Despite radio commentator Rush Limbaugh’s admission into drug rehab, his program will remain part of the American Forces Network lineup aired at bases from Brussels to Baghdad.

Limbaugh, a 15-year radio veteran whose conservative punditry ushered in a revival of talk radio and raised hackles of the left across the United States, checked himself into a rehabilitation program after admitting an addiction to prescription painkillers.

“[The radio show is] a popular program,” said Larry Sichter, affiliate relations director for the Defense Media Center in Riverside, Calif., which oversees AFN.

“There’s no judgment made against Mr. Limbaugh, so we’re not in a position to drop his show based on allegations.”

Following reports of a police investigation into whether Limbaugh bought the painkillers illegally, the talk-show host stunned listeners on Oct. 10 with news that he would enter rehab for 30 days.

Limbaugh told listeners the addiction followed an unsuccessful spinal surgery.

“I chose to treat the pain with prescribed medication,” he said. “This medication turned out to be highly addictive.”

Authorities in Limbaugh’s home of Palm Beach, Fla., are conducting a probe, but Limbaugh admitted no illegal activities.

AFN’s decision not to drop Limbaugh is consistent with what is happening in the States.

“AFN’s response is absolutely typical. Every single one of the 600-some affiliates that carry the ‘Rush Limbaugh Show’ continues to carry it,” said Alan Mayer, Limbaugh’s spokesman.

Critics have pointed out Limbaugh’s past comments on dealing harshly with drug offenders. In Limbaugh’s radio admission, however, he made no excuses.

“I am no victim and do not portray myself as such,” he said. “I take full responsibility for my problem.”

Limbaugh’s spokesman said he has received “tens of thousands” of supportive e-mails.

At a military base in Darmstadt, Germany, some troops didn’t seem passionate about Limbaugh’s continued AFN stint. Some said they had been serving in Iraq and hadn’t heard the news. One was apathetic.

“I don’t care either way,” said Sgt. Scott Capazola. The sergeant said he was surprised Limbaugh was on drugs, “but he’s a person and he makes mistakes.”

Others aren’t happy.

A recent edition of F.A.Z. Weekly, an English-language newspaper published in Frankfurt, Germany, ran a story on Limbaugh and quoted a critic who thinks the host wrongly dominates public airwaves, drug addiction or no.

“Our objection to AFN airing the show has always been the lack of a partisan balance in their lineup,” said Ronald Schlundt, chairman of the German chapter of Democrats Abroad, in the F.A.Z. article. “No other show receives five hours of air time weekly to tout Democratic candidates and causes.”

The story also raised the question of whether airing a commentator with a drug addiction is contrary to military values.

Sichter, the Defense Media official, said the network simply gives the public what it wants.

“We have to let the marketplace be the judge,” he said. “We reflect America.”

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