Rush Limbaugh Vs Sarah Fluke: Limbaugh's Not-So-Sorry Apology
Rush Limbaugh, the controversial radio talk show host and conservative political commentator took his argument way too far on his radio show when he referred to Georgetown Law student Sarah Fluke as a slut and a prostitute for her stance on women’s access to birth control.
According to the Washington Post, the commentary that prompted Limbaugh to disrespect Sarah Fluke was said when Sarah testified about Georgetown’s policy on contraception.
Sarah Fluke argued that birth control should be covered by health insurance at religious institutions.
Nancy Pelosi arranged for Sarah Fluke to testify after she was excluded from an official congressional hearing on the contraceptive mandate in the nation’s health-care law. Republicans who ran the hearing said Fluke’s name was submitted too late (Democrats disagree). None of the women who testified at the congressional hearing spoke in favor of the mandate.
At Nancy Pelosi’s hearing, Sarah Fluke said her fellow students at Georgetown, a Jesuit university, pay as much as $1,000 a year for birth control because campus health plans do not include coverage of contraceptives for women.
“What does that make her?” Limbaugh said on his show Wednesday night. “It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute.”
“She wants to be paid to have sex,” Rush Limbaugh continued. “She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception."
President Barack Obama even spoke out on Rush Limbaugh's commentary calling Limbaugh's remarks 'reprehensible' and called Ms Fluke to express his disappointment that she was the subject of 'inappropriate personal attacks.
Rush Limbaugh's Attack on Sarah Fluke
Rush Limbaugh called her a “slut” and a “prostitute,” said she wanted to be paid for having sex and so suggested she should post videos her herself online, and observed that she must be having so much sex he was "surprised she can even walk". In response, advertisers started pulling out of his show.
Rush Limbaugh's Apology to Sarah Fluke
Only it really wasn't an apology to Sarah Fluke. More like an apology to his advertisers because they were suspending and pulling out of sponsoring his show.
Rush Limbaugh's apology, which can be found on his website, stated:
"For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.
I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit?In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone's bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.
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."
Sarah Fluke's Response to Rush Limbaugh's Attack
Sarah Fluke appeared on ABC's "The View" on Monday to discuss Rush Limbaugh's apology, which she said she believes the conservative radio host only issued because of pressure from his show's sponsors.
"I don't think that a statement like this, issued saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything. Especially when that statement is issued when he's under significant pressure from his sponsors, who have begun to pull support from his show," Fluke said.
"I think any woman who has ever been called these types of names is [shocked] at first, but then I tried to see this for what it is, and I believe that what it is is an attempt to silence me, to silence the millions of women and the men who support them who have been speaking out about this issue and conveying that contraception is an important health care need that they need to have met in an affordable, accessible way."
The Word 'Slut' in the Media
Since Rush Limbaugh called Sarah Fluke a "slut" on his radio show, the number of times "sluts" has been used in the media has jumped up over 140%, according to a LexisNexis chart.