Limbaugh claims he was attempting to be "humorous" when he called Sandra Fluke a "slut." (Photo from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/13/rush-limbaugh-apology-poll-study-rasmussen-reports_n_1341771.html).
Sponsors have continued to flee the program even after Rush issued a standard non-apology apology. “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 said on his website. (For more, see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/03/rush-limbaugh-apologizes-to-sandra-fluke_n_1318718.html . By the way, what exactly is the “best” way to call a woman a “slut,” Rush? When has calling a woman a “prostitute” ever been “humorous”?)
Glenn Beck: collateral damage from the Sandra Fluke controversy? (Photo from http://www.therightperspective.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Glenn_Beck_Crying.jpg).
All of these sudden pangs of corporate conscience are well and good, but I have to ask a rude question: when exactly did Limbaugh’s commentary align with the values of these companies? Since his earliest days as a disc jockey, Limbaugh has been divisive, insulting to women and patronizing and worse to people of color. Over the years, Rush has used the anti-Native American slur “Injun” during his broadcasts. He once told an African American caller to his program to “take the bone out of your nose.” He compared undocumented workers to invading germs. He used to make fun of AIDS victims in a daily feature of his program introduced by the song “I Know I’m Never Going to Love This Way Again.”
An AIDS victim in South Africa. Rush Limbaugh thought AIDS was funny and did a regular segment on his radio program in the 1990s ridiculing those suffering from the disease. (Photo from the National Geographic at http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/photos/aids/#/aids-patient_801_600x450.jpg).
During his short-lived TV program during the early and mid—1990s, he commented on coverage of the Clinton family’s cat Socks and said to his studio audience, “But did you know there is also a White House dog?” before showing a picture of the then-awkward 13-year-old presidential daughter Chelsea Clinton. He then lied and claimed a member of his staff had put up the wrong photo. He made this claim even though the taped show still contained the “mistake” when it later aired.
Sandra Fluke: Would anyone have cared if she weren't white? (Photo from http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-03-13/politics/31158758_1_contraception-debate-smears-rush-limbaugh).
Rush’s former sponsors loved him enough that Premiere Radio Networks and its parent company, Clear Channel Communications, in 2008 signed him to an eight-eight contract that pays him $38 million annually plus a $100 million signing bonus. (See http://articles.businessinsider.com/2008-07-02/tech/30068553_1_radio-host-premiere-radio-networks-new-contract).
This is how Limbaugh continued to be invited as an “expert” to discuss public policy on shows such as Nightline, Meet The Press and Charlie Rose with no more qualifications than he hosted a radio show. This is also how he got away from being a crude racist, sexist and homophobe for so long. Under the morally bankrupt concept of he said/she said journalism, the media must be non-judgmental in the face of the worst hate speech, as long one doesn’t actually wear a Klan robe or use the “n-word.”
Big Foot, a Native American victim of the Wounded Knee Massacre in South Dakota December 29, 1890. "Does this sound like genocide," Rush Limbaugh asks. (Photo from http://www.fold3.com/page/1296_lakotathe_massacre_at_wounded_knee/).
On at least four occasions, Limbaugh has used the slur ‘Injuns” to refer to Indians. On one such occasion, November 24, 2004, Limbaugh continued on his theme that Native Americans had been treated much better than supposedly “politically correct” history books suggest. Limbaugh told his listeners:
After Obama became president in January 2009, Limbaugh’s racial attacks multiplied. On June 26, he said that the president was “more African in his roots than American” and “is behaving like an African colonial despot.” (Hear this at http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/200906260019. By the way, Rush, during the colonial period of African history, white Europeans were the despots. Africans didn’t govern themselves.) He characterized Obama’s economic stimulus plan as “reparations” for slavery (see http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/200907220040) and castigated him as an “angry black man” (because that’s really the vibe you get off Mr. “No Drama Obama.” Listen to http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/200907270023.)
George Will thinks it's "depressing [that] . . . Republican leaders are afraid of Rush Limbaugh." (Photo from http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26628.html).