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RUSH: Let’s go the audiotape. We’re going to start with the Harkin floor debate on me and this program. Our nickname for him is Tom “Dung Heap” Harkin. I’ve forgotten why we named him that. He said something once about a dung heap, called his opponents dung heaps or something, so we’ve turned it back around on him. This is a portion of his remarks. They’re debating the Defense Authorization Bill, but Harkin is upset that I dominate so much of Armed Forces Radio Network and that so few “progressives” have a chance to be heard.
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: What they actually get is nothing on the — on the progressive [liberal] side. But they get a hundred percent [sic–33%] of Rush Limbaugh; 2,460 minutes [sic–300] a week? That’s balance? That’s fair? That’s not balance, that’s monopoly. This is called propagandizing our troops. Propagandizing our troops. Yes I said it, and I will say it again: They are propagandizing our troops.
RUSH: Where does he get this figure of 2,460 minutes a week? They carry one hour a day, they carry it eight o’clock at night. By the way, the individual AFRTS station — that’s the acronym: American Forces Radio and Television Service — these stations carry what they want to carry and as you’ll hear as the debate goes on, there are plenty of, quote, unquote, “progressive” programs offered but some of these stations don’t carry them — and, by the way, my program was put on the Armed Forces Radio Network during the Clinton administration. The late Defense Secretary Les Aspin. It was popular demand. It happened back in ’93 or ’94, somewhere around there. Yeah, they took a poll and I was a write-in candidate of all the troops and they put my program on. That’s right! They took a poll, and my show was not listed. They put out a list of programs and let the armed forces members around the world vote — and my name was not on the list that you could vote for. They wrote my name in, and I got more votes than anybody else, and that’s why they put the program on. They were originally going to put three hours on. They tried to take it off, but we didn’t let them, after vote had come in. Oh, yeah, Harkin called the impeachment charges against Clinton dung heap, “a dung heap of charges.” That’s why we call him Tom “Dung Heap” Harkin. I still don’t know where he gets this 2,460 minutes. (interruption) No, he said, “Rush Limbaugh 2,460 minutes a week.” If he’s talking about all conservative programming, he should say that. But I get one hour; that’s 60 minutes a day, times five. That would be 300 minutes a week not 2,640. Right? What’s that? (interruption) I know, we need more. That’s the problem. There’s not enough of Limbaugh on the Armed Forces Radio Network!The problem is there’s not enough and he’s trying to stack the deck here with a bunch of “progressives” that nobody wants to listen to. Here’s more of what he had to say talking about when he brought this effort up last year.

DUNG HEAP HARKIN: Rush Limbaugh went ballistic (chuckle) on his radio show. “Ooooh, Senator Harkin,” he said, “he’s now trying to take me off the air. He wants to deny you, the troops, the opportunity to hear me,” and he went on and on like that. Well, I had other reporters and press people ask me about it, and I said, “Well, typical of Rush Limbaugh. He doesn’t understand what’s happening.” You know, he wouldn’t know the truth if it hit him in the face. So all I gotta do is stand there and say, “What I wanted was balance. What Rush Limbaugh wants is monopoly.”
RUSH: Yeah, right.
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: See, to him —
RUSH: Stop the tape a second. Senator, (sigh). You know, I have earned what is a monopoly. I didn’t set out for it. It’s the market that has dictated this “monopoly,” if you will.
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: — have someone oppose him and get equal time might be the same, in his own little mind — and I do mean “little” — it would be the same as taking him off the air. That’s the way he probably thinks. But I’ve never cawed for him [to be] taken off the air.
RUSH: Well, he forgets that that little George Soros website did. They did try to get me thrown off the air on Armed Forces Radio Network and Harkin was out there carrying the water for them. It’s water you understand the bridge. As I say, folks, my dad would just be going bananas, my mom, too. If they were alive to witness this? Here is a United States senator from the neighborhoods state of my home state. I’m from Missouri; Iowa is on our northern border. Here’s a senator from Iowa talking about a citizen of this country whose “own little mind — I do mean little.” You have a US senator personally berating a citizen of this country, and I’m on the other hand honored to be the citizen. I am honored to be the citizen berated as a small mind by Tom “Dung Heap” Harkin on the floor of the Senate, and I sat here. I walked out yesterday. Snerdley and I walked out to leave. He said, “I guess we know what’s going to be on the show tomorrow,” and I said, “Well, a portion of it,” and I told him then. I said, “My dad would not believe this, just wouldn’t believe it.” Here’s more. This didn’t stop. He goes back to the Abu Ghraib quotes. Now, what he’s trying to do is get a bunch of liberal hosts that you can’t listen to and you’ve never heard of on Armed Forces Radio Network. So in order to do that, he can’t build them up. He has to try to tear me down.
