(CNN) – Rush Limbaugh said Thursday on his radio show that Fox News and at least one of its anchors "caved" in its coverage of Shirley Sherrod, the former USDA employee who was fired in haste on Monday after an edited clip of her was posted on a conservative website.
"I have to go after it … because even Fox caved on this," Limbaugh said. "Even Shep Smith. Even poor old Shep Smith went down there and said that everybody's wrong on this, that [BigGovernment.com founder Andrew] Breitbart is wrong and so forth. There's only a handful of us that have the guts to put this story straight. If we don't hammer back nobody will."
Limbaugh dismissed the story, saying he was bored by it.
"It's nothing more than the left playing the race card, the NAACP has thrown down the gauntlet because the big government argument has failed," Limbaugh said. "They are keeping alive the divisions in this country and I hate taking the bait, I hate playing along with it, I simply despise the whole thing."
"We've got a bunch of cowards in the conservative media inside the beltway which will not deal with this honestly," Limbaugh added.
Limbaugh took aim at Fox News anchor Shepard Smith because on Wednesday, Smith sharply criticized Breitbart's website as well as his network's own reporting on the story.
"The video taken completely out of context it ran all over…and on television including this network," Smith said Wednesday on his show. "We on Studio B did not run the video and did not reference the story in any way for many reasons. Among them: We didn't know who shot it, we didn't know when it was shot, we didn't know the context of the statement, and because the history of the videos on the site where it was posted. In short-we did not and do not trust the source."
On Monday, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly was the first cable news anchor to play part of the edited clip, saying afterward "That [Sherrod's comment] is simply unacceptable and Ms. Sherrod must resign immediately."
One hour later, Sean Hannity played the clip at the top of his show and announced Sherrod's resignation.
On Wednesday, O'Reilly apologized for his statements saying: "I owe Ms. Sherrod an apology for not doing my homework, for not putting her remarks into the proper context."