Monday, October 01, 2007

I Support Rush!

I wasn’t planning on writing about the “Rush Scandal”. In case you haven’t been following this, some media outlets and uniformed bloggers are attacking Rush Limbaugh for calling soldiers who oppose the war “phony soldiers”. However, I have already received one comment on it from a reader, so I thought I would comment where everyone can see my response. The comment was posted in one of the older links, so you might not have seen it. The Anonymous comment I received asked:

“So, Andy, will you denounce Rush, now that he's publicly called soldiers--including some who have been killed in action--'phony soldiers'? Or is it actually OK to trash the patriotism of soldiers you don't agree with?”

My response is beyond a shadow of a doubt, and in no uncertain terms, “No”. Why you ask? Because this story is being manipulated and Rush’s words are being reported out of context. I am a Rush fan, and as such, I am also a 24 hour subscriber to his site. One of the advantages I have as a subscriber is complete access to his library of shows. On the particular day in question, Rush wasn’t referring to a soldier who disagreed with the war. He was instead referring to people who claim to be soldiers, or who claim to have been decorated soldiers, but who are not.

In Rush’s case, he was referring to “corporal” Jesse MacBeth. As Rush has pointed out on his show, “corporal” MacBeth became a hero to many anti-war groups. In a scene reminiscent of John Kerry during Vietnam, MacBeth told the press about the abuses and travesties he and other U.S. soldiers did in Iraq. He claimed to have witnessed soldiers killing hundreds of men, women, and children. As Rush said on his show, “In one gruesome account, translated into Arabic and spread widely across the Internet, Army Ranger Jesse MacBeth describes the horrors this way: ‘We would burn their bodies. We would hang their bodies from the rafters in the mosque.’”

The problem with “corporal” MacBeth is that it was all made up. Jesse MacBeth was sentenced to five months in jail and three years probation for falsifying a Veterans Affairs claim and his Army discharge record. Turns out he washed out of boot camp. No service. No corporal.

Rush isn’t the only one who has reported on these phony soldiers. The Weekly Standard has been reporting on Scott Thomas Beauchamp. He is an actual soldier. However, he also made up stories about atrocities committed in Iraq that were never committed. His stories have been reported by the New Republic, only to have Mr. Beauchamp say he no longer stands by his stories. ABC News has even done stories covering the rash of people claiming to be soldiers who weren’t. On the coverage, Charles Gibson even used the phrase “phony soldiers”. To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Gibson isn’t facing the kind of hatred Rush is facing right now.

What this story is really about is left wing political groups who are trying to take comments out of context to generate bad press for Rush and other conservatives. They hope no one will do their home work to see what Rush actually said. Many on the left have bought these stories hook line and sinker. There are many issues you may disagree with Rush on. However, if you are going to disagree with him, at least get your facts straight and disagree with something he said, and not something someone wants you to think he said.


Anonymous said...

Then why did Limbaugh doctor his own clip in order to make is sound like "phony soldiers" (plural!) was actually about one particular guy (singular!) that he talked about *significantly later* on the show?

Jayne d'Arcy said...

I really hate when things are taken out of context and the media is very good at doing just that sort of thing. Rush has weathered such storms before and he will again.

familyman said...

I haven't really been following this too much because I think as a country we've got much bigger problems than this or the MoveOn ad.

But if Rush was so in the right, then why edit the clip? If he's so set on proving that he was taken out of context, then why alter the context?

Yvonne said...

I quite agree. This also reminds me - a couple years back when I was doing some character research - I stumbled across a site ( - looked this up to post) that was set up to look into people who posed as Navy SEALs.

Maybe it's just me, but, whether it is the media taking things out of context, or "posers" (no matter what that person is posing as, but (and this may be because I come from a strong background of service) it really torques me when it involves the military) it really, really irritates me.

Andy D said...

I think Rush probably edited it because the extra part has nothing to do with "phony soldiers". In the extra part, Rush and the caller are discussing WMD's.

