Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh Must Be In Real Trouble

Rush Limbaugh Must Be In Real Trouble

Attribution: none specified

Oh, Rush is upset over those petitions to get advertisers to stop advertising on his show…

Crooks and Liars

Limbaugh’s decision to publicize the personal information of volunteers who encourage his sponsors to drop his show highlights his fears over bleeding sponsors, stations dropping him.

For well over two years, many people have been working online through social media to engage Rush Limbaugh’s sponsors and encourage them to drop their sponsorship of Limbaugh’s show. Their message is simple: When they sponsor Limbaugh, they sponsor hate.

They’ve been effective. They listen to the show, they take note of the sponsors, and they reach out and ask them whether they realize they’re sponsoring hate radio. They encourage them to drop their sponsorships, but if the sponsor chooses not to, they will choose not to do business with that sponsor.

This is not a project undertaken by just a few people. This is a movement organized onFacebook and Twitter, dedicated to seeing hate radio become a dying breed. They believe that hate radio poisons our politics and creates an atmosphere of extremism.

This has Rush Limbaugh very worried. So worried, in fact, that he has chosen to unleash his hired crisis consultant, Brian Glicklich, on the ordinary people who are dedicated to continuing the effort.

On Tuesday, Glicklich mounted a media blitz against 10 people who are associated with the StopRush effort, and who chose to use pseudonyms online because they saw what happened to those of us who stepped up in the beginning and used our real names. He didn’t just smear them. He published their full names, cities of residence, Facebook account names, and some “fun facts” about them.

He then shopped the Rush article to The Blaze, Daily Caller, Fox News’ The Five, and more*. The first two helpfully assisted with publishing the information and getting the word out so that these ordinary people could be exposed to the special kind of harassment by Rush followers that was rained down on me and others in the earliest days of the StopRush effort.

Hate speech, you see, is something Rush and his followers value highly, and it is not to be opposed in any way. They fail to understand the nuance of the StopRush effort; that is, that we acknowledge Limbaugh’s freedom to spew all the hate he wants over the airwaves, but we are not obligated to patronize the sponsors who pay to keep him there.

No one is saying Limbaugh should be silenced. But that is precisely what Glicklich believes should happen to StopRush volunteers.

Debunking some lies

It stands to reason that Rush and Glicklich would lie about the StopRush effort, which they did.

Here are some facts:

StopRush was and is a grassroots, organic effort which began to combat Rush Limbaugh’s hateful attitude toward Sandra Fluke specifically and women in general. I was there at the beginning. I know exactly who did what. They want to give all the credit to Angelo Carusone over at Media Matters, but I’m not inclined to permit that, given that Angelo did virtually nothing with regard to organizing volunteers and getting the movement going. He reserved a Twitter name and that’s more or less all he did.

StopRush is not “staffed.” Everyone who participates does so as a volunteer. No one is paid, no one makes any money, and there are no “hard core political operatives leading” it. They are ordinary people who want to make a meaningful difference.

It is not harassment to contact sponsors by phone or online and ask them if they’re comfortable sponsoring Limbaugh’s brand of hate.

StopRush volunteers have been subjected to threats and continue to be subjected to them. One of the reasons they used pseudonyms was to avoid the kind of harassment the early volunteers received. Minimizing those threats is characteristic of the Limbaugh trademark. It falls into the same category of him thinking women are actually saying yes when they say no.

StopRush volunteers are not bots unleashed on sponsors. They’re real people. It seems that Rush Limbaugh cannot fathom why a large swath of people would object to his hate talk. That’s his failing, not ours.

And now, I just have to quote this one single ridiculous paragraph filled with lies:

In summary, #StopRush is an organized effort by Media Matters for America to widely and indiscriminately distribute lists of targets, and harass and bully them, under cover of anonymity. It is not grassroots, but deployed by extremist activists using deception and automated software to appear bigger and more prevalent than they are.

