How do Rush Limbaugh and Clear Channel Broadcasting get off howling about threats to their First Amendment rights to free speech. Clear Channel and Limbaugh are entitled to free speech. So are all of us. Clear Channel and Rush Limbaugh seem to feel that only they have free speech -- and that they have the right to dictate to use what free speech is. Given their attitude, we shouldn't be surprised. It isn't one of them, it's both. It isn't just Rush Limbaugh who operates as a Republican front. So is Clear Channel. And both amount to an equivalent to an enormous contribution directly to the Republican Party as the most Super of all PACs. Why buy ads when you have Clear Channel propaganda.
Clear Channel and Rush Limbaugh are outrageous and notorious enemies of free speech. It's a matter of well established history. Will cowardly MItt Romney bite the hand that feeds him, i.e. Clear Channel. Has anyone forgotten all the previous abuses of free speech at Clear Channel, the Limbaugh-Clear Channel efforts to shut down the free speech of anyone who's not a Republican. Romney is on the receiving line of the Clear Channel gravy train. Maybe Romney would feel differently if he had a daughter who planned to go to college.
Maybe Romney doesn't exercise management over Bain Captal, but he sure as hell benefits from contributions to his PAC by Bain executives and from the millions and millions of dollars Bain pays him every year as his "share." He's also tied directly to Clear Channel. Is he trying to help keep Clear Channel out of another bankruptcy by keeping quiet about Limbaugh's foul mouth? But after Limbaugh's Sandra Flake craziness, he has to follow it up with an abusive rant on Tracie McMillen, an author and another young educated woman he doesn't know.
What Rush and Clear Channel are saying is: SHUT UP SANDRA FLUKE. SHUT UP TRACIE MCMILLEN. SHUT UP WOMEN. STAY IN YOUR PLACE.
I'll get to the pimp business below the fold of this very long diary:
Rush Limbaugh has a serious sex problem. He's a drug addict and he hates women, but Limbaugh also can't stop fantasizing about them, especially liberal women who bring out his insecurities. His fantasies always involve him being abusive and sexually demeaning. "Slut, Prostitute, So many partners … etc."
That took Limbaugh from from three days of twisted, sex-laden muttering about Sandra Fluke to the largest audience in the country, followed by a limp non-apology on his slack day. Must have forgotten his Viagra and Oxycontin. Then Rush tried to chop down another young "overeducated woman," Tracie McMillen, author of the American Way of Eating.
No one really expected Limbaugh to offer an actual apology about his crazed rants about Fluke, but as he's inclined when something goes wrong, he blamed the liberals. Without making a scintilla of an excuse for Limbaugh, he is a sick man who should not be not the air in a civilized society. Instead, with his corporate enablers, he gets away with one excess after another in a radio operation known throughout the country for right wing excess. Clear Channel primarily clears right wing show hosts such as Hannity and it regularly culls show hosts who are too moderate.
Here's how the NIH's National Library of Medicine describes Obsessive-compulsive neurosis; OCD
"Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), or behaviors that make them feel driven to do something (compulsions). Often the person carries out the behaviors to get rid of the obsessive thoughts, but this only provides temporary relief. Not performing the obsessive rituals can cause great anxiety."
You don't have to be a psychiatrist to see how mentally ill Limbaugh is. I'm not judgmental about what other people do about drugs, but neither do I hang around angry alcoholics and drug addicts. Rush is like a crude-talking drunk who offends every woman in the bar, but Rush puts it on the radio for all women. He is and has been a one man war on women with that surpasses his other wars. He routinely compares women to Nazis with his femi-nazi label.
He can't help it now, he has to do it or he gets even nuttier. A psychiatrist would probably want to hear about what event triggered this aberrant behavior. You can tell Limbaugh is popping as he has for at least 20 years, enough that he lost his hearing in both ears and underwent cochlear implant surgery in 2001. The loss of hearing was widely attributed to his extremely high consumption of Oxycontin and other opiate pain killers. Those levels are multiples of any daily maximum dose allowed.
And to cap off his verbal assault on Fluke, Limbaugh jumped then to Author Tracie McMillen, a native of the Flint, MIchigan who is self-described as from a working class family that includes Limbaugh fans, earned a college degree, and won note for his work as a writer. Even Limbaugh acknowledges that as he trashes her.
From his transcript:
"What is it with all of these young single white women, overeducated — doesn’t mean intelligent. For example, Tracie McMillan, the author of this book, seems to be just out of college and already she has been showered with awards, including the 2006 James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. Social justice journalism. This woman who wrote the book on food inequality, food justice, got an award for social justice journalism."