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: Here’s what Rush Limbaugh had to say about Abu Gehribb. He called it a “fraternity prank.”
RUSH: Yes.
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: He dubbed the humiliation of inmates a “brilliant maneuver… No different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation at Yale.”
RUSH: Stop the tape a second. Now, this is classic because he’s taking it out of context, and it’s proof that they don’t get the joke. Skull and Bones? That’s John Kerry. That’s George Bush. These guys –and there are all kinds of secret things that go on at Skull and Bones, and it was a laugh line, and here is this guy outraged at taking it seriously, not getting it — probably on purpose, but I doubt that he would have got it if he’d have heard it in context originally.
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: He described the images of torture as, again, a quote from Rush Limbaugh, “pictures of homoeroticism that look like standard good old American pornography.”
RUSH: Stop the tape. Yes, he’s quoting me accurately, and I said, “Why are people upset about this when they buy it on cable TV, they buy it on the Internet, and they buy it in magazines every week?” I thought we were supposed to love homoerotic things! I thought we were supposed to be “open-minded and tolerant”of homoerotic things? I thought that was the definition of an open mind, a large mind! So here I say, “Hey, there are a lot of people look at these pictures probably getting turned on. This is good. They are looking at these pictures and they’re thinking, b’American is advancing, now the military is getting into it.'” Over their heads! Flat-smack-dab over their heads. Let’s listen to the rest.

DUNG HEAP HARKIN: That’s Rush Limbaugh, talking to our troops, a hundred percent of the time. He said of the pictures at Abu Gehribb — and again, this is a quote from Rush Limbaugh. “If you take these pictures and bring them back and have them taken in an American city and put on an American website, they might win a video award from the pornography industry.” I ask: Does this represent the views and attitudes of the average American citizen?
RUSH: No, no. Of course not. But it does represent the views of the average American leftist! It’s the left that will not condemn any of this when it happens to their kids when it’s happening in schools when it’s happening to the porno industry in this country. In fact the Supreme Court has said that this kind of stuff can happen with no controls whatsoever on the Internet. Senator Harkin, your crowd is the one that’s totally tolerant of this — except when it happens in a prison to our enemies! Pornographers can destroy our own citizens, corrupt our own children and you sit by and say nothing. But when this kind of thing happens to people who want to blow up the country you somehow want to come to the defense of the people that want to blow up the country.
RUSH: You know, these guys, they can’t even quote me correctly out of context. You know, I (sigh). They left out one of my greatest lines! Looking at the Abu Ghraib pictures, I said, “What’s the big deal? You see this every time you watch a Madonna video.” Why couldn’t he have mentioned that? If he’s on the floor of the Senate and quoting me, why couldn’t he quote that? Well, it’s true. You ever seen a Madonna chains and whips video? They’re all over the place out there on MTV. It’s no different out there. I mean, I think the cigarettes aren’t in a Madonna video, but that’s about the only difference. The thing about Senator Harkin — and, by the way, we’ve got the sound bite. I’m not sure… Do you have the sound bite of Harkin at the Wellstone memorial, Mike? Yeah. I can’t find it here on the transcript. Okay. Well, hang on to that. We’re not through with Senator Harkin. We got one more, actually two more bites counting that one. Let me answer him while I’ve got some time here. Tom Harkin is anti-free speech. He’s anti-public debate. He is anti-military. One hour of my show is aired to the military — the same military your party has sought to disenfranchise for years. You tried to disenfranchise military veterans overseas, absentee, during the 2000 Florida recount, and I say this, senator: Why not let those who serve in the military vote whether they want me on the air as opposed to your liberal friends being the deciding factor?
