Sunday, March 4, 2012

Rush Limbaugh Cannot Even Get an Apology Right – Probably Because Despite the Many Reasons to Do So, He Has Never Done One

And Let’s See What His Advertisers Do

For the past week much of the news has been on the personal attacks that Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh made against a Georgetown University Law student who attempted to present an argument in favor of requiring health insurance companies to provide contraception coverage with no co-pay.  This forum has not commented thus far on the controversy, because it has been well covered by other, more effective communicators.

But now we have Mr. Limbaugh engaged in offering an apology.  Really.  This is what he says.

“My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir,” Limbaugh said on his website. “I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”

which sounds reasonable enough, but then Mr. Limbaugh goes on to make this incredible statement.

Limbaugh said in his statement. “In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.”

Really, he didn’t mean his comments like this

“What does it say about the college coed ... 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.”

were a personal attack???  We know Mr. Limbaugh’s regular listeners are of limited intelligence, but hey Rush, the rest of us are smarter than them.  We know what you meant.

And what Mr. Limbaugh meant was to unleash a vicious personal attack as a form of intimidation, sending the message that should anyone else who is not a public figure advocate positions contrary to Conservatives, they would be the victim of an unrelenting verbal assault on them personally.

So what was the motivation for Mr. Limbaugh’s so-called apology?  How about this.

Some advertisers began pulling sponsorship of Limbaugh’s show and Republicans distanced themselves from the comments..

and it was hard to see how any normal companies could remain associated with the show.

Now the interesting thing will be to see how many advertisers do stay with Mr. Limbaugh and if any of those who left return.  This is course is a battle of money vs. doing the right thing.  Advertising on Mr. Limbaugh’s show is probably very effective at getting a message to his audience, and companies will be loathe to give that up.  On the other hand, staying with Mr. Limbaugh will result in the rest of us loathing them.

This is a free country, and advertisers have every right to sponsor Mr. Limbaugh.  But this is a free country, and the rest of us have every right not to purchase products from companies that support Mr. Limbaugh.  Such a boycott is not an attack on free speech, it is an attack on hate speech.

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