Politics Over Safety: Democrats Threaten Radio Station and South Florida Over Rush

Editor's Note: See also Noel Sheppard's post. Sheppard notes the controversial recount rules Broward County followed in the 2000 presidential election.

Democrats and the Left often make platitudes about how they’re for free speech. Over the course of the years however, with speech codes on college campuses, the push to criminalize "hate speech," and talk of reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, they have consistently demonstrated that their actions speak louder than their words.

In the latest case that the Left has no problem with abusing power to influence the media, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that the Broward County, Florida County Commission, which consists entirely of Democrats, is pondering cancelling a deal with WIOD, a local radio station which has been the county’s official channel for providing emergency information, due to the fact that the station is also a local affiliate for the Rush Limbaugh Show.

Judy Sarver, public communications director for Broward County, said that she and other emergency planners "preferred WIOD because of its signal strength, numerous FM sister stations and willingness to give Broward top play." But many on the County Commission are willing to overlook these strong points because they loathe the conservative viewpoints of Rush Limbaugh.

Among those on the Commission who have expressed their "concern" over WIOD's broadcast of Limbaugh are Ken Keechl, a former president of the Dolphins gay Democratic club, and Suzanne Gunzburger, who served on the vote-tallying board that recounted the 2000 presidential election. Broward County was one of the Florida counties in which the Al Gore campaign requested a recount.

Leading the charge against WIOD is Commissioner Stacy Ritter, who stated that she didn’t want the county to support a station that is "out of step with area politics." Besides naming Limbaugh, Ritter cited WIOD’s broadcast of the Sean Hannity Show and its partnership with Fox News as reasons to discontinue the county’s relationship with the station.

Ken Charles, the director of WIOD’s AM programming, had the best comment concerning the situation. "It's a shame that people would let politics get in the way of saving lives in a hurricane."

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center