You are using your position in the Senate to promote a dead liberal, a DNC-backed radio network that diverted money from kids to pay operating expenses! You are trying to promote networks that have taken money from a Boys and Girls Club to fund their own failing operation. Now, as for talking to our troops you might want to quote your good friend fellow leftists and party leader, the #2 Democrat in the Senate. You might want to go talk to Senator Durbin who equated our troops to the forces of mass murder under Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot. You’ve yet to speak out against what he said. Are you not concerned about what your fellow Democrats might be doing via propaganda to demoralize the US military? How about your buddy Ted Kennedy, your icon, who accused our troops of doing nothing more than changing “management” at Abu Ghraib. We’re no different than Saddam Hussein! You guys would be excellent witnesses in his trial — or John Kerry, who lied before a Senate committee in 1971 using our troops of “atrocities” that never occurred and that he never witnessed and these are your heroes today, and how about you yourself? You say I wouldn’t know the truth, Senator Harkin? “‘In 1979, Mr. Harkin, then a congressman, participated in a round-table discussion arranged by the Congressional Vietnam Veterans’ Caucus. “I spent five years as a Navy pilot, starting in November of 1962,” Mr. Harkin said at that meeting, in words that were later quoted in a book, Changing of the Guard, by Washington Post political writer David Broder. “One year was in Vietnam. I was flying F-4s and F-8s on combat air patrols and photo-reconnaissance support missions. I did no bombing.”‘

“‘That clearly is not an accurate picture of his Navy service. . . . Mr. Harkin’s Navy record shows his only decoration is the National Defense Service Medal, awarded to everyone on active service during those years. He did not receive either the Vietnam Service medal or the Vietnam Campaign medal, the decorations given to everyone who served in the Southeast Asia theater.’ It turned out Mr. Harkin had not seen combat and was stationed in Japan.” OpinionJournal.com is the source for this. The Wall Street Journal’s blog site, OpinionJournal.com. He lied through his teeth about his service in Vietnam, and he was never there. He was in Japan — and so he takes to the Senate floor to accuse me of propaganda while ignoring the statements of his own party members, Senator Durbin, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and of course his own misrepresentations about himself. But really what I’m most upset about is the fact that he didn’t include my quote about Madonna videos and the Abu Ghraib picture. That hurts because that was a great line, and he probably left it out because he probably agreed with it and it would show me as being right.
RUSH: Senator Harkin doesn’t like the fact that Armed Forces Radio personnel and audience members like my program and would actually like more of it. Senator Harkin, what we ought to do here is just put it whole programming of Armed Forces Radio up to a vote of the military. Let’s see what kind of programming they want, senator. Let’s see if they want to hear from your half-baked, bankrupt buddies who couldn’t earn a penny if their lives depended on it in this business. Harkin is nothing more than an average demagogue. He wants to bully people who don’t agree with him, seeks to control free speech. He’s a special pleader for a bankrupt un-listenable left wing radio network that has no ratings and has no income other than what it steals from Boys and Girls Clubs, or what it can con from its few listeners into donating. We have two more bites here of Senator Harkin from the floor of the Senate yesterday, once again talking about my program on the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service, in this next bite saying that troops are so dumb they may hear what I say — what I said about Abu Ghraib — and think it’s okay to torture. That’s the sum total of this bite.
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: Vice President Cheney is fighting the McCain amendment. Well, maybe Vice President Cheney and Rush Limbaugh feel that way but by gosh, I don’t think too many other Americans do. That’s why we had a 90-9 vote here. And yet, what do our armed forces personnel hear when they tune in the radio? They hear Rush Limbaugh tell them, “Oh, it’s a prank, a brilliant maneuver. Good old American pornography.” That’s what they’re hearing.
RUSH: Stop the tape again. Stop the tape. Once again he’s leaving out my Madonna line, that the pictures of Abu Ghraib look no different than still shots of a Madonna video. He refuses to mention that. That’s an insult to me; he’s insulting me now, leaving out my best lines because he probably, as I say, agrees with them or doesn’t want anything to think he’s agreeing with me or that I’m right about it.
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: — troops to think? What are they to think? Are they to think, “Well, that’s Rush Limbaugh and that’s what we hear, so therefore that must represent what the American people back home feel about this that maybe it wasn’t so bad after all.” That’s why we need some opposing views on Armed Forces Radio.
RUSH: Do you know Armed Forces Radio carries all of NPR, all of NPR? One hour of me, all of NPR. If he thinks that alternative views aren’t there — and I’ve seen Armed Forces Television, and I’m telling you what, folks, there’s a lot of left-wing liberal news on the television network that the armed forces watch here and abroad. Let’s go back to October 29th, 2002. Let’s review one of Senator Harkin’s classiest moments. Here he is as the star speaker at the Wellstone Memorial / Democrat pep rally.

DUNG HEAP HARKIN: (screaming crowd) For Paul Wellstone, will you stand up and keep fighting for social and economic justice? Say YES!
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: For Paul! For Paul, will you stand up and keep fighting for better wages, for those who (voice warbling) mop our floors and clean our bathrooms, for those who take care of our elderly, take care of our sick, teach our kids, and help our homeless? Say YES!
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: For Paul will you stand up and keep fighting for cleaner air and cleaner water, for a cleaner environmental for our children and our future! Say YES!
CROWD: (cheering wildly)
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: For Paul…For Paul will you stand up and keep fighting, for peace and understanding and to stop the exploitation of women and children around the world? Say YES!
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: For Paul! For Paul, will you stand up, and keep fighting to end discrimination, based on race, gender, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation? Say YES!
CROWD: (Screaming and cheering)
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: For Paul… For Paul, will you stand up and keep fighting for the poor, the homeless, and those left on the roadside of life? Say YES!
