70 lawmakers rush to Limbaugh's defense

December 01, 1993|By Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON -- Rush Limbaugh has made it into the homes and automobiles of much of America but getting into the Pentagon is different.

Although the ultraconservative talk show host might seem at ease among the nation's military forces, the Pentagon has banned his programs from its Armed Forces Radio and Television networks because Mr. Limbaugh "presents only one point of view" -- not to mention that GIs apparently would rather watch sports and listen to music.

But the Pentagon's refusal to open up the military airwaves to Mr. Limbaugh has angered a contingent of 70 congressmen. They contend that Defense Secretary Les Aspin and other Pentagon officials are censoring Mr. Limbaugh to protect a liberal agenda. They have demanded that Mr. Limbaugh's program be made available to the service members and their families who are in 134 countries around the world.

"Rush Limbaugh has been called by his liberal critics 'the most dangerous man in America,' " said a letter to Mr. Aspin written by Rep. Robert K. Dornan, R-Calif., and co-signed by 69 other members of the House. "It appears the liberal leadership at the Pentagon agrees with that ridiculous assertion."

However, Mr. Limbaugh's spokesman in New York, Kit Carson, was careful yesterday not to characterize the exclusion from the Pentagon broadcasts as politically motivated censorship.

"I wouldn't have any comment on that," Mr. Carson said. "But Rush would be thrilled and honored to be a part of armed forces radio and TV. Rush's admiration and support for the military is no secret."

But Kathleen M. deLaski, speaking for the Pentagon, said his three-hour radio talk show is much too long and a Pentagon survey found GIs actually may not care much for Mr. Limbaugh.

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