We really need a word for this habit of theirs. Years ago, I had a two-day email exchange with Chris Selley that sounded exactly like the one below.
Plain ole “nitpicking”? I’d call it “Dawging” but Dr. Dawg’s readership is so tiny that few people would get it…
Frankly, however, I find a number of problems with the left interpretation. First, let me say it’s clear that [conservative] Kurtz was not correct when he referred to the numbers as “ratings”.
Ratings are a specific thing, and as [liberal] Tommy Christopher correctly points out, the estimates quoted by Kurtz are not that specific thing. They aren’t, in other words, official. They aren’t “ratings”.
Now that the technical error is out of the way, the question that really matters is whether or not those numbers are an accurate reflection of what benefit Limbaugh is gaining from the White House led death charge. Is not the whole point of the Kurtz quote that Rush is gaining popularity? Does the fact that the information isn’t some official “ratings” somehow prove the whole premise false? Well … no. Of course not!
Christopher has merely proved that Kurtz was a klutz who called something ratings which was not, in fact ratings.
I’ve seen this strategy of marginalizing Rush’s popularity before. Over at the Daily Beast, Max Blumenthal published a story claiming that Rush is less popular than Bill Ayers or Jeremiah Wright, something I thoroughly debunked here and here. I spoke with Blumenthal on the phone, in fact, and he agreed that his story was wrong, and that Limbaugh was actually not less popular than either of those two.
Of course, it doesn’t matter. It’s a Known-Fact™ still in use by the other side. Lies becoming truth is a specialty on that side of the political spectrum, as they continue to prove.