Limbaugh’s Non-Apology

Ken AshfordHealth Care, Right Wing Punditry/Idiocy, Sex/Morality/Family Values, Women's IssuesLeave a Comment

Posted on his website Saturday:

"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."

Insulting word choices that he didn't mean as a personal attack?  The barrage against her, personally, went on for three days.  Of course he meant it as a personal attack.  He called her “a slut” and “a prostitute” on his radio program — criticism he intensified a day later by saying Fluke should post videos of her sexual activity online “so we can see what we’re getting for our money.”

And unfortunately, Rush still thinks this is about “personal sexual recreational activities,” not health care.  Perv.

The Washington Post asks: "Was Rush Limbaugh’s apology enough?"  CBS News makes the same inquiry.

First of all, nobody doubts why Limbaugh is doing this.  It's because he's losing advertisers:

NEW YORK (AP) – A flower company is the seventh advertiser to pull its ads from conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh's radio program in reaction to his derogatory comments about a law student who testified about birth control policy.

ProFlowers said Sunday on its Facebook page that it has suspended advertising on Limbaugh's program because his comments about Georgetown University student Sandra Fluke "went beyond political discourse to a personal attack and do not reflect our values as a company."

The six other advertisers that say they have pulled ads from his show are mortgage lender Quicken Loans, mattress retailers Sleep Train and Sleep Number, software maker Citrix Systems Inc., online data backup service provider Carbonite and online legal document services company LegalZoom.

ProFlowers had said on Twitter that posts it received about Limbaugh's remarks affected its advertising strategy. ProFlowers is an online flower delivery service.

That's why he's apologizing.

It's not working.  (The news report above about ProFlowers came out after Rush apologized).  UPDATE:  AOL just announced that they are dropping Limbaugh — that makes eight.

And as Fluke herself pointed out today, Limbaugh insulted her and the women of Georgetown 53 times over 3 days, and he never apologized to the women of Georgetown.

And Don Imus, who is no stranger to such controversy, also recalled his 2007 firing and urged Limbaugh to apologize to Fluke over lunch in Washington D.C. He doesn't minced his words:

"Here's the problem with all this. It was a vile personal attack of this woman and it was sustained over—what it was—Wednesday, come back and double down on Thursday, come back and double down on Friday, and then, issue a lame apology on your website in which you say, 'I didn't mean to personally attack her,' when you did attack her.

If it were me, and I ran a radio station or whatever, I'd make him go down there and apologize to her face to face. He owns a Gulfstream IV. Get on it. Go to Washington. Take her to lunch and say, 'Look. I'm sorry I said this stuff and I'll never do it again.' Period. No. He's an insincere pig. Pill-popping pinhead…It's disgraceful.

He has no guts…Look what I did, and what I did was a lame attempt to be funny. And it was three words and I went and met with these people after I'd been fired. You know you got to look them in the eye, you've got to show guts…He's a punk…Enough of what he said. He's a coward. You can't attack somebody like that."

True that.

David Frum takes a closer look at Rush's comments and chastizes those who say "Well, others have done things just as bad".  Frum responds with:

(1) No, not this bad.  Rush's comments – a "brutally sexualized accusation, against a specific person, prolonged over three days" — set "a new kind of low"

(2) When others crossed a line, there were actual consequences (David Letterman for example made an ugly joke about Sarah Palin's daughter, he delivered an abject seven-minute apology on air; Ed Schultz on MSNBC had his show taken away for a week [without pay])

(3) Rush, unlike Letterman, Schultz or any of the others, is a powerbroker of a political party

(4)  Two wrongs don't make a right.

One would have thought that, after Rush's attempt at an apology, the issue might have simmered down (God knows the GOP candidates wish it would — this whole anti-woman religious freedom thing has backfired BIG TIME).  But it hasn't. 

Is this the beginning of the end of Rush?  Some wonder. Well, he's always going to have people who revere his every word.  But without big name advertisers, and others too spooked to advertise with him, how much longer can he go on?  Oh, he'll go on.  But maybe– just maybe — it won't be the same.  I don’t believe that Rush Limbaugh suddenly has a sense of decency. But he may have, for once, finally realized that other people do—and that even he can hurt himself by offending it.