RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, have you heard about Harry Reid? Harry Reid is saying no mas. Harry Reid announced that he will not seek reelection. By the way, does anybody believe that Harry Reid really had an accident with his exercise machine? Does anybody really believe that’s why Harry Reid is still bruised and is still wearing dark glasses, what, months after this accident with his exercise machine?
I don’t believe for a minute that whatever happened to Harry Reid has anything to do with an exercise machine unless somebody repeatedly threw him into it. Harry Reid looks like and is acting like — and now with this announcement, behaving like — somebody who may have been beaten up. Nobody… I’ve never seen anybody have an accident with an exercise machine that ends up suffering symptoms much like Harry Reid’s for as long as Harry Reid has. (interruption)
Well, no, David Koch is a close second, but I think I inspire more hatred on the left than David Koch does. But it’s a tight race. You know, David Koch donated $25 million to some hospital and the nurses protested wanting him to give the money back because he didn’t really mean it. He was only giving the $25 million to hide the fact that he’s a racist pig and a sexist.
Interestingly enough, Avery Fisher Hall sits right across the quad there from the David H. Koch Auditorium a Lincoln Center. He donated enough money to either renovate or have a new auditorium built, and they named it after him, of course. So the left shows up at the place, and they see David H. Koch Auditorium, and they walk whatever they go to at Lincoln Center enraged when they say this guy mentions my name before the performance of his stupid symphony.
So, anyway, “Senator Harry Reid, the tough tactician…” Let me read to you this New York Times piece. Dingy Harry, “the tough tactician who has led Senate Democrats since 2005, will not seek re-election next year, bringing an end to a three-decade congressional career that culminated with his push of President Obama’s ambitious agenda against fierce Republican resistance.
“Mr. Reid, 75, who suffered serious eye and facial injuries in a Jan. 1 exercise accident at his Las Vegas home…” See, that’s my point. January 1st? It’s March 27th. Three months, and you still have signs of injury for accident running into your exercise machine? Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah. Anyway the point here, ladies and gentlemen, is I think as we look at the political landscape, a number of prominent Democrats are resigning and retiring. It’s a trend. It’s not just Reid.
We had a number of Democrats announce retiring. It’s also rumored that Pelosi may get out. When this kind of thing begins to happen, the Democrats don’t want to be there if they’re not running the show. They don’t want to be in Congress when they’re in the minority, and I think I’m pretty safe in saying that Dingy Harry’s retirement — and there could be numerous reasons for this, many reasons including those that could have led to him being beaten up by his exercise machine.
He has just decided he doesn’t want to be in the minority, and he’s probably figured out the Democrats are not gonna win the Senate back and may not win the White House in 2016, and he doesn’t want to be there. He wants to go home, spend more time with the family, with the grandkids. He wants to teach them how to do screwball land deals before time runs out, maybe spend some more time on the exercise machine, maybe build a bunker underground where people that threw him into the current exercise machine can’t find him to throw him into the new one.
But we’ve had a very famous run-in with Dingy Harry on this program. Dingy Harry once attempted to have your host — your beloved fuzzball leader, me — censored and silenced. Dingy Harry applied pressure to the chief executive officer of my then syndication partner, Clear Channel Communications, a man by the name of Mark Mays. You remember this? It was over this totally made up controversy involving the phony soldier.
Let me take a break, come back, and do this, ’cause this is one of the high points of the EIB Network, what happened. It’s one of the major victories that we have had here over the Democrat Party and a leader in that party. It was a humiliating, overwhelming defeat of Harry Reid, and what we did on this program was an illustration of how you can fight back to these people — and win — if you just have the desire to do so.
For those of you new to the program, maybe at Avery Fisher Hall last night — and listening for the first time today and are not aware of what I’m talking about — do not go anywhere. You don’t want to miss this. For those of you who remember it, it will be fun to relive it as we go back to the Grooveyard of Forgotten Favorites right after this.
