Purporting to "give you some background on this quickly," Fox News' Megyn Kelly said of Rush Limbaugh's comments characterizing service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq as "phony soldiers": "Rush originally used this term 'phony soldiers' when he was talking about a guy named Jesse MacBeth." In fact, when Limbaugh first used the term on the September 26 show, he had not mentioned MacBeth, and did not mention MacBeth until 1 minute and 50 seconds after he used the phrase "phony soldiers."
On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh defended his statement characterizing service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq as "phony soldiers" and expanded the group of "phony soldiers" to include Vietnam veteran Rep. John P. Murtha.
Rush Limbaugh insisted that his September 26 remarks characterizing U.S. service members who support withdrawal from Iraq as "phony soldiers" had been taken out of context and that he was referring specifically to "one genuine, convicted, lying, fake soldier," Jesse MacBeth. But Limbaugh did not refer to MacBeth during his September 26 broadcast until 1 minute, 50 seconds after making his "phony soldiers" comment, and at no point on that show prior to making his "phony soldiers" comment did Limbaugh refer to any actual fake soldiers. Additionally, on September 28, Limbaugh misrepresented those comments.
In response to Media Matters' documentation of his recent description of service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq as "phony soldiers," Rush Limbaugh claimed that he had not been talking "about the anti-war movement generally," but rather "about one soldier ... Jesse MacBeth." Limbaugh then purported to air the "entire" segment in question. In fact, the clip he aired omitted a full 1 minute and 35 seconds of discussion that occurred between Limbaugh's original "phony soldiers" comment and his subsequent reference to MacBeth.
Rush Limbaugh's characterization of service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq as "phony soldiers" was not the first time that he has labeled a military service member a "phony." On his June 27 radio show, Limbaugh said of Sen. John Kerry, whose Vietnam record was the subject of a smear campaign by the discredited Swift Boat Veterans and POWs for Truth: "The guy's a fraud! He's a total phony, and people were able to see it!"
Sen. Jim Webb and Reps. Frank Pallone, Jan Schakowsky, Chris Van Hollen, and Patrick Murphy denounced Rush Limbaugh for calling service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq "phony soldiers," which Media Matters for America documented.
While discussing what he suggested might be "hypocrisy when it comes to political attacks" with regard to a MoveOn.org ad headlined "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?" and comments by Rush Limbaugh about "Senator Betrayus, new name for Senator Hagel," MSNBC's David Shuster asked Rep. Marsha Blackburn, "Where was the outrage when Rush Limbaugh said this about Republican Senator Chuck Hagel over one of the senator's stances on Iraq?"
Rush Limbaugh has called the MoveOn.org "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?" advertisement "contemptible" and "indecent," but months earlier, on his radio show, he told his audience that he had a new name for Senator Chuck Hagel: "Senator Betrayus." Though Limbaugh has taken exception to accusations that he has attacked the patriotism of his political opponents, the "Senator Betrayus" remark is one of several instances in which Limbaugh has done so.
On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh claimed that he gets Sen. Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden "confused," stating that bin Laden's call in a newly released tape "to invade Pakistan and declare war on Pakistan and [Pakistani President] Musharraf ... puts him on the same page with" Obama. However, Obama has said he "never called for an invasion of Pakistan."
On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh asserted: "Three weeks ago, you had Jim Clyburn of the Congressional Black Caucus saying, 'You know, if this report is good, it presents problems for us,' meaning the Democrat [sic] Party." In fact, Clyburn did not say that good news from Iraq is bad news for Democrats in electoral terms, but rather that a recommendation from Gen. David Petraeus against withdrawal would impede Democrats' efforts to garner support in Congress for legislation to begin withdrawal. And while Limbaugh identified Clyburn merely as "of the Congressional Black Caucus," Clyburn is also House majority whip, the third-highest position in the House.
A WorldNetDaily.com article reported that "Kathleen Willey, the woman who says Bill Clinton groped her in the Oval Office, claims she was the target of an unusual house burglary over the weekend that nabbed a manuscript for her upcoming book. ... [S]he believes the Clintons were behind it." Special Report with Brit Hume, Rush Limbaugh, and the New York Post all repeated the allegation that the Clintons were behind the purported burglary, and Special Report and the Post repeated Willey's earlier accusation about having been "groped" in 1993 by Bill Clinton. But none of these reports noted that independent counsel Robert W. Ray discredited Willey's allegations regarding Clinton in a formal report released on March 6, 2002, citing her inconsistent testimony regarding the alleged incident.