-checker."

While noting that Bush "had promised some unprecedented details," which, she suggested, he did not provide, she then made a statement in Bush's defense when Ensor suggested that reporters would be looking for corroboration of Bush's assertion that "the United States and our partners have disrupted at least 10 serious Al Qaeda terrorist plots since September 11th, including three Al Qaeda plots to attack inside the United States"

Rambling on from here, one expects a black helicopter to appear at any moment.

After seeing the piece, CNN issued a statement, alerting Media Matters to their foul-up: Limbaugh's "mistress" comments were part of an ongoing series of gags, where a lover is safely tucked away in each state.

While the site did note CNN's objection, it stopped well short of admitting a mistake. Funnier were the responses from tinfoil hat-wearing comment posters.

And TVNewser felt Brock's site had "jumped the gun".

The left's vindictiveness is no surprise to those of us who cover their moves on a regular basis. Killing the messenger is all in a day's work. Now, Kagan is on the target list, simply for associating with Limbaugh.

In addition, CNN for the first time becomes suspect for lefties, simply because of politically incorrect dating decisions.

Isn't it hilarious to see the same liberals who regularly attack conservative-cited sources using People Magazine to make their case? Recently, other lefties have been singing the praises of sleazy tabloids that assert Bush has resumed consuming alcohol.

Especially alarming for Media Matters: with a surprisingly large staff on board, there wasn't anybody around to check the facts before running with it. Or, perhaps they simply don't care about credibility?

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  • When has the left ever cared about credibility?

    By Blogger RUMPLEMINTZ, at 09 October, 2005 09:19  

  • I would say that 99% of the information from Media Matters is credible. So what your saying is if Brian Maloney says something it must be true? You people should go to David Brock's website, you may be shocked in what you see.

    By Blogger Iraq War Veteran, at 09 October, 2005 12:36  

  • Nothing Media matters says is true.

    The laughable proposition that there is a *conservative* bias in the news is totally fabricated as an answer to the legitimate complaints of a liberal bias.

    By Blogger Tom C, at 09 October, 2005 12:59  

  • Isn't it hilarious to see the same liberals who regularly attack conservative-cited sources using People Magazine to make their case? Recently, other lefties have been singing the praises of sleazy tabloids that assert Bush has resumed consuming alcohol.

    For the far left liberals, truth is whatever they want to believe. A site is credible if it says something that they believe and not credible if they do not agree with the facts or opinion. And if something doesn't say what they believe then they twist a word or sentence or make up a new definition of one of the words to suit what they want it to say.

    The DSM and "Bush lied" are examples of this. They really aren't interested in the facts, only the "truth" as they see it.

    By Blogger Linn, at 09 October, 2005 20:07  

  • Linn, I think you can say that about anything, to include the 1300+ rightwing radio personalities, and the thousands of rightwing websites. Did he say that Saddam had WMD, ever? Okay maybe it wasn't a lie, I'll give you that. But then we must say we have an incompetent leader, cause then he was just wrong. Maybe someday he'll apologize to the american people and the families of the fallen for being "wrong"

    By Blogger Iraq War Veteran, at 09 October, 2005 20:43  

  • Nah, he wouldn't do that. This is the "don't take reponsibility for anything" administration.

    By Blogger Iraq War Veteran, at 09 October, 2005 20:44  

  • Did he say that Saddam had WMD, ever?

    Yes he did, along with Clinton, Kerry, Edwards, Gore, Hillary, Berger, Albright, Pelosi, Graham, and Kennedy. Would you like me to keep going?

    Here is a few to jog your very short Democtatic memory.

    "One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
    --President Bill Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

    "If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
    --President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

    "Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
    --Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998

    "He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
    --Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

    "[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
    Letter to President Clinton, signed by:
    -- Democratic Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others, Oct. 9, 1998

    "Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
    -Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

    "Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
    -- Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999

    "There is no doubt that ... Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
    Letter to President Bush, Signed by:
    -- Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), and others, Dec 5, 2001

    "We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and th! e means of delivering them."
    -- Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002

    "We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
    -- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

    "Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
    -- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

    By Blogger Scott, at 10 October, 2005 09:16  

  • A leader needs to make decisions based on the best available information. They call Bush a liar about WMD but also blame him for not having divined from a casual mention that enemies might fly plnes into buildings the whole 9/11 plot.

    By Blogger Walter E. Wallis, at 10 October, 2005 10:25  

  • Wait a minute, Scott, you want the DemocRATS to take responsibility for something they said?

    Just who do you think you are?!

    The DemocRATS' job is to blame, blame, whine and complain. And any way they can attack Bush is fair game - even if they destroy the country in the process.

    Don't you be waiving around things like truth and facts. Those just get in the way with what the DemocRATS are trying to accomplish.

    By Blogger Tom C, at 10 October, 2005 14:18  

  • MediaMatters - which admits it got money from George Soros - gets some things right, but they also occasionally get some things wrong. And, much of the time their "analysis" falls into the smear category, with posts based not on facts but on opinion.

    Brock has appeared on Al Franken's show at least once, and perhaps many times.

    One of their workers is Duncan Black, aka Atrios. Another is Sid Blumenthal Jr., aka Max.

    Perhaps someone could boil this post down to a few sentences and post it as another example of their "analysis" here:

    By Blogger LonewackoDotCom, at 10 October, 2005 15:52  

  • Wow, Brian - your desperation truly knows no bounds.

    MMFA in no way, shape, or form stated Kagan to be the mistress as a point of FACT - or maybe you just can't decipher the phrase "an apparent reference".

    It is hilarious to me, after hearing your America-hating partisan radio style, to watch you wax and wane in the winds of bitterness at not being able to keep a job in talk radio.

    "The media doesn't like me? I'll attack the media!" - all the while clinging to your partisan-politic roots.

    "Waah! Waaah! Waaaaaah!" - the sound of one failed radio host whining...

    By Blogger One Funny Guckert!, at 11 October, 2005 18:39  

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