Rush Limbaugh falsely asserted that Rep. Barney Frank "created the problem" of the subprime mortgage crisis, claiming that Frank's "definition of affordable housing was to make sure that people who couldn't pay the loans back got the loans, the mortgages. He forced Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to do this." In fact, Frank has advocated for policies that emphasize low-income home rentals as opposed to homeownership and supported legislation to strengthen oversight over Fannie and Freddie.
Rush Limbaugh baselessly claimed that Democrat Al Franken "stole the race" for Minnesota's Senate seat and asserted that "The Wall Street Journal has a story on this. They're counting votes twice -- votes that were rejected, all kinds of things." However, the Journal "story" Limbaugh referred to was an editorial, which simply asserted that there was double counting -- echoing the accusation by the incumbent, Republican Norm Coleman -- and did not cite reporting to support its claim.
On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that in his first term, President George W. Bush "left a lot of Clinton U.S. attorneys in office, did not sweep them. Only in his second term did he start replacing some." In fact, Bush reportedly replaced 88 of the 93 U.S. attorneys with his own appointees during the first two years of his presidency.
On The Rush Limbaugh Show, Mark Davis accused President-elect Barack Obama of choosing an "amnesty fetishist" in his appointment of Cecilia Muñoz, of the National Council of La Raza. But contrary to Davis' suggestion, Muñoz and NCLR's position in support of comprehensive immigration reform is far from radical, and shared in principle by members of Congress from both parties and by President Bush.
Radio hosts Brian Sussman, Mark Davis, Lars Larson, Bob Grant, Jim Quinn, and Rose Tennent repeated the discredited claim that President-elect Barack Obama has not produced a valid birth certificate and is not eligible for the presidency because he is not a natural-born citizen. In fact, the Obama campaign posted a copy of Obama's birth certificate on its Fight the Smears website and reportedly provided the original to FactCheck.org, whose staff concluded that it "meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship." A Hawaii Health Department official also reportedly confirmed that the birth certificate Obama's campaign posted is valid.
While discussing potential Republican outreach efforts toward African-Americans, Jason Lewis stated on The Rush Limbaugh Show: "[T]his whole notion of taxing -- taxing America's labor -- you know, I don't know how else you describe what this sordid experience of slavery was when you take away somebody's ability to engage in the marketplace with the fruits of their labor." Lewis later added: "We need to go into the African-American community there on cultural issues. And they should be there on taxes, because they know what it's like to have to work for free."
Several conservative talk radio hosts have accused Democrats of "trying to steal" the Minnesota senatorial election for Democratic challenger Al Franken over incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman (R). They offer no evidence for the accusation; indeed, the state's Republican governor has said there is none.
Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh continue to suggest that President-elect Barack Obama is to blame for the decline in the stock market, referring to the state of the stock market as an "Obama recession." In fact, analysts have refuted the proposition that the market decline has anything to do with anticipation of Obama's presidency.
Conservative commentators have asserted that President-elect Barack Obama is to blame for the decline of the stock market since the election. But several analysts disagree, citing weak corporate reports and the release of unemployment statistics.
Beyond the echelon of widely known conservative radio hosts with national audiences lies a vast network of lesser-known syndicated and regional radio hosts who have become key components of an echo chamber for conservative talking points and falsehoods. Like their better-known counterparts, these syndicated and regional radio hosts have played active roles this election season in promoting falsehoods and smears in an all-out effort to foment hate and distrust among their listeners for President-elect Barack Obama. While the hosts vary in the degree of vitriol they spew and in their ratio of rebuttable falsehoods to unbridled smears, Media Matters for America and Colorado Media Matters have identified common themes that many, if not all, have promoted over the past year.
Rush Limbaugh played an audio clip "montage" from Charlie Rose's interview of Tom Brokaw, in which Limbaugh asserted that Rose and Brokaw were "trying to figure out who Obama is." In fact, Limbaugh heavily edited the clip, at one point falsely suggesting that Brokaw expressed the opinion that "there's a lot about him [Obama] that we don't know," when in fact Brokaw attributed that assertion to "conservative commentators."
Rush Limbaugh distorted comments by Sen. Barack Obama in a 2001 radio interview and falsely characterized Obama as "an anti-constitutional professor" who has "flatly rejected" the U.S. Constitution. Obama made the comments in a panel discussion of how the Founders addressed the issue of slavery in the Constitution; he did not reject it, as Limbaugh falsely claimed, but called it "a remarkable political document."
Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, and Jerome Corsi suggested or asserted that the true purpose of Sen. Barack Obama's current trip to Hawaii is not to visit his ailing grandmother, as Obama claims, but rather to address rumors -- widely debunked -- that Obama has failed to produce a valid U.S. birth certificate. However, in addition to FactCheck.org and a Hawaiian Health Department official, even Corsi's employer, the right-wing website WorldNetDaily, has reportedly determined that the birth certificate provided by the Obama campaign is authentic.
Rush Limbaugh and KSFO's Lee Rodgers repeated a variation of the claim that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gave "5 million illegal aliens" subprime loans that they have not paid back. Quinn & Rose's Jim Quinn also cited the 5 million statistic without citing a source for the figure. None of these radio hosts noted that HUD has reportedly stated that this statistic is false.
On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh claimed that Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank Project, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 "[b]ecause he came up with a way to offer loans to poor people who couldn't pay them back." But Grameen Bank's monthly report for August 2008 shows a repayment rate of 98.08 percent.