Like I said before, if you want to be mad at Rush, there are plenty of issues to be mad at him about. He supports the war in Iraq, he believes many of the Democrats have taken an Anti-American approach, he thinks global warming is a lie. If you really want to be mad at Rush, surely one of those issues is plenty. Why make up another charge?

Anonymous said...

I don't buy Andy's explanation for the edit and Limbaugh's excuse.

Limbaugh had not once mentioned Jesse MacBeth before he made the "phony soldiers" remark, and he didn't talk about MacBeth until a different segment of the program, *and* he edited his own clip (while claiming it was the "entire" clip) in order to make it sound like "phony soldiers" and "MacBeth" were actually connected.

I suppose it is *possible* that Limbaugh had MacBeth in his mind when he said the "phony soldiers" thing, but it would have been impossible for *listeners* to know that: all they heard was Limbaugh describing soldiers who publicly opposed the war as "phony." At best, Limbaugh was really sloppy and should apologize if he didn't mean to call war critics "phony soldiers."

I, like some of the conservatives on here, think this is mostly a silly conversation. But, coming in the wake of the right-wing pontification about the MoveOn ad, it points out how utterly hypocritical the right is about when it's ok to criticize soldiers. It was (and apparently still is, given Andy's original post here) ok to slime John Kerry. I guess the only soldiers exempt from criticism are those who parrot Bush.

Personally, I think the guys dodging bullets and IEDs can handle some flaky words from both MoveOn and Limbaugh.

Andy D said...

It looks like I have found a topic that generates as many comments as my position on Global warming. I should write about Rush more often.

You can keep harping on the “he edited the clip” point. In the links provided on this post, go re-read the edited parts. Rush removed the parts of the transcript that had nothing to do with the “phony soldiers”. All the talk about during that segment is WMD’s. Many, many people are writing about phony soldiers right now, even using that term. Is it really beyond belief that Rush would use the same term the same way these other writers were using?

I agree with you that our soldiers serving overseas deserve our respect. And because I have nothing but the highest respect for them, I also think those people who aren’t veterans, but claim to be, are repugnant. One of the Senators who attacked Rush yesterday has previously claimed to be a Vietnam Vet, only to find out he wasn’t. Would you really defend someone who posed as a vet, stole $10,000 in veteran benefits from our government, and claimed to speak for our troops, but didn’t actually serve? That is the person you are defending when you attack Rush.

Is it appropriate to criticize Kerry? I believe so. He too claimed to have seen things in Vietnam that haven’t been proven. When evidence was presented to dispute his claims, he attacked the people who were criticizing him, but didn’t refute their claims.

I think our soldiers deserve respect. I don’t think people who pose as soldiers do.

Anonymous said...

So by this logic the president is a phony, too, right? Flying onto an aircraft carrier, flying around Texas during the Vietnam War, even missing his National Guard training exercises--while other people you call "phony" were getting shot at by the Vietcong?

Again, Andy, this is a silly argument, but it sure looks like hypocrisy on your part: you went from a) insisting that Rush was talking about *one* fake soldier to z) calling decorated veterans "phony". Which is it--was Rush talking about one guy or a bunch of guys?

Andy D said...

No, once again, you aren't reading the words I am writing and putting your own words in their place. This is how silly scandals get started.

The phony soldiers comment refers to soldiers and citizens who claim they served when they didn't. I brought Kerry up because he claimed he had seen specific events that there is evidence he didn't see. More recently, there are citizens who claimed they were soldiers and arn't, and their are soldiers who claimed they did certain things when they didn't. If you say you served stateside during the Vietnam war, and you served stateside during the war, I don't have a problem.

Andy D said...

I have now listened to the entire three hour show from September 26th. This is where the entire conversation started. I listened to the part that Rush has shown as a transcript, and I listened to what Media Matters is listening as the "doctored transcript". I have also listened to the segment immediately after the phone call that started this entire controversy.

After the caller hangs up, Rush goes over a story he had covered in a previous morning update. That story is the story of MacBeth. There is no topic between the two. If you listen to the show, it is quite obvious what he was talking about. Anyone who continues to attack Rush for this is either 1) trying to manipulate the public and keep them from looking at other things, 2) hasn't done their homework, and hasn't listened to the show so they don't really know what they are talking about or 3) a combination of both 1 and 2 above.

