RUSH: Folks, try this story. This is from the front page of the local section of today’s South Florida Sun-Sentinel, published in Ft. Lauderdale. That’s in Broward County. ‘Rush Limbaugh has long been a thorn in the side of liberals, but now, because of him, some Democratic politicians don’t even want to join with a local radio station to broadcast hurricane information. Radio station WIOD, AM 610,’ in Miami ‘has been the official channel for emergency information from Broward County government for the past year. The County Commission, all Democrats, balked at renewing the deal Tuesday, unable to stomach the station also being home to Limbaugh’s talk show. Commissioner Stacy Ritter said she did not want to support a station that’s out of step with area politics.
‘Ritter, a Democratic stalwart in the state Legislature before being elected to county office, cited talk shows hosted by Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and WIOD’s partnership with Fox News. ‘They have every right to speak, but we don’t have to do business with them,’ she said. Limbaugh has long been a fixture on WIOD, but no county official raised an issue about him or the other shows when the deal was approved for the first time a year ago.’ Here’s what happens here. ‘The deal with WIOD would ensure that news conferences are broadcast start to finish live from the county Emergency Operations Center in Plantation,’ during hurricanes or weather disasters. ‘Emergency managers became concerned during hurricanes in 2004 and 2005 that radio and television stations preempted their announcements in favor of news out of Miami,’ which is in Dade County. ‘Limbaugh, who lives in Palm Beach, could not be reached for comment,’ and I wouldn’t have, had they been able to reach me. I’m unreachable to these people all the time.
‘Ken Charles, WIOD’s director of AM programming, said the station’s talk show lineup has no relationship with its news coverage…’ These Democrats — and one of them, by the way, is Suzanne Gunzburger. I don’t know if you remember Suzanne Gunzburger. I will never forget Suzanne Gunzburger. During the Florida aftermath, the recount, she was examining every ballot for a chad. She’s all (interruption). No, she didn’t… I think she was using a magnifying glass, but there was another guy sitting next to her using a magnifying glass. The point is she’s a huge, huge, huge Democrat partisan. Which is fine. These people are now saying the reason they chose WIOD is because it’s the strongest signal in south Florida. It reaches the most people. So yhou got a hurricane coming in; these people from Broward want to get their press conferences covered front-to-back, beginning-to-end, so that they get this information — rescue information, preparation information, whatever — to the largest number of people live in Broward County, and they want to pull it off WIOD and go to some station with no signal whatsoever simply because conservatives are on it. They are politicizing the delivering of emergency news, which is nonpartisan. I guess these people are now making the weather a partisan issue. Hurricanes are a partisan issue.
I talked to Bob Novak after the program yesterday. I interviewed him. He’s got a great new book out, and he really opens up about the Plame affair. He’s been in Washington 50 years as a journalist. He’s seen it all, and he’s seen the changes, and he talked a little bit about partisanship and how, yeah, we’ve had silly politicians all throughout the nation’s history, and we’ve had bumbling fools running around as leaders and so forth, but the partisanship, he said, is as bad as he’s ever seen it in his 50 years.
I said, ‘What about during Reagan and Nixon?’
He said, ‘Well, a little bit, but I mean the country wasn’t divided. Reagan was winning in landslides. The Democrats were pretty united and the country was united getting rid of Nixon or forcing him to resign, but the partisanship.’
I said, ‘You mean like a poll that shows 35% of Democrats believe Bush knew about 9/11?’
‘Yeah,’ he said. ‘The Internet’s increasing the credibility of all these conspiracy theories, which have always been around.’
So I was thinking about that when I was reading the story: Partisanship Comes to the Weather. Don’t these people understand that because of the deal WIOD has made, all of these shows would be preempted whenever they schedule a news conference. All these idiots in the Broward County commission have to do is schedule their press conference from noon to three (laughing), or if they want to preempt Hannity, do it after that. It’s just amazing to watch liberals in action. They can’t stand competition. They don’t think that there is an alternative to their ideology. There’s nothing worth debating. They say this is not trying to shut Limbaugh down, but they’re trying to exert some pressure on WIOD to make some changes here in their programming in order to get these dull, boring press conferences from this county commission, which would be necessary. Broward is all upset because they get short-changed. Most of the news comes out of Miami during hurricanes, and they feel like they’re being left out of the dissemination of emergency information and so forth. Front page! The guys at WIOD are going to hang tough on this. We know that, because I just said they will. (Ahem.) It’s a great lesson, a great eye-opening thing.