By Caleb T. Maupin
Published Jul 10, 2008 9:24 PM
Big money never lacks a voice. The corporations and bankers are very good at getting their message across. When it doesn’t come through headlines attacking liberation movements across the globe, or nightly news broadcasts painting pictures of “progress” in Iraq, there is always the interesting world of talk radio.
Rush Limbaugh is known for his hateful right-wing rhetoric. His favorite targets for verbal assaults include feminists, Black people, the LGBT community, the poor, and anyone politically to the left of George W. Bush.
Limbaugh’s daily three-hour rants fill a range of topics, including denial of global warming, downplaying poverty, and accusing those who disagree with his views of being “un-American.”
The ruling class of bankers and capitalists has recently rewarded Limbaugh for his hate speech. Through the Clear Channel network, which gets a lucrative income from corporate advertisers, they gave him a contract valued at more than $400 million.
This contract would award Limbaugh $38 million a year for the next eight years, plus a “nine figure signing bonus,” but the official amount was undisclosed. (Entertainment Weekly, July 3)
Radio journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, who exposed this system rather than defend it, was not awarded with such wealth but was framed up for murder. He sits on death row.
Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor, Mich., was not rewarded for his sermons, which spoke opposition to the powers that be. He is now sentenced to spend years in prison for daring to quote scripture in reference to a judge.
Even the liberal democratic voices of Air America were forced into bankruptcy—not for lack of listeners, but because the private capitalists whom the radio network depends upon for advertising income didn’t like what they were saying.
This commentator was removed from his college newspaper’s staff last spring, the only explanation being that he had “ravid [sic] political opinions.”
But Rush Limbaugh, who spews the pro-Bush message, which according to the latest polls reflects the views of less than 28 percent of the U.S. population, at most, now finds himself on 600 radio stations. His ranting and raving reach 14 million people daily.
This should shed some light on the beliefs of those who think that in the U.S. there is a “free marketplace of ideas.” While ideas are clearly subject to a “marketplace,” the “free” part of this common cliché deserves a bit of reconsidering.
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