Radio host Rush Limbaugh claimed that "half of the [Kerry political] base hates the military, hates America." Then, in discussing a new advertisement by MoveOn PAC that depicts an American soldier caught in the "quagmire" of Iraq, Limbaugh declared that the ad was a "classic illustration" of the fact that "extreme liberals ... love it when the military loses."
From the September 17 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: [O]ne of the things we've learned is that [Senator John] Kerry has two elements of his base. And that's why, no matter what he says, he angers half the base.
Half the base is so-called old reasonable Democrats, and they don't hate the military. The other half of the base hates the military, hates America, hates Bush, hates the world except for France and Germany.
LIMBAUGH: It's [the MoveOn PAC ad] a classic illustration of their "Blame America first." It is a classic illustration of all that I have told you about extreme liberals and their view of the military. They hate it. They love it when the military loses. They consider the military the focus of evil in the modern world.
Limbaugh is not the only conservative member of the media who has questioned Democrats' patriotism. Media Matters for America has documented similar smears by Oliver North, by Wall Street Journal OpinionJournal.com editor James Taranto, by right-wing pundit Ann Coulter, and by FrontPageMag.com editor-in-chief David Horowitz.
Limbaugh's message that liberals "hate America" and "hate the military" is currently being broadcast to U.S. troops overseas via the taxpayer-funded American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS). After exposing Limbaugh's comments downplaying, dismissing, and even endorsing the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, MMFA created an online petition calling for Limbaugh's removal from AFRTS. Nearly 45,000 people have signed the petition. On June 14, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution calling for fairness and balance on AFRTS. Limbaugh is presently the sole politically partisan host featured on the service's talk channel.