Accuracy in Media

In the “that must have hurt to say it department,” MSNBC host Rachel Maddow admitted last night that she used a one-year-old clip of Rush Limbaugh questioning where Obama was born.

I’m in a face off, I’m in a huge fight, I’m in a massive brawl with Rush Limbaugh right now. And you know what, Rush Limbaugh wins.

Maddow then played the segment from her show on Thursday night where she played an audio clip of Rush Limbaugh from 2010 questioning the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s birth on eve of his birthday last year. She was trying to make a point that birthers and racists were still after the President.

That was from last night’s show. And I was wrong. I lose. Yes, that was Rush Limbaugh on his radio show saying that thing about him not being sure about when the President was born or if the President was born. But that was not from Rush Limbaugh’s radio 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.

While Maddow admitted she was wrong in attributing the clip to Limbaugh’s show this week, she laid part of the blame on what she suggested was a confusing and inaccurate report in what she called the “pro-birther publication” WorldNetDaily, and a mislabeled audio clip on YouTube saying:

It was wrong of us to not check WorldNetDaily’s reporting, and I am very sorry.

Maddow concluded, though, that even with their misdating of the tape, her thesis that Limbaugh is using the President’s race against him was still very much intact. She played a series of comments Limbaugh made this week referring to Obama’s race as evidence that she is still correct overall.

This incident certainly won’t stop Maddow’s attacks on Limbaugh, but it may slow her down a bit as she and her staff will actually have to verify the facts before making accusations on the air. That would be a very novel concept for Maddow and MSNBC, if they actually try to be accurate for a change.

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