Content Section

Top Story

FALLOUT

‘SNL’ Mocks Rush Limbaugh

‘SNL’ Mocks Rush Limbaugh

Jonah Hill hosted.

No sign of the Rush Limbaugh “Slutgate” going away anytime soon, as Saturday Night Live entered the fray last night to mock the conservative radio-show host for lashing out against law student and birth-control activist Sandra Fluke, calling her a “slut” and a “prostitute.” The show, hosted by Jonah Hill, had a cold opening that featured Taran Killam, playing Limbaugh, listing a few of the sponsors he has left. There’s the Mosquito Breeders of America—apparently there are people who want more mosquitoes. There’s also Depends for Racists. And Pencil Dullers, which is the opposite of a pencil sharpener.

Read it at Hollywood Reporter

Latest Updates

Can't Compete

The Left’s Rush Envy

Instead of trying to oust Limbaugh with a boycott, why don’t liberals offer talk-radio listeners a better alternative? Because they can’t compete in the free market of ideas, says Michael Medved.

Attempts to advance a left-wing media agenda by destroying Rush Limbaugh’s radio show will surely fail, just as efforts to advance a progressive economic agenda by punishing the nation’s most productive corporations and individuals have always failed.

The raging controversy over the nation’s top-rated conservative commentator won’t rearrange the landscape of talk radio, but it does highlight the odd leftist preference for attacking the success of the other side rather than promoting progress for their own.

Amid threats of a boycott, more than 98 companies have suspended their sponsorship of the Limbaugh show, but Rush and his associates insist (very plausibly) that many other firms have eagerly rushed in (you’ll pardon the expression) to fill the gap. To underline that point, El Rushbo says he even turned away one repentant sponsor who apparently changed his mind and wanted to come back to the show after a few days off the air; the indignant host declares he wants no part of on-air partners whose support for his work seems wobbly or tentative.

Meanwhile, the Limbaugh apology for crude language (including the epithets “slut” and “prostitute”) in his three days of ridicule of free-contraception activist Sandra Fluke poses an uncomfortable question for his critics: now that he’s said he’s sorry, repeatedly and somewhat emotionally, what, exactly, do they mean to accomplish with their continued pressure to try to force sponsors to sever ties with the show?

article

In Defense of Rush Limbaugh

‘Slut’ and ‘whore’ are offensive words, but some of his biggest critics in the whole Sandra Fluke controversy are guilty of using the similar language—they just happen to be liberals. Paul Theroux on how the whole affair reveals our smugness and hypocrisy.

At first I didn't know whether I’d yawn or puke when I read what Rush Limbaugh said reacting to the Georgetown Law student and self-described reproductive-rights activist, Sandra Fluke. “What does it say about the college coed Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We’re the pimps—the johns. No, that’s right—pimp is not the right word.”

All of this is offensive hyperbole—and the confusion of “pimp” and “john” is odd for the man whose idea of a good time is a week in the Dominican Republic with a bagful of Viagra. But it is little more than flapdoodle. Did anyone really think that the earnest, scholarly Sandra Fluke was a prostitute?

It will go away, I thought, and I can return to eating lotuses on my tropical island. But it didn't go away. The president of the United States called Ms. Fluke to tell her that her parents should be proud of her. The war in Afghanistan is deadlier than ever, Israelis are on the verge of bombing Iran, Syria is imploding, gas is inching to $5 a gallon and the president is bucking up a law student who was called a naughty name?

Projectile vomiting became a real possibility when Don Imus weighed in, calling Limbaugh a “fat gutless pill-popping loser.” “It’s the worst kind of cowardice,” Imus said. “Maybe he’s still jacked up on the Oxycontin, or whatever it is, but you can’t say stuff about somebody and not, one, own up to it, and, two, have guts enough to go sit down with her and say, ‘Look, I’m sorry and I won’t do this again.’ But no, he’s a punk.”

Fluke Attack

Heaton’s History of Outbursts

Patricia Heaton’s Twitter rant against Limbaugh target Sandra Fluke was only the latest. By Marlow Stern.

After radio host Rush Limbaugh sparked national outrage and sent 40 advertisers running for the hills by denouncing Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke as a “slut,” right-wing actress Patricia Heaton unleashed a Twitter tirade against Fluke. But Heaton, best known for playing the caring, cerebral housewife Debra Barone on the hit CBS television sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, is no stranger to controversial political statements.

