Censorship

The Fairness Doctrine Was the Most Deserving Target of Rush Limbaugh's Rage

He was no libertarian, but he absorbed an important lesson about regulating speech.

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Rush Limbaugh's half-century career in radio began as a 16-year-old at a small station in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in 1967. (If you just muttered to yourself, "Where?" then you've already got a good sense of how unlikely Rush's rise to prominence was.) Notably, one of Limbaugh's first jobs in radio was in community ascertainment, which meant canvassing local businesses, churches, and interest groups to ask about the kinds of content they wanted to hear on the airwaves. The programs produced because of these expeditions were then parked on the least desirable time slots of the week, like Sunday morning.

Station owners were not, after all, truly owners; they were merely borrowers, temporarily using a slice of the electromagnetic spectrum via a license granted to them by the federal government. That license came with strings attached.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) required community canvassing as part of its requirement that stations operate in the "public interest, convenience, or necessity." License holders couldn't just air whatever content they wanted (or what they thought their listeners wanted). No, they had a vague responsibility to air programming that their listeners needed, and to do so whether or not listeners actually, well, listened. 

In the 1960s, the FCC began enforcing another outgrowth of the public interest mandate which was known as the Fairness Doctrine. It stipulated that station owners had an obligation to provide coverage of "controversial issues of public importance"—like current events, policy debates, and so on—and do so without exclusively representing a single point of view. If, say, a station aired a program that criticized the U.S. conduct of the war in Vietnam, then it had an obligation to air someone supporting the war effort. Long before Fox News adopted the slogan, the FCC sought to make the airwaves a "fair and balanced" medium.

The FCC's commitment to the concept proved equally notional. In the early 1960s, the Kennedy administration quickly realized that the Fairness Doctrine could be useful as a tool for suppressing political dissent. If the fairness mandate was applied selectively—only forcing stations with conservative programming to increase the amount of liberal programming they aired and not vice versa—the administration could simultaneously punish their right-wing critics and extract free pro-administration airtime. 

I tell that story in detail in my book The Radio Right: How a Band of Broadcasters Took on the Federal Government and Built the Modern Conservative Movement, but suffice it to say here that the Fairness Doctrine enabled the most successful government censorship campaign of the last half century. It might, with greater accuracy, be titled the Unfairness Doctrine, given its use to suppress political dissent and protect the lies of incumbents from both major parties, including Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon.

By the early 1970s, the targeted conservative broadcasters had largely been silenced, but the memory of the Fairness Doctrine era left an impression on a young Rush Limbaugh. It remained one of his most common topics of conversation until the end of his life; he mentioned the Fairness Doctrine on more than 140 episodes of his show since 2007. As he said in 2010 during a previous wave of interest in reviving the mandate, "Just like the Fairness Doctrine, I know what these guys have in mind, I know what their game plan is….Use intimidation, license renewal, fines, all this kind of thing." These were the tactics used in the 1960s to suppress conservative broadcasters, something that Limbaugh never forgot.

Indeed, Limbaugh owed his rapid rise to the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine by the Reagan administration in 1987. Limbaugh had been hosting a political talk radio show for a few years prior, but it wasn't until 1988 that a radio network executive decided to test the post-Fairness Doctrine waters by syndicating The Rush Limbaugh Show on 56 stations nationwide (which expanded to more than 600 stations by the mid-1990s).

It is also worth noting that talk radio in the 1980s was a much more ideologically diverse industry than it is today, with many hosts from both the political left and right. Contrary to conservative talk radio hosts who explain their dominance by the existence of a silent majority of average Joe listeners, ironically it was the federal government that boosted right-wing dominance of talk radio.

As historian Brian Rosenwald argues, left-wing talk radio hosts had to compete for listeners with government-subsidized, center-left NPR affiliates, while right-wing hosts had a clearer competitive field. Station owners could guarantee a larger audience to advertisers simply by picking right-wing instead of left-wing talk radio programs. Talk radio's conservative bent is the unintended product of the government's halfhearted attempt to create a nationalized broadcasting system in the 1970s. (Though I wouldn't expect a "Rush was Made Possible By Listeners like You" slogan to appear on a complimentary NPR tote bag any time soon.)