Oh, don’t we just wish Media Matters had been underneath us. We might have had some kind of safety net when we were infiltrated by a right wing con artist with a bent for violence and lunacy, when our email addresses were distributed, when our personal information was posted on SquareSpace websites by anonymous people, when there were anonymous telephone calls on our home phones, and more. But we didn’t, and they weren’t, nor are they now.

There are actually over 100 separate actions by different groups with many still in process. Some were grassroots, others were petitions created by MoveOn, CREDO, DCCC, DSCC and other organizations.

The StopRush effort is not a top-down endeavor. It is a bottom-up example of organizing around a principle at its very best, on and offline.

It’s effective, too. That’s why Glicklich is indulging in the politics of personal destruction. If he can’t stop them, he’ll destroy them. In at least one instance, he’s doing his best to see to it that one volunteer loses her job. I’m sure he would count that as victory even as his minions shout that the StopRush effort is run by a bunch of liberal moochers who don’t work.

Unfortunately, success isn’t much comfort to the people Rush Limbaugh just doxed. He just invited a nation of crazies to rain hell on 10 ordinary people who go to work, come home, and spend some time online fighting for something they believe in.

Who is the tyrant here, again?

It won’t work. If anything, it will make these people even more determined to continue their efforts. Limbaugh can use his bully pulpit to whine about how victimized he is, but it’s not going to fly with anyone who has more than a brain cell. And if one hair is harmed on the people’s heads he and Glicklich doxed, he will be personally responsible. Personally. Responsible.

Maybe that will appeal to his conservative nature.

Kirsten Gillibrand not buying Rush Limbaugh’s ‘chickifying’

Gillibrand’s letter to the NFL was panned by Limbaugh. | AP Photos

Politico

Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand ripped Rush Limbaugh on Friday, after the conservative radio host said the uproar over Ray Rice and domestic abuse is just liberals “feminizing” and ‘chickifying’ the NFL.

“Well if he believes criminals should be playing in the National Football League, he’s got a serious issue. These are criminal cases of assault and battery and sexual violence. Our players are role models, we don’t young kids looking up to these folks who are beating their wives. It’s not right. And so we should have a zero tolerance policy. And he’s wrong,” Gillibrand said Friday on CNN in response to Limbaugh’s comments.

On his show earlier Friday, Limbaugh slammed a letter sent by 16 female senators—including Gillibrand—to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell calling for a zero tolerance policy toward domestic abuse.

“We’re feminizing this game. It’s a man’s game and if we keep feminizing this game we’re gonna ruin it. If we keep chickifying this game we’re gonna ruin it,” Limbaugh said, according to a transcript.

Echoing comments he made earlier this week, Limbaugh added that politics have gotten too embroiled with sports—specifically with the NFL, which he said has “become nothing more than the latest extension of the Democrat Party leftist agenda.”

“Of course I’m against wife beating. I’m also against mixing social issues with broadcast of sporting events, too. But that line has been blurred now,” the radio host said.

“Sorry, this is not why I watch football. This is going to be the death of this sport. It is no longer an escape. It’s no longer about great athletes. It’s no longer about amazing athletic achievement and drama,” Limbaugh said. “The never-ending refrain on the Washington Redskins name, and now this? Guns, gays, domestic violence, these are topics that I frankly don’t be need to be preached to about. I don’t need to be lectured, and I certainly don’t want to turn on a football game and end up being accused of all kinds of social misbehavior.”

Lawmakers have weighed in since the released of footage Monday that showed Rice knocking his wife unconscious in a February incident inside a casino elevator. Rice’s contract with the Baltimore Ravens was terminated and the running back was suspended indefinitely by the NFL shortly after the video became public. In the days since, eyes have turned to Goodell and the league, with some—like Sen. Richard Blumenthal—calling for the commissioner’s resignation.

When asked if Goodell should resign, Gillibrand said the commissioner should “lead the reform.” However, she added if it is true that Goodell was aware of the extent of Rice’s violence toward his wife, then he should go.

