Ralph Nader: Letter to Rush Limbaugh

By Ralph Nader
Posted to IPR by Paulie

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.

Sincerely yours,

Ralph Nader

PO Box 19312
Washington, DC 20036

20 thoughts on “Ralph Nader: Letter to Rush Limbaugh

  1. Bill Lussenheide

    Having been a radio broadcaster myself, I do not understand Nader’s rant.

    The radio stations DO pay licensing fees to the US Government. Limbaugh likely pays a huge multimillion dollar tax payment on his income to the IRS each year also. I’m sure that suffices for “rent”.

    Welfare?…Limbaugh provides a service, people listen, advertisers pitch their products etc. This is not a passive enterprise.

    Should highly paid athletes also pay “rent” for playing in publicly funded stadiums??

    Radio as a medium will soon (within just a couple of years) be obsolete. Wi-Fi in cars is just around the corner, and over the air broadcasting will be a relic.

    What next to rant about, that we all aren’t paying “rent” for the air we breathe?

  2. Charles Signorile

    Nader once said “the consumer must be protected at times from his own indiscretion and vanity”. I wonder who will protect Nader from his own vanity? The perennial Presidential candidate whose name is only known to most Americans as ‘that guy who cost Gore the election’ has the nerve to declare that the most successful talk show host in the country is on welfare?

    Well done sir, you have once again proven the old saying “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt”.

    Rush does not contract dierctly with the FCC, that is the job of Premiere Radio Networks (whom as you noted is the company which pays him). The reason the FCC does not charge for use of the airwaves, is because the airwaves, being public domain, are accessible for free by the public. This is why the average American does not have to pay to use those same airwaves when listening to Rush, or Hannity.

    Rush’s salary is paid for by advertisors, meaning if his show stinks and he loses listeners, he would not get paid. This is the very definition of capitalism… and it also explains why the top talk show hosts are all conservatives, who wants to listen to a 2 hour talk show where some liberal cries about global warming, or the need for a 90% tax bracket?

  3. paulie cannoli Post author

    Infowars.com for two hours a week and hear the truth, you’ll stop listening to the corporate lackey stools…

    I like infowars, but I listen to some corporate media, and some other alternatives. Nobody has a truth monopoly. If you restrict your info sources too much, you are doing yourself a huge disservice.

  4. Pingback: Rattled by the Rush Fans » LIBERADIO(!)

  5. libertariangirl

    in fact id say you have to watch the corporate media , with a ‘its probably all lies’ filter on but definately watch it . or else how will you know the way they are framing stories and how to counteract it if it is in oppostiton to truth.

  6. midnightwalker

    Here’s your proof that the banksters (and govt) control the media, and “liberal media” is a sham – READ ON!!!

    Media ownership study ordered destroyed


    David Brock, the reformed conservative noise-maker, on how the Right has sabotaged journalism, democracy, and truth.

    As a young journalist in the 1990s, David Brock was a key cog the Republican noise machine. Writing for the American Spectator, a conservative magazine funded by billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, Brock gained fame for his attack pieces on Anita Hill and President Bill Clinton. Then, in 2002, Brock came clean. In his memoir, Blinded by the Right, Brock admitted that his work was based on lies and distortion, and part of a coordinated smear campaign funded by wealthy right wing groups to discredit Clinton and confuse the public.

    Since then, Brock has continued to expose the conservative media onslaught. In his newest book, The Republican Noise Machine, Brock documents how right-wing groups pressure the media and spread misinformation to the public. It’s easy to see how this is done.

    Fringe conspiracies and stories will be kept alive by outlets like Rush Limbaugh, the Washington Times, and the Drudge Report, until they finally break into the mainstream media.

    Media groups like Brent Bozell’s Media Research Center have spent 30 years convincing the public that the media is, in fact, liberal. As Brock says, it’s all a sham: “I have seen, and I know firsthand, indeed from my own pen, how the organized Right has sabotaged not only journalism but also democracy and truth.”


    We The People have a spokesman – Lansing Mayor Attacks Bankster’s Media Shill


  7. midnightwalker

    paulie cannoli says: “Nobody has a truth monopoly.”

    True, but you’re leaving out the part that there’s ONE truth!

  8. midnightwalker

    The false things the media have us believing:

    – the media is liberal
    – the democrats are liberal
    – the republicans are conservative
    – rush limbaugh is conservative

  9. RT

    One of the two most interesting things (‘when taken together) that I heard Rush Limbaugh say on his program:
    “Liberals and Democrats think they have a monopoly on the truth!”
    Then, another time: “I’ll tell you what the important issues of the day are, and what to think about them!” (Just so there would be no doubt as to who has the real monopoly on the truth, I suppose.)
    Thank you, Mr. Limbaugh, but I prefer to do my own thinking.

  10. Tomcat

    Now, I can’t stand Rush. I’d rather gouge out my eardrums than listen to him prattle on in his arrogance. But Nader? Dude. Have a nice big cup of STFU.

    Rush provides a service which he is paid for, whether we like the service he provides or not. What service do those on welfare provide? Anything?

    In another discussion, I was talking with folks about the georent concept and mentioned, hypothetically, about someone trying to rent air. Of course, we all dismissed it as silly. Apparently, not as silly as we thought since Nader thinks it’s a good idea. Or, should it really be that Nader is just far sillier than we thought he was?

    Rush is a blowhard at best. But this letter just makes Nader look like a moronic kook.

  11. janet tay

    Lussenheide who is running for congress ca-45 should be fined for the hot air he blows all over. We here in the Inland of CA support Mary Bono mack in her run to keep her congressional seat here in the Palm Desert area. Bill Lussenheide is a nut case. Conspiracy lunatic and should be
    watched carefully… for his extreme views and rants.

  12. Judy Bodner

    Excellent letter, Ralph! Rush is too busy sticking his feet in his mouth to even realize the shoe fits!

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