On the April 23 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, host Rush Limbaugh claimed "I was making a joke" when he said on his April 19 broadcast that Virginia Tech gunman Cho Seung-Hui "had to be a liberal, " and "it's a liberal that committed this act" before adding on April 23, "I do believe that it was liberalism that got a hold of this guy and made him hate things, professors and this sort of thing." Limbaugh also lashed out at Media Matters for America, claiming that he had made the comments about Cho "as a means of illustrating on this show how the words of conservative talk show hosts are twisted and taken out of context," before adding, "And sure enough, Media Matters fell for it hook, line, and sinker. They had it up all over the place."
In an April 19 item, Media Matters noted both Limbaugh's statement that Cho "had to be a liberal" and his subsequent comment that "the drive-bys will read on a website that I'm attacking liberalism by comparing this guy to them." In addition, Media Matters provided transcript and audio of Limbaugh's statements. Limbaugh regularly describes mainstream media sources as "the drive-by media."
From the April 23 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: Last week, as a means of illustrating on this show how the words of conservative talk show hosts are twisted and taken out of context, I blamed the liberals for the Virginia Tech shooting. I said the guy had to be a liberal. And I went through and I said, "You watch, there's going to be a website that picks this up, and a bunch of people are going to read it, and they're going to be outraged that I would possibly say this." And I said, "Yeah, you got a guy that hates the rich, you got a guy that thinks that American culture's debauched. Who is it telling us all this, and who is it that's doing all this? It's the liberals." And sure enough, Media Matters fell for it hook, line, and sinker. They had it up all over the place. But yet, Friday at the National Action Network conference, Senator Joe Biden, Democratic Party presidential candidate, blamed Republicans for the V-Tech shootings and a string of events that have made news in the past few years. Biden said Bush, Gingrich and Karl Rove are responsible for what he called the politics of polarization. I would argue, said Biden, since '94 with the Gingrich revolution, just take a look at Iraq, Venezuela -- Venez -- Katrina? --what's gone down at Virginia Tech, Darfur, Imus. Take a look. This didn't happen accidentally, all these things are the fault of Bush, Gingrich, and Karl Rove. I'm -- was depressed when I read this. He left my name out of it. Usually I get blamed for this stuff. But nobody said a word, there's no website out there chronicling Biden, blaming -- he was serious. He was serious. I was making a joke about the -- I was just setting everybody up to see how this stuff works, although I do believe that it was liberalism that got a hold of this guy and made him hate things, professors and this sort of thing. But hell's bells, have you heard anybody complaining about Biden blaming Repub -- for Katrina?