For more than a decade, Rush Limbaugh has manned the loudest megaphone the human race has ever known. His three hour talk radio program is heard on more than six hundred radio stations, five days a week. That is 15-18 hours a week of preaching to a "dittohead" audience numbering in the millions. Every profound, controversial, or profoundly controversial statement Rush makes is subsequently echoed by a plethora of right wing and news concentrator websites, all of which are followed by true believers who disseminate the new truth in letters to the editor, in comments after online articles, and in other ways throughout the right wing echo chamber. After attacking Sandra Fluke, Rush saw a need for a direct presence on Facebook and Twitter, but he quickly gave up these efforts. One might conclude that with such a fanatic following, indirect dissemination via dittohead works fine.
What's wrong with one person having such a Godzilla microphone? Nothing at all, so long as they avoid using it to disturb the public interest. But then, there's the rub. Fomenting violence is an astonishingly obvious way to damage the public interest. And while Rush may not be nearly so guilty in that regard as some others, having the only radio talk show carried on 600 stations makes what he does say a weighty issue.
There's significant reason to be concerned. A blogger activist who goes by the nick of Spocko has offered the alarming example of three Rwandan radio personalities who were convicted of genocide for inciting the murder of about 800,000 Rwandan citizens. Free speech is fine, but hate speech can have very serious consequences.
Now consider this: the three Rwandans had one radio station with two transmitters. Rush has more than six hundred radio stations.
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