Leading the charge, unsurprisingly, is the movement's leading propagandist and smear artist, Rush Limbaugh.
On Monday's Limbaugh program, the Most Dangerous Man in America followed up on a Friday rant against the families who had complained about the Bush ads, claiming that their organization had been funded by Theresa Heinz Kerry's foundation:
- Here, for those of you that weren't here on Friday, this is the montage. I'm just going to play it one more time. This is two different women, and they appeared on four networks: CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and NBC, and they each have three phrases that they use verbatim. And these were prepared. These were prepared by Democratic campaign consultants. In fact, these women sound like campaign consultants, not grieving family members, and I was reluctant to make this charge; it's the first thing that crossed my mind. As I say, we've now learned all the organizational effort that's going on behind this and these people are indeed aligned with the Democratic Party, and it's just? I do not know this kind of hatred; I don't know this kind of venom; I don't harbor it; I never have; I don't know what it's like to be governed by this kind of rage, and I don't know what life must be like when it is. I cannot relate. I cannot relate to being obsessed with rage and hatred. I can relate to being obsessed with love and infatuation, but I cannot relate to being obsessed with all this hatred. I just don't get it. It is unspeakable to me. It is dirty. It is wounding. I think this stuff is absolutely poison, the depths -- and Ted Kennedy on Friday goes to the Council on Foreign Relations and -- I got the story coming up -- makes all these wild accusations. John Kerry himself is becoming, if you ask me, a walking caricature of himself already. I think these people have no clue.
Limbaugh is, if nothing else, living proof that projection isn't just for movie theaters anymore. But he is above all a purveyor of crudely false information. Otherwise known as lies.
As Allan P. Duncan explained in detail in an OpEdNews.com piece, Limbaugh's characterization of the situation was flatly wrong in several respects. First, and perhaps most notably, the women whose voices he played on the program did not belong to the organization he was claiming was tied to Heinz-Kerry:
- The transcript for the show had a link, Listen to Rush, so I clicked it and listened to the part of his show that the transcript covered. I discovered that Voice I belonged to Kristen Breitweiser and that Voice II belonged to Monica Gabrielle.
Kristen Breitweiser and Monica Gabrielle are both members of the Family Steering Committee for the 9-11 Commission and are not members of the group Limbaugh claims received funding from Teresa Heinz Kerry. That group, according to news reports that began hitting the wires on March 6th was September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.
Moreover, it turned out that not even Peaceful Tomorrows was connected to Heinz-Kerry as Limbaugh had claimed. The organization issued a release flatly denying the accusation:
- September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows has never received funding from the Howard Heinz Endowment, the Vira I. Heinz Endowment, Teresa Heinz Kerry or John Kerry.
Peaceful Tomorrows has no connection with the Heinz or Kerry families through Tides Foundation, the Tides Center or any other entity.
Maxwell King of the Heinz Endowments replied to the allegations in the New York Post, where Limbaugh's version of things appears to have originated:
- Your allegation ["(Mrs.) Kerry's Cash Connection," Editorial, March 9] that an organization called Peaceful Tomorrows has received funding from foundations directed by Teresa Heinz Kerry is flat-out wrong.
The allegation rests on a false assumption -- that Heinz Endowments funding of the Tides Center for projects in western Pennsylvania is "fungible," as you state in your editorial, and so can be redirected to other causes.
In fact, by legally binding contract, every penny of our support to Tides has been explicitly directed to specific projects in our region. It cannot legally be redirected and is the exact opposite of "fungible."
It should also be noted that Limbaugh asserts, without any factual basis, that "Democratic consultants" prepped the Family Steering Committee members who appeared on TV. According to the committee's recent statement, that too is simply false:
- We have been accused of being tutored by a particular political party to make statements against the current administration. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are Americans who care about the future of this country. Our nonpartisan mission has always been clear: to find out how 9/11 happened so that nothing like it will ever happen again.
I don't know about the rest of you, but:
I couldn't believe that the Republican Party would sink this low, to exploit and capitalize on the misery and loss of families. But they did it. They found a way. In fact, they found some radio talk-show hosts -- and I'm going to say this -- they found some talk-show hosts who seem to have more concern over who the president of this country is than over the sanctity of the loss of other people's own family members, and who are willing to go on the air and lie about these people and smear their motives. It is beyond the pale that this could happen. It is beyond the pale, yet people cooperate with it, and so much more has been learned about this since.
They have literally been poisoned by their hate. They have been poisoned by their rage. It is unbelievable, the depths to which they will sink.