Popular radio host Rush Limbaugh’s use of offensive and uncivil words to describe a law student, who had expressed her support for mandated contraception coverage, has set off a deluge of criticism that threatens to inundate his exceedingly successfully radio talk show.
Rush Limbaugh has been the top-rated radio talk show host in the United States for almost two decades now and has always been in the news for the audacious advocacy of his controversial views and his unrepentant devil-may-care attitude. This time, however, he seems to have gone a little too far.
His crude tirade has sparked off unprecedented outrage and women groups are demanding that he apologize not only to Sandra Fluke, but to all women in America.
Such has been the outrage and the public condemnation that advertisers are deserting him. Till date seven advertisers have pulled off their advertisements from “The Rush Limbaugh Show”. Proflowers, joined Sleep Train, Sleep Number, Quicken Loans, AutoZone, among others in distancing themselves from Limbaugh.
The boycott by the advertisers may not make things difficult for Mr. Limbaugh financially, as he is reported to be making $50 million a year. What bothers him is that his image will take a beating and soon his best friends, the Republicans, will ask him not to defend them. With a friend like him, who needs an opponent?
Mr. Limbaugh had called Sandra Fluke, a student at the Georgetown University “a slut and a prostitute” and the Obama administration, “pimps” – all this because she had testified in favor of plans by the Democrats to cover contraceptives in health insurance plans.
Unprepared for the indignation his remarks have evoked, he, after three days of continually deriding Sandra and the Obama administration, he ate humble pie and said, “I did not intend to attack her personally. I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation.”
His critics however, rejected his apology and said that it had been forced on him by the pressure of advertisers deserting him and not because of any change in heart. Representative Debbie W. Schultz of the Democratic National Committee chairwoman, said, “I know he apologized, but forgive me, I doubt his sincerity, given that he lost at least six advertisers.”
Eric Boehlert of the liberal media monitoring group Media said Limbaugh’s apology would not “stop the pressure that’s being applied to his advertisers.” “His comments were so egregious; naturally advertisers will have doubts about being associated with Limbaugh’s brand of hate.”
Mitt Romney kept quiet on the issue until he could wait no longer. Criticizing Limbaugh, a known Obama baiter, was politically incorrect. He however, said on Friday night, “It’s not the language I would have used.”
President Obama was considerate enough to call up Sandra Fluke, encouraged her, thanked her and asked her if she was okay. Sandra said that she touched when the President told her, that your parents should be proud of you.
Some, however, believe that, we are fortunate to live in a democracy where everyone is entitled to their own opinions regarding legitimate policy differences “The contraception debate is one that sparks strong emotion and opinions on both sides of the issue; we must respect the right of Mr. Limbaugh, as well as the rights of those who disagree with him, to express those opinions.”
Irrespective of democratic rights, no woman deserves to be disrespected and insulted in this manner – Limbaugh’s tirade is insensitive and he may have to pay a high price for it.Limbaugh Pays High Price For Indiscretion by Harrison Barnes