RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, I have just today been made aware of something that happened last Friday on an obscure radio program on a barely breathing radio network. It’s a program hosted by the Reverend Al Sharpton, and last Friday, the Reverend Al Sharpton called on the FCC to take my broadcast license away from me.
SHARPTON: Part of what I think FCC needs to do is give the guidelines of what is excusable and what is not, what is permitable or permitted, I should say, and what is not, because clearly you’re not trying to block free speech, but I think that for people to engage in programming shows that will use racial or gender bias as their format, we’ve got a right to say there are standards that FCC can say that you cannot continue to have licenses to do that.
RUSH: Right. People who engage in programming shows that will use racial or gender bias. Now, this came on the heels of Sheila Jackson Lee saying she was outraged at my vernacular. And I even forgot, what were they upset about? Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, Driving Miss Nancy, yeah, Sergeant Schultz. Well, that was ethnic vernacular, that was ethnic vernacularity, and Sheila Jackson Lee was upset about that. Yeah, Driving Miss Nancy, all upset about that. The Reverend Sharpton said of course we’re not talking about trying to block free speech. (laughing) No, we’re not. He just wants the FCC to take my license away. He then went on to say this.
SHARPTON: You gotta remember that those stations that Rush Limbaugh is on and others are regulated by FCC, granted by FCC. They go back to them to get waivers. They go back to them to get consolidation. They have the right to set standards. That does not impair your right to speak what you believe, but it does say you are not going to be able to do that to offend groups of Americans based on their race, their gender, their sexual status. None of that.
RUSH: Now, I’m trying to be charitable here, but the best way I can describe this is we have Sheila Jackson Lee, okay, you’re gonna go on television, you’re gonna be asked a question, and just when the red light goes on just start talking, whatever comes to your mind. Just make sure that racism, discrimination, whatever comes to your mind, just say it, and when the red light goes off, stop. That’s what you get here. ‘You gotta remember those stations that Rush Limbaugh’s on and others are regulated by FCC, granted by FCC. They go back to them to get waivers.’ Waivers? No. It’s McDonald’s asking for waivers from Obamacare. Stations don’t get waivers for speech or personalities on the radio. ‘They go back to them to get consolidation.’
Now, what he’s talking about there is that when a massive corporate entity wants to buy a whole bunch of radio stations owned by a bunch of small mom and pops, see, the left hates that. It’s called consolidation, they don’t like it. So that’s a knee-jerk term. So you gotta go to the FCC to get consolidation. Somebody with a rudimentary, just a surface knowledge of what he’s talking about here, knows the words, so he uses the words in ways that only somebody who knows what he’s trying to say can interpret. This is me. (interruption) Sharpton, was he in Selma? Sharpton was in Selma. They can’t shut me down. I was in Selma, in spirit. Nobody can prove that I was not there. I was in Selma. ‘It does say you’re not gonna be able to do that to offend groups of Americans based on their race, their gender, their sexual status.’ So Al Sharpton is calling on the FCC to take my license, and I don’t have one.
Now, speaking of the FCC, this is from TheHill.com: ‘The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has a Christmas gift in store for the phone and cable industry: it may move ahead on its controversial net-neutrality regulations three days before Christmas. An FCC source confirmed on Friday that the commission plans to push its December meeting back by a week, meaning it will fall on the 22nd of the month. That’s the same meeting in which analysts say the agency may move forward on its controversial net-neutrality proposal. Though the FCC has not confirmed that it will vote on net neutrality this year, rumors are swirling that it will,’ before the new Congress takes over. ‘The timing of the meeting is already raising eyebrows. Some see it as a way to move the matter along before the GOP assumes the majority and while Congress is not in session to criticize the effort.
Now, this has already been voted down in Congress. It failed an FCC vote. Now they’re gonna do it again, and net neutrality, of course, it’s not what it claims to be. It’s like so many other liberal things. It doesn’t mean that there’s gonna be neutral on the net. It doesn’t mean that there’s not gonna be bias on the net. What it’s going to do is limit the amount of conservatism that you will be able to find on the Internet. That’s what its purpose will be, via blogs, via search engines, or what have you.
