NBC: ‘A Firestorm of Outrage from Women After a Crude Tirade from Rush Limbaugh’

Serving as the arm of MSNBC which actually has a significant audience, Thursday’s NBC Nightly News promoted a left-wing effort to impugn and silence Rush Limbaugh. “A firestorm of outrage from women after a crude tirade from Rush Limbaugh and as the battle over birth control takes another turn,” anchor Brian Williams ominously teased his newscast.

Picking up a crusade pushed all day by MSNBC, Williams warned “some may find some of the comments in this next story offensive.” He claimed “there is a growing firestorm over comments made by Rush Limbaugh,” about a woman, Sandra Fluke, who testified in favor of forcing her Catholic college to pay for her contraception, and so “a lot of women are expressing their outrage.”

Reporter Anne Thompson framed her story through a liberal prism: “What began as a debate over religious freedom has devolved into what some call a ‘war on women.’”

Audio: MP3 clip which matches the video excerpt

She recited how “on the Internet and Twitter, there’s a mixture of disbelief and anger. Postings like, 'The GOP is waging a war on women. Let’s fight back,' before she dishonestly maintained “there is a groundswell of anger on Capitol Hill about Limbaugh’s comments,” as if it is some kind of bi-partisan anger. “Seventy-five members of Congress have sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner expressing their outrage. The letter calls for Republican leaders to condemn Limbaugh’s remarks.”

In fact, as CBSNews.com, hardly a holdout of Limbaugh fans, headlined a post: “Democrats urge Boehner to ‘repudiate’ comments by Limbaugh on contraception testimony.” The item began:

A group of Democratic members of Congress are continuing the political war over contraception and the latest move puts House Speaker John Boehner on the spot. Seventy-five lawmakers are urging the Speaker to “repudiate” comments made by conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. The Democrats signed a letter to the speaker over comments Limbaugh made on his show on Wednesday...

Limbaugh’s comment which Williams characterized as “offensive”? This is the one and only Limbaugh soundbite NBC played:

So, Ms. Fluke, and the rest of you Femi-Nazis, here's the deal: If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and, thus, pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. And I’ll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.

Obviously, a bit of humor which escaped the overly-sensitive left-wing/media axis always looking to be offended.

Earlier, from Scott Whitlock, “Chris Matthews: Rush Limbaugh Could Be the Next Don Imus in the Wake of ‘Sluts’ Comment

For Limbaugh’s reaction on his Thursday show to the attacks on him, see “Left Freaks Out Over My Fluke Remarks.”

And his response to the Democratic letter: “Tell Issa to Condemn Cummings.”

Limbaugh credits a CNSNews.com blog post by Craig Bannister, “Sex-Crazed Co-Eds Going Broke Buying Birth Control, Student Tells Pelosi Hearing Touting Freebie Mandate,” as “the story that started all this.”

For an overall lok at the media's distortions, check our Media Reality Check by Rich Noyes released Wednesday: “How Network News Has Twisted Obama’s War on Religion Into a Conservative War Against Women

From the Thursday, March 1 NBC Nightly News, closed-captioning corrected against the video by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Now, some may find some of the comments in this next story offensive, but then, that’s really part of the point. There is a growing firestorm over comments made by Rush Limbaugh about a young woman caught up in the middle of this fight over birth control in Washington. And tonight, a lot of women are expressing their outrage. We get details on this tonight from NBC’s Anne Thompson.

ANNE THOMPSON: This debate is marked by powerful images. The all-male panel at a congressional hearing on contraception coverage.

SANDRA FLUKE, GEORGETOWN LAW SCHOOL STUDENT: Thank you for calling this hearing on women’s health.

THOMPSON: Sandra Fluke, the 23-year-old Georgetown law student, prohibited from testifying. And now incendiary words from one of the loudest voices in the conservative movement, radio host Rush Limbaugh.

RUSH LIMBAUGH: So, Ms. Fluke, and the rest of you Femi-Nazis, here's the deal: If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and, thus, pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. And I’ll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.

THOMPSON: In 2012, the personal is political. What began as a debate over religious freedom has devolved into what some call a “war on women.”

SUSAN BROOKS THISTLETHWAITE, CHICAGO THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY: It’s certainly an attack on a lot of levels. Rights that women felt were settled, I think, for nearly a generation have suddenly become contested again.

MONA CHAREN, CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST: No doubt there are better ways or other ways that one might have phrased it, but, then again, he has a huge 20 million listeners, and he didn’t get that way by being milquetoast.

THOMPSON: On the Internet and Twitter, there’s a mixture of disbelief and anger. Postings like, “The GOP is waging a war on women. Let's fight back,” and, “I vote Republican but also realize it's 2012. Bible thumpers need to get with the times.” Tonight, there is a groundswell of anger on Capitol Hill about Limbaugh’s comments. Seventy-five members of Congress have sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner expressing their outrage. The letter calls for Republican leaders to condemn Limbaugh’s remarks. As for Sarah Fluke, Brian, she says she will not be deterred. She will continue to speak out.

Neither ABC’s World News, nor the CBS Evening News, found the leftist attacks on Limbaugh or his remarks newsworthy on Thursday night.

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center