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Rush Limbaugh Slams ABC News Over 'Dark Knight Rises' Shooting Coverage

Rush Limbaugh HBO Screening - P 2012
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George Stephanopoulos and Brian Ross are "opportunistic, politically ill leftists," says the nation's No. 1 talk-radio host after the latter speculated on "GMA" that alleged shooter James Holmes might be a Tea Party conservative.

On the air for the first time since The Dark Knight Rises shooting July 20, Rush Limbaugh excoriated ABC News and others who have attempted to pin some of the blame on the political right.

“Let’s do a quick audio sound bite review of this because I wasn’t here on Friday -- I had no chance to weigh in on it,” Limbaugh said Monday before playing a brief clip of Brian Ross speculating on Friday morning to Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos that alleged shooter James Holmes might have been a Tea Party conservative.

STORY: 'Dark Knight Rises' Shooting: 10 New Developments in the Aurora, Colo., Massacre

ABC and Ross later apologized for the assertion, saying in a correction to a story posted on its Blotter web page, "ABC News and Brian Ross apologize for the mistake, and for disseminating that information before it was properly vetted."

“Everybody was talking about Brian Ross. What about Stephanopoulos?" Limbaugh asked. “Can you imagine how that went? These guys show up for work Friday morning at Good Morning America, and Stephanopoulos says, ‘Hey, hey, Brian, why don’t you see if you can find some link to the Tea Party with this guy. Maybe he listens to Limbaugh. Maybe he listens to [Glenn] Beck, or [Sean] Hannity.’ ‘I already have -- already found it  -- George. Tea Party!’”

Limbaugh called Ross and Stephanopoulos “political hacks disguised as journalists,” looking for “a way to help Barack Obama with this unspeakable tragedy.”

STORY: Christian Bale on Shooting Victims: 'My Heart Goes Out to Them'

He recalled how some in the media tried to tie him to the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City, playing a clip of President Bill Clinton blaming the attack on “loud and angry voices in America." Limbaugh also reminded his audience that some in the media cited rhetoric used by Sarah Palin as a potential cause for the shooting of then-Rep. Gabby Giffords in 2011.

“The shock upon learning of nearly incomprehensible mayhem ruthlessly inflicted against living, breathing, caring fellow human beings was interrupted by opportunistic, politically ill leftists,” Limbaugh said of the Dark Knight Rises shooting. “Before anybody could comprehend the loss of friends and relatives of those who were murdered in cold blood, before anybody could begin to grieve for those that we didn't even know, Brian Ross and George Stephanopoulos on ABC have breathless breaking news that turned out to be as wrong as anything in media has ever been wrong.”

Email: Paul.Bond@thr.com