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I wrote a piece the other day about how the ability of right-wing loudmouths like Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge to say the most abjectly horrible, unutterable stuff on behalf of the GOP was made possible by a group of facilitators willing to use their credibility to legitimize them as part of the process. Without them, these arguments would never enter the mainstream, and people like Rush and Drudge would be written off as extremist clowns.

So now Matt Lauer is doing the honors.  According to Media Matters:

NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer suggested that when Rush Limbaugh "said perhaps Michael J. Fox was exaggerating or faking these effects of Parkinson's disease" in a recent campaign ad, Limbaugh was "just say[ing] what a lot of people were privately thinking."

Matt Drudge and Rush Limbaugh made the unspeakably vile assertion that the underage pages were at fault for luring poor Mark Foley into temptation.  Most people are disgusted by that, but soon the fawning Mark Halperin and John Harris write, and completely without irony, that "Matt Drudge rules our world."  Which may just be the horrible truth.

Drudge and Rush would not have the status and the credibility they do were not people like Halperin, Harris, Howie Kurtz, Brian Williams and Matt Lauer willing to go in there and reclaim them for saying the most base things imaginable to keep the Republicans in  power.  In doing so they are as guilty as if they uttered the very same things themselves.