Ink Paper Words' Profile

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Pacific Northwest, United States
In elementary school, I desperately wanted my mother to order books for me from those flyers Scholastic hands out to kids. She refused, citing the "perfectly good library down the street." I exacted revenge by becoming a card-carrying ALA accredited reference librarian. Ha! Take that!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Why Rush Limbaugh Must Not be Censored

It's a scary time to be in the media. Any offhand remark can offend someone and complications result, and today it's easier than it's ever been to file a complaint. You don't even need to pick up the phone anymore. Just fire off an email in the right direction and voice your displeasure. But protests are curious things. Sometimes audiences and advertisers are lost, along with the income. Sometimes a protest will inspire a counter-protest and others are brought on board.

Rush Limbaugh's most recent attack on a woman has come under fire and initiated a microscopic looks at critical remarks made toward women. The aftermath of his false, intentionally misleading and inappropriate comments about Sandra Fluke who testified about how a friend of hers lost an ovary due to inability to avail herself of hormonal therapies. After being cycled through the Limbaugh Mangle-Bot, he claimed that she had so much sex she could not afford birth control, and that if she wanted to reimbursed for this birth control she was a slut and prostitute and would be obligated to provide an uplink to video of her having sex to compensate him.

The uproar over Limbaugh's hyperbole and slander caused many to engage in a campaign to express their outrage, with the result that he lost over 150 advertisers from his syndicated radio program. Several minutes of dead air were filled with PSA's.

It's difficult to feel badly for Limbaugh. For more than 20 years he's been making a fortune by uttering this exact kid of thing, and in fact, he is responsible for the word “feminazi,” which seems to mean a woman who isn't conservative having an opinion about something. His target audience eats it up and have rewarded him handsomely for talking smack about everything they hate. Basically, I abhor him and everything he stands for, but I believe it is essential that he continue to speak as he does and that he not be forced air because of his knowingly outrageous and incendiary comments.

On the contrary, Limbaugh's kind of hate speech needs to be brought into the open as much as possible for the very reason that we need to examine these statements and evaluate and accept or reject them on their own merits. It simply is not enough to accept at face value what we are told and by going to the source rather than relying on intermediaries. Weeks after Limbaugh's slanders, people who listen to him are still regurgitating his statements as though they were Gospel and had not been thoroughly refuted.

These days there are so many diversions and distractions circulating in the media that it can be difficult to know what is accurate and what is not. A plethora of information can be just as bad as a dearth; perhaps even more frustrating having too much to sift through than not enough. A skilled navigator on the sea of information is always a help.

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