GOP Senators Should Defend Rush Limbaugh
By Doug Patton
October 15, 2007
Recently, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh was attacked by Democrats on the floor of the United States Senate. Why? Their claim was that Limbaugh had referred to military personnel who disagree with our country's policies in Iraq as "phony soldiers." The statement, put forth by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, is a lie designed to lay the groundwork for reinstatement of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine."
Limbaugh was referring to soldiers who have been lionized by the Left as heroes for claiming to have witnessed atrocities in Iraq, only to later be discredited as liars. One individual, who claimed to have been an Army Ranger in Iraq, was exposed as a washout after 44 days in boot camp. ABC news had done a story on this man and others like him just days before Limbaugh made his statements on the radio.
But it really doesn't matter, because liberals will commit whatever perfidy necessary to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.
Repealed in the 1980s, the Fairness Doctrine was a federal communications law on the books for the better part of forty years. In essence, it forced radio stations to "balance" their programming in such a way as to present opposing political points of view. It is debatable whether it was ever necessary, even in the 1940s. In the diverse 21st Century communications marketplace, it is as redundant as the phrase "liberal Democrats." Yet there are those in Congress who want to bring it back.
When anyone expresses a point of view contrary to theirs, liberals want to silence that person. In this case, it is Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Michael Reagan, Neal Boortz, Michael Medved, Dennis Prager, Mike Gallagher and a host of lesser known radio talk show hosts who have flourished in the marketplace of ideas over the last twenty years since the Fairness Doctrine was repealed.
Democrats have ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle (and most other big-city newspapers), the faculties of most universities and the left-wing blogosphere.
Balancing all this, Republicans have Rush Limbaugh and those who have followed in his footsteps down the trail he has blazed on AM radio over the last twenty years. It can also be argued that without Limbaugh, conservative Internet bloggers and the balanced format of Fox News might never have come to prominence.
Today's Dems cannot abide the popularity of conservative talk radio. They are reminiscent of similar authoritarians who have gone before them. Those who fight their tactics and express opposing points of view must be silenced.
But where are the Republicans of the United States Senate? As Harry Reid and Tom Harkin were spewing erroneous talking points fed to them by left-wing web sites, I heard nothing from the GOP side of the aisle. Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh was left to deal with Reid's and Harkin's prevarications on his daily radio show for two solid weeks. Others on radio and on cable television came to his defense, but did anyone hear a peep out of the Senate Republicans?
Rush Limbaugh has been one of America's staunchest defenders of our military for twenty years or more. He has also been the best friend Republicans in Congress have ever had. Where were the Senate Republicans when their friend was being viciously attacked? Where were they when Rush Limbaugh and others were pointing out the hypocrisy of Democrats who demean our troops and their mission?
Democrats believe so fervently that they have next year's presidential and congressional elections wrapped up that they are pushing an agenda of censorship against their opponents in the only media not doing their bidding - talk radio. And why wouldn't they believe that? Their genteel "colleagues" on the right side of the aisle are so concerned about being liked by the mainstream media they have forgotten who their real friends are.
Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.