Is Rush Limbaugh back on the OxyContin? Did he really think he could get away with editing his own show transcript to lie about calling antiwar military veterans “phony soldiers” last week? Sure, Fox News let it pass, but he isn’t fooling anyone else.
For the record, in case you missed it, Limbaugh spoke to a caller last week who said he was an Iraq veteran who now opposed the war. Later in that same show, a pro-war veteran phoned in and criticized the antiwar vet, leading Limbaugh to denounce such vets as “phony soldiers.” Under fire for the slur, he then edited his transcript to make it seem like he was referring to the story of a guy who faked a stint in Iraq and a Purple Heart. In fact, as Media Matters has shown, he didn’t mention that example until almost two minutes after his first reference to “phony soldiers.” And the next day, he went on to say Rep. Jack Murtha is a phony soldier too.
Remember, this is the guy who called Sen. Chuck Hagel “Senator Betray Us,” long before MoveOn shocked, shocked the Congress with its “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?” ad. As Digby notes, the chickenhawk radio host also suggested antiwar Ohio congressional candidate Paul Hackett fought in Iraq to “pad his resume,” and slurred Gen. Wesley Clark by claiming he didn’t deserve his fourth star but lobbied to get it from President Clinton. Now Clark is demanding that Limbaugh get the boot from Armed Forces Radio. In 2004 Eric Boehlert detailed the controversy over Limbaugh having a daily show on AFR, and an official defended it by saying he also runs NPR, as though the public radio network’s programming in any way balanced the partisan hate Limbaugh spews. Little has changed since then. I saw a short daily brief with Jim Hightower, but Focus on the Family’s James Dobson, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Paul Harvey and Sean Hannity also have their own shows.
Will Congress listen to Wes Clark? Stay tuned. I’ll be debating the question with Pat Buchanan on MSNBC’s “Live With Dan Abrams” tonight at 9 EDT, followed by an interview with Clark.