“He has to be fired. He has to step down because he won’t have the legitimacy, he won’t have the credibility to reform an organization that’s desperately in need of reform,” Gillibrand said.

Rush Limbaugh: Democrats are spreading ‘myth’ that police shoot and kill Black men

Rush Limbaugh (screen capture via ABC News)

Of course he would say that.  Appeasing his base is priority one with Limbaugh and his ilk…

The Raw Story

Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh accused Democrats on Monday of drumming up interest in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Missouri for their own gain, Media Matters reported.

“Why is this a story? The myth,” he said. “The myth is that whites who are associated with Republicans, white cops, murder innocent Black kids all the time. And that’s why we need people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and the Nation of Islam and whoever out raising money on all this, trying to do something about this never-ending discrimination which never does seem to end, does it? At least the reports never seem to end.”

Limbaugh did not mention a 2013 study that found that on average, police killed a Black man every 28 hours as recently as two years ago. Instead, he accused the media of promoting fatal shootings “even if it’s once a year.”

He also did not mention that, besides the Aug. 9 shooting of Brown in Ferguson, Missouri — which was followed by a non-fatal shooting four days later — officers have also killed Black men inLos Angeles and Ohio this month alone.

“And right behind that you’ll find the Democrat Party, which needs, as we have chronicled and stated I don’t know how many times, a permanent underclass of subservient, poor low-skilled dependents on government voting for them,” he said. “There are lots of them, and if you run out of them, you import them via illegal immigration.”

Listen to Limbaugh’s commentary, as posted by Media Matters.

Limbaugh Cries About Black ‘Uncle Toms’ Who Helped Defeat Tea Party Senate Candidate

rush-limbaugh-electric-cars

Rush Limbaugh | no attribution

A funny thing happened on the way to the 2008 primaries: Rush Limbaugh encouraged his listeners to vote for Hillary Clinton in the Texas and Ohio Democratic primaries.  Just sayin’…

Liberaland

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) won a hotly contested primary run-off election Tuesday against tea party challenger State Sen. Chris McDaniel, and the conservative entertainment complex is pissed. Glenn Beck actually fired a rifle on his show to illustrate his disgust. Sarah Palin threatened to leave the Republican Party. Laura Ingrahamaccused Cochran of “race-baiting.” McDaniel himself refused to concede. But the most ironic, racially-charged and whiny reaction came from Rush Limbaugh.

We’ll swing back to Limbaugh’s remarks presently, but it turns out that Cochran won due to a not insignificant number of African-Americans and Democrats voting for the GOP incumbent in the open primary, ostensibly because Cochran convinced them they probably don’t want an extreme tea party candidate walking away with Cochran’s Senate seat. It bears repeating that it was an open primary, which means it’s perfectly legal to vote in any primary irrespective of party.

FiveThirtyEight confirmed that by courting Democrats and African-Americans, Cochran was able to boost his turnout numbers just enough to top McDaniel, 51 percent to 49 percent.

About 375,000 voters showed up Tuesday compared with 318,904 on June 3, an increase of more than 17 percent. Cochran raised his vote total by more than 38,000 votes, while McDaniel pulled in only an additional 30,000. That was more than enough to erase McDaniel’s 1,386 vote lead in the first round.

Cochran’s campaign explicitly tried to increase his turnout in the runoff by bringing Democratic-leaning African-Americans to the polls. [...] we have county-level results to go on, and that data suggests that traditionally Democratic voters provided Cochran with his margin of victory.

Kos’ Sunday Talk: Without qualification

Daily Kos’ Sunday Talk

In 1965, Bob Dylan famously said: “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

Perhaps that was true at the time he said it, but the Timesthey have a-changed since then.

What hasn’t changed is the climate.

You don’t have to take my word for it; just ask Marco Rubio—he’s not a scientistman.

He’s also not a serious presidential contenderman—but that’s completely beside the point.