On the Rush Limbaugh/Sandra Fluke controversy:

“Hey G-Town Gal! If your parents have to pay for your birth control, maybe they should get a say in who u sleep with! Instant birth control!” via Twitter

In an ad opposing a 2006 Missouri state constitutional amendment on embryonic stem cell research that ran the same week actor Michael J. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson’s, appeared in an ad in favor of it (and just after Rush Limbaugh accused Fox of “faking” his symptoms):

SLUT FUROR

Obama, Axelrod Slam Rush

Obama, Axelrod Slam Rush Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

As radio host’s advertisers bail.

President Barack Obama and David Axelrod made their feelings clear about talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh’s comments on birth-control advocate Sandra Fluke during a press conference Tuesday. At a news conference Tuesday, Obama addressed the controversy Limbaugh incited head-on, drawing on his experience as a father, and said people should be able to engage in public disputes without “being demeaned and insulted, particularly when you’re a private citizen.” Meanwhile, more advertisers continued to drop Limbaugh’s show, bringing the total number of advertisers lost to 17.

Read it at The Daily Beast

SLUT FUROR

Heaton Sorry for Fluke Attacks

Rush Limbaugh's slurs of Sandra Fluke have lit up the Internet, with no response getting more heat than actress Patricia Heaton's. See her barbs at Fluke—and her apology.

The Sandra Fluke–Rush Limbaugh controversy has inspired a wide range of reactions. President Obama telephoned Fluke with words of support and encouragement after the radio host called her a "slut." GOP hopeful Mitt Romney said he would have used different language to describe the Georgetown law student. Even Georgetown students are divided on the furor.

But one response set off an uproar almost as vehement as the rage at Limbaugh's original remarks. On Feb. 29, conservative actress Patricia Heaton, of Everyone Loves Raymond fame, took to her Twitter to chastise Fluke, whom she referred to as “Georgetown Gal” or “G-Town Gal.” Heaton offered money-saving tips to the law student, presumably with the assumption that Fluke and other women in college should be able to afford birth control without insurance. Her original tweets, as well as six retweets, are pictured below in a screen shot from Angry Black Lady Chronicles.

Heaton later deleted some of her own tweets and on Saturday, four days later, offered an apology by way of a series of tweets.

heaton-tweets-embed

Hall of Fame

Missouri Legislature to Honor Limbaugh

Sen. McCaskill polls Missourians' reactions.

The Missouri State Legislature announced plans to honor Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday by placing a bust of the controversial radio host in the capitol's Hall of Famous Missourians. Sen. Claire McCaskill from Missouri reacted to the plan by posting a poll on her website, asking readers what they think about this decision. The post notes, "Just last week, Rush launched into a vitrolic [sic] attack of a law student who decided she wanted to utilize her first amendment rights to stand up for something she believed in. Limbaugh called her a 'slut' and a 'prostitute' for simply expressing her opinion." 

Read it at St. Louis Today

Limbaugh-ed

Georgetown’s Sandra Fluke Fallout

Since Limbaugh attacked Fluke for her contraception views, many Georgetown leaders and students have rallied behind her, yet some say she doesn’t speak for them—but they’re afraid to speak out and risk being linked to Rush.

It’s tough to gauge the mood at Georgetown University, following the Rush LimbaughSandra Fluke controversy, because much of the university community has migrated southward for the warmer climates and umbrella drinks of spring break. But Georgetown students, wanting to weigh in on the actions of their classmate and school, did so from vacations in places like Costa Rica, Miami, and Savannah, Ga., where they had learned about the contraception quarrel and Limbaugh vitriol from alerts clogging their Facebook feeds.

Fluke isn’t buying Limbaugh’s apology, which seems like triage as his advertisers flee, but even in the weeks preceding his misogynistic hate spew, students had felt tension between their identities and their university. Women had balked at the high cost of birth control; now students supporting the school’s stance worried about how it would respond to the White House mandate that Catholic institutions, too, cover the pill. Fluke being thrust in front of the world only stoked the flare-up that one student said “has in no way been resolved.”

And yet, despite the school disagreeing with Fluke’s words, it has rallied behind her along with liberals, the media, and the bandwagon politicians who look to harness themselves to celebrity carts. Students and faculty from across the political spectrum agree she was brave to give her testimony and has done her school proud. Many students described feeling galvanized by their president’s strongly worded letter written in Fluke’s defense. The right has been largely silent, or fumbling to respond—Romney mechanically offered that Rush’s words—“slut” and “prostitute”—were not ones he’d choose.

