On today's show, Rush Limbaugh declared, “we have learned now that Media Matters for America was writing the primetime scripts for MSNBC,” with his website linking to a Daily Caller story. But it appears that Limbaugh didn't actually read the Daily Caller story about Media Matters. Instead, it seems Limbaugh simply took the word of Carol Platt Liebau (her script, if you will) who inaccurately summarized the story on her townhall.com blog: “Media Matters was pretty much writing the script for MSNBC's primetime.” Limbaugh's attack on MSNBC is almost word-for-word what Liebau wrote, but it bears no resemblance to the Daily Caller story.
The Daily Caller, apparently in an attempt to undermine the impact of a new book by Media Matters revealing close links between Fox News and the Republican Party, launched an attack on Media Matters based on personal smears and rumor-mongering. As part of the attacks, the Daily Caller's sole anonymous source (supposedly a former Media Matters employee) said about MSNBC, “They were using our research to write their stories.”
That certainly sounds true. Media Matters produces a lot of very accurate research. But there's a big difference between “using research” and “writing scripts,” which is what Limbaugh alleged. This isn't an exaggeration; it's a lie. So Limbaugh simply read, without attribution, an inaccurate summary by Liebau, carefully omitting the words “pretty much” to create the illusion that MSNBC simply accepted material written by any advocacy group and read these “scripts” on the air. Perhaps Limbaugh found this lie about reading scripts so believable because it describes exactly what Limbaugh does.
Crossposted at DailyKos.