The point being, expertise is overrated.

I mean, Rush Limbaugh’s tenuous grasp of history didn’t prevent him from writing award-winning historical fanfiction.

And despite his lack of medical credentials, Karl Rove was able to diagnose Hillary Clinton with a traumatic brain injury (and not, as many suspected, the Benghazi flu).

Sometimes, the truth hurts.

Morning lineup:

Meet The Press: Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO); RNC Chairman Reince Priebus; Rep.Adam Kinzinger (R-IL); Glenn Greenwald (The Intercept); Former Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AK).Face The Nation: Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I);  Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner;  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R);  White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough; National Commander of the American Legion Dan Delinger;  RoundtableJackie Calmes (New York Times), Jerry Seib (Wall Street Journal), Katrina Vanden Huevel (The Nation) and John Dickerson (CBS News).

This Week: Tribute to Barbara Walters; Reddit Co-Founder Alexis OhanianBerin Szoka (Tech Freedom); Bill Kristol (Weekly Standard), Peggy Noonan (Wall Street Journal), Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D).

Fox News Sunday: Former Vice President Dick Cheney and His Lovely Wife Lynne;   RoundtableBrit Hume (Fox News), Kirsten Powers (USA Today), Republican StrategistKarl Rove and Juan Williams (Fox News).

State of the Union: Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D); Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); Roundtable:  Former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and Amy Walter (Cook Political Report).

Evening lineup:

60 Minutes will feature: a report from inside Iran as the prospect of a nuclear deal with world powers looms on the horizon (preview); a report on the 150-year history of the Capitol Dome (preview); and, a report on an orchestra in Paraguay that fashions musical instruments from refuse scavenged at a dump (preview).

 

Rush Limbaugh: Bad News Coming From Everywhere – Even The Right

rush-limbaugh-hed-2012

There have been rumors of Rush Limbaugh’s radio career demise for a few years now.  The following article should shed some light on the progress thusfar…

Liberals Unite

It’s been a very bad week for talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, and a very rewarding week for the millions of Americans who have protested his extreme hate speech for decades. Two years ago, newer groups like BoycottRush, FlushRush and StopRush, began a massive national boycott movement that is exposing Limbaugh and crushing his career. Here are four new recent developments:

1. Politico published an article revealing that Tea Party organizations (some created by the Koch brothers) have contributed millions to Rush Limbaugh. What does this mean? For Rush it means they helped sustain him while thousands of sponsors pulled their ads. It means this may lead to an investigation to see if the funding was done legally. According to the FCC, if you receive money from an organization that pays you to promote their propaganda, without telling your audience, it may be considered ‘payola’  – and it may be illegal.

Politico:

“The Heritage Foundation at the end of January ended its five-year sponsorship of El Rushbo’s show, for which it had paid more than $2 million in some years and more than $9.5 million overall. In 2012, FreedomWorks paid at least $1.4 million to make him an endorser, though it’s not clear that the sponsorship is ongoing.”

2. Forbes Senior Political Contributor and regular on Forbes On Fox, Rick Ungar, believes Rush Limbaugh has become a joke. He also shows, via FrontPageMag.com data, that Limbaugh has outlived his audience. Ungar, also known as Forbes ‘token lefty’ implies Rush is now in the, toss out the old – bring in the new, demographic category. The median age of his dwindling audience (as well as the aforementioned sponsor boycott) no longer appeal to advertisers.

Rick Ungar:

“At long last, it appears that Rush Limbaugh has run out of steam. I have to acknowledge that I have sensed Rush getting by on fumes for some time now (yes, I tune into his show from time to time to enjoy his broadcasting skills if not his message). However, it was only recently that the world of Limbaugh crossed that thin red line from partially serious to total self-parody and audience deception—a line crossed from which there is often no return.”

