Alexandria, VA - Yesterday, MRC President Brent Bozell promised to report back publicly with how CNN and MSNBC responded to his challenge to put up - or shut up - proof that Rush Limbaugh actually stated the racist quote that both cable networks attributed to him as fact, or to immediately retract and apologize for their participation in spreading an outlandish lie. Talk show giant Limbaugh denied having ever stated, "Slavery built the South. I'm not saying we should bring it back. I'm just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark." Further, it has been established that this was a fabrication pushed through the Internet, intentionally designed to destroy Mr. Limbaugh's reputation at a time he is attempting to purchase a professional football team.
In addition to this public call to action, Mr. Bozell overnighted letters to CNN President Jonathan Klein and MSNBC President Phil Griffin to ensure both took the matter seriously.
Both CNN and MSNBC failed to respond appropriately.
CNN's Rick Sanchez, who was responsible for pushing this lie initially, had the gall to repeat the lie but this time also attaching Mr. Limbaugh's denial, suggesting the truth was unclear when the truth is absolutely crystal clear. CNN neither apologized nor retracted.
MSNBC was even worse. This disgraceful network continued to repeat this smear on MSNBC Live.
Neither showed any initiative to source the fabricated quote, nor did either network retract or apologize for spreading the false propaganda on their broadcast airwaves. Instead, both CNN and MSNBC repeated the fictitious statement that was created to smear Rush Limbaugh and his character.
MRC President Brent Bozell issued the following statement:
"The CNN and MSNBC 'news' networks are guilty of promoting outright falsehoods and purposely using fabricated disinformation created by left-wing radicals to destroy a conservative leader. There is no grey area here. CNN and MSNBC were given ample opportunity to come clean, but both are continuing to masquerade malicious lies as credible.
"Perhaps if they spent less time fact-checking SNL comedy skits and more time fact-checking what they laughably call 'news,' they would have a chance to salvage their tattered reputations, sinking even faster with this intentional character assassination.
"We are tabulating exactly who has engaged in this smear campaign and will reveal a complete list of willful participants at a press conference next week. Everyone now knows that these statements attributed to Rush are lies. Those who have repeated them have 24 hours to retract and publicly apologize - or you will be named among those intentionally engaged in character assassination.
"I understand Mr. Limbaugh has threatened legal action. I hope you all have good lawyers."