Bill O’Reilly

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Fox News host Bill O’Reilly is coming to the defense of his radio competitor Rush Limbaugh, claiming authorities in Palm Beach County, Fla., are “out to get” the conservative talk-show host, and are maliciously targeting him for prosecution.

“He is an American,” O’Reilly said of Limbaugh last night on “The O’Reilly Factor,” “and I believe powerful people in his home county are trying unjustly to harm him.”

Rush Limbaugh

On Monday, Limbaugh was held up for more than three hours at Palm Beach International Airport after authorities found a bottle of Viagra pills in his possession prescribed to someone else.

Roy Black, Limbaugh’s attorney, issued a statement noting a doctor had prescribed the drug, but it was “labeled as being issued to the physician rather than Mr. Limbaugh for privacy purposes.”

Though Limbaugh was not arrested, O’Reilly noted it was unusual authorities checked the shaving kits of people flying on private planes, and that the story was leaked to the press almost immediately.

“This is malicious, and this is unnecessary,” said O’Reilly. “I only can conclude that in Palm Beach, where Mr. Limbaugh lives, they’re out to get this guy.”

O’Reilly said he had no vested interest in coming to Limbaugh’s defense, having met the fellow broadcaster only “once for about 10 seconds,” but he ripped local officials for trying to destroy the most listened to man in the history of radio.

“It was a malicious, cheap, cheap tactic by the Palm Beach authorities, and they ought to be ashamed of themselves,” he said. “If I were Limbaugh, I’d move right on out of there. I’d get out of there. … This is a political persecution. That’s what this is.”

As WND previously reported, the state attorney’s office is reviewing the case after being supplied a report from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

“We believe there may be a second-degree misdemeanor violation, which is possession of certain drugs without a prescription, because the bottle does not have his name on it,” sheriff’s spokesman Paul Miller told the Associated Press.

On Limbaugh’s radio broadcast yesterday, he made light of the whole affair.

“I’ve been racking my brain. I’m trying to figure out how Bob Dole’s luggage got on my airplane,” Limbaugh clowned. “I told the doctor, I said, ‘Look, I’m worried about the next election, not … .'”

Former Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas is well-known for his use and endorsement of Viagra, a male sexual-enhancement drug.

Barry Krischer

In April, Limbaugh and the Florida state attorney, Democrat Barry Krischer, reached a settlement in a long-running prescription-drug investigation of the conservative radio giant, who termed the matter a political witch hunt as well as a “fishing expedition” by prosecutors.

Under the agreement, a single charge of doctor shopping was to be dismissed in 18 months if Limbaugh continues to seek treatment from the doctor he has seen for the past two and a half years for back pain.

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