“I’m not sure if minds have been changed, but a lot more are paying attention to this now,” said law-school student-government president, Elizabeth Farrar.

See Ya

Rush to the Exits

Rush’s slurs against the 30-year-old Pennsylvanian woman reinforce a problem for both right-wing talk radio and the Republican Party.

If you want to know why Rush is freaking out over the Sandra Fluke fallout, follow the money.

Being too extreme has never been a problem for el Rushbo. Appeals to conscience and individual kindness weren’t going to provoke an apology alone. His email offering an initial apology after several days of attacking Fluke came because advertisers were heading to the exits. And the exodus hasn’t stopped. 

On Tuesday, the tally of lost advertisers jumped to nearly two dozen, with AOL and Allstate among the major brands giving Rush the kiss-off. Local advertisers are starting to bail on el Rushbo as well, including Hadeed Carpet and Thompson Creek Windows in Washington, D.C. And Massachusetts’s WBEC became the second station to cancel his show, joining Hawaii’s KPUA, which dropped the program on Monday.

The horses are spooked. David Limbaugh, Rush’s brother, tweeted that “this jihad against Rush is a distraction,” and followed that up with a column accusing the talker’s critics of “a calculated, organized Saul Alinsky–type community-organizing campaign to pressure and intimidate his advertisers into discontinuing their sponsorship of his show.” But this impulse to play the victim can’t distract from the damage that’s been done.  

NOPE

Fluke Rejects Rush's Apology

Fluke Rejects Rush's Apology Alex Wong / Getty Images

While more sponsors bail.

Nice try, Rush. Nine advertisers have pulled out of Rush Limbaugh's show and a radio station in Hawaii has dropped his show since he called Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a "slut." In addition to the high-profile loss of AOL, Tax Resolution Corp.—which features a photo of Limbaugh endorsing it on its website—also dropped his show. Meanwhile, Fluke said that Limbaugh’s public statement of apology does not change anything. During an appearance on The View on Monday, Fluke, who generated a firestorm with her birth-control testimony, said, "I don't think that a statement like this issued, saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything, and especially when that statement is issued when he's under significant pressure from his sponsors who have begun to pull their support.”

Read it at Associated Press

Mea Culpa

Why Rush Had to Apologize

Limbaugh’s career and radio show aren’t in danger. But his professed contrition might help salvage conservatives’ most effective line of attack against Obamacare.

Left-leaning pundits and activists who cackle gleefully at the prospect that current controversies will seriously damage Rush Limbaugh’s media career display their own vast ignorance of the talk-radio industry.

Yes, El Rushbo’s weekend apology for crude comments about Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke demonstrate his own recognition that these remarks fell far short of the  “broadcast excellence” he regularly promises his 15 million listeners.

But neither uproar from all quarters against Limbaugh’s language, nor the much-publicized phone call from President Obama to support Ms. Fluke in her silly face-off with the most popular talk host in radio history, will prevent those committed listeners (not to mention a host of curious newcomers to the show) from tuning in to Rush in the weeks ahead.

In other words, it hardly matters if 95 percent of the public disapproves of Limbaugh using terms like “slut” and “prostitute” in response to Ms. Fluke’s demand to Congress that insurance from her Catholic university must provide her with free coverage for all her contraception needs. Neither Limbaugh nor other leading talkers worry about the overall “approval ratings” that obsess politicians.

Backlash

More Advertisers Ditch Limbaugh

More Advertisers Ditch Limbaugh Paul Sakuma / AP Photo

Because of comments made about Sandra Fluke.

Rush Limbaugh’s apology may have been too little too late—a seventh advertiser is pulling its ads from Limbaugh’s talk show. ProFlowers, an online florist company, announced on its Facebook page Sunday that it would be pulling its ads from the show because Limbaugh’s statements about Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke “went beyond political discourse to a personal attack and do not reflect the values of our company.” Limbaugh referred to Fluke as a “slut” and a “prostitute” last week after she testified before Congress about contraception, though the host issued a statement of apology on Saturday. Limbaugh’s show has also lost funds from mattress companies Sleep Train and Sleep Number, and a Twitter-organized boycott is underway at @StopRush.

Read it at The Associated Press

Axelrod: Limbaugh Made ‘Quasi Apology’ Nam Y. Huh / AP Photo

For calling law student a ‘slut.’

