Rhode Island Governor calls for advertisers to "shut down" talk radio hosts
SANFORD, Rhode Island: Speaking with reporters after a meeting concerning health care in the state, Independent Governor Lincoln Chafee said that talk radio hosts who choose to use harsh and divisive language in their programs should have their advertisers "shut them down." Chafee has become part of an ever increasing list of center/left of center politicians and pundits who have attacked what they consider to be the vitriolic hate of the "far right-wing" of American politics. Though the Governor did not mention the Tucson shooting in responding to reporters, the timing of his response, at a time when the media has suggested divisive political debate, particularly from conservatives, might have motivated the young man who killed six individuals and injured 12 others, including a recovering Democratic Arizona Congresswoman, over the weekend, seems implied.
Chafee's comments after the health care meeting appear to be just another step in his ramped up efforts to counter Republican/conservative influence in the state and distinguish himself from his Republican predecessor, Donald L. Carcieri. The day after the massacre in Tucson, the independent politician said he did not "plan to spend his own time on talk-radio, and he intends to ban state employees from spending their state-work time talking on talk radio." He claimed his decision was based on his belief that taxpayer resources, in the form of state employee work-time, should be wasted on "support for-profit, ratings-driven programming." A spokesman for the Governor claims that the ban had been in the works for some time before the event that occurred in Arizona over the weekend. Again, however, the timing is suspect.