[url=http://mediamatters.org/items/200710020011]FACT CHECK:"Phony Soldiers" and Limbaugh's Revisionist History
As the controversy over Rush Limbaugh's "phony soldiers" comments continues to grow, Media Matters for America would like to highlight the falsehoods that Limbaugh, America's top conservative talk-radio host, has used to claim that he was taken out of context.
Limbaugh claims he referred only to Jesse MacBeth, but smeared other veterans
Misinformation: On September 28, Limbaugh asserted that his "phony soldiers" comment was a reference to Jesse MacBeth, who pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for pretending to be an injured Iraq war veteran.
Fact: Limbaugh did not refer to MacBeth during his September 26 broadcast until 1 minute and 50 seconds after making his "phony soldiers" comment. Indeed, at no point during his September 26 radio show did Limbaugh refer to any soldiers he considered to be fake prior to making his "phony soldiers" comment.
Moreover, as the blog Crooks and Liars and Media Matters noted, in the September 28 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.
Limbaugh claims he was only speaking about one soldier, but used the plural
Misinformation: Limbaugh twice claimed that rather than speaking generally of soldiers who support withdrawal from Iraq, that he was "talking about one soldier with that 'phony soldier' comment, Jesse MacBeth."
Fact: As the transcript makes clear, Limbaugh actually referred to "phony soldiers," plural. Responding to a caller's statement that supporters of withdrawal "like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media," Limbaugh responded, "The phony soldiers" [emphasis added].
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