Beyerstein On Limbaugh: Don’t Threaten Him With FCC

Lindsay Beyerstein of ‘duly Noted’ warns us against supporting attempts by high-profile feminists (e.g., Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem) to petition the FCC to revoke the licenses of stations that carry Rush Limbaugh, on grounds that those stations are failing to fulfill the terms of their licenses which require that a broadcast station (unlike a cable station) must serve a community need in exchange for its use of allegedly scarce spectrum. (Really? Is spectrum still scarce?)

I agree wholeheartedly with Beyerstein. If Rush can support his hate-speech habit by drawing enough advertising to persuade commercial stations to broadcast him, I say, let him go for it. On the other hand, I saw a statement yesterday that 140 controversy-averse advertisers had asked that their spots not be run in Limbaugh’s show, which is a serious market-based commentary on Rush’s content. For one rare time, the “free market” is doing the job it is supposed to. Let it work.

Rush Limbaugh has a constitutional right to say any hate-crazed thing he wants to say. But he doesn’t have any sort of right to be paid to do so. Rush is reportedly a multimillionaire; let him buy his own air-time, cash on the counter. I’ll bet there would be a lot less hate on the air if he had to do that.

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