No one illustrates a major news story like Mario Piperni…
Fox News devoted just a single segment to the escalating controversy surrounding Rush Limbaugh’s vicious attacks on Sanda Fluke, the Georgetown Law student whom Republicans wouldn’t let testify during a hearing on birth control, largely ignoring the controversy.
The only mention over the past two days, according a search of a media monitoring service, was to cover White House spokesperson Jay Carney’s comments on the controversy. Host Megyn Kelly did not play any audio from Limbaugh. Meanwhile, Fox mentioned a phony bomb threat at Limbaugh’s home (it turned out to be a piece of art from a fan) three separate times this morning, without mentioning Fluke.
Another example of “control the media, you control the mind.” I doubt many Fox News viewers will ever get to read this Washington Post editorial:
Like other “shock jocks,” Mr. Limbaugh has committed verbal excesses in the past. But in its wanton vulgarity and cruelty, this episode stands out. Mr. Limbaugh’s audience, and those in politics who seek his favor as a means of reaching that audience, need to take special note.
What we are saying is that Mr. Limbaugh has abused his unique position within the conservative media to smear and vilify a citizen engaged in the exercise of her First Amendment rights, and in the process he debased a national political discourse that needs no further debasing. This is not the way a decent citizen behaves, much less a citizen who wields significant de facto power in a major political party. While Republican leaders owe no apology for Mr. Limbaugh’s comments, they do have a responsibility to repudiate them — and him.
Republicans are too intimidated by Limbaugh’s power to ever repudiate anything the “entertainer” says or does. John Boehner made some lame statement about Limbaugh’s words being “inappropriate” but was quick to add that it was no worse than Democrats raising money off the issue. No one plays the game of false equivalency better than Republicans.
Meanwhile, as the Fox sheeple bleat on in oblivious bliss and ignorance, the informed masses have brought pressure to bear on Limbaugh’s sponsors. To date, five have dropped advertising on his radio show. Updates on the situation here.
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.
Limbaugh claims he “did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke“? What a pile of crap. Of course Limbaugh meant for his vile and vicious attacks to be personal. This is what he does. He had three days to hone his viciousness, so you know there was nothing spontaneous about the attacks. He meant to call Sandra Fluke a slut because he knew it would generate buzz and when one’s in the shock jock business, it’s all about buzz because buzz is money.
What Limbaugh did not see coming this time was the push back from a public that has had enough of his offensive shtick. Their online petitions left Limbaugh with five less corporate sponsors to bankroll his daily radio hate-fest with more sponsors considering dropping his show.
Limbaugh “sincerely sorry” for having called Fluke a slut? Laughable. Sociopaths of his type are incapable of feeling regret for anything they do or say. His sorrow stems from the money he was about to lose and nothing else.
In a more perfect world than the one we live in, Limbaugh’s sponsors never return. Let’s hope it turns out that way.
UPDATE 2 (March 4)
A sixth sponsor, Carbonite, drops Limbaugh. Extra noteworthy about this announcement is that it was done after Limbaugh issued his phony apology.
No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady. Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency. Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show. We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse.
This makes me want to sign up with Carbonite. I could use a good backup program for my data. No doubt, Carbonite’s decision is a calculated PR move but it was the right move. Also, Carbonite’s move might pressure other sponsors to act in a similar fashion.
Update 3 (March 4)
Why is the DOD by way of American Forces Network (AFN) a Limbaugh sponsor? Join the protest and make your voice heard here to have AFN reconsider their sponsorship of a misogynist hater.