Did Gloria Steinem, Robin Morgan, & Jane Fonda use an unsourced quote against Rush Limbaugh?

It’s looking that way.  In their call to have Rush Limbaugh lose his FCC license, the three authors uncritically repeat this alleged quote from Limbaugh:

“The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.”

Yes.  That particular forwarded email has come around again on the Great Cycle of Spam.  Rejoice, brothers and sisters!  For nothing truly dies on the Internet.

In case my sarcasm was not a sufficient tell, let me explain.  The problem here is that, as Snopes.com puts it:

This putative statement dates at least as far back as 1992, so the only documentation we’ve been able to locate for it is indirect. All the sources we’ve found that reference it cite the January 1993 issue of Flush Rush Quarterly as their source.

If you’re wondering why they checked, it’s because  the original article that Steinem, Morgan, & Fonda linked to was partially ripped off from a 2009 chain email.  Oddly enough, in this particular case above nobody’s ever actually confirmed a single-sourced allegation made by a now-defunct newszine.  Or possibly it’s not odd at all.

The thing that I don’t get, though: the Snopes.com article went through the trouble of checking the original list of statements attributed to Limbaugh*, and Snopes.com remains one of the go-to sites that you use when you’re checking outrageous things on the Internet.  I can understand why Fonda & Steinem didn’t think to check: they’ve had time to age into their anger and resentment at a world that will stubbornly not conform to their desires.  But does CNN have no editors with reliable net access?

Moe Lane

*My mother the Trotskyite will never forgive me if I don’t note at this point that Rush Limbaugh has said some, ah, uncivil things over the years.  Which makes the authors’ uncritical willingness to not check their quotes past the first level all the more bizarre.

5 thoughts on “Did Gloria Steinem, Robin Morgan, & Jane Fonda use an unsourced quote against Rush Limbaugh?”

  1. I’m glad to see a more balanced post for a change, where it is shown that anti-republicans have been shown to use unsourced chain emails when trying to smear somebody. If fact-checking sites just took the time and effort to dig a little more deeply, they might just find there is a lot more of this going on than the liberals would have everyone believe.

  2. Oh, and you might want to get Weekly World News off your blogroll. You know it’s nothing but a tabloid with all fake stories, right?

    1. :raised eyebrow: Not familiar with this site, I take it. The WWN was one of the best mass-media supplements for tabletop roleplaying games ever created, and I mourn the loss of its print version. Whenever I needed an idea for a campaign, it was always there for me. Always.

      So, no, I’m not removing the digital version from my blogroll. 🙂

  3. Not familiar with the site appears to be a massive understatement. Color me confused…

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