Sunday, March 11, 2012

Right-Wing Voices Defend Rush Limbaugh

Sandra Fluke's testimony before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee met with vicious attacks from talk show host Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh devoted several days of his program to ridiculing Fluke, calling her a "slut," a "prostitute," and accusing her of promiscuity. Limbaugh has since apologized (sort of), but his offensive comments launched a mass exodus of advertisers from his show. Several right-wing voices continue to defend his attacks on Fluke, including Bryan Fischer and Sarah Palin.

Right Wing Watch has documented Bryan Fischer's defense of Limbaugh, peppered with hateful comments about Fluke. During a recent show, Fischer indulged in brutal slut-shaming of Fluke.
"Rush of course used the S-word, and my point here is from a dictionary standpoint, he was right. That's just the description of a promiscuous woman. She's admitting to God and the United States Congress and the United States of America that's exactly what she is."
Later, Fischer accused Fluke of promiscuity, like Limbaugh.
"The real scandal is that this woman could, without any trace of shame, without any trace of embarrassment, could give open testimony before the entire United States of America about how much promiscuous sex she and her classmates are having. Now a generation ago, even in America, that would have been a  humiliating admission, but now, in the twisted world we live in, it's become a badge of honor for her."
In another excerpt from his show posted by Ring Wing Watch, Fischer again claimed that Fluke admitted to being promiscuous in her testimony before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.
"To think that you have a leftist like the president of the United States saying that the parents of a woman who goes on national TV, admits that she's sleeping with so many guys she can't keep track, doing it three times a day, running out of money, driving me to the poor house, and to think ... he's saying the parents ought to be proud of that!"
Bryan, did you even bother to listen to Fluke's testimony? She said nothing of the sort. Fischer seemingly ignored Fluke's actual testimony, preferring to take Limbaugh's venom as truth. Hilariously, Fischer claimed that the right respects and honors women during the same monologue!
"The worst misogyny in our culture, the hatred of women, the absolutely inexcusable, reprehensive, vulgar language that's being used about women, is almost exclusively on the left, and this is in part, ladies and gentlemen, because on the right, conservatives believe in respecting and honoring women. The left does not ... I'm struck by the parallels between liberalism and hard-core Islam. Liberal have the same view of conservative women that Muslims do of all women."
I don't think my irony meter was designed for such high levels of hypocrisy. Sadly, there's more.

In an interview with CNN, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin claimed that criticism of Limbaugh was "hypocrisy." (Hat tip to Freak Out Nation.)
"I think the definition of hypocrisy is for Rush Limbaugh to have been called out, forced to apologize, and retract what it is that he said in exercising his first amendment rights, and never is that--the same applied to the leftist radicals who say such horrible things about the handicapped, about women, about the defenseless."
On the March 7th edition of The 700 Club, Pat Robertson said that Limbaugh "got a little bit over the top" but nevertheless echoed Limbaugh's attacks. (Hat tip to Right Wing Watch.)
"There was a woman, the law student at Georgetown University who appeared before a congressional committee, and she said that students needed $3,000 a year for contraception and that they couldn’t afford it, and as I understand, the Catholic school was supposed to pay for it. Now Catholics say that fornication, if you will, sex outside of marriage is a sin, and yet this woman is saying ‘I’m going to be committing sin, but I want you to pay for my sin.’ Now am I overstating that? I mean, Rush Limbaugh got a little bit over the top on that thing but is that what it amounted to?"
According to Talking Points Memo, the right-wing Media Research Center launched a website called "I Stand with Rush" to show support for Limbaugh. However, when I tried to pull up the website, I received an "Error 404 Not Found" screen.

In a March 6th column at the Wall Street Journal, Cathy Ruse, Senior Fellow for Legal Studies at the Family Research Council, wrote that she would not defend Limbaugh's language but "I understand his larger point." She lambasted Fluke's activist as "simply a demand that a Catholic institution pay for drugs that make it possible for her to have sex without getting pregnant." She advised Fluke to give up a few cups of coffee at Starbucks each month to pay for contraceptives.

Fox 2 Now reports that the speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives, Rep. Steve Tilley (R-106th District), will induct Limbaugh into the Missouri capital's Hall of Famous Missourians. Planned Parenthood of Missouri director Paula Gianino called the move a "slap in the face to women."

Not all of Limbaugh's defenders herald from the right. Think Progress reports that in a March 6th tweet, Real Time with Bill Maher host Bill Maher wrote that liberals look bad for not accepting Rush Limbaugh's apology, and that he disapproved of "intimidation by sponsor pullout." Think Progress also notes that Maher has his own history of misogynist comments.

