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American Forces Radio Tunes In to Limbaugh

June 28, 2004

Re "Limbaugh Has No Place on the Front Line," Commentary, June 25: Mike Farrell comments that the American Forces Radio and Television Service, or AFRTS, essentially slants its programming toward Rush Limbaugh's "partisan," "pro-torture propaganda." Although he correctly states that stateside ratings are a driving factor in AFRTS programming, the popularity of the shows among the troops is also considered. The 30,000 signatures on a petition to remove Limbaugh from AFRTS will not stand against the huge numbers of troops who want to hear his show.

If Farrell claims to be so concerned about the troops, why won't he let them decide for themselves whom they listen to? I certainly would not presume to tell Farrell to whom he should listen.

Ernie Tavares

Lexington Park, Md.

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Farrell's revelation that the Defense Department is broadcasting the Rush Limbaugh radio program to our troops in the Middle East is, I am sure, news to most Americans. Would it be naive to believe that the same Defense Department will be showing Michael Moore's latest film to the troops? Or broadcasting the Al Franken radio program in the interest of fairness?

William H. Shaw

Los Angeles

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Farrell, who fancies himself a "human rights activist," demands that the government stop broadcasting Limbaugh's popular radio program to our armed forces. According to Farrell, "nothing short of removing Limbaugh will suffice."

What kind of human rights activism is this, when activists urge the government to suppress the views of those with whom they disagree? What happened to "celebrating diversity," Mr. Farrell? AFRTS has wisely struck an appropriate balance by broadcasting both NPR and Limbaugh.

Robert A. Philipson

Santa Monica

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