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: Now let’s all get on that bus together that, green bus, that bus of hope, and let’s keep it moving to a better America!
CROWD: (Cheers, whoops)
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: Keep — keep standing up! Keep fighting! Keep saying YES to justice, to hope! For people, for Paul!
CROWD: (pounding stage)
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: For Paul! Paul! Paul! Paul! Paul! For Paul!
RUSH: What is the picture of your country that you form while listening to that? And what is this, “Will you stand up for Paul and keep fighting for better wages, for those who mop our floors and clean our bathrooms?” Who pays them, senator? (Laughing.) Mop our floors? clean our bathrooms? For those who take care of our elderly? I thought most people clean their own bathrooms. Who’s he talking about here? At any rate, that’s Senator Harkin from the now-famous Wellstone memorial, also a Democrat pep rally, October 29th, 2002 — and they genuinely thought after that pep rally they had won the 2002 election. They thought they were going to take back the House; they were going to take back the Senate. Got more audio now. James Inhofe, Senator from Oklahoma, decided to get in on this debate about the Armed Forces Radio Television Service. Inhofe strikes back at Harkin. Here’s a portion of what he had to say.
INHOFE: It’s the individual radio station that establishes the programming based on its audience’s preferences. The stations decide what programming is in the greatest demand. Now, worldwide, the second largest audience request is to play all three hours of Rush Limbaugh. Only one hour is currently made available through the AFRTS. However, some stations choose not to carry his program at all, even though — even for the one hour availability. That’s their choice to make, based on the troop feedback. Now, you might say at this point that the troop feedback is they want all three hours, and some stations don’t play any, and the most that any stations play is one hour, then if any change should be made in terms of determining and complying with the market, it should be that.
RUSH: Yeah, exactly. The troops want more of me. I’m the second most requested show they want. They want all three hours — and “Dung Heap” Harkin is not interested in getting the troops what they want. He’s just a bully. He wants propaganda himself. He wants a failing liberal radio organization that cannot find an audience of any substance anywhere to be granted and given an audience even though there’s very little preference for it on the Armed Forces Radio Television Service. Inhofe said this in his remarks as well.
INHOFE: Senator Harkin and his charts would have you believe that the only program on the radio is Rush Limbaugh, but what about the 24 hours of National Public Radio? Furthermore, Rush Limbaugh currently represents only 3% of the weekly scheduled program. That’s 3% — 3%! I don’t know why they’re so worried about just 3%.
RUSH: I do. (Laughing.) I do. 3% of this program is more influential than 24 hours of NPR. I do. They don’t want any percent of this program reaching anybody if they have anything to say about it.

RUSH: We have “Helmet Head” Dorgan, Byron Dorgan from North Dakota. After James Inhofe from Oklahoma said that there’s 24 hours of NPR is on Armed Forces Radio; I’m only 3% of the programming, Dorgan stood up and said this.
HELMET HEAD DORGAN: I assume it’s a joke but I can’t be sure because I’ve heard it more than one. My colleague from Oklahoma said, “Well, Rush Limbaugh is balanced by National Public Radio.” How you could actually make that assertion without openly laughing is hard for me to understand. That certainly must be a joke. National Public Radio doesn’t counterbalance right-wing talk. National Public Radio if there is something in this country that is fair and balanced, I believe that’s it. National Public Radio isn’t about political programming on the right or the left.
RUSH: And there, folks, you have it. I am sure that Senator Dorgan firmly believes that. When you get into the heart and soul of a genuine liberal, their air of superiority and entitlement is such that they are not even ideologues. Liberalism is not an ideology. It’s just what IS. It’s as natural and water and air, and anything like this is what’s kooky, extreme and dangerous. You need water and air to live, and if somebody’s going to come along and pollute the water and air with conservatism, why, that’s extreme! He can listen to NPR, and he will not think that he’s listening to liberal, balanced news, commentary or what have you. This guy, Tomlinson, was just forced out of the board of public broadcasting, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting board because he was trying to get some conservative programming on NPR and PBS. They just forced him out, PBS. NPR is totally liberal and all you have to do is take a look at their reaction any time somebody suggests actually putting some conservative programming on either network. Look, for crying out loud, this man who’s lost his mind? Bill Moyers. Senator Dorgan, do you really mean to tell me that Bill Moyers does not have a slant ideologically and it is not to the left? But that’s a great illustration. I’m sure Dorgan is being honest about what he thinks. He doesn’t think NPR is liberal. He doesn’t think CBS, NBC, CNN, he doesn’t think they’re liberal, either. They’re just what IS. Here’s Carl in Redding, California. Hi, Carl, nice to have you on the program, sir.
