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Rush Limbaugh sells Harry Reid letter on eBay 4 big $$

October 19, 2007 |  7:14 pm

Turns out a genuine letter of complaint about Rush Limbaugh's recent on-air "phony soldiers" remark is producing some very real money for a good cause.

Rush, who drives many Democrats crazy because so many Americans pay attention to his broadcast bloviating, recently had this exchange with a caller about Iraq war critics:

Caller: "And what's really funny is they never talk to real soldiers. They pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and spout to the media.

Limbaugh: "The phony soldiers."

Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean and others seized on that and demanded an apology because Limbaugh was allegedly impugning the patriotism of war critics, which exposed the comment to many people who'd never heard it in the first place.

Then, Reid did a rather unusual thing. He wrote a letter of complaint on Senate stationery, signed by 40 other Democratic senators including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, to Mark Mays, the chairman of Clear Channel, one of Limbaugh's syndication partners, urging him to talk with Limbaugh about the remark and condemn it.

Limbaugh, not known as a shy fellow, said he took this as an intimidation attempt, threatening his free speech rights, which has filled up many more minutes of air time. Then, he did a clever thing. He put the letter up for sale on eBay and said he'd give all the proceeds to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, which provides scholarships to children of slain Marines and police.

Then, Harry Reid did a clever thing right back. He went on the Senate floor and praised Limbaugh's attempt to raise money for a good cause off his letter and said he could have gotten every Democratic senator's signature if he'd had time. To watch video of Sen. Reid's statement and Limbaugh's, uh, firm reaction, click here.

The bidding on the letter closed today. The final price: $2.1 million. (UPDATE: And Limbaugh has agreed to match that sum personally.)

Makes you want to sit down and write someone right now, doesn't it?

--Andrew Malcolm