October 20th, 2007
12:35 PM ET
15 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. Jamie Howarth, Nantucket, MA

    All this proves is that Limbaugh knows a rich scumbag. No surprise there.

    October 20, 2007 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  2. chad, albany ga

    why is it that almost every loving, caring, accepting liberal here resorts to bringing up the drug issue? i know you are going to respond by saying something about rush's hypocrisy... but what does that make you??? glad to know that you and all of those you love have never had any kind of addiction that you/they have struggled with... i hope all of our soldiers fight bravely and come home to this great country as soon as they responsibly can... Thank you soldiers for all that you do for us.

    October 20, 2007 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  3. Karthik Thirumalai

    Nestor, Austin, TX :

    You are stupid and arrogant just like your loony friends at Fox News and Hate Radio. The only reason that the ratings of Congress is 11% is because they are not getting US troops out of Iraq. Hey! Aren't supposed to be planning for WWIII and hope to see your loony apocalypse vision come true?

    October 20, 2007 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  4. SLE, Frederick, MD

    Why give him money when he's just going to spend it on drugs?

    October 20, 2007 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  5. Joe, Reno, NV

    Donation huh? sounds more like a look the other way payment so he can keep sniffing up all those oxys.

    October 20, 2007 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  6. my911call, Wilmington, NC

    Rush is a disservice to our country.
    His mind controlling spins takes advantange of the simple and weak-minded. He is the wolf in sheep clothing that we were warned about in the bible.

    October 20, 2007 02:16 am at 2:16 am |

    Are you sure this isn't a big joke? It's not April Fools Day, so fools, morons, and retards must have taken over the Senate.

    1. Who composed the letter? Their parents should get a refund from whatever school they attended.

    2. Don't these people have something better to do? I know they hate Rush and obviously would do anything to slander him but to put their name on an official Senate slander document is unbelievable. I don't know if what they did is criminal or just criminally insane but I'm sure Rush's lawyers are busy working on a civil case against the people who used their office to try to damage him.

    3. Again, don't these people have something better to do? Is this what the people who elected them thought they were going to do? I hope not, but it does prove you have been suckered again. You thought you were electing senators to help run the country and fix stuff, but they suckered you into voting for them again. In a few years when Social Security is broke, Medicare is broke, the infrastructure is crumbling around you, gangs rule the streets, and Spanish is THE official language, you will probably wonder how things went so wrong. You should not wonder because you did it all by voting for morons.

    4. I've had a pretty good rant and I feel better now. I hope you feel better too. I know it must be embarassing to have a Town Idiot for a Senator but you have lots of fellow sufferers. Please promise me one thing. Will you please learn from this experience. If you are embarassed now, just think about much she can embarass you as President – both Her and the First Man.

    5. I think I'm finished now. Five is too many. If you agree with me, I wish you gun control (quick draw and steady aim). If you don't agree, I don't care but I hope I've made you go a little nuts and see red. Just in case I haven't made you go crazy yet, this is sure to work.

    Ann Coulter
    Ann Coulter
    Ann Coulter

    See, I bet your blood pressure went up 10 points.
    You are sooooooo easy !!!!

    October 20, 2007 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  8. Rosemary Knuth Lake Mills, WI

    Oh, Rush, Your'e right. It wasn't just the letter. It's what it represents. But not about H. Reid overstepping his leal boundary. It's about 40 US senators who told a media blowhard to SHUT THE F**K UP! You are disgusting in every way. But, go ahead and keep it up Rush. Keep digging that hole 'cause you need a very big one to fit your big mouth and big ass into.

    October 20, 2007 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  9. Allison, Nashville TN

    Rush Limbaugh is a lunatic. I am glad that a charity, any charity that benefits those in need are helped by this letter. However, he is the type of person that feeds on publicity and talk. If people would ignore this fame seeking, ridiculous, right-wing drama queen, then we would not have this problem in the first place, and money could be raised in appropriate ways. Unfortunately we are all forced to hear his anti-human comments because we choose to listen to the news and stay informed. People like Rush all have similar attributes, they are afraid of what they do not know and do not understand. Therefore; anything that is "foreign" and "unfamiliar" must be the source of evil and the undoing of our nation. I agree that laws and regulations must be regulated and upheld to maintain a civil and organized nation. However, our great "undoing" is being committed by those who claim to protect and serve the nation because they refuse to see the situation that they " and we" are creating on a daily basis. That is that we are not preparing our youth to become law-abiding and responsible adults. Each day with our "new school regulations" we are teaching the young that they are not responsible for their own actions. That someone else, an adult, will constantly remind and chase after them about what they need and should be doing to succeed in our society. Many students today do not feel that they need to be personally responsible for their own learning. Mom or Dad will see to it that I get "my fair share" and "what is owed to me" so that I can get good grades, get into a good university and make a lot of money because this is what "I deserve" as an American!! This may be shocking to some, but as a whole this is the attitude of students today. I want to know when we stopped teaching hard work and responsibility and started teaching "to take what our are owed"? This is not the teachers fault, nor administration, because they do not have control over their schools! This is government, local and federal who make decisions about what happens in the classroom, without actually stepping into an actual classroom itself. If America wants to improve it's schools, and compete universally with other nations, then we need to stop holding our students' hands and telling them that it will be okay. We need to start motivating them to take responsibility for themselves like it used to be. Looking ahead and changing is wonderful and progression is key, but only so much as it benefits a society, not when it handicaps them.