Limbaugh's death comes at a time of increased interest in creating Fairness Doctrine-style regulations for the internet. The broadcast Fairness Doctrine—which was dependent on the legal fiction of spectrum scarcity—can't be directly applied to the unlicensed and unlimited World Wide Web. But where there is a political will, there is usually a regulatory way. In this case, those seeking to guarantee political neutrality could tinker with the Section 230 platform liability waiver to mandate something with a similar effect as the Fairness Doctrine.

The passing of Rush Limbaugh is a reminder that the chilling effect of the Fairness Doctrine era is passing out of living memory. But while Limbaugh's concerns about a resurrected mandate might have sounded paranoid in the 1990s and 2000s, they feel somewhat prescient in 2021.

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  1. Let’s see the conservatards attack this article…

    1. Let’s see you suck your own dick without breaking your spine.

    2. Easy Peas-y…

      ALL of the USA is a Constitutional Union of Republican States.

      Lefty-Narrative’s have always had to be *subsidized* just like lefty-votes are.. The Power-Mad Nazi’s (Democratic National Socialists) in this country have always been a minority and had to subside vote’s via buy-the-vote-laws and importing-techniques.

      In other words; The D.C. Left is a self-subsidizing minority. And the few non-politicians getting their entire lives subsidized by D.C. left policies.

    3. It’s a good enough article.
      Read it to see where they were going to take a jab at Rush, but the author did not.
      Commendable.
      Better content than anybody this rag keeps on staff.

      1. I’d like to know who wrote the headline…Riggs…Suderman?

        “Rage” ? Limbaugh was a humorist and almost always positive and upbeat.

        “no libertarian”?
        Early on Rush was always praising and quoting his good friend Tom Hazlett, an Austrian school economist who regularly wrote for reason through the legendary “Golden Age” Postrel-led era of 1989-2000 and handed off the Golden EIB microphone to the great scholar/anarchist Walter E Williams as a substitute host. Rush was far more “libertarian” than reason’s cavalcade of bipartisan Great Libertarian Hope politician-poster boys.

    4. Rush was arguably more Libertarian than Reason Magazine the last few years

    5. “conservatards”

      PAY ATTENTION TO MEEEE!
      I’m so lonely.

    6. Let’s tear you apart instead. That should be fun, and you deserve it.

  2. Congress should pass an internet fairness doctrine so we can find put what’s in the internet fairness doctrine.

    1. End “crony socialism” don’t encourage it.

  3. I remember the early days of talk radio. Station had a variety of programs that cover eda broad set of topics and as well as ideological politics. I remember a guy named (Something) Williams used to talk about economics and business. Loved to hear him advising people. It soon became clear that you did not want diversity. You did not want Rush Limbaugh followed by some more liberal talk show host. People wanted consistency so you started the day with conservatives, then Rush then more conservatives. The format was great for profits, the same advertisers booked all day long. But the content was awful, the day started with a complaints about President Clinton and just kept rolling all day long. Local hosts were better talking about local issues, but the national stuff was just repetition.

    By that time, IPods and Iphones came along, you could make a play list and there way no more need for the radio programs.

    1. “But the content was awful, the day started with a complaints about President Clinton and just kept rolling all day long. ”

      Update the target of the complaints, and this is an excellent description of the Reason comment section.

      1. I used to get so furious about the criticism of Clinton. I mean how dare they.

        Sitting there in their cramped DJ booth pretending that they wouldn’t pressure a student intern half their age for an office BJ and cram a cigar up her poorer if they had half the chance.

        Then, when he tries to direct the focus where it should be on the threat of international terrorism by hitting that “baby milk” factory, they all start whining about “wagging the dog”. Pathetic.

        He should’ve just Vince Fostered all of them.

