- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 1, 2002

Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh says he fears that outgoing Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is giving comfort to the United States' enemies by belittling U.S. achievements in the war on terror.
"He's attacked my president. He attacked our effort in the war on terrorism. He said he's seen no evidence of any victory because we haven't gotten [Osama] bin Laden," Mr. Limbaugh said of Mr. Daschle, South Dakota Democrat, in an interview broadcast yesterday on CNN's "Reliable Sources" with Howard Kurtz.
Mr. Limbaugh added: "He's out there broadcasting this to the world. This is getting such coverage, who knows what kind of aid and comfort it might be providing the people that we're attempting to bring to justice, either legally or militarily?"
Mr. Limbaugh was referring to comments Mr. Daschle made at a Nov. 13 news conference, when he questioned whether the Bush administration "can legitimately say we are winning the war" against terrorists. Mr. Daschle will be Senate minority leader when Congress returns next year.
A week later, Mr. Daschle attacked talk radio, saying "Rush Limbaugh and all of the Rush Limbaugh wannabes have a very shrill edge."
He held that threats on Democratic officials and their families "go up dramatically when Rush Limbaugh attacks" them.
Senate Republican leaders, such as incoming Majority Whip Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, have accused Mr. Daschle of looking for scapegoats for the Democrats' Nov. 5 election defeat. Mr. Limbaugh has made the same charge, noting that Mr. Daschle has essentially equated talk show listeners with "barbarians."
In the pre-taped CNN interview yesterday, Mr. Limbaugh said: "I don't attack anybody. I defend."
Mr. Kurtz then reminded Mr. Limbaugh, the nation's top-rated radio talk show host, that he had implied that Mr. Daschle was a traitor.
"What more do you want to do to destroy this country than you've already tried? Do you want your nickname to be Hanoi Tom? Tokyo Tom?" Mr. Limbaugh had said.
Mr. Limbaugh responded this way: "It's an arena of ideas, and [Mr. Daschle] threw the brick."
He went on to say he was not attacking Mr. Daschle but was defending those the Democratic leader attacked.
"And to say we're not having success [in the war on terror] is just not true . Sixteen members of al Qaeda are dead or in jail of the 37 that are wanted at-large. We're making all kinds of success," said Mr. Limbaugh, who has at least 14.5 million weekly listeners, according to the trade magazine Talkers. Mr. Limbaugh said yesterday that his weekly audience is from 19 million to 22 million.
On other topics in the interview, Mr. Limbaugh said that although he believes a liberal bias dominates news reporting today, there are varying degrees of bias with the left-wing bias in the New York Times among the worst.
"So much of the Times news reporting seems to be editorializing, even on the front page. It's one of the last newspapers I look at," he said.
Mr. Limbaugh said no one should assume he always defends President Bush.
"I was one of Bush's biggest critics the first two years because he was siding with the Democrats on every important domestic issue. Campaign finance reform I flipped a wig. There was no reason [for] that. That's an assault on the First Amendment," he said.
Mr. Limbaugh also said he had criticized Mr. Bush for "letting Ted Kennedy write the education bill."


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