What reads like a story from a short time ago, another radio talk show personality is getting a lot of heat from Democrats around the country. Only this time, it’s not mischaracterizing a girls’ volleyball team, but taking to task “phony soldiers” that stand against the Iraq war.
And just as how that last phrase can be twisted two different ways, that’s how thin the accusation is.
Limbaugh had just spent some time denouncing another anti-war “soldier” that had cooked up all kinds of awards for himself, even though he never set foot in Iraq, and served a measly 44 days.
The situation was fanned into flame when Limbaugh, clearly having this man in mind, remarked to a caller that he was upset with “phony soldiers” that spoke out against the war. His context was that they were speaking with no record, and a liberal group (Media Matters) took his words and spun a different story.
Their story had Limbaugh saying that all anti-war soldiers were “phony soldiers.” Quite a different twist.
Personally, I can see where, taken out of the context of all of Limbaugh’s statements, would appear to a person not listening to the program to be a problem, but the whole situation is ludicrous to anyone that’s heard him over the years. I hear him for 10-20 mins in the car on my way home and back for lunch.
And it seems that the real media knows that there’s no story here:
On Monday, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) stepped onto the floor of the Senate and strongly denounced talk radio host Rush Limbaugh for what have proven to be out of context statements made by the conservative personality on his program last Wednesday.
Yet, with the exception of a CNN segment aired Monday, and articles by Fox News, USA Today’s On Politics blog, The Hill, NewsMax, and the New York Post, virtually no major media outlets covered Reid’s statements.
Not the New York Times. Not the Washington Post. Ditto all three broadcast network evening news programs Monday, and the Associated Press. [Hat Tip: SayAnything]
No matter what you think of the guy, this constant rush to try to find something, anything, that conservative radio hosts can say that can get them off the air (like liberal radio host Imus was forced off the air earlier) is repugnant. And I think, to some extent, futile. Rush is a much bigger fish than Imus, and it would take something bigger than a few words out of context to make that happen.
Update: Now that it’s dying down, some wish it would continue...
Update II: Rush has put the letter condemning his statement on eBay with the winnings going to a Marine Corps Charity…