10/21/2005

Armed Forces Radio Tunes Out Liberal Show Host

Liberal radio talker Ed Schultz was eagerly anticipating his debut yesterday on Armed Forces Radio, which agreed last month to carry his program to nearly a million soldiers around the world.

But at 7 a.m., Schultz's producer got a call from Allison Barber, the Pentagon's deputy assistant secretary for internal communications, who said without explanation that the deal was off.

Perhaps, Schultz said in an interview, it was just a coincidence that he spent the end of last week chastising Barber for coaching a group of U.S. soldiers in Iraq before a teleconference with President Bush.

"It kind of floored us," Schultz said from his studio in North Dakota. "The fact is, they don't want dissenting voices or any other kind of speech unless it's going to be promotional for them. Obviously, these people are making sure they're not going to have any opinion other than the Rush Limbaughs of the world."

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) won approval last year for a nonbinding resolution urging Armed Forces Radio to offer more political balance in programming. Limbaugh strongly objected, noting that the network carries National Public Radio and declaring, "I am the political balance."

Armed Forces Radio Tunes Out Liberal Show Host

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