Rush Limbaugh Issues “Apology” To Sandra Fluke
Not a surrender. Not even an apology. Just a tactical retreat.
After a week of controversy, and the loss of several advertisers, Rush Limbaugh has issued the following statement:
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.
So, there you have it.
Quite honestly, I expected that something like this would come from the Limbaugh camp simply because public opinion, and even several top Republicans, were turning against him. The decision by several advertisers to bow to a campaign to drop their ads from his radio show also, no doubt, had an impact. Everyone can judge the words for themselves. Personally, I don’t remember Limbaugh every actually apologizing for anything before. Nonetheless, the words were said and cannot be taken back, and they fit a pattern that goes back two decades. Quite frankly, I think the only reason this statement was issued was because the controversy was threatening to hit Limbaugh where it hurts, in his wallet.
I am sure that, come Monday, Limbaugh will find a way to spin this to his advantage. He always does. The question is how the rest of the right reacts to this. As the criticism of Limbaugh from mainstream voices increased, the attacks on Sandra Fluke from the right became ever more vitriolic. Facts didn’t seem to matter. They said that she had testified that she spent $3,000 a year on birth control, when what she had actually said is that based on her experience a female law student without health insurance would spend $3,000 over three years on birth control pills. And, they ignored the fact that the majority of her statement concerned a fellow Georgetown Law School classmate who had been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and ended up having to get an ovary removed because she could not afford the birth control pills that would have treated her condition. They were really more concerned with attacking a woman they disagreed with. Both because they disagreed with her, and because she dared to oppose Rush Limbaugh. It’s part of the sickness on the right, and they need to fix it.
So, what he’s saying is “I meant everything I said, I just should have used a euphemism instead of slut and prostitute.” Nice. I’m sure that solves the problem.
Even in his apology Limbaugh insists on mis-charachterizing the testimony of Fluke.
If you want taxpayers to stop subsidizing employer-provided insurance…great…the PPACA begins to do that. It’s too bed Republicans didn’t work with Democrats and steer the legislation towards more conservative goals…but they gambled on obstruction and lost. So here we are.
I see he’s still misrepresenting her testimony, which next to no one on the Right seems to have actually watched. She didn’t testify about her “personal sexual activities”.
Not good enough. Not even close. He’s lost a lot of advertisers, ProFlowers will have to give in and probably Carbonite as well. They’re getting murdered in social media.
I suspect corporate legal had a conversation with him, too.
Gosh, I’m sure that women who are intending to vote in November will just forget all about this unfortunate little episode. It’ll just pass completely out of their pretty little heads.
More importantly, ad agencies won’t forget. Advertisers will hesitate to place spots with Limbaugh in the future. He’s been hurt by this, and hurt significantly. That’s all good. But the apology is bullshit and his remaining sponsors need to get the message: sponsor hate and you end up being hated.
Too little, to late, for me, as well as most women, I imagine.
In addition, the classmate she was referring to with the ovarian cysts is gay and has no need of birth control for contraceptive reasons. And her condition requires a more powerful and rarer form of the pill than the generic you can get at WalMart or Target for $25 a month.
He still demonstrates he has absolutely no idea what he is even being “humorous” about. There is no correlation whatsoever to what he has said and what that woman did or said. He at one time could at least articulate as a complete jerk. He is obviously more and more impaired as the years of drug abuse have obliterated his neurons. Perhaps we should feel sorry that he has regressed so much over the years and now has the mental acuity of a 6 month old.
That’s not an appology; that’s rationalising.
He’s hoping it will be enough to halt the flight of sponsors. Rush is after all after money and not that much into ideology.
NIce to see Doug corrects the “innocent young political naive” student narrative without admitting it.
Stunner. Georgetown “Coed” Sandra Fluke Is a 30 Year-Old Women’s Rights Activist
Thirty-year-old women use contraceptives, too. You might be married to one.
@Paul L,: She’s 30. So?
Good luck with Paul L. I have spent some time on the right blogsphere checking out the comments attacking Fluke. I don’t think these guys have a lot of luck with women.
