On the April 19 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, host Rush Limbaugh declared that the perpetrator of the April 16 Virginia Tech shootings "had to be a liberal," adding: "You start railing against the rich, and all this other -- this guy's a liberal. He was turned into a liberal somewhere along the line. So it's a liberal that committed this act." Limbaugh then complained, in a possible reference to Media Matters for America, that "Now the drive-bys will read on a website that I'm attacking liberalism by comparing this guy to them. That's exactly what they do every day, ladies and gentlemen. I'm just pointing out a fact. I am making no extrapolation." Limbaugh regularly describes mainstream media sources as "the drive-by media."
From the April 19 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: If this Virginia Tech shooter had an ideology, what do you think it was? This guy had to be a liberal. You start railing against the rich and all this other -- this guy's a liberal. He was turned into a liberal somewhere along the line. So it's a liberal that committed this act. Now, the drive-bys will read on a website that I'm attacking liberalism by comparing this guy to them. That's exactly what they do every day, ladies and gentlemen. I'm just pointing out a fact. I am making no extrapolation; I'm just pointing it out. They try -- whenever -- I can tell you from the history of this program, starting way back in the early '90s, when there was any kind of an incident, crime or what-have-you that attracted national attention, in the early days of this program, the drive-by media went out and they tried to connect the perpetrator to this program. They did everything they could. In fact, it went so far as Bill Clinton blaming me for influencing Timothy McVeigh to blow up the bureau building [sic: Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City]. These are the people sponsoring lies and distortion for the purposes of dividing this country and creating hatred. These are the people that invented this kind of tactic, if you will.
Five days after the Oklahoma City bombing, in an April 24, 1995, speech in Minneapolis, Clinton criticized "loud and angry voices in America today whose sole goal seems to be to try to keep some people as paranoid as possible and the rest of us all torn up and upset with each other. They spread hate. They leave the impression that, by their very words, that violence is acceptable." Clinton followed up on that comment the next day in a speech in Ames, Iowa, stating: "We must stand up and speak against reckless speech that can push fragile people over the edge beyond the bounds of civilized conduct and take this country into a dark place. I say that no matter where it comes from, people are encouraging violence and lawlessness and hatred. If people are encouraging conduct that will undermine the fabric of this country, it should be spoken against whether it comes from the left or the right, whether it comes on radio, television or in the movies, whether it comes in the schoolyard, or, yes, even on the college campus."
An April 26, 1995, Washington Post article reported that Clinton's comments in Iowa "were aimed at blunting criticism from Republicans and others that he had unfairly blamed conservative talk radio Monday when he denounced 'the loud and angry voices in America today' and lamented 'the things that are regularly said over the airwaves.' Rush Limbaugh and other conservative radio hosts interpreted those comments as aimed at them, although Clinton hadn't singled out individuals in his Minneapolis speech or even mentioned talk radio in his speech."