October 20th, 2007
12:35 PM ET
7 years ago

Reid's slam on Limbaugh fetches $2.1 million

The top bidder paid over $2 million for a Senate letter slamming Limbaugh.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – What’s the going price for a letter signed by 41 Senate Democrats officially condemning conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh’s recent controversial 'phony soldiers' comments?

$2.1 million, apparently.

That was the winning eBay.com bid Friday for a letter sent to Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays officially calling on him to condemn the comments in question. The letter was written by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and signed by 40 Democratic senators, including White House hopefuls Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Mays refused to condemn the remarks and Limbaugh placed Reid's letter on the popular auction Web site last Friday, pledging to match whatever it fetched and donate it all to The Marine Corps – Law Enforcement Foundation.

When the Ticker first checked in Tuesday, the bidding stood at $50,000 - already a significant price for a standard Senate letter, but ultimately more than $2 million short of what the letter finally fetched Friday.

“The government tried to take away my living, by sending this letter to Mark Mays at Clear Channel and asking him to confer with me about my remarks,” Limbaugh said on his show Friday announcing the winning bid. “Private citizens, of their own accord - without a government mandate, without an Al Gore pledge - responded with creativity, and charity, and a sense of fun.”

Limbaugh identified the winning bidder as Betty Casey, a philanthropist and trustee of the Eugene B. Casey Foundation

“We cannot thank her enough for her support in this, and I am honored, and proud, and happy to be matching her,” Limbaugh said of Casey.

And in a unique twist of fate, Reid took to the Senate floor Friday complimenting Limbaugh for his use of the letter. (Watch Reid on the Senate floor)

“Now, everyone knows that Rush Limbaugh and I don't agree on everything in life and maybe that is kind of an understatement,” Reid said. “But without qualification, Mark Mays, the owner of the network that has Rush Limbaugh, and Rush Limbaugh should know that this letter that they're auctioning is going to be something that raises money for a worthwhile cause.”

Though Limbaugh made clear he wasn’t ready to bury the hatchet with the Senate’s top Democrat.

“I asked Senator Reid to go on the program and discuss his discussion of me as ‘unpatriotic,’” Limbaugh said on his show Friday after Reid’s speech. “He did not accept my offer to do that, and now has the audacity to climb aboard this, praising the effort, saying that ‘he’ never knew that it would get this kind of money. It got this kind of money because it represents one of the most outrageous abuses of federal power in modern American history, and that is what makes it a collector's item.”

Reid's spokesman Jim Manley later told CNN, "The irony of the situation is that this charity managed to benefit from [Limbaugh's] completely outrageous and offensive comments."

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (365 Responses)
  1. Mark Wilkes Barre PA

    I hope the outcome from the rush limbaugh / harry reid matter is a taste of things to come from the republican party, There is another point of view out there cnn ! Try reporting it. Mabey your ratings would improve

    October 20, 2007 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  2. Estelle DuBose

    The Harry Reid letter made this much money because it was not true, abuse of power and because it shows us how the news does not cover the "news" correctly. We have no way to know whom to trust when we hear something. It is a very frustrating time to live and I have lived a long time.

    October 20, 2007 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  3. Carole BocaRaton Florida

    Go Rush keep up the great work dirty harry and the 40 Democrats never even hbneard your show it should be phoney democrats!

    October 20, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  4. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    Limbaugh's mugshot and fingerprints are on file with the rest of the law-breakers at the county jail. Just another "family values" hypocrite.

    October 20, 2007 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  5. Lew

    Reid can't shut up when shutting up would do him the most good.
    A brief statement on the floor of the senate would have done much more good for Reid than a letter. People forget stupid words but a letter is forever.
    Now would be a good time for Reid to write a letter to the major news corporations condemning them for reporting poll results showing congress to have it's lowest approval ever.
    What a bunch of losers.

