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. Rik, Charlotte, NC

    Flush Rush !!! Anyone who 1500 hits of Viagra is LIMP-ID !! 1500 ????? The only that got a rise is his "Big Mouth." Get it ?

    October 19, 2007 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  2. Will Chesapeake, VA

    I too am surprised thet CNN put this story up because it shows the true colors of the democrat party. About time CNN you started to be Fair & Balanced.

    October 19, 2007 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  3. carol levine

    Keep on coming "Move on. com and show yourselves, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton Pelosi and the rest of you blohards whose pocket you are in how truly ignorant you are. Not one of you can think for yourselves. All bought and paid for. It makes me want to vote Republican. You all make me want to gag. All of you couldn't fill General Petraus's shoes no less Russ Limbaugh's.

    October 19, 2007 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  4. Living Soul, Washington

    For all you idiots quoting the KIA's, and blaming anyone who stands up for protecting YOU from terrorists, why don't you quote how many deaths were reported by voluntary abortions in the USA since the war in Iraq started? Those children won't be counted as KIA's because they weren't given the chance to see any action! They simply weren't given a chance! The Democrat's stand on this issue, including that of low-life Reid, is what needs blasting. Now that would be worthwhile project.

    October 19, 2007 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  5. Willy Chesapeake, VA

    Ever notice that CNN takes off comments that slam their democrat friends. Yes the truth hurts!

    October 19, 2007 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  6. Alan, Manitowoc WI

    What price credibility? Now we know–from the guy who worships Reagan, but never actually got around to voting for him. Wake up–Rush has always been, and always will be, about Rush. Conservativism has its voice–and he is as shrill and vacuous as he has always been. Shameless, shameless, shameless self-promotion by someone whose conviction is as thick as a $1000 dollar bill.

    October 19, 2007 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  7. Michael Schuamnn, Bloomington, IL

    Rush is delusional, as always. The letter is basically meaningless, even in the context of the 'Culture Wars". Rush is not likely to have any great staying power in the history of American popular culture. It brought in that kind of money because somebody was willing to lay it out – maybe an autograph collector and most likely for the charity aspect. Not for any deeper meaning and certainly not just because Mr. Windbag is involved.

    October 19, 2007 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |


    October 19, 2007 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  9. jms Dyer, Tn

    Limbaugh is buying his way out of his latest mess.Who listens to his drug induced raving?

    October 19, 2007 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  10. ronnie knoxville, tn.

    Robyn Harris it's DONE already . IN fact it was already done before you finished tying your comment. Rush Limbaugh donated 2.1 million dollars and is calling on all 41 signators to match Rush's donation.

    Such generosity needs to be commended and reported on every day until Harry Reid and the other 40 signators make their matching donations.

    October 19, 2007 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  11. Michael McComb Monroe, NC

    I've listened to this so-called slur that Mr. Limbaugh made about phony soldiers. I would suggest anyone who is ready to condemn him listen to it. He never once insulted any true military person. His comments were directed at a certain person who lied about what our brave men and women are doing in the combat zones. Mr. Reid made his remarks about Rush without investigating what the facts were. He and his 40 other cronies owe Mr. Limbaugh and the American public an apology for trying to ridicule someone well within their rights to free speech and also trying to use their positions as Senators to bully a private citizen. Will they do it? I seriously doubt it. They have a political agenda and it has nothing to do with hearing or speaking the truth.
    I used to be a middle-of-the-road political person, but for the last two years I've heard lie upon lie coming from the left, and much of it published in mainstream media and broadcast on mainstream news. They have convinced me they have only their political agenda first in mind, then being an American second. I will be voting to the right from now on. So will many people I know who used to be middle of the road like me. Thank you for helping me make up my mind.
    Michael McComb
    Monroe, NC

    October 20, 2007 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  12. Don Jennings, Slatington, Pa

    I'll second that. Rush Limburger is the worse thing to happen to America since the McCarthy era. He thrives on controversy and drinks in all he can from his supposed empty victories. Remember, this is the man who said 'We should cut down all the trees and turn them into toothpicks' knowing it would rile people up. He is just shock jock in drag. He is at his best when he is ignored. Don't buy into his hatemongering.

    October 20, 2007 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  13. John Atlanta, GA

