Rush Limbaugh used his golden microphone Tuesday to shoot down claims he told a member of his vast audience not to watch Fox News after the caller complained about one of the fair and balanced network's liberal commentators.
A caller named Tony from Tampa dialed Limbaugh on Monday to vent about a comment Fox News Channel contributor Julie Roginsky had made regarding coal on a show hosted by Neil Cavuto.
Tony lumped Roginsky, a former aide to the late Democrat Sen. Frank Lautenberg, in with several other left-leaning contributors who appear regularly on various Fox News shows. Limbaugh advised Tony not to watch people he disagreed with, but several websites decided the talk show titan was telling him to tune out Fox altogether.
"I said, 'Tony, stop watching these people because they're intended to make you question your sanity.You need to stop watching these people because they're not gonna change,'" a frustrated Limbaugh said on his widely-heard radio show. "That has become 'Limbaugh told listeners to stop watching Fox. 'I did not tell anybody to stop watching Fox."
Click above to hear exactly what Rush Limbaugh said about Fox News
Mediaite, one of the websites -- along with Huffington Post and Politico -- that initially said Limbaugh had told listeners to stop watching Fox, noted in a Tuesday afternoon posting that Limbaugh had subsequently "clarified" his remark. Mediaite quoted him as saying, it “was interpreted by people as a blanket, overall criticism of Fox. It wasn’t!”
Mediaite reported he said the comment was aimed at the liberal pundit class that are “designed to make you question your sanity.”
In addition to its new posting, Mediaite updated its original post to reflect the clarification.
Even before Limbaugh and Mediaite clarified the matter, several posters chided Mediaite for taking El Rushbo out of context. One, identified as “Blottomania,” called the original article “patently disingenuous” and said it was obvious that “Limbaugh's not referring to the entity that is Fox News, but rather some of the individuals who prop up the Democratic line on Fox News.”
“What this also makes clear is that there certainly are outlets for the Democratic viewpoint on Fox News, contrary to the ridiculous contentions to the contrary made by many here and elsewhere,” Blottomania wrote.
Another reader urged people to listen to the tape.
“Anyone with half a brain who listens to the recording you posted will conclude Limbaugh was NOT referring to Fox - but to the liberal Democrats who stir things up ON Fox,” he wrote. “Love him or hate him, you shouldn't put words into Limbaugh's mouth!”
Limbaugh said he would in fact "be urging people to watch Fox," and went on to display his extensive knowledge of television ratings.
"Fox is the most-watched news network in the country," Limbaugh said. "More people get their news from Fox News than anybody else.Now, if you add up [all] the others, they will outnumber Fox, but if you take a side-by-side individual network-by-network comparison, Fox is it, it's numero uno."