Rush Limbaugh: Fox News Acting as if "Jilted at the Altar" by Donald Trump

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Rush Limbaugh

"I'm stunned watching this. Everybody has to know that this is exactly one of the things Trump is hoping to achieve," the radio host said Wednesday.

In the feud between Donald Trump and Fox News, Rush Limbaugh is personally close to both sides, but the radio personality couldn't help but weigh in on Wednesday.

"Fox News is acting like they've been jilted at the altar," Limbaugh told about 15 million listeners tuning into his show.

Trump has bowed out of Thursday's GOP candidate's debate hosted by Fox News because he's still upset that in a previous debate Megyn Kelly asked him about the demeaning way in which he has treated some women, including insults hurled at comedian Rosie O'Donnell.

On Kelly's show last night, she dedicated lots of airtime to analyzing Trump's move, including allowing progressive filmmaker Michael Moore to weigh in — "What's he afraid of?" Moore asked. "Donald — come down. Come sit beside me. I'll hold your hand. She's fine." (See video below.)

"If it had been me, and Donald Trump makes a big to-do about not showing up at the debate, I'd report the story and move on," Limbaugh told his radio audience. "Don't devote the rest of the night to how a candidate's not showing up because of you. I mean the network, not just Megyn Kelly.

"This is really hard for me," Limbaugh continued. "I'm stunned watching this. Everybody has to know that this is exactly one of the things Trump is hoping to achieve. And then, bringing Michael Moore on late in that program to mock Trump?"

Limbaugh added that "Trump is controlling the media. ... He's the story when he's there; he's the story when he's not there.

"This is what it looks like when some guy stands up to the rules and the game and says, 'Screw yours, I'm looking out for me first!'" said Limbaugh.

Trump has complained for months that he thinks Kelly is biased against him, but a recently issued statement from a Fox News spokesperson was the "nail in the coffin" that resulted in Trump's announcement he wouldn't show up at Thursday's debate, according to Limbaugh.

The Fox News statement read: "We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president — a nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings."

While Limbaugh seemed to favor Trump over Fox News, he made sure to disclose his friendships with Kelly, Trump, Fox News head Roger Ailes and others who are seeking the Republican nomination for president.

"It's just understood by everybody involved that you have to be honest about what you really think and you can't allow — and it's hard — you can't allow personal knowledge, friendships — in some cases, relationships — to get in the way of what I consider to be honest commentary," Limbaugh said.

Email: Paul.Bond@THR.com

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