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. A,D,SUTTON CLAREMONT, CA

    RELIGIOSITY DRIVES RUSH BROADCASTS. FEW READ OBSCURE INHOUSE POLICIES MADE BY BAN-ABORTION CLERICS WHO CREATE, COLLECT AND CONSUME "COSTS OF WORSHIP.' HERE IS THE RUSH ECONOMIC POLICY, I THINK, FROM PAGE 1414, VOL. 4, 1968 "CATHOLIC REFERENCE ENCYCLOPEDIA," DEFINING "PRIVATE PROPERTY." "THE RIGHT OF PRIVATE PROPERTY IS ONE OF THE IMPORTANT TEACHINGS OF THE CHURCH, A RIGHT SHE VIGOROUSLY DEFENDS AGAINST THOSE POLITICAL SYSTEMS THAT SEEK TO REPLACE PRIVATE WITH PUBLIC OWNERSHIP...PIUS X1 IN HIS 1931 ENCYCLICAL LETTER 'QUADRAGESIMO ANNO' STATES THAT 'THE RIGHT TO PRIVATE PROPERTY WAS GIVEN TO MAN BY NATURE OR RATHER BY THE CREATOR HIMSELF." RUSH WAS FOR WARS VS CUBA, N. NAM, MOSSADEGH'S IRAN, ALLENDE'S CHILE, SANDINISTA NICARAGUA AND IRAQ– ALL OF THEM BEING FOR NATIONALIZATION OF MAJOR INDUSTRIES. CAPITALISM IS PARASITIC AND EXTRACTIVE AND RUINS THE MIDDLE CLASS WITH ITS BUILT-IN BOOMS AND BUSTS. PEOPLE ARE CRIPPLED OR KILLED IN IRAQ TO DIVIDE ITS OIL PROFITS AMONG INVESTORS. I LOVE THE TROOPS BY WANTING TO GET THEM OUT OF DANGER. HUGE TAXPAID INDUCEMENTS MAKE THEM RISK LIVES AND BROKEN FAMILIES. INHUMANE INVESTORS START WARS AND BUY SHARES IN WAR SUPPLY CORPORATIONS. THERE IS NOTHING FAKE ABOUT WANTING TO SPARE SOLDIERS FROM COLOSTOMY BAGS, WHEELCHAIRS, LIVES ON MORPHINE AND OTHER PERSONAL CATASTROPHIES OF WAR.

    October 19, 2007 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  2. Tone, Fort Mill, SC

    To all those that claim they listened to Rush and later say the audio and transcripts were altered... hmmm?? How often do you listen? Is Rush making you re-think your views? Would love to hear any one of them call in to Rush's broadcast and call Rush on it.

    October 19, 2007 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  3. Sharon, Troy, MI

    "Rush Limbaugh" – whenever I hear that name it brings to mind that wonderful morning a few years ago when a dear friend called to tell me about Rush's arrest for drugs. Now that was eating crow!

    October 19, 2007 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  4. D.W. Laconia, NH

    Auctioning off an official letter from the Senate Majority leader that was signed by 40 senators shows the absolute contempt and disregard that Clear Channel's Mark Mays and Rush Limbaugh have for our elected officials that are not 100% ultra right wing and to their liking. They are a national embarrasment and for them to claim that they are "patroitic" is disgusting.
    Rush and his owners are nothing but lying hypocrites, whom I'm sure did nothing but cheer when the government admonished MoveOn.org for questioning the political dog and pony show put on by Gen.Petraus for George Bush Inc. But when Rush slanders U.S military personel who do not agree with him and then called to account on it, he cries that he is a victim?
    Sickening hypocrisy to the point of the absurd....

    October 19, 2007 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  5. Doug: Columbus, Ohio

    Alexander Mooney and CNN : Nice job on reporting of the Limbaugh letter today. That story was fairly done with quotes from Rush's show,and no other major news web site is providing that. We appreciate it.

    October 19, 2007 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  6. Hiram, Miami, Florida

    You failed to mention that Mr. Limbaugh is matching the money raised on E-Bay, and that Senator Reid and the other Democrats who signed the letter are not !!

    October 19, 2007 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  7. Ethan, Brooklyn, NY

    I love seeing the Ditto-heads come out of the woodworks on this one ridiculous topic. Who cares that the policies Rush supports have led to the death of:

    3,832 US TROOPS.

    Three Thousand, Eight Hundred and Thirty-Two. DEAD.

    And Rush has the gall to pat himself on his back for a donation of $2million?

    Totally bogus.

    The fact that the fund is for the kids of troops that he cheer leaded on their way to their deaths (while sitting on his ass smoking cigars) is just absolutely sickening.

    Harry Reid is an idiot and loser for getting caught up in this foolishness. Rush is a total fraud and a disgrace to conscious thought. The ones who really lose out on this idiotic debate are THE KIDS WHO HAVE TO GROW UP WITHOUT A FATHER. But oh, heckuva job Rushie. Sickening BS.

    October 19, 2007 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  8. Bradley Schaubs, Greeley, CO

    Limbaugh is an fat, angry little man. He makes me laugh and feel good about the fact that I'm a Democrat.

    October 19, 2007 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  9. Joe, DC

    So the phony talk show host and the phony Senate leader have put to rest their phony controversy. And the whole mess is reported as news by this phony news organization. God help us all.

    October 19, 2007 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  10. Allan, Tulsa, Oklahoma

    Limbaugh is a proven liar who twists facts to present his own warped opinions. He does a disservice to America and Americans. It is shocking that he continues to be allowed to pollute the air waves.

