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View Diary: Rush Limbaugh Will Remain on AFN: Zero Tolerance for Sexual Harassment? I don't think so. (43 comments)

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  •  This absolutely IS about the First Amendment (1+ / 0-)
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    Under no stretch of the imagination is Limbaugh "sexually harassing" people who CHOOSE TO TUNE IN AND LISTEN.  That would read the "harassment" part of of sexual harassment.  It's not harassment of you IF YOU YOURSELF INITIATE THE CONTACT.  Saying really awful things on a radio show -- where offended people can turn it off -- is not sexual harassment.  It's saying really awful things on a radio show. I'm a lawyer, and there's no way that, either under the civil law or the criminal law, saying awful things on a radio show is sexual harassment.  It may be offensive speech that you think encourages OTHERS to engage in sexual harassment.  But that is beyond the reach of the government.  The government cannot -- absolutely cannot -- decide which content is offensive and which content is not offensive.  Saying (to give a really horrible example) "I think women are second class citizens, are dirt, and exist just to serve men, and men, you should make sure you remember that when you deal with women" would be really, really, really horrible First Amendment protected speech.

    I am a woman, so I can understand a woman not wanting to listen to the speech.  But what should happen is the woman should have that choice herself.  Under the First Amendment, the government is absolutely prohibited from making that choice for her or for any other person, based on the content of the speech.  That's the most fundamental, basic principle of the First Amendment.

    I completely understand that you do not think the military should be listening to Limbaugh.  But that's not a decision that you get to make for those in the military.  More importantly, that's not a decision that THE GOVERNMENT gets to make for people in the military.  

    IF the government decides to make commercial radio programming available to the members of the military, it has to make decisions about what programming on a content-neutral basis.  It would be a clear violation of the First Amendment for the government to make decisions about which speech is offensive and should not be heard by people, and which speech is ok for people to hear.  That's so fundamental under the First Amendment that I can't believe you don't recognize it.    

    •  If AFN had enough air time to air every show in (5+ / 0-)
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      stevej, Mr SeeMore, glorificus, llbear, nolagrl

      the US, I would agree with you. They don't. They make content choices all the time. They want you to believe that they make choices strictly by the numbers but that isn't true either. There are no numbers that make that decision an easy decision. They make decisions all the time about this crap.

      If an organization is going to make decisions about content, then they should be very honest about how they do it. Up front about it in fact. I've been trying to find out when Limbaugh's contract is up and how they will make that decision and can't figure it out at all. It is anything but a transparent process.

      •  I would support your outrage if you could support (1+ / 0-)
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        your statement about them making decisions based on content of speech.  Please provide support for your assertion that their decision about which programming to make available is based on content of speech.  

        Let me make clear, they can decide on different type of programming -- like so many hours of country music, so many hours of talk, so many hours of Spanish language, so many hours of oldies, etc.  That's like making a decision that they want (if there was an analogous video feed) so many hours of sitcom, so many hours of football, so many hours of movies, so many hours of news, etc.  But that's not the content of the speech.    The First Amendment prohibits decisions based on the content of the speech.  And -- obviously -- that plays most heavily in "talk" programming, which is all about speech.  Content of speech cannot figure into that decision.  They can decide they don't want ANY talk radio at all.  But if they offer talk radio, they cannot -- absolutely cannot, under the First Amendment -- based the decision of WHICH talk radio on the content of the speech.

        I completely agree that it is hard to find a system that goes "strictly by the numbers," but the government must do the best reasonably possible to do just that.  It does not have to be a perfect system that it uses, just one that stays as far as reasonably possible from making decisions based on content of speech. If you have evidence that content figures prominently in their decision making -- for example, if they reject higher-rated talk radio programming in favor of lower rated talk radio programming because they don't like the speech on the higher rated program -- please provide that.  That WOULD  be a legitimate complaint.

        •  I disagree. (2+ / 0-)
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          llbear, nolagrl
          one that stays as far as reasonably possible from making decisions based on content of speech.
          There is NO obligation to provide content that blatantly contradicts their "zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment".

          Have you forgotten the 'slut' and 'make a porn video for me' incident?

          This is, of course, the difference between republicans and human beings. - Captain Frogbert

          by glorificus on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 10:16:27 AM PDT

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      •  Why do we have to PAY Rush for his screed. (1+ / 0-)
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        I find it offensive that my money is going to Rush via AFN.

        coffeetalk probably would defend Rush calling woman Fema-nazi Bitches on the air as that may be some first amendment right in her opinion. That is hogwash I say.

        Look at who she follows on her profile page. Mostly jerks and assholes excluding Adam B. johnny wurster and burrow owl are the same person. He acknowledged his dropping the former name for his new persona johnny wurster. Johnny is a jerk as is Vclib. Always going around defending the indefensible republican positions. We do have trolls with low UID numbers. I have seen them. They stay just on the periphery of being HR'd into oblivion.

        "We are a Plutocracy, we ought to face it. We need, desperately, to find new ways to hear independent voices & points of view" Ramsey Clark, U.S. Attorney General.

        by Mr SeeMore on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:28:33 AM PDT

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    •  Congress demands Rush be aired. (0+ / 0-)

      So, this is a political decision, not a 'fairness issue.'

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