The fanatical Right blog NewsBusters was supposed to be the Republican message machine’s answer to Media Matters. Purportedly NB’s mission is to expose what these fringe Right hooligans see as bias and misinformation. In this post (Show After Show MSNBC Smears Limbaugh with ‘Phony Soldiers’ Distortion, Photo of Brent Baker. By Brent Baker | September 28, 2007 – 22:56 ET) about Rush Limbaugh and his “phony soldiers” remark shows that wing-nut media watchdog is a contradiction in terms. Brent Baker writes,
All day Friday, even after Rush Limbaugh corrected the misinformation, MSNBC promoted a story fed to them by the far-left Media Matters about how Rush Limbaugh, on Thursday, had called military personnel who served in Iraq and oppose the war “phony soldiers.” Limbaugh opened his noon EDT radio show on Friday by explaining how he was referring not to any real soldier but a phony one, notably Jesse MacBeth, who became a hero to the left when he recounted how his Army unit murdered innocent Iraqis. In fact, he hadn’t even completed basic training.
Sure Baker buys the idea that this was all genuine clarification and not Limbaugh covering his ass after hearing the fallout. This is the transcript of what Limbaugh said, Limbaugh: Service members who support U.S. withdrawal are “phony soldiers”
CALLER 2: And, you know, I’m one of the few that joined the Army to serve my country, I’m proud to say, not for the money or anything like that. What I would like to retort to is that, if we pull — what these people don’t understand is if we pull out of Iraq right now, which is about impossible because of all the stuff that’s over there, it’d take us at least a year to pull everything back out of Iraq, then Iraq itself would collapse, and we’d have to go right back over there within a year or so. And —
LIMBAUGH: There’s a lot more than that that they don’t understand. They can’t even — if — the next guy that calls here, I’m gonna ask him: Why should we pull — what is the imperative for pulling out? What’s in it for the United States to pull out? They can’t — I don’t think they have an answer for that other than, “Well, we just gotta bring the troops home.”
CALLER 2: Yeah, and, you know what —
LIMBAUGH: “Save the — keep the troops safe” or whatever. I — it’s not possible, intellectually, to follow these people.
CALLER 2: No, it’s not, and what’s really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media.
LIMBAUGH: The phony soldiers.
CALLER 2: The phony soldiers. If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve. They want to be over in Iraq. They understand their sacrifice, and they’re willing to sacrifice for their country.
LIMBAUGH: They joined to be in Iraq. They joined —
CALLER 2: A lot of them — the new kids, yeah.
LIMBAUGH: Well, you know where you’re going these days, the last four years, if you signed up. The odds are you’re going there or Afghanistan or somewhere.
CALLER 2: Exactly, sir.
“The phony soldiers” says Limbaugh and his caller echoed the same sentiment, but now Newsbusters and Limbaugh and his caller only had one guy who clearly has some psychological problems as who they meant. Most of us would have said something like there was one soldier, can’t remember his name who was against the war and it turned out he was a phony. Limbaugh’s been on radio for a couple decades at least. With that kind of experience there is no excuse for conflating one person with over one hundred thousand soldiers. As Media Matters notes there have been more then a few soldiers and Marines that think the occupation of Iraq is a waste and abuse of America’s military for goals that are always ill defined and always seem to need another Freidman Unit to succeed, The War as We Saw It – Buddhika Jayamaha is an Army specialist. Wesley D. Smith is a sergeant. Jeremy Roebuck is a sergeant. Omar Mora is a sergeant. Edward Sandmeier is a sergeant. Yance T. Gray is a staff sergeant. Jeremy A. Murphy is a staff sergeant.
