Sue the bastards Rushbo!
“You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray. We miss you, James. Godspeed."
"I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark."
Oh, you didn't. In fact they were made up. By people who were not mistaken, but deliberately lying.
But here: http://newsone.com/obama/top-10-racist-limbaugh-quotes/
You can find a site which still claims El Rushbo said them all - and cites sources!
Please take a minute to go there, and click on the SOURCE buttons under each quote.
OK, notice that each source is secondary. Among the sources are the book "101 People who are Screwing up America," by Jack Huberman, and CommonDreams.org (a say it very softly, communist - shhhhh, front organization.)
(OK, spare yourself the trouble, I'll say it for you, "MCCARTHYITE PIG! WITCH HUNT! WITCH HUNT! WITCH HUNT!" There, don't you feel better now?)
Not once is a written source or an air date for these alleged quotes cited.
So what? This is a tinfoil-hat-wearing blogger so who cares?
Except that supposedly "professional" types at CNN and elsewhere are refusing to apologize, some (such as one Rick Sanchez) offering lame excuses of the "Well if it ain't true, it oughta be" kind.
The wittiest living man writing in English, Mark Steyn, pointed out the single, obvious fact that should have given the lie to this. If Rush had made these statements, does anyone seriously think they would only have been brought public attention now?
The occasion of these particular slanders/libels* is of course, Rush's attempt to buy a football team.
I could give a crap except for one thing, this time the slanders have evidently achieved their purpose. They have derailed what was a purely business deal.
Rush, I think you just won the lottery.
Libel laws in the U.S. I'm told, rest on two legs, 1) the assertion must be false (in America truth is absolute proof against libel**), and 2) there must be demonstrable damage.
Nowadays "mental anguish" has been accepted as damage, and defined down to "hurt feelings." Dumb and dangerous to free speech. But Rush actually suffered an aborted business transaction directly attributable to these slander, as documented by the football bigwigs' public statements.
Sue the bastards Rush! Sue them down to their underwear! Sue everybody in sight!
As a libertarian I've always been a bit uncomfortable about libel laws (and I'll present my Free Market Anarchist alternative later.)
In a civilized society, a gentleman falsely accused of making statements that vile would send a designated gentleman around to the slanderer with a polite request for either a public apology, or a meeting on the Field of Honor.***
One could of course, say no. And thus be revealed as a coward without the courage to defend one's lie. And of course, no jury would award more than a slap-on-the-wrist fine and a hearty handshake for the slandered party when he met the offender on the street and caned him. (As Sam Houston once did on the Capitol steps to a member of Congress who made a vile - and racist, insult, then haughtily refused him a duel.)
But we don't have a civilized society, so sue them Rush!
P.S. I'll point out here that I have been sharply critical of Rush Limbaugh in the past here: http://rantsand.blogspot.com/2006/11/libertarians-emerge-as-spoilers.html
when his mouth ran ahead of his brain.
But read the post and see that what Rush said on that occasion was an intemperate, and uncharitable interpretation of something that was admittedly true.
Note also that the insults I delivered to Rush for satirical purposes, "fat, deaf, junkie," were also true at the time.
*A lawyer friend once explained the legal difference between libel and slander to me: slander is spoken, libel is written. That's it.
That definition held for centuries until broadcast/recorded media made it a bit more complicated. The modern convention seems to be to use the term 'libel' for everything.
**In the U.K. startlingly, this is not the case. Which is why London is a favorite destination for libel tourism.
***Am I kidding? Even I don't know.