McMillen commented to Forbes writer, Jeff Bercovici, "“But this really intense dismissal of women by someone like Rush Limbaugh, who’s considered an authority by a lot of people — that, to me, is distressing. I just wasn’t expecting anybody to say flat out that my work wasn’t valid because I’m a single woman.”
She also takes exception to Limbaugh’s calling her “over-educated.” “I only have a B.A. I don’t have an advanced degree,” she says. “Maybe he thinks women shouldn’t go to college at all?”
I personally take exception as someone who's worked as a writer and editor by McMillen's grit and determination in working at low paid jobs for a year so that she could accurately report "The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee's, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table. I can't imagine setting foot in a Walmart and I respect anyone who would submit to that for the sake of good reporting. It's $11.99 on Kindle, worth a read. I admire Fluke for standing up to a vicious assault.
Perhaps despite his $50 million annual Republican payoff, Rush Limbaugh feels inferior to people of accomplishment. He dropped out of college without having finished the two courses he started. In Rush Limbaugh's family he is the only member I can find who does not have at least one degree. Many of them have graduate degrees and while they're Republican, they've in the past had moderately distinguished careers. Now they have a sexual deviate who wants to set rules for all of us from his twisted perspective. As some families I know would say, he has a lot of money and no class.
Fluke and McMillen are just the two latest undeserved targets of Limbaugh's sick behavior.
This excerpt from the Advocate Wednesday: covers yet another aspect of his hate for women, "Limbaugh, who is on his fourth marriage, criticized Robin Tyler and Diane Olson for how long they were married. "Did you see that the poster couple for gay marriage in California are getting a divorce? You see that? It's true," he said on his radio show in February. "It's two women, they were among the first 14 same-sex couples who got married on the day the ban was lifted in California back in June of 2008. I guess the national average, three and a half years, is what their marriage lasted, maybe it's the California average. I'm not sure.
" What he leaves out is that Tyler and Olson were a couple for 18 years, applying for a marriage license every year since 2001. They were the first couple to legally marry in Los Angeles County, where they sued for the right. Tyler, an activist and a comedian for 40 years, wasn't amused but kept her sense of humor. "Rush Limbaugh is two or three divorces ahead of me," she said in a statement to The Advocate.
"He is the kind of guy who thinks women are sluts and lesbians have penis envy. Well, I don't have penis envy. I have 12 at home in a drawer in Northridge. I get excited in New York and my drawer pops open in California!" Always insightful, Limbaugh pondered the complexities of lesbian divorce.
"I wonder if they designated one of them the husband so that he gets all the blame and has to pay all the alimony," he said. "How does that work?"
If Limbaugh was kidding, Tyler sees a lot of his true self in his joking. She is a pioneering out gay comedian and made the first album of unabashedly gay comedy, called Always a Bridesmaid, Never A Groom, in the '70s.
""I will give him one thing," she said. "I believe that Rush Limbaugh is great for birth control. I mean, who the hell would want to sleep with him?"
-End Advocate excerpt-
Perhaps there shouldn't be too much surprise at the latest turn that demonstrates that Clear Channel has no standards when it comes to Rush despite what they have claimed for years to be a Zero Tolerance Policy for off color comment. There are certainly some surprised colleagues who are baffled at the leniency and the First Amendment excuses. An excerpt from an article at Think Progress:
"Limbaugh’s efforts to save his show seem unlikely to stop advertisers from fleeing the show or to stem the tide of criticism from figures ranging from Sen. John McCain, to New York’s Cardinal Dolan—to one of Limbaugh’s colleagues in the shock jock game, former CBS radio host Don Imus.
“So were it me, and I ran a radio station or whatever, I would make him go down there and apologize to her face-to-face. He owns a Gulfstream 4, get on it, go to Washington, take her lunch, tell her, ‘look, I’m sorry I said this stuff and I’ll never do it again,” Imus said.
He recalled that when he made offensive remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team, referring to them as “nappy headed hoes,” “Look at what I did. It was a lame attempt to be funny, and it was three words. And I went and met with these people after I’d been fired…If he was on my radio station, he wouldn’t be on it.”
Imus’s criticism also illustrates that Limbaugh is held to different standards than his fellow commentators on radio and television. Here are some of the punishments Limbaugh’s counterparts have faced for ugly sexual remarks about women:
-In 2009, after Imus made his remarks about the Rutgers basketball team, CBS Radio suspended him for two weeks without pay, MSNBC stopped simulcasting the program on television, and CBS eventually fired him even though his program netted $15 million in annual revenue. Imus apologized at the time and publicly acknowledged his comments were “really stupid.”
