Rush Limbaugh’s recent "racist" comments and resignation from ESPN should be seen as an effort to salvage his talk show–vital to the continued progress of Israeli hard liners–rather than an issue of "free speech". A failure of Limbaugh could lead to the chain-reaction wreck of dozens of "neocon" talk shows that also spout a pro-Israeli, anti Arab/Islamic line, and were instrumental in involving the U.S. in the costly Iraq imbroglio and paving the way for Ariel Sharon’s brutal crackdown on the Palestinians.
"We are all destroyers, cruisers…but Rush is the aircraft carrier of talk radio. If he goes down we’re all in trouble," was the nautical analogy used by Michael Savage (Weiner) on his Oct. 2nd "Savage Nation" radio talk show.
Weiner is correct about the Rush implications, but as for Rush’s racism, in 10 years I have never heard him make racist comments about anyone except, possibly, Arabs. Rush is even married to a Latin American. Further, the black quarterback he commented on is not that bad of a football player, and there several good black quarterbacks, so the statement itself is even questionable in light of Rush’s sports expertise.
It’s likely Rush had some advance word that he would become involved in the investigation of a ring illegally dispensing pain pills in Florida, through the testimony of a former housekeeper, who also maintains she was paid "hush money" by Rush representatives. If this had become public prior to Rush’s "racist" statement, ESPN would have had little choice but to suspend or dismiss Rush from the football show. This would have had a devestating effect on the advertisers for his radio talk show.
The illegal use of painkillers in the U.S. is booming, with many accidents, ruined lives and even hearing losses attributable to this abuse.
If this was Rush’s strategy, it seems to be working, at least for the time being. On his October 3rd show, Rush spent most of the time fielding calls from listeners supporting his right to "free speech". As for the drugs, Rush promised to "come clean" as soon as he heard the evidence they had on him.
"Neocon" talk radio in the U.S. was pioneered by such notables as Barry Farber and Roger Fredenberg. They offered increasingly abused white American males an outlet addressing their concerns (to some extent) while deftly inserting pro-Israeli and anti-Palestinian rhetoric periodically. In recent months, shows run by Bill O’Reilly, G. Gordon Liddy, Rusty Humphries and others have presented shows portraying "radical" Islam (and even ordinary Islam, in some cases) as the enemy of all Americans and terming Islam a backward, 8th Century religion, while ballyhooing Israel as the "only democracy in the Middle East". Many of these talk show hosts have enjoyed special junkets to Israel, paid for by U.S. and other supporters of the Israeli state. According to one such host, Lars Larsen, on his Oct. 3rd show in Oregon, his junket, paid for in part by Wells Fargo Bank, let him "meet Palestinians, see what the situation was! on the ground." (After his visit, his Israeli hosts graciously nicknamed him "superman".)
The genius of using talk radio as a propaganda outlet should not be underestimated. For it allows the backers of Israeli hard liners to skirt U.S. laws, particularly the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Passed in 1938 to counter the effects of the "Bund" movement against U.S. involvement in World War II, the Act was passed to "insure that the American public and legislators know the source of propaganda intended to sway public opinion, policy and laws."
Without the aegis of talk radio, and the sinister nonprofit spider’s web of support it has from sources concerned with the interests of a nation other than the U.S., these propagandists would be required to register with the Department of Justice and label all their materials with their foreign origin.
Oh, yes, the Palestinians and Islamists also had a way to skirt FARA, since it doesn’t cover charitable organizations, such as the ones they run. But many of these are now being shut down through investigations conducted under the Patriot Act.
My feeling is that both sides should register under FARA, disclose their intentions, and let the American people and lawmakers decide which points have merit. The continued misrepresentation of one side’s propaganda as "free speech", however, has resulted in major problems for the U.S.