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GlaserWeil

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Patricia L. Glaser

November 6, 2014
VIA PERSONAL DELIVERY

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Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
430 South Capitol Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
Re:

The DCCC's Defamation of Rush Limbaugh

Dear Sir/Madam:
This firm represents Rush Limbaugh with respect to the matters addressed
herein. Please direct your response to this letter, and all future communications
regarding this matter, to the undersigned.
As explained below in detail, the Democratic Congressional Campaign
Committee ("DCCC") - comprised of elected public officials who should know
better - has intentionally disseminated demonstrably false statements concerning
Rush Limbaugh in a concerted effort to harm Mr. Limbaugh, and with reckless
disregard for the resulting impact to small businesses across America that choose
to advertise on his radio program. The DCCC's reprehensible defamation of Mr.
Limbaugh is shocking and inexcusable; moreover, it is civilly actionable.
Therefore, among other things, Mr. Limbaugh hereby demands an immediate
retraction and public apology.

I.

Rush Limbaugh's September 15,2014 Statement Regarding Consent

On September 15, 2014, Rush Limbaugh made the following statement, on
the radio, regarding consent for sexual relations:
Consent must be freely given, can be withdrawn at any time, and the
absence of 'no' does not mean 'yes.' How many of you guys, in your
own experience with women, have learned that 'no' means 'yes' if
you know how to spot it? Let me tell you something. In this modem
world, that is simply not tolerated. People aren't even gonna try to
understand that one. I mean, it used to be said it was a cliche. It used
"T.T MERITAS LAW FIR MS WORLDWIDE
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to be part of the advice young boys were given. See, that's what we
gotta change. We have got to reprogram the way we raise men. Why
do you think permission every step of the way, clearly spelling out
'why' ... are all of these not lawsuits just waiting to happen if even
one of these steps is not taken?
Mr. Limbaugh clearly, unambiguously and emphatically condemned the notion
that "'no' means 'yes'." Mr. Limbaugh expressly stated that such a concept "is
simply not tolerated," prior teaching of this notion must be "change[d]," and "[w ]e
have got to reprogram the way we raise men" so as to eliminate the notion that
'"no' means 'yes'." Mr. Limbaugh could not have been more clear and categorical
in his condemnation of the '"no' means 'yes"' concept, and there is no conceivable
way to interpret the above quoted text differently.

II.

The DCCC's False, Defamatory And Malicious Mischaracterization Of
Rush Limbaugh's September 15,2014 Statement

On September 17, 2014 and thereafter, the DCCC made, and distributed,
both by e-mail and via the Internet, the following false and defamatory statement
regarding Rush Limbaugh, among others:
We knew we had to take action after Limbaugh's reprehensible rant
excusing rape on college campuses. In case you missed it, Limbaugh
actually said, '"no' means 'yes' if you know how to spot it."
The DCCC knowingly and intentionally mischaracterized Mr. Limbaugh's
September 15, 2014 statement. In particular, the DCCC removed ten words from
question posed by Mr. Limbaugh, and quoted the ten words completely out of
context in order to attribute a false meaning to Mr. Limbaugh's September 15
statement. These ten words, in fact, were not a statement at all. Rather, these ten
words were part of a twenty-four word facetious question posed by Mr. Limbaugh:
"How many of you guys, in your own experience with women, have learned
that 'no' means 'yes' if you know how to spot it?" With this facetious question,
Mr. Limbaugh was openly mocking men who believe that "'no' means 'yes'." In
the next two sentences, Mr. Limbaugh stated: "Let me tell you something. In this
modem world, that is simply not tolerated." Mr. Limbaugh went on to urge that
parents must stop teaching young men that "'no' means 'yes'." The DCCC
knowingly and intentionally concealed these additional statements made by Mr.

a

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Limbaugh which provide necessary context. The DCCC wrongly removed the ten
quoted words from Mr. Limbaugh's twenty-four word facetious question,
mischaracterized Mr. Limbaugh's question as an affirmative statement, and falsely
told countless people that "Limbaugh actually said ''no means yes' if you know
how to spot it'."
To make matters exponentially worse, the DCCC falsely stated that Mr.
Limbaugh "excus[es] rape on college campuses," "is advocating a tolerance of
rape," and "perpetuate[s] a culture of sexual assault." Mr. Limbaugh did not say
anything remotely close to the foregoing assertions, and his September 15, 2014
statement does not convey such a message. In fact, and as explained above in
detail, Mr. Limbaugh's September 15, 2014 statement conveys exactly the opposite
message.

