[Congressional Record Volume 158, Number 36 (Tuesday, March 6, 2012)]
[Pages H1157-H1158]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
Tennessee (Mr. Cohen) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. COHEN. Madam Speaker, I came here to speak about a topic which I 
will address shortly, but I couldn't not take the moment to reflect on 
the passing of a great man who served in this Chamber since 1989, 
Representative Donald Payne of New Jersey, who passed away this 
morning. Representative Payne sat in this section, was a quiet, 
righteous, courageous man with whom I had the good fortunate to travel 
at the request of and sponsorship of CARE and the Gates Foundation to 
Rwanda and to the Congo last August.
  He cared about children greatly. He cared about education. He cared 
about people, and was very upset some years back when Don Imus, the 
radio shock jock, said some wrongful things about the Rutgers women's 
basketball team that cost Mr. Imus his position. And that brings me to 
what I was going to speak about today.
  Yesterday, I mentioned that I slept well on my Sleep Number bed, and 
I slept well on my Sleep Number bed last night because they canceled 
their advertising on the Rush Limbaugh show. I mentioned that 
advertisers are accessories to the crime when radio people go too far 
and destroy someone's character, or try to, and make libelous 
statements. Limbaugh did that when he called Sandra Fluke some names, 
said she did some things or whatever, that were wrong, totally wrong.
  Eleven advertisers have pulled their advertising because they don't 
want to, in the future, be accessories to such conduct. Talk radio has 
gone way over the top in this country, doing anything for ratings and 
  It came to my attention that two radio stations have dropped Rush 
Limbaugh, and it's not just advertisers but it's radio stations that 
are accessories to the fact of this type of crime. It's not like we 
don't know it's coming because it's been out there for people to see 
for years, and they've sat by as this type of lies and hateful speech 
and wrongful speech has taken place on the radio, Rush Limbaugh being 
the main violator of people's rights.
  I decided last night in my elections to come--and I've got a primary 
and a general--I've always bought billboard advertising, and Clear 
Channel almost has a monopoly in my city on billboards, and they have 
Rush Limbaugh on their network, that until they drop Rush Limbaugh, I'm 
not going to buy billboards for my campaign.
  I'm also going to discontinue radio advertising on Clear Channel, 
which I've done in the past. It might hurt me a little bit politically, 
but it's the right thing to do. That type of conduct should not be 
advanced on the airwaves that are supposed to be for the public good. 
It's interesting to note that Don Imus' comments were about women, and 
Rush Limbaugh's comments are about women. It seems to be fair game 
sometimes for men on radio to take on women and cast aspersions.
  Don Imus learned his lesson, and he said that Rush Limbaugh's apology 
was inadequate and weak and cowardly, and indeed it was. He hasn't 
called the lady. He hasn't come to Georgetown University and made 
amends to all those women whose character he impugned in misogynist 
statements, and he hasn't given a proper apology. He said he used 

[[Page H1158]]

words. He was on an inappropriate topic. And Mitt Romney certainly 
didn't rise to the occasion when he said they weren't the words he 
would have used. It wasn't an area that anybody should have brought up 
or even thought about.
  Limbaugh said that the woman wanted to be paid for sex because she, 
in his thoughts, wanted contraception so she could have sex without the 
fear of pregnancy. It's funny, Rush Limbaugh never questioned anybody 
getting a vasectomy, for what's the use of a vasectomy, that's covered 
by insurance, but to have sex without the fear or possibility of 
pregnancy. He said because she wanted sex paid for by the taxpayers 
that he ought to be able to watch it. Well, I wonder if he wants to 
watch all the men who had vasectomies have their sex.
  There's something wrong in the country, and the advertisers and the 
radio stations are responsible, and they need to take appropriate moral 
and ethical action and not continue to be accessories to the fact and 
support such trash.