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Jewish World Review April 20, 2005 / 11 Nisan 5765

Steve Young

Steve Young
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Consumer Reports

Where is the FCC when we need them?: Vets benefits cut doesn't illicit a peep | If there was ever a time the FCC should jump on broadcasting sin, this is it. I'm not talking about what was said as much as what hasn't.

Last month, Congress rejected additional funds for veterans' health care and actually cut veterans benefits in their budget resolution. And yet, Talk Radio, which has been 100% behind the administration's sending our young men and women into war, hasn't raised a vocal cord in protest over Congress's refusal to give appropriate health services to our disabled veterans.

A vote AGAINST our military but not a peep from those who so passionately preach undying support for our soldiers. Perhaps they were too busy not letting go of Clinton's presidency.

The GOP budget resolution contained reconciliation orders requiring the House Veterans' Affairs (VA) Committee to cut benefits or to tax veterans by increasing their fees. Over five years, the Republican budget resolution will cut almost $16 billion from veterans' medical assistance.

Talk Radio? Nothing. Perhaps they was too busy fighting 24/7 for Terri Schiavo's care to have time to care about the tens of thousands of our veterans who's care was cut.

Beside the Bush budget calling for a new enrollment fee for some veterans, other considerations in play include cutting payments to veterans with service-connected conditions, cutting pension benefits, reducing vocational rehabilitation services and education benefits.

Rep Bob Filner (CA, Dem) says Congress went back on their word.

"We were promised and, more importantly, organizations representing veterans were promised by the House Republican leadership in May that a $1.8 billion increase over the President's inadequate budget request would be included in the Veterans Appropriations bill to provide for the health care for veterans," said Filner. "It was not!"

Has Talk Radio made this a "Talking Point"? Perhaps they're too busy demonizing the ACLU as the most dangerous element known to man or beast to spin this into a sellable book.

And where is the outcry over the House Republicans ousting Conservative Republican Chris Smith as the chairmanship of the Veterans Affairs Committee? Smith's crime? He sought higher funding for veterans services than the Bush Administration desired. Dismissed for trying to get more for veterans? Where was the righteous indignation of the Right's red, white and blue messengers?

Maybe they were too busy raking Howard Stern across the coals for saying naughty words... naughty words that never cut one dime from our veterans programs.

"The Republican budget resolution will decrease critical services and inflict real pain upon service members, veterans and military families during a time of war," said Lane Evans (IL), the senior Democrat on the Veterans Affairs Committee. "Congress should be ashamed."

Sure, Congress should be ashamed. But what about the FCC? Where's their shame? How can they throw around penalties for wardrobe malfunctions and bad words and not drop the fine bomb on broadcasters who are so hypocritically dismissive of the kids they advocated into war?

The FCC is supposed to be there to "serve the public interest" and protect us from broadcasters' immoral abominations. When our wounded veterans are beng short-shifted by the legislators who sent them into harm's way, can there be anything more immoral or abominable than the hypocritical silence of Talk Radio.

Can't wait till the fines are levied.


JWR contributor Steve Young is author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful: Mistakes, Adversity, Failure and Other Stepping Stones to Success," and can be heard on Los Angeles's KTLK AM 1150, Saturdays 1-4 PM. Blog at Comment by clicking here.


© 2004, Steve Young