Shelley Berkley has started a petition to demand that Clear Channel Communications take Rush Limbaugh off the air. For Shelley profit is a dirty word.
Her petition declares:
“Rush Limbaugh can say whatever he wants because the First Amendment says so, but Clear Channel shouldn’t profit from putting his attacks on women in front of a national megaphone.
“Rush’s current contract will pay him $400 million dollars through 2016. That’s right — Clear Channel showers Rush with over $50 million a year in compensation.
“Why? Because Rush makes Clear Channel money. But this time, he went too far — as of today, over 50 of his sponsors have dropped his show.”
Back in 2007 Sen. Harry Reid and 40 other senators signed a letter asking the Clear Channel CEO to confer with Limbaugh about something he had said on the air. Limbaugh had mentioned Jesse MacBeth was drummed out of the military in 44 days though he claimed to have served in Iraq, received the Purple Heart and witnessed atrocities in Iraq. Limbaugh called him a phony soldier and said he was a hero of the anti-war left. That was interpreted as calling all soldiers opposed to the war as phony soldiers.
Limbaugh auctioned the letter off for $2 million and gave the proceeds to charity. In the end even Reid applauded the action and encouraged people to bid.
From a transcript of a Limbaugh broadcast:
“HARRY REID: I strongly believe that when we can put our differences aside, even Harry Reid and Rush Limbaugh, we should do that and try to accomplish good things for the American people.
“RUSH: Okay. Put our differences aside? Has he apologized? He is trying to horn in and act like he’s part of this whole thing, folks. This is unbelievable! And now he’s out there soliciting contributions on eBay, and believe me, this is what he hopes, of all of the past two weeks, that the Drive-Bys pick up on.”
Berkley’s petition demands of Clear Channel:
“We the undersigned demand your company stop giving Rush Limbaugh a national megaphone with which to launch hateful attacks against women — like calling them ‘sluts’ and ‘prostitutes.’
‘Dozens of well-respected companies have realized that associating themselves with Rush Limbaugh is bad for business. Yours should be the next.
‘Don’t throw your reputation away by continuing to profit from the traffic and attention Rush Limbaugh’s attacks generate — cancel his show, and his contract, today.
The Founders recognized how tempting it is for those in power to try to gag those with whom they disagree and wrote:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press …”
For Berkley to use her authority and voice as an elected official is unprincipled.
Limbaugh explained why in 2007:
“RUSH: Stop the tape. Confer with Mark Mays? The 41 Democrats who signed the letter wanted Mark Mays, CEO of Clear Channel, my syndication partner, to ‘confer’ with me about what I had said. When you run a business that’s federally regulated, and the Senate majority leader tells you that he wants you to confer with me, what he means is, ‘You get him to stop criticizing us! You get him to apologize. You make him.’ There’s an implied ‘or else,’ when the Senate majority leader calls a CEO of a broadcast company and says those things. That’s the abuse of power. That is the arrogant abuse of power and an attempt to essentially negate what I do, and to render me unable to do it.”
Here is some of what Harry said in the well: