Following President George W. Bush's September 21 speech at the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, radio host Rush Limbaugh smeared the world leaders that comprised Bush's audience. Limbaugh described the General Assembly as "thugs and dictators" and claimed that they "don't condemn it [terrorism] because they wish to reserve it as an option should they need it."
From the September 21 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: The only problem with the speech was [President George W.] Bush was talking about freedom and democracy to a room full of thugs and dictators, but it didn't hold him back.
LIMBAUGH: Much of the leadership of the world doesn't consider terrorism as other than a means to an end. They don't condemn it because they wish to reserve it as an option should they need it. Remember who the audience at the United Nations General Assembly is.
Limbaugh's message that the United Nations is full of "thugs," "dictators," and potential terrorists is currently being broadcast to U.S. troops overseas via the taxpayer-funded American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS). After exposing Limbaugh's comments downplaying, dismissing, and even endorsing the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Media Matters for America created an online petition calling for Limbaugh's removal from AFRTS. Nearly 45,000 people have signed the petition. On June 14, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution (pdf) calling for fairness and balance on AFRTS. Limbaugh is presently the sole politically partisan host featured on the service's talk channel. His comments may also inflame anti-American sentiment abroad, putting U.S. troops at risk.