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. L Andersen

    What Clear Channel's CEO says is irrelevant. Limbaugh said what he said – and what he said was "phony soldiers" in response to something a caller said. It wasn't until 3 minutes later he brought up a specific soldier's name, saying that's who he was talking about.

    Well – as usual, Limbaugh is lying. He has a history of attacking soldiers: General Wesley Clark, General John Batiste, Major Paul Hackett, as well as others.

    Like most of his ilk, Limbaugh is the real phony. He's a phony patriot, a phony human being, a hyprocrit to the Nth degree.

    Like Don Imus, he should lose his job.

    October 3, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. Len P. Alexandrai, KY

    Reid and Turkey Tom Harking.. HYPOCRECY is your first names... it is time to get to work morons and earn your taxpayers provide pay check, benefits and perks or GET OUT of the way and let sdomeone else do something... You both Must apologize to all of us taxpayers for wasting time while on payroll... in the real worls you'd get FIRED for Incompetence!

    October 3, 2007 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. sonny c. v.p.,la.

    Rush makes $$$$ for May. I'm sure he's being "fair & balanced" in his response.

    October 3, 2007 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. Pete, T.S. FL

    Rush is the a-typical republican of today:

    If you don’t agree with or question them you are referred to as “un-patriotic” or “sympathetic to the enemy”.

    To you Rush and to you self serving Kool-Aid drinkers that have ruined the republican party I say shame, shame on you for not standing up for America!

    A true patriot puts country ahead of party!

    October 3, 2007 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  5. Jim in Orlando, FL

    To those Democrats, particularly in the Senate, that choose to hitch their apology-demanding horse to this non-issue fabricated tree, the EIB network and Clear Channel Communications thanks you for a level of favorable publicity Rush and Mr. Mays could not possibly buy.

    October 3, 2007 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  6. Brian, Geneva, NY

    "If being honest, fair and truthful have any value in your heart, you will never again cast a vote for a democrat."

    OK–but I'm running out of people to vote for. =(

    October 3, 2007 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  7. Brad Jones, Irvine, Ca

    I heard the comments and the way this article is written and taken out of context is a good example of yellow journalism.

    October 3, 2007 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. Tracy Nashville, Tenn.

    This "statement" is not news; it's irrelevant. It's pure propaganda, coming on the heels of Republican criticism of the NY Times Petraeus ad.
    All the problems in this nation, all the good things this nation does, all the confusion about Iraq and what to do, and our "leaders" are hung up on name calling. God help us.


    October 3, 2007 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |

    Who really cares what this blowhard utters. His show is just daily lessons in stupiness for his legion of brain-dead followers. Sane thinking people know not to take anything he says with any seriousness.

    October 3, 2007 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  10. Steve, Bedford NH

    I remember about a year ago Rush started a program where listeners could subscribe to Rush-Online or whatever it is and send the subscription as a gift to a soldier. This was after a suggestion by a listener. After a time, he said that he was also making a personal contribution, but he didn't want to talk about it. Eventually he said that his personal contribution was to match each subscription given – which cost money and contributes to his profit – with a free subscription to another soldier, which cost HIM almost $0.00. Thanks, Rush.

    Remember his comments about General Shinseki? He purposely mispronounces his name as Shin-ess-ki, (like Ned Lament, AlGore, Democrat Party, etc.) and roundly criticized the General for his comments that there weren't enough troops being sent.

    I think that Rush Limbaugh supports all troops that think the same way he does, the same way he treats everyone else. You are either with him, or he'll use cheap high-school bully type tactics to belittle you and what you believe.

    Michael J. Fox?
    Any non-right wing Republican?
    People who are addicted to drugs? Oh, wait...

    October 3, 2007 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. Len P. Alexandrai, KY

    BTW.. Has anyone forgotten that the " phony soldier" tag came from ABC before the Caller called RUSH??? But was anyone upset by that??? Heck Harry get something straight once in a while.. it'll save you being Embarassed as usual>>>

    October 3, 2007 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  12. sonny c. v.p.,la.

    Richard & Doug: Did you urge everyone, including John McCain, to catch their breath before piling on John Kerry's remark about C students getting us stuck in Iraq?

