Rush Limbaugh, media victim

A Washington Post writer apologizes to Rush for an error. Because Limbaugh takes nothing more seriously than truth!

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Published March 9, 2012 4:30PM (EST)

Rush Limbaugh  (AP)
Rush Limbaugh (AP)

Don't you just hate it when someone in the media reports something about you without checking the facts first? Isn't it a cheap shot when you're inaccurately depicted as some kind of opportunistic jerk? My God, isn't that just the worst? No wonder poor, misunderstood Rush Limbaugh is upset. No wonder he had no recourse but to take to what's left of his airwaves Thursday to clear his name after Washington Post writer Alexandra Petri erroneously stated that his show "targets jerks." And did you see how the guy with a bit of an image problem with the ladies was forced to bust out the "B word"?

Writing about the way advertisers have been dumping Limbaugh's show like it's toxic waste – exactly like it's toxic waste, really – Petri had reported that among his new sponsors, "So far, he's picked up, the site where you go to cheat on your wife, and another web site that is explicitly for sugar-daddy matchmaking." Except that Limbaugh had done no such thing. Why, it's as if Petri thought Limbaugh had no integrity or something.

So horrified was Limbaugh at this besmirching of his character that he addressed it at length on his show Thursday, explaining, "We do not sponsor companies that help people cheat on their spouses." He then added, "It's an out and out lie complete with your b-i-itchy opinion in it and it is untrue." He then condemned Petri's "snarky, lying, full-of-holes" reporting by vowing, "I guarantee you, she'll run another story tomorrow saying I made this all up." He guaranteed it! In a totally non-snarky, non-lying, non-full of holes way.

On Friday, Petri did not, in fact, accuse Limbaugh of making things up. Instead, she penned a mea culpa to the noted Viagra aficionado, saying, "In the age of instant deadlines, when the correct time to have written about something is yesterday at 3 a.m., it's easy to make mistakes, and the thing to do is admit them, fix them and do better." She even offered to buy Limbaugh a conciliatory sandwich, which proves she may just have the strongest stomach in the Beltway.

What a harrowing ordeal it must have been for Limbaugh -- a man who prides himself on being "huge on personal responsibility and accountability" -- to have his reputation so falsely tainted. What an awful thing for a human being to endure. It'd be like, oh I don't know, being called a slut and a whore and prostitute from some whimsical blowhard's personal sniper tower for three days in a row. It'd be like having someone declare that you'd testified before Congress that you were "having so much sex" that you were "going broke buying birth control," that you "must be paid to have sex," and that you "want to be paid to have sex," even when, of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Isn't it disgusting when people use their platform to spread misinformation? Isn't it vile when they brag about their blatant character assassination, and then try to act like it never happened? Keep calling it like you see it, Rush, and don't let the b-i-itches get you down. We'd hate for anybody to get the idea that you're some kind of whiny, dish-it-out-but-can't-take-it d-i-irtbag.


Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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Media Criticism Rush Limbaugh