By Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes
Last week, Georgetown law student Sarah Fluke testified at a congressional hearing and asked Congress to make it mandatory for employers to provide contraception coverage for their employees in their health insurance benefits.
In response, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh called her a “slut” and a “prostitute.” Here’s his quote:
“What does it say about the college co-ed [Sandra] Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says she must be paid to have sex?” Limbaugh asked. “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.”
Not only did he blantantly misquote her, the next day he stated she should post videos of herself having sex as a way of compensating taxpayers for her birth control. (She was not advocating that taxpayers pay for anything.)
Even Rush’s “apology” mischaracterized the issue and could reasonably be construed as insulting:
Lest we get sidetracked into unnecessary discussions about employers’ rights, religious freedoms, or the rights and wrongs of contraception, there is an issue in this that is irrefutable, and that issue is that Limbaugh was a disgusting coward to bully this unsuspecting woman so completely while locked in the safety of his radio booth behind his microphone.
This type of misogynistic behavior is more typical of how we would expect a radio announcer in Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan to treat a woman. Limbaugh could have made his point and been plenty offensive without directing such rude, unjustified name calling at someone who was merely stating her well-considered position in a congressional hearing. For him to attack her so personally demonstrates a level of hostility toward women that should never be supported in a civilized society.
Therefore, Rush has earned a Bayard & Holmes CyberSmack.
We believe Rush needs to learn the value of civility toward women. Therefore, as part of his CyberSmack, we will be awarding him a ticket to Trinidad, Colorado, the gender change capital of the United States, where he will be transformed into a vague approximation of a woman. The operation should go something like this. . . .
We will then send Rush to Afghanistan with the mission of convincing the Taliban to be polite to women. To accomplish this mission, we will equip him with a special electronic device to translate his words from English to Pashto. When Rush says, “Hello, how are you today?” the translator will twist his words in the same manner he inflicts on everyone else and will produce a “Rush” of insults involving references to their impotence and their affection for goats.
The Taliban will then, no doubt, teach Rush how it feels to be an abused woman, and what life is like when a society has no value or respect for its women. That’s a place our country should never go, no matter what the issue.
What other fun can you think of to teach Rush how to behave toward women?
Bravo, Piper. You hit on all the essentials when characterizing Rush’s calumny. He has lost what, eight advertisers so far? It pleases me very much to see the power of the purse limiting Rush’s power to inflict more harm.
It IS good to see the power of the purse used for positive results for a change. Great point, El. Thanks for stopping by.
Never mind all that (which I completly back you on, Piper). I want to know what sort of radio station thinks it’s okay to air the word ‘slut’?
Yes. Such language, along with b**ches and hoes, is indicative of a widespread disrespect of women in society. Some cultures embrace such misogynistic language to the point that women commonly use it with each other, themselves perpetuating the abuse as if it were some acceptable norm, never even considering what they are saying about themselves to do so. Great point, Donna. Thanks for stopping by.
I have issues with the name-calling from all sides! Here I am, trying to teach my kids to deal with the issue and leave out personal attacks, and people from all sides with microphones, powerful positions, and a complete lack of good ol’ fashioned manners are spewing foul names at each other. I suggest a throwback Catholic school for Rush (and many others — would you like my list?) where a sour-faced nun smacks him with a ruler every time a negative epithet falls out of his mouth. Wait! I’ll do it myself. *searching for nun’s habit online*
Great points, Piper!
Lol. I’m going to let my compatriot, Holmes, take this one. He’s a veteran of those sour-faced nuns. Good to see you, Julie.
Hi Julie. I don’t think that the average crew of Nuns could handle Rush or other women hating slobs in the press. I would remind my fellow Men that we need not tolerate this from the confused slobs that attempt to impersonate Men by picking on women.
The Men in my family don’t participate in or tolerate bullying of anyone other than bullies. We don’t associate with wife beaters, child abusers, (other then for brief corrective action) or bullies in general. There are plenty of deserving creeps in the world that deserve abuse. We don’t need to pick on innocent people.
I suspect that some men see themselves as inadequate (or unnoticeable) in the eyes of Girls and Women and therefore feel a need to lash out at them from a safe distance.
In the case of Rush perhaps the topic of birth control was too close to what is perhaps for him a painful topic.
I can envision Rush having to work a “regular” job, hopefully one dominated by women, instead of blowing hot air for three hours every day. And let him see how many times he can get away with name-calling so callously.
I agree. I wonder if he even realizes how he is sabotaging his own fantastic success with his hateful attitude toward women and homosexuals.