III.

The DCCC is Civilly Liable For Defamation

The DCCC may erroneously claim that, because it accurately quoted ten
words spoken by Mr. Limbaugh, the DCCC is immune from liability. Nothing
could ·be further from the truth.
In Price v. Stossel, 620 F.3d 992 (9th Cir. 2010), the defendant accurately
quoted "a statement actually made by a public figure, but present[ed] the statement
in a misleading context, thereby changing the viewer's understanding of the
speaker's words." Id. at 995. The defendant in Price displayed an unaltered video
of the plaintiffs spoken words, such that there was no dispute as to the accuracy of
the quote. However, the defendant displayed the video in a misleading context,
without certain prefatory comments that explained the intended meaning of the
displayed segment. In so doing, the defendant conveyed an inaccurate meaning of
the plaintiffs words. The Price Court held that "the proper comparison is between
the meaning of the quotation as published and the meaning of the words as
uttered." Id. at 1003, citing Masson v. New Yorker Magazine, Inc., 510 U.S. 496,
502 (1991). The Price Court upheld the defamation claim because "the video
quotation of Price's statement materially changed the meaning of Price's words."
!d.

Price is directly on point. Although the DCCC accurately quoted the ten
words taken from Mr. Limbaugh's twenty-four word facetious question, the DCCC
did so in a manner that intentionally and maliciously conveyed an entirely different

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meaning than the original words spoken by Mr. Limbaugh. When "the meaning of
the quotation as published" is compared to "the meaning of the words as uttered,"
there is a profound misrepresentation. The DCCC's quotation of Mr. Limbaugh
"materially changed the meaning of [Mr. Limbaugh's] words." Therefore, the
DCCC is indisputably liable for defamation (in addition to other causes of action).
Separately, the DCCC's affirmative statements that Mr. Limbaugh
"excus[ es] rape on college campuses," "is advocating a tolerance of rape," and
"perpetuate[ s] a culture of sextJal assault" are also demonstrably false, without
factual support, and independently actionable as defamation. Here, the DCCC did
not merely repeat quotes out of context and thereby convey an inaccurate meaning.
Rather, the DCCC made affirmative false statements without the slightest bit of
factual support. Mr. Limbaugh did not say anything remotely supportive of the
DCCC's false statements. Therefore, these statements constitute additional and
independent acts of defamation.

IV.

The DCCC Employed Its Defamatory Statements In An Effort To
Wrongfully Interfere With Rush Limbaugh's Business Pursuits And
Contractual Relations

The DCCC employed the above-described defamatory statements as part of
a deliberate effort to wrongfully interfere with Rush Limbaugh's business pursuits
and contractual relations. In particular, in the same communications where the
DCCC disseminated its defamatory statements regarding Mr. Limbaugh, the
DCCC urged readers to "pressur[e] Rush Limbaugh sponsors to pull their ads from
his show." The DCCC stated that "Limbaugh will continue to perpetuate a culture
of sexual assault until his advertisers pull their advertising from his disgusting
show." The DCCC also urged readers to demand that "Limbaugh's show[] be
pulled off the air."
The DCCC's assault on Mr. Limbaugh's advertisers, including small
business throughout the country, is particularly shameful. The DCCC is impairing
the economic health and prosperity of thousands of businesses who wish to do
nothing more than communicate with the twenty million people who listen to The
Rush Limbaugh Show every week. These businesses do not deserve to be dragged
into the DCCC' s illegitimate and illegal campaign. Most of these businesses do
not have the resources to fend off the DCCC's impermissible tactics, which extend
beyond mere requests to cease advertising, and include affirmative wrongdoing.

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V.