-Last May, MSNBC suspended host Ed Schultz for a week after he used language similar to Limbaugh’s during his radio show. Talking about Laura Ingrahm, a staple of right-wing radio, he described her as “this right-wing slut, what’s her name? Laura Ingraham? Yeah, she’s a talk slut.” He apologized to Ingraham on television, calling his language “vile and inappropriate,” and saying “It was wrong, uncalled for, and I recognize the severity of what I said. I apologize to you, Laura, and ask for your forgiveness.”
-In February, Clear Channel suspended California radio hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou for two days after a segment about Whitney Houston’s death in which Kobylt imagined what it must have been like to be Houston’s friends, saying: “It’s like, ‘ah Jesus, here comes the crack ho again. What’s she gonna do? Oh, look at that, she’s doing handstands next to the pool. Very good, crack ho. nice.’ After a while, everybody’s exhausted. And then you find out she’s dead.” The hosts agreed to attend sensitivity training and bring on guests to discuss why their remarks were so ugly.
--end Think Progress excerpt --
The attack that Limbaugh launched against an ordinary citizen, Sandra Fluke, is a notorious abuse of her rights to free speech. It's even more extreme than the Clear Channel ban of the Dixie Chicks was for criticizing George Bush in public. Clear Channel denied there was a corporate policy to ban the Chicks.
But this is what Sourcewatch.org (and others) reported: "Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Clear Channel program directors issued a list of "potentially offensive songs" that it suggested stations not play. Many reports referred to the list as a "ban" on the songs, which included all Rage Against The Machine songs, the Notorious B.I.G.'s "Juicy" (which includes the line "Time to get paid, blow up like the World Trade"), John Lennon's "Imagine," Metallica's "Seek and Destroy," AC/DC's "Safe in New York," Bobby Darin's "Mack the Knife," Peter, Paul and Mary's "Leaving on a Jet Plane," and Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Balls of Fire," and "The Drifters' On Broadway."
Clear Channel spokesperson Pam Taylor objected to the list being called a "ban," saying, ""This was an effort to help people be sensitive to the unthinkable environment. It's been somehow turned into some sort of evil attempt to control pop music, and that's absurd."According to the New York Times, "a smaller list of questionable songs was originally generated by the corporate office, but an overzealous regional executive began contributing suggestions and circulating the list via e-mail, where it continued to grow." The program directors at individual stations were able to decide whether to play the listed songs or not.
Also, in 2003, "after the Dixie Chicks criticized President Bush during a London performance ... some Clear Channel radio stations pulled the group's music from their play lists." According to the New York Times (March 31, 2003), "More unified were the actions of Cumulus Media, which owns 262 stations, and has at least temporarily stopped all 42 of its country stations from playing the Dixie Chicks."
But there's more: "The Clear Channel's activities go beyond radio. In March 2003, its affiliate stations throughout the United States organized pro-war rallies, under the name of Rally for America, to coincide with the Bush administration's launch of war with Iraq.
"Experienced Bushologists let out a collective 'Aha!' when Clear Channel was revealed to be behind the pro-war rallies, because the company's top management has a history with George W. Bush," reported Paul Krugman in the New York Times. Although Clear Channel denied sponsoring the rallies, "they were promoted repeatedly by the company's widely syndicated radio personality, Glenn Beck."
To counter negative impressions resulting from the post-9/11 playlist and "Rally for America" debacles, Clear Channel hired the crisis-management firm Brainerd Communicators. According to the New York Times (March 31, 2003), part of Clear Channel's damage control included an op/ed article by Glenn Beck in which "Mr. Beck described the [pro-war] rallies as a grassroots response to his personal broadcast call to 'Mr. and Mrs. America' to urge their local radio stations to hold rallies."
In their "Ten Worst Corporations of 2003" list, Robert Weissman and Russell Mokhiber report that Clear Channel has "compiled a record of 'repeated law-breaking' ... violating the law -- including prohibitions on deceptive advertising and on broadcasting conversations without obtaining permission of the second party to the conversation -- on 36 separate occasions over the previous three years."
Astroturf Pirate Radio
In 2005, to promote the formatting switch of a Clear Channel station in Akron, Ohio from "sports talk to progressive talk," Clear Channel launched "Radio Free Ohio" in a guerrilla marketing campaign. The New York Times wrote, "To the average listener, Radio Free Ohio has all the earmarks of pirate radio. For weeks, it sounded as if amateurs had been bleeding their voices into the broadcasts of stations in Akron, Ohio, owned by Clear Channel, the corporate radio giant. At the Web site www.radiofreeohio.com, there was a manifesto about "corporate-controlled music playlists" that took potshots at several local Clear Channel stations."
