H.R.4189 - To require the Secretary of Defense to provide an annual certification that all programming on the American Forces Radio and Television Service represents the best-faith efforts by the Department of Defense to provide programming for members of the Armed Forces and their families that communicates the policies, priorities, programs, goals, and initiatives of the Department while avoiding airing programming that exhibits values contrary to the values of the Armed Forces and the United States.
The flap over Limbaugh’s presence on AFN is now attracting congressional attention, with Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, saying he thinks Limbaugh doesn’t belong on the military radio network.
In addition, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, has introduced legislation advocating decency standards for AFN radio and television broadcasts that would prevent the airing of programs that “exhibit values contrary to the values of the Armed Forces and the United States.”
Levin told reporters that he would not personally demand the Defense Department cancel Limbaugh’s radio show, but “I would love to see them drop it.”
Ryan’s bill, introduced Thursday, would require annual certification by the Defense Department that shows broadcast on the military’s radio and television networks support policies, goals and initiatives of the military without exhibiting negative values. Ryan said he was not proposing censorship, but wanted “common sense and decency” applied to programming decisions.
His bill, HR 4189, was referred to the House Armed Services Committee for consideration, where it could be offered as an amendment to the 2013 defense authorization bill that the committee will pass later this year.