On the October 4 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, during a discussion of Rush Limbaugh's September 26 "phony soldiers" comments and MoveOn.org's September 10 New York Times advertisement headlined "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?" American Spectator founder and Editor-in-Chief R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. asserted, "It's absurd to compare a carefully written ad by MoveOn that claims -- accuses a general in the field of treason -- to compare that with a flip remark by Rush Limbaugh during a three-hour discourse, which he's already apologized for in the event that he offended anyone." In fact, while Limbaugh apologized "to all of the members of the United States military, both in uniform and out, active duty and retired, for Media Matters for America," he has not apologized for characterizing service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq as "phony soldiers."
As Media Matters documented, during the October 1 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Limbaugh stated:
LIMBAUGH: But since you will never get an apology from [Rep.] Jack Murtha [D-PA] for mischaracterizing you as murderers; since you'll never get an apology from [Sen.] John Kerry [D-MA]; since you won't get an apology from Media Matters for America or anybody who works there -- to all of you in the U.S. Military -- I want to apologize to you for them for the, again, firestorm over something that did not happen regarding your valor and your commitment to freedom and democracy last week on this program. I really regret that it happened, and I apologize to you on their behalf since they won't.
From the October 4 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
DOOCY: Welcome back. Rush Limbaugh's comments continue to spark outrage from the left. Democrats are comparing the incident to MoveOn.org's "General Betray Us" ad. Is this a smear campaign against the controversial talk-show host?
CARLSON: Emmett Tyrrell is author of The Clinton Crack-Up, and he joins us today from D.C. Good morning to you.
TYRRELL: Nice to be with you, Gretchen.
CARLSON: So, what do you make of this whole situation? It's been going on now for a couple of weeks, and it seems to be orchestrated.
TYRRELL: Well, on one side, it's absurd. It's absurd to compare a carefully written ad by MoveOn that claims -- accuses a general in the field of treason -- to compare that with a flip remark by Rush Limbaugh during a three-hour discourse, which he's already apologized for in the event that he offended anyone.
What's really alarming about it is that it shows a pattern here of the new Democratic Party threatening the free speech of those who disagree with them. They had better get used to it. In a democracy, you have disagreement. And we have a First Amendment. And that First Amendment is inviolate.
DOOCY: Well, I tell you what, this week it's Rush, last week it was Bill O'Reilly. Both of them say they were taken out of context. And three weeks ago, it was General [David] Petraeus.
TYRRELL: Well, at least it indicates, for a change, some of these new Democrats are actually listening to people that disagree with them. The problem is they're offended by it. They ought to join them in rational discourse, rather than trying to run them out of town.
CARLSON: You know what's interesting, though, Emmett, is that -- do you find it interesting, I should ask -- that no Republican has crossed over the line to condemn Rush's comments, that I've seen, but there were some Democrats who did cross over the line to condemn MoveOn.org's ad against General Petraeus.
TYRRELL: Well, because they recognize that this is an entirely different matter. This is -- I can't think of any time in American history that Americans -- Americans claim -- accused a general in the field of treason, except perhaps the Civil War, when the North and the South thought all of the generals -- the others -- opposite side of the general was guilty of treason. We're all together in this today, and I wish the Democrats would understand that.
DOOCY: R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., author of The Clinton Crack-Up. Sir, thanks for joining us today from Washington.
TYRRELL: Nice to be with you.