October 16th, 2007
01:29 PM ET
9 years 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. MC for Obama

    I just saved 15% or more on my car insurance and nobody cares about this article either!

    October 15, 2007 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  2. Tony, Enterprise, Alabama

    Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly & Coulter.

    Fascist's one and all. This is America, so they have a right to their opinions.

    But please, the people that pay them should be held to account for supporting their vile opinions.

    CBS removed Imus, and some would say that ABC removed Rosie.

    If ClearChannel insists on supporting Limbaugh, and FOX insists on supporting the rest, perhaps a boycott is in order.

    The only thing these networks seem to understand is money, or the lack thereof.

    October 15, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  3. James, Phoenix AZ

    I'm not a listener of Rush's show – but I think this was a good move (selling Harry Reid's letter – donating proceeds to the Marines).

    Ball's in your court – 42 Democrats that sent the letter. Going to step up and match Rush's donation? Or are you going to slink away and continue decrying Rush's statement?

    If I were betting.. I say those 42 democrats won't give ONE penny to the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation.

    October 15, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  4. Steve, Lyons, CO

    How can you smear a dope dealer who dealt with thousands of Oxycontin at a time, and yet is still free to host a radio devoid of any truth? Geez. Some young black guy would still have 11 years to go on his sentence if in Limbaugh's shoes.

    If you're right-wing, you have connections. More of that vast conspiracy no one laughs at anymore, except that 29% of true believers that enjoy Bush turning our country into a military-industrial fascism.

    Eisenhower is spinning in his grave. See his Farewell Speech from 1960 as he left the presidency, if you've accidentally become more fascist than conservative and confuse the terms.

    October 15, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  5. Fred, Houston, TX

    Rush is the biggest piece of trash on the radio. He has no idea what it takes to be a good soldier, and only cares about spreading his political propaganda. It is clear, RUSH IS WRONG!

    October 15, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  6. joseph, austin, tx

    how honorable of rush to match the bid from ebay, on top of his normal donations to the military. I wonder if the dems will match what was raised.

    October 15, 2007 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  7. Kim, Peabody MA

    Senator Reid should be indicted for Treason. His latest antics regarding Turkey put our troops at RISK...

    Every American should Read this Article to understand the harm our leadership is doing...


    Vote Pete Grasso for President: http://www.GrassoForPresident.com

    October 15, 2007 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  8. Carmen, Miami FL

    Limbaugh is pure garbage, nothing he spews out of his mouth is worth listening to.

    Why is it that so few people on the right come out and denounces these disgusting figures claiming to speak for them?

    October 15, 2007 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  9. Kevin, Newark, New Jersey

    When you make millions of dollars, what is $46K? Limbaugh's donation is illusory, an after-the-fact publicity stunt to get himself out of yet another hole. It is also shows how much money the Republican corporatocracy can afford to squander on a letter to one of their media prophets. There's lots of money to be made in D.C. these days! Just ask the folks at Halliburton, Blackwater, and innumerable lobby firms. To put this whole thing into perspective, we do need to remember that Limbaugh makes huge wads of sweaty money spewing invective. Clearwater knows that HATE SELLS, and they goad him on.

    October 15, 2007 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  10. sonny c. v.p.,la.

    To James from Austin: Using Rush, the draft dodger, & honorable in the same sentence is disgusting. He's hiding behind the military again as is wont by cowards.

    October 15, 2007 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  11. rob, petaluma, CA

    Rush is garbage. Big mouth for someone tucked away in a studio. I would love to see him face to face with any of the people he goes after. Garbage.

    October 15, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  12. Matt, Utica Michigan

    Kim from Peabody,

    Interesting link and I hope you vote for who you think would best run this nation but I take exception to anyone that focuses on the religion of the founders and not the Constitution they left for us.

    October 15, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  13. Christian, Tampa FL

    Limbaugh is a disgusting, pathetic man and I wish that we could remove him from the political dialog entirely. We all know he wasn't taken out of context and that this is normal for him.

    October 15, 2007 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  14. Joe Loredo

    What is news is that CNN is posting this, other than that DITTOS RUSH!

