Limbaugh Apologizes to Fluke…..sort of, in a non-apology apology

I heard it on the radio news a few hours ago, and this article from the AP expanded on the information.  Rush was just making ‘a joke’.

NO, Rush Limbaugh was not making a ‘joke’ for three days; he was on a nasty, vicious rant that was intended to be critical and intended to be anything but funny.  But he was facing pressure, including advertiser pressure and pressure from both the Democrats and at least some Republicans in Congress.  President Obama had personally phoned the young woman with his encouragement and praise, which further sent Rush’s head spinning and then exploding with rage.  Rage is not making a joke.  Calling someone a slut, a prostitute, and suggesting that because college aged women – some of whom are married – use contraception which is a medically prescribed pharmaceutical under many health insurance policies, they should have sex recorded on video tapes and played for the public is not something said as humor.   Especially it was not intended as humor the way it was said, with the venom and hatred and viciousness with which it was said, clearly intended to demean and humiliate, and yes, even intimidate women as part of the right wing culture war that seeks to put women in a subordinate place through such degrading attempts to establish an alternate ‘cultural norm’.  That would be the same norm I just wrote about where older men manipulate and exploit younger women, where women are objects of conquest, and where subordinating and dominating women is necessary to men feeling powerful and important and in charge. 

From the AP story:

Limbaugh apologizes to law student for insult

By PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press – 4 hours ago 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh apologized Saturday to a Georgetown University law student he had branded a “slut” and “prostitute” after fellow Republicans as well as Democrats criticized him and several advertisers left his program.

The student, Sandra Fluke, had testified to congressional Democrats in support of their national health care policy that would compel her college to offer health plans that cover her birth control.

“My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir,” Limbaugh said on his website. “I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”

Really?  Because it doesn’t sound anything like Limbaugh is genuinely sorry about anything; his apology spends far more time trying to rewrite what happened and to deny his responsibility for how wrong he was, how wrong he is.  Limbaugh continued, quoted in the same AP article:

“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,” he said.

Apparently I’m not the only one unpersuaded of either his sincerity in making the apology, or of his intentions in the original statements.  The AP article also noted:

Limbaugh’s critics were not swayed by his statement.

“In all seriousness, this isn’t an apology. It’s a public relations statement. It’s hollow and deceitful. Don’t be fooled,” tweeted the account StopRush, the effort online to pressure advertisers to abandon the popular host.

And even after the apology, some advertisers still planned to abandon Limbaugh.

“Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show,” Carbonite CEO David Friend said on his company’s Facebook page. “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.”

 What is really telling in the course of the Limbaugh obscenity in the guise of a radio show however was this:

“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,” he said.

And yet, we never hear Limbaugh talking about the social issues of using Viagra, which was originally developed as a cardiovascular drug for its vaso dilating properties, which accidentally turned out to have a secondary use for treating erectile dysfunction.  There is a good account of the origins of Viagra development here

And the Wikipedia article on the drug, under the name Sildenafil, has a whole section on the recreational use of Viagra – which appears to be the same recreational use that Limbaugh himself acquired it for, without a valid prescription.  Pay particular attention to the part below about ILLEGAL DRUG USERS – which included Rush Limbaugh, sex tourist.  If Rush had a legitimate and valid medical problem at the time he made his sex tourist trip where he was caught with an enormous quantity of Viagra, he would and could have gotten normal medicinal amounts from a doctor’s prescription of his own – and he probably could have had it paid for by his health insurance IF IT WERE FOR A REAL MEDICAL PROBLEM INSTEAD OF RECREATIONAL USE AS A SEX TOURIST.   The recreational uses of Viagra qualify as ‘social decisions’; the medical use of contraception, particularly the very large number of therapeutic alternative uses of birth control pills, for various hormone therapies, does not.  This is entirely about a double standard for women, about controlling women, about restricting women.  It IS precisely about keeping women barefoot and pregnant.  It is entirely about a world view double standard of women being sinful if they have sex, but not men.

From wikipedia:

Recreational use

Sildenafil’s popularity with young adults has increased over the years.[24] Sildenafil’s trade name “Viagra” is widely recognized in popular culture, and the drug’s association with treating erectile dysfunction has led to its recreational use.[25] The reasons behind such use include the belief that the drug increases libido, improves sexual performance,[25] or permanently increases penis size[citation needed]. Studies on the effects of viagra when used recreationally are limited, but suggest that it has little effect when used by those not suffering from erectile dysfunction. In one study, a 25 mg dose was shown to cause no significant change in erectile quality, but did reduce the post-ejaculatory refractory time.[26] This study also noted a significant placebo effect in the control group.[26]

Unprescribed recreational use of sildenafil and other PDE-5 Inhibitors is noted as particularly high among users of illegal drugs.[27][28] Sildenafil is sometimes used to counteract the effects of other substances, often illicit.[25] Some users mix it with methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy), other stimulants, or opiates in an attempt to compensate for the common side effect of erectile dysfunction, a combination known as “sextasy“, “rockin’ and rollin’,” or “trail mix.”[25] Mixing with amyl nitrite is particularly dangerous and potentially fatal.[25]

 That makes this quote particularly offensive and hypocritical:

“I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities,” he said. “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?”

I can’t recall Viagra-abusing Rush ever arguing that Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs should be excluded from being covered by insurance, especially if the men are not married.  Nor do any of the other fat old mostly white conservative men who banned Ms. Fluke from testifying before Congress about the NON-Sexual therapeutic uses by college women of hormone therapy through birth control pills ever hold hearings about male sexual social decisions, or contraception, or insurance coverage.

Rush is right about one thing; it IS NOT his business to criticize women’s use of medication.  Like abortion, or any other moral and medical matter, it is between women and their doctors and women and their chosen moral advisers.  What women don’t need is the obscene world view of big old ugly misogynistic men like Rush OR the government interfering in those choices.  It is doubly heinous when they do so by lying and misrepresenting what those choices are, because they don’t have a valid position if they treat those choices with any accuracy.  Responsible health choices, including responsible sexual choices, should be encouraged as a matter of public health policy.  It is not a religious issue; religion is a private, non-governmental matter.  Public health issues ARE properly within the purview of government policy, and in the case of insurance, also of regulating interstate commerce.

I hope the public does not accept this poor excuse for an apology from Rush Limbaugh.  I dearly hope that the pressure on him continues, and that he continues to lose his advertising support.  It would be nice, but is probably too much to expect, that some of his listeners would be offended and leave him.  They’re largely a lost cause if they find him entertaining OR informative.

Like the reason Rush Limbaugh needed all that Viagra for his sexual performance, his apology is far too little, too late, and fails to satisfy those on the receiving end of his efforts.  With a bit more pressure from those who were offended, like his recreational use of Viagra as an illegal drug was dangerous to his health, his obscene attack on Ms. Fluke might be hazardous to his career health.   I for one hopes he justly and justifiably goes the route to obscurity that Glenn Beck has, and soon.

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