        1. You could’ve just switched to NPR. Still can today.

        2. You’re remembering it wrong, they called the pharmaceutical plant an “aspirin factory”, not a “baby milk factory”.

    2. Walter Williams? Here’s a Café Hayek link.

      1. I dislike these kinds of ideological arguments more and more. Instead, I am more interested in what the data says. What does the data say about raising the minimum wage and employment? The data from many studies shows that there is a consistent (thought not always statistically significant) negative impact on employment rates from increasing the minimum wage. That’s more convincing, IMHO.

        1. Agree. Even when the data and approach is flawed, it can at least still be the basis for an argument based on something that everyone agrees is the reality (data) being argued about.

          With ideological stuff, it all seems like a pose about a pose. Nothing new. Nothing to learn. Nothing unexpected at all. Like a perpetual freshman year in some 101 class.

        2. I dislike these kinds of ideological arguments more and more when they disagree with me. Instead, I am more interested in how can I interpret the data.

          1. HAHAHAHAHAHA

    3. This is all true. At the time I thought listeners actually did want ideologic variety, but that’s not how it shook out over time. In the largest markets there came segregation into “left” and “right” stations, while in all but the largest markets the influence of the national programs switched everything to the “right”. After a while Lyn Samuels stuck out like a sore thumb on WABC. Jay Diamond even tailored his sharp political slant to match whatever the overall tilt of the station’s other programs were.

      For a listener like me, the emcees of yore were fun to listen to because they were selected for being good, not for a political line. I used to listen to talk programs (whether phone-in or not; some of the best didn’t take phone calls) hosted by people whose politics were the polar opposite of mine, and everything in between. Now the only interesting stuff is discussion of fringe (mostly paranormal) topics at night, and unfortunately the dominant guy on that kept his job while completely losing interest in what he was doing: George Noory. Fortunately there are lots of good Webcasts now like Tim Weisberg’s.

      1. I quickly turned off talk radio in the late 1980’s. I was just out of college and my job had a ton of driving. The radio was full of shock-jock turns to politics and gets serious. I really became angry not at what they wanted me to be angry about but that they were trying to make me angry.

        It became so easy to turn it all off and switch to something else. But still can’t figure out why others like riling themselves up so much.

        1. Yeah, you certainly hate being angry while you’re beating off to 9/11 Truther conspiracies and championing Chavista Venezuela as a victim of the imperial yanqui CIA, right you fucking mentally ill lunatic?

          1. You have syphilis of the brain? Dementia? Are you Tulpa?

            I have no clue what you are on about. Neither do you. But hey – whatever.

        2. There was practically no political talk in the late 80s, cool story tho

          1. Maybe not where you were, but in America there was.

          2. No, there was, and, yes, it was a bit more diverse. I suspect it stopped being diverse because the left could hear what they wanted anywhere, talk radio was basically the only (broadcast) media the right had at the time.

            So left-wing talk radio faced enormous competition for its audience, and right-wing had a lock on them.

    4. You weren’t around for the early days of talk radio.

    5. By that time, IPods and Iphones came along, you could make a play list and there way no more need for the radio programs.

      You could, at last, create your own media bubble in which to live instead of having to tune in obsessively to a talk radio station that carried programming you didn’t like.

  4. “(Though I wouldn’t expect a “Rush was Made Possible By Listeners like You” slogan to appear on a complimentary NPR tote bag any time soon.)”

    Ooh, burn!

  5. “If you just muttered to yourself, “Where?” then you’ve already got a good sense of how unlikely Rush’s rise to prominence was.”

    Huh?

    1. As someone from not very far from Cape Girardeau, I can only say GFY.

      I remember when Reason was better than whatever this current trend is.

      1. Cape Girardeau is really a unique and beautiful place. Driving across the swamp, when the river is low enough, is pretty amazing.

        1. It’s my home town – used to, late 90s, in job interviews, people would say “Oh, same town as Rush Limbaugh” – I never quite knew whether to be positive or negative about that so was always vague and just agreed “Yes, yes it was.”

