On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh defended his statement characterizing service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq as "phony soldiers" and expanded the group of "phony soldiers" to include Vietnam veteran Rep. John P. Murtha.
On the September 28 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio program, Rush Limbaugh defended his September 26 statement in which he characterized service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq as "phony soldiers," asserting that he had been taken out of context and that he was referring to just one "phony soldier," Jesse MacBeth, who pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for falsely claiming to be an injured Iraq war veteran. However, as the blog Crooks and Liars noted, in the same broadcast, Limbaugh expanded the group of "phony soldiers" to include Vietnam veteran Rep. John P. Murtha (D-PA) and Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp, who is currently serving in Iraq. In asserting that he was originally "talking about a genuine phony soldier," Limbaugh went on to state: "And by the way, Jesse MacBeth's not the only one. How about this guy Scott Thomas who was writing fraudulent, phony things in The New Republic about atrocities he saw that never happened? How about Jack Murtha blanketly accepting the notion that Marines at Haditha engaged in wanton murder of innocent children and civilians?"
According to Murtha's biography on his congressional website, Murtha joined the Marines in 1952 and volunteered for service in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.
From the September 28 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: But this is how this stuff starts. This is an illustration -- this is the way the Democrat playbook in '08 -- and actually, it's been under way for a while. And it's -- the illustration here folks is just how partisan the supposed objective media people are. You know, I've got a website, and I've got a radio show, and I've got a phone. And I have people who answer the phone. And if they read something like this -- I've been on the air 19 years, 19 and a half -- well, a little bit over 19. Just the blanket acceptance of this -- knowing full well that Media Matters takes things out of context all the time -- the blanket acceptance of this and then running with it full speed is an illustration of what I have been drumming into people's heads for years.
The drive-by media is as partisan as any organization out there. They hide under this notion that they are objective, but they've got an agenda, they have their narratives, they have their templates. When anything fits the narrative, whether it's true or not, i.e. the Duke rape case, you go with it. You run with it. You make the mess. This is why they're called the drive-by media. You make the mess. They drive in, they shoot things up, create all kinds of mess, get in the convertible, head back down the road, and it's left to people like me to clean up the mess that they make. And they make messes every day, over and over and over again.
So, the reason for spending this time on this is to illustrate that that is how this happens. This organization is a front group for Mrs. Clinton, as is so many other organizations out there that engage in these kinds of smears
The -- one more sound bite here from the floor of the House. This is Frank Pallone, a Democrat from New Jersey. Here's a portion of what he said.
PALLONE [audio clip]: Yesterday, House Republicans offered a motion to recommit condemning MoveOn.org for its advertisement stating that Gen. [David] Petraeus had betrayed us. I'm wondering if they'll show similar outrage over statements made yesterday by conservative radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh. Yesterday, Limbaugh called service members who support a withdrawal from Iraq "phony soldiers." Is Limbaugh serious? I wonder if Republicans who showed so much outrage towards MoveOn yesterday will hold Rush Limbaugh to the same standard. And I wouldn't hold your breath.
LIMBAUGH: You shouldn't hold your breath because there's no standard to hold me to, in the sense that you're -- I never said what you think I said, Congressman Pallone, Congresswoman [Jan] Schakowsky [D-IL], Sen. [John] Kerry [D-MA], or any of the rest of you in the drive-by media. I was talking about a genuine phony soldier. And by the way, Jesse MacBeth's not the only one. How about this guy Scott Thomas who was writing fraudulent, phony things in The New Republic about atrocities he saw that never happened? How about Jack Murtha blanketly accepting the notion that Marines at Haditha engaged in wanton murder of innocent children and civilians? If anybody owes anybody an apology, the entire Democrat [sic] Party, from Hillary Clinton on down, owes the U.S. military an apology, they owe me an apology, and they owe the American people an apology.