How to hush Rush
Free speech, costly errors
CNN published a special story advocating that the FCC should censor Rush Limbaugh. I am somewhat shocked by that. Censorship is 1) the most severe action in a republic with free speech, and 2) there are other avenues for putting Rush in the box where he belongs.
In my view, censorship and making him a victim are out. Here are some better ideas:
Make his employer pay – lawsuits, fines, and punishment – the people who put him on the air should pay a part of the price for damage inflicted. Employers (corporations) don’t like exposure and penalty.
Make advertisers pay – advertisers associated with his behavior should be painted with the Rush-brush. Consumer groups should mount campaigns against their products and brands.
Marginalize his audience – I do this all of the time. Expose their stupidity. Make it socially unacceptable.
“FCC should clear Limbaugh from airwaves
By Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem, Special to CNN
updated 9:22 AM EDT, Mon March 12, 2012
Editor's note: Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem are the Co-Founders of the Women's Media Center.
(CNN) -- Ironically, the misogyny Rush Limbaugh spewed for three days over Sandra Fluke was not much worse than his regular broadcast of sexist, racist and homophobic hate speech:
--Women cabinet members are "Sex-retaries."
--The National Organization for Women is "a bunch of whores to liberalism."
--[Said to an African American female caller]: "Take that bone out of your nose and call me back."
These are just a few samples from the arsenal of degrading language Limbaugh deploys on women, people of color, lesbians and gays, immigrants, the disabled, the elderly, Muslims, Jews, veterans, environmentalists and so forth.
Limbaugh doesn't just call people names. He promotes language that deliberately dehumanizes his targets. Like the sophisticated propagandist Josef Goebbels, he creates rhetorical frames -- and the bigger the lie the more effective -- inciting listeners to view people they disagree with as sub-humans. His longtime favorite term for women, "femi-nazi," doesn't even raise eyebrows anymore, an example of how rhetoric spreads when unchallenged by coarsened cultural norms.”