Politifact is (essentially) saying Rush Limbaugh — the head of the GOP — is a liar, and pins on him their worst: the “pants on fire” award. Yesterday, to much ridicule from all camps, Rush Limbaugh declared the Obama campaign had somehow been “lining up” a link between Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital, and the villain in the new Batman movie, “Bane.”
No, this is not a joke. Well, not by us.
“Have you heard this new movie, the Batman movie, what is it, The Dark Knight Lights Up or whatever the name is,” Limbaugh said on the air. “That’s right, Dark Knight Rises. Lights Up, same thing. Do you know the name of the villain in this movie? Bane. The villain in The Dark Knight Rises is named Bane, B-a-n-e. What is the name of the venture capital firm that Romney ran and around which there’s now this make-believe controversy? Bain.”
“The movie has been in the works for a long time. The release date’s been known, summer 2012 for a long time. Do you think that it is accidental that the name of the really vicious fire breathing four eyed whatever it is villain in this movie is named Bane?”
“This evil villain in the new Batman movie is named Bane. And there’s now a discussion out there as to whether or not this is purposeful and whether or not it will influence voters. It’s gonna have a lot of people. This movie, the audience is gonna be huge. A lot of people are gonna see the movie, and it’s a lot of brain-dead people, entertainment, the pop culture crowd, and they’re gonna hear Bane in the movie and they’re gonna associate Bain. The thought is that when they start paying attention to the campaign later in the year, and Obama and the Democrats keep talking about Bain, Romney and Bain, that these people will think back to the Batman movie, ‘Oh, yeah, I know who that is.’ There are some people who think it’ll work. Others think you’re really underestimating the American people to think that will work.”
No, seriously, Rush Limbaugh said that. He concluded:
“You may think it’s ridiculous, I’m just telling you this is the kind of stuff the Obama team is lining up. The kind of people who would draw this comparison are the kind of people that they are campaigning to. These are the kind of people that they are attempting to appeal to.”
The non-partisan fact-checking group Politifact decides:
Limbaugh suggested it’s no accident that in a movie coming out four months before the presidential election, the villain bears the same name as the company formerly run by Romney and now being attacked by Democrats.
In politics, conspiracies are everywhere if you look hard enough. But Limbaugh’s superpowers of persuasion can’t make this theory stand up. The villainous Bane first appeared in Batman comic books in 1993, long before Romney entered presidential politics. Even the character’s creator called a suggested link “ridiculous.” We rate this statement Pants on Fire!
Of course, Politifact isn’t the only one calling Limbaugh “ridiculous.”
Last night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow had this to say:
Saying “I think the conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh is not telling the truth about something,” the MSNBC anchor followed up today with an open letter to Limbaugh, in which she quotes his response from today:
“Everybody’s out there running around saying I got this giant conspiracy theory that the Batman people, the creators, the comic book creators, created this thing to campaign against Romney. I never said that. I didn’t say there was a conspiracy. I said the Democrats were going to use it. . . .”
Mr. Limbaugh, actually, you did say it was a conspiracy. You did so when you asked your rhetorical question (“Do you think that is is accidental?”) about whether it could conceivably be an accident that this new Batman movie has a villain in it with a name that sounds like Mitt Romney’s former firm.
Was that not a rhetorical question? When you asked “Do you think it’s accidental?” did you actually mean to imply that you do think it really was an accident, it really was a coincidence?
I think we were factually accurate when we made fun of you for trafficking in one of the stupidest right-wing conspiracy theories of all time. You are contesting our characterization of your remarks, but we didn’t mischaracterize what you said. And now I think you’re just lying about what you said in order to avoid the embarrassment of having been so wrong.
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