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COUNTERPUNCH

Let's Be Honest Here: Limbaugh Is Real Target

August 14, 1995|JOHN ROMERO | John Romero is a Westlake Village writer and lecturer

Professors Coombs and Shaffer of Cal Poly Pomona had their say ("Dole Should Look at How One-Sided Talk Radio Is," Calendar, July 31). And now--because they insist it should be heard--the opposing viewpoint. . . .

Let's be honest. It's not "talk radio" the profs deplore, it's Rush Limbaugh. Shall we explore their criticisms?

"The bigoted propaganda spewed forth by its mainly right-wing hosts monopolizes the airwaves with one-sided commentary."

"Monopoly" is a market condition that exists when a seller has exclusive control and uses it to manipulate prices. Nobody is obligated to listen to Limbaugh, which means there are 20 million people in the United States who do it because they like what he says. Limbaugh didn't make these Americans conservative, they already were. He gave them voice.

" . . . self-styled conservatives, whose claim to space has been that they present a much-needed antidote to the so-called liberal press, have found their way into print."

Conservatives' books sell. (Limbaugh's two books combined sold more than 12 million copies. Newt Gingrich's book is a bestseller.) Liberals' books don't sell. The marketplace rules.

"Each day he spins the news with little regard for the truth."

The professors believe "opinion" and "lies" mean the same thing. Will some English major at Cal Poly please drop them a note?

"Limbaugh energized his ditto-heads to fight [the Fairness Doctrine] and Congress was snowed under with complaints from irate listeners who did not want fairness."

The American people expressing their opinions? How dare they.

"Limbaugh was joined by many station owners who wanted no regulation over their newfound source of wealth--white male talk radio--and by members of the National Religious Broadcasters Assn." . . .

White male talk radio and believers in God--the enemy revealed. Mothers, hide your children. Here come the Christians.

"Dole and his Republican colleagues can . . . reinstate the Fairness Doctrine and force radio stations to present all sides of controversial issues."

If Limbaugh were liberal would the professors demand he be balanced? We know the answer to that one. The truth is, liberal thought has ruled the media for 40 years. When you've been in power that long it's a shock to find those beliefs threatened. The good old American marketplace comes through again. Welcome to life, professors.

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