JOHNNY DONOVAN: Live from the Southern Command in sunny south Florida via New York City, it’s Open Line Friday!RUSH: Oh, goody goody gumdrops, yip yip yip yip yip yip yip yahoo. Ladies and gentlemen, one of my favorite days of the week here, not because it’s the end of the week, but rather because it’s always such an exciting excursion into broadcast excellence, because on Friday, I, El Rushbo, take a great career risk, one of the greatest risks taken in Big Media. And that risk is turning over the content portion of this program, when we go to the phones, to you, lovable people, great people, love you, but you are rank amateurs, you are not highly trained broadcast professionals and specialists as am I. So the rules Monday through Thursday, off the table, whatever you want to talk about, question, comment, whine, moan, feel free. Here’s the phone number: 800-282-2882. And the e-mail address, Rush@eibnet.com.I want to illustrate something for you today, folks. I’ve done it before. I want to do it again. 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.’
That comment, ‘phony soldiers’ was posted yesterday afternoon on the famous Media Matters website, which is where all leftists go to find out what I say. I have a website, and I have a radio program that reaches far more people than Media Matters could ever hope to, but the critics of this program never listen to this program. They never go to my website. All they do is read Media Matters and they get the lies and the out-of-context reports. They assume it’s all true because they want it to be true, and then they start their campaigns. This has led to me being denounced on the floor of the House. Howard Dean has released a statement demanding I apologize; Jim Webb; John Kerry issued a statement, three Congress people went out on the floor of the House last night and said some things, and it’s starting to blossom now in the Drive-By Media. So this is the anatomy of a smear, and this is how it starts. The same group is trying to get Bill O’Reilly into problems because of some innocent comments that he made about going to dinner at a restaurant in Harlem. So the illustration begins with just a sample report from MSNBC whose content is produced almost exclusively by Media Matters for America and MoveOn.org. This is this morning with the anchorette Contessa Brewer reporting on the phony soldier controversy, spawned by me.
BREWER: Some leading Democrats are attacking radio talk show personality Rush Limbaugh because he called soldiers who opposed the Iraq war ‘phony.’ Limbaugh was criticizing the anti-war movement generally and made the comment to a caller.
RUSH ARCHIVE: It’s not possible intellectually to follow these people.
CALLER: 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 spout to the media.
RUSH: The phony soldiers.
BREWER: Democratic Senator John Kerry is demanding an apology from Limbaugh, whose comments he calls ‘disgusting and an embarrassment.’
RUSH: That’s really rich. John Kerry, whose own soldiers, his own personnel, fellow soldiers in those Swift Boats, at least many of them who said he was lying about his supposed heroics, this is the same John Kerry who went out and insulted the intelligence of the troops, thereby torpedoing his own 2008 presidential candidacy. His statement includes these words: ‘This disgusting attack from Rush Limbaugh, cheerleader for the chicken hawk wing of the far right is an insult to American troops.’ I was not talking, as Contessa Brewer said here, about the anti-war movement generally. I was talking about one soldier with that phony soldier comment, Jesse MacBeth. They had exactly what I’m going to play for you. It’s Michael J. Fox all over again. Media Matters had the transcript. But they selectively choose what they want to make their point. It runs about three minutes and 13 seconds, the entire transcript, in context, that led to this so-called controversy.
RUSH ARCHIVE: It’s not possible intellectually to follow these people.
CALLER: 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 spout to the media.
RUSH: The phony soldiers.
CALLER: The phony soldiers. If you talk to any real soldier and they’re proud to serve, they want to be over in Iraq, they understand their sacrifice and they’re willing to sacrifice for the country.
RUSH: They joined to be in Iraq.
RUSH: It’s frustrating and maddening, and why they must be kept in the minority. I want to thank you, Mike, for calling. I appreciate it very much.
