The left-wing Politico heard (or read) this and turned it into a headline that claimed: “Rush Limbaugh tells caller not to watch Fox” (Politico later changed its headline):
RUSH: Tony, who is Julie Roginsky?
CALLER: She’s a Democrat-Obama-Alinskyite, and she’s on that panel, and she’s trying to fake it like she’s for the middle class.
RUSH: On what panel?
CALLER: The panel with Charlie Payne, Cavuto, and —
RUSH: Oh, somewhere on Fox?
CALLER: That’s right. That’s right.
RUSH: You know, you need to stop watching these people, because they’re not gonna change, Tony, and I really care about you. You’ve gotta stop watching these people. All these names you mentioned, they’re not gonna change, and you’re exactly right: If all of this were happening with a Republican president — which it wouldn’t. It couldn’t, by definition. We don’t believe in these policies. But if it were, you’re right: They’d be raising holy hell about it and they’d be calling the president cold-hearted, mean, extremist, exclusionary, rich.
Limbaugh responded Tuesday:
“[Tony from Tampa] was talking very rapidly which made it difficult for me to understand every word he was saying and he started spouting names of people, and I didn’t recognize many of the names. It turns out that he was watching the Fox Business Channel and he was ticked off at listening to all the liberals there. And I said, ‘Well Tony, stop listening to them. Stop watching those people.’ That became this on POLITICO today, headline ‘Rush Limbaugh tells caller not to watch Fox,'” Limbaugh said, reading from the story out loud.
When Limbaugh got to the part about him cutting Tony off, he stopped.
“We don’t cut people off here, I simply said, ‘Oh, Tony,’ when he mentioned Cavuto and Charlie Payne, it’s like he’s watching Fox, and since it’s Payne, it’s got to be the Fox Business Channel. Maybe sometimes Payne crosses over, maybe sometimes Payne guests on Cavuto. But I said, ‘Tony, stop watching these people because they’re intended to make you question your sanity. You need to stop watching these people because they’re not going to change,'” Limbaugh said.
“I did not tell anybody to stop watching Fox. I said stop listening to these people that make you so mad. What else am I going to say? I don’t watch these people that make me mad anymore, I gave that up years ago,” Limbaugh said.
Limbaugh said it was true that he had an issue with “Fox & Friends,” but that didn’t mean he urged people to stop watching.
Right Scoop has the full Limbaugh audio.
Fox News also responded to Politico, and to two other left-wing sites (Mediate and the Huffington Post), for running similar headlines. To make its point, Fox posted reader comments from the false stories:
Another reader urged people to listen to the tape.
“Anyone with half a brain who listens to the recording you posted will conclude Limbaugh was NOT referring to Fox – but to the liberal Democrats who stir things up ON Fox,” he wrote. “Love him or hate him, you shouldn’t put words into Limbaugh’s mouth!”
Limbaugh explained why he thought the left-wing media wrote the false stories:
I will be on Fox again, I will be urging people to watch Fox, Fox is the most watched news network in the country, Gallup had it yesterday,” Limbaugh said. “Fox and I are on the same team. Even Obama has said, the only opposition he’s got left is me and Fox. See these people in the media, they just can’t stand it, they can’t stand that there’s even two voices of opposition to Obama and liberals so now they’re seeking to drive a wedge here.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC