MEDIA

Limbaugh Offers Inconsistent Explanations For "Phony Soldiers" Comment

03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

On the October 2 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, responding to criticism of his September 26 comments characterizing service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq as "phony soldiers," Rush Limbaugh again asserted that he had been referring to multiple military imposters -- including Jesse MacBeth -- rather than service members or former service members with whom he disagrees. Limbaugh asserted: "The next ruse the left is saying: 'He couldn't have been talking about MacBeth because he used the plural. He said "phony soldiers." He didn't say phony "soldier." ' " Limbaugh continued: "Again, this is a willful and missing of the context of this program. We have discussed many of these phony soldiers over the course of the past few months. We discuss them constantly. MacBeth was just the latest." Earlier in the program, Limbaugh described MacBeth as "the man I was referring to and others like him as 'phony soldiers.' " But immediately after the controversy erupted over his comments, Limbaugh offered a different explanation, inconsistent with his claim to have been referring to MacBeth "and others like him": As Media Matters for America documented, during the September 28 broadcast of his show, Limbaugh twice claimed that rather than speaking generally of soldiers who support withdrawal from Iraq, he was "talking about one soldier with that 'phony soldier' comment, Jesse MacBeth." Indeed, the transcript (subscription required) of the September 28 broadcast that is posted on Limbaugh's site shows Limbaugh asserting: "I was talking about one soldier with that phony soldier comment, Jesse MacBeth.

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