spot the anti gun activist: Radio Ad Seeks to Undermine Rush Limbaugh


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Harry Tuttle
May 14, 2004, 01:01 PM
Radio Ad Seeks to Undermine Rush Limbaugh
Fri, May 14, 2004

(CNSNews.com) - Efforts to discredit radio news commentator Rush Limbaugh escalated this week with a new radio ad campaign hammering Limbaugh for comments he made about the abuse of Iraqi inmates at the Abu Ghraib prison.

Still unresolved, meanwhile, is the Palm Beach County, Fla., prosecutor's investigation of Limbaugh for possible "doctor shopping" in connection with Limbaugh's admitted former addiction to painkillers.

The separate media and legal challenges to Limbaugh are part of a longstanding strategy employed by the political left, according to Mark Levin, director of the Landmark Legal Foundation and a supporter of Limbaugh.

"There's no question they've been trying to discredit Limbaugh for 15 years and it won't succeed," Levin added. "When these liberals attack Rush, they're attacking his audience."

The 30-second radio ad targeting Limbaugh was produced by the new group Media Matters for America, and it used excerpts from Limbaugh's daily radio program, spliced together, to represent Limbaugh's views about the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse.

"This is no different than what happens at the Skull Bones initiation," Limbaugh is heard saying midway through the ad, a reference to Yale University's secret society. However, that sentence is spliced together with another Limbaugh comment about the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse and the difference in Limbaugh's inflection is obvious to the listener.

" ... I'm talking about people having a good time. These people -- you ever heard of emotional release? You ever heard of needing to blow some steam off?" Limbaugh is heard asking his listeners in the Media Matters for America ad. He was referring to the U.S. military police accused of mistreating the Iraqi prisoners.

Levin said the ad took Limbaugh out of context.

"I listened to everything that Limbaugh has said and I associate myself with all of it," Levin said. "While [Limbaugh] believes that what these rogue prison guards did was outrageous, it's been taken completely out of proportion, considering the enemy that we're dealing with and the grave danger that we face. And the vast majority of Americans concur."

Levin also attacked Media Matters for America President David Brock,

the former conservative journalist who claims the political "right wing" persuaded him to lie and distort facts in order to bring down Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Brock once helped collect damaging information about the Clintons in Arkansas for American Spectator magazine. But two years ago, Brock authored the book, Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative , in which he not only distanced himself from the conservative movement, but also disclosed his homosexuality.

Brock's new website is described as a "not-for-profit progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media."

Media Matters for America defines "conservative misinformation" as "news or commentary presented in the media that is not accurate, reliable, or credible and that forwards the conservative agenda."

The web editor for Media Mattters is Amanda Fazzone, who has previously written or edited articles for publications such as The New Republic, Salon, and the Washington City Paper. Marcia Kuntz, who previously organized a project for the liberal Alliance for Justice opposing President Bush's judicial nominees, is the website's editorial director.

But it is Brock and those underwriting the Media Matters website receiving most of the attention.

"David Brock is a confessed liar. He has discredited his own past work," Levin said, adding that former Clinton administration chief of staff John Podesta is one of Brock's financial backers.

"It doesn't surprise me why the left and people like John Podesta would embrace and use him as their front-man ... to attack Rush," Levin said. "I think you'll find in most of these areas - whether it's 527s (tax exempt political organizations), the already failed liberal radio network (Air America Radio), and now these phony think tanks and the watchdog groups, that Podesta and the other Clintonoids have their hand in this."

CNSNews.com made several attempts to reach Brock by telephone on Thursday but Media Matters for America did not make him available to comment for this report.

[b]Naomi Seligman, (http://www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=Naomi_Seligman) a spokeswoman for the group, apologized, saying, "We've had incredible interest in the organization today and he's just really, really booked." When asked whether she could comment on behalf of the group, Seligman said she could not. "We can't. I apologize," she said.

Brock, in an earlier press release, defended the ad campaign attacking Limbaugh.

"His radio show reaches 20 million Americans each week, with many of these listeners considering him a legitimate news source," Brock stated. "We are running the ad to spotlight whether Rush Limbaugh is a credible source of information."

Limbaugh this week launched his own advertising offensive regarding the still simmering investigation of accusations that he illegally went from doctor to doctor to feed his painkiller addiction. Limbaugh has yet to be charged in the case. He has since received drug rehabilitation.

Limbaugh used a Washington Times editorial as the basis for full-page newspaper ads in two Florida papers. The Times' editorial called Krischer's investigation "a partisan witch-hunt," a sentiment echoed by Levin.

"I have my own suspicions that Barry Krischer, the left-wing prosecutor [in Palm Beach County], isn't acting on his own," Levin said. "I've long suspected that he's getting encouragement. We know that he received some 300 email messages [from] many self-identified Democrats urging him to prosecute Rush Limbaugh."

See Earlier Story:

Limbaugh Case Drags On as Florida Dems Plot Electoral Revenge

E-mail a news tip to David Thibault.

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