Controversies make for strange bedfellows, and the biggest controversy gripping the nation for the past week seems to be Rush Limbaugh making ill-advised comments on his radio show.
Rush Limbaugh? Saying something controversial? I know, the news came as a gigantic shock to me too. By now, I’m sure you’re aware of the comments that started all of this, so i’ll keep it brief: Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke testified to Congress in support of mandatory coverage of contraception as part of healthcare plans. Limbaugh went on the air and said that that equates to her wanting “to be paid to have sex” and that it makes her a “slut” and a “prostitute.”
He went on to say: “Ms. Fluke, and the rest of you femi-Nazis — here’s the deal: If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus, pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I’ll tell you what it is — we want you to post the videos online so we cal all watch.”
The backlash was quick to accumulate and it was severe. And though it would be misleading to say that it came in equal doses from both sides of political aisle, criticism did come from all angles. Many looked to Republican leadership to denounce Rush’s comments. House Speaker John Boehner called the comments “inappropriate,” while GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said that it “wasn’t the language that [he] would have used.”
Along with the criticism came the advertiser exodus. The first train carried off Quicken Loans, Sleep Number, Legal Zoom, and a few others. On the heels of all of this, Limbaugh issued an apology, saying “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.”
The apology failed to move some. A lot of the remaining criticism talked about Rush Limbaugh’s apology as a “non-apology.” Once again, the criticism still came from both sides.
But anyone with a brain can see that a larger anti-rush push is coming from the left. And here’s where Bill Maher comes in. Nobody could ever accuse Maher and Limbaugh of being pals, but on Tuesday the comedian came to his defense on Twitter:
#RushLimbaugh but he apologized, liberals looking bad not accepting. Also hate intimidation by sponsor pulloutHate to defend
According to Media Matters, 38 advertisers have dropped Rush Limbaugh since his comments.
Full disclosure: I’m no Rush Limbaugh fan, and I don’t think that the Fluke comments we’re even close to as vile as some things that have come out of his mouth. But is Maher right? Whether or not you think Limbaugh’s apology was up to your sincerity standards or not, should we move on? Let us know what you think in the comments.