Do America's servicemen and -women get the full story from American Forces Radio and Television? Not according to Eric Boehlert's Salon cover story on Wednesday. Our soldiers get a daily dose of poison from Rush Limbaugh, who has dismissed the Abu Ghraib horrors as harmless frat-house pranks and denounces even Democrats who served their country (unlike Limbaugh himself, who sat out the Vietnam War) as traitors. Yet the military broadcasting system keeps even liberal commentators -- let alone far-left ones who would be the real counterpart to the extremist blowhard -- off its airwaves.
The men and women who are risking their lives abroad deserve to fully enjoy one of its essential cornerstones -- a free press. But by bombarding military personnel every day with Limbaugh's incendiary tirades, to the exclusion of all other views, American Forces Radio and Television is ensuring that its vast, uniformed audience is exposed only to the rantings of the far right.
If you listen only to Limbaugh, you hear only of a president who can do no wrong and of a nefarious political opposition that seeks not just to bring down his administration, but America itself. But Salon wants to make sure that those who are putting their lives on the line for America receive a full spectrum of news and opinion. Because that's the American way.
As the country heads toward Memorial Day, we feel it's the appropriate time for Salon to extend the following offer to all active-duty military personnel. If you are currently serving in the U.S. military and have a .mil e-mail address we will give you a free one-year Salon Premium subscription. If you are one of the active-duty GIs already receiving Salon Premium, we will extend your subscription for a year free of charge.
If you're not a current subscriber just go to this page and enter your .mil e-mail address. We'll send you a confirmation message with all your log in information. If you are a current Premium subscriber just e-mail us at this address firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll adjust your account accordingly. Please note that we'll only be able to create Premium subscriptions for .mil e-mail addresses.
The most robust democracies are built on an informed citizenry. And nowhere is this free flow of information more essential than in the armed forces, whose men and women risk their lives to make sure our nation's highest principles are not written on air, but have blood and sinew. We hope our simple gesture opens another channel into this bastion of American democracy.
P.S. If you're not in the military but still want to support Salon's unique perspective as the antidote to Limbaugh's demagoguery, we encourage you to join Salon Premium today.