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Rush Limbaugh, Victim

Reported by Ellen - April 29, 2006

Rush Limbaugh was the latest Republican in legal trouble to be declared a victim on FOX News last night (4/28/06). Unlike Karl Rove, Randy “Duke” Cunningham and Jack Abramoff’s legal troubles, at least Limbaugh’s arrest and subsequent settlement of charges that he fraudulently obtained prescription drugs (Limbaugh did not admit any guilt as part of the settlement) WAS discussed on the “real journalism” network’s prime time show, Hannity & Colmes. But, like Tom DeLay and Scooter Libby before him, the FOX News producers made a big effort to portray Limbaugh in a sympathetic light.

Subbing for Sean Hannity, Rich Lowry declared, “I think Rush is getting, effectively, smeared.” Nevertheless, he also declared, “This is an absolute, crushing legal victory for Rush Limbaugh.”

FOX News analyst Mercedes Colwin was also full of compassion and support for Limbaugh’s troubles in the media and elsewhere. “Because it’s Rush, it is EVERYWHERE and that’s what’s so outrageous… For two and a half years he was smeared, and he’s (sic) going to continue for the next few weeks and you know what? No one’s going to forget what’s happened to him.”

Lowry added, “They leaked things that were false about money laundering… That happened ONLY because he was Rush Limbaugh.”

Comment: I kept thinking, what if Michael Moore or Harry Belafonte or Jane Fonda was in Rush's position? I'm willing to bet money Lowry would have sung a very different tune.

FOX News analyst Arthur Aidala was also on the panel. Aidala pointed out that people in the limelight often get treated differently. “If you threw a phone at somebody in a hotel, would you get treated the way you’re treated or the way Russell Crowe was treated? …If you’re in the public eye and you’re making millions of dollars and everyone knows your name, you are held to some degree to a different standard.” Aidala didn’t mention that Limbaugh is not only a wealthy celebrity, but one who portrays himself as a stand-up guy for law and order.

Colwin never stopped harping on the unfairness of it all. “This is all because it was Rush Limbaugh. Everybody else, it would not have happened.” She went on to claim that “everyone” questioned the Martha Stewart prosecution.

Comment: Not FOX News! The Stewart trial occurred while we were monitoring for the Outfoxed movie. I’m sure all the other News Hounds who worked on the film remember as clearly as I do all the gloating on FNC over the trial and the verdict. Meanwhile, Cynthia McKinney hasn’t even been charged with a crime and yet her run-in with a Capitol Hill policeman is re-hashed almost nightly on FOX.

As yet, there has been no discussion at all on H&C of Karl Rove’s deepening legal troubles. But if there ever is, it’s a safe bet, he’ll be adjudged a victim on FNC, too.

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