The Limbaugh Letter Auction – What the NYT Doesn’t Tell You

The stark differences between two reports today from our national newspapers, the New York Times and the Washington Post, on Rush Limbaugh’s auction stunt tell us a lot about just how far down the RWNM’s throat the NYT is these days. Not that the WaPo is much better most of the time, it does seem somewhat less shy (with the natural exception of Fred Hiatt’s editorial page) about calling a spade a spade when it comes to the bombastic self-aggrandizing and tendentious pomposity of right-wing Beltway pundits.

A case in point is the result of Rush Limbaugh’s latest stunt – offering for auction at eBay the letter condemning him for his “phony soldiers” comment written and signed by 41 Senate Democrats. The NYT headline reads “Critical Letter to Limbaugh Fetches $2 Million” and early in the story announces with some pride:

When the eBay auction closed yesterday afternoon, the winning bid was $2.1 million. It is the largest amount ever paid for an item sold on eBay to benefit a charity.

About halfway through the column comes this bit of fawning by “reporter” Stephanie Strom:

The letter was bought by the Eugene B. Casey Foundation, a $294 million foundation in Gaithersburg, Md., that has given money to a wide variety of organizations, including the Washington Opera and the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. In a statement, the foundation said its purchase of the letter was intended to demonstrate its belief in freedom of speech and “to support Rush Limbaugh, his views and his continuing education of us.”

Not content with that, Stephanie quotes a single Limbaugh comment characterizing the letter as “this glittering jewel of colossal ignorance”, flagrantly attempting to leave us with the clear impression that poor Rush has been vilified by the evil Senate Dems and is fighting back with humor and generosity, turning a scurrilous slur into a bonanza for a worthy charity.

The money will go to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization in New Jersey that provides scholarships and other assistance to families of marines and federal law enforcement officials who die or are wounded in the line of duty.

He’s a saint, that Rush.

It isn’t until you stumble on the WaPo’s less subservient report by Neely Tucker – an actual, you know, journalist – that you discover what actually happened and what Rush actually said.

To begin with, the Casey Foundation wasn’t buying the letter from any particularly altruistic motive. It made its bid when ordered to by its founder and funder, a very rich “fan” of Mr Limbaugh’s.

Forty-one Democratic senators signed the thing, put it in the mail and, really, that should have been the end.

But Limbaugh decided he had been “smeared” by left-wing evildoers. He put the letter up for auction on eBay, with the benefits going to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, a New Jersey-based charity that primarily gives scholarship money to the children of service members either killed in war or in the course of public duty. Limbaugh sits on the board of directors.

The letter drew bids from more than 60 people and was bought yesterday for $2.1 million by reclusive D.C. philanthropist Betty Brown Casey, who has heretofore shown more of an interest in the Washington National Opera than Washington mudslinging. Limbaugh said yesterday on his radio show that Casey was a longtime fan, that he would match her bid (bringing the total raised by the letter to $4.2 million)….

So a wealthy ultra-conservative matron paid out an enormous amount of money mainly to defend Rush’s *ahem* “reputation”. Not quite the same thing. Not so, you know, saintly. Nor could Rush’s comments be accurately described as particularly generous. Apparently, as far as Rush is concerned, criticizing him is an act of feral barbarity.

“It got this kind of money because it represents one of the most outrageous abuses of federal power in modern American history, and that is what makes it a collector’s item. This letter that Senator Reid wrote will forever memorialize him as a demagogue.”

Emphasis, of course, is added – not that it’s needed. Limbo don’t think too much of himself, do he? Because a Limbo Dittohead with too much money and way too much time on her hands thinks he’s the cat’s meow and is willing to part with some chump-change to prove it, that makes a pretty mild letter of criticism for a comment he should be ashamed of “the most outrageous abuse of federal power in…history”? Um, NOT.

But what’s most instructive here isn’t Rush’s identification of himself as a heroic victim of “demagogues” whose uncontrolled ego bravery is respected and admired by multiple millions willing to put up hard cash to back him up when all that really happened is he got a slap on the wrist for being stoopid and a rich, dingy buddy bailed him out. We already know Limbo is arrogant and more than a bit whiny whenever anyone dares suggest he isn’t George Washington returned from the dead.

No, what’s instructive is that the most significant paper in the country, the “paper of record”, would hire and then print the juvenile puffery of a third-string reporter whose “work” would be rejected out of hand in a high school journalism class as inane, lazy, and fatuous, not to mention unbearably obsequious.

One more sign – if you needed it – that today’s NYT is solidly in the pocket of our Bush-engendered oligarchy and a member in good standing of the RWNM whenever possible. Yes, it still has a few good individual reporters, but they’re all veterans. What it’s grooming to take their places is a different animal altogether.

11 Responses to “The Limbaugh Letter Auction – What the NYT Doesn’t Tell You”

  1. Chris G says:

    Bravo. Thanks for the analysis.

    I loathe the Times yet I read it always.

    Go figure.

  2. Jeff Weimer says:

    But the letter WAS an official rebuke by 41 Senators concerning a phony charge leveled against Limbaugh. It was phony, you know. The “phony soldiers” he and the caller were referring to were in fact, not real soldiers – specifically, Jesse MacBeth. They weren’t members in uniform who criticized the administration. We have plenty of those, trust me. Reid and the other 40 decided to take this potshot based on a tenuous (at best) claim of Limbaugh slanting against members of the armed Forces. Limbaugh even explained the term on the air, but that has been conveniently forgotten and what they WANTED to believe put in its place. They tried to use their power and influence to shut him up. Whatever you think of him, he’s entitled to his opinions, is he not? Limbaugh merely turned the situation to his favor.

