October 16th, 2007
01:29 PM ET
6 months ago

Reid's letter condemning Limbaugh fetches $50K on eBay

Reid's letter is a hot item on eBay.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - It may turn out to be the most valuable letter Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ever sent.

The Nevada Democrat's correspondence-in-question was sent earlier this month to Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays, officially calling on him to condemn popular conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh's controversial 'phony soldiers' remark. Clear Channel syndicates Limbaugh's show.

Mays refused to condemn the remarks and Limbaugh recently placed Reid's letter on eBay, pledging to match whatever it fetched and donate it all to The Marine Corps – Law Enforcement Foundation.

As of Tuesday morning, the top bid for the letter was over $50,000. The bidding ends Friday.

"I'm going to match the dollar figure, and I have suggested that Sen. Reid and the 40 other Democrats who signed the smear letter … also match the donation," Limbaugh said on his show Monday.

Limbaugh's original remark came on a September 26 program as he and a caller were discussing critics of the Iraq war.

"What's really funny is, they [Iraq war critics] never talk to real soldiers," the caller said. "They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media."

Limbaugh responded, "The phony soldiers."

After the liberal media watchdog group MediaMatters.org and several Democrats quickly condemned the remark, Limbaugh said he was "taken out of context," and added he was referring to one soldier specifically - Jesse MacBeth, a war critic who falsely claimed to be an Iraq veteran.

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Filed under: Harry Reid • Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (164 Responses)
  1. Readyforachange Raleigh, NC

    This whole issue is childish. Why is it that republicans feel the need to have people like Limbaugh, Coulter, Hannity and O'Reilly on the air. All these people do is divide the country and spew hate. The Democrats are crazy for even acknowledging these people. The Democrats should have learned by now that the republicans are the masters at "spinning" issues.

    October 16, 2007 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  2. Killer, GA

    Tighty, if Rush supports the Injured Marine Fund, then it's a phony fund. I wouldn't give 'em a dime, and nobody else should either. All I need to know about 'em is they're with Rush.

    October 16, 2007 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  3. Jim, IA

    Truly our technology has exceeded our humanity.

    In a technology meant to share ideas and promote real discussions, I read these postings and find too many filled with hate. I applaud those on either side that make a reasonable argument based on fact hoping to persuade their fellow citizens. But I am saddened deeply by the amount of name calling and personal attacks that demonstrate just how adolescent we remain.

    October 16, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  4. Mike Again, New Orleans, Louisiana

    Rush Limbaugh... isn't he that fat Oxycontn addict who says whatever the right wing nutjobs neocons want to hear?

    October 16, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  5. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Limbaugh is a magnet for left wing wackos looking to express their anger....I love the left and their tolerance for alternate opinions "lets boycott Fox and Clearchannel" – better yet...make up "facts" that they can't prove and present them as fact "Bush made up all the Iraq intelligence" – people on the left are plain stupid

    October 16, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. Austin, Winter Park, CO

    Rush Limbaugh pushes the limit of free speech. Turn off and tune out America.
    RL is just a fat bastard without constraint.

    October 16, 2007 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  7. ken brock, chapel hill, n.c.

    Way to go Rush. Great idea and job.
    Real Americans know you support our troops as you indicate on your show everyday. True Patriots know what your example of phony soldiers meant. You are a great American Rush!!!

    October 16, 2007 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  8. Dwight, Pearland, TX

    Are you people (posters AND CNN alike) EVER going to read the ENTIRE text of that phone conversation or are you going to continue to gloss over it. If you DID, you'd realize EXACTLY what Rush was saying and there's no way thinking Americans would have a problem with it. But everyone takes Media Matters (Hillary helped start it by the way) seriously without finding out what was ACTUALLY said.

    October 16, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. Chris Ritter, Norman, OK

    I'm one of those "phony" soldiers. I've been a sailor/soldier for 20+years and am currently an Army SSG helicopter crewman who served in the 2003 invasion and schedualed to return in spring 2008. Maybe Rush would like to join me next year I could always use extra help on the missions. I know he loves to fly, I could see his beautiful business jet through the damaged hanger doors when we landed at Palm Springs airport for fuel during hurricane Frances and Ivan doing relief work. If you have not been you really are not qualified to pass judgement on any of us. I.V.A.W.

    October 16, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  10. Dave K. Flat Rock, MI

    AGAIN, it takes a whole pack of Democrats to attempt a take down of a Single Republican. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK RUSH !

    October 16, 2007 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  11. Lisa, Pittsburgh, PA

    Let's face it, the left doesn't like Rush Limbaugh because he changed the nature of media dialogue by ruining the left's monopoly control of the media. The Left cannot win in the area of ideas, which is why try to use force and government power to silence their opposers. If the Left has so much to say, why can't it produce its own talk radio hosts that become as successful as Rush (or Hannity or the others)? Air America was the bankrupt laughingstock of media. GO RUSH!

    October 16, 2007 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  12. Greg Okc Ok

    The left has such hatred for anyone that does not agree with every thing they say or believe. Does this not scare anyone but me? To think they might win complete controll of the federal govt keeps me up at night. If this happens I promise there will be book burnings, what is really scary is that they will say its done in the name of tolerance. Blue dogs beware, there is no such thing as a conservative Democrat in Washington! What you see in Pelosi and Reid is what you are going to get! The military deserves our support they are doing their job, the darlings of the media are releasing some movies that try and say our soldiers are nothing but rapists and killers. their goal is to turn America against her soldiers once again like they did 30 years ago. This is the left, and at this time the Dem party. Be careful what you wish for!!!

