08/27/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

How Lou Dobbs Scared Rush Limbaugh Off the Birther Story

Have you noticed Limbaugh's deafening silence about the birthers since July 20th? Have you noticed how the birther movement was in the news virtually every day last week, how the mainstream press was debunking it and calling out the right-wing nonsense, how NBC's Nightly News referred to Limbaugh in its birther report, yet Limbaugh remained mum? Rather than step forward in his natural role as a birther defender and attacker of all things Obama, Limbaugh has sat out the birther controversy and watched its members get mowed down in the press.

Limbaugh's scared to talk about the birthers and won't defend them because he has seen how Dobbs and the movement got manhandled by the press -- including by conservative commentators. Limbaugh saw how the press was sticking to the birth certificate facts and wasn't shy about knocking down high-paid radio hosts who tried to traffic in that nonsense.

And guess what? If Limbaugh won't back the birthers, that means most right-wing AM hosts won't either. Because that business is built upon a very simple (lemming) rule: Do whatever Rush does. And if Limbaugh won't line up on the side of the birthers, than means most AM talkers won't either, which means the birthers are going to be pushed back to the fringes where they belong.

And for that, we have Lou Dobbs to thank.

Read the entire Media Matters column here.