Limbaugh Doctored Jesse Jackson Quote to Make It Look Like Jackson Opposes Obama:
So on his radio show yesterday, prior to asserting that he understood "the black frame of mind" and that black people were "feeling abandoned" in part because of "Tiger Woods' choice of females," Rush Limbaugh was trying to show that African Americans are turning against President Barack Obama by playing a clip of Rev. Jesse Jackson from The Tavis Smiey Show. Limbaugh said Smiley's question was, "Some think the blame Bush rhetoric no longer applies that Obama used successfully in the campaign."
Here's the transcript of Jackson's response, as presented by Limbaugh: "He essentially owns more and more. When Bush left office there were 30,000 troops in Afghanistan. We're now going to a hundred thousand, so we kind of own the Afghanistan mission. We bailed out the banks. We kind of own a plan now where you have more foreclosures than you do have modifications. We're losing jobs by the droves. Unemployment levels are disastrously high. We are the canary in the mine. We're on the front side of its pain and the backside of its prosperity. Urban America is black, but Appalachia basically is white. We must not be seen as marginal America."
Limbaugh then uses Jackson as a leaping off point to the supposed outrage of black Americans, saying, "How is that Hoax and Change working for you? They're all livid. I mean they thought there was going to be an exact 180 degree economic reversal and it's done nothing but get bad for everybody."
And Limbaugh might have a point, except that he's lying about Jackson. The audio of the clip is pretty smoothly done, but the Jackson quote is a Frankenstein's monster, strung together from edited pieces of two separate answers.
Smiley's question was: "There are some who believe that the blame Bush rhetoric that worked so well for the Obama team during the campaign no longer applies, on the economy, on the war -- he owns it now. You agree with that?"
Jackson's response was far more nuanced and actually blamed the Bush administration for putting the nation in its precarious position:
"Well, there's a continuity, but he essentially owns more and more. Bush left office with 30,000 troops in Afghanistan; we're now going to 100,000. So we kind of own the Afghanistan mission, for example. When Bush came in we were losing houses, foreclosures were outdistancing modifications.
"Now we bailed out the banks without linking to bailing out homeowners, and so we kind of own it planned out where you have more foreclosures than you have modifications. You own a situation where we're losing jobs by the droves without some plan to stop the hemorrhage and some kind of plan for economic reconstruction.
"The burden is upon us now. I think that there is still the awesome high hope for this president. It's early on. But you must judge him early on by the priorities and the priorities first with the bailout, the banks with no linkage to bailing out domestic America. Now the priorities shifted to bailing out Afghanistan and the healthcare plan. In the meantime, within these cities, the unemployment levels are disastrously high. Forty-nine million Americans are food-underserved. They're omitting meals or skipping meals, so to speak.
"So we need a real focus on domestic, urban poverty plan of the likes of a Lyndon Johnson. We need a domestic, urban poverty plan."
What the entire answer gives us is not a black leader angry at Obama, but a cautiously optimistic man who is hoping that the causes he worked on for his entire life won't be ignored again, as they were in the Bush administration.
The rest of the Limbaugh version, from "We are the canary in the mine" on, is from an entirely different question, where Jackson also said of jobs programs, "So when we cry out for help and we say putting America back to work, it affects everybody." In other words, it's a concern for all poor people, not just blacks, but blacks happen to be disproportionately poor.
After informing his audience about how he understands the emotional state of black people, Limbaugh offers another Jackson quote from the interview, also pasted together with chewing gum and lies. Smiley asks about how Jackson can "push back" against Obama when 90 percent of black people "love this president?"
Here's the Limbaugh version of the answer: "They also love to keep their houses and they also love their jobs. So the issue is about policy. It's not about our appreciation of the impact of this presidency. We found through the attorney generals that these major banks profiled blacks and Latinos. They circumvented community reinvestment laws. As opposed to getting a bailout, they should be facing the courts for breaking the law. On the black and brown side is where the water came in the boat. But the water didn't stop. It kept on coming, the water kept coming across. A rising tide will not lift those boats stuck at the bottom that have holes in them."
And now the actual quote (this is long, but you need it to know just how much Limbaugh tricks his audience): "And for all the right reasons. They'd also love to keep their houses, and they also love jobs. They also love some way to reduce student loan rates that are now driving us out of schools. It's issues about policy. It's not about our appreciation of the impact of his presidency; it's not about that at all. I think the quicker we get to the issue of direction and not complexion, then we can begin to focus on what do we need.
"We need targeted jobs now, for the unemployment, for all of us. Forty-nine million Americans who are food-underserved need a food-directed program now. As for the patterns of race discrimination, we've found through the attorney generals that these major banks target and profile Blacks and Latinos are still enclustered. That they've violated the laws, they've violated -- they've circumvented fair lending laws, they circumvented community reinvestment laws. As opposed to getting a bailout, they should be facing the courts for breaking the law.
"So really, the first step we need is the attorney general's role. If he would just step in to enforce the law, that is to stop -- to enforce the EEOC, to enforce contract compliance, to enforce affirmative action, to punish those who break the law, if he would just -- that would stop the hemorrhaging bottom-up. And that is the concern now, that unless we stop the patterns of discrimination, then we all lose.
"Put it this way, Tavis. On the Black and Brown side is where the water came in the boat. That was vulnerable spot. But the water didn't stop there, it kept on coming. In other words, what the lawsuits show is that a Black or Brown making $100,000 got a subprime, high-cost loan, and a White making $50,000 got a low-cost prime loan. That was discrimination.
"So on the front end, the banks profited from the loan not being enforced. The water kept coming until it affects -- because if my house goes in foreclosure, your house loses value. So now four and a half million homes lost to foreclosure, 20 million underwater. The water kept coming across. Now it's gone up to prime loans, and then credit cards, and then real estate.
"So the water that's now sinking the whole ship came in at the bottom, so if we would have, if you will, the Bobby Kennedy type aggressiveness, which -- and Holder is capable of that, I might add. We need the law -- if we just have the law enforced it's a big step, because for eight years, the law was not enforced.
Limbaugh is not just taking Jackson out of context. He's rewriting Jackson's words without saying at any point that he is selectively stringing together sentences in order to fit a narrative. Is that slander? And the narrative Limbaugh is trying to enforce is not only that Obama is losing black support because of some notion of betrayal, but that Jackson is not concerned with poverty, just race. Every reference to fighting poverty has been eliminated by Limbaugh.
Limbaugh concludes, "So there's trouble in paradise out there. The Reverend Jackson, his anger is pretty muted here but he's pretty mad." That may be true, but for his listeners, Jackson's real anger is misrepresented. Or, in other words, as ever, Rush Limbaugh is a big, fat liar.