December 27, 2005

Armed Forces Radio: They Play Rush Limbaugh, So Why Not Al Franken?

Posted by Eric Jaffa
Wednesday July 27th 2005, 10:15 am
Filed under: Government, Media Watch

Senator Tom Harkin’s office says that Armed Forces Radio has over 62 hours of conservative talk per week.

And zero minutes of progressive talk (link to pdf.)

Harkin (D-IA) has proposed an “amendment to the Defense authorization bill to provide political balance in talk radio programming,” writes Media Matters for America.

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1 Comment so far

Wow. The purpose of Armed Forces Radio, according to their website, is to “provide stateside radio and television programming, ‘a touch of home,’ to U.S. service men and women.”

Apparently that “touch of home” is what the DoD wants them to remember about home.

Interestingly, Armed Forces Radio has a FAQ page that includes excatly one question about programming: “Why is Tom Joyner on Armed Forces Radio?”

The answer:

Part of the AFN mission is to provide the overseas military audience with the same type and quality of American radio and television information and entertainment that would be available to them if they were in the U.S. To fulfill that basic mission, AFN tries to carry America’s most popular radio programs. “The Tom Joyner Show” is such a program since it is the nation’s top-rated U.S. urban / rhythm and blues show. It is written, produced and performed by African Americans. The show consists of music,Department of Defense command information messages (which replace the commercials), interviews with newsmakers including, occasionally, the President of the United States, newscasts and general morning show entertainment. It includes “racial commentary” and “racial opinions,” as do some other news, analysis, commentary and entertainment programs carried by AFN. The show’s cast uses irony, satire, humor and sarcasm, among other techniques, in its discussion of both serious and frivolous topics. This show is heard throughout America, in nearly 100 U.S. metropolitan areas. It airs stateside as a morning show and AFN relays it live. Our audience hears exactly the same show heard domestically. It is among the top-rated morning shows in numerous major U.S. cities, including Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. Urban / R&B radio programming rates among the top radio formats in popularity. The AFN position is that there is nothing in the program to indicate a breech in the standards of decency that would cause AFN to remove the program and replace it with less popular, less compelling programming.

You’re right, Eric. Al Franken ought to be on the slate.

Comment by Amanda Toering 07.27.05 @ 11:54 am

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