Astro-Turf War: Media Matters After Limbaugh

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Indeed, there has even been something of a backlash against this urge to purge by MMFA from some leftists. Several liberals criticized Fonda for wanting to use government to stifle speech with which they disagree. And Bill Mahar, whose vile comments about conservative women like Sarah Palin have crossed the lines of decency, writes in the New York Times:

The answer to whenever another human being annoys you is not “make them go away forever.” We need to learn to coexist, and it’s actually pretty easy to do. For example, I find Rush Limbaugh obnoxious, but I’ve been able to coexist comfortably with him for 20 years by using this simple method: I never listen to his program.

Of course, there are far more people on the left cheering Media Matters and Jane Fonda on, but it is significant that there are liberals who realize the danger in not just criticizing, but actively working to silence someone with whom they disagree.

Now comes the ad campaign that Media Matters thinks will force Limbaugh from the airwaves. The two ads use Limbaugh’s own words about Sandra Fluke. They will run in 8 cities: Boston; Chicago; Detroit; Seattle; Milwaukee; St. Louis; Macon, Ga.; and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. AP reports that the ads are designed “to support active local campaigns against Limbaugh or because of perceptions Limbaugh may be vulnerable in that market.” Carusone told AP, “What we’re really looking for is a way to demonstrate the persistence of the effort and the fact that it is on a wide scale.”

Some pundits worry that if Media Matters were to be successful, it would start a full scale war with both sides seeking to silence voices with which they disagree. But there really isn’t much of a chance that Media Matters will do anything except gin up outrage and fill its coffers. In fact, the more they go after Limbaugh, the more popular he becomes on the right. In a sense, MMFA is playing right into Rush’s hands.

But one of the most troubling aspects of the effort to get Limbaugh off the air is how government now feels comfortable getting involved in “hate speech” controversies. The Los Angeles City Council passed a non-binding resolution calling on local stations to police their broadcasts in order to eliminate insensitive remarks and comments that cross the line of decency. The resolution is part of the fallout over controversial comments made by local “shock jocks” John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou who referred to Whitney Houston 3 days after her death as a “crack ho.” The two hosts were suspended for a week and must attend sensitivity classes before they return to the air.

But the resolution also mentioned Limbaugh’s comments about Sandra Fluke. Jeff Goldstein, a blogger who has been writing about the issues surrounding free speech and language for years, explains what the City Council is actually saying:

[A]s is evident in the proposal by this local city council, this is not really about “offensive” speech at all: it is instead about controlling speech, and that will be accomplished, once the left (with the blessings from a timid “right”) is able to take legal steps to enshrine PC laws, by empowering politically-motivated interpretive communities to decide what comes to count as offensive in the first place. Beyond that even, the empowerment here is extended to pretensions on the part of those putatively offended to determine when a certain type of speech is being “promoted” — which speaks to intent — though real intent will always be bracketed by the complainants should they believe it not to match the formulations they decide are offensive.

Goldstein notes that the trap we fall into is that those who are “offended” by the speech are the only ones with the “moral authority” to determine if something qualifies as “hate speech.” There is no objective standard so that those who refuse to “abide by the strictures” of speech as determined by the identity group, “simply don’t pass the ‘litmus test’ designed by the left to guarantee compliance to their ideological and policy agendas.”

There’s a reason we have a First Amendment. It is to guarantee that even speech with which you disagree is protected by government. Censorship — whether practiced by government or political organizations — is hazardous to democracy which lives and breathes because there is an unfettered exchange of ideas. Even when people are screaming at each other, each side must be heard — even if the two sides aren’t listening to each other. The principle has stood us well over the years, and when it is threatened by a front group for a political party, all must rush to defend the principle, if not the speech itself.

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  • George L

    How dare a piece of crap like Jane Fonda raise her voice for anything in this country? That piece of traiterous vermin should have been thrown into a jail and th key thrown away! Now, was this hate speech?Was this my opinion? Do I have a right according to the Constitution to say this? Damn right I do! So does Limbaugh. He may be the loudest right winger, but he does not talk for the Rep party. He is above all else a PRIVATE CITIZEN and can say what ever he wants.

