On his radio show today, Rush Limbaugh criticized Sheppard Smith for claiming that extremism has been growing since the election of Obama. Limbaugh characterized Smith as whining and moaning about hateful emails. He also claimed that the political atmosphere hasn’t gotten more violent since Obama’s election.
Here is Smith from yesterday on FNC’s Studio B show:
Here is the audio Limbaugh today courtesy of Media Matters:
Limbaugh said, “Now after all the years of hated and vitriol assassination movies and books about George W. Bush, for liberals to now claim that the atmosphere is somehow more violently anti-Obama is preposterous. The hatred and vitriol has been spat out 24/7 from the network MSNBC…As for Sheppard Smith whining and moaning and complaining about emails, nobody needs to tell me about hateful emails. I get the vilest sick emails attacking me as a Jew lover….and I am a conservative. Who do you think these emails are coming from? Shep, you got nothing on anybody out there.”
Limbaugh claimed, “Nobody at this point in time in our society has ever done anything comparable to the kind of hate that we got from mainstream sources. Hollywood, books, news media, hate spat out hate was part of the daily reporting agenda for way too many years of the Bush presidency.”
Rush is obviously forgetting that for the first 5 of 6 years of the Bush presidency, the media gave him soft treatment. Bush was untouchable after 9/11, and the media were cheerleaders all the way through the invasion of Iraq. The media has never fully reported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and didn’t even start to challenge Bush until after Hurricane Katrina. Limbaugh contradicted himself mightily when said that there was no increase in violence in the political atmosphere, then later talking the hate email that he gets from anti-Semites. Which is it Rush?
Sheppard Smith’s crime in the eyes of Rush was that he told the truth. Limbaugh can deny it all he wants, but Obama’s election has made right wing extremists feel threatened. Many liberals believe that Bush committed war crimes as president. The right wing believes that Obama is a Muslim, non-citizen baby killer Socialist who is marching the nation towards fascism. Which viewpoint is more extremist?
No one is saying that Republicans had anything to do with the two recent far right attacks. No one is blaming Rush Limbaugh or Fox News, so it makes no sense to deny the obvious. Extremism is on the rise. Smith was stating a fact, and Limbaugh’s dismissal of him, demonstrates how out of touch he is.