CALLER: Hello, Rush.
CALLER: Uh, it’s a real shame that you can’t take, you know, what you dish out all the time.
RUSH: What do you mean “can’t take what I dish out”?
CALLER: If there’s ever a hatemonger in this whole deal, it’s you.
RUSH: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, what do you mean I can’t take what I dish out?
CALLER: — be an idiot, every senator or every Democrat senator or congressman you talk about, you give them funny names.
RUSH: You know, sir, you’re like a lot of people on the left. You think I get up here every day and go through the news and try to figure out who I can attack — and that’s not what happens. I was minding my own business yesterday. I wasn’t bothering Senator Harkin. All of a sudden he goes to the floor of the US Senate and starts uttering a bunch of drivel, and then he misrepresents and takes totally out of context what I say. So I’m taking the occasion here to respond to him and I’m doing a little fun, while at the same time hitting back. I am defending myself, sir. I am not attacking anybody. But I can take it. After 18 years, you don’t think I can take it? After 18 years of you people trying to get rid of me one way or another —
CALLER: You people.
RUSH: — and I’m still here, and you can’t even get your lowly little radio network an audience, you think I can’t take it?
CALLER: No, actually you can take it, and you’re actually going to take over. See, because your kind of talk just permeates everything now.
RUSH: Well, who is making that decision? Nobody is forcing anybody to listen to it. They’re making the choice of their own free will, which must mean the audience is idiots.
CALLER: Well, I listen all the time. I think you’re the funniest guy on radio. I wouldn’t — I wouldn’t replace you with anybody. You are hilarious, sir.
RUSH: Now I’m getting confused.
CALLER: Uh, um, No. See, I go to the Don Corleone school of “keep your enemies close and your enemies closer.”
RUSH: But you’re also worried I’m going to take over anything?
CALLER: Absolutely and you’d put the guys like me in jail!
RUSH: (Laughing.)
CALLER: You know, I mean all you have to do —
RUSH: Put guys like you in jail? Sir, another thing you’ve got a 180-degrees backwards. If anybody’s trying to put anybody in jail, it’s you people trying to put me in jail.
CALLER: — against them.

RUSH: Yes siree bob, sir, and Tom DeLay in jail and you want Bush in jail and you want Libby in jail. Absolutely!
CALLER: No, I don’t want Bush in jail. I don’t want you in jail, either. I pray for you gentlemen. But I’ll tell you, Rush, you’ve got — at one point in time do you believe we can get along? I mean as conservatives and liberals —
RUSH: Wait a minute.
CALLER: — do you ever believe we’re going to get along with the kind of talk that you have?
RUSH: Uuuuuh, yes. I’ve proven it can happen. You wouldn’t believe the number of liberals that love me.
CALLER: Oh, I’m sure you’re a very personable, lovable guy. You’re just a little twisted in your politics.
RUSH: I am not trying to alienate people. I am not trying to create enemies. I’m trying to persuade. As I told you, I’m not retiring ’til every American agrees with me — and you’re getting close because you’re conflicted. You are afraid I’m going to take over yet you are going to help me do that by listening every day because I’m hilarious.
CALLER: (silence)
RUSH: Hello?
CALLER: I mean it’s — you are — you seem to be so panicked by — by, you know, liberals. You hate what Tom Harkin is doing.
CALLER: You hate when he says —
RUSH: No! No!
CALLER: — pay a guy that cleans your toilets.
RUSH: No! No! No!
CALLER: You don’t clean your toilet and you probably pay the person that does minimum wage!
RUSH: Carl? Carl, listen to me. I’m honored. Do you understand? Do you understand what an honor it is to be a kid from Missouri, from the southeast swamps of Missouri to be the subject of floor debate for a day and a half on the United States Senate? I’m not panicked by what Tom Harkin is doing, and I don’t “hate Tom Harkin.” I don’t hate anybody!
CALLER: You are the <a target=new href=”http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/fountainhead/terms/charanal_2.html”>Ellsworth Toohey</a> of our generation.
RUSH: You are the what?
CALLER: Ellsworth. Have you ever read Anne [sic–Ayn] Rand?
RUSH: I still can’t understand what this guy is saying.
CALLER: Have you ever read Anne Rand?
RUSH: I’m the Anne…? Anne Rand? Oh! “Eye-nn” Rand!
CALLER: Ayn, okay.
RUSH: I’m the Ayn Rand of our generation.
RUSH: Ayn Rand.
CALLER: — and you are her character Ellsworth Toohey. He did nothing. He just bitched about everything.
RUSH: I fit whatever hole they want to plug me into. I am either going to put them all in jail; I’m going to control the country or I’m Ayn Rand now or whatever. I’m the character, Ellsworth Toohey? Is that what you said?