    Rush can barely rip into a package of Oxycotin, much less senator Reid. This story has been turned into a tasteless publicity stunt by the right-wing media giant Clear Channel to cover itself after Limbaugh messed up. Fortunately for Rush and Clear Channel, they've been effectively disinforming their listeners with lies and propaganda for years. Joseph Goebbles would be proud.
    From reading the hateful and ignorant posts by Rush's supporters, it's obvious that they also think that Bush is a strong leader, Cheney isn't making millions while our troops are getting killed...a military he always likes to boast about though had five differments to avoid serving in...Halliburton is actually in Iraq to help people, not to control the oil, and we're winning the so-called "War on Terror" ™.
    I can understand why Rush and the right hate our soldiers. Rush avoided service himself. His buddy Newt Gingrich also dodged the draft (and both have been married several times: four for Rush, five for Newt. They also have the same reasons for their divorces: they cheated on their wives).
    Betty Casey is described as a "philanthropist"? Casey has been "donating" to Rush for years, as well as other 'humanitarian' organizations, like the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage foundation, and other far right-wing groups.
    The letter sent to Clear Channel was to make them accountable (unlike Blackwater murduring innocent Iraqis) for Rush's insensitve comments towards those who actually have served their country, and love their country enough to take a stand (unlike Rush who claimed he could not serve due to 'an anal/rectum condition'). A few years ago Rush decided to boost the morale of our troops serving in Afganistan by dropping by and telling them that there 'were some Americans who wanted them to fail', and hated what they were doing. I wonder if that included those patriots on the right who lied about the WMD's, voted to extend troop deployments, voted to cut the VA funding and military benefits...again...didn't think body armor and enough ammunition were all that important, and are making millions while people are dying, including US troops.
    Remember Rush making a fool of himself attacking Michael J. Fox by mocking his Parkinsons? Well, now Rush is attacking a twelve year old boy, mocking him...a kid. Rush and the right keep sinking to new lows. Just like Bush's new low 23% approval rating. There seems to be a connection: Bush becoming more 'lame', Iraq is going down the drain... time for a diversion, bring in the fool, it's Limbaugh time!

    October 20, 2007 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  14. Steven M. Green, Fairfax Station, VA

    It is nothing short of alarming that Harry Reid and his 41 Posse have the time to devote to the demolition of this one man! Irrespective of the facts; do they not have anything more important to do? With control of both houses I see very little to show and activities such as this are the primary reason. I am paying you to work NOT act like grade school children!

    October 20, 2007 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  15. Sowell Brooklet GA

    Once again Harry Reid has managed to waste precious time by taking a partial comment made by Limbaugh and skewing it to suit his misguided and singleminded attempt to besmirch a conservative voice. If he would look at the record for the present congress, he would realize he has better and far more important things to do. The left side of the aisle has one purpose in mind and that is to destroy the Republican party and all members of the Republican party in any way they can and as quickly as they can at the expense of our country's business. And that, friends, is why they have the lowest rating of ANY congress in history. Period!

    October 20, 2007 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  16. John from America

    rush is a druggie fool and you diddoheads are complete idiots! You people wouldn't know the truth if it hit you square in the mouth.

    October 20, 2007 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  17. shane los angeles,Calaifornia

    Wow,,it took CNN a week to find this story..Way to break the news.. Since Reid feels this is such a worthy cause we are waiting for him to offer to match the donation!

    OK, liberals can now begin their whinning about being out smarted again.

    October 20, 2007 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  18. allen Sacramento, California

    Based on some of the comments against Limbaugh I can see that Democrats only believe in "free speech" when you SAY WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO SAY.

    So much for fake liberal,"we're so open minded" crap.
    Obviously they are only open minded if you agree that Bush is satan, Oh wait, liberals don't believe satan because that would mean there is a God.

    You people are amusing though !

    October 20, 2007 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  19. JiMboB, Santa Cruz, CA

    Have another Wayne.. Reid ran his mouth like a outta control freight train... shame on him. You really have some sort of condemning evidence regarding Rush? Or do you always talk in riddles..

    October 20, 2007 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  20. Karthik Thirumalai

    What an outrage that Rush Limbaugh gets away with most vile comments, but others are torn to shreds for less offensive comments. Everbody in the right-wing loony radio supported the Senate and Congress condemning Moveon, which is a private advocacy group, but were up in arms for right-wing hate machine.

    October 20, 2007 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  21. New Bern, North Carolina

    Ladies and Gentlemen I declare we do not have a country anylonger...with all the poor and needy around the world how DARE these people throw money around to obtain a worthless peace of paper.

    October 20, 2007 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  22. S/R/P, Toppytown, ME

    I would hardly call Rush a "private citizen."

    And I think we can all forgive Reid if he misheard Mays name and called it "May." President Bush has certainly had plenty of mispronunciations himself.

    All of this is just intellectual implosion. Rush said this, so Reid said that. It's like watching two siblings bicker over which one called the other "doody-head." Reid was stupid to react to what Rush said, taking up valuable time away from the business of the people. Rush is stupid to think that he can say anything without some kind of lashing-back by those whom he continually insults, slanders, and skewers.

    Even if Rush went off the air, there would be ten more people, ten times as vicious, ready to take his place. The best way to make Rush go away is to make him less relevent, and to make him less relevent, you just stop listening, and stop reacting to what he says. If you don't make him an issue, then he'll eventually become like the crazy man at the edge of town that curses into the wind.

    October 20, 2007 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  23. Doug, St. Petersburg FL

    Rush has a history of supporting the military so he clearly didn't diss them. He just dissed the military poser. Rush is a genius and generous for giving 2+ mil of his own money to charity. The govt. should not try to beat up on private citizens like in totalitarian regimes.

    October 20, 2007 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  24. tim vista,ca

    Rush Limbaugh is a very insecure and screwed up perverted freak. And any one who would pay this a–hole even a cow pucky needs serious mental therapy.

    October 20, 2007 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  25. Jay B Topanga ca.

    it's not a finished bid until it is paid for.

    October 20, 2007 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15