"Radio Free Ohio" was outed by truly independent Ohio radio station WOXY, after a contributor to their online message board "learn[ed] that the [Radio Free Ohio] site is registered to Clear Channel, presumably as a promotion for an upcoming format switch at one of their Akron-area stations." Clear Channel later admitted they were behind "Radio Free Ohio." "Once we determined we were going to change the format, we tried to get into the mindset of people who would listen to this new station," said the company's Akron vice president and market manager, Dan Lankford. "Clear Channel, as I see it, is dedicated to entertaining radio and to getting results for our advertisers," he said.
"Clear Channel Communications Inc. radio stations in Madison, Wis., and Milwaukee" are naming their newsrooms after corporate sponsors. "Starting in January, the news on WIBA-AM in Madison will deliver its report from the Amcore Bank News Center. ... About two years ago, WISN-AM in Milwaukee introduced listeners to its newscast from the PyraMax Bank News Center." The sponsorships are not exclusive and "will not impose strictures on the broadcasts."
But a journalism ethics expert at the Poynter Institute said such arrangements create "the perception that the newsroom is for sale to the highest bidder." The Social of Professional Journalists' president asked, "How can you not wonder if a story about Amcore is told as tenaciously as a story about another bank might be?" The banks' news sponsorships come a year after revelations that 280 financial institutions used subsidiaries in other states to avoid paying Wisconsin state taxes.
On February 5, 2007, a computer at Clear Channel Communications added a section on Senate candidate Al Franken's Wikipedia page to suggest that he plagiarized some of his writing. The edit was made anonymously but was picked up by the WikiScanner tool.
--end source watch excerpts--
If that's not enough, here's an excerpt from a 2004 AP story covering Clear Channel's announcement of it's Zero Tolerance Policy.
On Tuesday, Clear Channel announced that it greed to fire popular a Tampa, Fla., radio talk show host known as Bubba the Love Sponge after deciding his raunchy show didn't fit its standards.
The company also announced that all of its contracts with on-air performers are being modified to ensure that DJs share financial responsibility if they utter indecent material on the air.
"From now on, every contract that Clear Channel enters into with on-air talent will include this provision," said John Hogan, chief executive officer of Clear Channel Radio. "While that won't relieve Clear Channel from our responsibility as a broadcast licensee, we believe it will have a significant deterrent effect on indecent content."
--end ap story--
Clear Channel clearly is defending Limbaugh's characterization of Fluke as a "slut" and a "prostitute." Sounds to this non lawyer that they're inviting a defamation lawsuit because clearly it isn't true and they had absolutely no reason to believe it was -- yet, he repeated those words again and again and even his "apology" only covered those two words, not the characterization that did the same.
Hogan is still CEO of Clear Channel Radio, but obviously their rules don't apply when the raunchy Rush Limbaugh gets his filthy mouth in gear. Then it's suddenly free speech. Clear Channel as a matter of policy takes a conservative political approach in all of its news and in talk shows while a very few liberal hosts are left, Clear Channel is replacing them as their contracts allow -- unless, I suppose they accuse them of raunchy speech and speed up their firing.
A lot of artists have paid the price and there is no room to speak of at Clear Channel for anything but right wing views.
As founder and current Chairman, Lowry Mays, told Fortune Magazine in 2003, "We're not in the business of providing news and information. We're not in the business of providing well-researched music. We're simply in the business of selling our customers products."
Did he think to mention that one of the products his company sells for a very healthy profit is the Republican Party and its right wing candidates and policies. Or that companies are deducting as business expenses their contributions to Republican Party propaganda distributed under the guise of programming.
Mays had testified to the Senate in 2003 that deregulation of the telecommunications industry, including radio, had not hurt the public. "
In that spirit, Rush mounts a vicious sexual smear, inventing "facts" with each breath and on and on he goes. Not two words. A hoard of ugly words. And it goes on for three days without letup with repetition and embellishment of the worst part.
Fluke might get encouragement from her liberal buddies, but goddamit, we'll put her in her place, get in her face, call her names. She won't want to open her mouth again. We'll humiliate her. She's hardly the first, but Limbaugh's brain skipped a cog or two and for some reason, he didn't let the smear quickly die, but kept at it for three straight days of slut and prostitute and long sexual ramblings, a dip into his own sickness, then he renewed it again with an "apology" blaming those he wronged for his foul speech.