CALLER: Anyway, have a great day, Rush.
RUSH: Hey, Carl, you have made it that way. I want to thank you so much. I love getting calls like this. I just sent Tom Harkin a gift. I just sent him a Club G’itmo T-shirt, Club G’itmo soap-on-a-rope, Club G’itmo staff shirt, Club G’itmo golf shirt. I have no animus for Tom Harkin. What you are hearing, sir — and you’ve got to remember the context — I get up every day and I see the people and the institutions that I treasure and cherish being attacked, and I defend them, and one of the ways I defend is to go after the credibility of those doing the attacking. If Senator Harkin wants to lie about having been in Vietnam when he was in Japan, let him go ahead, but I’m going to point it out. If Senator Harkin wants to take my quotes about Abu Ghraib out of context, let him go ahead. I will put them in context. If Senator Harkin wants to try to bully the Armed Forces Radio Network into either carrying less of me or to make them carry programs that nobody wants, let him go ahead, but I’m going to respond. I’m going to characterize what I think he’s doing. Now, some people on the left genuinely make me mad.

More often than not it’s people in the media, and what you heard in which I described media members as idiots is following this guy Jimmy Massey’s stories about all the abuse he saw in Baghdad and Iraq as a member of the Marines. St. Louis Post-Dispatch with a story today, admitting that every story Jimmy Massey told was a lie. We now know that Jimmy Massey was part of the Cindy Sheehan anti-war movement. He’s a liar through and through, and he says somebody told him to tell all this. Well, the press ran these stories and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch story today is all about: How can this happen? How come the press didn’t even check these stories out? The headline: “How Could These Stories Have Appeared in the Press?” It’s a laugh! How could they appear in the press? They wanted them to appear! The press wanted to believe Jimmy’s story. They didn’t want to check it out and find out it wasn’t true. What the news is these days is what the press wants to happen rather than what is happening — and, yeah, that makes me mad. They have a constitutional role in this country, the only business that’s so designated by the Founding Fathers, and they’re abusing it to the max, and it makes me livid. I do not retract that at all.
RUSH: They’re still debating it even now? Let me get a channel up there, watch C-SPAN2. Oh, my God, he still is! He’s got charts and graphs now that he’s still talking about, Senator Harkin is, the political content of AFRTS radio political programming. (Laughing.) Okay, let’s listen. Let’s JIP a little bit of it. Listen. They just yielded the floor, never mind. Let’s see. It’s over with. We got in there too late. But it’s probably more of the same. Here, let’s listen to a little James Inhofe.
INHOFFE: — and on his own time, if the senator from Iowa knows of any time it is has not been adhered to, I would be glad to listen. Secondly if this criteria of having to be syndicated, number one, and number two, at least one million listeners — which has been the policy all along — if he questions that this should be the policy or believes it should be in the future, I would be glad to change my amendment just to say that it should be based on those two criteria.
RUSH: Bring Inhofe down a minute. Here’s what’s happening. AFRTS has a rule that if you’re going to put programming up there, it’s gotta be national programming. You gotta have at least a million listeners. Folks, that doesn’t get close to national programming, but even so, Harkin wants to change that. Now, why? It’s because the libs he wants to put up there don’t reach the threshold, and Inhofe is saying, “If you want to change that, we can talk about that.” Let’s go back to Inhofe now.
INHOFFE: Others might have different interpretations. But in my interpretation, most of them are conservative. But when the time came when Franken and — and Ed Schultz reached the one million, all of a sudden they were programs. They were on the program. It just further demonstrates that it’s something that has worked in the past.
RUSH: Oh, that’s right. Take him down, take him down. I know what they’re talking about now. These guys are long-winded. What he’s saying is some liberals have reached that one-million threshold (ahem) but the stations — there are 33 AFRTS stations — are not carrying them. They don’t want them. They’re not carrying them, so Harkin is upset. Even though they’re offered, these stations aren’t carrying them, so what this is all about is mandating that some of this other programming being carried even though it’s not wanted by the people who run the radio stations of the Armed Forces Radio Network and make this programming available. They don’t get it. You wouldn’t believe how much programming there is to choose from. It’s more than just a 24-hour day. There’s cooking programs; there’s animal programs, pet programs. There’s all kinds of stuff, because not everybody is active duty or military — combat, rather — and some of them are stationed around the world where there are no combat zones. There’s all kinds of programming up there and the stations cannot possibly carry all that’s offered. Makes it even more incredible that of the programs that are desired, the number two most requested change in Armed Forces Radio is for all three hours of this program, and none of the libs are being requested in a sufficient number to rate in the top ten. So Harkin is trying to change the rules to force some of this stuff to be listened on the basis of “balance.” Let’s go to Germany. Auggie is a soldier in Germany on the phone. Great to have you with us, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. Thanks for taking my call.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: You stole my thunder earlier. We get one hour of Rush Limbaugh here. In the meantime, I have to listen to hours of NPR. I have to sit through the nauseating voice of George Stephanopoulos — and when I come home in the evenings, I have to listen to you, Sean Hannity, and other conservatives on the Internet. I was just listening to you on the Internet. It’s 8:30 in the evening here, and that’s when I have to get my conservative radio, because NPR? AFRTS is only feeding us one hour of you.
