Friday, October 19, 2007

Rush Limbaugh and the 41 Fools

I used to be shocked when a news agency got a story wrong (I began college as a journalism major, and then changed when I found I would be some editor's lowly slave). Now I’m surprised if a news agency seems to get one right.

ABC News rarely surprises me.

The latest is their reportage on the letter signed by 41 Democrat senators condemning Rush Limbaugh for using the phrase “phony soldiers.” As most Americans now know because of extensive coverage on the Drudge Report, Rush has auctioned the letter on EBay for $2,100,100, has matched its selling price, and quoting the ABC News item: “All proceeds from the auction of the letter will go the Marine Corps - Law Enforcement Foundation, which distributes aid to the families to the children (sic) of fallen Marines on behalf of law enforcement officers.”

(I included the above quote to illustrate that with all its layers of editors and fact checkers, ABC News can’t even catch obvious typos. Anyone with a brain would recognize that the phrase in the above sentence should be corrected to read “to the children of the families of fallen Marines,” not “to the families to the children of fallen Marines”)

The first major thing ABC got wrong was crediting the Democrats with raising the funds for charity. According to ABC News:” No mater (sic) what, Democrats are going to make a ton of money for a charity off their political vitriol.”

All the Democrats did was write the dumb and ill-advised letter, which Rush then exploited by auctioning it to raise money for charity, and then by pledging to match whatever price it drew. Rush then smeared it in by challenging the 41 Democrat senators to join him in matching his charitable contribution.

Let’s see. $2,100,100 divided by 41 comes out to $51,222 per Democrat senator. Hillary could cover that with the interest she earned on illegal political contributions from Norman Hsu – or Johnny Chung, or Johnny Huang, for that matter – before she donated them to charity.

Or from the over $380,000 coerced in one Democrat fundraiser from the least-affluent residents of New York’s Chinatown, busboys, waiters, and dishwashers, in an area known best for its gritty poverty.

One more example of the Democrats China connection, and their donors don’t expect nothing for something.

What have they been promised?

Apparently the way Democrats raise money for charity is to accept illegal political contributions, then if they’re caught donate them to charity.

Probably to Air America, which needs all the charity it can get.

Of course, ABC News got the main point of their story totally wrong, probably because their main source of news for their story, the Democrats, got their part totally wrong.

Again, ABC News reported: “For their part, Democrats sent a letter calling for Rush Limbaugh to be reprimanded for calling soldiers who opposed the war ‘phony soldiers.’”

One obvious thing ABC News could have done if they had a “nose for news” is to check on what Rush actually said that pushed a button causing 41 Democrat senators to take the unusual step of writing to his organization demanding he be reprimanded.

When I was a Freshman journalism major at Humboldt State College, Arcata, California, in 1960, my tyrannical editor told me that I always had to get the other side of the story. Even if it was a pack of lies, it would still make my story, if nothing else, more interesting. And it just might expose flaws from only reporting one side that would prove embarrassing when they later came to light.

I wonder where ABC News reporters learned journalism?

If ABC News, or 41 Democrat senators, wanted to truly learn the “other side of the story,” Rush made it easy for them. All he has said, and its chronology, is readily available on his website, Or just click here.

If you don’t want to believe Rush’s written transcript of his show, you can listen to the actual broadcasts and the actual words said in context and chronological order. Forinstance, the incident that started it all occurred in a Rush “Morning Update” broadcast the morning of 25 September 2007:

The anti-war left has its celebrities, and one of them was "Army Ranger" Jesse MacBeth. Now, what made the 23-year-old "corporal" a hero to the anti-war crowd was not his Purple Heart or his being afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder from tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.

No -- what made "Army Ranger" Jesse MacBeth a hero to the left was his "courage," in their view, off the battlefield. Without regard to consequences, he told the world the abuses he said he had witnessed in Iraq. American soldiers killing unarmed civilians -- hundreds of men, women, and even children. In one gruesome account, translated into Arabic and spread widely across the Internet, MacBeth describes the horrors this way: "We would burn their bodies... hang their bodies from the rafters in the mosque."

Recently Jesse MacBeth, the poster boy for the anti-war left, had his day in court. He was sentenced to five months in jail [and] three years' probation for falsifying a Department of Veterans Affairs claim; his Army discharge record, too. Yes, Jesse McBeth was in the Army. Briefly. 44 days. Before he was washed out of boot camp. MacBeth is not an Army Ranger; he is not a corporal; he never won the Purple Heart; he was never in combat to witness the horrors he claimed to have seen.

But don't look for retractions, folks -- not from the anti-war left, the anti-military Drive-By Media, or the Arabic websites that spread his lies about our troops. Fiction serves their purposes; the truth, to borrow a phrase, is inconvenient to them.

Then on Wednesday, September 26, 2007:

Rush takes a call from an Army soldier who laments, "[W]hat's funny is they never talk to real soldiers. They pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and spout to the media," to which Rush adds: "The phony soldiers." The caller repeats the phrase and continues with his point. After respectfully letting him finish, Rush explains for those in the audience the phenomenon of "phony soldiers" like Jesse MacBeth, a darling of the anti-war left exposed as a total fraud who never served and never was in Iraq.

Then Media Matters jumped in, and selectively reported what Rush said. In place of the phony soldier, Jesse MacBeth, that Rush made the topic of his Morning Update, and discussed with a caller the next day, Media Matters changed the context and reported that Rush was talking about soldiers who disagreed with the Iraq War.

My challenge to any and all who doubt Rush’s proclamation about what he said, and about what Media Matters reported, is to go to Rush’s website and read and/or listen to what he said and when, and then compare that to what Media Matters reported.

Then, of course, the Democrat Senate Brain Trust got their Media Matters update, and made total asses of themselves (shameless redundancies are noted here).

And now ABC News, divorcing themselves of any claim to being practitioners of professional journalism, reported the Democrats are responsible for raising the charitable donation. In their total lack of journalistic curiosity, it never dawned on ABC News to wonder why Rush would chose to publicize the issue if the Democrats were in the right.

By the way, I’m a retired Air Force Major. My oldest son is a Nevada National Guard Master Sergeant, who served a tour in Iraq, stationed at Abu Ghraib, and in Haiti, Guantanamo, and ten years in Germany. My middle son is an Air Force veteran drawing disability payments from the VA for an injury while working on an aircraft.

I write the above to put the following statement in context.

If I believed Rush said what Media Matters and 41 Democrat senators have accused, I would be the loudest voice demanding his apology. However, I have listened to the broadcast, read the transcript, and know first hand that Rush is right, and his opponents are either liars, idiots, or both.

You listen and decide.

The truth will set you free, unless you’re a Democrat.

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