He's accused of smearing soldiers by calling any soldiers who oppose the war in Iraq "phony soldiers".
For example, pecumium writes:
Well I'm feeling a trifle wrathful at the various attempts to spin Limbaugh accusing his caller of lying when he said he was a veteran, and then adding that anyone in the military who isn't gung-ho in favor of the war; and republican, is a "phony soldier."
It's kind of hard to, honestly, say that this:
CALLER 2: No, it's not, and what's really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media.
LIMBAUGH: The phony soldiers.
Was Limbaugh "quoting a caller."
Probably not "quoting", more "clarifying".
Other bloggers have looked at this matter, though. For example, Don Surber.
He links to a transcript of the calls in question. The transcript begins with the call from Mike in Chicago, which finishes up with this statement:
RUSH: You're not listening to what I say. You can't possibly be a Republican. I'm answering every question; it's not what you want to hear, and so it's not even penetrating your little wall of armor you've got built up. I said we stay to get the job done, as long as it takes. I didn't say forever. Nothing takes forever. That's not possible, Bill. Mike. Whatever. Nobody lives forever, no situation lasts forever, everything ends. We determine how do we want it to end, in our favor or in our defeat? With people like you in charge, who want to put a timeline on everything -- do you ever get anything done in your life? Or do you say, "Well, I wanted to have this done by now, and it's not, so screw it"? You don't live your life that way. Well, hell, you might, I don't know. But the limitations that you want to impose here are senseless, and they, frankly, portray no evidence that you are a Republican.
It appears Rush doubts the caller is in the military, but the charge he levels is that the caller is advocating the same thing the Democrats are advocating.
The following caller, another Mike, from Olympia, WA, is the one who mentions soldiers who are apparently chosen for the narrative they offer, as opposed to their credentials. Near the end of that call, Rush gives a reprise of his "morning update" which concerns Jesse MacBeth:
Here is a Morning Update that we did recently, talking about fake soldiers. This is a story of who the left props up as heroes. They have their celebrities and one of them was Army Ranger Jesse Macbeth. Now, he was a "corporal." I say in quotes. Twenty-three years old. What made Jesse Macbeth a hero to the anti-war crowd wasn't his Purple Heart; it wasn't his being affiliated with post-traumatic stress disorder from tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. No. What made Jesse Macbeth, Army Ranger, a hero to the left was his courage, in their view, off the battlefield, without regard to consequences. He told the world the abuses he had witnessed in Iraq, American soldiers killing unarmed civilians, hundreds of men, women, even children. In one gruesome account, translated into Arabic and spread widely across the Internet, Army Ranger Jesse Macbeth describes the horrors this way: "We would burn their bodies. We would hang their bodies from the rafters in the mosque."
Now, recently, Jesse Macbeth, poster boy for the anti-war left, had his day in court. And you know what? He was sentenced to five months in jail and three years probation for falsifying a Department of Veterans Affairs claim and his Army discharge record. He was in the Army. Jesse Macbeth was in the Army, folks, briefly. Forty-four days before he washed out of boot camp. Jesse Macbeth isn't an Army Ranger, never was. He isn't a corporal, never was. He never won the Purple Heart, and he was never in combat to witness the horrors he claimed to have seen. You probably haven't even heard about this. And, if you have, you haven't heard much about it. This doesn't fit the narrative and the template in the Drive-By Media and the Democrat Party as to who is a genuine war hero. Don't look for any retractions, by the way. Not from the anti-war left, the anti-military Drive-By Media, or the Arabic websites that spread Jesse Macbeth's lies about our troops, because the truth for the left is fiction that serves their purpose. They have to lie about such atrocities because they can't find any that fit the template of the way they see the US military. In other words, for the American anti-war left, the greatest inconvenience they face is the truth.
Apparently, it's considered "smearing the troops" to point out when a soldier has falsified his record.
The thing is, Scott Thomas Beauchamp did write a pack of lies, describing atrocities he allegedly saw taking place, some of which violate the laws of physics. And after an investigation, these atrocities just plain didn't happen.
Murtha did, in fact, sound off and accuse troops of war crimes before the investigation had been carried out, and certainly before any conviction had been obtained. (Now he's being sued for slander, and a judge has just refused to throw the cse out.)
Why is this showing disrespect for the troops?
Jason Van Steenwyck, a non-phony soldier, also reviewed what Rush said, both the written transcript and the audio. He opines here, saying, among other things:
It was clear to me that neither the caller nor Rush were referring to real soldiers who have come out against the war, but to fakes who have come "out of the blue," in the caller's words. Fakes who were either never in Iraq or Afghanistan in the first place, or who were in Iraq but whose stories are demonstrated to have been false.
There is controversy over Rush's use of the plural "soldiers." The idiot wing of the Democratic party - which is pretty much all of them, these days, argues that Rush could not have been referring to Jesse MacBeth, the most recent and outrageous example of a phony soldier now sentenced to jail time for falsifying VA benefit claims, because he used the plural term.
But for those of us who have been having fun at these scumbag's expense for a while, it was easy to recognize who Rush was talking about. And MacBeth was not the only one, by a long shot.
It was clear to me that Rush wasn't referring just to MacBeth, but also to Micah Wright, who also traded on a phony status as a Ranger Battalion veteran in creating anti-war propaganda (which, amusingly, backfired on the weasel on Michele Catalano's wonderful blog, in a hilarious faux micah remix photoshop contest, which, alas, has been taken offline.
There are also people who are real veterans, but whose stories have been demonstrated to be phony, such as Scott Thomas Beauchamp and -- remember this guy? James Massey.
Then there are the phony British soldiers depicted in the Daily Mirror hoax, for which the editor was sacked.
I had no problem grasping whom Limbaugh and the caller were referring to, because the left has an embarrassing habit of embracing these cretins, feteing them, and awarding them cushy book deals in the process of soiling themselves.
Another item pecunium cites as evidence of Limbaugh's disrespect for the troops is his calling Sen. Hagel "Senator Betrayus", even though Hagel is a Vietnam veteran.
I wonder if calling Sen. McCain a spineless git" also counts as showing disrespect for the troops.
Other links include Flopping Aces,
Weekly Standard, and
When Limbaugh referenced 'phony soldiers,' he specifically cited the case of Jesse MacBeth. Liberal critics have laughably complained that he cited only one case while using the plural. Fact is, there are dozens and dozens on the public record, and it seems highly likely that there are thousands nationwide.