RUSH: True, and it’s the first hour, so none of today’s show will be heard on the Armed Forces Radio Network, but you’ve heard it on my website over the Internet, so you will be able to spread the word to people about what Harkin is doing — and, by the way, all of this will be on the website for other people in the armed forces as we update it tonight, and then they’ll be able to read the transcript of the show today and listen to the sound bites of Senator Harkin and my reaction to them.

CALLER: Hey, Rush, the bottom line is we want more conservative talk show, even if it’s… You know, if it’s all three hours of you, great, but we want more, not less. I would say that the reason why… If we left this up to a vote, a military vote, we’d get more, because I’d say at least 70% of the military votes conservative and that’s why the Democrats will never let it go to a vote.
RUSH: Exactly. Well, it’s why they tried to disenfranchise in the Florida 2000 recount absentee military votes. They knew those votes would be for Bush.
CALLER: Well, the bottom line is, Rush, what Harkin is saying is absolutely outrageous. We want more conservative talk show hosts, less NPR. We’re nauseated
RUSH: Auggie —
CALLER: — by it; it’s anti-military, and we’re tired of it.
RUSH: Well, thanks for the call. I appreciate it. Guts! You’ve got guts calling and saying this and we appreciate it. We honor your service. Thank you so much. That’s Auggie in Germany. Here’s Gary in Roanoke, Indiana. Welcome to the program, sir. Nice to have you with us.
CALLER: Well, thanks, Rush. I just wanted to let you know I was in the service in the Air Force from ’94 to ’98 and stationed in Okinawa, Japan, and we relied on you for the voice of sanity for our one hour that we get in our missile shop there in Okinawa and then in Kuwait when they were stationed over there when President Clinton decided to shoot the missiles off into Pakistan and such.
RUSH: Don’t forget Baghdad.
CALLER: Yeah, Baghdad.
RUSH: On a Saturday night killing a janitor.
CALLER: You don’t have to tell me. I was standing in the chow hall when I brought his face on the TV and announced what he was doing. We watched him go over head. So we kind of wondered when we’d come home and when it would be done. Obviously he didn’t help us much. So…
RUSH: Well, I appreciate that, Gary. Thank you very much. This is warming my heart, and it’s humbling me at the same time. It always has. This is Gale in Landrum, South Carolina. You’re next. Welcome.
CALLER: Oh, hi, Rush! I’m just so tickled pink to speak to you. You’re my hero.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: I want to say, “Thank you. You have changed my life.” I’ve listened to you for about a year and a half now. I never cared about politics ’til I heard you, and you’ve just changed my life, and I want to say thanks.
RUSH: Well, I appreciate that.
CALLER: You’ve made me aware of so many things that I had no idea about before.
RUSH: See, this is why — this is how — we’re taking over the country, folks. This is why the liberals are getting afraid. People never cared about this stuff now find it interesting, and a dumbed-down population is a population the liberals can control.
CALLER: You know what, Rush? I’ve become a news junkie since I discovered you.
RUSH: Hang on just a moment. Hang on, Gale. Hang on. Bring Harkin up. He’s talking about my homoeroticism comment.
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: — McCain amendment to say no. What happened at Abu Ghraib does not represent “good old American pornography” as Rush Limbaugh says.
RUSH: Mention the Madonna line! Come on, mention it!
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: If the senator objects to Howard Stern, fine. I think a lot of people object to the obscenities.
RUSH: He just got through criticizing me for so-called obscenity; now he’s wanting Stern on the network now?
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: What we’re talking about is not taking somebody — we’re just talking about ideas and discussion and debate.
RUSH: Yes.
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: It seems to me that —
RUSH: Yes?
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: — what we want are more ideas and more discussion and more debate.
RUSH: Right, right, right.
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: Here is pretty darn good, as a matter of fact. Why don’t they have it on Armed Forces Radio? Armed Forces Radio — I’m showing my age — American Forces Radio rather than just this one-sided type of thing.