Here is a Morning Update that we did recently, talking about fake soldiers. This is a story of who the left props up as heroes. They have their celebrities and one of them was Army Ranger Jesse MacBeth. Now, he was a ‘corporal.’ I say in quotes. Twenty-three years old. What made Jesse MacBeth a hero to the anti-war crowd wasn’t his Purple Heart; it wasn’t his being affiliated with post-traumatic stress disorder from tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. No. What made Jesse MacBeth, Army Ranger, a hero to the left was his courage, in their view, off the battlefield, without regard to consequences. He told the world the abuses he had witnessed in Iraq, American soldiers killing unarmed civilians, hundreds of men, women, even children. In one gruesome account, translated into Arabic and spread widely across the Internet, Army Ranger Jesse MacBeth describes the horrors this way: ‘We would burn their bodies. We would hang their bodies from the rafters in the mosque.’
Now, recently, Jesse MacBeth, poster boy for the anti-war left, had his day in court. And you know what? He was sentenced to five months in jail and three years probation for falsifying a Department of Veterans Affairs claim and his Army discharge record. He was in the Army. Jesse MacBeth was in the Army, folks, briefly. Forty-four days before he washed out of boot camp. Jesse MacBeth isn’t an Army Ranger, never was. He isn’t a corporal, never was. He never won the Purple Heart, and he was never in combat to witness the horrors he claimed to have seen. You probably haven’t even heard about this. And, if you have, you haven’t heard much about it. This doesn’t fit the narrative and the template in the Drive-By Media and the Democrat Party as to who is a genuine war hero. Don’t look for any retractions, by the way. Not from the anti-war left, the anti-military Drive-By Media, or the Arabic websites that spread Jesse MacBeth’s lies about our troops, because the truth for the left is fiction that serves their purpose. They have to lie about such atrocities because they can’t find any that fit the template of the way they see the US military. In other words, for the American anti-war left, the greatest inconvenience they face is the truth.
RUSH: That was the transcript from yesterday’s program, talking about one phony soldier. The truth for the left is fiction that serves their purpose, which is exactly the way the website, Media Matters, generated this story, fiction, out of context, did so knowingly. What is amazing is that after all of the examples of how this organization is simply a Democrat Party Hillary Clinton front group; how they constantly do this; how they take things out of context and embarrass themselves and get things wrong; they still have credible so-called journalists and others, members of Congress, Democrat Party, who treat what they say as gospel. Not one member of the media, not one congressman, nobody has called our office to ask, ‘Did you really say this? And what did you mean by it?’ The reason this does not work, ladies and gentlemen, is that I have a 19-and-a-half-year record on this program of being one of the most devoted supporters of US military personnel in uniform that there is.
The effort here is simply to discredit people that they consider effective and powerful on the right ginning up, leading up into the ’08 elections. They cannot beat us in the arena of ideas. They cannot challenge what we say and refute it and come out on top, so this is the anatomy of a smear. I’ll show you how it works when we come back after the break. We have a bunch of sound bites here from Jim Webb, Jan Schakowsky, Frank Pallone, Democrats and senators, plus the Kerry statement that I read to you, all that coming up right after this.
RUSH: So we have John Kerry insulting soldiers all over the place. His own troops who served with him said that he lied about things that he accomplished. He insulted the intelligence of the troops. We all know what they did to General Petraeus with the MoveOn.org ad, we know what members of Congress said to General Petraeus, calling him a liar before he even opened his mouth and before they had even read the report that they demanded be issued about the surge back on the 15th of September. What’s going on here is their attempt to deflect attention away from themselves and the same issue, because they have eaten it big time on the Petraeus ad in the New York Times. None of it worked out the way they intended. They have blow-black that they didn’t figure out. So now it’s time for them to try to point out that somebody like me is insulting the troops — as any of you who listen to this program regularly know has not happened and never would happen. Here’s congressional reaction, Senate reaction. Last night on some MSNBC show, Jim Webb was run out in the hallway. Question: ‘Yesterday, in his radio program, Rush Limbaugh called service members who advocate US withdrawal from Iraq ‘phony soldiers.’ You want to respond to that?’
WEBB: I really regret Mr. Limbaugh saying things like that. You know, we have, uh, political diversity inside the military just like we do in the country. If you look at the — I believe it was the six [sic–seven] soldiers, uh, who wrote with honor the piece for the New York Times not long ago, I think three [sic–two] of them, uh, now died. [truck accident] Uh, I think, uh, Mr. Limbaugh have to, uh, take a look at — at that sort of reality. I really react strongly when people politicize the service of our military people.