David Axelrod isn’t buying it. The top aide to President Obama said conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh made only a “quasi apology” for calling law student and birth-control activist Sandra Fluke a “slut” for testifying in support of contraceptives. Limbaugh posted a statement on his website, saying “I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices,” but didn’t back away from his bigger claim that Americans shouldn’t pay for birth control. Axelrod told ABC’s This Week that it wasn’t good enough, because Limbaugh is lying when he claims that taxpayers have to pay for contraception. “The policy is that in basic insurance policies, contraception—contraceptive services, birth control—should be included.” Even conservative Newt Gingrich said it was right for Limbaugh to apologize.

Read it at USA Today

Media Misogyny

Rush’s ‘Slut’ Apology Is a Start

Rush Limbaugh apologized on Saturday for calling a Georgetown Law student a slut for testifying about contraception and starting a firestorm of outrage. Kirsten Powers says the liberals who led the charge need to start holding their own side accountable.

Did you know there is a war on women?

Yes, it’s true. Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Bill Maher, Matt Taibbi, and Ed Schultz have been waging it for years with their misogynist outbursts. There have been boycotts by people on the left who are outraged that these guys still have jobs. Oh, wait. Sorry, that never happened.

Boycotts are reserved for people on the right like Rush Limbaugh, who finally apologized Saturday for calling a 30-year-old Georgetown Law student, Sandra Fluke, a “slut” after she testified before congress about contraception. Limbaugh’s apology was likely extracted to stop the departure of any more advertisers, who were rightly under pressure from liberal groups outraged by the comments.

Let it be shouted from the rooftops that Rush Limbaugh should not have called Ms. Fluke a slut or, as he added later, a “prostitute” who should post her sex tapes. It’s unlikely that his apology will assuage the people on a warpath for his scalp, and after all, why should it? He spent days attacking a woman as a slut and prostitute and refused to relent. Now because he doesn’t want to lose advertisers, he apologizes. What’s in order is something more like groveling—and of course a phone call to Ms. Fluke—if you ask me.

SORRY

Limbaugh Apologizes for ‘Slut’ Remark

Limbaugh Apologizes for ‘Slut’ Remark Mark Wilson / Getty Images (FILE)

Says he didn't intend a “personal attack.”

Rush Limbaugh posted a statement of apology on his website on Saturday, after spending much of the week attacking law student Sandra Fluke for her testimony on contraceptives. In the statement, he said, “I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.” Limbaugh referred to Fluke as a “slut” on his show and made other disparaging remarks about her.

Read it at The Rush Limbaugh Show

medved-limbaugh-teaser

Rush Contagion Turns Lethal

As 98 big advertisers ditch ‘offensive’ shows, right-wing talk radio stands to get rocked. By John Avlon.

Pelosi: Limbaugh Should Be 'Advertiseless'

Why do women still have to fight for reproductive rights? After the public took advertisers to task over Rush Limbaugh's recent comments, the Speaker said now is the time to make the changes so 'nobody has to fight this fight again.'

  1. Rush Limbaugh and the Future of Right-Wing Radio Play

    Rush Limbaugh and the Future of Right-Wing Radio

  2. Rush Limbaugh Damaged? Not Really Play

    Rush Limbaugh Damaged? Not Really

  3. Rush Limbaugh’s ‘Disgusting’ Slut Shaming Play

    Rush Limbaugh’s ‘Disgusting’ Slut Shaming

Sandra Fluke and Patricia Heaton

Heaton Sorry for Fluke Attacks

No response to Fluke got more heat than actress Patricia Heaton's. See her barbs at Fluke—and her apology.

Spin Cycle

Obama, Democrats Pile on Limbaugh

Obama, Democrats Pile on Limbaugh

White House steps up assault on ‘slut’ attack as advertisers bail.

limbaugh-shout

Rush Isn't the Only Media Misogynist

Plenty of liberal men, like Bill Maher, need to follow Rush Limbaugh and apologize to women.

From David Frum

Readers React

Poll Results: Our Readers are Dumping Limbaugh Too

Poll Results: Our Readers are Dumping Limbaugh Too

FrumBeast Daily Poll

How Do Rush Limbaugh's Comments Affect Your View of the GOP?

Limbaugh's Real Audience

20 Million Limbaugh Listeners? Hardly.

Revealing Statements

What's Wrong with Limbaugh and Breitbart in 140 Characters

Limbaugh's Surprisingly Small Audience

How Does Rush Limbaugh Get Away With It?

rush-limbaugh-apology-medved

Why Rush Had to Apologize

Can Limbaugh help salvage conservatives' best case against Obamacare?