Rush Limbaugh Refuses To Apologize For Rude Comments About Law Student [UPDATE!]
UPDATE: Earlier today, Rush Limbaugh issued a statement on his official website where he finally apologized to Sandra Fluke for his insulting comments,
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.
Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown law student, recently testified at an unofficial Democratic committee meeting about birth control and quickly became a target of Conservative Radio Show Host Rush Limbaugh. During his syndicated show on Wednesday, Limbaugh singled out Fluke, calling her a "slut" and saying that if society is expected to pay for her to have sex, she should have to post videos of herself having sex in return.
"What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke (sic) who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex — what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute.”
After initial backlash, Limbaugh reiterated his stance yesterday,
"Well, what would you call someone who wants us to pay for her to have sex? What would you call that woman? You'd call 'em a slut, a prostitute or whatever."
This morning on The Today Show, Fluke responded to Limbaugh's comments saying,
"I think my reaction was the reaction that a lot of women have had when, historically, they've been called these types of names and that really I think ... and that was initially, to be stunned by it, but then to quickly feel outraged and very upset by it."
Fluke has been defended by politicians on both sides of the political spectrum, including President Obama who called Fluke to lend his support. According to White House Spokesman Jay Carney,
"The president called her to thank her for speaking out ... and expressed his disappointment that she had been subjected to these kinds of attacks,"
"He thinks they were reprehensible, they were disappointing. It is disappointing that those kinds of personal and crude attacks could be leveled against someone like this young law school student, who was simply expressing her opinion on a matter of public policy."
House minority leader Nancy Peloci called Limbaugh's comments,
"outside the circle of civilized discussion and that unmask the strong disrespect for women held by some in this country."
Unfortunately, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has also been slammed with criticism for using this controversy to seek out donations.
Limbaugh's comments have also been criticized by those who do not agree with Fluke's stance on birth control. Speaker John Boehner's rep said that Boehner felt Limbaugh's comments were inappropriate, while Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum also denounced Limbaugh's actions and accused Limbaugh of being an entertainer taking an absurd stance.
Limbaugh has not backed down on his stance, suggesting that Fluke should disconnect her phone and hope the media doesn't find her. Limbaugh also tried to make it clear that he doesn't oppose birth control,
“This is about expanding the reach and power of government into your womb, if you're a woman. This is about the Democrat Party wanting more and more control over you. What was early feminism all about? Emancipation, individuality, freedom, liberation, all of these things. Now here comes Danica Patrick out and she says, "I'm perfectly comfortable letting the government make my health decisions for me." Well, folks, I'm gonna tell you: Right there, that's the death and the end of feminism.”
Since Limbaugh's controversial comments on Wednesday, many of the show's advertisers have come under pressure to withdraw their funding of his show. Select Comfort issued a statement saying,
“Due to recent commentary by Rush Limbaugh that does not align with our values, we’ve made the decision to immediately suspend all advertising on that program,"
Sleep Train and Quicken loans have also ceased their funding of Limbaugh's show.