Emmett Tyrrell

But Palm Beach County prosecutors, having apparently leaked information about the case as well as some of the negotiating documents between them and Limbaugh's lawyers, now want Limbaugh to plead guilty to a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Limbaugh's lawyer, the respected civil libertarian Roy Black, considers this "preposterous." It is worse than that, which is presumably why the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a legal brief on behalf of Limbaugh. Another brief on his behalf has been filed by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, which wants to scotch the prosecutors' release of his medical records.

The harassment of Limbaugh provides another unlovely glimpse into the workings of the liberal elites. From the days of FDR, they have used the law to persecute political opponents. FDR used the IRS and FBI against such an array of opponents from former Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon, to publishers Moses Annenberg and Col. Robert R. McCormick, to labor leader John L. Lewis. All were innocent. Limbaugh is in good company.

Still, it is repulsive to see the rest of the press sitting quietly by. That Limbaugh, a first offender and recovering addict to pain killers rather than street drugs, is being unfairly harassed is clear to anyone but a political zealot. Conceivably, his harassment will end in court appearances and even a jail term. Will that please his opponents? "We got Limbaugh on an OxyContin charge." It might be a first.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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