    October 3, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  13. Linda in Highland

    You people are morons.... it's a wonder you can find your way out of bed in the morning! geeez.... you are still playing your silly games that if you don't "acknowledge" the truth...then there is NO truth! Rush is a huge supporter of the Troops... read or listen to the ENTIRE story that you morons insist in Kicking around TWO (2) WORDS of the WHOLE THING! WAKE UP...get some fresh air in your cobweb head.....but then again...YOU aren't able to make a decision yourself...you MUST let someone else tell you what to do..or HOW to vote!!! I pity ALL of you! You must be brainless...as you sure aren't using them.....the truth has been stated...but hasn't reached your closed ears!!!!

    October 3, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. george rouse portland, oregon.

    at 63 years of age i still am a card carriering democrat and very ashamed of what i see the democrats doing in the house and in the senate, and especially those that are running for the presidency of our county. the democratic party was once a proud yet humble party that put the country and it's people first. those days have passed and i feel, like some romans must have felt as their country collasped around them...from within.

    October 3, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  15. Robert, Dallas Tx

    Liberals dems are idiots. Regarding media bias, the left had their chance with Air America and it failed miserable. Left wing radio cannot get ratings because all they do is condemn their own country with hate talk and try to undermine everything that this country was built on.

    October 3, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  16. Bring M Home, Tampa FL

    Hey Senator Reid,

    You can waste time attacking a coward who hid behind a deferrment when his country called for him – or you can spend your energy removing our troops from harms way.

    Which do you prefer?

    October 3, 2007 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  17. Willy Brown, Chesapeake, VA

    Another hillary clinton liberal media outlet get kicked in the pants along with the Democrats in Congress.

    October 3, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  18. Michael, Huntsville, Alabama

    What do you expect coming from a phony American?

    October 3, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  19. G. Rasputin, Lakeland FL

    Rush stuck both dirty feet in his mouth on this one. It's hilarious watching him and his ditto head minions trying to spin their way out of this mega-gaffe. He's a lying sack who was too yellow to don a uniform, and everyone knows it.

    October 3, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. Pete C, Boulder, Colorado

    Amazing that a "phony soldier" comment can come from a person who avoided service in Vietnam (for "medical" reasons). It shouldn't surprise me, though, because Limbaugh still rants about drug addicts–the man is just totally disconnected from his own life.

    Where is the Republican outrage over Limbaugh's comments? Is a Senate and House resolution coming that condemns Limbaugh?

    October 3, 2007 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  21. Wrren Taylor, Los Angeles Ca

    Rush is phony as is Clear Channel, anyone who does business with them deserves what they get, right wing neo Nazi hypocrites.I only hope Rush falls of the wagon and takes his 10 listeners with him.

    October 3, 2007 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  22. sonny c. v.p.,la.

    I think America has dicovered an alternative source of energy that's not a fossil fuel: The Rush Limbaugh Wind Bag. It is less sightly than the current wind mills though.

    October 3, 2007 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  23. Ryan, Ramadi Iraq

    Interestingly enough, I am a liberal and a Marine, sitting in an Iraq police station, and I am not offended by his comment. I think that it was entirely taken out of context. Stop making issues where there aren't any to make, and actually focus on the things that matter

    October 3, 2007 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. Rich Rochester, NY

    I am not a fan of Limbaugh, but I do agree with a few things he says. It is foolish to think he would mean anything negative towards our troops. Those same troops who have not felt support from most of those 41 signatures. Try to make a case all you want about this statement, there is not one. Find some real news to report instead of this liberal distration tactic.

    October 3, 2007 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  25. Wayne, Williston, VT

    I'm a democrat and although I can't stand Rush Limbaugh, I'm smart enough and honest enough to recognize that his phony soldier comment was directed specifically at the woman who tried to pass herself off as a soldier. Our leaders are spending their time and our tax payer dollars debating the words of a hack radio personality and MoveOn.org ads....while at the same time, Hillary Clinton is buying the presidency. What is happening to our democracy??? God, Allah, Buddha...somebody please help us because we are screwed!

    October 3, 2007 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
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