RUSH: It happened eight years ago. It’s unbelievable to me how fast time is going. Eight years ago, in 2007. It was in September and October. The short version is that a man claiming to be a veteran of the Iraq war came back to the United States and began bashing the American military, bashing the war effort, bashing George Bush. We did a little research and we determined the guy was a fraud, that he had never been to Iraq.
He had never been in the US military!
He was a leftist plant much like a Cindy Sheehan was. He was totally made up, and the media was supporting him and the Democrat Party was supporting him, and he was a total fraud. I ended up calling the guy “a phony soldier,” and this irritated Harry Reid, who only knew about this from reading from a propaganda website called Media Matters for America, which was also lying about all of this. So Harry Reid or somebody on his staff reads the account and thinks that I have maligned a real hero as a “phony soldier.”
Now, what made this exciting or enticing to the Democrats is they had already coined the term “phony soldier.” The Democrats, if you remember in this period of time (this is 2007), they were doing everything they could to impugn the war effort. They were doing everything they could to secure defeat for the armed forces with his ’cause they wanted to hang that defeat around the neck of George W. Bush.
So any military person that came along and told any tale about how rotten the military was, about the atrocities we were committing — and this was part of this phony guy’s story — the Democrats ate it up. They ate it up, and didn’t matter that it was as big a lie about Harry Reid’s lie about Mitt Romney not paying his taxes. They ran with it. Well, they were using the term “phony soldier,” and Harry Reid, some of the staff, comes across the propaganda peace on Media Matters and thinks they’ve got me.
Harry Reid goes to the floor of the United States Senate and reads a letter that he had sent to the then-CEO of Clear Channel Communications, my syndicating partner. The man’s name was Mark Mays. Harry Reid called him Mark May. And the letter begged or asked, and it’s… You’re a CEO of a major American communications conglomerate. Many of your properties are regulated by the federal government, the FCC.
You get a letter from the Senate majority leader suggesting you do something and there is a lot of implied intimidation, and Harry Reid knew this. And the letter that Dingy Harry composed and sent to Mark Mays, he read verbatim on the Senate floor. And he asked Mark Mays to censor me, to make me apologize and to think seriously about allowing me to continue. And then, after reading the letter, he then did indeed send it.
And Mark Mays did indeed receive it, at which point I had an idea. I got hold of Mark Mays — syndication partner, CEO, Clear Channel Communications — and I asked him if I could have the letter for the purposes of auctioning it on eBay, because what that letter represented was the long arm of the federal government making a direct assault on the First Amendment rights of an average, ordinary American citizen. That would be me.
The First Amendment is clear that government shall not abridge the right to free speech, particularly political speech. Not to mention, folks, that everything Harry Reid asserted was a lie. Remember, the phony soldier was a phony soldier. He had never been in Iraq. He was making up the details of the atrocities he had seen. And they were bad. And they were typical. American soldiers were raping Iraqi women. They were frightening and terrorizing Iraqi children.
They were behaving basically as brutes, and they were this going from town to town leaving a trail and a path of destruction. Of course, this is what the left wanted to hear. They ate it up. It became true in their minds. When it became obvious that this guy was phony, Dingy Harry decided to try to expose me as a critic of the military. That was his big mistake, one of many big mistakes.
But no matter what people knew or thought of me, nobody was ever going to believe that I was anything other than 1,000% behind the American military. Harry Reid, believing the propaganda he had found at Media Matters, decided to try to convey to the American people and anybody else who would listen that I was the one attacking the valor and the dignity and the character of uniformed military personnel.
Mark Mays gave me that letter after I requested it. He sent it to me and allowed me to use it however I wanted, which I thought was a profound act of courage and bravery. Remember, his company has properties — radio stations, TV stations — that were regulated by the federal government. Easily intimidated, some people in that position are. He could have said, “No, Rush. Let’s leave this alone.” He gave me the letter. We put it up for auction on eBay as an example of the government trampling on the Constitution.
“It’s a great historical example,” I said, and I said, “Whoever buys this,” donates the most to buy it, the charity I named, “I will match it.”