FrontPageMag.com:

“Network television doesn’t just fail to count older viewers; it tries to drive them away. A show with an older viewership is dead air. Advertisers have been pushed by ad agencies into an obsession with associating their product with a youthful brand. The demo rating, 18-49, is the only rating that matters. Viewers younger than that can still pay off. Just ask the CW. Older viewers however are unwanted.”

3. Speaking of advertisers, Rush Limbaugh can’t seem to hold on to them, without doling out heavy discounts and/or free ad space. After his notorious on-air verbal attack of then unknown, Sandra Fluke, the national protests was set into motion. Hardworking FlushRush volunteers now monitor The Rush Limbaugh Show nationwide. They document the sponsor ads they hear on his show, into the StopRush Database, along with contact and ad details. The sponsor data is then posted back into the FlushRush private Facebook group, and onto the BoycottRush Facebook page for public use. There have been hundreds of articles written about Rush Limbaugh and the boycotts against him, that have appeared in at least a dozen political online news groups, including Liberals Unite and Daily Kos, and have been viewed by millions. The result? Limbaugh and the radio stations that carry him have lost millions in ad revenue. Very few took the Limbaugh boycott seriously two years ago. It reminds me of the Gandhi quote:

Mahatma Gandhi:

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

4. And lastly; Ed Shultz interviewed Holland Cook this week. Cook believes Limbaugh’s business is over, for good, due to the various organized boycotts mentioned above. Each does their own part. The protests have been supported by many big and small Liberal organizations, websites, Facebook pages/groups, and Twitter.

Holland Cooke: (via Daily Kos)

“Hundreds of blue-chip national advertisers basically have not only wandered away from Rush Limbaugh and some of the other righties, they’ve abandoned the format entirely. They are afraid to be heard on a news talk station because this man’s use of his free speech triggered the opposing viewpoint exercising THEIR right to free speech. The boycotters are speaking and using the marketplace to say, ‘ENOUGH!’”

Here is an audio clip of the Ed Shultz/Holland Cook interview:

So now, we’re not only hearing from consumers, we are hearing from industry experts on the left and right, many of whom know the business better than anyone and would not risk their reputations on merely gossip. Yes, yes, the public has had enough.  Limbaugh’s self-proclaimed ‘Dittohead’ fans have demanded that Rush’s right to free speech, also gives him the right to spew misogyny, homophobia, bigotry, and racism on public radio. He’s been getting away with it for over 25 years. After the Sandra Fluke attack, the general public soon realized that neither his radio affiliates, nor the FCC, planned to do anything about his hate speech, so American consumers decided to use their own version of free speech via petitions, boycotts, and their consumer dollars, to bring Limbaugh down by way of his sponsors. It’s reported 3,100 companies have pulled their ads from Limbaugh, and the protestors and boycotters have never been closer to pulling Limbaugh off the air. When he has moved on, this country will be all the better, and the public will prove once again, it can be done. We can eliminate hate speech from the media, if takes one host at a time.

You see, you can toss  Americans some Limbaugh, Fox News, Bush/Cheney, Koch brothers, even some Supreme Court corruption, but when push comes to shove, Americans will stand up, show up, take charge, and demand a return to democracy and common decency. Salute to all the many boycotters and volunteers.

Pope Francis slams super salaries for the rich while the poor survive on “crumbs”

Pope Francis (Credit: AP/Domenico Stinellis)

The current budget brokered by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) is up for a vote today.  It will be interesting to see if it passes both houses.

Giving more tax break to the rich and cutting subsidies for the underemployed and poor seems to be a bipartisan effort these days.

Salon

Pope Francis has made yet another strongly worded statement on growing inequality and economic justice, this time slamming outsized salaries and bonuses for corporate executives while others survive on “crumbs.”

In a message to mark the Catholic Church’s World Peace Day, Francis called on international leaders and corporate executives to implement “effective policies” to bridge the growing wealth gap.

“The grave financial and economic crises of the present time … have pushed man to seek satisfaction, happiness and security in consumption and earnings out of all proportion to the principles of a sound economy,” he said. ”The succession of economic crises should lead to a timely rethinking of our models of economic development and to a change in lifestyles,” he said.

