When it came to people repeating false quotes about Limbaugh that Limbaugh himself had never bothered to deny, Limbaugh was outraged: “we are in the process behind the scenes working to get apologies and retractions with the force of legal action against every journalist who has published these entirely fabricated quotes about me, slavery, and James Earl Ray.”
But when it came to his own false quotes, Limbaugh has been entirely indifferent to fake quotes.
In one of his books, Limbaugh claimed to be quoting James Madison: “We have staked the future upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” The quote was a fake. Limbaugh admitted: “The quote is not Madison’s. But the misattribution of this statement (an error, not ‘a lie’) has been made by many over the years.”
Ah, so when Limbaugh was publishing fake quotes, it was “an error, not ‘a lie,'” and it was excused because the mistake was made “by many over the years.”
On April 27, 1995, Limbaugh read examples of “liberal hate speech” by Pacifica radio host Julianne Malveaux and CBS reporter Eric Engberg from the right-wing Media Research Center’s newsletter, unaware that he was reading fake quotes from the April Fool’s edition published almost a month earlier. The next day (4/28/95), Limbaugh admitted the quotes were false, but he heroically refused to apologize to the journalists he had falsely smeared: “Given some of the things liberals actually do say, it’s not too tough to believe they would say the things Bozell makes up.” Limbaugh’s error was even more amazing because he had made the exact same mistake of reading the newsletterÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬ÃƒÂ¢”Å¾Â¢s fake quotes as if they were real one year before (Extra!, 7-8/94).
Limbaugh’s Selective Outrage Over False Quotations