How dumb is Rush Limbaugh? Plenty, it turns out.
On September 26, Limbaugh was in usual fine form, talking about the Iraq War, telling the caller who disagreed with him on the subject that he couldn’t possibly be a Republican (in spite of several polls that show that actually, a number of Republicans wouldn’t agree with him on the issue of troop withdrawal) and generally shooting his mouth off.
The a guy called Mike, who identified himself as “serving military”, phoned in to support him. Apparently, encouragement goes straight to Limbaugh’s head because he generally just went wild and ended up saying this:
LIMBAUGH: There’s a lot more than that that they don’t understand. They can’t even — if — the next guy that calls here, I’m gonna ask him: Why should we pull — what is the imperative for pulling out? What’s in it for the United States to pull out? They can’t — I don’t think they have an answer for that other than, “Well, we just gotta bring the troops home.”
CALLER 2: Yeah, and, you know what —
LIMBAUGH: “Save the — keep the troops safe” or whatever. I — it’s not possible, intellectually, to follow these people.
CALLER 2: No, it’s not, and what’s really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media.
LIMBAUGH: The phony soldiers.
CALLER 2: The phony soldiers. If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve. They want to be over in Iraq. They understand their sacrifice, and they’re willing to sacrifice for their country.
Phony soldiers like those seven guys who wrote a New York Times op-ed a while back, slamming the Iraq war? I wonder what happened to them? Oh that’s right, two of them are dead and another has been injured since then.
Outrage! Scandal! Indignation! Etc! From both sides!
The Dems weren’t about to let this heaven sent reply to the Betrayus ad go to waste and Harry Reid & Co. immediately shot off a letter to Clear Channel, which hosts Limbaugh’s show, demanding action. To which Clear Channel said: wow, we hope nobody was offended but in case they were, look up “free speech”. Ha! Suck that liberals! How does it feel, being on the other side? Also, we didn’t fire him for being a junkie, you think we’re gonna fire him for doing what he does all the time (one, two) just because it’s an election year? Get real!
Okay, so I’m paraphrasing there and they didn’t say that last bit about junkies and things but you know they were thinking it! By the way, did Harry Reid really think he could get a talk radio guy fired? Nice try, kid, hone your righteous indignation technique and you might have a chance in another ten years or so.
Meanwhile, journalists, like the ones at Time for instance, weren’t about to let Congress run this show on their turf, so a bunch of Republicans were asked to comment. They said: Rush is an idiot, could you please ask him to shut up? We’re trying to win an election here, if he hasn’t noticed.
Again, I’m paraphrasing. Just so we’re all clear.
Wait, the story gets better! So then, Limbaugh came out guns blazing and said Media Matters was trying to pull a smear job and he wasn’t talking about soldiers in general! He was talking about one particular “hero of the left”:
I call this the anatomy of a smear, and what this is is a great illustration of the liberals and the Democrat Party playbook for ’08, which is underway now. The morning update on Wednesday dealt with a soldier, a fake, phony soldier by the name of Jesse MacBeth who never served in Iraq; he was never an Army Ranger. He was drummed out of the military in 44 days. He had his day in court; he never got the Purple Heart as he claimed, and he described all these war atrocities. He became a hero to the anti-war left. They love phony soldiers, and they prop ’em up. When it is demonstrated that they have been lying about things, then they just forget about it. There’s no retraction; there’s no apology; there’s no, “Uh-oh, sorry.” After doing that morning update on Wednesday, I got a phone call yesterday from somebody, we were talking about the troops, and this gentleman said something which you’ll hear here in just a second, prompting me to reply “yeah, the phony soldiers.”
And to prove what he said, he re-aired the controversial segment. And guess what? He was right! He was talking about just one guy… or not?
Turns out, Limbaugh is a little behind the times as far as technology is concerned. Apparently it never occurred to him that other people (*cough*MediaMatters*cough*) might have a copy of his original rant too. Alas, they did! And they lost no time is telling everyone that Limbaugh’s archives are apparently just as selective as his memory: the re-aired segment was missing about 1 minute and 35 seconds of the original content.
But wait! There’s more! Shortly thereafter, an organization called VoteVets released an ad featuring an Iraq war vet by the name of Brian McGough, to be aired on FOX and CNN (video above); a version of this also ran on radio, including Limbaugh’s station. So Limbaugh met the charge head on:
I haven’t watched the ad.
He discusses his service in Iraq, the wounds he suffered there, and he says to me in this ad, “Until you have the guts to call me a ‘phony soldier’ to my face, stop telling lies about my service.” You know, this is such a blatant use of a valiant combat veteran, lying to him about what I said, then strapping those lies to his belt, sending him out via the media in a TV ad to walk into as many people as he can walk into.
That’s right, liken the guy to a suicide bomber! That’s exactly the way to go! It definitively proves your support for the military.
You know, I’ll say one thing for Limbaugh: normally, I wouldn’t feel like writing about a spat of this sort but he just makes it so much damn fun! I mean, any other guy who’d say things like that would expect someone to bring up his own lack of military service, right? But Limbaugh being Limbaugh doesn’t even have a run-of-the-mill excuse for missing the Vietnam War. Instead he says he was unable to serve due to a life threatening cyst… on his ass.
You know that soldier in the video practiced all day to keep his face straight! At least, I would have. In his place, I’d have been falling about laughing if some guy whose pus filled patootie helped him dodge the draft called me a phony. I’m waiting to see what else he’s going to come out with. Because you know he’s got more to say! Bill O’Reilly can try all he wants – he’s never going to beat Limbaugh.
[Via The Huffington Post]