Rush Limbaugh didn’t take any responsibility, or admit that his attacks on Sandra Fluke were wrong. For this reason, the boycotts must continue until Rush Limbaugh is forced off the air.
Here is the full text of Limbaugh’s “apology:”
For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.
I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit? In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.
My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.
Limbaugh claimed it was not his intention to personally attack her, but what would we call this from his show on Friday, “The president tells Sandra Fluke (chuckling), 30-year-old Sandra Fluke, that her parents should be proud. Okay. Let me ask you a question. I might be surprised at the answer I would get to this question. Your daughter appears before a congressional committee and says she’s having so much sex, she can’t pay for it and wants a new welfare program to pay for it. Would you be proud? I don’t know about you, but I’d be embarrassed. I’d disconnect the phone. I’d go into hiding and hope the media didn’t find me. See, everybody forgets what starts this, or what started this whole thing. Or maybe they don’t! Maybe that’s normal behavior on the left now, for all I know.”
To the conservative mind, that may have been considered humor, but the mentally healthy among us construe his remarks as a personal attack.
Does Rush think that none of us remember that he called Sandra Fluke a slut? On Wednesday, Limbaugh said, “What does it say about the college coed Susan Fluke [sic], who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We’re the pimps. The johns, that’s right. We would be the johns — no! We’re not the johns. Well — yeah, that’s right. Pimp’s not the right word. OK, so, she’s not a slut. She’s round-heeled. I take it back.”
Is there any man or woman in America who would sit by and laugh as any important woman in their life was called a slut? If this was said to me about my partner, I wouldn’t be laughing. I’d be punching somebody’s lights out. The term slut is used to demean and morally judge women for the same behavior that men engage in without impunity in our society. The term is designed to denigrate and injure women. It is not funny.
The real back breaker for Limbaugh came on Thursday when he said, “So, Ms. 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. And I’ll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”
On Friday, advertisers started to leave. Sleep Number, Legal Zoom, Citrix and Quicken Loans all bailed on Limbaugh’s show. If right wing hosts have learned one thing from the sudden and quick demise of Glenn Beck, it is that once the advertisers start to go, your days are numbers. Beck still had got ratings, yet he still got canned by Fox News because they literally had to give away the advertising on his program. Corporate media only cares about profits. Once those profits vanish, the right wing host will soon find himself out of a job.
Rush Limbaugh didn’t apologize to Sandra Fluke. He was apologizing to his advertisers. Sure Limbaugh said he was sorry to Ms. Fluke, but his apology is actually a classic conservative apology non-apology. Limbaugh took no personal responsibility for his statements. He used his press release to defend and spin his points.
Limbaugh never admitted that he was wrong. He apologized for a, “poor choice of words,” not for dragging a woman’s reputation through the mud and muck of misogyny. This wasn’t an apology. It was damage control.
The fact that the mainstream media is willing to give Limbaugh’s “apology” a free pass is something that we all should be ashamed of. Rush Limbaugh didn’t just insult Sandra Fluke. He insulted every woman in America and every man who tries every day to battle and overcome the sexist attitudes that he is fed beginning at birth through his social and cultural interactions. Men and women are different and those differences should be enjoyed, but different is not the same as unequal.
What Rush Limbaugh and his Republican counterparts are trying to do is put women back in their place. They want to undo the century of progress that has been made. They are coming for your medical care and your bodies now, and we don’t stand with our sisters now, soon they will come for their right to vote and own property.
I can’t speak for Ms. Fluke and I would never presume to speak for the women of this great country. I can only speak for myself and say to Rush Limbaugh, apology not accepted.
***Don’t let Limbaugh off the hook. Keep pressuring his advertisers until they are all gone.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association