    October 20, 2007 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    It is ridiculous and irresponsible to say that about Democrats "their goals in Iraq are the same as the enemy; fully invested in defeat". The Democrats want our soldiers to come home safely as soon as possible and the other side want them to stay and die.

    October 20, 2007 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  7. Michael, Houston Texas

    The headline on this post was "Ticker: ATTACK on Limbaugh fetches $2.1M"

    How exactly was this an "attack" on Limbaugh? A little on the over stated side CNN. Get real.

    October 20, 2007 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  8. John Frederick, Stevens Point, WI

    Why does anyone even listen to this clown anymore? He's a blowhard pundit who gets rich by having people pay attention to him. The Democrats played right into his hands by putting a spotlight on him.

    Ironically, Limbaugh's argument here proves exactly why the Iraq war is a fraud. Anyone who dares speak out against it is accused of "not supporting the troops!" But when some of those very troops speak out against it, suddenly we're NOT supposed to care about the troops. And I'll bet my house, my car and every cent I have that the more soldiers who speak out against the war, the more this "Support the Troops!" propaganda will get thrown out the window anyway.

    October 20, 2007 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  9. To bad Not Bill Gates

    Has anyone ever thought that the money maybe to force Rush to pay out his pocket. If I was Bill Gates rush would be filing Backruptcy right about now...or lose his honor which he probably doesn't have a problem with.

    October 20, 2007 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  10. therealist

    I find it quite fitting that the first Congressional attack against a single individual citizen involves the worst rated Congresss in history, a talk show host and phony soldiers..

    Betty has bought herself a pricessless piece of history that contains the signatures of several democratic presidential candidates. Yes, definitely a classic foot-n-mouth display from this pitiful Congress.

    But hey, at least Harry can now say his constant partisian ranker has actually accomplished something(finally) good for America. Even if it is the only thing he's accomplished..

    October 20, 2007 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  11. Byron Palmer Livingston, TX

    Rush Limbaugh is the most dispicable, ugly, hateful, intolerant, UN-American person that I have ever heard of in my 66 year lifetime.

    October 20, 2007 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  12. Typical Lansing MI

    Typical hypocritical Republicans, He is only in support of soldiers that agree with there policies and beliefs. If a soldier doesn't agree they must be Phony soldiers. Big talk coming from those that were to cowardly to serve. You Idolize Rush when Mccain should be your man.

    October 20, 2007 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  13. Alyssa, Arlington, Texas

    Rush Limbaugh is a disgusting waste of flesh. The man is an phony as they come. His goals?? They're certainly nothing humanitarian– just designed to promote himself.
    The funny thing is that I'll bet you big bucks the $2.1 Mil bid turns out to be a hoax. I'm betting if he works his way down the bidders list, he might eventually get the $50. where it all started.
    People– check this man out. He has a history of lying all the way back to his pathetic excuse for avoiding military service. Anal cyst my a–! My husband had an anal cyst & he served. Rush is just a pompous idiot and continues to such you "believers" in over & over & over. I feel sorry for you.

    October 20, 2007 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  14. Igor lampinski, Dallas,NC

    Finally Rush is doing something good. Even though it was by lie and trickery some one will benefit from it.
    He is doing something for the military now in attempt for dodging out because of something on his posterior. Truth be know it was his ear. You can quess where the rest of his head was.
    He has done more to this country by spinning the truths and 20,000,000
    people (according to him )have fallen for his ingnorance.

    October 20, 2007 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  15. Wayne, Greenville TX

    The headline on this post was "Ticker: ATTACK on Limbaugh fetches $2.1M"

    How exactly was this an "attack" on Limbaugh? A little on the over stated side CNN. Get real.

    Posted By Michael, Houston Texas : October 20, 2007 10:43 am

    Simple. Telling the truth about Rush Limbaugh and what he says is an attack. He is a known pathological liar, drug abuser, and closeted homosexual who has turned his self-hatrred outward and directed it toward those who disagree with him. And the dittoheads lap it up.....