They certainly don’t seem to be able to wrap their brains around the idea that people in their 30s can attend college too.
I haven’t a clue why you think this information changes anything. Please enlighten me. What does her being 30 have to do with anything? Or is being a “Woman’s Right Activist” that makes it okay to call her a slut?
I guess Limbaugh would at least have history on his side with the last one, since women who fought for woman’s rights are frequently subjected to insults regarding their sexual habits and morality. Not that it makes it any more appropriate for Ms. Fluke than it was for Susan B. Anthony, but at least Fluke is in good company there.
@anjin-san: It’s an argument for nubile women to carry. At this stage, I’m more concerned about night sweats.
To start with no one ever said she was a innocent political naive. Secondly Paul L. now lays out the conservative philosophy as it applies to 30 year old, female, activist, law students with whom Republicans disagree. They are immediately to be categorised as sluts and prostitutes and required to perform in live sex shows on TV (with fat elderly Republican congressmen?). Yes I can see Edmund Burke and Bill Buckley nodding in agreement. Well gee thanks Paul L. thanks for making absolutely clear what the Republican party stands for these day. We’re forever in your debt.
As hoped for: Carbonite has pulled its sponsorship.
Score one for the good guys.
Capitalism and free expression, Rush. How you liking it now?
Obviously Paul L. is hoping for a casting call for one of these live TV shows with a sultry liberal woman of 30 so he can exercise his Republican droit de seigneur.
Who else we got call Mikey?
BS. she is portrayed as innocent victim “swiftboated” by the evil right wing noise machine for daring to stand up to the backwards woman hating rethugs in congress that the left wing outrage machine has to defend her.
Now I am going to call her something worst than what Rush said about her.
She is a cut-rate Amanda Marcotte
He says whats next, well we say the same thing. Will they say taking blood for testing is against their religion, or cat scans where does it stop? Birth control saves money in the long run folks if it be for cysts or actual birth control. Nobody is saying hey have a ball and fool around but the reality is people who have kids that they cannot afford costs much more money to tax-payers. Many who find themselves in this position will choose to keep the child, rather than abort or give up for adoption. We know what the right wing nuts say about that. They are sick of taking care of all these kids on welfare. Nothing pleases these buffoons. Oh ya put an aspirin between a healthy young persons legs and they will be good. Right are you forgetting what it was like when you were young. Limbaugh and others like him suck and no apology will be enough to save their sorry ass soul.
An apology on his website will do no good. An apology made on air, and one far better-worded than this one, would suffice. His listeners need to hear him humbling himself.
ProFlowers is still holding out last I heard.
Portrayed by whom? Anyway we now know your definition of conservatism. Liberal women forced to appear in sex shows on tv. God what a scumbag.
Whose Amanda Marcotte…never heard of her. On the other hand I now have a fair idea of what a low life you are.
Speaking of, the headline on Huffington Post right now is priceless.
I will call them tomorrow. Never done such a thing in my life but there’s always a first time.
What’s amusing is the GOP will still wonder why they have trouble selling their brand with women after this. As if every insult, every misogynistic remark, and every bit of vitriolic pus spewed by gasbags affiliated with them was a unique, random, rare event.
I have stood by decades wordlessly, intentionally childless, while my insurance costs have covered, in some degree or another, prenatal care, childbirth, and pediatric care, because I think those are all social goods, even if the parents were total f888-ups.
Advertiser #6 — Carbonite — has abandoned Rush despite his non-apology apology. Methinks this gasbag has peaked.
Never heard the, “she’s so absurd she made me do it” defense, not since 3rd grade recess, at any rate…
@Janis Gore: Exactly. Why do conservatives feel they should be allowed to opt out of premiums that cover services they don’t use? None of the rest of us get to do that.
@Nikki: We’d make a better argument if we paid a co-pay, too.