    • Dennis X

      jaba the rush is the defacto head of repubican party. Any repubican that dare become he target of his wrath or speak ill of jaba must come the next day and kiss the ring.

  • Ken

    Progressives will try to silence any voice that does not fall in step with them or takes a contrary position. Where is the outrage on all the bile Leftoes spill out on the airwaves?? Nope, don't see that!! Double-standard hypocrites!!

    • Roger

      I hope Rush doesn't want home after a dinner or stop in a Bar alone in the dark, or he might suddenly have a history of heart problems too.

      It was really convenient the way Andrew died.
      It reminds me of how conveniently a lot of people standing up to communism have died over the years.

      • SheilaJacksonLeeHERO

        Or maybe Breitbart was a fat f u c k who did cocaine and had a bitter evil heart that made him age 30 years older than 43.

        • Roger

          Really? But you don't have a problem with bag after bag of cheetos?

          Or the medical marijuana?

          7 weeks ago @ – #OccupyDenver Comes Ba… · 0 replies · -1 points
          I use two hands for the bong, then type afterwards.

          It's not like when you wank off while blogging.

          • SheilaJacksonLeeHERO

            If he had smoked marijuana instead of snorting cocaine and popping pills, he would still be around.

            But I'm sure that fat f u c k eat his share of cheetoes.

            What do you eat besides c o c k?

          • Roger

            Back to the only thing you have, foul language?

          • SheilaJacksonLeeHERO

            Foul language is great against conservative lies and propaganda.

          • Roger

            Did you media matters handler say so?

  • truthseeker

    GOP lies , don't forget bush and his 8 years of disaster, not to mention the precedent of out of control deficit spending and forming a bloated military that costs more than all the the other militaries in the world combined that Reagan the false republican god Reagan set. they are terrible in human rights as well, they won't protect your rights if your a women, poor or old, they don't want to improve health care and education, all their care about is cutting taxes for the rich, redistributing the wealth upward(the trickle down effect was another of Reagan's lies). Instead of focusing on real issues also, they focus on things like birth control, pre-abortion ultrasounds(a paradoxical expansion of the role of the state for a party which favors small government), and who is the most conservative/ who would most radically destroy our country's social safety net. The gop is the biggest threat to the continuance of the american legacy.They are a party which continually proves its ignorance and stupidity in ignoring well established facts supported by lots of data such as global warming and evolution, and additionally seek to ban them from being taught in schools, instead trying to replace a good education based on sound scientific reasoning with wordsfrom some ancient book. I am a high school student(with an Mensa IQ of 155 for those of you that tried to blow me off for my age there) and live in a republican dominated state, and i have seen the horrors that result from republican policies. Our roads are in shambles, and full of pot holes, our teaches are being put on fur-low, and our text books are pre 2000, for example our the front title of our government books read "how will the Clinton election end?" our computers are outdated, we have a principal who got rid of Sadie Hawkens, because "he didn't think it was quite right, the idea behind it", banned our cheer leading and dancing squads from performing in assemblies because "they're too racy for our kids to polluted by", money is continually being cut from our budgets as well, and many teachers are leaving because they are treated ridiculously by the state.Also many of our Science teachers spend more time teaching theology and the fallacies of science then they do their actual state mandated material. Also there are religious clubs sponsored by teachers whose members have literally told people that they are going to hell because they aren't interested in their club, and will go around chanting verses from the bible and shouting "hail Jesus!" and "fight the atheists!" during lunch time. my state is also the most intolerant one ever, our school once had a 3 hour lock down because some black guy with a brown bag was spotted walking three miles from our school, adding a clause to our anti-discrimination bill that would protect homosexuals was extremely controversial, and was struck down in a committee, not even receiving a vote. Our politicians are all corrupt and receive payments from oil companies, and dairies. pollution laws are lax, and our air is absolutely filthy. Republicans have destroyed our state. Many of my fellow students, a majority in fact from surveys taken by the psychology students, identify themselves as democrats and atheists, and are sick of the conservative crap shoved down our throats every day. The amount of ignorance and stupidity here is unbelievable, and people have no sympathy for any one else, unless that person was their meth dealer of course. (our police also have quotas they have to meet) so people take just this small fraction of a percent of an example of the ridiculousness of a state dominated literally by republicanism, where democrats are lucky to hold 5 seats if that in the state government, and do not for the love of all that you hold holy vote republican. Unless your goal is to hurry on the apocalypse that is. Vote for the party, or candidates whose main goal is not to "radically change the country" and create a plutocratic haven for the rich

