October 3, 2007
Right Wing Media Circles Wagons; Unprecedented!
By Dean Powers
In an unprecedented display of fear, Republican Company spokespeople from across the country and multiple media outlets teamed up to blame Hillary Clinton and George Soros for Rush Limbaugh's defamation of the troops.
The intimidation seems to be working only on coward Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Mary).
Last Wednesday, Limbaugh labeled anti-war veterans "phony soldiers." Amazingly, while Congress set aside their priorities last week to condemn MoveOn.Org for merely begging the question: "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?", this week they're above trifling little condemnations for personal attacks against US soldiers.
The comment was typical. Rush, an orthodox McCarthyist, was incensed after bungling a call from a Republican war veteran who shattered the Republican stereotypes that Limbaugh so carefully promotes. Here is the incident:
LIMBAUGH: Mike in Chicago, welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER 1: Hi Rush, how you doing today?
LIMBAUGH: I'm fine sir, thank you.
CALLER 1: Good. Why is it that you always just accuse the Democrats of being against the war and suggest that there are absolutely no Republicans that could possibly be against the war?
LIMBAUGH: Oh, come on!... I don't know a single Republican or conservative, Mike, who wants to pull out of Iraq in defeat.
CALLER 1: Well, I am a Republican, and I've listened to you for a long time, and you're right on a lot of things, but I do believe that we should pull out of Iraq. I don't think it's winnable. And I'm not a Democrat, but I just -- sometimes you've got to cut the losses.
"Whoa!" Rush is thinking. "Damage control! What would happen if my audience finds out that not every Republican is a slave to the dictates of the Republican Company spokespeople?"
After much hemming and hawing, Rush settled on a response: "Mike, you can't possibly be a Republican."
Here beginith the thinking process that landed Rush in hot water. "I'll call Republicans who disagree with me 'phonies.'" It was no great leap of logic for Rush to condemn all anti-war soldiers as phonies mere seconds later when he hosted the second caller--the one who made Rush more famous in the last few days than he's been in years.
CALLER 1: I am definitely a Republican.
LIMBAUGH: You can't be a Republican. You are --
CALLER 1: Oh, I am definitely a Republican. See, I -- I've used to be military, OK? And I am a Republican.
LIMBAUGH: Yeah. Yeah.
CALLER 1: And I do live [inaudible] but --
LIMBAUGH: Right. Right. Right, I know.
CALLER 1: -- you know, really -- I want you to be saying how long it's gonna take.
LIMBAUGH: And I, by the way, used to walk on the moon!
What followed was epic. Limbaugh's "phony soldiers" comments were roundly criticized by distinguished members of Congress and Media Matters. Then Rush responded, and he responded, and he responded. Rush began the day of reconciliation Tuesday by calling for Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to "step down." What? Resign? Has Limbaugh lost his mind?
Rush proceeded to compare his armies of antagonists to Stalinists and Ahmadenijads. He conjured up Gulags and Stasi police. He accused Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi of dancing naked around a bonfire in the woods. He put a flashlight under his chin and told stories about his childhood. He brayed like a pig and galloped around in circles with his hair on fire.
Fox News Republican Company spokespeople Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly, who haven't completely lost their marbles yet, both piled it on--albeit with less rampant signs of paranoia. Both spent excessive, outrageous amounts of time defending Rush.
O'Reilly made Limbaugh the "top story" on his program Monday night. Weaving fact and fiction, O'Reilly created a fairy tale in which poor little Rush was the victim of the big bad bully George Soros.
On Tuesday, Hannity launched into his three hour radio program defending Rush. Hanntiy called Soros and Clinton the "new axis of power." He added, "Their goal is to silence the new medium," a reference to the Right Wing Media.
Also flocking to Limbaugh's defense: Joe Scarborough, Willie Geist, the Arizona Ledger and others.
Claiming respect for the men and women fighting in Iraq is one thing; showing respect is another. Limbaugh escalated his vitriolic attacks against the military today by comparing an Iraq War veteran who took offense at his comments to a suicide bomber.
The veteran, Brian McGough, appeared in radio and TV ads criticizing Limbaugh.
“This is such a blatant use of a valiant combat veteran," Limbaugh said, as if McGough were a vegetable, "lying to him about what I said and then strapping those lies to his belt, sending him out via the media and a TV ad to walk into as many people as he can walk into."Its contemptible enough to suggest that McGough has phony opinions, but it smacks of ignominious elitism and arrogance for Limbaugh to tread a US soldier into the dirt and shame reserved for the cowards and reptiles that strap bombs to themselves to kill women and children. McGough has a Purple Heart. He was attacked, while fighting for our country, by a suicide bomber.
Authors Bio: Dean Powers is a former intern at The Nation, whose views are not reflected in this piece. The Nation could use support right now, as it is coping with dubious and extraordinary hikes in its postal rates.
(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)
The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.