ProFlowers contact page:
I think it’s a little suspect that Ms. Fluke was speaking about a friend with a problem. Does her friend really exist? In any case, access to birth control would not have cured her friend. Birth control pills assist in regulating the menstrual cycle but they do not treat PCOS. Of course, liberals never let facts get in the way of their emotions; similar to a toddler throwing a tantrum.
Really? I think it’s fascinating that you can fathom a woman’s mind that way.
I don’t believe you think at all; otherwise, you would be a conservative.
I am. Do you think it’s conservative to ask you to finance my child’s kidney transplant at 12 years old because I recklessly had a child knowing I had a 50% probability of genetic defect?
Technically, that’s humans seldom let facts get in the way of their emotons. Last I checked, your average conservative was human, so–hey, this works for both sides!
@Janis Gore: One would think men would be pleased there will be one less obstacle to a responsible woman’s attempts to avoid pregnancy.
I’m a crone that has been married to a man with a vasectomy for nigh on 20 years.
Mind, that still puts the ball in my lap.
Oh, like many of those people who don’t want any of their money going to pay for someone else’s birth control pills…yes, the tantrums are really rampant…
Worst. Exculpatory. Evidence. EVAR.
Seriously, this make Michelle Malkin’s famous granite counter-tops expose look like Clarence Darrow.
That Gateway Pundit apologetics that you’re pushing, that’s been spreading around the RW blogosphere, is some of the stupidest crap I’ve seen in a long while. It’s also yet another example of people commenting on her testimony who didn’t actually watch it. This is how Fluke introduced herself at the start of her testimony:
Your stunning bombshell was stressed in her very own introduction… a pretty odd way of misrepresenting herself, huh?
Yeah, but all your fancy words don’t explain away the simple fact that she’s 30. How do you explain that, my friend?
I’m trying to think of a worse example of oppo research than this, and the only thing that comes close is the Malkin granite counter-top thing. It’s almost too pathetic and pitiable to even get riled up about.
@An Interested Party:
Why should anyone care what you want? Nobody’s asking you to approve someone else’s medicine. Nobody’s even asking you to PAY for it. All they are asking is for people to quit being douchebags who pretend that women’s health is a dirty thing, or something to be ashamed of.
This whole episode has been very revealing. I strongly suspect that many of the right-wing commentators and comment posters we see online are very unsuccessful with women in their real lives. I certainly know that the women in my life – lib and conservative – find the whole thing repugnant.
“Birth control pills assist in regulating the menstrual cycle but they do not treat PCOS.”
Actually, they do. I am working on the OB floor today. I asked just to be sure. They still use BCPs to treat PCOS. The decrease in exposure to androgens has many positives, including lowered cancer risks.
You are talking to people who think that murdering ones baby is healthcare and or birth control.
And a right.
And this chick is lucky her name ain’t Sara Palin…hmm…will I see any rimes with fluke porn parodies coming out .hmm. I can think of a few…
How about you Harry? You was all for that when it happened to Sara, is that ok?Maybe you should call the Porn industry all tell them your gonna stop using some of their sponsors products? Hypocrite! lol…
“So when you take the government’s money you do what the government says”.LIBERAL LOGIC!!!!
can’t be made to look absurd? Or into a parody?
oh and can you guys call lifelock too?I hate that stupid commercial almost as much as I hate the carbonite one.
Oh and I was thinking about adding OTB to my life insurance, Doug is there a way we can set this up? When I die I want you to throw the lib commenters here a party so that they can not only celebrate my deserved death but have me pay for it. With cake and ice cream, but make sure it is all natural grown in poop, get some good medical grade dope, some party hats and noise makers, some real costly scotch and a few nice cigars for Harry, and put out a big bowl full of rubbers and have an abortionist on standby.
let me know if we can work somthing like that out:)
G.A. you are hereby nominated for the 2012 OTB Coherence Award.
@Brummagem Joe: A lot of us have come to the conclusion G.A. is mentally deficient, deserving of compassion and best ignored. That he doesn’t understand his posts are a wildyly effective demonstration of what’s wrong with conservatism is a major red flag regarding his cognitive ability. If Democrats could somehow tar every conservative in the country with his last comment, they’d never lose another election.