RUSH: I’m holding in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers a copy of Harry Reid’s letter to Mark Mays. It was October the 2nd of 2007. Not only did Harry Reid send the letter, it was signed by I think every Democrat in the Senate, including Senator Kennedy. It was signed by Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Patty Murray, Chuck Schumer, Tom “Dung Heap” Harkin, Jack Reed, Frank Lautenberg.
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s signature is on the Harry Reid letter to Mark Mays. Let me read to you the last two paragraphs. “Active and retired members of our armed forces have a unique perspective on the war and offer a valuable contribution to our national debate. In August 7 soldiers wrote an op-ed expressing their current with the current strategy in Iraq — tragically, since then two of those seven soldiers have made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq.
“Thousands of active troops and veterans were subjected to Mr. Limbaugh’s unpatriotic and indefensible comments on your broadcast, Mr. Mays. We trust that you will agree that not a single one of our sons or daughters or neighbors or friends serving overseas is a phony soldier. We call on you to publicly repudiate these comments. They call into question their service and sacrifice and to ask Mr. Limbaugh to apologize for his comments.”
Never mind the fact that it was the Democrats who were impuning uniformed military people day in and day out! Oh, yeah, you want me to recall a couple of them? How about the Marines in Haditha, accused of rape? The accusation was made, and there was Jack Murtha, the congressman from Pennsylvania and John Kerry. Jack Murtha signed right on to the, accepted it, before there was even a trial, just the charges alone. John Kerry went further and said American troops are terrorizing Iraqi women and children, trampling into their homes late at night.
They knew that they were the ones that owned the image of anti-military, Harry Reid and the Democrats. So they thought this was an opportunity, this “phony soldier” thing, to transfer supposed anti-military-ism to me. That’s what the purpose of the letter was, with all these Democrat signers on it, folks. So Mark Mays gave me the letter. We put it up on eBay for auction as a glaring, glittering example of an attempt by a ranking member of the United States Senate to intimidate and silence an average, ordinary American from the floor of the Senate via a letter to a business partner.
We put it up, and I said that whatever amount of money we get for this, I’m going to match it, and we’re gonna donate it to (Are you waiting for it?) the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, which has been one of my top charities since it was formed in the mid-nineties. The Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation provides college scholarships for the children of Marines killed in action.
And during massive events like 9/11 they extend the scholarship offerings to the children of men and women killed in action from other services, the Air Force, the Secret Service, the Navy, you name it. Well, the bottom line is, ladies and gentlemen, that we ended up collecting a top donation of $2.1 million, and I had pledged to match it. So that meant that $4.2 million ended up being donated to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation because Dingy Harry went to the floor of the Senate and attempted to use me to impugn the United States military.
It was one of the greatest reactions to a public event by the people in this audience that I have ever seen. The woman that came forward… By the way, there was a contest. There were two people bidding back and forth in the final days, and we finally got to $2.1 million, and I promised to match it. I had no idea it was gonna get that kind of money, but it did, and I matched it. OutsideTheBeltway.com had a story:
“Rush Limbaugh Nets $2.1 Million for ‘Phony Soldiers’ Letter — Limbaugh auctioned off a letter hind by Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, 39 other Senate Democrats condemning his ‘phony soldiers’ comments for $2.1 million on eBay. His matching the total donates $4.2 million to a charity benefiting the families of Marines and police officers wounded and killed in the line of duty.” What did Harry Reid do?
After all of this, Harry Reid went back to the Senate floor and attempted to take credit for all of this. Have you forgotten that? He went back to the Senate floor and said, “This is the kind of great thing that can happen when people work together for a common good.” His original attempt was to essentially silence me. He ended up being publicly humiliated, and then his last act was to try to glom on to it, take credit for it, and act like he was the one ultimate responsible for it all happening because this is what he wanted.
This led to a parody tune that ranks in the all time top five parody tunes on the EIB Network. (playing of song) “White comedian” Paul Shanklin. (continued playing of song) All of that back from eight years ago, and here’s what Harry Reid said, trying to take credit. This went from October 2nd, which is the date of his letter, all the way to October the 19th. So basically 2-1/2 weeks, every day, “phony soldier,” eBay letter, up for auction.