    October 16, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. LYNNE, WANTAGH, NY.

    Kudos to Rush Limbaugh, a great idea,
    I will be contributing to our great Marines, who are protecting, the ole cowardly behinds of Reid, and 40 Senators that signed that rediculous letter. What has happened to the Senate, supposely a great body. Give us a break. a bunch of cowards, that hope we will lose the war.
    TO THE DISTINGUSED SENATORS FROM WHERE EVWEM YOU ARE A DISGRACE

    October 16, 2007 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. J, Dubuque, Iowa

    Rush and his supporters all showed their true colors when they started the verbal attacks on some soldiers. They love to go on about how they support the troops – especially veterans, but that's only as long as these people toe the party line. The moment a veteran speaks up in opposition to Rush or the GOP right wing talkers are ready and willing to trash the veteran – even one who suffered a head injury.

    October 16, 2007 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  15. Ryan, New York, NY

    Take the top bid, divide by Rush's income. Multiply result by a senator's income, then you'd have a realistic figure of what any of them can pay. For some people like Biden, the bid could be higher than what they make in a year. But then again, Rush wouldn't understand that.

    Also, do people really think that this is ALL coming out of Rush's pocket if the bid tops 6 figures (and the winner doesn't back out)? After so many years making millions each year, he could probably afford it, but I'd be surprised if he doesn't receive assistance and if all the matching donations are from his personal accounts. The show will probably just expense it since it's bringing in ratings.

    October 16, 2007 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  16. BATTLE BUDDY FORT WORTH, TX

    PHONY SOLDIER???? LOOK AT RUSH, HE WOULDN'T LAST A WEEK PAST RECEPTION IF HE TRIED. HE HAS NO CLUE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A SOLDIER NOR THE COURAGE TO EVEN TRY.

    October 16, 2007 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  17. Hilary, Rochester NY

    Please explain to me once again how a bunch of Congressmen writing a letter to the CEO of a media company asking him to condemn the remarks of one of the company's syndicated show hosts = infringement of Rush Limbaugh's 1st Amendment rights.

    Explain to me how it is not, by contrast, an exercise of those 1st Amendment rights by the 42 members of Congress in respose to Limbaugh's exercise of the same.

    Explain to me how Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays was prevented from exercising those rights in response to the letter.

    I'd suggest an emergency remedial course on the construction and meaning of the 1st Amendment for some of you. It does not, for example, entitle one to a forum in the form of a syndicated radio talk show immune from all criticism and condemnation.

    October 16, 2007 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  18. john williams san diego, ca.

    people can overcome oxycotin addiction, but democrats cannot overcome liberalism..it's a degenerative brain disease..witness harry reid

    October 16, 2007 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. Raj, Dallas, Texas

    Can anyone from the past, give information on the senate passing resolutions on a private citizen and their comments? Why the congress is wasting our tax payers money ? Should we not be discussing on the non binding resolution of nanci pelosi on atrocities of turkey on armenians? How that is affecting our friendly relations with turkey?

    October 16, 2007 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  20. MediaJunkie, Washington DC

    ENOUGH of saying the left-wing despises anyone saying something they disagree with or vice versa. You can find a ton of examples of this from both sides. It really confounds me that any American can staunchly and continuously defend either party regardless of what they do. They both screw up all the time. Frankly, I'm DISGUSTED with the constant finger-pointing and political stunts on both sides. Congratulations to Rush for making a donation completely meaningless by politicizing it. And Reid et al need to not waste time writing letters to ClearChannel and get to legislating.

    October 16, 2007 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  21. Greg Close Golden Valley, Mn

    How about we ask Rush to really support the troops? There is a bill to lower the retirement age to 55 instead of 60. That's right the folks next door to you that are 40% of the force and are fighting and putting their careers and lives on the line don't see a dime for retirement until they are 60. How about he speaks out about the cuts for the past 6 years to the VA and lack of funding to care for our wounded. I could go on and on about supposed military supporters who fail to speak out about real issues and legislation that would actually show support for veterans.

    October 16, 2007 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  22. ADB, Cincinnati, OH

    I wonder if General Sanchez, the retired leader of Coalition forces in Iraq is also a "fake soldier." That is awfully big talk for a nobody with a 4-F deferrment for a boil on his butt and a pill habit.

    October 16, 2007 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  23. mark R. Fort Lauderdale FL

    Limbaugh is such a sleaze-ball. We all know exactly who you were talking about, Rush, and it wasn't just one soldier. You were labeling all those who don't agree with you as phony, and no monetary donation is going to change that.

    October 16, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  24. Brad, Lincoln NE

    I find it sad that many of the Rush-haters here keep referring to him as "fat" and "the addict" rather than questioning the content of this article. Rush said something, explained what he meant, got slammed by a media watch-group a week later, and then received this letter. Anyone who listens to Rush, if only for an hour, knows that he is in full support of the military. He is a private citizen and can auction anything he wants on eBay. He's donating the proceeds to charity and matching the contribution out of his own pocket... what's wrong with asking the Democrats who smeared him to make this right and show support for the troops?

    And for those who don't know, this charity helps provide money for children of Marines KIA to go to college and things like that... $50K for a letter, $50K from Rush, and $2.1mil from the 42 Senators. How may college educations can be bought with that kind of money? Stop pretending this is a bad thing.

    October 16, 2007 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  25. Randy Soloman, Phoenix, Arizona

    Rush Limbaugh's stunt of donating money is like Micahel Vicks donating all his money to the dog owners and asking to match the contributions from Law Enforcement authorities and NFL.

    October 16, 2007 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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