I am glad that (according to NBC) he has lost 25 sponsors so far.
When NBC and the other mainstream media outlets get done frying Rush (and he deserves the frying) they need to look in the mirror. They routinely give similar treatment to anyone that does not support whatever their position happens to be on a given day.
(Pom poms waving, patriotic music playing in the background.) That’s what I’m talking about. Smack downs for everybody. Polite social discourse should be something that’s important – whether you’re dissing Sarah Palin, disagreeing with Rick Santorum or commenting on Michelle Obama’s wardrobe. Slapping a label on everybody is unnecessary. Being a comedienne or a celebrity doesn’t come with the right to insult people. It’s time people started being nicer to each other!!!
i am, likely, in the minority. not because he used words that are not proper for a shock jock, i simply think the whole thing is way overplayed in the media.
i venture that 99 percent of the people signing twititions do not even listen to Rush Limbaugh, further, they don’t even know what local station he is aired upon, and therefore will never listen to Rush.
so what are they reacting to? the usual suspects, the media, the evening news and hype… since they were not directly offended by him on their airwaves, they are protesting basically second hand comments and soundbites. of course, as a card carrying member of the press myself, and with a long journalistic history of not believing what we hear in the press, i don’t like the sensationalism that surrounds this lynching….
next, when someone puts their contraception budget of “over 1,000 dollars per year” for the entire world to review, and discusses her urgent need for contraception because of her active sex life, some push back is to be expected. i for one for instance, would not discuss my contraceptive budget with the world, i simply value my privacy too much.
lastly, was her response. i think the respondent in this case, might have done better by accepting the apology. why not take the high road? what would it have hurt to take the apology and move on? by holding onto resentment, we only hurt ourselves.
i don’t have to agree, with every blogger i support, and certainly have never taken the easy road in life, preferring to think my own individual style. that may not garner me many followers, but i have a right to my own views on these matters.
the tea kettle whistleth,
Sir Samuel Zeus Clemons Tweets at @Samuel_Clemons
Hi Samuel. Thank you for your well considered and intelligent response. I admire that you are willing to form your own opinions without regard to fashion. I partially disagree with you in ths case.
Rush has millions of listeners so his conduct is germane to policy debates. I know what station Rush plays on but I cannot stand to listen to him for more than a few minutes at a time. I try to listen to various news and opinion sources but Rush has always seemed far too slow for me. His presentation seems to contain far too little content and far too much self worship to hold my attention. I have over the years formed an impression of him being a cheep bully and a snotty homophobic.
I don’t mind the press making a big deal out of what HE said. What I do mind is that the press will rarely make a big deal out of others doing the same thing as long as THEIR media bullies do it in support of their agenda. For example, many media personalities revealed themselves to be completely opportunistic slobs when they were dealing with Sarah Palin’s campaign(s). I disagree with much of what Palin says but like the young lady in question today Sarah Palin did not deserve the abusive personal attacks from the media. I am willing to hold politicians to a much higher standard of ridicule but I don’t think that the average candidate deserves the same level of disrespect as a proven despot.
I don’t know much about the young lady in question but at a time when our congressmen are trying to figure out what the health bill that they passed actually says and means I find it perfectly appropriate that adult citizens would academically discuss their birth control needs. I would not discuss birth control with my nieces 14 year old friends (that’s for their moms and dads to do) but amongst adults I don’t see why it should not be discussed in a civil way.
As for birth control I opine that there is far to little of it being utilized in this world.
Yes I expect push back. For example I would expect push back from the Taliban. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t oppose them.
yea, there’s a completely NON played clip running around of Bill Maher calling Palin a slut, Hillary a Bitch by A Congressman, and other sexist remarks by the Left Wing Media, and you are right, they get no air play… i said in my opening line, that i don’t promote what he said, but that the media circus surrounding it, and the uproar is all smoke and mirrors.
you might just see some on the left even suggesting she accept his apology in the upcoming days, as i suggested ( wink )
Holmes and I actually discussed doing a different piece about Bill Maher and the others who make a freaking fortune off of their bad manners and misogyny. The media would be included in that…. Enjoy your tea!
Hi, Sammy. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.
We honestly don’t care if Ms. Fluke’s banging the entire New York Jets football team. Our issue is that Rush exhibited extreme bad manners and misogynistic behavior to attack her with such vitriolic language and suggestions that she make porn tapes. The measure of a civilized society is how it treats its women and children, and such attacks on women are completely unjustifiable, particularly when they are coming from people who influence that society.
