For years, I could not think of anything I find less tolerable than Rush Limbaugh…until this morning, when I read what seemed to be a serious article from The Women’s Media Center that actually suggested the FCC should remove Rush from the airwaves. I read the entire article waiting for the satire to reveal itself. It did not. The purported authors of the article, all founders of the aforementioned WMC, seem to think that it would be a good idea if the FCC acted in the public’s best interest to remove the Limbaugh show in ‘the public interest’.
The ideas and viewpoints expressed by Rush Limbaugh are often bigoted, immoral, innacurate, illogical and yes, sometimes hateful. His appeal is rightfully limited to those that identify with his viewpoints, and it is a sad fact of life that there will always be a segment of any population that shares that way of thinking.
Why would anyone shy away from the airing of such backward ideology? I want people like that exposed at every opportunity. Let the light of day shine on their misguided, misanthropic panderings. Don’t use the brute and unforgiving force of government to silence that which can be defeated through the eloquence and clarity of principled discourse, properly expressed and compassionately delivered. If you can’t defeat the likes of Rush Limbaugh in the open marketplace of ideas…then you will need more than the force of the government to achieve your vision of society.
Censorship is an ugly word because it is the first step on the path to freedom lost. There are ways to silence a voice without censoring it, however. If the FCC pulls the plug mid-sentence, that is censorship. If his employer pulls the plug because nobody is left to to support the rantings of an increasingly marginalized hate monger, that’s the free market at work…and how satisfying, at long last, would it be to see Rush Limbaugh silenced onece and for all by the free market?
So shame upon those that call upon the FCC to exert power where none is needed. Shame upon those so out of touch with the American people that they thought such a suggestion would actually help their cause, instead of set it back in the minds of both conservatives and progressives united in their opposition to government censorship. The WMC has handed the defenders of Rush Limbaugh powerful support in their quest to portray Limbaugh as a martyr, and I hope that the next opinion they seek to censor is their own.