Both Fox News and Rush Limbaugh jumped into damage-control mode today after some websites interpreted a Limbaugh liberal-bashing remark as advice to a listener to stop watching Fox News.
Yesterday a certain Tony from Tampa called Limbaugh's radio show to rant about “Alinskyite Obama Democrats, steeped in Leninism, with their windmills and their solar panels” who appeared on Fox News panels - complaining in particular about disparaging remarks about coal that “Democrat Obama-Alinskyite” liberal contributor Julie Roginsky had made on a Fox panel hosted by Neil Cavuto (audio below via Mediaite).
Which prompted Limbaugh to say: “You need to stop watching these people, because they’re not gonna change, Tony. Your blood pressure’s going to suffer if you keep watching these people.”
There was a flurry of activity on some websites, which interpreted that remark as Rush telling Tony to stop watching Fox News. But Fox and Limbaugh were quick to re-spin the remarks. Foxnews.com published an article saying Rush’s comments were – you guessed it! – taken out of context. This afternoon, Limbaugh himself clarified that he wasn't saying stop watching Fox News - just stop watching the liberals on Fox News. “I did not tell anybody to stop watching Fox. I said stop listening to these people that make you so mad. What else am I going to say?"
This marks the second time this month that Rush has disagreed with the way Fox presents issues. But he denies there is any friction between himself and Fox, and claims that people are trying to drum up a story where none exists. Is he right, gentle reader? We shall see. The Newshounds will follow this story's trail tirelessly.
On his radio show this afternoon, Rush Limbaugh clarified for the media that remarks from his Monday show were not meant as a "blanket criticism" of Fox News.
Rush after: You can watch Fox, but only the people who agree with me!
Rush tomorrow: I’m not a political bigot, where are people getting that from?!
CALLER: She’s a Democrat-Obama-Alinskyite, and she’s on that panel, and she’s trying to fake it like she’s for the middle class.
RUSH: On what panel?
CALLER: The panel with Charlie Payne, Cavuto, and —
RUSH: Oh, somewhere on Fox?
CALLER: That’s right. That’s right.
RUSH: You know, you need to stop watching these people, because they’re not gonna change, Tony, and I really care about you. You’ve gotta stop watching these people. All these names you mentioned, they’re not gonna change, and you’re exactly right: If all of this were happening with a Republican president — which it wouldn’t. It couldn’t, by definition. We don’t believe in these policies. But if it were, you’re right: They’d be raising holy hell about it and they’d be calling the president cold-hearted, mean, extremist, exclusionary, rich."
Limbaugh could have been clearer but the most reasonable interpretation of what he said is that he was talking about people like Ms. Roginsky and not Fox News.