Rush Limbaugh has yet to comment, but presumably he thinks President Obama is currently having an orgasm somewhere.

 

‘Tell Rush Limbaugh: We Support Pope Francis!’ Catholic Petition Demands An Apology

Limbaugh: “Pope Francis words are pure marxism.”

As a follow-up to the earlier post:  The Right is going batsh*t crazy over Pope Francis’ agenda. Case in point…

The Huffington Post

“Tell Rush Limbaugh: We Support Pope Francis!” urges a petition which has already garnered almost 4,000 signatures on the website of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.

Catholics and non-Catholics alike were infuriated by Limbaugh’s comments about Pope Francis on his radio show on Nov. 27, as the Pontiff has captured the hearts of many worldwide.

On the show, Limbaugh said that the pope “doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to capitalism and socialism,” and speculated that his latest apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium,” was overtly influenced by others who have “gotten to him.” He claimed the document was “pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope.”

He’s not the only political conservative to take a dig at the pope and face the ire of his many fans. Sarah Palin publicly apologized a few weeks ago for saying she was taken aback by some of his “liberal” statements, and was unsure that she could trust media reports about him.

Reza Aslan, a religious scholar and author of “Zealot: The Life And Times of Jesus of Nazareth,” succinctly responded to Limbaugh’s comments by saying in the Washington Post, “Somebody did get to Pope Francis. It was Jesus.”

He also cited Palin, writing, “These two paragons of the far right – both of whom regularly invoke the teachings of Jesus to bolster their own political views – have suddenly turned their backs on the man whose actual job description is to speak for Jesus.”

In response to Limbaugh’s comments, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good started a petition, writing:

We are disturbed by Rush Limbaugh’s incendiary comments last Wednesday, November 27th about Pope Francis and are joining together with Catholics and other allies throughout the nation to support the Holy Father. To call the Francis a proponent of “pure marxism” is both mean spirited and naive. Francis’s critique of unrestrained capitalism is in line with the Church’s social teaching. His particular criticism of “trickle down economics” strengthens what Church authorities have said for decades: any economic system which deprives the poor of their dignity has no place within a just society.Contrary to what Mr. Limbaugh suggests, the Catholic Church isn’t built on money, but on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ.

We call on Mr. Limbaugh to apologize and retract his remarks. We urge other Church organizations and leaders–both ordained and lay–to also condemn Mr. Limbaugh’s comments.

We proudly stand with Pope Francis as he provides prophetic leadership for the Catholic Church and the entire world. 

They have already surpassed their goal of 1,000 signatures fourfold.

Signer Thomas Hofstad wrote, “I am not Catholic, yet this offends me. The Pope is a man of great honor and compassion. I cant say this about Rush L.,” and Vicki Goux said, “I have the MOST respect for your new Pope but I’m not a Catholic. He is amazing and deserves to be treated with respect.”

See the petition here

 

The Myth Of The $634 Million Obamacare Website

As usual with anything that the POTUS implements, the GOP has made an outrageous claim about the cost to build the Healthcare.gov website…

Media Matters

When he announced hearings this week into the troubled launch and implementation of President Obama’s health care reform, Rep. David Camp (R-MI), Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, demanded to know why “after spending over $600 million” the online health care exchange portal, healthcare.gov, doesn’t work properly.

In light of the site’s systemic failures, that bulging nine-figure price tag ($634 million, to be exact) has produced endless guffaws within the conservative media, where the figure has been adopted as evidence of a policy debacle.

“Who pays $634 million and has three years and screws it up that bad?” asked Fox News’ Sean Hannity on October 18. Added Rush Limbaugh: “That website, by the way, the original projected cost: $93 million. The end cost: $643 million.  I kid you not.”

Wow, $550 million in cost overruns for healthcare.gov since 2010 when the health care reform law was passed?

That’s false.

