Democratic Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, wants the military to give Rush Limbaugh the boot. Levin says that Armed Forces radio, known as the Armed Forces Network (AFN) is no place for Rush Limbaugh’s brand of commentary. Limbaugh, who has lost several dozen advertisers, is struggling to stay afloat one week after his misogynistic attacks on Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown College student whom Limbaugh attacked 53 times last week alone for her comments regarding contraception.
“I would hope the people that run [the Armed Forces Network] see just how offensive this is and drop it on their own volition,” Levin said in an exclusive interview with CNN:
The Pentagon said Monday the Defense Department currently has no plans to stop broadcasting the show. DOD’s policy is to broadcast shows that “reflect a wide range” of opinion, said Pentagon press secretary George Little.
Levin, a generally liberal Democrat from Michigan whose top spot on Armed Services makes him very influential inside the Pentagon, said he would “love” to see the program dropped, but he doesn’t think it should be up to Congress to pass a law to make it happen.
“I think that is probably an issue that should be left to the folks that run that network,” he said. “In other words, I’d love to see them drop it but I don’t think I’d legislate it.”
The liberal leaning advocacy group Vote Vets and other progressive voices in the blogosphere have called for the AFN to drop Limbaugh’s program.
Given the vitriol of Limbaugh’s repeated misogynistic attacks, not only on Fluke, but on women in general, and given the rise in reporting of rape in the U.S. military, it makes sense to pull Rush Limbaugh from the AFN programming.
“Rape within the US military has become so widespread that it is estimated that a female soldier in Iraq is more likely to be attacked by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire,” The Guardian reported just this past December in an article that takes an extensive look at rape in America’s Armed forces.
Democratic Congeresswoman Jackie Speier yesterday “castigated the U.S. military for its policies in dealing with rape and sexual assault and repeated her call for legislation to fix a system she said was broken,” the L.A. Times reported:
The Department of Defense estimates that more than 19,000 service members were raped or sexually assaulted in 2010. But only 13% of them actually reported the incident, and of those 13%, only 8% of the perpetrators were prosecuted and an even smaller percentage were convicted, she said.
And the Navy Times adds, “At least 20 percent of servicewomen and 1 percent of men — an estimated 500,000 troops — have experienced sexual trauma while serving.”
Is there a clear line of cause and effect? There of course are no studies, but common sense would say that when service members listen to a revered 35-year radio talk show commentator who spends hours attacking women and minorities, chances are that is contributing to creating and maintaining a hostile environment.
Common sense, and this:
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