Monday, March 5, 2012

Let's review

"What does it say about the college co-ed Sandra Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We're the pimps." (Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday, February 29th)

[After Limbaugh spent three days repeating and amplifying those sentiments, his radio show's sponsors began pulling their advertising. Six had fled by Saturday morning; the list now numbers nine: Tax Resolution Services, AOL, ProFlowers, Quicken Loans, Sleep Number beds, Sleep Train, Citrix, Carbonite and LegalZoom.]

"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 on Saturday, March 3rd)

"Yes, I think he should have apologized. I had said he used very crude language. And I think he gets over the top at times. But it's in his best interest. That's why he did it. I don't think he's very apologetic. He's doing it because some people were taking their advertisements off his program. It was his bottom line that he was concerned about." (Ron Paul on Sunday, March 4th)

"Our numbers suggest that Rush Limbaugh has seen significant erosion in his popularity with Republican voters over the last week. The last time we polled on him nationally [in 2009] he was at 80/12 with GOPers. But now we find him below 50% in all three of these [Super Tuesday] states: he's at 45/28 in Ohio, 46/29 in Tennessee, and 44/30 in Georgia." (Public Policy Polling on Monday, March 5th)

"I want to explain why I apologized to Sandra Fluke in the statement that was released on Saturday. I've read all the theories from all sides, and, frankly, they are all wrong. I don't expect -- and I know you don't, either -- morality or intellectual honesty from the left. They've demonstrated over and over a willingness to say or do anything to advance their agenda. It's what they do. It's what we fight against here every day. But this is the mistake I made. In fighting them on this issue last week, I became like them.

Against my own instincts, against my own knowledge, against everything I know to be right and wrong I descended to their level when I used those two words to describe Sandra Fluke. That was my error. I became like them, and I feel very badly about that. I've always tried to maintain a very high degree of integrity and independence on this program. Nevertheless, those two words were inappropriate. They were uncalled for. They distracted from the point that I was actually trying to make, and I again sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for using those two words to describe her. I do not think she is either of those two words. I did not think last week that she is either of those two words."
Limbaugh on Monday, March 5th)

"The left, folks -- the media -- are giddy that some advertisers have said they're leaving the program. And I'm sorry to see 'em go. They have profited handsomely from you. These advertisers who have split the scene have done very well due to their access to you, my audience, from this program. To offer their products and services to you through this venue is the best opportunity that they have ever had to advertise their wares. Now they've chosen to deny themselves that access, and that's a business decision, and it's theirs alone to make.

"They've decided they don't want you or your business anymore. So be it."
Limbaugh on Monday, March 5th)

"Hey, Rush -- who's the 'slut' now?" (KintlaLake on Monday, March 5th)

[For a thoughtful, reasoned commentary on the Limbaugh dustup, I recommend "Are we being fair to Rush Limbaugh?" by David Frum]