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Update: Lies and the NewsMax Liars Who Tell Them

49 wire stories about Rush? Don't believe it! Plus: the ConWeb goes into full Rush apologist mode.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 10/14/2003

We got so caught up in the distortions and smears spread by the ConWeb in the Rush Limbaugh scandals that we completely forgot to mention the outright lie NewsMax told.

It occurs in the Oct. 2 story that broke the allegations of Limbaugh's alleged drug abuse made by his housekeeper, Wilma Cline, to NewsMax readers. Once you stop snickering at the assertion of "Carl Limbacher and staff" that "Cline's obvious financial motive clouds her credibility" (we don't recall NewsMax worried about Gennifer Flowers' credibility after taking a six-figure payment for her allegation of an affair with Bill Clinton), you'll find the following statement: "by 9 a.m. today the Associated Press had run 49 stories detailing her allegations."

That, simply put, is a lie.

In my day job as a newspaper editor, I have access to the Associated Press news wire. The AP works on a midnight-to-midnight news cycle, and the drug part of the Limbaugh story broke around midnight Oct. 2. Throughout all of Oct. 2, there was only one story on this issue -- not 49 -- that moved on the AP news wire that was updated through the day. Updates of AP stories generally move as numbered "leads" (the second version of a story, for instance, is called the "first lead") as new information is added, obsolete items are removed and spelling is corrected. The final version of the Limbaugh story that moved Oct. 2 was the eighth lead, or the ninth version. The AP sports wire moved a similar version of the Limbaugh story geared to appear on sports pages; the last version of that story moved on Oct. 2 was also an eighth lead.

If you count each version of the Limbaugh story that moved on the news and sports wire Oct. 2 as a separate story -- which they're not -- that still only adds up to 18, and that's the entire day, not a mere nine hours. There's still 31 other versions of the AP version of the story that NewsMax does not account for.

Of course, when you're lying through your teeth, accounting for your information isn't exactly at the top of the to-do list.

* * *

With Limbaugh admitting his addiction to prescription painkiller to his radio listeners, the ConWeb campaign to defend him has moved from smearing his accuser to excusing Limbaugh's behavior.

Actually, the smearing hasn't stopped at all; an Oct. 12 NewsMax story seems pretty happy that his accuser may face a greater risk of jail time than Limbaugh because her purported taping of Limbaugh illegally buying his painkillers may have been illegal.

And the last thing the ConWeb wants is Rush doin' a nickel up at Attica. So it has suddenly, belatedly joined the drug law liberalization bandwagon.

Related article on ConWebWatch:

Rushing to Smear

"As for seeking out illegal drug prescriptions, we should remember that for almost the entire rest of the world there is no such thing as an illegal prescription," writes NewsMax's Christopher Ruddy in an Oct. 13 column. "Many Third World countries, and some First World ones, allow drugs to be easily obtained by just asking a pharmacist for the drug with no prescription."

Ruddy continues: "In my mind there is a big difference between Rush Limbaugh and a cocaine or crack addict. ... My guess is that America, with all of its strict drug laws and prescription rules, has a worse drug problem than many of these countries with more liberal drug practices."

Another Rush apologist is WorldNetDaily's Joel Miller, who instead of seeing hypocrisy in Limbaugh's previously stated lock-'em-up attitude toward drug users, thinks it's time for a simple change of attitude:

But think about this, you who are conservatives and so vigorously support the war on drugs: Would you really like to see the legal thumbscrews tightened on Rush Limbaugh – a man admiringly thought of by millions as the leading conservative icon in this country – the way you so enthusiastically insist for other violators of the nation's drug laws?


The rule of law is a sword that cuts both ways, but if this sword whacks Rush, it will only prove that – despite his own support over the years – it shouldn't be swinging at all.

WND columnist Barbara Simpson glosses over the whole addiction thing -- "Of course, there's an addiction risk. For heaven's sake, you can become addicted to over-the-counter cough medicine!" -- then complains that liberals are a little too happy about Limbaugh's plight, treating him with "ruthless cruelty" because they "not only hate what Limbaugh stands for but hate his very success.

"There's no sympathy for his medical ordeals. He's equated with street junkies and his addiction compared to guy in the alley mainlining heroin. ... (T)o excoriate Rush because he slipped over that line is monumentally cruel."

More cruel than, say, what Simpson wrote about Hillary Clinton a couple years ago? "No fashion plate to begin with, and, over eight years, she tried every single style, color and silhouette. It's amazing what money, time, expert assistance, nips and tucks and stitches and lines and blush and concealer can do for an aspiring senator."

WorldNetDaily's crack news division, meanwhile, belatedly offered a stolen -- uh, repurposed story on how Limbaugh's painkiller use may have contributed to his hearing loss.

And at, Rich Galen suggests that Limbaugh's hypocrisy is no big deal because everybody's a hypocrite.

* * *

The Media Research Center's Brent Baker should know better than to make blanket statements like the one he made amidst his defense of Limbaugh from all those evil liberals in his Oct. 3 CyberAlert.

After quoting ABC's Ted Koppel saying that Limbaugh "says and does things on the radio that are so disparaging of homosexuals, African-Americans, the homeless," Baker responds first that "I think Koppel mentioned homosexuals more often than Limbaugh," then asserts that "Limbaugh does not disparage the homeless, but mocks liberal concern for them which does more harm than good."

But a Newsweek article (one that Baker groups in his Oct. 13 CyberAlert with other commentaries on Limbaugh that he says "seemed to delight in Limbaugh’s troubles") says otherwise: "He once suggested staging a "Homeless Olympics" with events like 'the 10-meter shopping-cart relay, the Dumpster dig and the hop, skip and trip.'"

Gee, sounds pretty disparaging to us.

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