Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Rush v. Putin

Human Events magazine named Rush Limbaugh its 2007 Man of the Year:
What is it about Rush that drives the left crazy (that is, crazier than they already are)? The answer is actually quite simple: Rush is the most important voice in the conservative movement. Others want to be, some claim to be, but he is. More than any conservative politician, columnist or pundit, Rush speaks for us. His opinions are principled and consistent. He has a brilliant mind and a voracious appetite for knowledge and truth, all of which he uses behind his golden EIB microphone to teach and persuade as he cuts through the daily media clutter. He has the guts to say what so many of us are thinking to ourselves. And Rush’s likable and optimistic personality and entertaining style attract increasing numbers of conservative adherents. Liberals consider Rush and his talk show the greatest threats to their agenda and pursuit of power, and they’re right.

The most stunning and desperate assault on Rush was launched just a few weeks ago when the ethically challenged Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) -- armed with propaganda prepared by a Clinton front group that calls itself “Media Matters for America” (which also claims to be a tax-exempt charitable foundation) -- tried to use the power of his office to squelch Rush with a threatening letter, signed by dozens of his Democratic colleagues, to Rush’s Clear Channel broadcast partner. What was all the fuss about?

During a Morning Update broadcast, Rush criticized fake soldiers such as Jesse MacBeth and the left’s support for them. MacBeth claimed to have served in Iraq as an Army Ranger. MacBeth was embraced by the anti-war movement and appeared on several media outlets solely because of his vicious smears against the United States military. But MacBeth was a fraud. He was forced out of the Army in 44 days and never received the Purple Heart, as he had claimed. A press release from the United States attorney’s office that prosecuted MacBeth, among other fake soldiers, states:
Jesse MacBeth, 23, Tacoma, Wash., sentenced today in connection with his fraudulent claims of military service. MacBeth sought medical benefits claiming to suffer from PTSD related to service in Iraq and Afghanistan, in fact, Macbeth was discharged from the Army about a month after he joined. MacBeth never traveled outside the U.S. with the Army. Macbeth duped reporters, claiming to be a decorated Army Ranger who had witnessed war crimes.
In a subsequent conversation with a caller who complained that the media “never talk to real soldiers,” Rush referred to these fake soldiers as “phony soldiers.” There was nothing remotely controversial about his statement. But Media Matters, putting words in Rush’s mouth, claimed that Rush had challenged the patriotism of real soldiers who had actually served but opposed the Iraq War.

Now, anybody who has spent any time listening to Rush knew this was false. There is no greater advocate -- on or off the air -- for the military and its mission. And unlike Reid and most of the other anti-war Democrats, over the years Rush has quietly made significant contributions to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. But it didn’t matter.

Reid ran with the lie, as did many of his fellow Democrats and media friends, believing they could damage Rush’s reputation, drive a wedge between Rush and his audience and advance the Democrats’ political agenda. To my knowledge, never before has a Senate leader attempted to use the force of government against a private citizen in this way. And rather than condemn Reid, the Big Media cheered him on by repeating his lies.

So, the stakes were extremely high. Would a powerful Democratic politician and Clinton front group be able to cripple Rush and damage the conservative cause through intimidation and dishonest tactics? Well, they don’t know Rush like we do. They picked a fight with the wrong guy.

Rush confronted, mocked and exposed Reid and Media Matters as dissembling bullies. And in an act of absolute brilliance, he put the Reid letter -- signed by the likes of Hillary Clinton (N.Y.), John Kerry (Mass.), Teddy Kennedy (Mass.) and other anti-war senators -- up for auction on eBay, not only pledging that all proceeds would go to his beloved Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, but announcing that he’d match the winning bid. The auction brought $2.1 million, and when combined with Rush’s matching donation, the Reid letter generated a whopping $4.2 million for the foundation! But Rush wasn’t finished. He challenged Reid to raise or contribute an equal amount for the troops. We’re all still waiting.
I don't listen to Rush, but Human Events makes a way more convincing case than Time--easy to do, as the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol has shown.

(via Powerline)

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