This is the way free speech works in the free market. Rush Limbaugh was, is and will be free to make any ass-brained statement he wants to make. The question is whether or not anyone has to pay to allow those statements to be broadcast to the nation and world at large. With sponsors, he can shout it loud and clear to the entire radio audience. Without sponsors, he’s still free to shout them–but unless he or Clear Channel pay for it themselves, his soapbox might be … a soapbox. Seems Clear Channel has had to run Public Service Announcements on many of the commercial spots during Rush’s show this week. Dum da dum dum!
Bill Maher has weighed in on the proceedings and has tried to argue that Rush ought not be censored by the free market. Piffle. Bill is still smarting because HIS former TV show Politically Incorrect got dumped when he expressed an unforgivable truth: that the perpetrators of the cowardly attack on the Pentagon and World Trade Center were not themselves cowards. This was in the middle of US war-drum fever. Come on Bill, Americans won’t be ready for that kind of nuance before 2102, the year AFTER the 9/11 centennial. We still have people who said the Japanese deserved the earthquake-tsunami-nuclear meltdown tragedy because of PEARL HARBOR! And besides, what you said was true, just unpopular. That’s a fair distance from maliciously maligning someone by misrepresenting what they’d said or done.
Free speech doesn’t mean we have to subsidize hate speech. As long as someone’s willing to pay for the plug in the socket, Rush will have a platform. But, if no one wants to pay to have a person with that much bile representing their company, screw it. Let him try to get a gig on NPR
And speaking of Japan, this weekend marked the anniversary of that horrible series of misfortunes. Compounding the tragedy was that although Japan is one of the most prepared nations against earthquakes, the government had let down its guard on tsunami preparedness and had dropped the ball on nuclear safety measures AND spent more time CYAing and following procedures instead of reacting swiftly enough to contain the nuclear danger. But the Japanese people have shown incredible resilience and courage in their recovery. Last year, I did a short video to Yoko Kanno’s song for the survivors and I’d like to post its URL here againhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na60p1P22rg. Links are there for several organizations that were involved in the recovery effort at the time. I’m sure they will accept more donations.