He’s Still on Armed Forces Radio?

First of all, I apologize for the blogging slowdown. Over the weekend the fan in the back of my CPR started howling; Monday I took it into the shop to have a new one installed.  They’re running behind and I may not have my computer back for a few days yet.  I’m posting this from my wife’s computer, which I’ve been avoiding because it’s set up all wrong for me — weep for me and my First World problems, dear reader.

I’ve always hated the fact that Armed Forces Radio and Television Service airs Rush Limbaugh’s radio show to American troops overseas.  Why?  Because Limbaugh constantly denigrates and demeans President Obama, in vicious and often racist language, repeatedly expressing his wish that the president fail, dedicating his show to undermining the president’s policies, efforts, and goals. 

I have no quarrel with commercial radio networks airing Limbaugh’s show to civilian audiences in the USA, but the relationship between American military forces and the office of the president — the commander in chief — is a special one.  He is our boss; regardless of our individual political views, members of the military must respect and serve the commander in chief.  Limbaugh’s brand of opposition borders on and sometimes crosses the line of sedition, and I fear its constant repetition will erode that respect and obedience.

In 2009 I did my bit to have Rush’s show removed from AFRTS.  I wrote to the chief of staff of the USAF, asking him to petition the JCS to direct AFRTS to remove the show, sending copies of my letter to both my senators, John McCain and John Kyl.  Not one of the three replied.  A couple of months later I sent a copy of my letter to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  She took it on and sent a query on my behalf to the Department of Defense.  The response was unsurprising: no change was possible.

In the wake of Limbaugh’s latest outrage, his attack on women in general, a wave of concerned citizens are asking the Department of Defense to have his show taken off AFRTS.  There are several online petitions, but most are unfocused and not directed at the right decision makers.  At Daily Kos, you can send an email message directly to AFRTS.  This campaign, I think, can be successful … if enough of us write.  All you have to do is add your name to a canned, prepared email message, but it would have more impact if you revised the message to include your own thoughts and words, as I did.

I don’t think I’ve ever posted a call to action on this blog before.  This one is important, and doable.  I hope you’ll join me in demanding that AFRTS stop broadcasting Rush Limbaugh’s show to American forces overseas.  Thanks!

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