I’m sure you’ve seen Rush Limbaugh’s face all over the news yet again this week – this time, for saying:
“What does it say about the college coed [Sandra Fluke, Georgetown University law student scheduled to testify before congress on contraception] … who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.”
Now, this is not out of the ordinary for Rush. He has quite the history of saying degrading, patronizing, and downright disgusting things about women in the past. And Rush apologized, as he has rarely done before. But this time is different, and I’m not going to lie to you – I’m pleased as punch about it.
Limbaugh is not being let off the hook this time. Oh, don’t get me wrong – the right-wing media rushed to his defense as always, and Rush was as defiant as ever when the scandal first broke. But as time went on, the incident didn’t just blow over – people fought back.
President Obama called Sandra Fluke to make sure she was okay after the extremely slanderous and personal attacks, the Georgetown University President condemned Limbaugh, and Fluke herself spoke up and essentially outlined why Limbaugh’s comments were so ridiculous; nothing that she expected some criticism over the issue but nothing on the scale of personal attacks that Rush had issued against her; and many articles noting that this kind of language was the kind used to keep women down and “in their place” for centuries. And best of all? Advertisers began pulling out. And that got through to Rush.
Limbaugh finally issued an apology on Saturday, defending his comments as “humor”. But even Ron Paul saw right through him, noting that the apology came only because he was too concerned with his “bottom line”. The apology was too little, too late – many of his advertisers decided to still pull their ads from his show.
Aside from the ability to do a little happy dance over the news that Rush is getting a little less money to gold-plate another microphone or huge seat or something with his name on it, I am absolutely thrilled that we finally have an instance where public attention and outcry around an offensive comment from a conservative radio show host has made a difference. HALLELUJAH! Let’s keep it going – keep writing letters to businesses sponsoring shows like Limbaugh’s that focus on derogatory comments towards women and minorities, posting links to the crazy things these people say, and encouraging an intelligent debate on issues instead of just screaming one-sided into a microphone.