For years, Rush Limbaugh has been under fire for his comments on air during his radio program, “The Rush Limbaugh Show”. Lately, however, he seems to be going out of his way to incense the public, and his sponsors are dropping like flies.
On Monday, the three co-founders of the Women’s Media Center–Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem–wrote a commentary on CNN.com expressing their disgust that Limbaugh has been allowed to use “degrading language” over the airwaves under the claim that he is protected by the First Amendment rights. As reported earlier by Mike Tuttle, Limbaugh’s supporters feel his rights are being trampled and have blown up the web with explosive comments and arguments.
The commentary comes after a host of Limbaugh’s sponsors pulled their ads and several radio stations dropped his show following incendiary comments he made about law student Sandra Fluke and her advocacy of insurance-covered birth control. As reported earlier this week, Gloria Allred went public with her pursuit of the prosecution of Limbaugh for those same remarks, citing defamation of character.
The commentary talks about particular comments Limbaugh has made in the past and claims that the newest controversial statements are even worse than his “regular sexist, racist and homophobic hate speech”, using examples from his radio show to back up the complaint. It also lists several popular opinions on both Limbaugh and whether the issue is political or not, and goes on to state the opinions of the famous feminists on each matter. It’s clear that they believe Limbaugh is not going to change his ways in the near future:
“Limbaugh doesn’t just call people names. He promotes language that deliberately dehumanizes his targets. Like the sophisticated propagandist Josef Goebbels, he creates rhetorical frames — and the bigger the lie, the more effective — inciting listeners to view people they disagree with as sub-humans. His longtime favorite term for women, “femi-Nazi,” doesn’t even raise eyebrows anymore, an example of how rhetoric spreads when unchallenged by coarsened cultural norms.”
The opinion piece ends by stating that the FCC should shut down Limbaugh’s show once and for all in a show of support of the sentiment of the general public, and pleads with readers to do what they can in order to take him off the air:
“This isn’t political. While we disagree with Limbaugh’s politics, what’s at stake is the fallout of a society tolerating toxic, hate-inciting speech. For 20 years, Limbaugh has hidden behind the First Amendment, or else claimed he’s really “doing humor” or “entertainment.” He is indeed constitutionally entitled to his opinions, but he is not constitutionally entitled to the people’s airways. It’s time for the public to take back our broadcast resources. Limbaugh has had decades to fix his show. Now it’s up to us.”