Topic: Media Research Center
In the eyes of the Media Research Center, Rush Limbaugh can do no wrong -- remember, the MRC's response to perhaps Limbaugh's most odious moment of disgustingly smearing Sandra Fluke as a "slut" and a sex maniac was to reward his hate by launching an "I Stand With Rush" campaign. So when Limbaugh grabbed the spotllight by first announcing he has lung cancer and then being awarded a surprise Medal of Freedom during President Trump's State of the Union Address, you knew that the MRC would slobber over -- and fiercely defend -- the right-wing radio host.
Gabriel Hays huffed in a Feb. 3 post:
Sadly, not even lung cancer diagnoses are enough to escape the bitter taste of partisan politics.
Only a couple of short hours after legendary conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh revealed his diagnosis of an advanced stage of lung cancer, media publications and media figures began to get their digs in on the man because of his massive decades-spanning conservative influence.
Hays was effectively complaining that people were as insensitive to Limbaugh as Limbaugh has been to people he has hated over the decades. Very hypocritical -- and, needleess to say, Hays made no mention of the insults Limbaugh has hurled over the years that might have made some people feel a little less charitable toward the man.
Hays wrote a similar post the next day, this time grousing: "Cruel media leftists absolutely cannot stand Rush Limbaugh having a joyful moment even after his late-stage cancer diagnosis." Does he think Limbaugh himself would act any different if, say, Bill Clinton or Barack Obama suddenly faced a similar medical crisis?
Kyle Drennen complained that on on TV show "a vicious tweet was featured of a left-wing celebrity claiming that Limbaugh 'doesn’t think poor people deserve' medical care." Drennen did not dispute the accuracy of the tweet.
Scott Whitlock grumbled that "hard-left CNN journalist Jim Acosta ... smeared the radio star as a racist, claiming a 'history of making derogatory comments about African-Americans.'" Not only did Whitlock not offer any evidence that Limbaugh never made derogatory comments about African-Americans (beyond a blanket denial from Rush's producer), he offered no evidence that Acosta is "hard-left"; that's just a flare-up of the MRC's Acosta Derangement Syndrome. In a separate post, Whitlock complained that another commentator "exchoriated" [sic] Limbaugh as the "face of racism" again without offering proof to the contrary.
In a similar vein, Curtis Houck attacked ABC for describing Limbaugh as "controverisal and divisive" as well as "racist" but, similarly, offered no evidence to dispute the accuracy of the claims.
When another commentator noted that "birther" Limbaugh got the Medal of Freedom in a State of the Union scene akin to Oprah Winfrey handing out free cars, Nicholas Fondacaro could only muster in response: "Well, [April] Ryan, here’s some facts for you: Many people were very happy for Limbaugh too" -- apparently approving of Rush's birtherism.
MRC chief Brent Bozell popped in on a Fox Business appearance to complain about what an anonymously written NewsBusters post descrbied as "nasty jabs from CNN anchors that Rush Limbaugh is a racist (he’s not)." Again, no proof to back that up.
In a post unironically headlined "CLASSLESS AND CRUEL," Geoffrey Dickens grumbled that "haters in the liberal media couldn’t let Limbaugh – who just announced he is battling advanced lung cancer – have this one heartwarming moment for his family and millions of fans to savor without attacking him as an undeserving racist." Rather than offer proof to the contrary, Dickens merely claimed that "longtime Limbaugh producer Bo Snerdley [went] to his Twitter account to debunk Acosta and other liberals’ claims of racism" though that's not what happened at all; Snerdley merely demanded evidence of racial attacks, of which there is plenty.
Kristine Marsh joined in by whining that a couple of "The View" co-hosts "unfairly accusing Limbaugh of being a racist," but she too offered no evidence to contradict the claim.
Randy Hall detailed Fox News host Laura Ingraham denouncing Acosta's yet-to-be-contradicted statement about Limbaugh's history of racially derogatory remarks as "disgusting," but Hall offered no evidence that she disprove it; instead, guest and right-wing writer Sara Carter was given space to rant that the claim was "absolutely false," again without supporting evidence.
Clay Waters, meanwile, finally attempted a response to claims of racism when the New York Times suggested it, albeit nothing but a lame conservative trope: "It is easy to get offended if you assume any race-related comment by a conservative is racist.
And Brad Wilmouth complained that a CNN correspondent other than Acosta pointed out that Limbaugh has shared "xenophobic, misogynistic, and racist sentiments with the masses." He did a better job of responding to the claims, even if he was recycling old kneejerk MRC defenses of Limbaugh. He deflected on the "Barack the Magic Negro" parody song LImbaugh loved by claiming that it "was based on a Los Angeles Times piece that called Obama a 'magic negro,'" though he didn't explain how that made it less offensive.
After the reporter pointed out Limbaugh declaring that Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's disease activism was a act, parroted an old justification that "Fox himself, in his book, confessed that he had once deliberately avoided taking his medication so that his symptoms would look worse than usual as he lobbied for federal spending on stem cell research." Which didn't address the fact that Limbaugh implied that Fox was faking it all the time.
These weak or nonexistent responses tell us that even the MRC knows his history of offensive comments can't be defended -- so it tries to shout down the critics instead.
Needless to say, there was plenty of gushing over Limbaugh at the MRC as well. Hays devoted a post to the "immense outpouring of support from conservative leaders" who "showed their gratitude for how much of an impact the man had on the mainstream conservative movement," and Houck wrote up how Trump presented thte Media of Freedom to Limbaugh.