          I don’t get that question so much any more.

  6. Protecting the political Left from competition by creating NPR, made the Left uncompetitive in the AM radio marketplace. Shocking.

    1. While the NPR listeners were certainly to the left, the content was always very balanced. During elections they always had candidate forums that included most parties, alway had Liberatrians, Greens, usually Constitution parties included. If anything the NPR content favored more conservatives, because they seems afraid to put on anyone to liberal because it was always called out.

      1. I stopped listening to conservative talk radio when Trump got the party nomination. The day before they were reasonably critical of him, the next day they were fawning over him. He could do no wrong. We’ve always been at war with Eastasia and we’ve always totally supported Trump.

        1. We’ve had a segment of politics and popular opinion (as in citizens) highly critical of China since the 90s.

          And the conservative media pivoted to reflect their listeners. Those that did, survived and thrived. Those who didn’t founded the Bulwark and the Lincoln Project.

          1. You mean the 1890s right? Except the transnational railroad was before then, so it must have been earlier…

        2. Yes, we all observed you lose your cocksucking mind when Trump was elected, and it’s been a slow motion train wreck every day since. I feel sorry for your daughter, who had to take the brunt of your alcohol-fueled age in her ass and pussy. You really should be fucking killed.

      2. Sure it was “balanced”, but those balancing the tilt of the featured stars and material were clearly portrayed as coming in from the fringes. Local NPR affiliates had some better programs, but what came down from the network was laughably propagandistic.

      3. That comment works for a very strained definition of “always”. NPR was reasonably balanced up through the Clinton years and even into the second Bush years. They became unlistenably partisan sometime in the middle of the Obama years and turned into a parody of their former selves during the Trump years.

        So if “always” includes NPR’s rather long and reputable history but stops short of about 10 years ago, sure, that’s a good description. But if “always” is supposed to include recent years, no, they don’t even pretend to want to be balanced anymore.

        1. No, until after the 1994 election NPR was very biased. Then they began to appear balanced leading to the appearance you describe.

      4. That all changed when Trump got elected. I was a regular listener but the hyperbolic TDS was truly amazing.

  7. Why is talk radio dominated by “conservatives” while talk tv is dominated by “progressives?”

    1. Radio is typically listened to by people that work. Tv is watched by people that typically stay at home.

      1. Radio is listened to by old people and truckers.

        1. And people who work.

          1. Specifically, people who do work that does not require mental attention.

            1. What was that? I wasn’t paying attention.

            2. Yeah you and your other account are near-genius computer programmers who manage to spend 16-18 hours every week day posting on Reason.com about how Trump is hiding under your bed. It’s not like you could possibly spare a brain cell to listen to something that wouldn’t pump your Trump boner.

            3. Radio is listened to by the hoi polloi who have jobs and have to work for a living.

        2. And stay at home moms in preschool car lines.

          1. But they listen to the Mix station. And get a hot flash when a Sublime song gets played.

            1. Go on…

      2. Except many work sites have had to ban listening to talk radio, because the workers would work less and stand around, arguing about politics about which they previously cared little. You want to complain about the politicization of everything? Blame Rush Limbaugh.

        1. You want to complain about the politicization of everything? Blame Rush Limbaugh.

          All he did was say what people were already thinking.

        2. And by “many work sites”, sarcasmic’s sock, to which he replies in a desperate attempt to be engaged with by anybody, even if it’s his alter-ego, means “something I pulled directly out of my asshole”.

        3. You want to complain about the politicization of everything? Blame Rush Limbaugh.

          BS. Rush only made political that which already was. He didn’t politicize every single comic book movie/tv show, fast food restaurant, bakers, etc, etc, etc…

    2. Doesn’t (or didn’t) FOX News have a larger audience than all the other cable news networks combined?

      1. The keyword was ‘dominated’. Fox is one cable station amongst a forest of left leaning ones. Talk radio on the other hand is mostly conservative (or at least it was when I last paid attention in the 90s).

        the reason fox has/had the highest ratings is because the one ‘conservative’ cable network is going to draw 100% of the conservative audience, whereas left-leaning viewers are going to distribute themselves across multiple channels.

