Filling in for host Rush Limbaugh on the May 17 The Rush Limbaugh Show was Clear Channel radio host Roger Hedgecock -- former mayor of San Diego and current host of The Roger Hedgecock Community Forum (a daily radio program that reaches nearly half a million listeners in southern California each week on the Clear Channel Communications-owned radio station Newsradio 600 KOGO in San Diego). As guest host on May 17, Hedgecock approvingly echoed Limbaugh's May 4 comment comparing the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. guards to a college fraternity prank. Hedgecock told a caller that he doesn't "think we're gonna have to wait too long before Lynndie England [the Army Private First Class who appeared in several of the abuse photos] has her own spread in Playboy magazine... 'The Women of Abu Ghraib.'"
From the May 17 Rush Limbaugh Show:
HEDGECOCK: I don't think we're gonna have to wait too long before Lynndie England -- the uh, the Satellite Dish herself -- has her own spread in Playboy magazine -- you know, "The Women of Abu Ghraib." You can just see it coming, can't you?
CALLER: No, I really can't.
HEDGECOCK: Oh, I can, Debbie. Thanks for the call.
HEDGECOCK: Yeah, this is unbelievable. ... Private First Class Lynndie England explaining the mystery of why the soldiers at Abu Ghraib took pictures. She said, "We thought it looked funny." I mean the more -- you know, I know this was the first day or two, I guess, that Rush was getting into this -- the more I think about it, the more he was right the first time. He said, "This is like -- this is like a, a, uh, a prank; this is like college; this is like fraternities; this is -- this is just these people. This is how they were raised."
Hedgecock posted on his website (which is copyright 2004 Clear Channel Communications) "the entire audio/video of the beheading of [American civilian] Nick Berg." Hedgecock explains, "We want to show what the rest of the leftist media will not."
According to a September 28, 2003, article in The Sacramento Bee, Hedgecock was "convicted in the 1980s of conspiracy and 12 counts of perjury over failure to report more than $350,000 in campaign contributions." He was "forced to resign as mayor in December 1985 after his felony conviction," the Bee reported, although the "California Supreme Court reversed the perjury convictions in 1990, and Hedgecock eventually reached a plea agreement with the District Attorney's Office in the conspiracy case. He reportedly paid a fine, and the conviction was reduced to a misdemeanor and dismissed."