The DCCC's Wrongful Conduct Is Intended to Harm Mr. Limbaugh

In order to maximize the dissemination of its defamatory statements, and
advance its interference with Mr. Limbaugh's business pursuits and contractual
relations, the DCCC urged readers to "forward this [defamatory] e-mail to three
friends right now." According to the DCCC, its wrongful and civilly actionable
conduct was wildly successful. Within two days of commencing its wrongful
campaign, the DCCC reported that "more than 191,000 have signed to demand his
sponsors drop him." Needless to say, these 191 ,000 signatories, and countless
others, believed the DCCC' s defamatory statements. The DCCC further boasted
that "[i]t's already one of our most successful petition launches ever." Thus, the
DCCC used its defamatory campaign against Mr. Limbaugh to expand its own
membership base and significantly increase contributions.
The DCCC's widespread dissemination of its defamatory statements was
clearly intended to harm Mr. Limbaugh and his business pursuits. Moreover, as
the DCCC's statements remain in the public domain, and continue to be
disseminated, the DCCC's obvious goal is to induce businesses to cancel, or
decline to enter into, business agreements with Mr. Limbaugh's radio show, based
on the DCCC's defamatory and false charges. The DCCC also desires to impair
Mr. Limbaugh's relationships with affiliate radio stations, and cause a loss of
affiliates and/or a reduction in revenues from affiliates.
The DCCC's defamatory statements are also intended to harm Mr. Limbaugh's
professional and personal reputation, and to cause a reduction in his radio audience
and a corresponding financial loss.
VI.

The DCCC Has Previously Defamed One Or More Other Public
Figures In Furtherance of Its Political And Fund raising Efforts

Unfortunately, this is not the first time the DCCC has engaged in similar
wrongdoing. To the contrary, the DCCC is apparently quite comfortable defaming
public figures in furtherance of its political and fundraising objectives. For
example, in June and July 2012, the DCCC admittedly "made unsubstantiated
allegations" against Sheldon Adelson, "a supporter of the opposing party,"
accusing him of illegal conduct. The DCCC later acknowledged that "[the]
statements were untrue and unfair," and "[t]his was wrong." On August 2, 2012,

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the DCCC issued a retraction and public apology to Sheldon Adelson for having
defamed him.

VTI. The DCCC Must Retract Its Defamatory Statements And Publicly
Apologize To Rush Limbaugh
It is difficult to imagine a more malicious act of defamation and tortious
interference than that perpetrated by the DCCC against Rush Limbaugh. The
DCCC's conduct is particularly reprehensible given that the DCCC is governed by
elected members of the United States House of Representatives. The DCCC's
wrongful conduct potentially affects small businesses in each and every one of
their districts.

Based on the foregoing. Mr. Limbaugh demands that the DCCC
immediately, unconditionally, absolutely and publicly retract each and every false
and/or defamatory statement set forth above. The DCCC's retraction must be clear
and express. Moreover, the DCCC's retraction must be as public and widespread
as its dissemination of the defamatory statements, and designed to reach each and
every ·person who was exposed to the defamatory statements.
In addition to retracting its defamatory statements, the DCCC must also
publicly apologize to Mr. Limbaugh. Again, the public apology must be clear and
express, and widely disseminated so as to reach each and every person who was
exposed to the defamatory statements.
Mr. Limbaugh has authorized this firm to promptly commence litigation
against the DCCC if it refuses to retract its defamatory statements. To be clear,
Mr. Limbaugh may, and reserves his right to, initiate a civil action even if the
DCCC retracts and publicly apologizes. That said, a retraction and apology will
mitigate against a subsequent lawsuit.
Mr. Limbaugh hereby demands that the DCCC preserve all documents,
communications and electronic data, including originals, copies and backups,
relating to the matters addressed herein, including all files, paper documents, notes,
e-mails, hard drives, backup drives, servers, and website information/data. Please
also immediately discontinue any practices whereby documents or electronic data
are destroyed or discarded.

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The foregoing is not a complete statement of the underlying facts, nor Mr.
Limbaugh's position, nor the claims and remedies available to Mr. Limbaugh, and
Mr. Limbaugh expressly reserves all rights and remedies.
As stated upfront, all future communications regarding this matter should be
addressed exclusively to the undersigned.
Very truly yours,

PATRICIA L. GLASER
of GLASER WElL FINK JACOBS HOWARD AVCHEN & SHAPIRO LLP
PLG:pb

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