On Friday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, during a discussion of Rush Limbaugh's response to President Obama blaming him and Fox News for people disapproving of his presidency, liberal talk radio host and frequent guest Joe Madison took Limbaugh's words out of context and asserted that Limbaugh admitted to "lying" about Obama.
The liberal talker then alluded to the controversy over some critics calling black NFL player Richard Sherman a "thug" and whether doing so has a racist motivation as Madison suggested that Limbaugh has called the President by the same word as a substitute for the N-word.
Referring to a soundbite of Limbaugh from a few minutes earlier, Madison deceptively charged: "Matter of fact, listen to two things he said here. One, he said, they don't, you won't believe the lies we're telling. He actually said that just a few seconds ago. He said we're lying."
He then accused Limbaugh of using racist language as he added: "And then Sherman used this term 'thug.' And it just dawned on me what he was really calling President Obama, and we just had a football player who said that's a whole, that's a euphemism for another word. But let's be honest."
Regarding Limbaugh's use of the word "lying," he was clearly charging that Obama was the one accusing him and Fox News of "lying," not that he was admitting to the charge. Limbaugh: "The subtext of this is that you, if it weren't for me or Fox News, you'd love Obama, but you are nothing but sponges. You are incapable, in other words, of seeing the truth. You believe the lies about Obama that you hear from me and on Fox News."
Madison also complained about Limbaugh express his desire early on that President Obama would "fail," without noting that former Clinton advisor and CNN liberal commentator James Carville made a similer statement about former President George W. Bush in 2001. Madison:
And, remember, America, remember this, the first thing out of Rush Limbaugh's mouth after the first election of President Obama was "I hope he fails." I have never, never heard a personality, a broadcaster ever say after an election that I hope a duly elected President of the United States fails...
Liberal talk radio host Bill Press, not recalling that he was appearing on the network that gave America numerous Keith Olbermann rants against President George W. Bush, then whined that Obama has been the "subject of more ugly personal attacks" than "any President since Abaraham Lincoln."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, January 24, PoliticsNation on MSNBC:
AL SHARPTON: The right wing media continues to distort, distort, distort. But now President Obama has something to say about it. In a new interview, he slams the talkers on the right, saying, quote, "I'm not the caricature that you see on Fox News or Rush Limbaugh." So what does the leader of the Republican Party have to say about that?
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO HOST: The subtext of this is that you, if it weren't for me or Fox News, you'd love Obama, but you are nothing but sponges. You are incapable, in other words, of seeing the truth. You believe the lies about Obama that you hear from me and on Fox News.
LIMBAUGH: Now, who is delusional? Who is absent reality? You or Obama?
SHARPTON: Delusional? Huh? So the President hasn't been distorted or attacked from day one? Really?
[CLIPS OF CONSERVATIVES MAKING ANTI-OBAMA STATEMENTS]
SHARPTON: I think we know who's delusional, Mr. Limbaugh, and it's not the President.
SHARPTON: Joe, let me start with you. Why won't Rush Limbaugh admit to the power he has in riling up the right-wing base?
JOE MADISON, TALK RADIO HOST: I don't know the answer to that because, one, he's well paid. I mean, that's, let's start right there. He is well paid to do this. And the sad thing is, you know, it's, when you're a general manager or you are a program director or you're an owner, you know what he's saying is not true. Matter of fact, listen to two things he said here. One, he said, they don't, you won't believe the lies we're telling. He actually said that just a few seconds ago. He said we're lying.
And then Sherman used this term "thug." And it just dawned on me what he was really calling President Obama, and we just had a football player who said that's a whole, that's a euphemism for another word. But let's be honest.
SHARPTON: He said it's an acceptable way of using another term.
MADISON: And, remember, America, remember this, the first thing out of Rush Limbaugh's mouth after the first election of President Obama was "I hope he fails." I have never, never heard a personality, a broadcaster ever say after an election that I hope a duly elected President of the United States fails because-
SHARPTON: And never back up off of that, Bill-
MADISON: Never, never.
SHARPTON: -and the whole thing of playing all kinds of racially charged scenarios on the air from Limbaugh across the board.
BILL PRESS, LIBERAL TALK RADIO HOST: But Joe is absolutely right. I wrote a whole book about this called The Obama Hate Machine. This President has been the subject of more ugly personal attacks, mean attacks aimed at him personally, not at his policies, than any President since Abraham Lincoln, fueled by the Koch brothers and carried, of course, mainly on Fox News and by Rush Limbaugh. Joe, we just saw some of those clips. They called him a socialist. They have called him a racist.
You know, they've called him a communist. I mean, street thug, all the name-calling. And it continues. But I have to say this, Reverend Al. I don't blame the media entirely, you know. It's John Boehner and Mitch McConnell who picked it up. Rush Limbaugh said I hope he fails. Mitch McConnell says our whole agenda is to prevent him from getting anything done.
SHARPTON: Now, Joe, you know we also learned that talking about members of Congress in the media, Louie Gohmert is bringing Sean Hannity as his guest to the State of the Union address.
MADISON: Well, I'm trying to get Congressional Black Caucus members to invite me. I think we need to play this game, you know, just as tough as they want to play it. And if any of them are listening, they ought to invite you, they ought to invite me, they ought to invite Bill, and let people understand that we're not going to sit back here and just let this party, what I now refer to as, you know, it used to be the do nothing Congress. Now, it's the shutdown party. They shut down bridges, they shut down minimum wage, and they're trying to shut down the government.
And that's all they've offered when you really think about it, and it's backfiring based on the last polls that you just read prior to this segment. People now realize it's not so much Republican versus Democrat, it's now, it's the face that we're all in this boat together and the President has addressed issues that everybody is concerned about. And I think people are learning that if they keep following the Rush Limbaughs, who are the aristocracy of the far right, these are folk who are trying to divide us.