RUSH: What an absolute lunatic joke to make, after the way General Petraeus was just treated! Politicize the military? Mr. Webb stepped in it. You put a bag of manure in front of a liberal Democrat and they are sure to step in it. He just assumed that what he was told was true, that I called anti-war troops ‘phony soldiers,’ when everybody involved in this knows full well I was talking about one genuine convicted, lying, fake soldier, who was undermining this mission, who was doing his best to demoralize the troops. I stand up for the troops! The Democrat Party has been trying to demoralize them. The Democrat Party has been trying to lose the Iraq war, the war on terror. They own defeat. They are invested in it. They have failed to hang defeat around the neck of this president, and the presidency that they’ve been trying to destroy. They have now really upset their fringe base by all of the top-tier candidates in Wednesday’s debate saying, ‘There’s no way I’m going to pull troops out of there before 2013.’ They are beside themselves now, and so they choose to come after me in an unprovoked and totally out-of-context fashion. It is I who am owed an apology here. Let’s go to the floor of the House. A portion of remarks made by Illinois Democrat Jan Schakowsky.
SCHAKOWSKY: Well, Rush Limbaugh is at it again. Unable to defend an indefensible war in Iraq, he’s once again resorted to sliming the messenger. In this case, unbelievably, the messenger he’s going after are the brave men and women who have served their country in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other wars. Men and women who serve in Iraq differ from Rush Limbaugh in two critical ways. First, unlike Mr. Limbaugh, they actually served in the military. Second, unlike Mr. Limbaugh, they understand that the war in Iraq is making our country less safe and destroying the military.
RUSH: Do these people understand what fools they sound like to anybody who knows the truth about all of this? They haven’t the slightest idea how foolish they sound; they don’t care. Folks, I do not need, nor do you, lectures from liberals, Democrats, Drive-By Media people on whether or not they served in the military about supporting our troops. It is they who are undermining the troops, smearing the troops, endangering them every damn day — and they know it, and they have done it purposefully! They are undermining the war effort. They want to be called patriots for doing it. Same on selecting Jim Webb! Shame on John Kerry! Shame on them! They should be speaking out for our soldiers, not throwing in with the anti-war MoveOn.org crowd. They cannot have it both ways, not on this program. There are 170,000 soldiers in Iraq. The least we can do here at home is support them, and on this program they have universal, total support. Here’s more from Ms. Schakowsky from the floor of the House.
SCHAKOWSKY: How dare Rush Limbaugh label anyone who has served in the military as a quote ‘phony soldier,’ unquote? Could Rush Limbaugh actually face soldiers who have risked their lives and tell them that their beliefs don’t matter? Let’s pay attention to the 72% of American troops serving in Iraq who also think the US should exit the country within the next year, and more than one in four who say the troops should leave immediately, according to the Zogby poll. I guess they’re all a bunch of phonies, according to Rush Limbaugh. Apparently, however, Mr. Limbaugh thinks they deserve to be smeared and belittled unless they happen to agree with him. I understand why Rush Limbaugh cannot debate this war on the merits, but bashing soldiers and veterans who disagree with him is unpatriotic and un-American.
RUSH: Of course, none of what she said is true. She’s just ignorant, and I don’t need to be lectured to by these people. But, you see, they have taken the occasion of this comment… They don’t care whether it’s true or not; they just launch on their soapbox. Do you know how much I got under their skin, folks, for them to take this to the floor of the houses? Tom Harkin has done this. Let’s go back in time, shall we? Let’s go back to April 22nd, 1971, John Kerry testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about Vietnam.
VIETNAM VETERAN JOHN KERRY 1971: They told the stories of times that they had personally raped, cut off the ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned off the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Jen-jiss Khan. Not isolated incidents, but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with a full awareness at all levels of command.
RUSH: Lies! Senator Kerry was insulting and smearing members of the armed forces back in 1971, people he didn’t even serve with and things that he didn’t even see. Does the name Jesse MacBeth rise up again here in this discussion of phony soldiers? Here is John Kerry from December 4th, 2005.