        1. That makes sense.
          You’re not missing anything by not listening to talk radio. It’s mostly commercials. And when they’re not doing commercials the hosts are pimping Simply Safe or some other product. There might be fifteen or twenty minutes of actual content an hour. I don’t know how people can listen to it.

        2. Your impression was correct as of the 1990s. The change in that scene from the 1970s and most of the 1980s was striking for those who paid attention over that time.

        3. Plus most leftist content is shit.

    3. Because you can’t string a talk show together on 10-second soundbites, like you can with network news.

    4. Because there is no substance to leftism.
      Without flashy pictures of poor bunnies being tortured by nazis in a burning ghetto to create an emotional reflex, the listener has to process the meaning of what’s being said. When one thinks through leftist positions they fall apart. The leftist perspective cannot survive the rigor of literal focus.

      1. There’s no substance to “leftism”, but there was a time when the average radio talker was a moderate, and many of them had substance.

        1. Maybe I should’ve written “centrist”.

          1. May our modern idea of centrist is much further left than where the population finds the center.

            I get the feeling this word is defined by an incredibly left-biased political machine that is tone deaf to the population at large.

    5. It’s not. Until this year, Fox News has consistently been capturing about as many viewers as all the leftist networks combined.

    6. Rush’s answer was the radio was the only place you could hear opinions like his.

      That is why conservative talk radio thrived. The “silent majority” found a voice they could not find anywhere else.

    1. one of his best lines and true since all others pale in comparison

  8. Though I wouldn’t expect a “Rush was Made Possible By Listeners like You” slogan to appear on a complimentary NPR tote bag any time soon.

    Maybe on a CBC tote bag.

  9. I want an amendment that bans the government from promoting itself. That’s all the fairness doctrine is.

  10. Hahaha. Oh lord. Rush was a cancer who had cancer, first. He’s Father Coughlin or Goebbels or Hassan Ngeze. Right-wing propaganda is not speech, it is incitement to genocide. Rush got rich making idiots hate people for being women or brown or gay. We don’t need to continue examining the value of this speech. It has no value unless you value bathing in the blood of millions.

    We saw the consequences of no Fairness Doctrine. Viewpoint neutrality is an innovation like any other. It’s obviously necessary, because some people obviously can’t handle having free speech responsibly, and they’ll sell theirs out to the highest bidder among kook billionaires, no matter how many lives it ruins.

    Republican party propaganda is the most immediate problem in the world right now. The internet is new. They fucked radio and they fucked cable news with the cynical, lying excuse that they just want freedoms. They fucked the internet enough already to instigate a coup. People so addled by lies they thought they could take over the United States with no guns.

    Fuck Rush’s rotting corpse. I hope the maggots are getting a nice hit from oxy.

    1. GFY

    2. Rush got rich making idiots hate people for being women or brown or gay.

      That right there tells me you never listened to his show.

      1. Rush Limbaugh had segments where he celebrated when gay people died from AIDS. He was a horrible human being.

        1. I must have missed those segments.

          Thing you need to remember is that no one was forced to listen. That and there’s a couple knobs on the radio, one for volume and the other changes the station.

          So if you don’t like what you hear, go play with your knobs.

          1. What a strange argument to make. Does the fact that listening to Limbaugh was voluntary make him any less of a horrible person?

            1. It means that any influence he had was over people who chose to listen to his show. If he was a horrible person, then I suppose the listeners must also be horrible people for not changing the station.

              1. “then I suppose the listeners must also be horrible people for not changing the station.”

                Some might say they are ‘deplorable’.

          2. He apparently did a long time ago. Was called out for it. Had a mea culpa and stopped. He was quoted as saying it was insensitive.
            He also hired his friend and LGBT community icon Elton John to perform at his most recent wedding.
            I recall when he took a leave to deal with his doctor shopping legal issue the rumor from the left was that he was about to be outed.

