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Flashback: MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Touted False Limbaugh Quote in June

On the June 3, 2009 Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, host Rachel Maddow cited a false quote attributed to Rush Limbaugh in which the radio host supposedly said he wanted to award Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassin the Medal of Honor. Since Limbaugh expressed interest in becoming part owner of the St. Louis Rams in October, several MSNBC hosts have repeated that and other false quotes.

Reacting to Limbaugh calling then Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor a racist, Maddow declared: "When you get called racist by the guy who says the assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr. should get the Medal of Honor, consider yourself honored. Also, nauseated." Maddow's dishonest rant was originally reported by NewsBusters' D. S. Hube.

Before lying about Limbaugh, Maddow attacked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for also labeling Sotomayor as racist and not fully retracting his statement: "Last week, Mr. Gingrich used Twitter to declare that Judge Sotomayor is a Latina woman racist. Today, he issued a statement that seemed designed to take credit for retracting that comment without actually retracting it." Viewers are still waiting for MSNBC to retract its charge of racism against Limbaugh based on fabricated quotes.

Maddow transitioned from Gingrich to Limbaugh, proclaiming: "Not everyone is going along with the fake retraction. Talk show host Rush Limbaugh, for example, does not retract anything - ever."

Here is a full transcript of Maddow's indignation:

MADDOW: Because this is cable news, the Rachel Maddow Show has big breaking news tonight. Since he relapsed on the air, Newt Gingrich, affectionately known here as Republican blowhard emeritus, sort of and kind of didn't really back away from his declaration that Supreme Court nominee Justice Sonia Sotomayor is a racist.

Last week, Mr. Gingrich used Twitter to declare that Judge Sotomayor is a Latina woman racist. Today, he issued a statement that seemed designed to take credit for retracting that comment without actually retracting it.

He said, quote, "The word 'racist' should not have been applied to Judge Sotomayor as a person, even if her words themselves are unacceptable. Sotomayor's words reveal a betrayal of a fundamental principle of the American system that everyone is equal before the law.

So you didn't mean to call Judge Sotomayor racist. You only meant to call her words racist and say that by using them, she betrays the fundamentals of the country in a sort of racist way.

Not everyone is going along with the fake retraction. Talk show host Rush Limbaugh, for example, does not retract anything - ever.

[BEGIN AUDIO CLIP]

RUSH LIMBAUGH: I didn't know why he retracted it and I still don't. I'm not retracting it. Nobody's refuted it. She would bring a form of racism and bigotry to the court.

[END AUDIO CLIP]

MADDOW: When you get called racist by the guy who says the assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr. should get the Medal of Honor, consider yourself honored. Also, nauseated.

- Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center.