Fox News Live guest claimed Limbaugh named MacBeth "about 30 seconds" after "phony soldiers" comment -- but it was nearly 2 minutes

››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

On Fox News Live, after hearing a segment of Rush Limbaugh's controversial comments characterizing service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq as "phony soldiers," guest Carrie Lukas of the Independent Women's Forum asserted, "If you go on for another, about 30 seconds, you hear Mr. Limbaugh start talking about Jessie MacBeth." In fact, a 1 minute and 50 second discussion occurred between Limbaugh's original "phony soldiers" comment and his reference to MacBeth.

During the October 2 edition of Fox News Live, after broadcasting a segment of Rush Limbaugh's controversial September 26 comments characterizing service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq as "phony soldiers," Carrie Lukas, director of policy for the conservative Independent Women's Forum, asserted, "If you go on for another, about 30 seconds, you hear Mr. Limbaugh start talking about Jessie MacBeth, who is a man who the left has made very prominent because he came out and said that our soldiers did horrible things, burned bodies of Iraqis, and this was broadcast all over the place. And now it turns out that Jesse MacBeth lied about his credentials." Fox News anchor Jon Scott did not respond to Lukas' claim about the timing of Limbaugh's comments about MacBeth. In fact, as Media Matters for America documented, a 1 minute and 50 second discussion occurred between Limbaugh's original "phony soldiers" comment and his reference to MacBeth. The full audio can be heard here.

During a discussion of the controversy with Democratic strategist Doug Schoen, Lukas stated: "What I would encourage my fellow guest to do is actually to read the transcript of what Rush Limbaugh said, because that's what I have done. I was actually listening at the time, and this is an absolutely fabricated story." She went on to suggest that Fox "go ahead and play the clip from Rush Limbaugh, because Rush Limbaugh has it prominently displayed on his website." In fact, as Media Matters has documented, during the September 28 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Limbaugh purported to air the "entire" segment in question from the September 26 broadcast of his show, but the clip he then aired had been spliced, without any indication to listeners that they were hearing a cropped version of the audio. Excised from the clip was a full 1 minute and 35 seconds of the 1 minute and 50 second discussion that occurred between Limbaugh's original "phony soldiers" comment and his reference to MacBeth. Also, Limbaugh posted on his website a transcript (subscription required) of the first segment of the first hour of his September 28 broadcast, but as Media Matters has noted, the transcript (subscription required) does not include most of the conversation between Limbaugh's "phony soldiers" remark and his discussion of MacBeth -- or even indicate that any conversation took place: Limbaugh's transcript does not provide any notation or ellipsis to indicate that there is, in fact, a break in the transcript of the September 26 clip he used.

After Fox aired Limbaugh's "phony soldiers" comment, Schoen asserted: "Pretty clear, isn't it? 'Phony soldiers,' it's right there. Wasn't referring to one specific soldier." Lukas then asserted, "If you go on for another, about 30 seconds, you hear Mr. Limbaugh start talking about Jessie MacBeth."

From the October 2 edition of the 12 p.m. ET Fox News' News Live:

LUKAS: If I can just jump in, because this conversation is just patently ridiculous. What I would encourage my fellow guest to do is actually to read the transcript of what Rush Limbaugh said, because that's what I have done. I was actually listening at the time, and this is an absolutely fabricated story. Rush Limbaugh said --

SCHOEN: It isn't. That's what he said.

LUKAS: He said absolutely --

SCHOEN: He used those words.

LUKAS: He used the words "phony soldiers" to --

SCHOEN: "Phony soldiers." It's there, just read the transcript.

LUKAS: Sir, to describe someone who was actually a phony soldier --

SCHOEN: No.

LUKAS: -- someone who had lied about their record.

SCHOEN: He didn't refer to specific soldiers.

LUKAS: Sir, he did not.

SCHOEN: He spoke generally. That's just the fact.

LUKAS: Then, why don't we -- I would encourage Fox to go ahead and play the clip from Rush Limbaugh, because Rush Limbaugh has it prominently displayed on his website. None of the Democrats -- Sen. Tom Harkin is not quoting Rush Limbaugh. They are only quoting this one term -- "phony soldier" -- taken completely out of context.

SCOTT: Carrie, we will meet your challenge and play that clip right now. Hang on.

[begin audio clip]

CALLER: What's really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media.

LIMBAUGH: The phony soldiers.

[end audio clip]

SCOTT: All right.

SCHOEN: Pretty clear, isn't it? "Phony soldiers," it's right there. Wasn't referring to one specific soldier.

LUKAS: Well, continue -- if you --

SCHOEN: I think it's very clear what he said, and that he owes an apology.

LUKAS: Well, if you continue -- first of all, you don't know who that caller is referring to. If you go on for another, about 30 seconds, you hear Mr. Limbaugh start talking about Jessie MacBeth, who is a man who the left has made very prominent because he came out and said that our soldiers did horrible things, burned bodies of Iraqis, and this was broadcast all over the place. And now it turns out that Jesse MacBeth lied about his credentials.

SCHOEN: But he wasn't talking about Jesse MacBeth --

LUKAS: He was a phony soldier.

SCHOEN: -- when he said, "phony soldiers."

SCOTT: Well --

SCHOEN: He was talking about generally a group of people who he said weren't worth being treated seriously and regarded as real soldiers --

LUKAS: Yes, people who --

SCHOEN: -- something he should apologize for.

LUKAS: People who lie about their record should not be treated as real soldiers. If you're not a real soldier, you are a phony soldier. The AP actually used that term, when describing men who had been lying about their record.

SCHOEN: I must tell you, if you're in Iraq fighting, whether you agree or disagree with American policy --

LUKAS: Absolutely, and no one --

SCHOEN: -- you are a real soldier. And Rush Limbaugh owes all soldiers an apology for his outrageous comments.

LUKAS: Rush Limbaugh would agree with you, sir, that anyone who is fighting in Iraq is a real soldier. What he was talking about is people who aren't real soldiers at all, and you know that.

SCHOEN: You're just mischaracterizing it.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, Military Personnel & Veterans
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Show/Publication
FOX News Live
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