Memo to Limbaugh: Try CTRL+F before blasting Dems for purportedly unsearchable bill

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI & GREG LEWIS

Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that Democrats "have reformatted the [economic recovery] bill -- they've made it a PDF file when they posted it. ... And, so, you can read every page, but you cannot keyword search it. It's not a text file as legislation normally is as posted on these public websites. They don't want anybody knowing what's in this." In fact, as Adobe Systems notes of PDFs: "You can run a search using either the Search window or the Find toolbar. In either case, Reader searches the PDF body text, layers, form fields, and digital signatures."

During the February 13 broadcast of his syndicated radio program, Rush Limbaugh claimed that Democrats "have reformatted the bill -- they've made it a PDF [Portable Document Format, created by Adobe Systems] file when they posted it. Now, for those of you that don't use computers, basically what that means is that it cannot be keyword searched. A PDF file is essentially a picture of a page. And, so, you can read every page, but you cannot keyword search it. It's not a text file as legislation normally is as posted on these public websites. They don't want anybody knowing what's in this." In fact, PDFs are searchable in multiple ways. In its Help Resource Center for Adobe Reader, a program that reads PDFs, Adobe Systems writes: "You can run a simple search, looking for a search term within in a single file, or you can run a more complex search, looking for various kinds of data in one or more PDFs. You can run a search using either the Search window or the Find toolbar. In either case, Reader searches the PDF body text, layers, form fields, and digital signatures. You can also include bookmarks and comments in the search."

From a Media Matters for America search of "false" in the Recovery_Bill_Div_B.pdf -- Division B of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 -- in Adobe Reader:

From the February 13 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: In addition, they have reformatted the bill -- they've made it a PDF file when they posted it. Now, for those of you that don't use computers, basically what that means is that it cannot be keyword searched. A PDF file is essentially a picture of a page. And, so, you can read every page, but you cannot keyword search it. It's not a text file as legislation normally is as posted on these public websites. They don't want anybody knowing what's in this; they want it happening as fast as possible so nobody can know what's in it.

Posted In
Economy
Network/Outlet
Premiere Radio Networks
Person
Rush Limbaugh
Show/Publication
The Rush Limbaugh Show
Stories/Interests
Economic Recovery Plan
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