Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘Rush Limbaugh

Limbaugh Issues Weak Apology; Blames Rhetoric on the Democrats

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Folks, the Rush Limbaugh story continues to have legs; while Limbaugh has issued a rather weak apology, he also blamed the Democrats for making this a “political issue” last Friday (something I somehow missed in the ensuing firestorm)** and hasn’t backed down from that stance one iota even though advertisers are deserting Limbaugh en masse.  (Tonight’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC show said that twelve different advertisers have now deserted Limbaugh, and the Rachel Maddow show said that two channels have said publicly they will drop Limbaugh due to this.)

The Los Angeles Times discusses Limbaugh’s written apology, which was originally issued on his Web site, here; a relevant quote from Limbaugh’s statement follows:

For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week,” Limbaugh wrote in a statement posted to his website. “In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.”

Oh, would those wrong words be “slut” and “prostitute,” words that never needed to be said?  Or are they the words you still haven’t explicitly taken back asking for pornographic videos of Ms. Fluke having sex?  (Limbaugh said on his radio show Monday, March 5, 2012, that he’s sorry for calling her the former, but never mentioned the latter.)

Continuing on in Limbaugh’s written statement, he continued to mis-state the initial issue, saying that he personally believes no one should have to pay for anyone else’s sexual behavior.  That was never at issue; what was at issue was whether or not insurers should cover contraception in the same way they cover, say, Viagra.  (Speaking of that, why is it that women aren’t up in arms that their insurers are “forced” to include Viagra as an essential medication, considering it’s not something any woman will ever be able to use?  Is it because we’re not stupid?)

Today on his radio show, Limbaugh explicitly apologized to Sandra Fluke, again, but still didn’t apologize for those terrible comments he made about wanting to watch videos of Ms. Fluke having sex with the contraception the insurer must now carry; to my mind, that makes Limbaugh’s apology extremely weak and unworthy at absolute best.

Ms. Fluke, after reading Limbaugh’s apology, said on ABC’s “The View” this morning that she does not accept Limbaugh’s apology; she believes that Limbaugh apologized only because his advertisers are angry with him, and due to the pressure being put on him by various groups.  (A sensible reaction.)

However, many conservative groups are angry now and are striking at “liberals” — that is, anyone but them — who have made mistakes in the past.  This mostly means they’re yelling at Ed Schultz, the MSNBC host who called Laura Ingraham a nasty name on his syndicated radio show last year (I wrote about that here); however, Schultz accepted a week-long unpaid suspension, apologized for nine minutes on the air, apologized directly to Laura Ingraham, and talked about how embarrassed he was, considering he’s a husband and a father, to have ever mischaracterized any woman in that way — which was the right reaction.

When you contrast Schultz’s behavior, which was genuinely repentant, with Limbaugh’s, there is no comparison.

As for the Republican Presidential nominees, their comments on Limbaugh’s bad behavior (last week on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, he repeatedly attacked Sandra Fluke) leave much to be desired except for one man: Ron Paul.  Paul is the only candidate to say flat-out that what Limbaugh said was wrong; he even called it “crude,” and intimated that no reasonable man would say such a thing.  This makes sense to me; what doesn’t make sense is Mitt Romney’s reaction (accepting Limbaugh’s weak apology for the use of two words, “slut” and “prostitute,” to mischaracterize Sandra Fluke), or Rick Santorum’s reaction (trying to turn the issue to the Democrats’ supposed politicization of contraception, the same way Limbaugh is), or Newt Gingrich’s reaction, which more or less was to give Limbaugh an “attaboy.”  (For such a smart man, Gingrich’s reactions are enough to perplex a saint.)

So there you have it; Limbaugh has apologized, but it’s weak.  The R Presidential candidates, with the sole exception of Ron Paul, don’t seem to have enough sense to come in out of the rain (as women are half the electorate, don’t you think any male candidate would say, “While I applaud free speech, there are some things that shouldn’t be said by sane, smart people, and this was one of them,” rather than behave the way they are right now?).  And Sandra Fluke, who two weeks ago was someone most of us wouldn’t have been able to pick out of a crowd if our lives depended on it, is our newest unwitting celebrity.

Bottom line is this: Limbaugh’s apology is not enough.  He needs to be fired — since Don Imus was fired due to his inappropriate comments (which weren’t anywhere near as bad, or as lengthy — one occurrence versus several days worth of occurrences — as what Limbaugh had to say), Limbaugh should also be fired. 

This story will not go away until he is.

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** Can we please, please, take it as read that this issue isn’t such a big deal because of the Democrats, the “liberals,” or anything other than Rush Limbaugh stirring up a hornet’s nest?  Thank you.

Written by Barb Caffrey

March 5, 2012 at 10:55 pm

Rush Limbaugh Goes too Far: Calls Woman “Slut” and Publicly Asks for Pornographic Videos

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Rush Limbaugh has gone too far this time.

Recently, Sandra Fluke, a law student, testified about the need for women to have contraception be covered by health insurance before the Congress.  She said that it could cost as much as $3000 to pay for contraception out of pocket, which is a great deal of money for a student — or, really, anyone at all.

Rush Limbaugh took exception to this, and called her a “slut” on Wednesday, February 29, 2012.  Going further, he said this today, March 1, 2012 (quoted at US News and World Report, and reposted by MSNBC’s Web site):

“So Miss Fluke, and the rest of you Feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex. We want something for it. We want you post the videos online so we can all watch.”

This is much worse than anything Don Imus ever said, yet he was fired by MSNBC; nothing at all so far has happened to Limbaugh, and that’s not just sad — it’s disgusting.

How can Limbaugh say such reprehensible things and get away with it?  Why is there no penalty for him, at all?  Is he like Howard Stern, the “shock jock,” who can literally say anything now that he’s on Sirius/XM Radio and not lose his job?  And if he is, why?

I’m sorry — women need contraception for many reasons, and not all of them are because we are intending to have sex.  Women often use contraception to help regulate the menstrual cycle; this is a real problem that the all-male “official” Congressional panel doesn’t seem to understand, possibly because they’ve never had to deal with it themselves.

Limbaugh should be ashamed of himself for calling this woman a “slut,” and be even more ashamed for equating the need for health insurers to pay for contraception with pornographic videos.

Congressional Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was quite right to call for Limbaugh to apologize for the “slut” comment; when Limbaugh “doubled down” on Thursday and called for Ms. Fluke to put up pornographic videos of Fluke using the contraception she’d been asking for, he not only spit in Pelosi’s face — he spit in the face of all women.

I am appalled that Limbaugh, rather than apologize, “doubled down” in this manner.  I can only hope that his employers, who are paying him to be controversial, will realize this is way over the line and put a stop to it.  Immediately.

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Further thoughts:

The fact is, I’d be surprised if Limbaugh himself had never used a condom — which is a form of contraception.  He probably paid for it himself, for all I know, but even if he didn’t, who cares?

If you’re an adult, you’re likely to need contraception at some point.  All Fluke was doing was asking for health insurers to pay for something very basic that prevents unwanted pregnancies from happening — something everyone should approve of, because pregnancies in this world should be planned if at all possible, considering the expense of raising a child.

Bottom line here is that Limbaugh should be punished.  Because if Don Imus lost his job over something far less offensive, why should Limbaugh continue to have his?

Written by Barb Caffrey

March 1, 2012 at 7:51 pm

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