KERRY 2005: [T]here is no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, uh, uh, uh, you know, women, breaking sort of the customs of the — of — of — of — uh, historical customs, religious customs, whether you like it or not. Iraqis should be doing that.
RUSH: Oh, really? Who is insulting the troops here, folks? And who has a history of insulting of troops? Certainly not I. It is Senator Kerry who in that bite from December 4th, 2005, essentially called US troops terrorists, and said if any terrorism ought to be going on over there, the Iraqis ought to be doing it.
RUSH: I’m in the midst here of illustrating the Democrat Party’s ’08 playbook, the anatomy of a smear, taking two words that I uttered yesterday totally out of context and misrepresenting the meaning entirely — on purpose, knowing full well they were doing it. Now the whole Democrat Party, the Drive-By Media — typically, without verifying, without asking, without checking — just assumes that what they read on this lying, politically oriented website, has to be true. Even if it isn’t true, it serves their purpose to go out and try to nick, harm, impugn, destroy people they fear who are too effective in opposing them. What we’re doing here after having illustrated all that, is to show you who the real anti-military people are in this country: who they are and how often they have opposed victory; the unkind, vicious things they have said about uniformed personnel. The idea that they have accused me of this and demand an apology from me is outrageous. It is I who is owed the apology. It won’t be forthcoming, but nor will one from me. Let’s go back to June 10th, 2005, the Senate floor, Dick Durbin.
DURBIN: If I read this to you and didn’t tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have happened by Nazis, Soviets in their Gulags, or some mad regime, Pol Pot or others, that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that’s not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of our — their — own prisoners.
RUSH: And of course it was Senator Durbin who issued, then, a lame apology after the firestorm that his comments caused. Let’s go back shortly, not long ago, September the 10th, when General Petraeus appeared before the House committee. Before he had said a word, before he uttered one word — and this is the day, of course, the MoveOn.org ad came out, calling him ‘General Betray Us.’ Here’s Congressman Tom Lantos lecturing a four-star general in dress uniform sitting before him.
LANTOS: The fact remains, gentlemen, that the administration has sent you here today to convince the members of these two committees and the Congress that victory is at hand. With all due respect to you, I must say, ‘I don’t buy it.’
RUSH: So he’s calling him a liar. So this is typical. This is what’s commonplace every day in the halls of Congress inhabited by Democrats. It is the generals; it’s the soldiers: they are the liars. They are the reprobates. They are the ones that need to be demoralized. They are the ones that need to lose so the Democrat Party can reap political power once again — and they have failed. They have failed at every effort to end this war in the defeat that they have sought. They have failed to hang defeat around the neck of George W. Bush, whose presidency they have sought to destroy. These people, ladies and gentlemen, are beyond the pale. US national security is irrelevant to them at this point in time. Their acquisition of power is all that matters. I’ve been waiting for this to blossom, and it finally did. At the White House briefing today, this afternoon, with the spokesperson Dana Perino, a CNN reporterette asked this question.
CNN REPORTERETTE: Apparently this week Rush Limbaugh used the phrase ‘phony soldiers’ to describe American troops who opposed the Iraq war. Given that the president has commented, uh, last week, uh, on the MoveOn ad, uh, on General Petraeus, and called it ‘disgusting,’ is this something that the president would, you know, feel compelled to comment on?
PERINO: It’s the first I’ve heard of that comment. Taking that it is accurate — I have not heard it myself — the president believes that if you are serving in the military, that you have the rights that every American has, which is that you’re free to express yourself in any way that you want to, and there are some that oppose the war and that’s okay.
CNN REPORTERETTE: The phrase ‘phony soldiers’ to describe these —
PERINO: It’s not a phrase the president would have used.