RUSH: That’s enough. Grab audio sound bite #3. He’s repeating what he said yesterday. For those of you who have just tuned in, it’s better to play the whole bite. It’s essentially just — did he just quote me as saying…? Right before. Oh, did he say it while we were up, and I just missed it? Okay. Before we JIPped Harkin he actually said, he quoted me as saying, “What is good for Al-Qaeda is good for the Democratic Party,” and he’s livid about that. You know, this is good stuff. They’re finally being exposed to this they don’t listen to this program and it’s good that they’re hearing all this. But he’s taking it all out of context and presenting it all out of context, which is fine. I don’t care. I just wish he’s quote me accurately about Madonna because that’s what he left out. Here’s the bite. You heard him just a moment ago referring to my comparing Abu Ghraib to pornography and so forth. Here’s what he said.
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: Here’s what Rush Limbaugh had to say about Abu Gehribb. He called it a “fraternity prank.” He dubbed the humiliation of inmates a “brilliant maneuver.” “No different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation at Yale.” He described the images of torture as, again, a quote from Rush Limbaugh, pictures of homoeroticism that look like standard good old American pornography. That’s Rush Limbaugh talking to our troops a hundred percent of the time.
RUSH: Stop the tape. All right, see, what I’m doing is poking fun at liberals who find no problem with this kind of picture being shown to kids in this country. They are perfectly fine with no limits on the Internet when it comes to pornography or magazines and pornography, and whether it’s homoerotic or not — in fact the more homoerotic it is the more enlightened we all are, the less judgmental we all are. We’re all different but we’re all the same. We’re all human beings, common humanity — and so for people who have no objection to pornography in this country, I simply make the comparison by saying, “Hey, it’s just a little homoeroticism in these Abu Ghraib pictures. They don’t mind it here.” Now they mind it! Yeah, they get mad when our enemies are victims of this kind of pornography. When our enemies are but when American women and children are victimized by pornography, they never say a word. ACLU steps up and says, “You can’t deny this freedom of speech,” and so forth. Let’s move on to cut four. No, let’s finish cut three, because he stays on the subject.
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: He said of the pictures at Abu Gehribb — and again, this is a quote from Rush Limbaugh ? “If you take these pictures and bring them back and have them taken in an American city and put on an American website, they might win a video award from the pornography industry.” I ask: Does this represent the views and attitudes of the average American citizen?
RUSH: No, sir. It represents the average views of American liberals. I was not advocating this be done. When I was suggesting was that your opposition to this is phony baloney, plastic banana, good-time rock ‘n’ roll. You are simply upset. You’re trying to take advantage of every opportunity you can to get rid of George W. Bush and defeat any Republican you can in the next election, and you’re taking military matters and our troops and trying to demoralize them in your quest. Now, he clearly does not understand. Of course the average American does not like pornography! That was my whole point. But you bring it back to this country, and you won’t find Senator Harkin or any of his buddies condemning it, but they will condemn it if it happens to our enemies in a prison. People who want to blow this country up. Here now is the final cut, and he said — apparently, still talking about the same stuff. This is all from yesterday, and rather than JIP this and have to spend 30 minutes getting it all we’ve got it condensed from yesterday or condensed and this is the last bite.
DUNG HEAP HARKIN: Vice President Cheney is fighting the McCain amendment. Well, maybe Vice President Cheney and Rush Limbaugh feel that way, but by gosh, I don’t think too many other Americans do. That’s why we had a 90-9 vote here — and yet, what do our armed forces personnel hear when they tune in the radio? They hear Rush Limbaugh telling them, “Oh, it’s a prank, a brilliant maneuver, good old American pornography.” That’s what they’re hearing — and so what are our troops to think? What are they to think? Are they to think, “Well, that’s Rush Limbaugh, and that’s what we hear, so therefore that must represent what the American people back home feel about this, that maybe it wasn’t so bad after all”? That’s why we need some opposing views on Armed Forces Radio.
RUSH: And in this bite Senator Harkin reveals just how stupid he thinks the armed forces are, how idiotic and dumbed-down, dim-bulbed the members of the military are, to not understand it as he doesn’t understand it as he doesn’t understand it. Brilliant. “Good old American pornography,” as though I’m supporting American pornography. At any rate — okay they’re voting on it now. We’ll get the tally if they finish before the program is over. But the point here is, ladies and gentlemen, of all of the hours on this program that I have spoken in unabashed support, that I have expressed total admiration and love for members of the US military, of all the hours over the 17-plus years of this program. This is all Senator Harkin can go get to make his case — and again the truly offensive thing is he left out my Madonna line because I said, “If you look at these Abu Ghraib it’s no different than what you see if you watch MTV and an average Madonna video.”
That offends me. If he’s going to quote me and mention what I said, say it all, senator.

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