Washington (CNN) - Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh offered a vigorous defense of himself and Sarah Palin Monday in response to claims from some media commentators and those on the left that their charged statements and colorful language may have inspired the Arizona shootings.
"[The media] is unnecessarily stirring up the country in ways that don't merit," Limbaugh said on his radio program Monday. "It's fatuous and silly to even verify and justify these accusations by defending them. The premise is insane, it's silly, it's beneath these people. Or is it? It is who they are."
Limbaugh's comments come in response to accusations that the charged political atmosphere of 2010 – of which Limbaugh, Palin, and others played a central role – may have incited the use of violence among troubled individuals like Jared Lee Loughner, the suspect that is accused of opening fire outside a Tucson supermarket, where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was meeting with constituents Saturday.
"We are we constantly admonished not to rush to conclusions. Now…reporters are bending over backwards to link this shooting to me, to Sarah Palin, to an entire industry - talk radio," Limbaugh said. "Only in these instances is something said in the media said to influence public behavior. Go out and try to tell these same people that one of their top grossing movies has influenced has influenced abject perversion or radical behavior and they will attack you left and right.
"All of this has been pure politics, disguised as compassion and concern for a congresswoman," Limbaugh added.