        2. I started listening to Rush in the fall of 1988. I don’t recall ever hearing anything remotely like that.

        3. And you creamed your pants when a D.C. cop shot an unarmed woman in the face. The only difference is that faggots who get AIDS are taking a calculated risk and get exactly what the fuck they deserve. You will too one day, and soon. It’s gonna be erotic watching the life drain out of your eyes while your gurgle on your own blood in those last moments.

        4. When? what were these imaginary segments called?

        5. “Rush Limbaugh had segments where he celebrated when gay people died from AIDS”

          Cool story bro.

      2. I was gonna say exactly that.

      3. When he’s going after leftists, he’s doing the same thing.

        If the person you’re listening to is dehumanizing vast numbers of humans, he might be a fascist.

        Just don’t dehumanize entire groups of people. That’s a good rule.

        Except fascists. I haven’t figured out what to do with them except kill ’em.

        1. If the person you’re listening to is dehumanizing vast numbers of humans, he might be a fascist.

          Unless he’s calling 2/3 of the country a “basket of deplorables” and telling people to assault them at gas stations and tell them they aren’t allowed to participate in society anymore.

          1. Hillary was referring specifically to the *half* of Trump supporters who are white supremacists. You’re repeating a lie. Gee I wonder how that happened. Could it be fascists? The liars?

            It’s okay to characterize people for what they do and say. Not so much the color of their skin, say. That’s the little difference there.

            1. Tony, nearly everything YOU say is a lie. You’re one of the most dishonest pieces of garbage I’ve had the displeasure of encountering.

              You really should just quit your bitching and end it all. You’re just a valid, idiotic, toxic little queen.

        2. So, you’re going to kill yourself? I’m relieved.
          And yes, by all means let’s ban free speech because people can’t handle it. Fascist.

          1. The common homo sapien finds reasons to wish death upon his fellow quasi-ape, for no other reason than that he has a different letter after his name. This is the phenomenon of tribe. He thinks their difference is about something real, or even important. But even if it were an economic theory, it’s just an economic theory. It causes one to wonder if homo sapiens don’t simply enjoy seeing each other die for sport, and that’s why they invent nonsensical reasons to hate each other.

            Reasons such as:

            This river here means I’m good and you’re bad. It says so on a drawing someone made.

            My flag is different from your flag.

            God is one person.
            Nuh uh, God is three persons. We must make war for a hundred years!
            Make it a thousand, heretic!

            And so on.

            Even the economic theories, which the homo is convinced mean so much, differ only triflingly. Two versions of decadent capitalism. A difference in tax rates, amplified by performative exaggerations about tyranny.

            This has been David Attenborough for the BBC.

            1. But Tony you are a facist. And as you have repeatedly instructed us, killing facists is different from killing other humans (or wishing them dead).

    3. 90’s called. It wants its talking points back.

      We’re past Viewpoint neutrality. That’s the “view from nowhere”.

      You need to get up to speed: we’re labeling information we don’t like “misinformation”, whether it’s true or not, and then censoring it.

      Do better, Tony.

      1. It doesn’t take much of an education to be able to tell the difference between a truth and a lie.

        The problem is people who kept insisting that they had a God-given right to tell lies to millions of dupes.

        That should stop soon, or we’re not going to have a country anymore. It just depends on what you value.

        1. I agree: the problem is all the people who are know so many things that just aren’t so.

          1. If you know how to minimize that problem without a cultural consensus about which news sources are trustworthy, I’m all ears.

            1. You said yourself that it takes only minimal education. Fix public school?

              1. I mean educated in general. It’s a lifelong project. Anyone can be sucked in to propaganda. I’ve seen brilliant guys buy into horseshit. The fact is, we all get most of our information not from primary research but from trusting certain authorities to tell us the truth. It could be teachers, but it could be scientists, journalists, politicians, or anyone.