    October 19, 2007 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    lush rambo will say anything that sells. If the right wing-nuts suddenly stopped listening, and left of center thought was selling, he'd change his gasbag tune in a nanosecond.

    October 19, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  12. George, Rockledge, Florida

    Rush rocks! Harry Reid is a twisted, pathetic little man.

    P.S. To Bill Nelson: Do what you're told, boy. Good boy.

    October 19, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  13. Patriot and that's all there is to it. San Diego, CA

    Is this the best we can do as American people? Why do we concentrate on the red button issues that divide us? Why can't we look at the real issues like jobs, medical care, and affordable housing? Why are we not holding ourselves to a higher standard? Why do we as a country allow talk show hosts or radio personalities to project our image to the world as our mouth pieces? We are better than this as Americans and we should really think about electing new blood to Washington. We should seek more independent minded candidates that think about the big picture that will unite us and not divide us. I urge everyone on this page to refrain from attacking each other. 2 wrongs do not make a right. We all love our troops. We all love America. We should act like.

    October 19, 2007 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  14. Don, NY, NY

    REID'S SLAM ON LIMBAUGH? ONCE AGAIN, CNN LYING AND CREATING NEWS. THIS BACKFIRED ON REID AND THE CNN HEADLINE SHOULD READ: "LIMBAUGH'S SLAM ON REID."

    You people at CNN are despicable, predictable and incredible.

    What a joke you have become.

    October 19, 2007 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  15. Paul, nashville, tn

    All of you and all the democrats that spoke out on this issue are ignorant and petty, because you took one little thing out of what he said instead of seeing the whole discussion. You are taking it out of context and are just trying to find something else to keep people from seeing the problems with your party by pointing out all the "so-called" problems with people that support the republican party even to this pitiful point. TYPICAL!!!

    October 19, 2007 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  16. john williams san diego, ca.

    serious discussion...their has been bad, incompetent, lazy, self serving, and confused Senators in our history, but harry reid will forever be the most stupid dunderhead ever...and that doesn't include corrupt with his 3 sons and 1 son in law being on his payroll.as lobbyist...keep donating to him liberal loonies

    October 19, 2007 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  17. John, Boston, MA

    Ethan, Ethan, Ethan. Using your logic Abraham Lincon and FDR are a hundred times worse than Rush. It is so funny to hear the weak pacifists make comments about people who are not in the service that support the US troops and their Commander In Chief. Let's turn it around, YOU WHO HAVE NEVER FOUGHT IN A WAR HAVE NO BUSINESS BEING AGAINST IT.

    If you don't like your country and if the flag gets you mad then you might want to move to Iran. Maybe then you will appreciate the great nation you are lucky enough to live in.

    Rush and Fox news are the counter to the liberal media. Oh, wait i forgot, Chris Mathews, Olberman, Carville, Couric, Rather are all objective fair journalists.

    October 19, 2007 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  18. Brett, Boone Iowa

    Thanks to Harry Reid's complete incompetence, the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation has received a 4.2 million dollar donation.

    October 19, 2007 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  19. Dave Howell Anchorage, Alaska

    Limbaugh continues to miss the message that the citizens of America are relying to him about his biaised inflammatory extremist remarks. If he were ever to experience enlightenment and listen to what the majority of Americans are truly thinking and saying, it would be a day allowing everyone to experience a fresh breathe of fresh air.

    October 19, 2007 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  20. Jim, Medford, OR

    This is news? Americans are falling back into the corporate right wing trap again: Who will win the soundbyte contest? Americans are victims of unprecedented corruption at the hands of Bush, the republican party, and military contractors (many of whom sponsor CNN). How many millionaires has this war produced? Rush is just one example. Anyone who challenges them gets smeared in the media (CNN, Fox, etc.). You can bet this stupidity will be front page news on Fox and Murdoch outlets. Rush is a heroin addicted (oxycontin is synthetic heroine -the media never mentions that), draft dodging psychopath who travels to the Dom. Republic in a private jet with suitcase full of viagra. What do you "family values" fans of Rush think he was doing there? Looking at cigar factories? Is that why you need viagra?

    October 19, 2007 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  21. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Another 2.1 million the RNC won't get.lol

    October 19, 2007 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  22. YouKnow Staunton, VA

    Good Grief, 2.1 million the lying fat pig won't be able to spend on drugs. Maybe his dittoheads will send him some.

    October 19, 2007 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  23. NC

    This is fodder for the Republican base. We will show up for the election in large numbers. The libs are trying to do anything to get the american people and they are utter failures.

    October 19, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  24. Ethan, Brooklyn, NY

    John John John. I'm a pacifist because Rush and Bush and sheep like you have caused the deaths of 3,800 GIs in IRAQ? Hey, remember Bin Laden???? I'm all FOR getting him! I saw the towers fall with my own eyes, so don't give me your BS, trying to impugn my patriotism. That's just disgusting. But you're right on one issue: I personally do not fight in wars. I am personally morally opposed to killing people and applaud the heroes who volunteer to preserve protect and defend our country. I love the American flag and find that people like you simply don't understand what this country is all about. For shame.

    Chris Matthews? Liberal? How's the crack in Boston these days John? Carville is not a journalist. Get your facts straight.

    And btw, you do a GREAT job of changing the subject from the issue I presented in my post:

    3,832 DEAD.

    God Bless our troops. Bring them home from Iraq. Get bin Laden furchrissake. It's been 6+ YRS since 9/11. Jeez. When will you GOP dittoheads get it? Unbelievable.

    October 19, 2007 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  25. Eric, Cleveland OH

    Hey, I think this is a great idea. If the MC-LEF got $4 million every time Rush said something stupid on the air, they'd be set for years!

    October 19, 2007 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
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