Topic: Media Research Center
Over the past week, Brent Bozell has been shifting himself and his Media Research Center from occasionally conceding that Rush Limbaugh's three-day denigration of Sandra Fluke caused offense to aggressively pushing the idea that there was nothing offensive about it at all.
As we documented, Bozell waited five days to speak out on Limbaugh's attack on Fluke, waiting until Limbaugh was forced to apologize in the face of an advertiser exodus before he was spurred into action.
We started seeing this last week in Bozell's column, when he starting seriously pushing his pet distraction of highlighting offensive things others have said, declaring that these were "far nastier, far more insulting than Rush Limbaugh has ever said in his entire life." Bozell omitted exactly what Limbaugh said about Fluke or anybody else, preventing his readers from making a direct comparison.
Also: Really? Worse than denigrating Fluke as a slut? Worse than likening a 12-year-old Chelsea Clinton to the White House dog (which, contrary to Noel Sheppard's revisionism, the transcript shows he did deliberately)?
Bozell repeated this dubious argument in his hypocritical letter to MSNBC demanding that Ed Schultz be fired, asserting that Schultz's "a history of insults a hundred-fold worse than anything Limbaugh has ever said." Needless to say, Bozell did not offer the algorithm he used to calculate that Schultz's insults were "a hundred-fold worse" than Limbaugh's.
This idea that Limbaugh is a lovable fuzzball (to use Limbaugh's own self-description) is spreading elsewhere in the MRC empire.
In a March 14 MRC TimesWatch item, Clay Waters was outraged that the New York Times described Limbaugh as an "offensive figure," going so far as to ludicrously defend Limbaugh by declaring that calling Fluke a "slut," unlike what Bill Maher said about Sarah Palin, can be printed ina family newspaper:
New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter wrote a column for Wednesday's Business section on the "offensive figure" Rush Limbaugh ("After Apology, National Advertisers Are Still Shunning Limbaugh") on the radio host losing advertisers after his "slut" comment on birth-control activist Sandra Fluke was inflamed by the left.
But the Times has thus far ignored the counterexample raised by conservatives of comedian and HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher, who used a far more vile word to describe Republican Sarah Palin in March 2011. (The word's very offensiveness makes it unprintable, unlike Limbaugh's "slut," comment, a standard of obscenity that actually shields Maher.)
It's looking more and more like Bozell's initial, grudging criticism of Limbaugh was just for show. Like a loyal dittohead, Bozell probably really believes that Fluke is a slut and deserved Limbaugh's denigration.
The only problem with that, of course, is that his current war against liberal offenders makes him nothing less than a total hypocrite.