Just an observation. Rush’s apology for days of this abuse would have certainly been more sincere if he had given it before he began to lose his sponsors. But absolutely agree with you that we only hurt ourselves when we hold onto resentments.
Always good to see you, Sammy. Thank you for your support. 🙂
i think he’s getting some of the advertisers back already, and they’ve lined up about ten new companies that want in. we’ll see in the end that Rush isn’t going anywhere, and poor Ms. Fluke will have had her day in front of the mic. i wouldn’t have called her those names, but then again, I don’t have a radio audience of 18 million daily and 60 million in ad sales for my show. i imagine he regrets apologising as well, and won’t be doing it again for another 20 years.
The whole thing is a sad statement on the bad behavior people are willing to tolerate to have personalities confirm them in the basest aspects of their natures. Thank you for your comment, Sammy. 🙂
A few days ago I was scanning through radio stations and heard him reiterate his apology. He followed it up by saying he regretted it when he started acting like the Left. He’s nothing if not quick on his feet.
What he said about the woman was wrong, but I told my liberal buddies that all the attention they were giving him was only going to feed his ego and convince both Rush and his audience that he was more important than he should be. Looks like I’m going to be right.
Spot on, Miss Piper.
HI Myndi. Thank you for stopping by.
When his apology is an actual apology and not a reaction to money being ripped out of his hands by advertisers running for the hills, then maybe Fluke can accept it. Until then, may he squirm, rot, and burn. I hate all the media attention he is getting because it just puts his face in the forefront when it doesn’t deserve to be. If we ALL pull our attention from this troll, and from the idiot radio station and advertisers who support him, then he will go away. It’s hard to be a shock jock if you don’t have an audience.
Isn’t there a a group of people somewhere who solve issues like this by turning their collective backs on the offender? I say we all do that. Put him in the middle and let’s all turn our backs and from that point forward refuse to acknowledge that he exists in any way. Don’t speak to him, repeat his name, feed him…nothing. I suspect loss of attention is his own personal nightmare. So let’s give it to him!
Hi Melinda. Being from a group of people that prefers a smack to the head of people like Rush I had not thought of your strategy. Thank you. It’s a good plan. I did send an email to the local news station and to a few of his sponsors.
For me, listening to Rush is always en exercise in restraint. I’ll be going somewhere in my car and think, “How long can I listen to this freak before I absolutely have to change the dial?” It’s never long.
Rush has been offensive forever. This is hardly the first time he’s been ridiculous in the things he has said. So he lost a few sponsors. He wasn’t fired. THAT speaks volumes.
FOX loves all this attention. They eat it up. They didn’t cut his salary. He probably gained followers as a result of his words and all the media attention.
I’d like to put positively charged electrodes on his penis and press the switch.
But, you know, this is America. We can say anything we want to. We just can’t DO anything we want to. And THAT is probably a good thing.
Renee, Renee, Renee…sigh. If you had been more attentive when you attended the “young teachers” course at the School of the Americas you would remember that you need one positively charged electrode and one ground connection or return negative connection to generate the current to wake up his penis.
Furthermore, are you to assume that he has a penis and that it is “wake-able” in any sense? I haven’t spoken to Rush’s doctor or any of his four wives (1 present 3 past) but I am not willing to assume that he in fact has a functioning penis. It seems like a pretty wild assumption.
Fox and all the other networks will start pulling the clowns off the air when the sponsors get enough negative feedback. Advertising revenue determines media behavior. Those dogs loose that bone and they will quickly learn a new trick or go bankrupt.
And now you know why I am an English teacher and not a science teacher. 😉
Yes, let’s call some guy horrible things and sit around and dream up proper punishments for his opinions, but hey, at least we’re too civilized to call this dear, sweet, innocent little law student ugly names.
Hi Texanne. I consider you a friend so I thank you for having the courage to disagree with a friend. Not everyone is up to that.
I am not always a very nice person. I admit it. I pick on bullies. It’s not the ideal most evolved response but I’m just me and I don’t deny this side of me.
If that law student acts like Rush did and I find out about it I will gladly give her the same treatment.
I respect Rush’s right to his opinions but I do not respect his calling a woman a slut for using birth control or calling her a prostitute for wanting birth control costs covered by insurance. I have four very fine young nieces that use birth control and by inference Rush was calling them
“sluts” as well. I don’t let people call my nieces “sluts”. If I could have been face to face with Rush I would have given him an earful as he cowered behind his body guards. This is not the first time Rush has been a bully to people that did not deserve it.
