Thursday, December 04, 2003

Rush embraces victimhood

Forget Limbaugh's signoff before going into rehab. Now he is claiming to be a victim. How many shows would he have gotten out of these same facts if the perpetrator had been a prominent Dem or liberal?

(CNN) -- Criminal investigators are searching doctors' offices for evidence that conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh was "doctor shopping" for controlled substances, according to search warrants filed in the clerk's office of the Palm Beach County, Florida, State Attorney's office.

"His actions violate the letter and spirit" of Florida law, criminal investigators said.

The term "doctor shopping" commonly means a patient -- who may or may not have a legitimate physical ailment -- goes from doctor to doctor with the objective of improperly obtaining multiple prescriptions for prescription painkillers.

Limbaugh allegedly received doctors' prescriptions for more than 2,000 pills -- including the prescription painkillers oxycontin, lorcet and hydrocodone -- according to the search warrants.

The court papers indicate those drugs were sometimes obtained in the same week, less than a month apart.

Limbaugh returned to the airwaves last month after a five-week rehabilitation program to help him overcome his addiction.

Limbaugh's lawyer, famed criminal defense attorney Roy Black, denounced the searches of Limbaugh's physicians' offices and the seizure of his medical records.

"What these records show is that Mr. Limbaugh suffered extreme pain and had legitimate reasons for taking pain medication," Black said in a statement read by Limbaugh on his talk show.

"Unfortunately, because of Mr. Limbaugh's prominence and well-known political opinions, he is being subjected to an invasion of privacy no citizen of this republic should endure," he said.

The court documents state that Limbaugh used multiple doctors "to obtain excessive amounts of controlled substances to support his addiction."

Investigators say they have searched two doctors' offices in Palm Beach County and have a search warrant for a third office in that area. A law enforcement source said there is also a search warrant for a fourth doctor's office in the Los Angeles area.

Black said the four doctors whose offices were searched had "treated Rush Limbaugh for serious medical conditions and the pain resulting from them.

"Let us make our position clear: Rush Limbaugh is not part of a drug ring. He was never a target of a drug investigation. He became addicted to a prescription drug during legitimate medical treatment. He has publicly admitted this problem and has successfully sought treatment, which continues today.

"We won't speculate on why the State Attorney's Office is handling Mr. Limbaugh's case the way it is. But what should be a responsible investigation is looking more and more like a fishing expedition," Black said.

The Whitewater investigation was a fishing expedition, Mr. Black. This is a wealthy criminal that the "old Rush" thought should be sent up the river.

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