The life of the $600 million figure appears to be the latest example of how misinformation is fermented within the right-wing media and then adopted as quasi-policy by the Republican Party. After all, Rep. Camp is holding a hearing specifically to determine why the government’s $600 million health care website doesn’t work, even though the site didn’t cost $600 million.

The eye-popping $634 million figure was first trumpeted in a piece by Andrew Couts at Digital Trends on October 8. It pointed out that the Montreal-based company awarded the contract to build healthcare.gov, CGI Federal, had received $634 million in government contracts related to health care. (Digital Trends lateramended the article and lowered the figure to “more than $500 million” that was allegedly spent “to build the digital equivalent of a rock.”)

Stunned by the bloated figure, Couts noted “Twitter, created in 2006, managed to get by with only $360.17 million in total funding until a $400 million boost in 2011. Instagram ginned up just $57.5 million in funding before Facebook bought it for (a staggering) $1 billion last year.”

Conservative commentators loved the report and quickly referred to it as fact.

“As for cash, it appears that HHS spent over $600 million for the online system — more than it took to get Facebook started,” wrote John Sununu in a Boston Globe column, while the Washington Times reported, “The administration hasn’t said how much these efforts will cost; estimates indicate the website already has cost taxpayers more than $600 million.”

Even ABC News pushed the report, noting “The administration has not provided a final cost of the website, although some estimates place it between $500 million to $600 million.”

But the accounting employed by Digital Trends raised some eyebrows even within the conservative media. National Review Online contributor Greg Pollowitz tweeted that the CGI contracts Digital Trends pointed to included work that the firm had done for the U.S. government years before health care reform was actually passed into law.

Glenn Beck’s site, The Blaze, also debunked the number. “While the federal website to signup for Obamacare was riddled with errors and had a rocky rollout, it didn’t cost $634 million to build,” wrote Liz Klimas. Citing an official inside GCI, The Blaze reported the $634 figure “includes all of the company’s contracts for a Health and Human Services Department program over the last seven years.”

Independently, the Sunlight Foundation estimated it cost $70 million to build the much-maligned website, not $634 million. (Officially, CGI was awarded a $93 million contract for the healthcare.gov job.)

And today in his Fact Checker column in the Washington Post, Glenn Kessler looked at the question of the healthcare.gov cost and concluded, “A conservative figure would be $70 million. A more modest figure would be $125 million to $150 million.” Kessler noted that the cost for the entire health care project beyond the website would be “at least $350 million.”

Despite those red flags, the bloated figure has been widely embraced as factual within the conservative press.

As for the Twitter and Instragram comparisons, they don’t make much sense in terms of what those hugely popular and relatively simple social media sites do (swap updates and photos) as compared to what healthcare.gov is supposed to do. Noted Kurt Eichenwald at Vanity Fair regarding healthcare.gov:  “The site is one of the most complicated Web-based undertakings ever envisioned not only by the federal government but possibly by any Internet product provider.”

Meanwhile, the $600 million misinformation has created some odd contradictions within the conservative media, where it is still regularly touted. For instance, on October 9, a report posted on Foxnews.com referred to healthcare.gov as the “$93M ObamaCare website.”  Yet day after day, Fox hosts such as HannityDana Perino, and Andrea Tantaros ridicule the “$600 million” the government allegedly spent to build its health care exchange website.

And then there’s Blaze news anchor Amy Holmes who appeared on CNN on October 21 to discuss the health care controversy. She  said that “the website got over $600 million to be able to be set up.” Strange, right? On October 10, The Blaze debunked the “rumor” that healthcare.gov cost $600 million to build. Then eleven days later The Blaze’s Holmes told a CNN audience that healthcare.gov cost $600 million to build.

Sifting through the vast range of cost estimates for healthcare.gov, the Washington Post’s Kessler suggested, “readers should be wary of many cost estimates uttered by lawmakers.” That also holds true for estimates uttered by conservative commentators.

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