    October 20, 2007 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  10. FITZROY, Omaha, nebraska

    i dont like people tryong to take away rush's income, that is sad, my friend jesus even said sarcasm is scary, he's afraid of the CIA

    October 20, 2007 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
  11. Lou Dobbs, Plano TX

    Now why doesn't Rush sell the toilet seat that Larry Craig (poster boy for Republican values) got busted on, to raise even more money for his pet projects?

    October 20, 2007 04:02 am at 4:02 am |
  12. Aaron, San Mateo, CA

    Limbaugh's offensive statement aside, I find the whole thing amusing. Republicans absolutely love to dish it out, but when the tables are turned they are so quick to play victim. Repubs lable MoveOn as a Dem. shill, and denounce the ad they ran? Fine. Problem is, Rush is just as much a shill for the far right, and his statement was just as offensive as the ad that ran. If the goal of republicans is to be complete hypocrits, then they are succeeding wonderfully.

    October 20, 2007 04:05 am at 4:05 am |
  13. A regular guy, San Diego CA

    Oh man, whoever spent that much has way too much money and free time. Just think of all the less frivolous things 2.1M could buy... with some clearer thinking. Many people don't even have the cash to keep their homes right now, and some jerk offs are spending millions to buy a worthless piece of paper. God help us all.

    October 20, 2007 04:16 am at 4:16 am |
  14. Rob

    The DNC and Damien LaVera are evil hypocrits and cannot get into the Whitehouse. That would mean doom to the good old USA. Bush sucked for 8 years, but any of the GOP candidates are better than any Democrat.

    October 20, 2007 04:19 am at 4:19 am |
  15. Comment, Las Vegas, NV

    No, no, no government funding for a hippie museum to teach our kids their local history and provide a space for community activities. Instead, let's continue to fund abstinence-only education. Excellent Idea, Men!

    October 20, 2007 04:21 am at 4:21 am |
  16. Perkins, West Palm Beach FL

    Congratulations to Rush.. again. You have turned the schemes of a vitrious left into another positive...

    October 20, 2007 04:26 am at 4:26 am |
  17. Ben Dover III, St. Petersburg, Florida



    October 20, 2007 04:43 am at 4:43 am |
  18. Jack C. Columbus Ohio

    I wonder why the headline isn't Rush raises 4 million for charity. It certainly can't be that the editors were to busy fact checking to comb the article for bias.

    October 20, 2007 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  19. Jack C. Columbus Ohio

    Actually, Rush is the liar in this case. He doctored the audio from September 26th to delete oveer a minute of his show to make it LOOK like he was talking about one specific soldire (Jesse Macbeth) when he used that "phony soldier" line, when in truth he used that line to smear every soldier that disagrees with Rush's position on the war.

    Media Matters picked up on this right away. I'm waiting for the rest of the mainstream media to expose Rush Limbaugh for the liar that he is.

    Posted By Wayne, Greenville, TX : October 19, 2007 4:55 pm

    I don't typically believe Rush's Dem/liberal conspiracy theories. But since I actually listen to the program to form my own opinion instead of relying on Media Matters to filter it and feed it back to me, I know that's a fabrication.

    Great Job diluting the truth Media Matters!

    October 20, 2007 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  20. Sam, IA

    I'm surprised he didn't get more. Rush's followers have the d and f student sect of america covered. You notice the money came from the widow of someone who REALLY worked for a living, PS Rushbo. I'm a vietnam veteran, You and your lemmings served where?

    October 20, 2007 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  21. Edward Amaral

    Once again Rush has illustrated to us all, that the absurd and pitiful actions of Reid solidifies him as a spineless, worthless, and clueless coward. Reid's attempt of taking Rush's comments out of context was the equivalent of spitting in the wind. Good Job Mark Mays for having a backbone and not yielding to the pressure of this dishonest, dispicable excuse of a Senate Majority Leader.

    October 20, 2007 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  22. A. DiOrio, Carmel, NY

    Rush, how much do you think you can auction off Congressman Stark for? I mean, $2.1 mil for Reid's dopey letter should be peanuts compared to what this 'buffone' did in the Well!

    October 20, 2007 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  23. Chris StJohn, Brookville, OH

    Gee, are you surprised that CNN or other democrat media stations haven't reported that Rush is matching the donation himself and that no democrats are offering to do the same. Rush is and always will be a friend to the great citizens that are the military.

    October 20, 2007 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  24. Chris Mooresville NC

    Pathetic reporting. The real point here is Harry Reid's SHAMEFUL attempt to garner credit for the money raised when in reality the attack was a sham to begin with and Americans saw right through it. Rush buried Reid – period. Typical democrat garbage – no values and no principles

    October 20, 2007 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  25. Tony, Enterprise, Alabama

    Thank God the money is going for a good cause.

    Otherwise, there is nothing redeeming about any of this. Rush Limbaugh is a Fascist/Nazi and a racist. He has a right to his opinions, because this is America. But his sponsors, all of them, should suffer financially for supporting him. Just as Krupp and others suffered following WWII for their support of Hitler.

    We have President Bush and the Republicans to thank for this new-found attitude in America, that Rush Limbaugh espouse everyday, that it is okay to be a bigot again.

    The politics of hate and fear they have used to stay in power has gone too far, now he is picking on a 12 year old.


    October 20, 2007 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
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