Media Duped by Limbaugh’s Phony Obama Praise

© Marco Garcia/ZUMApress.com

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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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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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