When the pushback comes and advertisers call, what the Limbaugh does is an impotent weasel apology that's almost as bad as his attack. He doesn't apologize for his fabrications. He's still creatively smearing her. Just two little words, he said, and now he doesn't even have to say them.
So who exactly is being intimidated here. It's not Rush. But the almost entirely male Republican leadership appears to have been taken to a veterinarian for neutering. No courage or no judgement. Take your pick. And free speech? That's the real victim when the right wing extremism is used in national broadcasts against a female citizen attempting to exercise her right to free speech.
That's right. SHUT UP FLUKE. For us, Kossacks and all, PLEASE DON'T SHUT UP SANDRA FLUKE! Or anyone else.
"Back in your place" was the Limbaugh message and not a one of those male Republicans swho hang around the Imperial Impotence don't dare to criticize him. All we hear is the whining about poor, poor Rush Limbaugh and his rights. What about the rights he and Clear Channel violated?
Remember how he went after people who merely reported on the drug problems he later had to admit to. .
Hey, it's sorta dark in the radio booth. He knows where the camera is and sure he knows what he's playing at. Apparently his imagination isn't quite vivid enough or he's got a substandard Viagra because he started a fantasy that lasted for three days and ended with him muttering in frustration. Maybe those days of impotence are what led him to attack McMillen.
If Clear Channel or any of the rest of the right wing had any integrity, they'd say they respect the right of Fluke and anyone else to exercise their free speech rights. They fire Rush or terminate his contract.
They should enforce at least some standards aimed at personal abuse of private persons. While Clear Channel is at it, they might want to look at the Limbaugh web site, covered as it is in "Obama lies," and all the various permutations. Clear Channel used to say they wouldn't carry criticism of George Bush because it would display a lack of respect for the Office of the Presidency.
Apparently that rule only applies when a Republican is in office. Limbaugh rarely takes a break from his non-stop racist hate speech directed toward President Obama. Maybe he couldn't find his Viagra and that led him off his topic of Obama.
Rush Limbaugh said to be the man who saved AM radio and by extension the all time largest owner of AM and FM. Surely, Mitt Romney wouldn't become a coward just to keep the millions flowing to his personal account and to his Super Pac from Bain, not to mention from Clear Channel.
Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners took Clear Channel private in 2008 for $18.7 Billion, including an agreement to sell 19 TV stations and 448 radio stations outside the top 100 markets. Bain and its partners sold all the television stations and 161 radio stations. Even in relatively bad times, radio and television stations tend to throw off large amounts of cash. Given that and with the sale of those television and radio stations, Clear Channel should have been flush with cash. Instead, in 2010, Clear Channel filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, citing a crushing debt load.
Given that senior management is unchanged under Bain, it's fair to assume the insiders made a bundle on that debt, then Bain, their partner and the CC boys cashed in on the restructuring and doug a deep debt hole. Pretty much the way Bain has always operated. The only people who make out on these deals are the money guys and the insider owner-managers, i.e. the Mays family with 8 percent of the stock.
So, yeah, maybe Romney is afraid of someone who in effect is employed by his company. Maybe he's afraid all of this will further tarnish his campaign, or maybe he's just scared of Limbaugh.
There are those who say the approach to commercial time buyers hasn't worked. But one business that's buying all the time it can is Ashley Robbins, something Ashley Robbins was allowed to do before.
The CEO, Noel Biderman, confirmed that in an interview with Soledad O'Brien.“We’re totally willing to step into the void left by other advertisers,” Biderman said, pointing out that Limbaugh has 10 million listeners. “If it costs two or three million dollars, happy to pony up.”
O’Brien then asked why Ashley Madison wanted to pair up with Limbaugh as an advertising partner, considering everyone else is fleeing from him.
“Listen, blue and red states, people cheat in both of them,” Biderman said. “Republican, democrat, men, women — everybody is prone to having an affair. So the bottom line is, my audience sits with his audience and I’m happy to advertise to them.”
“But you’ve been turned down before by that show,” O’Brien said. “You’ve been turned down on moral grounds. Is there any indication that they’re going to take you up on your offer, even with the 20 or so odd advertisers who are leaving?”
“You know, he’s in business, just as I am,” Biderman explained. “Being in business, he needs to operate and I’m there to support that business operation if he wants those dollars.”
Clear Channel and Rush Limbaugh are now selling a sexual service ONLY aimed at people who are married or otherwise in a relationship. So on one hand, you could argue logically that CC and Limbaugh are selling an adultery service.
Or you could use a more common term.
Rush Limbaugh is just a big fat pimp.