The price getting going up, and it was exciting. Harry Reid was being humiliated each and every day. So on the 19th of October, Harry Reid goes back to the floor of the Senate. He says, “Now, everyone knows that Rush Limbaugh and I don’t agree on everything in life, and maybe that is kind of an understatement. But without qualification, Mark May (sic), the owner of the network that has Rush Limbaugh and Rush Limbaugh should know that this letter that they’re auctioning is gonna be something that raises money for a worthwhile cause.
“I don’t know what we could do more important than helping to ensure that children of our fallen soldiers and police officers who have fallen in the line of duty have the opportunity for their children to have a good education.” I don’t know what we could do more important than help…? What do you mean, “we,” Senator Reid? The phony soldier I was talking about (Jesse MacBeth was his name) had falsely claimed he was a decorated Army Ranger war hero who took the stage at numerous anti-war demonstrations!
He claimed that he was an Army Ranger, killed more than 200 people, many at close range, including some as they prayed in a mosque. In reality, MacBeth didn’t even make it through six weeks of Army Basic Training. He never set foot in Iraq. He was a phony soldier, and he was being promoted by the Democrats as an anti-military spokesman attempting to discredit the military and George W. Bush.
“On June 7, 2007, MacBeth pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to the US Department of Veterans Affairs. He admitted he filed a bogus claim for VA benefits 2005 which included a fraudulent military discharge form. He said on the forms he had been in the Army for more than three years, he had achieved the rank of corporal. He claimed he had been awarded a Purple Heart, that he was discharged because he suffered from PTSD.”
It was all lies, every bit of it made up, and the Democrats probably knew it, and yet they used him at rally after rally after rally. And when I pointed this out, that’s what got this whole ball rolling, that I was accusing a great hero of being a phony soldier. And they tried to turn this all around into me being the anti-military guy. End result: Harry Reid, humiliated; Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation with $4.2 million.
And we got a great parody tune out of the whole deal to boot.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. It’s about 22 years since I’ve been trying to get hold of you, talk to you, to break through The Snerdley Barrier, and I finally did today.
RUSH: (laughing) The Snerdley Barrier.
CALLER: Now, you probably remember this, you can play back the tape, but I remember you were talking with a caller and he was the one who had served. I believe, if I remember right, he was a soldier, and he was talking about the phony soldier comment, and either you had trouble hearing him, and he repeated it, and then you go, “Yes, yes,” and that’s when Harry Reid and Media Matters jumped on you and that started the whole thing.
RUSH: Right. It’s a great memory. It was it was a caller talking about Jesse MacBeth, and the caller referred to it as a phony soldier, and I agreed, and we began talking about it. Look, Harry Reid is like anybody in the audience at Avery Fisher Hall last night. He had no idea what he was doing. He had not heard it. He was totally trusting whatever he had read or been told about it by the schlubs at Media Matters or the people on his staff.
They thought… See, they’re so obsessed, folks, with taking me out. They thought they had it then. This is what was so delicious about this. They really thought that that was gonna be the one that was gonna take me out of service forever ’cause it was gonna destroy my credibility and expose me as a fraud. And instead the exact opposite happened: $4.2 million to a military charity because of Harry Reid’s idiocy. It was a great thing.
RUSH: By the way, AP news alert: Dingy Harry Reid has just endorsed Chuck-U Schumer as his successor. Now, by the way, Harry Reid’s announced his retirement, but he’s not leaving. He’s got as much time left as Obama does. So a year and three-quarters. That would that be 20, 21 months he’s got left. So Obama and Dingy Harry can still wreak terror and a lot of damage but they’re out of there.
There was a move I saw earlier today.
Some people had already began to put pressure on Dingy Harry to name Elizabeth Warren as his replacement. I’m not kidding. Not kidding. I saw the story, and I said, “There’s no way that Schumer is gonna put up with that. No way is Schumer gonna sit idly by and let Elizabeth Warren become the new Senate leader for the Democrats.” So Dingy Harry has endorsed Chuck-U and that pretty much means that Chuck-U is gonna be the guy, given seniority and the power structure in there.