Wednesday, March 3, 2021

AFN Gets Pushback Over Best Of Rush

Not everyone is happy that American Forces Network is airing a compilation of late conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh’s programming in the wake of his death Feb. 17 from lung cancer, reports Stars & Stripes.

“Best of Rush” on AFN is provided by Premiere Networks, a subsidiary of iHeartMedia, for an indefinite period in the same slot Limbaugh’s show occupied while he was living, according to a Feb. 23 news release.

The government broadcast service has been airing Limbaugh’s program since the 1990s, but the announcement of the “Best of Rush” show on AFN’s Facebook page received mostly negative feedback from commenters.

Though many cheered Limbaugh as a voice of the people, others disdained him as divisive and accused him of bigotry, sexism and racism. Of 180 comments on the growing thread Tuesday, the majority questioned or expressed disapproval of AFN’s decision to air the program.

“I don’t want the troops exposed to this horrible content anymore,” Paul Robinson, a retired IT manager with the Defense Media Activity, said in a comment Feb. 25.

In a conversation Monday with Stars and Stripes via Facebook Messenger, Robinson said re-running Limbaugh’s shows has no place in the current climate.

AFN responded in the comments on Sunday, saying it is airing the “Best of Rush” program based on ratings.

“AFN programs according to United States popularity, not viewpoint or content,” the broadcaster said in the comments section of its original post Sunday and in an email to Stars and Stripes on Tuesday.

“During the 25 plus years Rush Limbaugh’s radio program has aired on the American Forces Network, we have received a variety of feedback, both pro and con,” AFN spokesman George Smith wrote in the email. “The latest reactions are consistent with the past. The comments from Mr. Limbaugh reflect his opinions alone, and not AFN.”

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