Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Lies and the Lying Liars

Limbaugh's a liar? Shocking!

Limbaugh has attacked Harkin's amendment, saying that it's akin to censorship. But in a peculiar twist, Limbaugh told listeners on his June 18 show a self-aggrandizing tale about how a senior Republican senator had stepped in on his behalf and helped scuttle Harkin's proposal -- an account the senator's office flatly denies.


More puzzling, though, was Limbaugh's apparent decision to fabricate a story involving Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, the powerful chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Discussing American Forces Radio during his June 18 program, Limbaugh told listeners, "He [Stevens] sent me a fax today with a revised [Harkin] amendment. They've gone in and they fixed the amendment. They -- they've watered this thing down. Whatever the Harkin amendment was, it now doesn't mention my name."

According to Stevens' spokeswoman, Courtney Schikora, the senator did call Limbaugh and fax him a copy of the Harkin amendment. But neither Stevens nor anybody in his office sent the host a "revised" amendment, "watered" it down or removed Limbaugh's name. The last part would have been impossible, in any case, because Harkin's proposal never mentioned Limbaugh. Schikora adds that Stevens does not oppose or want to alter Harkin's amendment, since it simply reaffirms the network's existing mission, specifically regarding fairness and balance.

Nonetheless, on June 18 Limbaugh seemed to relish recounting the now-disputed encounter with Stevens: "I called him and because Ted Stevens is the senator from Alaska. Stevens did something yesterday to revise this and he sent me the -- well, the -- the -- the -- the new amendment. And he said, 'Is this OK?' He said, 'Do you have any objections to this?' [laughter] And I -- I looked at it and said, 'Am I allowed?' [laughter] 'Am I allowed to object to an amendment to the defense appropriations bill when I'm not a senator?' I mean, I can as a -- as a citizen, obviously, but, I mean, any citizen could object. Doesn't matter."

Must be all that hillbilly heroin.