Media Duped by Limbaugh’s Phony Obama Praise

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It was too good—nay, too impossible—to be true.

A number of media outlets today seized on comments made by Rush Limbaugh in which the king of conservative talk radio appeared to praise President Barack Obama for his leadership in the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan on Sunday. “Rush Limbaugh: ‘Thank God for President Obama,'” read a headline at Politico, which went on to report that “Limbaugh credited the president with the strategy that led to the killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.” In a post titled “And Hell Freezes Over,” Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Beast noted Limbaugh’s “going out of his way to celebrate Obama’s singular role” in the bin Laden assassination. And the site Mediaite wrote that “Limbaugh opened his show today with huge praise for his President, his military, and his country. That’s right, folks. America can still get along.”

Well, not quite. At first listen, Limbaugh does in fact sound like he’s praising Obama for being the leader who “single-handedly came up with the technique in order to pull this off.” But then you remember: This is Rush Limbaugh, people. That’s not praise; it’s sarcasm at its very thickest. Here’s the video of Limbaugh’s remarks with an excerpt below it:

“You see, the military wanted to go in there and bomb as they always do. They wanted to drop missiles and drop bombs and a number of totally destructive techniques here. But President Obama, perhaps the only qualified member in the room to deal with this, insisted on the Special Forces. No one else thought of that. President Obama. Not a single intelligence adviser, not a single national security adviser, not a single military adviser came up with the idea of using SEAL Team 6 or any Special Forces.”

Limbaugh’s not lauding Obama’s role here. He’s mocking it. If you’re still not convinced, listen to Limbaugh’s reaction later in the day upon reading the reports citing his praise of the president, per Media Matters:

The guy can’t stop laughing. Even if hell had frozen over, Rush Limbaugh would still find a way to bash Obama for it.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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