    • Larry

      I see they are even dumbing down the Mensa tests these days.

    • Zionista

      you're a long winded bore

    • davarino

      Whew, isnt it time for another hit on the crack pipe. What you would rather have is trickle up poverty.

    • neils60

      Mensa member, 155 IQ, or above? Your writing style, spelling and sentence structure suggests that your IQ is closer to 90. Worse, the information in your rant is so ridiculous, that it's ludicrous to respond.
      p.s. You should be in school today, even if you think that you're too good for it, and/or you think that you're a genius.

      • DMW

        Gee. I think it was in the seventh grade, or maybe earlier, that I learned about that great stylistic writing tool, er, uh, PARAGRAPHS!

        • sharpsrifle

          Third grade. You just learned so much that you forgot which year it was. No problem.

      • Looking4Sanity

        No kidding! All that crap and not one paragraph break in the whole load. He's obviously one of those people who finds it impossible to shut his pie hole for two consecutive minutes.

    • kentatwater

      I have a friend who actually has a 155 IQ. He declined my offer to join the local Mensa chapter with me, and as his IQ is a little higher than mine, I must concede he made the more intelligent choice. You could cut the smug with a knife.

      Well, at least it's résumé candy.

      If you do indeed have such an IQ, judging by the quality of your writing, you've payed for it with some other neurological deficit.

    • pagegl

      I think the supposed IQ score of 155 was given to you by a teacher who was more concerned wtih your feelings and self esteem than actually doing anything to help you learn. I would hazard a guess from your grammatical and apparent reasoning skills that your IQ is way closer to the mean than you care to believe (oh yeah, I do have a degree in psychology and concentrated on test design and metrics).

      You need to leave you parents' basement and check out the real world. The Republicans have done no more, and probably less, than the Democrats to put this country into the conditions of which you are pissing and moaning.

    • Chiggles

      Not sure, but I smell a froll.

    • "gunner"

      a high school student with a mensa i.q. of 155? really? well i'm an old geezer of 75 and when i was a high school kid a thought i knew "everything" too, then i entered the adult world and began learning how much i really didn't know. i started listening to the people around me, who had lived through hard times, depressions and wars and survived, one important principle i learned early on is "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch" and "I Eat, You Pay" only works as long as there are pockets to pick for the paying.

      • "gunner"

        …i learned too that the "rich" cannot make money without me making my own bit of money from them, nor do i envy the rich man his money. i own my house, warm and comfortable, i enjoy the car i drive, the good food on my table, the clothes i wear, the books and music i buy, and the warm and willing woman who shares my bed every night, and the ocassional glass of good irish whiskey, (tullamore dew by choice, thank you.)

        • "gunner"

          …i am not "rich" by most standards, some might even think me "poor", but i feel no need to demand that those who have more be stripped of their wealth, reducing them to an equality of poverty that is the norm in the socialist world you seem to espouse.

          • "gunner"

            … i suggest that you broaden your intellectual horizons, and read more widely, heinlein, kipling, l. neil smith, huxley and orwell would make a good start. look up a copy of the old silent film "metropolis". fritz lang did not intend it so, but it is a perfect picture of a socialist "worker's paradise" with the ruling apparat living in the sun and fresh air while the proles live in barracks and march in lockstep to work down below. i suggest too, that before you dash off to college, to be chained to an unpayable student loan, you take a couple of years to live and work in the real world. even a term of enlistment in the military might be educational, (and could help pay for that college education, while teaching you how to better use it to advantage.) in parting i'll wish you luck in your "truthseeking" and leave you with pontius pilate's eternal question, "what is truth".

