The ruckus over the Rush Limbaugh "phony soldiers" statement is dying down. It ought not to. There is a huge story here.
What did Rush say? In a Sept. 26 conversation with a caller to his program who claimed the media never interview "real soldiers," but just people out of the blue, Rush added for emphasis, "the phony soldiers."
The left saw its opportunity and pounced with a vengeance. Led by the George Soros-funded and Hillary Clinton-inspired Media Matters outfit, it unleashed a scorched-earth attack on Limbaugh for insulting the military, stating that any servicemen or women who might oppose the war in Iraq had been defamed by the talk show host as "phony soldiers."
The television networks, newspapers and leftist blog sites were ablaze with stories about Democratic outrage. There were calls for his show to be yanked from the Armed Forces Radio Network. There were demands that Clear Channel make Rush apologize and that advertisers pull their sponsorship.
Presidential candidates denounced him. Congressional leaders -- the usual crowd of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Tom Harkin, John Kerry, etc. -- denounced him. A formal congressional resolution condemning Limbaugh was drawn up by Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo., and reportedly had over 100 Democrat (and one Republican) signers. The message was clear: Limbaugh's anti-military insult could not, and would not, be tolerated.
How disingenuous was this leftist attack on Limbaugh? Let us count the ways.
Before reviewing the facts of the case, one has to shake his head in disbelief that anyone would accuse Limbaugh of an anti-military bias. A day doesn't go by when he isn't praising our military on his radio program. He's visited the troops on the battlefield in Afghanistan and brought comfort to our wounded at the Walter Reed Army hospital. He's raised and donated millions to military charities. It is no wonder that he is the single most popular personality on the Armed Forces Radio Network.
Less than two minutes after uttering the words "phony soldiers," Limbaugh elaborated on the subject, explaining exactly what he meant by the term. He named one Jesse Macbeth as an example of a phony soldier. Macbeth had become an overnight darling of the far left, a self-described Iraq war veteran and Purple Heart recipient who posted a YouTube video denouncing American military atrocities he'd witnessed.
Except he was never awarded a Purple Heart. He was never in Iraq. In fact, he was never in the military, period. He was tossed out of boot camp after four months. Macbeth is now in prison serving a five-month term for falsifying Army records and applying falsely for veterans' benefits. Limbaugh was right.
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