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'Nasty' Rush Limbaugh Is Behaving Like a 'Werewolf,' Former Newsweek Editor Spews

Former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman on Monday lashed out at Rush Limbaugh as a "nasty" "werewolf" who is making the national discourse extreme. Hardball anchor Chris Matthews played a clip of the conservative radio star asserting that Barack Obama "hates" America.

Fineman spewed, "So, if you have an establishment Republican [Mitt Romney] behaving like an attack dog, you're going to have the Rush Limbaughs of the world behaving like werewolves." [MP3 audio here.]

According to Fineman, Romney "dragged the center of the gravity of the discussion over to the nasty realm which...brings what happens in talk radio and elsewhere in the conservative grassroots, legitimizes the nastiness that you're seeing there."

The former Newsweek editor, now editorial director for Huffington Post, warned that this is only the beginning. He added, "They're going to become increasingly hysterical as the months wear on."

Fineman previously smeared another conservative, Newt Gingrich, as a "mad bomber."

A transcript of the July 16 exchange can be found below:

  
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Your thoughts on what this Rushbo thing means?

HOWARD FINEMAN: My take on this, Chris, is that Mitt Romney was as one point, and to some extent still is, an establishment Republican, and yet he has run a campaign from the very beginning that's been for the most part all attack. It was that way in the primaries. It's that way now. So, if you have an establishment Republican behaving like an attack dog, you're going to have the Rush Limbaughs of the world behaving like werewolves. [Laugher] Mitt Romney has dragged the center of the gravity of the discussion over to the nasty realm, which brings- which brings what happens in talk radio and elsewhere in the conservative grassroots, legitimizes the nastiness that you're seeing there. And, again, has only begun. Has only begun. They're going to become increasingly hysterical as the months wear on. 

-- Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.