      • Looking4Sanity

        Daddy always said "God gave you one mouth and two ears because you should listen twice as much as you speak". Good advice for this brainwashed little twerp, wouldn't you say?.

        • ForConstitution

          Hey L4S Greetings from your southern Virginian neighbor! How are ya?! We're sitting here watching Survivorman with my son on Netflix. He loves this stuff. We're getting a lot of rain today, so it's a good day for this.

          I was just thinking about that saying the other day! And God said for us to "be swift to hear, and slow to speak." That verse pretty much backs up what your daddy taught you. ,

          I thought I'd jump in a little today with the new laptop Mr. FC bought me. It's a Compaq and dang, this thing is so much lighter that than piece of crap Toshiba I had! At least with this one, if it gets fixed twice the first year, it's automatically replaced. The price: Walmart, 300 bucks. Here's another motto that ticks off the left. "If you can't get it at Walmart, you don't need it LOL!" Of course, we can't get handguns and piano sheet music, so we have permission to shop at other stores for that stuff!!

          I would take Dubya 43 back in the Oval Office in a NY minute!

          I guess this poster didn't learn about the use of paragraphs in Grammar, eh? And we can thank Bill Clinton for the dumbed down status of the youths of America. I'm not even going to bother reading that drivel.

          • WeeToddEdwards

            Did god say it was ok to call people "brainwashed little twerps"?

            Huh, must of missed that part……………..

          • Roger

            You miss everything. The hatred blinds you.

    • remmy

      A menstral I Q of 155? Is that good?

    • pyeatte

      Truthseaker, I think you are mentally ill.

    • MsgtGdubb

      Well truthcreeper, apparently you aren't smart enough to know that wealthy people create jobs for the masses. Also if mediamatters, is successful in stifling one mans freedom of speech, then your own is in jeopardy. 155 IQ, my a–.

    • SheilaJacksonLeeHERO

      Well said!!!!!

      You hit the nail on the head on every point.

      • Roger

        Of course he didn't.
        Are you smoking too much medical marijuana again?

        • SheilaJacksonLeeHERO

          How would you know?

          You spend all your time staring at children at Hesperia Public Library.

          Does your uncle Richard know about that?

          • Roger

            You're getting my profiles mixed up.

            And you went back a long, long ways to find my library card in Hesperia from the summer of 1970.

          • SheilaJacksonLeeHERO

            Which profile of yours has your girlfriend?

            Because that is the one thing that I know for sure. You don't have and have NEVER had a girlfriend.

            I'm sure you stare at children from several different public libraries.

          • Roger

            So, which of your profiles shows your right hand after a bag of cheetos?

          • SheilaJacksonLeeHERO

            Have you ever even tried to get a girlfriend? Or is it that you have never had any interest?

            You certainly have interest in talking to WeeTodd though.

          • Roger

            Have you ever tried to pry your hands off the bong? Or did the dried cheetos stick really bad?

  • pierce

    Just how, and why do the left survive. They do not make sense.

  • Rifleman

    Let mediamorons beat their heads against that wall. It looks like they'll be doing it without any more soros bucks, he seems to be disassociating himself from them, which makes me wonder what'll be coming out about mm in the near future.

  • Schlomotion

    I don't think the Obama administration is spilling over into the media, any more than Rush Limbaugh is spilling over into politics. Does anybody think Rush Limbaugh is spilling over into politics?

    • Roger

      I don't think you know how to think.

      Or should that be "I think you don't know how to think."

      Maybe we should ask the resident mensa poster.
      He pretends to be all knowing.

  • Alvaro

    Typical leftist salami tactics: Start with a relentless attack on a single individual. Try to make *everyone* distance themselves from this person. Once his/her career is broken, move on to the next victim. And then the next. Repeat cutting off small slices of the opposition until there is nothing left but the left.

    This is the time to defend Limbaugh.

    • Roger

      Of course, Alinsky is dead in fact. Now his tactics need to get chucked too.