    October 15, 2007 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  15. EB Rideout

    Big-hearted Rush. Gets something for exactly $0, offers it up for auction and someone else with more money than brains wins the auction – cost to the fat addict – zero. (Matching the bid is pocket change for him, considering he's pulling down about 750k a week).

    How people fall for his BS boggles the mind.............

    October 15, 2007 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  16. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Rush is willing to take money from morons.What's new? At least it's 46 grand less the RNC will get.I bet Brownback is jealous.

    October 15, 2007 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  17. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    When will Lush Rumballs apologize for the sleaze he wrote and read over the air concerning Chelsea Clinton?!


    October 15, 2007 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  18. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX



    October 15, 2007 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  19. Hilary, Rochester NY

    I'm getting really tired of people invoking "the troops" when they want to start a holier-than-thou peeing contest, and this is a perfect example. Some people in Congress wrote a letter to Rush Limbaugh telling him that they didn't like what he said on his show. Rather than responding with a polite "I'm sorry you were offended–that isn't what I mean," and then letting the whole matter drop, Rush comes up with a stunt to show everyone that the troops get plenty o' love from him and that it's the Democrats who wrote the letter who are mean to the troops because they're not participating in his little game on eBay.

    With all respect due the Americans serving in our armed forces in Iraq, I'm really tired of hearing all this silly bickering over who supports them the most. I wish there was some way to get everyone in Washington to stipulate to equally sufficient troop-supporting, so there could be some substantive policy debates that didn't degenerate into claims of superior troop-supporting, allegations of inferior troop-supporting, or even accusations of troop-indifference. Then maybe Congress wouldn't scramble to propose resolutions in response to every single statement about the war made by every single pundit or political action group, for sobbing out loud.

    October 15, 2007 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  20. J, Western North Carolina

    Stuff it Dems especially you Reid and Pelosi! Great move by Limbaugh. The poor move by the Dems has single handely motivated the Republican base!

    October 15, 2007 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  21. Ernie Puto, Elmhurst, IL

    This attempt by Reid failed to gain traction because it was a quote taken out of context that anyone who investigated found out.
    Reid was hoping that the crazy news cycle would help it take on a life of it's own, but it only created a distraction from what we really need to focus on as a country.
    Although we may not like Limbaugh, he did turn the tables on Reid and contines to smoke him with this latest ploy.
    It is so sad that we have such poor leaders on both sides. If the democrats keep this up we may actually have a viable third party emerge. My vote is to have Obama and McCain splinter off and start it.

    October 15, 2007 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  22. Tom, Alexandria, VA

    Something's wrong here. I thought that conservatives were the ones who are mean and hateful, but then I read the venom and can almost imagine the veins bulging from the necks from some of these commenters.

    October 15, 2007 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Kevin, Newark, New Jersey : October 15, 2007 7:10:

    You are absolutely right. Just ask Democratic Congressman William Jefferson. I agree, there is lots of money to be made. Maybe our leaders should focus on correcting corruptness like this instead of passing a bill that denounces a possible genocide that occurred over 90 years ago, and puts troops lives in danger.

    October 15, 2007 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |


    October 15, 2007 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  25. Mike, Cleveland OH

    James, Phoenix AZ

    I thought you called for Limbaugh to apologize for the "phony soldiers" comment (reference the link below). Or was that just a phony poster (coward) using your name?

    Personally, I think Rush made a mistake and could have phrased it better. Sort of like the moveon.org controversy, moveon.org could have phrased the Petraeus ad better without denigrating a General's name. 2 Facts still remain:

    1. Limbaugh, while trying to defend himself, doctored his own comments and erased 1:35 out of the recording from his website. Can anybody say NIXON?

    2. He used “Phony soldiers” plural, slip of the tongue, perhaps. But it was nearly 2 minutes between the talk of phony soldiers and Jessie MacBeth. Now I know what some will say, “2 minutes isn’t a lot of time”. Yes it is, when talk radio is involved, 2 minutes is a life time.


    October 15, 2007 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
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