Amusing: Salon.com is offering free one year subscriptions to its premium contents to anyone on active duty in the U.S Armed Forces with a .mil e-mail address.
Do America’s servicemen and -women get the full story from American Forces Radio and Television? Not according to Eric Boehlert’s Salon cover story on Wednesday. Our soldiers get a daily dose of poison from Rush Limbaugh, who has dismissed the Abu Ghraib horrors as harmless frat-house pranks and denounces even Democrats who served their country (unlike Limbaugh himself, who sat out the Vietnam War) as traitors. Yet the military broadcasting system keeps even liberal commentators — let alone far-left ones who would be the real counterpart to the extremist blowhard — off its airwaves.
The men and women who are risking their lives abroad deserve to fully enjoy one of its essential cornerstones — a free press. But by bombarding military personnel every day with Limbaugh’s incendiary tirades, to the exclusion of all other views, American Forces Radio and Television is ensuring that its vast, uniformed audience is exposed only to the rantings of the far right.
If you listen only to Limbaugh, you hear only of a president who can do no wrong and of a nefarious political opposition that seeks not just to bring down his administration, but America itself. But Salon wants to make sure that those who are putting their lives on the line for America receive a full spectrum of news and opinion. Because that’s the American way.
It’s hard to argue against the gesture–free is free, after all–but do the editors of Salon really think American soldiers don’t have access to information about the war effort? Indeed, pretty much every online source worth reading is available for free to begin with. Presumably, the reason Rush Limbaugh–whose views about Abu Ghraib are in direct contradiction to that of the chain of command, incidentally–is on AFN while his leftist equivalent is not is that he has no leftist equivalent. Limbaugh’s show is by leaps and bounds the most popular talk show on the radio. I couldn’t tell you who the most popular leftist is, but he’s got to be several rungs down the ladder.