Bill O'Reilly should really learn the difference between censorship and market forces, being a conservative and all. But since he confused the two in his Talking Points Memo Thursday night, I fear I need to correct him.
If the FCC were to yank Rush Limbaugh's show off the air, that would be censorship. Pressuring sponsors to drop their support for his hate speech is not censorship. It's the free market, weaving its magic.
There. That's better. While Rush Limbaugh continues to insist that no damage has been done by the ongoing left-side pressure on sponsors to drop his show, Billo carries the banner for him against Media Matters, who has begun to run ads in key markets pressuring radio stations. Again, Media Matters is not an arm of the state. It is a private, not-for-profit organization which exists to identify and call out right wing lies and hate speech.
While Bill fusses and fumes and calls for the IRS to revoke Media Matters' exempt status, they're quietly educating listeners about Limbaugh's reign of hate and terror without calling for Limbaugh to be taken off the air. They're simply calling for listeners and airing stations to stop tolerating broadcast hate speech.
Brian Glicklich has been acting on Limbaugh's behalf since at least March 8. Glicklich is a former vice president at Premiere Radio Networks, and currently heads the firm How Handy Is That, which specializes in reputation and crisis management and "gadfly defense." He previously worked as counsel to a firm that provides crisis management to clients like David Copperfield and Paris Hilton. Glicklich also has an extensive relationship with Glenn Beck, and is thanked in the acknowledgements of several of Beck's books.
How interesting, given that Billo acknowledges that Glenn Beck's demise came as a result of the very same techniques and some of the very same people's efforts. Rush Limbaugh had the nerve to claim in a statement that Media Matters was targeting "small businesses."
O'Reilly isn't above his own brand of hate speech, calling Media Matters' campaign "fascist" and "totalitarian" in this segment, while remaining utterly silent about the fact that Limbaugh called the President a "jackass" on today's show, which is carried on corporate airwaves while pounding home political ideologies.
Maybe Bill should listen to his own advice, where he says "unless a comment is violent or slanderous, it should be allowed." Oh, violence and slander on Fox News, let me count the ways. The many, many, many ways.
I'm certain Media Matters must be landing some punches in soft spots, because the more Limbaugh hurts, the more hyperbolic Billo becomes.