Limbaugh hits Fox News for debate questions, says network is trying to win approval of mainstream media

Conventional wisdom might suggest that Rush Limbaugh’s radio show and the Fox News Channel are probably on the same side of the media wars. But after Thursday night’s debate, Limbaugh is having doubts.

On his Friday radio show, Limbaugh took issue with the moderators of the Republican presidential debate in Ames, Iowa, hosted by Fox News and the Washington Examiner. According to Limbaugh, back-and-forth attacks among the candidates were part of an orchestrated effort that showed the hosts’ desire to win approval from their counterparts in the mainstream media.

“[I] missed the first 40 minutes live,” Limbaugh explained. “And that didn’t help either by the way. And when I started watching I said, ‘My gosh — does nobody on this panel remember that we’re running against Obama? What is this business of these guys trying to tear each other up?

“Then I figured out that’s what Fox wants. Fox wants these people to tear each other up. I said, ‘Why does Fox want these people to tear each other up?’ They want approval from the mainstream media because that’s what the mainstream media would do — is tear these people up, or try to get them to.”

Limbaugh also complained about some of the production elements of the debate, including the “time’s up” bell, which he said sounded like a doorbell.

“Now, Byron York’s question to Michele Bachmann, and to be fair to Byron York, she has said this before,” Limbaugh said. “She has talked about how the biblical role of women is to be submissive to their husbands. I don’t know how recently. It’s not part of her campaign. They found it, she said, OK, fair game. Ask the question, ‘Will you be submissive to your husband as president?’ Now I guarantee you, I guarantee you that the favorite journalist of the mainstream media today is Byron York.”

Fox News has already replayed Bachmann’s response to York, a correspondent for the Examiner, several times.

“And I don’t know if you’ve been watching Fox, but they’ve been replaying that quote all day,” Limbaugh continued. “They love it. This is my point — the stuff that is embarrassing they like.”

Limbaugh added that he was less impressed with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s pushback against Fox News, saying he thought he looked “defensive.”