The phony soldier remark isn’t some small slip on Limbaugh’s part. Smearing and impuning the patriotism of anyone that disagrees with the unhnged Right’s faire tale version of Iraq is guaranteed to become a target for RushBoating, Before MoveOn’s “General Betray Us,” there was Limbaugh’s “Senator Betrayus”
On the September 11 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh called the advertisement “contemptible” and “indecent.” However, months earlier, on his radio show, he told his audience that he had a new name for Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE): “Senator Betrayus.” On the January 25 broadcast (subscription required) of his radio show, Limbaugh broke from his commentary on an interview of Vice President Dick Cheney on the January 24 edition of CNN’s The Situation Room to say: “By the way, we had a caller call, couldn’t stay on the air, got a new name for Senator Hagel in Nebraska, we got General Petraeus and we got Senator Betrayus, new name for Senator Hagel.” A day earlier, Hagel had sided with Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in voting to approve a nonbinding resolution declaring that Bush’s escalation in Iraq was against “the national interest.”
It doesn’t take much to make it onto the RushBoat hit list. Senator Hagel’s voting record is resolutely to the Right. The bill that Limbaugh and his callers became irate over was a toothless non-binding resolution. More political theatre then anything else. But much like Stalin, Limbaugh and his callers and Newsbusters will not tolerate the slightest deviance from the fringe Right position. When ABC played a tape of what Limbaugh said about Senator Hagel, Limbaugh replied,
“But note he doesn’t comment specifically on what I say. ‘Well, you know, Rush has to be somewhere, he can say whatever he wants,’ but didn’t dispute the substance of my point.”
Limbaugh calls the Senator a “Betrayus” and then that the Senator’s response replies that the Senator, a decorated veteran agrees. Maybe its all those drugs that Limbaugh took, his mental bubble and Newsbusters seem impenetrable to anything that resembles the truth. Limbaugh has more then his share of issues about his manliness and lack of military service, all things military brings out his insecurities still haunted by the anal cyst he used as an excuse not to serve in Vietnam. It really takes a lot of courage to sit in a little booth flinging insults on those who didn’t conjure up phony incapacities to avoid service, Audio: Limbaugh Calls Iraq Vet “Staff Puke,” Claims He Volunteered For War “To Pad [His] Resume”
Paul Hackett served in the 1st Marine Division in Ramadi and Fallujah during 2004 and 2005. When he returned home, Hackett was a vocal war critic and ended up running for Congress in a special election against Republican Jean Schmidt.
The Huffington Post obtained audio of Limbaugh smearing Hackett on his radio show in 2005. Limbaugh calls Hackett a “staff puke,” claims he went to Iraq “to pad [his] resume,” and attacks him as “a liberal hiding behind a military uniform.”
( the Right consistently considers America’s military as an extension of its ideology not as the nations protection against foreign threat)
Further proof that the fringe Righties like Limbaugh and Newsbusters don’t support the troops they support Bush disastrous counter productive policies and with a very few exceptions are too cowardly to actually have ever done any fighting themselves. How ironic that the toughest battles Limbaugh had to fight was staying out of Nam, avoiding prosecution of doctor shopping for oxycontin and keeping the alimony low from his three divorces.
Even with all the blogs and right-wing watch sites its near impossible to keep up with all the right-wing fables, half truths and distortions that are spewed forth every single day. Recently David Shuster at MSNBC spoiled Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn) litany of mindless right-wing talking points about Iraq when low and behold she didn’t know the name of the last soldier killed in her district. The right-wingers decided that Shuster/MSNBC should be punished so they lied for Rep. Blackburn by spreading the rumor that the soldier mentioned wasn’t from her district ( think about it, if she would have known she could have corrected Shuster at the time, but she didn’t because why would a gung-ho bench warrior Republican want to be bothered with facts like that). based on the false information regurgitated without question from one end of the Winguttery to the other Shuster was forced to apologize. Odd sense Shuster was right in the first place. Republican Rules
Of course, as is usually the case with stuff like this, the conservative bloggers who objected to the question were wrong. It turns out the soldier was from Blackburn’s district.
Now will Rep. Blackburn and those pathological fabricators on the Right have the courage and character to issue corrections and apologize. Don’t hold your breath.
The protests in Burma are not getting enough support from the blogosphere. We tend to ignore black-and-white issues where there’s nothing clever to say. So let’s be boring: the junta are pigs, the protesting monks are right, and Aung San Suu Kyi is a hero.