The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

28 April 2006

Rush Limbaugh, Florida, AP

MSM: LIMBAUGH 'ARRESTED'

Rush Reaches Deal To Settle Drug Charges







In what is sure to disappoint liberal opponents everywhere, radio talk show king Rush Limbaugh and Florida prosecutors have reached an agreement concerning charges related to his abuse of prescription medications.

In an extreme example of mainstream media spin, however, it has quickly been portrayed as an El Rushbo "arrest", rather than a settlement.

Announced late Friday, the deal allows for Limbaugh to escape a charge of "doctor shopping" if he agrees to continue visiting the same primary care provider that has successfully treated his addiction for more than two years.

Was Limbaugh really arrested? Yes, but only as a procedural element of the deal, it's not as though he was rounded up and slapped with handcuffs. For news agencies to focus on and twist this aspect shows astounding bias, as it's not a central element of the story.

From Danny N at the New York Radio Message Board:

I love how the media is portraying this as if Rush was taken down by a SWAT team, cuffed, and thrown in the back of a cruiser. Basically, as long as he stays clean for 18 months, the charges will all be dropped and this entire situation will be behind him.


Friday evening, Limbaugh syndicator Premiere Radio Networks issued this (excerpted) press release:


In response to media and other inquiries, Roy Black, Rush Limbaugh’s attorney, released the following statement today concerning a settlement agreement with the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office to end the investigation of Mr. Limbaugh:


"I am pleased to announce that the State Attorney’s Office and Mr. Limbaugh have reached an agreement whereby a single count charge of doctor shopping filed today by the State Attorney will be dismissed in 18 months. As a primary condition of the dismissal, Mr. Limbaugh must continue to seek treatment from the doctor he has seen for the past two and one half years. This is the same doctor under whose care Mr. Limbaugh has remained free of his addiction without relapse.

“Mr. Limbaugh and I have maintained from the start that there was no doctor shopping, and we continue to hold this position. Accordingly, we filed today with the Court a plea of ‘Not Guilty’ to the charge filed by the State.

“As part of this agreement, Mr. Limbaugh also has agreed to make a $30,000 payment to the State of Florida to defray the public cost of the investigation. The agreement also provides that he must refrain from violating the law during this 18 months, must pay $30 per month for the cost of “supervision” and comply with other similar provisions of the agreement.

“Mr. Limbaugh had intended to remain in treatment. Thus, we believe the outcome for him personally will be much as if he had fought the charge and won.”

The actions taken today are as follows:


The State Attorney has filed a single charge of doctor shopping with the Court. The charge is being held in abeyance under the terms of an agreement between the State and Mr. Limbaugh.

Mr. Limbaugh has filed a plea of “Not Guilty” with the Court.

The formal agreement between Mr. Limbaugh and the State Attorney will be filed with the Court on Monday. The terms of the agreement are substantively as follows:

Mr. Limbaugh will continue in treatment with the doctor he has seen for the past two and one half years.

After Mr. Limbaugh completes an additional 18 months of treatment, the State Attorney has agreed to drop the charge.

Mr. Limbaugh has agreed to make a $30,000 payment to the State of Florida to defray the public cost of the investigation.


Within minutes, news outlets across the country began to report this highly misleading version of the story, with emphasis on a Limbaugh "arrest":


(ABC 7 Washington)

Rush Limbaugh Arrested On Prescription Drug Charges
Friday April 28, 2006 6:29pm

West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP) - Officials in Florida say radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh has been arrested on prescription drug charges.

A spokeswoman for the State Attorney's office says Limbaugh turned himself in to authorities at about 4 p.m. Friday.

The conservative radio commentator arrived at the jail with his attorney, Roy Black, and was released an hour later on $3,000 bail.

Black says his client and authorities reached a settlement on a single count charge of doctor shopping filed by the State Attorney that will be dismissed in 18 months.

Prosecutors contend that Limbaugh engaged in "doctor shopping," or illegally deceived multiple doctors to receive overlapping prescriptions.

Limbaugh maintains he's innocent. He has acknowledged he became addicted to pain medication, blaming it on severe back pain. He took a five-week leave from his radio show to enter a rehabilitation program in 2003.


As we'll be updating this later, be sure to check back for more details. This is sure to very quickly become a major controversy as Mr. Limbaugh seeks prescription drug treatment for his addiction.


UPDATE: A slightly more honest version from Bloomberg News.

Drudge kicks in: "Not Guilty"

Hot Air has more, as does National Review Online.

The Palm Beach Post can't keep insults out of an item on Limbaugh's charitable giving:


RUSH'S GENEROUS SIDE

Rush Limbaugh must be getting soft, especially with causes that touch him.

Recovering drug addict Limbaugh — who, believe it or not, now spends hours on the air defending oil companies, in addition to the White House — has donated $20,000 to the Miami-based nonprofit Friends of Drug Court Inc. The organization helps first-time drug offenders who've gone through Drug Court and need to get back on their feet. And he's given another 20 Gs to a Miami youth program.

"I'm holding a $40,000 personal check from Rush Limbaugh right now," said Miami lawyer Rick Freedman, who's charged with distributing the funds. "I'm stunned. I didn't ask him for money."

