Rush Limbaugh made clear Friday what he only hinted at Thursday on his radio show when he said that Montana Republican Greg Gianforte won his election despite attacking a reporter because people are fed up with the media.
Limbaugh put a caller on the air who said they were calling from Montana Friday.
"We moved out here a couple years ago," the caller said, "live up here on a mountain off the grid, and it’s just a great area. But to get to the point, it’s just reeks of common sense people out in this area. And I think that the news coverage and the way they covered this Gianforte thing, I think it really helped Gianforte because people know that people may lose their temper once in a while if they’re goaded or pushed into it, but I really think that he’s a better candidate and people saw it and they just voted for Gianforte."
"I think you’re right," Rush responded. "That was my instinctive feeling yesterday that that was gonna be the result. You go back and look at the tape, I think I predicted that he was gonna win yesterday. I was never in the field of doubt about this I think the media was trying to place everybody in."
"Here’s the thing about what Gianforte did," he explained. "The media is their own worst enemy. When this stuff happens, what do they do? They go in there when one of our own was attacked and treated like a dishrag, and they act like everybody is outraged by it."
"They act like it’s a great crime," he added, "and that everybody wants this Gianforte guy buried, when the truth of the matter is, I would predict to you — I don’t know what percentage, but there’s a lot of people that watch modern-day journalism and get viscerally angry at reporters and their invasive questions, say, of people in grief or the way that Trump’s people or Trump are being treated. They get viscerally angry and there’s nothing they can do about it."
"So they see something like this, and there’s a part of them that cheers it on," Limbaugh concluded, "because they believe that journalists have gone way beyond the bounds of fairness and that they’re actually trying to criminalize certain political beliefs, and they’re fed up with it. I don’t doubt that for a moment."
Limbaugh's comments calling Gianforte "studly and manly" while referring to the victim as "smug and arrogant" were panned widely on social media Thursday. Gianforte initially said the reporter had been aggressive with his questioning and caused the altercation, but later apologized to him by name in his victory speech after the special election.