Pretending to care won’t save Limbaugh’s advertising revenue

If you speak before a congressional committee about the benefits of contraception, it’s possible that Rush Limbaugh thinks you’re a slut.

Depending on his mood, you may be a prostitute too. If it’s sunny outside and the coffee’s still warm, it might cross his mind to call you these things on his radio show.

He will repeat them if you’re short of hearing. It’s a program he’s paid at least $50 million a year to host for three hours a day, five days a week. Coming from a man who earns $17,000 a year, someone earning $128 a minute to provide self-coined “conservative talk” knows what he’s saying when he claims you’re wasting the government’s money.

He is justified — even obligated — to speak slanderously of you on syndicated public radio, so he will.

And after he does, he just might apologize.

Keep in mind that a Rush Limbaugh apology is no ordinary one — there’s a message within the message, but you’ll need a map and a compass to find it.

When he tells you he chose “the wrong words” to describe you, he isn’t taking them back. He simply committed a technical error.

There are so many sexual slurs that it’s only natural to pick the wrong one, but it won’t happen again. Next time, he’ll compare your reproductive habits to those of a rabbit on the prairie.

It will be a liberal rabbit with a family of 1,400. He will call you these things, and this time he will not apologize. He will have chosen the right words.

Regardless of the past being the past, he’ll post the transcript of his slip-up online in spite of it. He owes it to his listeners who may have missed that afternoon’s program.

But amongst his 3,000,000 daily followers, one of them might be the president, who will take it upon himself to personally call you and apologize on Limbaugh’s behalf. Another might be a sponsor. They contribute to his annual earnings. Pro-Flowers, Carbonite, Quicken Loans, and LegalZoom may not support these comments, even accidentally. They might pull their advertisements from his slot.

Mattress retailers Sleep Train and Sleep Number may also pull out. They don’t believe that an individual should be persecuted for their sexual habits.

But when Sarah Fluke, a third-year law student at Georgetown University, spoke before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee in February, she couldn’t have known these things.

Or maybe she did. Maybe she was aware that an opinion, regardless of what it is, may be disagreed with, but should never serve as grounds for a personal attack. With these unwritten societal truths in mind, she spoke freely and with conviction about a matter that gravely concerned her. And because she chose to speak, she moved boundaries with her words, which, while inciting disagreement with some, may inspire bravery in others. Her words were honest, and an honest contention is worth more than commercial slander ever could be.

Ask Rush Limbaugh.

Bryan Washington is a sociology freshman and may be reached at [email protected].


  • One thing that keeps getting left out of these discussions is Sandra Fluke was not in front of that committee to talk about her sex life. She was not begging for birth control so she could have all of the sex she wants, like Rush tried to portray. She was there to testify about the medical needs of birth control and tell the story of her friend that had to have her ovaries removed because of cysts. Birth control may have prevented the need for surgery. Small point, but it makes a big difference in the narrative.

  • "When he tells you he chose “the wrong words” to describe you, he isn’t taking them back. He simply committed a technical error."

    I appreciate the way you chose to describe his actions. From what I know about "conservative talk radio" and channels like Fox news, I always get this horrid vibe. Like a feeling that disrespect is King and master for these men and women, and I am not sure if they truly believe their own deluded statements or if they are simply spewing out opinions because they get paid to do so, either way, it's unsettling for me. People should be able to have their opinions, whether liberal or conservative leaning, but when ad hominem (attacking character, not the issue at hand) attacks abound, it feels like it cheapens an argument immensely. My mother ( I do love her, BUT) listens to conservative radio shows occasionally and it always bothers me, because the man talking will interview a person about an issue and listen to the person's views on the issue, but disrespect the person in any way possible, name calling, negating everything the person says, attacking their character, insulting the personal beliefs of the person, anything to make the interviewee seem like an incompetent peon of society. The sheer unfounded pride and pretentious attitude of this man drives me mad. And no matter what way the conversation he has with his guest turns out, he always sees himself as in the right and the other in the wrong. And that bothers me. Life is NEVER black and white, and that is how I live my life. Seeing in shades of gray may make life seem a little more confusing, but I think it's a more accurate view of reality. Splitting a person into completely evil or good is not only foolish, it reminds me of something a person suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder often does. My father seems to fit the traits of this disorder well, and when he gets into arguments with you, you want to give up halfway through because he is so aggravating and his logic is so narrow sighted, but you also want to continue arguing just to let him know how much he is missing the point of an issue. I guess my point is that I do not trust "conservative" news programs and radios shows farther than I can throw 'em…

    Just my 2 cents…..

  • Why does everyone care so much about what Rush is saying? He has his own show, where he is paid to talk about his own opinion. Just because you don't like his opinion, doesn't mean he has to apologize for it.

    Besides that, what about this guy?:

    Anyone wanna write an opinion column on that? Probably not. And the reasons will be endless: his audience isn't as big, he isn't a right wing nut, he's only saying what his opinion is.

    Come on people, wake up and care about something worth caring about. This is not it.

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