A picture from Republican pundit Rush Limbaugh's website, poking fun at the U.S. government's new majority stake in GM. Mr. Limbaugh says contrary to reports, he did not call on a boycott of GM, merely voiced sympathy for those who are boycotting the company.  (Source:
No boycott of government owned car company, but he says he can understand those who are protesting it

It was widely reported both in print and online that conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh was calling for a boycott of General Motors, who is soon to be mostly owned by the U.S. government.  From the Detroit News to, many jumped on this story.  Their stories were based on an interpretation of a recent TV show in which he discussed the topic of Americans boycotting GM, showing a poll which indicated that a certain number would not buy GM cars.  He recalls on his website, "I said after that that I could understand it."

However, he now is saying he is not calling on a boycott of GM.  He said his comments were merely meant to show his understanding of why one might support a boycott, not a request for his fans to boycott the company.  GM is one of Mr. Limbaugh's biggest sponsors, so the reports obviously created a headache for him, one he was eager to set straight in a recent blog.

In the blog he wrote:

Now, for the record, ladies and gentlemen, I don't do boycotts. I do not sponsor them; I do not encourage them. I never have. I think it is media childishness when people start urging boycotts. I have never, ever done such a thing, and I didn't do this with General Motors...

 I don't know what the percentage is, but I urged no boycott of GM. General Motors is a sponsor here. (interruption) I bought a General Motors -- That's right! I bought a new Suburban last week.  

He goes on to offer readers a link to an essay titled "The Ethical Case for Boycotting Chrysler and General Motors" by, a rightwing blog site.  He says that the essay, though, reads more like something someone would "write in a law school class."  While linking this blog, he declines to support it or disagree with it, carefully towing the line.

In the end perhaps those first reporting on the Limbaugh boycott were overly hasty in their conclusions.  However, the press can easily argue that even if Mr. Limbaugh is not calling for a boycott, he is condoning one.  By bringing up the issue, discussing it in depth, and sharing arguments in support of a boycott (with no links on his blog in support of buying GM), some would argue he's fanning the flames.  Even if this results in a few thousand of his supporters deciding to not buy GM, it could have a critical impact.  It is important, though, to clarify that he is not officially calling for a boycott, something he has made abundantly clear.

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