Limbaugh says he told journalist writing story on him: "[W]e're going to find out where your kids go to school"

››› ››› ANDREW WALZER

During the October 15 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh claimed to have "once" participated in the kind of "destructive reporting and behavior" that, according to him, reporters "dish out." Limbaugh said his target was a reporter, whose name he said he would not "mention," who was writing "a cover story on me coming out of one of the big news magazines, and it was going to totally mischaracterize me and what I do and how I do it." Limbaugh continued: "[W]e found out who was writing it and made a couple phone calls to the person writing it. And we said, 'You know what? We're going to find out where your kids go to school. We're going to find out who you knocked up in high school. We're going to find out what drugs you used. We're going to find out where you go to drink and do -- we're gonna find out how you paid for your house. We're going to do -- and we're going to do exact -- and we're going to say that, you know what? You are no different than Al Goldstein. You both masturbate.' "

Limbaugh then claimed: "And the guy started screaming on the phone, just went -- 'You can't do that.' We said, 'Watch us.' And it changed the tone of the story by about 60 percent, I would say, from what it was going to be. But nobody does that to these people. Nobody does it to them. And that would be so much fun."

Limbaugh made this claim while discussing the founding of ProPublica, which "will produce investigative journalism in the public interest," according to its website:

ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that will produce investigative journalism in the public interest. Our work will focus exclusively on truly important stories, stories with "moral force." We will do this by producing journalism that shines a light on exploitation of the weak by the strong and on the failures of those with power to vindicate the trust placed in them.

During his discussion, Limbaugh read from a post about ProPublica on the conservative website American Thinker, which read in part: "Efforts are being made to wrap this propaganda venture in the cloak of pure public interests." Limbaugh later commented:

LIMBAUGH: I'll tell you, folks, the way to deal with this -- I have always said it. I don't know anybody who's doing it. Maybe I should found ProDestroya and get a bunch of people willing to do investigative journalism on these investigative journalists. You know, AntiPublica. They get to sit there -- who are these people that get to act as though they are sin-free, that they are as clean and pure as the wind-driven snow, that they've got no skeletons in their closet? They can go out and dig up dirt on -- and everybody's got dirt. They can go out and dig whatever up and then they can slant it and taint it, smear it and lie about it, do whatever they want, and nobody examines who these people are. And if you try, they get mad. "Well, we're journalists, we're immune. You can't treat us the way we treat other people."

From the October 15 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: Here's who it is that's funding this ProPublica bunch. "It is Herb and Marion Sandler, legendary capitalist, multibillionaire, builders of a financial empire, philanthropic allies of Peter Lewis and George Soros. They're ponying up $10 million a year for a charitable venture to supply investigative reporting at no cost to newspapers, which are laying off editorial employees and others as their bidness [sic] model becomes obsolete. Efforts are being made to wrap this propaganda venture in the cloak of pure public interests."

And ProPublica, does that -- you know, that's a Latin name. Does it not sound like something a bunch of socialists would come up with? ProPublica. "The board comprises a distinguished multi-ethnic panel that even includes a white, male former congressman, Jim Leach [R] of Iowa. Former Wall Street Journal editor Paul Steiger is in charge for the time being. No doubt there will be window-dressing stories going after subjects who could be described as liberal in some sense," just to show that they're, you know, balanced and so forth, but that'll be just at the outset here.

Thomas Lifson at the American Thinker says, "Given the background of the holders of the purse strings, there's reason to suspect that the venture will be used to go after opponents of the left. Even Jane Mayer of The New Yorker described them and their circle as hard-core partisans. The Sandlers are famous, celebrated, notorious for their policy of not spending a penny without getting their money's worth and more. They're going to hire up to 24 journalists and pay salary and benefits comparable to the biggest newspapers," which, in essence, you know what this is -- a safety net for some of those journalists who have been canned or who have been let go. So the same journalists who weren't doing their jobs in the first place are now going to get hired to not do their jobs as well as they had been. The whole thing is a ruse, and it's a tax dodge. The whole thing is a tax -- and it's giving away its work. It's a tax dodge for these donors. So, "No longer tethered to the responsibility of earning their way in the marketplace, this talent pool of investigative journalists can be turned loose on potentially anyone. If you look hard enough, you can find all sorts of difficult-to-explain matters that, at a minimum, can tie up and distract even the most innocent paragon of virtue. For real people born as sinners, there's always something that investigative journalists can find."

I'll tell you, folks, the way to deal with this -- I have always said it. I don't know anybody who's doing it. Maybe I should found ProDestroya and get a bunch of people willing to do investigative journalism on these investigative journalists. You know, AntiPublica. They get to sit there -- who are these people that get to act as though they are sin-free, that they are as clean and pure as the wind-driven snow, that they've got no skeletons in their closet? They can go out and dig up dirt on -- and everybody's got dirt. They can go out and dig whatever up and then they can slant it and taint it, smear it and lie about it, do whatever they want, and nobody examines who these people are. And if you try, they get mad. "Well, we're journalists, we're immune. You can't treat us the way we treat other people."

I've had journalists tell me this. "Well, we're journalists." Why are you immune? Why are you immune to the same kind of destructive reporting and behavior that you dish out? You know, we have practiced -- I've practiced it once. I am not going to tell you the story because I'm don't want to give it away, and I would have to mention names, and I'm not going to mention names. But there was a cover story on me coming out of one of the big news magazines, and it was going to totally mischaracterize me and what I do and how I do it. And we found out who was writing it and made a couple phone calls to the person writing it. And we said, "You know what? We're going to find out where your kids go to school. We're going to find out who you knocked up in high school. We're going to find out what drugs you used. We're going to find out where you go to drink and do -- we're gonna find out how you paid for your house. We're going to do -- and we're going to do exact -- and we're going to say that, you know what? You are no different than Al Goldstein. You both masturbate. You're no different than Al Goldstein, and you're both journalists, and so forth."

And the guy started screaming on the phone, just went -- "You can't do that." We said, "Watch us." And it changed the tone of the story by about 60 percent, I would say, from what it was going to be. But nobody does that to these people. Nobody does it to them. And that would be so much fun. But I'd need to be wearing body armor every day. Oh, no question, these people are playing for keeps.

Network/Outlet
Premiere Radio Networks
Person
Rush Limbaugh
Show/Publication
The Rush Limbaugh Show
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