The National Debt


Thursday, October 15, 2009

It's not quite a smoking gun . . .Rush is right!

But it is a gun, and it has a pack of cigarettes laying next to it.

Edit: Welcome Toby Harnden’s Telegraph readers! I should point out that this isn’t really “protein wisdom,” it’s like the Wiki-pw. But why not stop by the mothership and see what our hosts have cooked up lately.

Via a Facebook update from Michael in MI comes a post from Smash Mouth Politics, attempting to scour the net looking for a supposed Rush Limbaugh quote declaring that James Earl Ray deserved a Medal of Honor, presumably for assassinating Martin Luther King.

Smash Mouth’s google-fu turned up an internet bulletin-board devoted to, of all things, comic books, where a similar argument was raging in 2005. One poster there, “Loren,” did yeoman’s work trying to hunt down the source of this quote and found that most places that republished it attributed it to Wikiquote, a sister website to Wikipedia that shares the trait of being totally user-created. This means it’s ripe for abuse, since anyone can post anything and attribute a false quote — BUT the saving grace is that all edits, no matter how minor, are preserved.

And that’s where you’ll find this: a Wikiquote contributor who devotes basically his entire time on the website posting quotes from Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, James Dobson, and other conservative boogeymen. At just after 6:00 AM GMT on July 20, 2005, he posted this to Rush Limbaugh’s Wikiquote page:

“You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray. We miss you, James. Godspeed.” [2/21/03]

Three minutes later, though, he fixed it:

“You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray. We miss you, James. Godspeed.” [4/23/98]

April 23, 1998 was the day James Earl Ray died, thus making “Godspeed” sound like a more accurate statement.

Now what does all this have to do with anything? Because eight minutes before uncorking that whopper and trying to tar it to Limbaugh, this vandal posted this quote and attributed it to Rush:

”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.” [3/14/03]


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