Rush Limbaugh, under fire from a liberal group known as Media Matters for America, has unearthed surprising evidence tying Hillary Clinton closely to the group. Media Matters was behind the controversy that Limbaugh called Iraqi war veterans “phony soldiers.”
Limbaugh has called that claim a “smear.” Media Matters and several leading Democrats have taken the comment out of context, the talk show host said.
Limbaugh was referring to Americans who falsely claim to have served in the military – specifically Jesse Macbeth, who said in a widely seen video that he had served in Iraq and Afghanistan and claimed that he and other U.S. soldiers had killed innocent civilians there. In fact, Macbeth was discharged from the Army after several weeks of basic training, and never served in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Noting that the “origin” of the smear was Media Matters, Limbaugh on his show and website Tuesday played a sound bite from a speech given by Hillary Clinton this past August. Hillary said:
“We are certainly better prepared and more focused on, you know, taking our arguments and making them effective and disseminating them widely and really putting together a network in the blogosphere, and a lot of the new progressive infrastructure, institutions that I helped to start and support, like Media Matters and Center for American Progress.”
Rush told his listeners: “There you have it – Media Matters for America has now been officially claimed as a Hillary Clinton startup . . . So, to that extent, anybody in media, on any side of the aisle, ought to now understand that anything coming out of Media Matters for America is designed to take issue, destroy, harm, whatever, anyone who gets in Mrs. Clinton’s way in her quest for the White House . . .
“The bottom line is, it’s Mrs. Clinton’s organization . . . Hence this smear of me.”
Limbaugh is not the first radio host Media Matters has taken aim at.
Earlier this year Media Matters was also instrumental in the firing of talk show host Don Imus over his disparaging comments about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team. Media Matters posted a video clip showing Imus making the comments and sent a mass e-mail to journalists around the country.
At the time of the Imus flap, some pundits noted that Imus was a target of Hillary Clinton and pointed out the Media Matters connection. Imus had been sharply critical of Hillary, referring to her as “satan” and the “devil.”
On his Tuesday show, Limbaugh also discussed left-wing financier George Soros’ connection to Media Matters, which has sparked a war of words between Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and the group.
Back in April, O’Reilly told viewers of “The O’Reilly Factor” that Soros and several other wealthy radicals were helping to fund Media Matters by donating money to the Tides Foundation, and using it to funnel money to Media Matters. Media Matters countered that while Soros’ Open Society Institute (OSI) did contribute to the Tides Foundation (Tides gave Media Matters more than $1 million in 2005), the OSI funds were specifically earmarked for two other beneficiaries.
“Soros has never given money to Media Matters, either directly or through another organization,” the Web site stated.
O’Reilly responded: “The vile Media Matters outfit is denying receiving funding from any of George Soros’ outfits. Well, that is a total lie. As we laid out for you, the smear Web site received more than a million dollars from the Tides Foundation alone in 2005, and just by coincidence, Soros’ Open Society Institute donated more than a million dollars to Tides in 2005. Figure it out.”
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