The following is a letter from Ralph Nadar to Rush Limbaugh. It sounds rather wacky to me. Is he saying that Rush should pay rent because radio goes out over airwaves and the airwaves belong to the country? Hate to be dense, but this one stumped me.
Rush is going to be on vacation all next week. I may have to wait to find out unless one of you in blogland happens to know more about this than I... which wouldn't be a high bar to reach given my total lack of understanding of how broadcasting works.
Open letter to Rush Limbaugh from Ralph Nader:
The Rush Limbaugh Show
2 Penn Plaza
New York, NY 10121
Dear Mr. Limbaugh,
The Associated Press reports your new contract with Premiere Radio Networks will enrich you with at least $38 million a year over the next eight years. You are making this money on the public property of the American people for which you pay no rent.
You, Rush Limbaugh, are on welfare.
As you know, the public airwaves belong to the American people. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is supposed to be our trustee in managing this property. The people are the landlords and the radio and TV stations and affiliated companies are the tenants.
The problem is that since the Radio Act of 1927 these corporate tenants have been massively more powerful in Washington, DC than the tens of millions of listeners and viewers. The result has been no payment of rent by the stations for the value of their license to broadcast. You and your company are using the public's valuable property for free. This freeloading on the backs of the American people is called corporate welfare.
It is way past due for the super-rich capitalist -- Rush Limbaugh from Cape Girardeau, Missouri -- to get himself off big time welfare. It is way past due for Rush Limbaugh as the Kingboy of corporatist radio to set a capitalist example for his peers and pay rent to the American people for the very lucrative use of their property.
You need not wait for the broadcast industry-indentured FCC and Congress to do the right thing. You can lead by paying a voluntary rent -- determined by a reputable appraisal organization -- for the time you use on the hundreds of stations that carry your words each weekday.
Payment of rent for the use of public airwaves owned by the American people is the conservative position. Real conservatives oppose corporate welfare. Real corporatists feed voraciously from hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate welfare gushing out of Washington, DC yearly.
Whose side are you on? Freeloading? Or paying rent for the public property you have been using free for many years?
I look forward to your response.
PO Box 19312
Washington, DC 20036