I kind of liked this idea…
“Limbaugh will find a way to spin this to his advantage. He always does.”
This is a bit different than what Rush has gotten into before.
Take the Donovan McNabb incident. As Rush himself explained on his show in the aftermath, he planned that whole thing out. Not the getting fired/resigning stuff, but he felt he wasn’t getting enough attention on ESPN’s pre-game show so he decided to stir things up. He knew McNabb’s poor play at that time was going to be brought up, so he decided to do a little race-baiting. He literally said that his plan was to cause controversy so that next week he’d get much more air time on the show. But while Rush knew enough to couch his race-baiting in terms that his dittoheads could defend, he didn’t comprehend that race-baiting of any kind is pretty much impermissable when it comes to the NFL.
This Sandra Fluke stuff was not planned. Rush did not think through what he was going to say, having any plan for saying it or any purpose to achieve. Frankly, he’s a 61 year old man who probably just got caught up in the resentment and bitterness he still harbors over the fact that young women wouldn’t sleep with him in high school or his abortive attempt at college. Much like Doug Mataconis’ “HIPPIES!” reaction to Occupy Wall Street, it was an almost Pavlovian response. And because there was no thought put into his Sandra Fluke comments, Rush did not leave himself any defense. He has to issue an apology and you know what apologizing, even half-assedly, makes Rush in his own eyes and the eyes of his devoted listeners? A pussy.
@Cycloptichorn: Of course, I wasn’t talking about myself with that comment, but rather, all these people who are whining about having to pay for someone else’s birth control…I do agree with your reasoning as to why it seems to bother some people…
Brummagem Joe, Ben Wolf go fluke yourselves you fluke suckers….
Nazda-rovye Comrade G.A.
What the fluke? lol, I don’t speak communist…… please translate….
Oh I thought you were one…you always sound like a totalitarian.
@MBunge: Limbaugh claiming the McNabb thing was all his cunning plot is pretty much the same as Pee Wee Herman tripping over a chair and then saying “I mean to do that!”
Good analysis, though I think you might be off on this:
Given how invested his listeners are in Rush being right, I don’t think the apology changes their view. Its too easy to rationalize away.
This is the same reason, for example, that there’s still so much love for Palin among the committed (or choose a really popular but problematic Progressive). To admit that she or Rush did something wrong is to admit that your faith in them was misplaced which is to admit that you were wrong.
Here’s a exercise to see this pattern at work: try and find someone who admits to liking Glen Beck during his Fox stink, but now thinks that he went too wingnut. I suspect you’ll either find people who still defend him or people who claimed that they never liked him in the first place.
Don’t hold your breath
The GOP can no longer avoid its Rush Limbaugh problem.
By Editorial Board, Published: March 2
IN A DEMOCRACY, standards of civil discourse are as important as they are indefinable. Yet wherever one draws the line, Rush Limbaugh’s vile rants against Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke crossed it. Mr. Limbaugh is angry at President Obama’s efforts to require the provision of contraception under employer-paid health insurance and the White House’s attempts to make some political hay out of the policy. His way of showing this anger was to smear Ms. Fluke, who approached Congress to support the plan, as a “slut” seeking a government subsidy for her promiscuity.
Like other “shock jocks,” Mr. Limbaugh has committed verbal excesses in the past. But in its wanton vulgarity and cruelty, this episode stands out. Mr. Limbaugh’s audience, and those in politics who seek his favor as a means of reaching that audience, need to take special note.
We are not calling for censorship. Nor are we suggesting that the ostensible policy issue here — mandatory provision of contraception under health insurance paid for by religious-based institutions such as Georgetown — is a simple one. Those who questioned President Obama’s initial decisions in this area — we among them — were not waging a “war on women,” as Democrats have alleged in strident fundraising appeals.