                We’ll never go back to the Cronkite days, but we can’t have everyone adopting bespoke realities either.

                The best thing is for government to be thought of as a more-or-less neutral player, an omnipresence, a checked-and-balanced actor on behalf of our interests.

                I guess libertarians had other ideas. That turned out well.

                1. I love how one minute it’s not a big problem in the next minute it’s a huge problem problem.

                2. Eh, the Cronkite days featured the Vietnam War and the assassination of JFK, among other things. It really wasn’t the time of reason and enlightenment.

                  1. It was a time where one half of the American cultural equation was suppressed by the other. We’ve been trying to keep it suppressed since the beginning, but they keep starting civil wars, assassinating presidents, and storming the capitol building.

                    It goes without saying that they can’t ever have actual power again.

                    1. It doesn’t sound like the Cronkite days were a great answer to whatever problem it is you’re trying to solve, anyway. It’s a wonder so many pine for them. I guess it was better for some than for others. Especially if you were a Cronkite.

                      Probably the first step in understanding truth is knowing that there’s a difference between true and false, and, for that matter, a difference between “I don’t like that”, “I don’t want to hear that”, and “that’s not true.” Too many purported experts and authorities don’t know the difference, and, when so many people get their information from them, as you say, how can they help but be misinformed?

                      The answer, of course, is for people to start valuing, much less tolerating, truth. But they’re too busy valuing imagined control of other people. In the end, it’s just a huge waste of humanity.

                    2. Anyway, what do you mean this “half of the American cultural equation”? What is that? Sounds like some cultural narrative or something.

                    3. I don’t think you’re talking about anything real.

                      As I said, none of us has access to primary truth in very many things. That’s why you either trust the scientific community or you’re out. You don’t get an opinion. Science isn’t optional.

                      To your other question, yes, it is all cultural bullshit. Two people can live under the same system and interpret it as either freedom or tyranny, even if nothing changed but the letter after the president’s name.

                      And you think culture refers to something real?

                    4. “They” that started the Civil War were the members of the Democratic Party south of the Mason-Dixon Line. That party also implemented Jim Crow laws. Yes. They are still at it.

                    5. Who says science isn’t optional?

                      Like, in a world without humans, would there be science?

                    6. Go ahead and tell me culture isn’t real, in the imaginary English language that is completely fake despite you and me sitting here using it to converse in as real a way as anything else.

                      This isn’t happening.

                      All statements are false.

                3. Tony, you puke up progtard propaganda every day here. You suck it down just like the jizz you swallow at your public glory hole

        2. Tell us more about the iron-clad proof that Trump is a Russian intelligence asset and the KGB hacked voting machines to deprive Hillary of her coronation in 2016, Tony.

          1. I don’t think the hacking happened, but I also don’t think we asked the question hard enough. We didn’t want to offend the very people who would, in four years time, insist that there MUST be widespread hacking because, well, how else would you explain people not voting for Donald Trump to have his finger on the nuclear button anymore?

            Trump has probably been long compromised by the Russians. I don’t know why that’s so hard to believe. It’ll come out in the end.

            1. Then why did he have an EO that kept both Russia and China from providing components for our electrical grid, and Biden repealed it? Why did Trump increase sanctions against Russia and Biden is about to repeal them? Why did Trump remove barriers to our energy independence, that drove energy prices down (weakening Russia’s economy) while Biden is doing the opposite?

              Don’t be a moronic prog shill your whole life.

        3. So, you appoint yourself the Eternal Arbiter of All That Is True? Wow, you’re smart.

          1. Just a guy who read more than one book in high school.

            1. What? Faggot stroke books?

    4. tony never disappoints, always projecting.

    5. Your ideas intrigue me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

      1. I just want to eat his raw intestines out of his hemorrhaging gut while he’s still alive and begging me to stop, but you do you.

        1. Future congress material here.

  11. Station owners could guarantee a larger audience to advertisers simply by picking right-wing instead of left-wing talk radio programs.
    station owners can’t guarantee a damn thing. A bad host is a bad host, irrespective of ideology. The left tried Air America as a counter to conservative talk. It failed. Interesting programming finds an audience.

