As advertisers flee, Rush Limbaugh, in the worst attempt at spin control ever uttered by anyone facing a widespread public backlash, offered a half-hearted explanation for his unconscionable attack on a Georgetown University law student, Sandra Fluke.
Limbaugh, who triple-downed calling Sandra Fluke a slut and a prostitute over the course of three days, revealed, once again, a deep-rooted, ugly, cringe-worthy misogynist mind set and embarrassing ignorance of how birth control actually works, and basic English terminology.
While “slut” is generally used as a derogatory term for women considered sexually promiscuous (whereas sexual promiscuity in men is considered a back-slapping demonstration of masculine prowess), a prostitute is a sex worker—a person who is paid to provide sexual intercourse or other sex acts, usually as a means of livelihood when other options are limited. Slut and prostitute are no more interchangeable than ignorant and obese.
“She’s having so much sex, she’s going broke buying contraceptives and wants us to buy them. I said, ‘Well, what would you call someone who wants us to pay for her to have sex? What would you call that woman? You’d call ‘em a slut, a prostitute or whatever,” Limbaugh exploded in his sweaty tirade.
He later feigned remorse, stating “OK, she’s not a slut, she’s round-heeled.” The hypocrisy is standard fare for Limbaugh, as is the deliberate attack on women. And despite Limbaugh’s misinformation, in his attempt to stir outrage, he implies that he, and other taxpayers, are paying for contraception. Which is not the case. We don’t have universal healthcare in the United States. And insurance companies are happy to provide contraception as opposed to the multitude of serious health issues that birth control mitigates, unwanted pregnancy being just one.
On the other hand, illegally obtaining prescription drugs like oxycodone and hydrocodone which Limbaugh did to feed his addictions, violating Florida’s doctor shopping laws, which Limbaugh did to feed his addictions, and forcing the expenditure of resources by drug enforcement agents, which Limbaugh did when caught smuggling Viagra from the Dominican Republic using a prescription that wasn’t in his name, does in fact, impact insurance companies, the costs of which are passed on to Limbaugh’s deluded listeners (and everyone else).
Then there’s the weight. A 270-pound body (yo-yoing up and down based on both gluttony and narcotics) is as unhealthy as it is expensive for everyone else. “When I want a steak or a huge slab of prime rib, which is frequently, I go to Ben Benson’s Steak House on West 52nd,” Limbaugh once told Cigar Aficionado. “I think cigars are just a tremendous addition to the enjoyment of life,” he stated in the same interview. If there’s one clear image that emerges, it’s that Rush Limbaugh will eat, smoke and fuck whatever his hedonistic mind tells him, consequences, costs or pseudo-morality be damned.
Limbaugh’s pathetic excuse to try and stem the hemorrhaging resulting from his Sandra Fluke comments is indicative of his cowardice and insincerity.
Pointing to a Romneyesque grueling three-hours-a-day work schedule, Limbaugh continues to believe he and the taxpayer are footing the bill for contraception. Oblivious to the costs of his gluttonous, hedonistic lifestyle choices. Or the costs to the state in providing pre and post natal resources for unwanted or unplanned pregnancies. Or the well being of children born to inadequate, unprepared mothers – or “sluts” as he would call them.
Or does Limbaugh reserve that term for women who use contraception only?
“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.”
His words, not their meaning. In his excuse, Limbaugh claims he didn’t expect his ugly tirade to rise to a Presidential level after the President called Sandra Fluke on Friday to commend her for her courage in testifying before congressional forum convened by Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (after a Republican-led House committee on women’s health issues, refused to hear her testimony, deferring to an all-male panel instead).
Yet Limbaugh ignores the fact that his show itself plays a political role – one that reaches into the heart of the Presidential primary.
Perhaps Mitt Romney’s shameful, tepid “not language I would have used” response demonstrates that the candidate still shares the sentiment. Perhaps he would have used a nicer word for “slut”.
Maybe Romney doesn’t want to offend Limbaugh, petrified, as all Republicans are, to dare cross him. Or could it be that their fortunes are inextricably linked. After all, Limbaugh’s fortune comes from his radio show on Clear Channel. And Clear Channel is owned by Bain Capital.
This kind of media/politician fraternization inter-fucking is about to destroy Rupert Murdoch once and for all, as the cozy relationship between David Cameron and Rebecca Brooks was exposed in sensational headlines in Britain last week, along with the unceremonious demotion of James Murdoch from News International.
The silent lack of condemnation from Republican leaders is as deafening as it is predictable. This cowardice is nothing new. And nor is their unbridled disrespect and condescension toward women.
Limbaugh’s derisive, condescending excuse as apology is not aimed at Sandra Fluke.
It’s to stop the backlash and the scrutiny a continued spotlight threatens to expose and the financial damage that could result.
And when someone compromises their moral certitude for the sole purpose of financial gain, we see all too clearly what a real whore looks like.
Clinton Fein is an internationally acclaimed author, artist, and First Amendment activist, best-known for his 1997 First Amendment Supreme Court victory against United States Attorney General Janet Reno. Fein has also gained international recognition for his Annoy.com site, and for his work as a political artist. Fein is on the Board of Directors of the First Amendment Project, “a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to protecting and promoting freedom of information, expression, and petition.” Fein’s political and privacy activism have been widely covered around the world. His work also led him to be nominated for a 2001 PEN/Newman’s Own First Amendment Award.
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