Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh seized on the New York Times‘ apparent softening of its recent criticism of President Barack Obama to suggest the president is behind a seizure of power.
“What everybody knows and nobody wants to really wants to come to grips with is, we are in the midst of a coup taking place,” he said on his radio show Friday.
As Gawker reported on Thursday, the Times changed its editorial slamming the White House for what it called “President Obama’s dragnet” saying that “the administration had lost all credibility.” A later version of the piece changed the line to, “The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue,” referring to reports of data mining by the National Security Agency.
The Poynter Institute reported on Friday that the newspaper’s editorial page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, defended the change in an interview with public editor Margaret Sullivan published Friday, saying it did not soften the original editorial “one iota.”
“If we had changed the intent of the editorial, it would have been dishonest not to say so,” Rosenthal told Sullivan. “But that wasn’t the case. We don’t have to run a note every time we make an update.”
On his show Friday, Limbaugh sarcastically predicted he would be criticized for seizing on the change to the Times’ piece, much like he was in 2009 for saying he wanted Obama to fail.
“If the Constitution exists, as it is, and the country was formed, as it was, and an administration comes along and doesn’t like that and is doing everything it can to overturn that constitution without a convention, doing everything it can to change the direction of this country and — what’s the word, transform it? What’s wrong with calling this a coup?,” Limbaugh asked.
Listen to Limbaugh’s remarks, posted by MediaMatters on Friday, below.