What we are saying is that Mr. Limbaugh has abused his unique position within the conservative media to smear and vilify a citizen engaged in the exercise of her First Amendment rights, and in the process he debased a national political discourse that needs no further debasing. This is not the way a decent citizen behaves, much less a citizen who wields significant de facto power in a major political party. While Republican leaders owe no apology for Mr. Limbaugh’s comments, they do have a responsibility to repudiate them — and him.
House Speaker John Boehner took a step in that direction Friday: “The speaker obviously believes the use of those words was inappropriate, as is trying to raise money off the situation,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in an e-mail Friday morning. But there’s no moral equivalency between the Democrats’ hyperbolic but abstract “war on women” line and Mr. Limbaugh’s targeted attack. Mr. Boehner and others of his stature need to say unequivocally that such gutter rhetoric has no place in their party or in American politics.
Incivility is not a one-way street in America. Far from it: Mr. Limbaugh’s left-wing equivalents have trashed any number of conservatives over the years. Conservatives have a point when they protest that the “mainstream media” don’t always heed their legitimate grievances.
Yet under the influence of Mr. Limbaugh and his ilk, the Republicans risk coming before the voters in 2012, and after, with nothing but grievances. This is what former Florida governor Jeb Bush was trying to tell his fellow Republicans when he observed, apropos of a recent discourse in the GOP primary: “It’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective, and that’s kind of where we are.”
For the good of U.S. political culture — or at least its own political self-interest — the GOP must distance itself from Mr. Limbaugh. In response to listener complaints and, apparently, the promptings of its own corporate conscience, Sleep Train Mattress Centers has quit advertising on Mr. Limbaugh’s show. Dare Republican leaders show less decency?
Funny young man, Eric Burden. I’d have thought twice about loaning him my car keys.
Before I throw my two cents worth in, let me issue a few caveats. I am a pro-choice lapsed Catholic that believes in the availability of contraception. I, along with my husband, own a business with a nineteen employees, and we provide health and dental insurance. We also pay 100% of the premiums. While I am socially liberal (I could care less what two consenting adults do, as long as it is legal and also support gay marriage) I am fiscally conservative and believe that the less the government intrudes on our lives, the better. Oh, and I think Rush Limbaugh is a jerk and wouldn’t was a second of my life listening to him on the radio.
Frankly, I wasn’t sure whether or not our health insurance policy covered birth control pills or not. Turns out it doesn’t, unless the medication is prescribed for something other than birth control. I don’t really have a problem with that, as I was on the pill for a number of years, it was never covered under any of the employer health insurance policies I was ever under and I always had to pay for it out of my own pocket. I don’t remember paying for the pills being a financial burden, and I was making a rather meager salary for a large portion of the time that I was on the pill and to the best of my recollection, generics were not available then. The policy does cover sterilization procedures, and for men it’s a much better deal. Where a man can go into a Urologist office and get snipped for not very much money, a woman’s tubal ligation cost involves payment out of pocket up to the amount of the deductible and then 20% of the remaining costs, as is common with any surgery. Given the cost of an operating room, an Anesthesiologist and an OB to do the surgery, it can be a rather pricey procedure. Do I think that is particularly fair. No, not really. But then I also don’t think it’s fair that my husband pays $35 for a haircut and mine costs $75, that the laundry charges less for his shirts than for mine, or that when he buys clothes his are altered for free and I have to pay for my altherations. But, I also don’t think that a woman should be able to have an expensive procedure done for free. It certainly won’t be free for me, because my premiums are going to go up to reflect the possible costs the insurance company might potentially have to pay, and God knows the premiums are already costing a fortune as it is.
As to the kerfuffle over the pill, I haven’t seen anyone, with any power, propose to outlaw contraception. Even if the Catholic Church doesn’t want to pay for it (as I believe is well within their rights given the beliefs and teaching of the faith), any employee of any Catholic institution
is free to go to almost any drug store and get a prescription for birth control pills filled. Proponents of the ACA keep harping on “access”. There is no problem with access – condoms are easily available, just like birth control pills, and the morning after pill. All it takes is a prescription and sometimes not even that. As long as you are at least 18, you can go to just about any pharmacy and purchase the morning after pill by just asking for it. My son helped a friend out in going to buy it and it cost a whopping $25. Heck, given the money the government throws at Planned Parenthood, and knowing that Planned Parenthood charges on a sliding scale, low income women can get birth control pills for free, or darn close to it. So I would really like for someone to explain to me how access to contraception is some huge problem that the government needs to fix.