  • Gary Hagland

    Media Matters (MMFA) is trying to capitalize on the fact that Cumulus Media is offering its new Huckabee show to its stations as a replacement for Limbaugh for less bucks. If a station does drop Limbaugh, MMFA will attempt to take credit.

    Huckabee is a weak sister compared to Limbaugh. In these troubling times, think the former Arkansas Governor's moderating tone will not be that appealing. Besides, Rush listeners are the most loyal in the country. If a station drops the Limbaugh show, another in its market will quickly snap it up and enjoy the benefits of a larger audience.

  • MsgtGdubb

    By the the way truthcreeper. You need to listen to Rush Limbaugh, to learn how to use the language effectively. He is a "wordsmith". You have no idea of how to get your point across in the fewest words possible. Why don't you quit school and get a job while your young and know everything. 155, yea, in your dreams! You should know that people are not going to read that lengthy diatribe. We knew you were an ID 10 T, after the first sentence.

  • Looking4Sanity

    8 cities?!?

    This just illustrates how dim-witted leftists are. Rush is literally on thousands of stations all over this country. Not to mention he probably has enough money to bankroll his show out of pocket for the rest of his life if he was so inclined.

    These left wing Nazis have been trying to silence the free speech of their opponents for over twenty years. It didn't work then, and it won't work now.

  • Flowerknife_us

    Media Matters vs. Rush. Despite the difference in numbers the odds are still in Rushes favor.

  • Brujo Blanco

    Rush with his comments about Fluke have provided the left with an opportunity to demonstrate their prejudice. The left has demonstrated that what they say is free speech and what the coservatives say according to the left is wrong and offensive and should not be allowed. The left will not even consider the filthy language their side has directed at females of all ages who are associated with conservatives. This double standard is not only unfair it is dangerous.

    • Roger

      I am still waiting for Fluke to dispute what he actually said

      Is she not a bit over willing where the guys are concerned?

  • kentatwater

    This double standard is not only unfair it is dangerous.

    Amen to that. Couple it with the sycophantic devotion to Hussein, what with school children singing his praises, and a dem party office flying a defaced American flag with his mug on it, and it starts to feel like we've seen this happen before.

    He's even rebranded the office of president. The official seal just wasn't cutting it, it seems.

    We could be in serious trouble…I mean even worse trouble.

  • ratonis

    To use the language of Bill Maher, Jane Fonda is a "dumb c**t," ( and a traitorous one at that).
    Wonder where old Henry is now, and what he would think? You know, the Great Courageous Henry Fonda
    who stood for All Things Good.

  • Flowerknife_us

    Rush vs. Media Matters??? Some 250,000 to 500,000 Unique visitors against 20,000,000 regulars.

    Just what was Media Matters thinking?

    A squirt gun has a better chance against a Fire Hose.

  • intrcptr2

    It is truly a strange day we live in when Bill Maher sounds sensible concerning the 1st Amendment.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    The sponsors that cut Rush cut their own throat with so many listeners it is sophmoric for them to
    think they are doing anything to help in their product sales, those who made these decisions must
    get front place in the economic Darwin awards…………………………………….William

  • Anamah

    Rush is now more popular than ever. And Media Matters stink is so terrible than some friends there begun to put distance between them and this mob. Some multimillionaires have a little shame to be part in this mafia, is bad for them socially. Soros is going to decide if he will persist on this kind of activity, making the clown or retry to a safer place less intolerant and more honest because he is making money but his name went worst than bad.

  • Looking4Sanity


  • Roger

    That is no excuse for her standing on the gun turret in Vietnam and handing over notes that POW's slipped her.

  • "gunner"

    while criticizing "truthseeker" i'll plead guilty to typing "internet lasy, no caps" myself. my own post ended up being "too long" for the site's reply programme, so i edited, cut and pasted it as seperate sections to fit. i will suggest that he has come to the right place to seek "truth", if he will listen to we who have been around the block a few times longer that he, and gained our education at the college of hard knocks, where the passing grade is survival,