    October 20, 2007 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  16. Mark, St. Louis, Missouri

    It's hurts to listen to all of you, both from the left and from the right, talking about Iraq, Rush Limbaugh, senators and Congress. Do any of you actually think that your elected representatives be it Republican or Democrat care about the troops or about any of you? They don't. All they care about is power and money and big business. When will all of you stop yelling at each other over who's worse Democrats or Republicans and realize they are all lying scumbags!!! It's time to unite and make ourselves a better country before it's too late and the rich are superrich and the poor are super poor and there is another civil war!!!

    October 20, 2007 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  17. Tony Mas, Arcadia, Florida

    Harry Reid must be buddies with flip flop Kerry after he got 40 democrats to sign a letter that basically wanted Limbaugh to get on his knees and say he's sorry. Won't happen. you 40 dems should be ashamed of yourselves (Hillary you won't get my vote)trying to take away the freedom of speech, how dare you. God Bless you Rush.

    October 20, 2007 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. Linda Peterson, Reno, Nevada

    Good. Limbaugh's unpatriotic, hurtful remarks cost him $2+ million out of pocket. Maybe he'll learn to think before he speaks.

    October 20, 2007 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  19. Stefan,Raleigh,NC

    Nice to know that up-standing conservatives and moral-based voters continue to value the rants of a brain-dead hypocrite druggie like Rush. What a patriot!

    October 20, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  20. Mackenzie, Minneapolis, MN

    Wow. Most of you are completely clueless, and probably have never even listened to Rush's show. The winning bid was for $2,100,000 and Rush is matching it! Rush also asked Senator Reid and the others who signed it to match it too! This is biggest Ebay charity auction EVER! No one seems to mention that! The record before was Jay Leno's Harley for $800,000.

    October 20, 2007 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. Greg, Pittsburgh

    HEY,

    EB Rideout : October 19, 2007 4:52 pm

    The reason it sold for so much is because it was a documented abuse of power by the democrat leadership. They attempted to quite a private citizen by attacking his method of making an income.

    October 20, 2007 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  22. Wayne, Greenville TX

    It's hurts to listen to all of you, both from the left and from the right, talking about Iraq, Rush Limbaugh, senators and Congress. Do any of you actually think that your elected representatives be it Republican or Democrat care about the troops or about any of you? They don't. All they care about is power and money and big business. When will all of you stop yelling at each other over who's worse Democrats or Republicans and realize they are all lying scumbags!!! It's time to unite and make ourselves a better country before it's too late and the rich are superrich and the poor are super poor and there is another civil war!!!

    Posted By Mark, St. Louis, Missouri : October 20, 2007 11:41 am

    Nothing will get done as long as all the Republicans keep voting in lock-step to protect their war criminal in the White House.

    If the Republicans in the House and Senate would vote for the good of the country and not the good of their party, we'd get things accomplished. But with right-wing cheerleaders like Limbaugh, Hannity, Levin, and the others egging them on, they will keep up their obstructionist ways.

    The only solution is to Vote Democratic next year, and drive all the criminal RepubliKKKans out of office.

    October 20, 2007 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. Russ, Stratford CT

    We are in desperate need of a legitimate third party in this country. One that can start with candidates in every national district in this country.

    It is wonderful that Rush took this issue and turned it into a positive for the heroic men and women who have served this country

    It is sad that our politicians waste their time on the Senate floor trying to knock down a US citizen. There are so many more important issues that require thier time.

    Neither party has the courage or conviction to take them on and solve them. They only care about money and power and not what is best for the country.

    CNN is just as much to blame trying to bury this news item.

    October 20, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. George, Queen Creek Arizona

    Harry forgot to take his alzheimer meds again. Nice job Rush. Keep'em all honest. Your still the man!

    October 20, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  25. Ethan, Brooklyn, NY

    HOW is this STILL the top story on the ticker???????????

    CNN, you are pathetic.

    How about doing a little JOURNALISM every once in a while?

    October 20, 2007 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
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