(CNN) - Sen. Carl Levin, the powerful chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said Wednesday he would like the Armed Forces Network to drop the controversial Rush Limbaugh program from its service that provides radio and television shows to U.S. service members around the world.
"I would hope the people that run it see just how offensive this is and drop it on their own volition," Levin told CNN in an exclusive interview in the Capitol.
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Levin's comments come in the wake of a widening uproar over Limbaugh's characterization of a young female law student as a "slut" and a "prostitute" for advocating insurance coverage of contraceptives.
The Pentagon said Monday the Defense Department currently has no plans to stop broadcasting the show. DOD's policy is to broadcast shows that "reflect a wide range" of opinion, said Pentagon press secretary George Little.
Levin, a generally liberal Democrat from Michigan whose top spot on Armed Services makes him very influential inside the Pentagon, said he would "love" to see the program dropped, but he doesn't think it should be up to Congress to pass a law to make it happen.
"I think that is probably an issue that should be left to the folks that run that network," he said. "In other words, I'd love to see them drop it but I don't think I'd legislate it."
The liberal leaning advocacy group Vote Vets and other progressive voices in the blogosphere have called for the AFN to drop Limbaugh's program.
Levin said he was "delighted" so many advertisers had pulled their commercials from the program.