Brandon said...

Andy, I agree with familyman that this country does have much bigger problems, but I don't completely buy your explanation for Rush's comments. Rush definitely said phony soldiers, if he was only talking about the fake Ranger, why would he use the plural term? I think that he was criticizing the soldiers that fought in Iraq & want to end the war and he didn't expect such a strong backlash. When the backlash came, he had to backpedal because our soldiers are the most popular aspect of the war in Iraq.

Andy D said...

Brandon, I have a lot of respect of you. Typically your comments are really good and I look forward to them. I wanted to say that because what I am about to say is going to sound like I am dismissing you without even reading your comment. I want you to know that is the case.

Have you listened to the complete transcript from his show? Did he say fake soldier afterwards? Yes. Are we really going to dispute what Rush said because in one breath he says fake and in another he says phony? At no point in the show did Rush discuss the topic of legitimate soldiers complaining about the war. So why would anyone assume he was talking about something he hadn't talked about on that show?

This truly baffles me. If you listen to the show it is quite obvious what he was talking about. The story is being pushed by people with their own agenda who are trying to dupe the American public. And yesterday it took its worse turn yet. Stay tune for another post with the latest in this story.

Andy D said...

Rush has provided this link to Clear Channels response to the infamous Senator from Nevada.

Anonymous said...

Andy: just be clear. Are you claiming Rush was talking about one soldier or many soldiers?

Andy D said...

From reading the transcripts, and listening to the show, I think Rush said Phony soldiers plural. I think he was referring to Jesse MacBeth and those types of people.

At no point during the three hour show did he discuss active duty military personal who criticize the U.S. War in Iraq.

Andy D said...

Here is a story that outlines the time line fairly well.

Anonymous said...

So Andy is saying that *Limbaugh is wrong* to claim that this was about just one guy.

Andy wrote: "From reading the transcripts, and listening to the show, I think Rush said Phony soldiers plural. I think he was referring to Jesse MacBeth and those types of people." (my emphasis)

Limbaugh said: "I was talking about one soldier with that phony soldier comment, Jesse MacBeth." (Limbaugh's emphasis--from Limbaugh's transcript)

So Andy supports Rush--but not Rush's interpretation of Rush's smear. Everybody got that?

Andy D said...

Really? This is how you want to attack me or Rush?? If that is the best you have, then you really have no claim at all in this.

I think Rush was talking about Jesse MacBeth specifically. Immediately after the quote Media Matters has been running, he talks about Jesse MacBeth.

I also think Rush was well aware of other people who have been found guilty of this same behavior. I think he said "phony soldiers" plural while thinking Jesse MacBeth specifically.

The charge that is leveled against him is that he was talking about any Iraq veteran who criticizes the War or Bush. That charge is simply false. You can debate soldier vs. soldiers all day long, it still doesn't make that charge accurate.

pack04 said...

Who knows what Rush really meant when he said those things? I would have to think he did not mean all soldiers who appose the war are not real soldiers. I really think that after reading the comments here. If your best attack on him is whether a word was plural or not is not a good one. If your attack is on the fact that he edited things to make it sound the way he wants you are silly to think that because every media outlet and person involved in an argument of some sort does that! Just look at what is going on here. People are taking a select handful of words that he said and turning them against him. While others are taking a different handful of words and defending him. Silly waste of time argument.
BTW how is "General Betray Us" not considered an organization calling a soldier a fake soldier?

SpunkysMum said...

Thanks Andy!! I am planning to post to my own blogs about this eventually, as soon as I find a thesaurus with enough synonyms for "evil" to adequately describe Media Matters and Senators like Harry Reid and Tom Harkin. They are pure scum.

Only a person suffering from mental retardation so severe that they are not able to feed themselves could honestly have misunderstood Rush's meaning. You could have put Helen Keller in a room with a transcript and a recording of the show and she would have grasped it in seconds.

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