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FEATURE

Life Isn't Fair but Media Should Be





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A couple of years ago the autos that were parked overnight in the streets of New York City were having their car radios heisted by agile crooks. Car owners were then removing their radios from their dashboards overnight and posting hand written signs in their windows announcing "No car radio" in the hope that they would avoid a broken window.

After listening to Rush Limbaugh one day I put a sign in my old Volvo reading "No hate radio
." So my car was spared by some right wing thief. Somehow this form of thievery lost its luster, and the clever crooks found more lucrative forms of boosting; flat screen TVs, Prada handbags, Florida elections, hedge funds and sub prime mortgages. But the idea of no hate radio still appeals to me - or at least balancing the preponderance of conservative hate radio with other voices.

I know that hate speech is protected as free speech by our Constitution. And no, I don't advocate imposing love radio (a yawn inducing notion) on the world but creating a forceful pl
ain-talking progressive radio, one that should have a place on our radio airways and television. No, not another Air America which floats about the ether, lost to anyone who tries to find it, but an effective, pervasive, easy to find voice for progressive views.

The truth is that hate speech can often be funnier than reasoned talk. And it has a long tradition in our democracy going back to the Founding Fathers, Andrew Jackson, and Lincoln with their savagely mocking, duel fighting and libel tossing opponents. Hate sells. Always has. Sadly, it always will. The trouble with its use during the McCain/Palin campaign was that it teetered on encouraging serious hate action by the desperate Republican candidates by demonizing our now President elect Obama as a secret traitor, and we all know what they'd like to do to traitors.

Rush Limbaugh, Oxycodone's own Oliver Hardy, has been bringing joy and gladness to the Repubs for years by pounding on liberals relentlessly, and his rewards for doing so have been enormous. I say let him go on ranting and rolling. Let him have his ditto-heads, his mansions, his forbidden little pills and his fat cigars. Let him mock a critically ill actor, Michael J. Fox, let him rave on against the reality of AIDS, let him declare war on the environment, not for me to stop him. And that goes for his fellow right winger Sean Hannity as well in that Hannity/Comes show where Hannity, the fast talking radical right guy with the gift for gab outshines the dim bulb that is his nerdy liberal opponent, Alan Colmes. A Foxy set up if I ever saw one. I must admit that I was troubled by the debates in this election which excluded Nader who was desperately running on the Egotist Party ticket, and Libertarian Bob Bar from at least one of the debates. I felt that their absence diluted the debates and diminished the discourse.

All of this is just a preamble to my view that we must restore the old Fairness Doctrine.

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