2012-03-13 18:56:30

Does using the FCC help us with the fight against misogyny on the airwaves?

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Like Jill, I am an ardent supporter of the minds, actions and words of the prominent feminists that penned this op-ed urging the FCC to push Limbaugh off the airwaves. In a perfect world, this strategy would make sense because that world would be fair and just and “public good” would mean supporting the rights of the marginalized irrelevant of race, class, gender or ability. But that is not this world. In this world there is a growing echo chamber led by white men that claim PC enforcers have a feminist socialist conspiracy to take away their freedom of speech. Tactically, asking the FCC to strong arm Limbaugh plays right into the overstated and inaccurate fear of conservative censorship by our post-isms PC nation. These people will fight for their right to be assholes in public.

Lindsey agrees and adds that the FCC probably won’t do much.

The attempt to involve the FCC is also tactically shortsighted. Rush and his whiney fans live to feel victimized. Nothing will reinvigorate them faster than a high-profile feminist enemy evoking the threat of government censorship. We laugh at conservatives when they complain to the FCC about “indecency” on Oprah orGlee. Feminists who complain about Rush are going to end up looking equally silly to people who don’t already agree with us.

Also, the FCC is unlikely to do anything to Rush. So, this campaign is simultaneously squandering political capital and the moral high ground.

The FCC campaign is also distraction from the phenomenally successful campaign to get sponsors to pull their ads from the Limbaugh show after his three-day hatefest for Sandra Fluke. Think Progress reports that 140 national companies have requested that their ads not be played on Rush’s show.

A campaign to get sponsors to drop Rush is not censorship. Advertisers pay to be associated with media figures whose image reflects well on their brands. In fact, these firms have a duty to their investors to advertise in ways that enhance their corporate image.

As does Amanda who suggests that shunning him is much more effective than shaming him. Losing all your advertisers and having to apologize to us big mean super powerful feminists on the national stage is totally embarrassing for someone like Limbaugh (even if he didn’t really apologize) and something we should feel really good about watching. Watching Limbaugh and his ilk (slowly) fade into obscurity and irrelevance is a much more effective tactic in the long-term because first it happens for all to see and second, it becomes ever more clear that he did it to himself. And this will ultimately push the GOP to distance themselves from him.

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