October 3rd, 2007
12:22 PM ET
9 years ago

Limbaugh's boss weighs in on 'phony soldiers'

Limbaugh set off a firestorm last week with his "phony soldiers" comment.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The company that syndicates Rush Limbaugh's popular radio program defended the conservative talk-show host Wednesday over his controversial "phony soldiers" remark, telling the Senate's top Democrat it is "unfair" to assume his comments were directed at combat soldiers who disagree with the Iraq war.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Mark Mays, the CEO of Clear Channel Communications, wrote, "Over the years Mr. Limbaugh has repeatedly praised the dedication and valor of our brave men and women in uniform.

"Given Mr. Limbaugh's history of support for our soldiers, it would be unfair for me to assume his statements were intended to personally indict combat soldiers simply because they didn't share his own beliefs regarding the war in Iraq," he added.

Mays' letter was a response to a letter sent by Reid Tuesday, and signed by 41 Senate Democrats, calling on Clear Channel to publicly repudiate the comments. Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, were among the senators that signed the letter.

Limbaugh's comments in question came last Wednesday when Limbaugh 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."

"The phony soldiers," Limbaugh then said.

Full story 

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Harry Reid • Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (230 Responses)
  1. Kevin

    Way to put Media Matters in their place! You know what is funny? Harry Reid is actually helping Rush...

    This attack was a joke...

    October 3, 2007 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  2. Mike WI

    Limbaugh proves that any uneducated baffoon can be famous in America...I'm sad for all those who listen to him...

    October 3, 2007 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. Tim Grant, Los Angeles CA

    Rush and Clear Channel are lying. His reference to "phony soldiers" was clearly in response to the callers criticism of soldiers who criticize the war.

    Hopefully this will be the nail in this blowhard's media coffin. Donate to VoteVets to get this ad on the air:

    October 3, 2007 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. Will, NYC

    Since when does Rush need anybody to defend him? He's getting soft. Hiding behind Clearchannels coattails. Weak.

    October 3, 2007 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  5. Jo, ATL GA

    Here is the callers comment; "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." "The phony soldiers," Limbaugh then said.

    Where in the statement does it mention the solider Limbaugh is talking about? Should we assume he meant just one solider?
    I guess his High School diploma is in short supply here. We are no fools Clear channel. This guy is a drug addict that called for other drug addicts to be killed and sent back to Mexico. He hates illegal immigrants and all his employees at his house in west palm are illegal immigrants...

    This guy is phony and only illiterates listen to him.

    October 3, 2007 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. Ryan Indianapolis

    Hillarious how big of idiots Harry Reid and the Cowardous Traitiors now look. Hey HArry have you even listened to the transcript of the show???Didnt think so, harry nobody is going to forget what you said and your actions toward our millitary and if you think by doing this dog and pony show is going to make people forget, you are wrong. Everyday you make yourself and the Democratic party look more and more desperate and keep writing another chapter in THE WORST DEMOCRATIC LEAD CONGRESS IN US HISTORY....You simply are a sad sad excuse for a MAN.

    October 3, 2007 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  7. CJ, Kentucky

    I work in a business where I come in contact with many many different people, some of them US soldiers who have been in Iraq. I have NOT met ONE PERSON yet who has felt that the US military should be in Iraq. These people are REAL SOLDIERS. They are the ones who have been there, walked in the shoes of a US soldier, been shot at, been critically injured, left their families at home, and face the possibility of having to go back to the Middle East. They are the ones who make peanuts compared to what our government is paying those from Blackwater Security. For you, Rush, who thinks there are phony soldiers, I put you in the same category of Ann Coulter, that is, whenever either one of you opens his/her mouth, it only demonstrates the vast space that exists between your ears. What would be great for all of us, since we have so many people who support this war in Iraq, would be to see all of you suit up, wear a set of ARMY fatigues, and march down the streets of Baghdad. What an army that would be! Then, maybe, just maybe, something you have to say might contain a small piece of credibility!!!

    October 3, 2007 10:51 am at 10:51 am |


    October 3, 2007 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  9. Rurik, St. Paul, MN

    Funny comment, considering that Limbaugh is a 'phony journalist.'

    October 3, 2007 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  10. therealist

    41 Democratic Sentors signed a letter sent to a media outlet in an attempt to restrict free speech.
    Hmmm...., which is the party of Constitutional rights?

    October 3, 2007 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. Gari, North Miami Beach, FL

    I cannot believe that Clear Channel is defending "Druggie Limbaugh." Shame on him for his words! He is a shameful man who is out of touch with the rest of us, much like his demographic.

    October 3, 2007 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  12. Chip Celina OH

    When are all of these idiots gonna give it a break?!?!?!? Did he say soldier or soldiers? What did he mean, he's wicked. I'll vote to condemn him but not them, I'll vote to defend him, but condemn them. I saw a bunch of the buffoons on CSPAN giving these high and mighty grandiose speeches likening what he did to (insert your idea of most heinous crime in the history of man here).

