ush Limbaugh, perpetual pot-stirrer and sayer-of-terrible-things has apparently gone too far this time, exposing his ignorance of how birth control works and, at the same time, calling a Georgetown law student a prostitute and a slut (it's almost hard to believe, as we type that, that someone actually had the audacity to do it). Now, in addition to various advertisers pulling funding from Limbaugh's radio show, other stations are pulling syndication of his show altogether, and musician Peter Gabriel, who found out that his song "Sledgehammer" was being used on the show, has taken steps to putting a stop to that.
Limbaugh tried to apologize, saying that he "expressed regret for his choice of words," which is about the sappiest, weakest way of saying that he totally screwed up. Regret for his choice of words, we wonder? What word should he have used? And how did he continue to use the same "choice of words" for days on end? Should he have toned down the "slut" and instead have chosen "hussy" or something? The idea that it's 2012 and he's calling a law student a prostitute for wanting her healthcare provider to cover contraception is, in a word, enraging. Taxpayers are not covering contraceptive costs—healthcare is paid for by employers, who take money straight from their employees' checks to pay for it. But that's neither here nor there, and it's a different topic for a different day (and perhaps a different website).
Since when is it "absurdist humor" to call a woman a slut because she wants the ability to more easily take responsibility of her contraceptive choice?
The idea that Limbaugh only issued the apology after sponsors started pulling back support of his show is disgusting. In a statement, AOL said that Limbaugh's comments "are not in line with our values." When a company as large as AOL (which runs TechCrunch, the Huffington Post, and plenty of other sites) pulls funding, it might be high time to take a step back and think, "Is what I'm saying smart and informed, or is it vitriolic and offensive?" But, if you're Rush Limbaugh, the answer has always been (and likely always will be) the latter.
Alongside AOL, flower delivery service ProFlowers, mortgage lender Quicken Loans, Sleep Number beds, mattress retailer Sleep Train, software maker Citrix Systems Inc., online data backup service provider Carbonite, Tax Resolution Services Co., and online legal document services company LegalZoom have all pulled funding.
But it's not just advertisers who are wising up to Limbaugh's antics. KPUA, an AM station in Hilo, Hawaii, dropped the show immediately, issuing a statement that says the Limbaugh trash-speak "crossed a line of decency" and didn't live up to its standards as a station.
"We are strong believers in the first amendment and have recognized Mr. Limbaugh's right to express opinions that often times differ from our own, but it has never been our goal to allow our station to be used for personal attacks and intolerance," said KPUA owner New West.
And even further, musician Peter Gabriel's song "Sledgehammer" was played during the now-infamous show, and when Gabriel learned that his music was played during the attack on Sandra Fluke, he was "appalled," according to a message posted on his Facebook page by his rep. Gabriel has asked his representative to make sure his music is withdrawn, and "especially from these unfair aggressive and ignorant comments."
What's almost even more irritating than Limbaugh's comments, though, are the comments of support from Premiere Radio Networks Inc., the network that hosts Limbaugh's show through Clear Channel. They say, "In an attempt at absurdist humor to illustrate his political point," blah blah blah half-hearted "apology." Absurdist humor? Since when is it "absurdist humor" to call a woman a slut because she wants the ability to more easily take responsibility of her contraceptive choice?
Clear Channel is declining to comment on how much revenue it will lose from advertisers pulling funding—we're willing to bet it's a sizeable amount, though.
And long overdue, don't you think?