Ms. Fluke chose to attend a Jesuit school, knowing their position on birth control and knowing that the health insurance policy made available to students through the school would not cover contraception. All of Ms. Fluke’s female friends at Georgetown also knew this. Now, they could have gone somewhere else to school, just as employees of Catholic institutions could have chosen to work someplace else. No one has forced any of these people to have any involvement with a Catholic institution. In each circumstance, they have chosen to do so of their own free will. Ms. Fluke and her friends could have purchased health insurance policies elsewhere, ones that would cover contraception, and no one would have a problem with that. But trying to force a religious institution to do something against their beliefs is just wrong.
Oh, and the story about the married friend that stopped taking birth control pills because she couldn’t afford them. That has got to be the biggest crock I’ve ever heard. If her friend can afford to go to a school that costs approximately $45K per year (and no, you can’t borrow the full amount), and is smart enough to gain entrance to such an august institution of higher learning, is smart enough to figure out that the cost of those packets of pills is a whole lot less than the cost of a pregnancy and raising a child.
I have been to an august institiution myself, and can’t undertand why those tutiions don’t include a decent amount of women’s health care.
That’s where I was introduced to the IUD, which is a conveniernt and inexpensive form of birth controll for me. .
Bravo, Moderate Mom!
They haven’t. The issue simply stated is whether employers on religious grounds, or under the terms of the Blount amendment any grounds they choose, have the right to exclude contraception or other controversial services from the health insurance coverage they provide their female employees. HHS found a neat way out of the religious conscience issue but this wasn’t enough for conservatives who felt they had to press the argument with the Blount amendment and through the usual Republican noise machine for what they perceived to be a political advantage. God knows why, it’s a sure loser amongst a majority of women. That’s it in a nutshell.
I’ll ignore the rather generalised attacks on Ms Fluke and her peer group since they are about as germane to the issue as Limbaugh’s suggestion that Fluke should be required to appear in sex movies on TV.
hell, Fluke me..
You think I want to impose my worldview on anyone, lol, that I want to force you all to think a certain way…
yup, I want to rule the world so I can force you all to me Maiden and Packer fans!!!!!
Dude I can’t even force my worldview on myself and I damn sure can’t handle it.
I don’t like everyone hating me just for trying to tell the truth as I see it. But then you got to do what you got to do.
I will apologize for my methods again.
this still cracks me up.. I am gonna put it up on my face book….
Here is why I have a major problem with Rush Limbaugh’s apology, and I’m adamant that he should not have apologized. Rather than allowing the MSM or the leftist liberals to drive their agenda by elevating this issue and Rush’s apology…
..where in context, were they on the following apologies:
1. President Obama’s abhorrent apology on the Koran issue ?
2. Likewise, an apology from Islamic community on 9/11 ?
3. Eric Holder’s apology to Brian Terry’s family ?
4. Obama’s apology for American exceptionalism to the world ?
5. Obama’s apology for all the wasted billions on “green” scams ?
6. Liberals apology for all those held captive by welfare ?
7. Obama’s apology to the unemployed ?
8. The EPA’s apology for destroying America’s business environment ?
9. Liberalism’s apology for 40 years of failed social policies ?
10. DOE apology for having absolutely no coherent energy policy ?
11. Obama’s apology for lying about shove ready jobs ?
12. Obama’s apology for growing the size of the useless Fed. Gov. ?
13. DOJ apology for suing Arizona over not doing its own job ?
14. Obama’s apology for running over the constitution ?
15. Obama’s apology for selling America into socialism ?
The radical liberal left socialists don’t ever apologize to Americans. It time to return the favor !