    In the meantime...150 billion more for the war, Iran's army is a terrorist group, SCHIP goes down to veto, no movement by Congress on stopping the war, a call to China to put sanctions on Burma, yet this tabloid bull$#!% consumes the general public.

    I'm waiting for a Congressional resolution to condemn Britney Spears' social shortcomings and an amendment to a defense approriations bill denouncing Paris Hilton's drug use. It was bad enough that they recently passed a resolution demanding the gov't of Japan renounce stuff that happened in WWII and make a formal apology to women that were abused.

    Vote everyone of these clowns that vote on non-binding worthless BS resolutions. If this is where we're headed, wouldn't Dr. Phil be a better congressman since he knows so much about healing and recovery.

    Give me a BREAK!!!!

    October 3, 2007 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  13. elmerg, Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Mr. Mays obviously knows he can repudiate 41 Democratic senators with impunity over his darling money-making hate-spewer as the Dems have this tendency to voice platitudes with no real consequence to thier words.

    October 3, 2007 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  14. demwit

    The 110th Congressional Iraqi diversion

    We're not going to get you out of Iraq as we promised but hey look over there, its a little plump birdy singing conservative songs..., ATTACK!!

    October 3, 2007 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  15. Bill Bloomington IL

    Harry Reid. The man that slammed the entire military should have stepped down as senator. How dare he talk about anybody who talks about our soldiers.

    October 3, 2007 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  16. RJ, Chicago,IL

    Ahh,, good 'ol Rush must have been all vicotined up when he said that.

    October 3, 2007 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  17. Richard Des Moines Iowa

    Interesting that the Democratic senators would chose this particular statement to make such a big deal about and that the media keeps it on the front page. Listening to the entire dialogue it is obvious that Rush Limbaugh was referring to the "soldier" who for whjatever reason had not served but rather had embellished their time for their own self-acclaim by making up stories about their "valor". Those are the people who denigrate the true american heroes who serve and have served our country to ensure our freedoms and saftey.

    October 3, 2007 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  18. Brooklyn, NY

    Witch-hunting all over again. Senator Reid has to go, he is disgrace for the Senate. The people in USA have a right to speak their minds. Read the Constitution, Senator!

    October 3, 2007 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  19. Doug, New Jersey

    Listen to the whole unedited Limbaugh audio from his show. Then read what the liberal democrats in the Senate said about it. If you are an honest person you have just been shown why decent, honest people cannot support democrats. If being honest, fair and truthful have any value in your heart, you will never again cast a vote for a democrat.

    October 3, 2007 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  20. Dirk Sorkin, Buford GA

    This is another example on how CNN constantly biases its stories by taking Mr. Limbaugh quotes out of context. I listened to that show an it was clear to me it was a continuation of a story Rush brought up about a Soldier who claimed atrocities he witnesses in Iraq. Later he was found out to never have been in Iraq. This would define a phony soldier. CNN is shameful not including this fact in its stories.

    October 3, 2007 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. Jeremiah Jacksonville, FL

    On the heels of the "Betray Us" controversy, Rush is making himself an easy target. At least it takes some heat off of Bill O'Reilly.

    October 3, 2007 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  22. David Comstock, Port St Lucie,Fl

    95 seconds of audio tape on 'phony soldiers' comment is removed from Limbaugh radio show.


    October 3, 2007 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  23. Armands Washington, D.C.

    Not a surprise. Mark Mays has donated about $67,000 to Republicans and about $4,000 to Democrats (one of which was Steny Hoyer – debateable democrat) in the past 14 years. To call Limbaugh talent is to call Bush intellectual. Blind leading the blind, dumb leading the dumber, this country has become hopeless.

    October 3, 2007 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  24. Austin, Cape Girardeau MO

    I think it is funny that Democrats think they have the right to tell the country that our soldiers are dying for nothing and we can't win this war, but when Rush Limbaugh is accused of saying things he didn't, which was taken way out of context, the Democrats jump back on board and say we need to defend the men and women fighting and dying for us. The Democrats are a bunch of flip floppers and can't stand up for anything they believe in. They are selffish and do only what will gain them the most political ground. And for Senator Reid to call into question Limbaugh's patriotism, maybe Senator you should look at those three fingers pointing back right at you.

    October 3, 2007 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  25. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Of course we all know – or we should all know – that Limbaugh would never impugn the honor of American soldiers in combat. He was referring only to a few soldiers who openly criticize the war.

    All of those Senators know it too. But, Limbaugh has smeared many of them, told many lies, and damaged many reputations with his brainless comments. It is fun to see him run over with his own limo for a change. Not, of course, that he can see the irony in all of this.

    As for me, I'm enjoying the show – not Limbaugh's show, which is stupid, but the media show over this phony issue. It's not quite a dumb as the "General Petraus don't betray us" scandal – but almost.

    October 3, 2007 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
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