fiarness doctrine

Nick Benton's Corner: Will Limbaugh Sink the GOP?

Posted with permission of Nicholas Benton, Owner/Editor of the Falls Church News Press

Will Limbaugh Sink the GOP?

by Nicholas Benton

There is a reason why Rush Limbaugh never made it on TV. CNN was eager to carry this talk show host's incendiary remarks at last weekend's right-wing CPAC convention in Washington, and its cameras revealed a sweaty, larded buffoon costumed in a black shirt, wide-eyed and flailing his flabby arms looking like a panicked great whale trying to free himself from a fisherman's net.

Is this the new de facto leader of the Republican Party, capable of getting its top leaders to grovel before him in obscene displays of self-flagellating brown-nosing because they'd inadvertently spoken from their hearts to denounce him?

Limbaugh is the creation not only of the Reagan revolution - that arch-right wing coup by the "radical free market" charlatans of greed, hoarding, deceit and fraud - but also of that revolution's torpedoing of the Fairness Doctrine.

The Fairness Doctrine was the creation of the reformist mood in the nation following Watergate. It was originally instituted in 1949, but considered strictly a voluntary agreement that those licensed to use the nation's airwaves would make an effort to be fair and balanced (I mean, really, not in the phony Fox News way!) in political comment. Then in 1974, after Watergate, the rules were stiffened with the idea that mandatory constraints and use of penalties might better encourage fair play.