    1. Air America could not compete with NPR, the original and existing liberal talking points radio.

  12. Press F to pay respects.

  13. “Rush Limbaugh rightly opposed the government stick so you should support the government carrot.”

    WTF is this idiocy? More ‘wet roads cause rain’ thinking spewing from Reason. You would think, somewhere in the exploration of how The Fairness Doctrine backfired when it was used by The Kennedy Administration to suppress political dissent, they would’ve realized that “The government shouldn’t thumb the scales” doesn’t mean they shouldn’t literally thumb the scales but they shouldn’t suppress one side *or protect/lift the other* and that The Fairness Doctrine and S230 are the opposite carrot/stick sides of the same manipulation of free speech coin.

    Rush pretty adamently opposed the Soviets in the 80s, the fairness doctrine was more deserving of his rage than the Soviets? Rush Limbaugh was opposed to the spread of freedom by force, the fairness doctrine was more deserving of his rage than violent interventionism?

    Just an absolute garbage take from Reason and raping a corpse to do it.

    1. The “soviets” were just people. No economic theory is worth nuking the world over.

      Imagine the world almost ending because of a dick contest between two random cultures.

      1. Yes, the Soviets were just people…people who needed people…people who needed people so damn bad that they build walls and machine gun turrets and razor wire fences to keep those people they needed in slavery!

        Oh, and the Soviets also considered homosexuality to be Bourgeois decadence and put homosexuals in psychiatric prisons. Their Red Chinese counterparts did so up to 2001.

        Please learn what side you bread is buttered on, and indeed, wherefrom your bread and butter and every other product or service you enjoy comes.

        1. So kill the political leaders. The people are just people. You are disagreeing with me about the need to kill people, right? Or what is your point?

          All economic ideologies are bunk. Economies are too complex to be run by a small set of axioms. Any communists who existed, and the few remaining ones, are in a political party. It’s a tribe, a label, not a method.

          Saying you’re a member of the communist party is social signaling, just like saying “we’re a republic not a democracy, that’s why I’m a Republican.” The common theme is stupidity.

          China doesn’t have a communist economy. And no one who followed the wishes of Marx would approve of a dictator.

          Not that it’s remotely morally acceptable to kill people for having either the wrong economic or political beliefs.

          1. Saying you’re a member of the communist party is social signaling, just like saying “we’re a republic not a democracy, that’s why I’m a Republican.” The common theme is stupidity.

            Damn you’re an idiot. First – saying we’re a republic and not a democracy is a statement of fact, not one of social signaling. Anyone who follows it with “That’s why I’m a Republican” is as dumb as you are.

            Second and more important though, saying you believe in one thing over another is a way to communicate to other humans a broad set of ideas quickly, instead of trying to list each idea separately. This is useful in human to human conversation and learning about each other, something you fail to do on a daily basis – you’ve been posting on a libertarian board for years, but still don’t understand basic NAP.

            But for normal people, saying you’re a democrat, or a republican, or a libertarian, is a quick way to explain who you might have voted for, what your thoughts are on upcoming legislation/foreign policy considerations and much more.

            For lack of a better term – it’s a useful shortcut, which doesn’t explain who the person is exactly, but does provide quick valuable information for those willing to pay attention.

          2. Russian, Ukrainians, and other nationalities of the U.S.S.R. are the innocents. “The Soviets” refers to the geo-political units the Communists divided their territory into, as well as to the Communists themselves. Surely you knew that.

  14. Limbaugh first announced his diagnosis in February 2020, saying he would take time off for medical tests and to determine treatment after noticing shortness of breath during his birthday weekend in January.
    He said he intended to continue to work as much as possible, as well as focus on what he called his “deeply personal relationship” with God.
    https://worldabcnews.com/rush-limbaugh-radio-host-once-billed-as-most-dangerous-man-in-america-dead-at-70/

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