Before Raygun and the Reprobates took over – Radio and TV stations had Civic Duties to support and help improve the communities which they served.
What Fonda et al are asking for here is legal – and should have been enforced a long time ago.
Ironically, the misogyny Rush Limbaugh spewed for three days over Sandra Fluke was not much worse than his regular broadcast of sexist, racist and homophobic hate speech:
–Women cabinet members are “Sex-retaries.”
–The National Organization for Women is “a bunch of whores to liberalism.”
–[Said to an African American female caller]: “Take that bone out of your nose and call me back.”
These are just a few samples from the arsenal of degrading language Limbaugh deploys on women, people of color, lesbians and gays, immigrants, the disabled, the elderly, Muslims, Jews, veterans, environmentalists and so forth.
Limbaugh doesn’t just call people names. He promotes language that deliberately dehumanizes his targets. Like the sophisticated propagandist Josef Goebbels, he creates rhetorical frames — and the bigger the lie the more effective — inciting listeners to view people they disagree with as sub-humans. His longtime favorite term for women, “femi-nazi,” doesn’t even raise eyebrows anymore, an example of how rhetoric spreads when unchallenged by coarsened cultural norms.
At least this most recent incident has turned a spotlight back on the vile, damaging statements Limbaugh has been promulgating for years. His sponsors are dropping him; his stations have begun to follow suit. VoteVets, a coalition of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, released a statement by female vets, including Katherine Scheirman, former chief of medical operations in the U.S. Air Forces, demanding that the American Forces Network drop Limbaugh from its programming.
They state, “Our entire military depends on troops respecting each other — women and men. There simply can be no place on military airwaves for sentiments that would undermine that respect.”
That makes this a fitting time to inquire of his syndicator, Clear Channel Communications, whether it intends to continue supporting someone who addicts his audience to regular doses of hate speech. Clear Channel’s Premiere Radio Networks Inc., which hosts Limbaugh’s program, has defended his recent comments.
If Clear Channel won’t clean up its airways, then surely it’s time for the public to ask the FCC a basic question: Are the stations carrying Limbaugh’s show in fact using their licenses “in the public interest?” Read the rest of this entry »