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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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  •  No petition that asks the government to make (1+ / 0-)
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    decisions about which speech to make available to people based on the content of the speech is going to go anywhere.  

    You have to suggest a content-neutral basis for the AFN to determine which programming it makes available.  

    •  Are you just running interference? (5+ / 0-)

      How on earth is this possible:

      You have to suggest a content-neutral basis for the AFN to determine which programming it makes available.  
      How are they going to choose programming without looking at content ?

      As for the first amendment thing you are wrong. The presenters can say whatever they like (within certain bounds - fire crowded theater etc.) with impunity but AFN has a choice whether to give them a microphone.

      •  You are wrong about the 1st Amendment. (1+ / 0-)
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        First, AFN makes content-neutral decisions by making decisions based on ratings.  if they are going to offer talk radio, they have to make decisions about WHICH talk radio based on something other than content -- and the method they say they use is ratings -- the shows that the most people listen to in the U.S. are the ones that they offer.  It's like the whole principle of "time, place, and manner."  The Government can set parameters of when, where, and how it allows speech, as long as those parameters are (1) reasonable, allowing alternative venues for speech; and (2) are content-neutral -- apply to everyone equally regardless of what they say.

        Second, this is just wrong.

        AFN has a choice whether to give them a microphone.
        AFN can either make the microphone equally available to everyone based on criteria OTHER THAN content, or it can decide not to make the microphone available at all.  Government cannot say, I will make the microphone available if I approve of what you want to say. Government cannot say, I have a microphone, I will give it to John but not to James because I don't like what James wants to say.  There would be no clearer violation of the First Amendment than that.

        Let me give you an analogy.  There are many ways government can "make the microphone available."  Suppose, for example, it had a government-owned and run park set up so as to have a podium-type area,, a microphone, and seating so that people can stand up and talk and there are places for people to listen.   That's fine. That's providing a microphone.  Government can say, you can only talk between 9 a.m., and 6 p.m., and no one person can talk more than 5 minutes.  That's content-neutral time, place and manner restrictions.  But, once it does that, it absolutely cannot make decisions about what speech goes on.  It absolutely, positively cannot say, we'll let the SPCA talk about saving animals, but we won't allow the KKK to talk about white supremacy.  That is patently, blatantly, unconstitutional.  Once government decides to provide a microphone, it cannot prohibit speech it finds offensive on the basis of the CONTENT of that speech.  

        You might want to do some reading on the First Amendment.  See for example here.

        •  And if there's no enough "microphone" for all (1+ / 0-)
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          the decision as to who gets to talk has to be based on something other than content.  

          In my park example, government can say, the first people to line up get to talk, or there will be a lottery every day to see who gets to talk or whoever brings the most listeners with him/her gets to talk.  Government CANNOT have, as its policy, asking what you want to talk about and using THAT to decide who gets access to the limited resource of its microphone.  

        •  This is where you are wrong: (0+ / 0-)

          "neutral" decisions. For years, the line-up didn't have a liberal on it. It was only through pressure that it began to change. I'm  not sure where you are getting your info from, but the folks at AFN are as likely to be 'partial' while trying not to be as anyone else. They can get stuck in their ruts as well and can be so sure they are right that they can't see what's going on around them.

          You can keep crying First Amendment and I will keep telling you this has nothing to do with First Amendment. No one is silencing Rush Limbaugh. We just don't want him on the air supported by tax payer dollars. No one said the tax payer should support sexually harassing content.

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