    Wow, you think the Times is right-wing. The very first line in the Times article perpetuates the lie all this is based on:

    “After Rush Limbaugh referred to Iraq war veterans critical of the war as “phony soldiers,”

    Which he didn’t, as has already been explained. Look it up, transcripts and copies of the recording are available.

    And you call the Times article a fawning piece.

    Jeff Weimer
    Senior Chief, U.S. Navy

  3. mick says:

    Don’t feel bad. Everybody reads it, even its harshest critics. I read it too, obviously, tho not anything like as religiously as I used to. I skim it every day but a week may go by now before I read something that isn’t at least partially compromised by misinformation when reporting on Democrats or has information missing from reports on Republicans that would have changed the meaning of the story if it had been included and made it impossible for the reporter to write a glowing rave. This is just an example of why the NYT can’t be trusted any more. Still, it remains – unfortunately for American democracy – the paper of record. We kind of have to read it whether we like it or not, no matter how slanted, mistaken, propagandistic, or just plain fucked up it is. It’s sort of like when Soviet dissidents had to read Pravda to figure out what was going on and who ther players were. With the NYT, too, you have to read between the lines.

  4. mick says:

    Sorry, Jeff. Rush may have redacted his website to make it sound that way but there’s tape of the original comment and it’s perfectly clear what he said. You’re buying the excuse he used – a provable lie, btw – to try to weasel out of it, which is SOP for Rush every time he gets caught telling lies. You’re too gullible, Jeff. Anybody who hopes to deal with Limbo in the real world needs a healthy dose of skepticism. He’s told so many lies in the last 15 years – documented lies, not “liberal” interpretations unfriendly to the Ditto – would take a book the size of Webster’s Unabridged just to list. That you’re willing to believe a guy with a record like that doesn’t say much for either your intelligence or your perception.

    Rush is a right-wing propagandist, like Fr Coughlin. He doesn’t even have a nodding acquaintance with the truth. He attacked as “phony soldiers” anybody in uniform who disagrees with his support for the war, and it’s not the first time. He has attacked a group of wounded Iraq vets working against the war, the 12 soldiers who signed a recent anti-war editorial, and Viet Nam vets who’ve spoken out against it. In fact, some of the language he’s used has been even more vicious. “Phony soldiers” is pretty mild for him. He called Max Cleland a “traitor” and claimed he had lied about his wounds.

    He also once said, “You can agonize or you can trust me. It’s easier just to trust me.”

    Is that what you did, Jeff? Turn your brain over to Limbo and let him tell you what the “truth” is? ‘Cause that would make you a mindless member of a cult. Are you a cult member, Jeff?

  5. Jeff Weimer says:

    I listened to the comment as it was made, and the explanation after the caller left the air. Just because you want to believe it was the other way doesn’t make it true.

  6. prying1 says:

    Gosh you sound bitter.

  7. Scott says:

    You lefties never get enough of yourselves. The height of arrogance is that Reid was trying to squash the freedom to speak of a US citizen from the bully pulpit of the Senate. That was bad enough but then 40 other freedom fighters signed on to the cause.

    It’s incredible the ignorance and intolerance shown by you lefty liberals. You are all for choice when in happens to coincide with your Socialist views. But when it doesn’t, then you throw the Constitution out on its head.

    How proud your mothers and teachers must be of you who stick your head in the sand and wouldn’t recognize truth if it hit you in the head just so you can play your political games. If you had your way, this country would go to hell in a New York minute!

  8. WhoIsJohnGalt says:

    Honestly, you have to be a complete nitwit not to understand how much Rush supports the troops. If you listen to him on a regular basis, you also understand how he does NOT demonize troops that are against the war. I’ve heard him many times take calls from anti-war vets or anti-Iraq war soldiers and he does NOT berate them. He does treat them with respect and thanks them for their service. He disagrees with them, but unless they appear to be a caller claiming to be something they are not, he is respectful of them. His show is #1 on AFARTS for a reason.

    And there is a big problem with the United States Senate using an official act to try and silence the free speech of an American citizen. THAT was the major point of his flogging Reid with his own club. And from a PR perspective, I just love how he rubbed Reid’s nose in his own pile of poop.

    Betty Casey? Yes, she may be a Rush fan, but she has also contributed to Democrat causes, including donating to Obama’s campaign.

  9. btodd says:

    guys –

    there is no dialogue between the left and the right. i read these back and forth comments week after week and nothing has changed in years. i would hope that you both are sincerely trying to articulate your stance and edify your opponent, but i fear that neither is occurring. jeff and scott, you are wasting your time with self-proclaimed idiots… that’s right, anyone who reads a publication that they loathe, in my book, is an idiot!

  10. M. Simon says:

    I have just received an anonymous e-mail with a link to a site, I Call BS, that purports to have a secret recording of Harry Reid’s Secretary from Friday morning. You can listen to the mp3 and judge for yourself. It seems authentic to me.

    Some one should tell Rush.

  11. Greg says:

    Rush stuck it to Reid and the libs!. He thinks rings around liberals and most conservatives too.

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