RUSH: You know, speaking of the Reverend Sharpton, ladies and gentlemen, the National Action Network is a nonprofit organization — and it is regulated by the IRS under the Internal Revenue Code. Now, maybe the IRS should take away his tax-exempt status. I mean, he says the FCC should take away my free speech rights. You know, make sure Sharpton’s group is kosher, no violation of tax laws, fulfilling its mission. Make sure people are not paid too much. I’m not saying he did anything wrong, don’t misunderstand but, you know, maybe just a routine check by the IRS. You aren’t allowed to use at 501(c)(3) to campaign for candidates, for example. I wonder. Should the IRS check to see? Because these organizations like Sharpton’s are regulated to make sure that they’re not offending people.
I’m not saying he’s doing anything wrong, just do a routine check. In fact, here in the New York Daily News there is an exclusive today by Douglas Feiden: ‘National Action Network’s $1.1 Million Debt Doesn’t Stop Rev. Al Sharpton’s $250,000 Salary.’ Now, this is the New York Daily News. ‘The Rev. Al Sharpton paid himself a six-figure salary for the first time last year — even as his civil rights group drowns in red ink and his tax bill hit nearly $1 million.’ (interruption) I don’t know how you do that. The National Action Network owes ‘$1.1 million in unpaid city, state, and federal payroll taxes as of Jan. 1st.’ (interruption) Well, you ask me ‘How do you do that?’ You do that by not paying your taxes. Is that what you mean? (interruption)
Well, no. The question is: How do you get away with it for that long if you owe that much in taxes…? (interruption) Well, that’s a good point: Ask Charlie Rangel. He got away with it for decades. ‘After back-to-back years in which he took no compensation from the National Action Network, Sharpton pulled down $250,000 last year, the organization’s federal tax filings show. The payday comes even as his group, a Harlem-based nonprofit organization, lists $1.1 million in unpaid city, state and federal payroll taxes as of Jan. 1, the group’s auditor told the Internal Revenue Service.’ So the IRS has been checking into it. Routine check. I’m not saying he did anything wrong. I just say the IRS should conduct random checks here.
‘At the same time, the reverend has three outstanding warrants totaling $988,000 in unpaid personal income taxes from 2002 to 2007, the state Department of Taxation and Finance says.’ Now, I get audited every year by the same bunch people, and even when I don’t owe any taxes they claim I do. ‘Reached in Georgia, Sharpton told the Daily News he and his organization have been in advanced settlement talks with the state and the Feds. He says he has worked out a repayment plan and has been paying down his debt in agreed-upon installments, with a portion of income from his nationally syndicated radio talk show earmarked to pay his personal tax liabilities. Meanwhile, the National Action Network has been negotiating a compromise offer with the IRS since February, and in March, it paid off its debt to the city and state, its auditor says in tax documents.
”The liability will be completely wiped out by the end of 2010 or the first quarter of 2011,’ Sharpton said. ‘It depends on how the negotiations go, but it will disappear.” (laughing) It depends how the negotiations go. (laughing) How many of you who are in debt are gonna retire it based on negotiations? (interruption) I’m told that the Reverend Sharpton was not in Selma. I thought he was, but apparently no. ‘Sharpton, who gives about 70 speeches a year, said the problem was that while he would give his group the speaking fees, the checks were recorded in his name as taxable income. Now the checks are issued directly to the group, and because he doesn’t get paid for the speeches and had no salary for the past two years, the board last year awarded him $250,000 in salary, he explained.’
Let’s see. Let’s review this.
‘Sharpton, who gives about 70 speeches a year, said the problem was that while he would give his group the speaking fees, the checks were’ made out to him personally, thus, he owed tax on them. He didn’t pay it because he gave the money to the group. ‘Now the checks are issued directly to the group,’ the National Action Network, ‘and because he doesn’t get paid for the speeches and had no salary for the past two years, the board last year awarded him $250,000 in salary, he explained.’ How do you…? How do you do that? How do you go two years without a salary? ‘Celebrities like Mariah Carey and Bill Cosby have headlined National Action Network fund-raisers, and sponsors at a Lincoln Center bash earlier this month included NBC, Macy’s, NASCAR and Walmart.’ So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Now, Sharpton’s speeches were mostly campaign speeches for Obama. Again… Look, I don’t know. I’m not saying he did anything wrong. I’m just saying that the IRS has apparently looked into this and they found $1.1 million in unpaid state, city and federal taxes — and they’re all gonna be paid off here depending on the negotiations, depending on how the negotiations go.