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Author Can't Verify Anti-Limbaugh Quotes, So Huffington Post Pulls Them Down

Early Thursday afternoon, the Weekly Standard's John McCormack reported that the Huffington Post had asked author Jack Huberman to document quotes allegedly from Rush Limbaugh declaring that slavery "had its merits" and that the assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr. deserved the Medal of Honor.

The quotes were widely cited as real by several sports writers and on CNN and MSNBC in the past week as proof that Limbaugh was a racist who did not deserve to own part of the St. Louis Rams football team. But the Huffington Post has now removed them, saying the author has not been able to substantiate them.

This editor's note appeared early Thursday evening on the 2006 blog by the liberal Huberman, who was pitching his then-new book, 101 People Who Are REALLY Screwing America:

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this post contained quotes attributed to Rush Limbaugh, which Limbaugh has since denied making. As is our policy when a fact in a blog post is called into question, we gave its author 24 hours to substantiate the quote. Since he has not been able to do so, the quotes have been deleted from the post.

 

CNN's Rick Sanchez read the slavery quote during the 3pm hour of CNN's Newsroom on October 12 as proof of Limbaugh's "racist diatribes." Wednesday night, CNN's Anderson Cooper declared the slavery quote "false," and "not something he [Limbaugh] ever said. Sanchez may have been planning his own retraction today, but live coverage of the runaway balloon in Colorado pre-empted his normal show.

[UPDATE: CNN's Rick Sanchez also, apologizes, sort of, via Twitter: "i've know rush. in person,i like him. his rhetoric,however is inexcusably divisive. he's right tho. we didn't confirm quote. our bad."]

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow cited the preposterous quote about giving King assassin James Earl Ray the Medal of Honor back in June; this week, multiple MSNBC anchors have referred to the pro-slavery quote as genuine. MSNBC Live anchor Tamron Hall, for example, on Monday afternoon asked, "Should a person who says there are merits with slavery be able to have this privilege of owning a team?" That was after Limbaugh had already said that he had never uttered such a phrase.

At this point I've heard of no effort to correct the record at MSNBC.

-Rich Noyes is Research Director at the Media Research Center.