Senate Democrats, Limbaugh Battle Over Host's Comments
October 3, 2007 at 9:54 AM (PT)
PREMIERE RADIO NETWORKS syndicated talk host RUSH LIMBAUGH said MONDAY that the Democrats on CAPITOL HILL who are calling for censure of LIMBAUGH for his comments on anti-war troops are misrepresenting his comments in an attempt to discredit him.
"This is not just the anatomy of a smear. There's much more going on with this than just smearing me. There is an attempt, I think, as they have done throughout my career, to discredit me," LIMBAUGH told listeners. "These people have had three, four days now to learn the truth about this, and they no doubt know the truth, which doesn't matter. What they are trying to do is flood a false story into the 'drive-by media' and have that survive and suffice as the evidence and as the story of what I said when it wasn't."
There is an attempt, I think, as they have done throughout my career, to discredit me.
Senate Democrats demanded an apology MONDAY for LIMBAUGH's remark to a pro-war soldier that that the soldiers promoted in the news media as representing anti-war sentiment in the military are "phony soldiers." The Senators also demanded a repudiation of LIMBAUGH from CLEAR CHANNEL President MARK MAYS.
Senate Majority Leader HARRY REID said, "RUSH LIMBAUGH took it upon himself to attack the courage and character of those fighting and dying for him and for all of us. RUSH LIMBAUGH got himself a deferment from serving when he was a young man. He never served in uniform. He never saw in person the extreme difficulty of maintaining peace in a foreign country engaged in a civil war. He never saw a person in combat. Yet, that he thinks his opinion on the war is worth more than those who have been on the front lines. RUSH LIMBAUGH owes the men and women of our armed forces an apology."
LIMBAUGH says that the comment was intended to refer to JESSE MACBETH, the former soldier who was convicted of fraud and had falsely claimed to have participated in war crimes in IRAQ when he only served 44 days and never went to IRAQ, although the plural "soldiers" does not refer to an individual person.
Responding to REID by a letter sent on TUESDAY, MAYS said, "While I do not agree with everything Mr. LIMBAUGH says on every topic, I do believe, that he, along with every American, has the right to voice his or her opinion in the manner they choose. The First Amendment gives every American the right to voice his or her opinion, no matter how unpopular. That right is one that I am sure you agree must be cherished and protected.... I have not and will not impose my views upon any of our on-air talent. Doing so would, quite frankly, undermine the integrity of the broadcast, undercut the trust with our listeners that they are receiving the true and honest opinions of the radio host, and more importantly fly directly in the face [of] the right to free speech that we hold so dear. I hope you understand and support my position that while I certainly do not agree with all views that are voice on our stations, I will not condemn talent for exercising their right to voice them."
The controversy is being promoted by MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA, the same liberal media organization that fueled the DON IMUS controversy.