Freedman said he recently played charity golf with "El Rushbaugh" (PBG lawyers Bob Gordon and Adam Doner completed the foursome). A week later, he e-mailed Limbaugh to ask for auction items for the charities, and Limbaugh sent the check.

"You're doing God's work," read an e-mail Limbaugh sent Freedman.

Plus, the Post ran what appears to be the most slanted version of events.

Late Update-- Rush's boss issues statement:


Statement on Rush Limbaugh from
Kraig T. Kitchin, President/COO Premiere Radio Networks

LOS ANGELES, April 28, 2006 – “I’m pleased that a settlement has been reached between Rush Limbaugh and the state of Florida that finally brings this matter to an end. Rush’s not guilty plea is consistent with the position he has taken all along. Throughout it all, he has continued to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to his listeners, affiliates, and advertisers. We have always stood by Rush – for good reason – and will continue to do so.”

Late Update: Palm Beach booking information here.

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10 Comments:

  • Thanks for straightening this out, Brian. You've been blogged.

    By Blogger Donkey Cons, at 28 April, 2006 19:14  

  • Would it come as no shocker that ABC lead with this "story?" Look I'm no fan of Hush Bimbo as I think he is a Bushbot--but what the corporate communist run media does is like I said no shocker.

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 28 April, 2006 19:27  

  • This report just in from Most Soitenly Nuthin' But Crap...

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12536446/

    Limbaugh arrested on drug charges
    Conservative talk-show host has been released on bail

    Associated Press
    Updated: 7:46 p.m. ET April 28, 2006
    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Rush Limbaugh reached a settlement with prosecutors Friday in a fraud case involving prescription painkillers, though the conservative radio commentator maintains his innocence.

    Limbaugh turned himself in to authorities about 4 p.m. on a warrant for fraud to conceal information to obtain a prescription, the first charge in the nearly 3-year-old case, said Teri Barbera, a spokeswoman for the state attorney. He was released an hour later on $3,000 bail.

    Limbaugh’s attorney, Roy Black, said his client and prosecutors reached a settlement on a charge of doctor shopping.

    Under the deal, Limbaugh would eventually see the charge dismissed in 18 months if he continues treatment for drug addiction, Black said.

    Limbaugh also must continue to seek treatment from the doctor he has seen for the past 2½ years, Black said.

    Limbaugh entered a plea of not guilty in court Friday.

    “Mr. Limbaugh and I have maintained from the start that there was no doctor shopping, and we continue to hold this position,” Black said in an e-mailed statement.

    Prosecutors began investigating Limbaugh in 2003 after a tabloid newspaper reported that his housekeeper said he had used her to illegally buy painkillers. He soon took a five-week leave from his radio show to enter a rehabilitation program.

    =================================

    Evidently the fringe minority neoliberal liars at the AP and Most Soitenly Nuthin' But Crap didn't get the straight story, they just twisted it into something that it is not.

    BTW, by the time you get this you will have been blogged as well...

    By Blogger (SR71)Atomica, at 28 April, 2006 19:57  

  • Talk about trying to bury your head in the sand. Fact, Rush was arrested, booked, and bailed out. Anyone who can really say with a straight face that Rush didn't doctor shop for his dope, doesn't live in any reality based community.

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 28 April, 2006 20:05  

  • You have to love Rush's spin. A ""settlement agreement"? There's no such thing in a criminal case. It's a friggin plea bargin.

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 28 April, 2006 21:10  

  • Reminds me of "depends on what the meaning of is is"...

    Arrest warrant, 3,000 bail, charges dropped in 18 months on condition of "continuing rehab". Sorry, Brian the man was arrested. Rush is a hypocrit. Can't wait for Smokinggun.com to get his mug shot posted.

    My stomach is weezy from all the spinning going on here...

    Weeeee!

    By Blogger waaah123, at 28 April, 2006 21:23  

  • Funny.
    Dick Tuck is here to piss on Limbaugh, but he isn't defending his idols over at AAR.
    What's the matter Dicky? Finally catch on that AAR is not a commercially viable venture?
    Or does you jaw hurt to much from felating Franken?

    By Blogger SCSIwuzzy, at 28 April, 2006 22:15  

  • "The babblings of a drug-addled freak" is how Malloy puts it.

    By Blogger WHT, at 28 April, 2006 22:15  

  • WHT: Malloy wasn't the only Air Idiot host who has taken that tact with Limbaugh since the news of his addiction hit the news, which maybe explains the netlet's failure to gain significant audience share....

    After all, people deemed "drug-addled" or "freak" seems the base demographic they'd be trying to attract if they actually wanted to draw listeners in, instead, they put them off by implying they are just as bad as Limbaugh.

    By Blogger TC, at 29 April, 2006 07:44  

  • After all, people deemed "drug-addled" or "freak" seems the base demographic they'd be trying to attract if they actually wanted to draw listeners in, instead, they put them off by implying they are just as bad as Limbaugh.

    It's doubly ironic considering Franken's admitted long history with cocaine.
    -=Mike

    By Blogger MikeinSC, at 03 May, 2006 03:09  

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