With election 2012 fully underway, Democrats and Republicans are busy grasping at the most vapid, puerile rhetorical attacks possible. Out of all that silly season rabble, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh has somehow managed to come out on top with a conspiracy theory about the new "Batman" movie being timed to boost Democrats' chances in November -- but less than 24 hours later, he's already backing off it.

"I never said that!" he declared on his Wednesday broadcast, in an apparent effort to take back his "The Dark Knight Rises" conspiracy theory.

"I have had more reaction to [the Batman conspiracy] than anything, including the Fluke thing!" Limbaugh insisted. "It has been -- I've had my brother telling me that Twitter is going nuts. I've been getting hateful email, supportive email. More people are concerned about what I have said or what I didn't say about a Batman villain than they are about their own jobs. It's incredible!"

"I said the Democrats were going to use it," he clarified. "Which they are! Jon Stewart is harping on it!"

To be fair, Democrats were not using a comic book villain to attack Republicans. But they are now, thanks to Limbaugh unleashing a small army of professional pundits eager to comment on the story, along with the torrent of horrible, amazing PhotoShop parodies now pouring onto the Internet.

Following Limbaugh's bizarre allegation, Comedy Central's Jon Stewart and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow discussed the story, and while Maddow went right at Limbaugh's weird conspiracy theory in full-on debunking mode, Stewart appeared to thank the heavens for it.

“Yes, you see, because the villains in Batman were pre-named DECADES IN ADVANCE of the 2012 election, in which one of the candidates would have a contested affiliation with a company named Bain!” Maddow mockingly declared. “That’s why they named that villain Bane!”

"In what can only be called a bit of divine intervention, the hot political story of the moment is Mitt Romney's old venture capital company, which happens to bear the same name as the most frightening and current Batman villain, Bain," Stewart said, kissing a finger and pointing it skyward. "Not since Ayds diet candy... has a brand faced this type of challenge."

This audio is from The Rush Limbaugh Show, published to YouTube on July 18, 2012.


Photo: Doug Kline, PopCultureGeek.com, creative commons licensed.