Florida-based radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh evacuated from his Florida home to Los Angeles late last week, just days after telling his listeners that the media was trying to scare people in order to hype a climate change agenda and to boost bottled water sales.
“May as well announce this. I’m not going to get into details because of the security nature of things, but it turns out that we will not be able to do the program here tomorrow,” Limbaugh said on his Thursday radio show. “We’ll be on the air next week, folks, from parts unknown.”
Limbaugh, who stressed he is not a meteorologist, told his national audience on Tuesday that he believed the press was hyping coverage of Hurricane Irma to “advance this climate change agenda.”
Limbaugh claimed there was a “symbiotic relationship between retailers and local media, and it’s related to money.”
“The local media … reports in such a way as to create the panic way far out, which sends people into these stores to fill up with water and to fill up with batteries, and it becomes a never-ending repeated cycle,” he said. “And the two coexist. So the media benefits with the panic with increased eyeballs, and the retailers benefit from the panic with increased sales, and the TV companies benefit because they’re getting advertising dollars from the businesses that are seeing all this attention from customers.”
Limbaugh added: “I’m not accusing anybody of anything illegal here, it’s just the way the world works.”
“Today Show” meteorologist Al Roker fired back at Limbaugh on Twitter saying he was “putting people’s lives at risk.”
“To have @rushlimbaugh suggest the warnings about #Irma are #fake or about profit and to ignore them borders on criminal,” Roker tweeted on Wednesday, adding “#ShameOnRush.”
— Al Roker (@alroker) September 6, 2017
Limbaugh hit back at his critics the next day, falsely accusing the media of “lying” about what he said while seemingly standing by his original assertions.
“I explained how severe weather events are opportunities for big ratings boosts in the media and explained how it happens,” Limbaugh said. “I explained how severe weather events impact retailers and how some retailers are smart enough to coordinate advertising with television stations. It happens! It doesn’t mean it’s bad. It happens. It helps to explain things. And that’s all I do.”
From the safety of a California studio this week, Limbaugh insisted that there was “no way” that climate change could have made hurricanes such as Irma, Katrina or Wilma “worse than what’s come before it.”