RUSH: ‘Not a phrase the president would have used.’ She wasn’t aware. She had to assume that the reporter was relaying the story accurately to her, but this is how this stuff starts. This is an illustration. This is the way the Democrat playbook in ’08 — and actually it’s been underway for a while. The illustration here, folks, is just how partisan supposed ‘objective’ media people are. You know, I’ve got a website, and I’ve got a radio show, and I’ve got a phone, and I have people who answer the phone, and if they read something like this… I’ve been on the air 19 years, a little bit over 19. Just the blanket acceptance of this — knowing full well that Media Matters takes things out of context all the time, the blanket acceptance of this — and then running with it full speed, is an illustration of what I have been drumming into people’s heads for years. The Drive-By Media is as partisan as any organization out there. They hide under this notion that they are objective, but they’ve got an agenda. They have their narratives. They have their templates. When anything fits the narrative, whether it’s true or not — i.e., the Duke rape case — you go with it. You run with it! You make the mess! This is why they’re called the ‘Drive-By’ Media. You make the mess. They drive in. They shoot things up, create all kinds of mess, get in the convertible, head back down the road, and it’s left to people like me to clean up the mess that they make — and they make messes every day, over, and over, and over again. So the reason for spending this time on this is to illustrate that that is how this happens. This organization is a front group for Mrs. Clinton, as are so many other organizations out there that engage in these kinds of smears. One more sound bite here from the floor of the House. This is Frank Pallone, a Democrat from New Jersey. Here’s a portion of what he said.
PALLONE: Yesterday, House Republicans offered a motion to recommit, condemning MoveOn.org for its advertisement stating that General Petraeus had betrayed us. I’m wondering if they’ll show similar outrage over statements made yesterday by conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. Yesterday Limbaugh called service members who support a withdrawal from Iraq ‘phony soldiers.’ Is Limbaugh serious? I wonder if Republicans who showed so much outrage towards MoveOn yesterday will hold Rush Limbaugh to the same standard — and I wouldn’t hold your breath.
RUSH: You shouldn’t hold your breath because there’s no standard to hold me to, in the sense that you’re talking about. I never said what you think I said, Congressman Pallone, congresswoman Schakowsky, Senator Kerry, or any of the rest of you in the Drive-By Media. I was talking about a genuine phony soldier — and, by the way, Jesse MacBeth is not the only one. How about this guy Scott Thomas who was writing fraudulent, phony things in the New Republic about atrocities he saw that never happened? How about Jack Murtha blanketly accepting the notion that Marines in Haditha engaged in wanton murder of innocent children and civilians? If anybody owes anybody an apology, the entire Democrat Party, from Hillary Clinton on down, owes the US military an apology. They owe me an apology, and they owe the American people an apology — and they are owed massive defeat in 2008! They are irresponsible, they are dishonest, they are incompetent, and they pose a great threat to this country — as evidenced by this small little episode. Now, I can go back and I could get all kinds of resolutions here to remind you of them, and I will. There were resolutions praising the patriotism of General Petraeus, condemning the MoveOn ad. Kerry voted no, Schakowsky voted no. They didn’t want to praise the ‘patriotism’ because ‘patriotism’ to them is opposing victory. Patriotism to them is opposing the US military. Patriotism to them is lying and taking out of context the words of people who are among the biggest supporters of the US military in this country. When I mentioned the term ‘phony soldier’ — and they all know this — I was referring to a genuine phony soldier about whom I had informed this audience the previous day and did so again the following day. That was Wednesday and Thursday of this week.
RUSH: I want to thank Media Matters for America for making it so easy, ladies and gentlemen, to show how the real conspiracy works. Not the phony-baloney, hilarious right-wing conspiracy which is totally made up, but how the left flashes the media, who flash the left in Congress, and voila, you have a totally wrong, false, filled with lies, out of context story that ends up in the mainstream. If you’re going to thank Media Matters, you have to thank one man, and that would be George Soros, and you have to thank one woman, and that would be Hillary Rodham Clinton. What the media want is to create a story that fits into their template, their reality.
Then they’ll go to their favorite Democrats for a comment, they’ll get some stupid comments from them and run and rerun the lies so that two years from now the truth and their lies become one and the same in the minds of people. This is their attempt here. This is because they don’t want to debate the issues, because they can’t win. They don’t want to admit their own failures and failings. They don’t want to inform the public. They want to manipulate the news and events to advance their agenda. So a comment that’s taken out of context is compared to a paid, printed ad intended to smear General Petraeus, then they ask the White House press secretary about it. This is how it works. I want you to know it and never forget it. Thank you.