Rachel Maddow Apologizes to Rush Limbaugh by Calling Him a Racist

As NewsBusters reported Friday, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh caught MSNBC's Rachel Maddow in a bald-faced lie about him.

Later that evening, Maddow apologized for her error but blamed it on- wait for it! - the conservative website World Net Daily and then accused Limbaugh of racism (video follows with transcript and commentary):

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: I’m in a face-off, a huge fight, I’m in a massive brawl with Rush Limbaugh right now. And you know what? Rush Limbaugh wins.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

MADDOW: I thought when President Obama released the second form of the birth certificate, that that would not put this thing to rest, that it was, in fact, based in giving more facts would help? But it did put it to rest. I was wrong. It put it to rest.

On the president’s 50th birthday, it is now just the dead-enders and the profiteers at still point still plugging this thing. There is nobody who has any pull in conservative politics or Republican politics at all who is -- seriously? Are you sure? Are you sure this is -- this is from this week, this is from yesterday? OK.

Play it.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO HOST: Tomorrow is Obama’s birthday. We haven’t seen proof of that. He tells us August 4th. Sorry.

MADDOW: Sorry. Apparently it’s not over.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

MADDOW: That was from last night’s show. I was wrong. I lose. Yes, that was Rush Limbaugh on his radio show about not being sure if the president was born. That was not from Rush Limbaugh’s show this past Wednesday, it was, in fact, from his show a year ago, way before the administration produced that second form of President Obama’s birth certificate this past April.

A classy, professional anchor would have said she was sorry now, and moved on.

Unfortunately, Maddow is neither classy nor professional:

MADDOW: The reason I thought this sound bite was from this week because of a report from the pro-birther publication World Net Daily, the link does not work anymore. But here’s a cache version of that report. It was posted just past midnight Wednesday, August 4th, 2011, at 12:15 a.m. And it misattributed the day that Rush Limbaugh’s said those words as today, which would have been Wednesday, August 3rd, the day before the article was posted. The article linked to audio uploaded on August 3rd, 2011 of Rush Limbaugh’s comments -- all of which made me believed it was from August 3rd, 2011, audio that I used and wrongly attributed to having been said on August 3rd, 2011.

That clip was mislabeled. The article was wrong. And it was wrong of us to not check early World Net Daily’s reporting. I’m very sorry.

Here is the cached version of WND's piece, and it does indeed give readers the impression that Limbaugh said this Wednesday and not last year.

However, is the far-left MSNBC now relying on far-right publications for its research? Are there really no resources at a division of Comcast, General Electric, and NBC to do some basic fact-checking beyond a website that those associated vehemently disagree with at every turn?

And are YouTube video descriptions considered credible enough for MSNBCer's to cite dates from?

Doesn't give you much confidence in the veracity of any of their reporting.

But Maddow wasn't done making a fool of herself, for instead of leaving it there, she felt the need to attack Limbaugh by accusing him of racism:

MADDOW: And if you are worried about overall thesis that Rush Limbaugh is not giving up on trying to use the president’s race against him, this day and age, don’t worry about that thesis. Our error in misdating that tape does not undermine our thesis, as well proven by Mr. Limbaugh on his radio show just this week alone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH: I’m not going to apologize to the magic Negro. Grab the magic Negro. We’re going to click and play it again today.

The guy is never going to look older than 12. He’s never going to act older than 12. He’s always going to look like a man-child. (INAUDIBLE) saying out there saying he’s earning every gray hair. Earning every gray hair, I can believe it living with her, but not because of the job of being president.

Next thing to look out for is for Obama to take the farms. Well, that’s what Zimbabwe, that’s what Mugabe did, he took the white people’s farms. That’s the only place that had any money.
So, tar baby now has racial (INAUDIBLE). So, we’ve got to stop everything. This is Colorado congressman calls Obama a tar baby. We will take a break and be but don’t tar baby me. Do not tar baby me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: OK. So, that’s all from, in fact, this week. I stand by my theory that the dead-enders and the profiteers and the people who used the president’s race against him for political purposes are sticking with the birther thing. But I am still sorry I got that other sound bite wrong.

That’s why we call it "Department of Corrections." I’m sorry.

And this is what qualifies as an apology and retraction at MSNBC.

As if it's possible, making matters worse, rather than any punishment for Maddow's mistake, NBC rewarded her by giving her a guest appearance on Sunday's "Meet the Press."

Gives you a lot of confidence in the integrity of these so-called "news" divisions, doesn't it?

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.