{ An Autopsy of Democracy }

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Rush Limabaugh: paid for by your tax dollars

Last year, with your help, Media Matters for America drew attention to right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh's presence as the sole political commentator on American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS), a taxpayer-funded service that provides radio programming to American armed forces around the world. In the wake of Limbaugh's reckless and harmful endorsement of the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, Media Matters called for AFRTS to remove Limbaugh from its broadcast schedule.

As a result of the attention Media Matters drew to AFRTS' broadcast of Limbaugh, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed an amendment calling on AFRTS to provide political balance in its public affairs programming, as mandated by Defense Department guidelines.

Now we need your help again.

There is no way to truly provide "balance" to Limbaugh's hateful rhetoric, which ranges from calling people "feminazis" to saying "A Chavez is a Chavez. These people have always been a problem" to claiming that women "actually wish" to be sexually harassed. But AFRTS was set to take a step in the right direction by adding progressive radio host Ed Schultz to its broadcast schedule, beginning yesterday.

However, AFRTS put those plans on hold at the last minute -- and now claims it never decided to add Schultz in the first place. Defense Department official Allison Barber personally announced the cancellation just three days after Schultz drew attention to Barber's role in a controversial scripted event President Bush held last week. The Defense Department's apparent decision to cancel Schultz means that Rush Limbaugh will continue as the only political commentator on American Forces Radio and Television Service.

More info here


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