Locals tackle "hate radio"
A new organization has recently been formed to address the issue of "hate radio" beamed into Gainesville civil life. The Committee for a Civil Society has started a Campaign for a Civil Society to educate Gainesville about the "hate radio" phenomenon in our community and about the means to counter and eliminate this "scourge". Peace activist listeners to Rush Limbaugh, Neil Boortz, Michael Savage, and local announcer Bob Rose testified to the felt pernicious effect of their message and concluded a group to address this issue was needed. We began immediately in the streets and have formulated our goals and methodology.
Mark Lawrence of the Green Party talked to Gil Marshall about the new organization:
Mark Lawrence: What is 'hate radio'? Why that terminology?
Gil Marshall: WSKY-FM, 97.3 fm has four 'news talk' commentator/interviewers between 6 am (Bob Rose) and 10 PM (utter fringe type Michael Savage.) Two interviewers with longevity, Rush Limbaugh and Neil Boortz are confirmed, self-designated bigots. Boortz says of himself that if he were not such a SOB he would have been eliminated from radio long ago. I began listening because of people listening at my work location listened and I realized that a real problem existed with Rush spouting extreme right wing Republican dogmatism fueled with an abhorrent ugliness and sometimes outright and other times very subtle untruth. I came up with the term 'hate radio' and soon found it a generic term. This, my introduction, was during the run-up to the 2002 election and Limbaugh was really bashing the Democrats. Much of it was untruthful and gushing with hateful vibes. He said something close to: "Democrats never made a good decision, they never will make a good decision." The monologue on Democrats was unceasing, full of invective, open disrespect for the Democratic leadership and painful to listen to for one not even a Democrat. News commentators and Limbaugh credit Limbaugh with helping create the election landslide. The Democrats paid but we all paid by the climate produced. The broadcast output is racist, homophobic, anti-child, anti-woman, anti-environmentalist and pro-violence. Limbaugh calls Jesse Jackson a "race pimp." Concerned environmentalists are "all environmental wackos." We are all paying the price.
ML: I have listened and am convinced and wonder what are you going to do counter this in Gainesville
GM: We started with a weekly presence on 43rd Street just below 39th Ave, Thursdays at 4:30- 6pm with signs and now have a meeting place at the CMC, 1021 W. University Ave., on the 2nd and 4th Mondays, 8pm.
ML: What can you do that is concrete to stop this ugliness? Do they not have a right to say whatever they want?
GM: They may have the right but we also have the right to point out that this destructive broadcasting is paid for by businesses in the community and that the image of the business in the community is tarnished to the extent that the public makes the connection. We will make that connection and make sure the business owners and managers see what they are linking their business image to. We also have the right, better, the obligation, to say that 'news talk' should be about the news and not a platform for spewing the ugliness and hate that they are broadcasting. Michael Savage is reported to say that we should nuke the Middle East and 'kill 'em all.'
ML: Are you alone in this effort?
GM: No! A friend turned me on to a website: <MichaelSavagesucks.com>
With the Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle accusing Limbaugh of destabilizing unstable people and having them call his home and office with threatening calls the issue took on national significance. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) has been reporting on Limbaugh for a long time and they have a web site as well. A group member just sent an email message with a lot of addresses of national Limbaugh sponsors and I encourage people to join us in the effort to communicate with sponsors.
Several addresses are < Boycott_rush@yahoo.com> and http://www.dakotatechnics.com/actionsurvey/rush.htm. Another is <email@example.com>
ML If I did not know anything about "hate radio" what would be the best way to get involved?
GM: Listen to the shows with pen and paper in hand and start recording the hateful things said. Note the sponsors as well, call the sponsors and let them know you disapprove, and let them know where you will not shop.
Join us on NW 43rd St. and come to the meeting. Mark will take inquiries at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. What they say on the radio is the most damaging evidence against them so we have only to let the public know what they are saying. Here are a few examples: On the poor Savage said: ". . . bums. . . they are lower than animals." Savage on Muslims: "They have created nothing in a thousand years. They cut throats and blow things up. . . The women just want to have moustaches and wear veils."
On feminism Limbaugh said: "Feminism was established to allow unattractive (once 'ugly') women easier access to the mainstream of society." About women Savage said something close to: "Women should be denied the vote. . . they are too emotional." The stuff they say is outrageous but there is something even bigger that I only alluded to. The diatribe against Democrats by Limbaugh was clear on the notion of a 'loyal opposition.' They were scum and there should be only one party--the REPUBLICANS! Scary!!! An available and possibly proper terminology for that condition is fascism, and he was clear that the Democrats should not be part of the political process.
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