When my sister and I were kids, and we'd start "acting up", and it looked like we weren't going to stop, my father would inevitably say "Somebody's gonna end up crying".
And my sister would invariably say "And it's gonna be me".
And she'd usually be right.
This is an excerpt from an article I wrote here just about two months ago.
"I've usually been amused by the notion of Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly, with their audiences becoming more and more fragmented, causing them to become more and more shrill, if such a thing is possible.
Watching them become a daily embarrassment to the Republican Party has provided even more fun.
But as much as I've enjoyed the Carnival, I'm afraid that it's time for something to be done.
Something that in many peoples eyes might infringe on the First Amendment.
But there's nothing in the First Amendment about the right to be on TV or the radio.
Both Limbaugh and O'Reilly have seriously gotten into what can very reasonably be called "inciting violence".
Limbaugh, with his daily hatespeak about how he hope Obama fails: Limbaugh preaches to the people with the guns.
What better way for Obama to fail than by getting himself assassinated?
Does anyone really think that this is beyond the scope of Limbaugh's more passionate audience members?
O'Reilly providing information on how to find the surviving abortion doctors: I can't imagine why. Can you?
These actions themselves bespeak treason.
I don't know if it goes that far legally, but I know they're walking the tightrope.
So let's give them the benefit of the doubt.
It's not treason.
But it's definitely incitement to violence.
So we don't arrest them.
And yes, there's freedom of speech, which ends with the classical example of Shouting "Fire" in a crowded movie theater when there isn't one.
What Limbaugh and O'Reilly are doing, to me, goes over that line.
Therefore neither of them is owed a place on the public airwaves, no matter how popular they are.
There's such a thing as the FCC.
They issue the licenses.
The FCC, if it chose to, could revoke the licenses of any station that carried Limbaugh or O'Reilly on the basis that they are inciting violence.
The two of them could then concentrate their efforts on their websites.
This might cut down on their influence, because it would require their audiences to read.
And go try and build an audience on webcasts alone.
I, for one, do not want to see any more people get shot at Holocaust Museums, or any more abortion doctors get killed.
Limbaugh is offering up the propaganda that this was caused by the liberals, but if you don't think that Limbaugh and O'Reilly, however indirectly, had a hand in those events, I would like to offer up for sale to you my 51% interest in the Brooklyn Bridge.
It would be difficult, and certainly out-of -character for President Obama to commandeer any effort to influence the FCC.
But there are plenty of political types (Senator Schumer?) who can certainly carry this ball and run with it.
Limbaugh and O'Reilly have outlived their dubious entertainment value.
There's nothing "amusing" about them any more.
On any level.
They are no longer "entertainers".
They are rabble-rousers.
A responsible society must find a way to at least discourage the rabble from being roused."
Since I wrote this, just in the past week or so, Limbaugh is calling everyone he perceives to be liberal as "Nazis". And his "audience" is listening.
Swastikas are showing up on liberal congressman's front lawns.
People showed up at President Obama's Town Hall Meeting today with loaded guns.
Some legally, some illegally.
Chris Matthews interviewed one of them on his show today.
My question is "Why wasn't he being interviewed by the Secret Service?
From behind bars?"
Add Glenn Beck to this mix.
He's even more insidious because he just seems like a benign dumbbell.
The other night, he devoted a major portion of his show putting a Nancy Pelosi mask on one of his employees and ostensibly served her a glass of poisoned wine.
He was suggesting what a wonderful idea it is to do away with Nancy Pelosi.
Ya think maybe some member of his "audience" is saying to himself "Wouldn't a gun be easier?"
Ya think maybe if Glenn Beck and his like didn't have access to an audience on the airwaves, these thoughts wouldn't be prompted as easily?
Does anybody know anybody at the F.C.C.?
If not, somebody's gonna end up crying.
And it's going to be us.
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- mark rothman
- Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."