Colbert: “Hey, Media Matters, you want to end offensive speech? Then stop recording it for people who would be offended.”

Video file

On the October 8 edition of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, host Stephen Colbert mocked Rush Limbaugh for his attacks on Media Matters for America, which documented Limbaugh's characterization of service members who support U.S. withdrawal from Iraq as “phony soldiers” during the September 26 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show.

From the October 8 edition of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report:

COLBERT: Now, the pope isn't the only public figure to use a cute animal author to make them seem more lovable. Back in 1990, Barbara Bush had her dog Millie write about life in the White House and, just this year, Christopher Hitchens came out with God is Not Great, which was written by a disgusting warthog. But, Your Holiness, don't think that your new book is going to out-cute mine, because I Am America (And So Can You!) was co-written by a six-week-old golden lab puppy named Riley. Jimmy, roll the tape.

COLBERT [video clip]: Let it out. Whatever you want to type, you just type away. You just type away. That's right. Go ahead. That's right. If they don't support the war, then they're phony soldiers. That is right. Grrrr. Ooh, spell check says that's wrong.

COLBERT: Oh, and Pope Benedict, we both need to worry about Ann Coulter's new book. It was written by a Gila monster. Really warms her up. Moving on, nation: Once again, the dot-commies over at -- I assume the “org” stands for orgy -- are attacking conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh. Recently, the web-shite posted this audio clip of Rush and a caller complaining about veterans who oppose the Iraq war.

[begin audio clip]

CALLER: They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media.

LIMBAUGH: The phony soldiers.

CALLER: The phony soldiers. If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve.

[end audio clip]

COLBERT: Now, some veterans might have been offended but, sorry, Rush just calls this war like he sees it from thousands of miles away in West Palm Beach. Now, Democrats -- Democrats in Congress have demanded Republicans denounce Limbaugh, and nobody has summed up how ridiculous all this is better than Republican presidential front-runner and friend of the show Mike Huckabee.

HUCKABEE [video clip]: Last time I checked, the First Amendment has not been repealed. ... [I]t is not the business of government to infringe upon the free speech of anybody, including a talk show host.

COLBERT: Bravo, Governor. That is the finest insight you've had since you ripped [Sen.] Hillary Clinton [D-NY] a new one for not voting to censure over their “General Betray Us” ad. You said, quote, “If you can't get your lips off the backside of George Soros long enough to ... say it's wrong to declare a sitting general ... guilty of treason, how would you ever expect to have the support of the very military you might have to send into deadly battle?” Now just because he condemned an attack on our troops when it came from the left, and defended it when it came from the right, some are calling Huckabee a “Huckbocrite.” But he isn't -- and the reason is tonight's “word.”

Medium matters: Folks, the “Betray Us” ad was offensive because it was in print, and that made it permanent. I heard that after you throw away a New York Times, it takes over 100 years for the lies to biodegrade. But Rush made his comment on the radio, and he chose a career in radio for a reason -- because he can say whatever he wants and then it's gone forever. It's the same freedom I enjoy with my radio show Colbert On the ERT. For three hours a day -- yeah! Some On the ERT fans out there -- now, for three hours a day, I shout whatever pops into my head and it is over. I never give it a second thought. Here's a comment I made on my show just last night:

COLBERT [audio clip]: Look, all I'm saying is that people from Uruguay are human garbage.

OK. That sounds pretty bad out of context, but the context was: No one from Uruguay listens to my show. So, really there's no one to be insulted. It's like the old saying: If a tree says the n-word in the forest, is it offensive? Because the last time I checked, there weren't that many African-American lumberjacks. So, really, folks, who started this?

JOHN GIBSON (Fox News host): [W]ho started this phony war? ... Answer ... Media Matters for America.

COLBERT: That's right. Hatemongers like Media Matters take innocent statements like mine, Rush Limbaugh's, John Gibson's, and Bill O'Reilly's and make them offensive by posting them on the Internet, allowing the general public to hear words that were meant for people who already agree with us.

Hey, Media Matters, you want to end offensive speech? Then stop recording it for people who would be offended. Because the Constitution gives us broadcasters the right to say anything we want but that doesn't mean that just anyone has the right to listen -- and that's “The Word.” We'll be right back.