Last updated: March 13, 2012 - 3:34pm
Should the Federal Communications Commission kick Rush Limbaugh off the airwaves because of his harsh speech? That’s what Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda, and Robin Morgan are calling for. Well, we have this to say about that: You can think that Limbaugh’s words were vile, yet realize that this FCC strategy is unlikely to work, and could be dangerous.
- First, it’s logistically difficult, since it would require an activist dump-Rush movement to remain focused on this strategy for years. The nation’s radio stations indeed have entered a cycle of license renewal applications, according to the FCC. But the last won’t come up for a re-do until 2014. Will Limbaugh still seem like such a big target in two years? OK, given his tendency to utter anything that pops into his mouth maybe he will, but given the speed of the modern news cycle, we’re not sure.
- Second, do we really want the US government to use its power to enforce speech codes? Yes, the First Amendment is not absolute, but if liberals go after Limbaugh in this manner, conservatives won’t just sit there, inactive. Plenty of folks on the right are mad about Bill Maher’s words about Sarah Palin, and talk show host Ed Schultz’s language, and so forth. First they come for Rush Limbaugh, and then they come for Rachel Maddow.
- Third, rightly or wrongly, Steinem, Morgan, and Fonda are jointly a red flag to many on the right. If they continue to attack Limbaugh, even conservatives who don’t like his methods will defend him.
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