RUSH: Now, yesterday afternoon I’m minding my own business. What was I doing? I think I was reading. I got an e-mail from Howie Kurtz, our old buddy. He used to be at the Washington Post, and I think he’s at the Daily Beast now.
He also has this show Reliable Sources at CNN and Howie said, “I don’t know if you were watching,” and I wasn’t. “But Bob Costas was on my show today, and Bob Costas brought your name up just out of the clear blue. I didn’t bring it up. Costas brought your name up on this gun control business,” and he sent me the transcript of what Costas said. I looked at it, and I said, “Well, that’s not what I said.” So I wrote Howie back, and I said, “Look, it’s a real fine point, it’s a narrow distinction, but it’s not what I said.”
Howie said, “I know, I know. We played what you really said at the top of the segment. I just wanted you to know in case you hadn’t seen it.” And I hadn’t seen it. So I thanked Howie for letting me know. It was Reliable Sources. Howard Kurtz, talking to Bob Costas, said, “Do you think that in the wake of the horrifying Newtown tragedy, the country is having the debate about guns, that perhaps you hoped to stimulate a little bit with what you did on Sunday Night Football?”
COSTAS: Rush Limbaugh said that I was merely echoing what my NBC bosses wanted me to say because of the MSNBC connection. It’s perceived as a liberal network. The problem with that is, it’s 100% false and was based on no knowledge that he had of any kind. In fact, the president of NBC Sports, Mark Lazarus, is a gun owner and a hunter. I wrote what I wrote. They knew it was gonna go on the air because they had to know what it was for time. They had not so much as a comma’s input into what I said, nor did they encourage me to say it.
RUSH: And I never said they did. Let’s reset the table. Minor point. What happened was, Costas did his commentary on Sunday Night Football after the Jovan Belcher, Kansas City Chiefs player murder/suicide. It was no surprise to me. I know Bob, and I know how he feels about these social issues. It wasn’t any surprise to me, and I wasn’t really talking about him. People started asking me, “Why did he do it?” and then the question after, “Why did he do it?” was, “Why was he allowed to do it?” That was the big question: “How come he’s allowed to do it and people like you can’t?”
I said, “He’s allowed to do it because his bosses at NBC agree with him.” I didn’t say they wrote it. I didn’t say they asked him to say it. I didn’t say they had any input in it at all. All I said was, the reason there’s no problem with it at the network level is that the people at NBC agree with what he said for the most part. People were asking me about it because certain people are allowed to inject their politics in sports, and other people aren’t. If you’re a good liberal in good standing, you can inject your politics into sports all day long, be it racial politics or guns or taxes or any other social issue.
If you are a conservative, all hell breaks loose. Whereas Bob Costas is said to be courageous and brave for weighing in on this. Had a conservative had that commentary slot and said something just the opposite like, “The guns were not the problem,” all hell woulda broken loose. “What the hell is that doing in a game? We’re here to watch football! We don’t want to be preached to.” People were asking me, “How come there wasn’t any criticism of Costas?” All I said was, “Because his bosses agree with it.” I never said that they wrote it; I never said that they asked him to say it or ordered him to say it or anything of the sort.
RUSH: In fact, here’s exactly what I said. This is December 3rd, 2012, from the archive at RushLimbaugh.com: “A lot of people sent me e-mails and texts, ‘How come Costas gets to express his opinion during halftime of Sunday Night Football?’ And I said, ‘The answer’s simple, because that’s the opinion of his bosses. He gets to express the opinion because it’s what NBC thinks. It’s what his friends at HBO think. It’s what the left believes,'” and I repeated it word-for-word the next day. I wasn’t even that critical. I didn’t even bring the thing up. As I say, it was not that big a deal to me because it wasn’t a surprise, but I was inundated with people asking me the question.
I don’t know why he thinks that I said his bosses made him do it or wrote it for him or any such thing.
That was never the intimation.