With A Lawsuit Rumored, Rush Limbaugh Apologizes
It might be too late, but conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh has decided he'll cut his losses and apologize for calling Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke a "slut" and "prostitute" on his show repeatedly last week.
Limbaugh issued a full statement via his website Saturday backing off his remarks disparaging Fluke's testimony before an all-Democratic mock congressional committee concerning whether insurance coverage of contraceptives should be mandatory. Limbaugh said on his Wednesday radio show after Fluke supported the required coverage before the Democratic committee - after she was denied an opportunity to testify previously before an official congressional committee hearing - that she "must be paid to have sex" and asked, "What does that maker her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute."
The pundit's statement contains about four-fifths continued posturing regarding regulating contraceptive coverage, and one-fifth actual contrition. In its entirety, from Rushlimbaugh.com:
"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 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 choice."
Though he's apologized, the damage may have already been done - both to Limbaugh and the ideologies he's come to symbolize, whether some like it or not.
Limbaugh's remarks came a day before a vote on an amendment by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) rolling back the requirement that insurance providers cover contraceptives. Thursday, the amendment was voted down. That same day, Limbaugh (we can only hope) "joked" on his show in a mocking address to Fluke, "So Ms. Fluke, if we are going to . . . pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch."
Friday, President Barack Obama personally called Fluke and expressed his support for her, reportedly telling her according to White House spokesman Jay Carney, "[that he] wanted to express his disappointment that she has been the subject of inappropriate personal attacks, and [to] thank her for exercising her rights as a citizen to speak out on an issue of public policy."
Limbaugh's apology arrives a day after it was publicly reported by the Associated Press that sponsors Quicken Loans, online legal resource Legal Zoom and bedding retailers Sleep Number and Sleep Train yanked their support from his show. Rumors have also circulated that Fluke is considering a lawsuit against Limbaugh, according to The Daily Beast.
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