It disappoints me that these voices have defended a childish misogynist, ridiculed a woman who advocated for reproductive justice, and coarsened our public discourse. For all their talk of respecting women and embracing family values, several right-wing voices have showed their true colors by defending Limbaugh's slut-shaming.

For additional commentary, visit the following links

The Daily Beast: Rush Limbaugh Scandal Proves Contagious for Talk-Radio Advertisers

Los Angeles Times: Rush Limbaugh: Loss of ads amounts to 'a couple of french fries'

Daily Mail: SNL Makes Fun of Sponsors Fleeing Rush Limbaugh's Show over "Slut" Comments


  1. I'm glad all of those sponsors are dropping Rush, but seriously--why did it take this? Some of the random clips of these shows that I've heard are just downright shocking, and make no great waves as this has. I know it's about dollars and cents, but I'm in awe that any company would want their name associated with him and his ilk on a regular day.

    I missed the SNL sketch. Sounds like they nailed it. :)

  2. Amazing how they can flip the argument, and no, Bryan obviously did not read or listen to her testimony.

  3. Michelle -- I'm as baffled as you are that it took this long for a public firestorm to erupt. Limbaugh has a long history of offensive comments (most recently, his comments about the Lord's Resistance Army), so why did this happen now? Better late than never, though.

    I didn't see the SNL skit either, so I'll have to hunt for it on YouTube.

    Donna -- Well, logic and consistence were never their strong suits. Seriously, people like FIscher need to do a little research before opening their mouths.

  4. It just goes to show how closed-minded and biased they are. They hear "birth control" and automatically think "wanton sex machine slut prostitute". Fluke never mentioned her sex life, or anybody else's for that matter. She told about the health conditions of several people she knew, and how they suffered (sometimes tragically) because their insurance did not provide coverage for hormonal contraceptives. But all the RRRW heard was "I want free birth control so I can go screw millions of men".

    What depraved, lying, heartless scumbags they are. They don't care one whit about other people nor do they care about facts. They just care about their agenda and about smearing their perceived enemies in the most callous, cruel ways possible.

  5. Buffy -- Agreed. I'm tired of hearing right-wingers condemn Fluke and other reproductive rights advocates because they want contraceptive coverage. The reason behind their anger, as you've gleaned, is fear and hatred of sexually autonomous women. Cue the misogynist slut-shaming.

  6. Obviously they are preaching to the people who never listen to the left and thus revel in their own ignorance. And don't Fischer, Palin, Limbaugh, and their ilk know it.

    These authoritative RRRW voices (Palin is an authority for a political party? Seriously? I digress) are all cowardly bullies, just like the scumbag they are defending. On a related note, have you ever seen Limbaugh show up as a guest on a talk show or any other type of forum where he doesn't have complete control? Nope. He does his bullying in the classic bullying style - while sitting behind his big microphone where no one can challenge him (and probably behind bullet proof glass and lots of body guards; I hear the guards go with him everywhere).

    He is a pathetic coward who got caught with someone else's viagra. He certainly wasn't taking that stuff for ovarian cysts. What a slut!

    Yet he is a powerful RR and Republican icon with great power to influence policy. Somehow, that seems so apropos. He is the literal Republican (ahem) Man Behind the Curtain, all big and scary until the curtain opens and reveals the real: the balding, obese, viagra-popping dude who personifies gluttony, hypocrisy, and lack of self-control.

  7. Cognitive Dissenter -- There's no ignorance like willful ignorance, that's for sure.

    It's disquieting that such salacious bullying is what passes for political commentary in some circles.

  8. This makes my stomach hurt.

    I remember reading somewhere that if you're not a liberal when you're young, you have no heart, and if you're not conservative when you grow older, you have no brain. But that statement is incorrect, because apparently to be conservative (i.e., Republican) one needs neither brain nor heart.

    I am so sick of slut shaming. I'm sick of people brandishing their vorpal swords as they proclaim that any woman who stands up for her rights to be a slut. I'm tired of people who think that women are less than human.

    What is it they say? Sick and tired of being sick and tired? Yep.

  9. Faith -- I'm tired of it too. These people need to enter the 21st century and accept that women are people.

    1. It's amazing how these people can block out reality. I'd boycott Rush's advertisers, but I can't stomach his show long enough to make it to the commercials to see who the advertisers are.

    2. Grundy -- Welcome!

      If you want to find out who is still advertizing with Limbaugh without listening to his show, Media Matters is keeping a running tab.

    3. Thanks, I found a site like that before, but it was outdated. This looks better.


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