That said having jumped into the fray and having said mean things about Rush I did open the door to strong responses. Your response is tamer than what my responses have been but you are honestly probably a sweeter person than I am. I hope you are. The world can only fit so many cranky people like me.
🙂 Even my grandkids don’t think I’m sweet.
You and Piper have been nothing but perfect in all the time I’ve been following you, until this post and these comments.
All this fabricated outrage leaves me puzzled–how could intelligent people fall for this? Do you think that Ms. Fluke cares in the least what Rush says about her? No. Her purpose was to provoke, and she did. She got exactly the reaction she intended to get. Use your Intel brain, Holmes! This performance is chaff, stuff thrown into the wind to blind the troops.
And here’s all this outrage–how biddable people are! Hey, look, get angry! some guy says and wham-O! anger throughout the chatter-verse. I could make a reference here to decapitated poultry, but I’ll restrain myself.
And while all this faux rage singes the public’s eyebrows, the main issue is absolutely forgotten.
And, forgive me, but the whole idea of protecting women seems…quaint. What are these damsels doing while you’re defending them? Twisting their pearls and adjusting their bustles?
Okay, if some bloke is beating the pudding out of me, I’d appreciate it if you’d lend a hand.
But when the weapon of choice is words, as in this case, all you have to do is take cover, keep your head down, listen, and learn. Language is an equal-opportunity weapon. It is the lawyer’s main weapon. Ms. Fluke came into the arena well armed. After all, she’s a law student.
At a Catholic university. She might even have known it was Catholic before she enrolled.
Ms. Fluke is most assuredly NOT your niece. She’s a minion in Obama’s marionette troupe. I’m telling you, no matter what kind of crocodile tears the baby lawyer gives out with, she got exactly the reaction she intended to get, and it irks, disappoints, and worries me to see you guys all insane with bloodlust over something is nothing but words. Words! Not sticks, not stones, just words.
Some of the commenters wanted to silence Rush (forgive me, I can’t remember how to spell the last name) because he’s a jerk. He could very well be, but how is he a bigger problem on the airwaves than 95% of all that’s out there? Answer: he’s not.
Here’s the thing: you have been distracted from the real issues by the clever and relentless application of emotion-wringing by the media. Get hold of yourself. All of you.
Ignore the chaff. Watch out for the bullets.
I love the cyber-smack, Piper – and let’s add pinchy-shoes with high heels and pantyhose where one leg is twisted and the crotch is creeping down, for good measure.
Sadly, none of the apologies and sponsorship withdrawals will change the way he and his followers think of women, minorities, or anyone else that doesn’t look, think, or act the same way as Rush. All of this “apologizing” is giving him more of a soapbox to stand upon, and more people tuning into his show to listen to the next outrageous thing to spew from his pie-hole. That’s not to say he shouldn’t be required to apologize, but the media needs to dial it back a bit.
There will always be people like Rush Limbaugh. Fortunately, the decent folks outnumber those sorts of people (at least, I like to think so). Thank goodness some of the decent people are vocal; we just need more of them to stand up to the bullies of the world.
Hi KB. Sorry if i am being too technical here but you know how I am. Please remember that for torture to be effective it needs to be something that the tortured individual would not routinely do the same thing to himself. We would need to know that Rush does not dress up that way during his personal recreation time before we selected heels and panty hose as a form of punishment.
Thank goodness some of the decent people are vocal; we just need more of them to stand up to the bullies of the world. Bingo!
Hell YES. Nice pimp-slap upside the head there, Piper. How do assholes like this manage to get microphones in front of their faces so they can pander their crap to hundreds of thousands of listeners?
Hi Angela. I hate pimps so I prefer to not use the term “pimp-slap”. But yes I think he deserves a slap from Women. I have just the girls for the job. Two of my nieces (and any of my sisters would so kick his sorry butt).
Piper’s daughter would introduce Rush to a new exercise regimen that both our families practice enthusiastically. Ten seconds with my sweet little niece and he’ll be looking up at the world with a whole new view (after he wakes up).
I agree with smacking Rush. I just wish that some of the people who are so ready to do the smacking were equal rights smackers, willing to smack their own when they stepped out of the bounds of “polite social discourse.” When the left is calling us whores and sluts, wishing we’d die of kidney disease and offering other choice epitaphs, we defend their right to freedom of speech. That’s why I’m for Piper Bayard for President. She’d smack everyone whenever they deserved it!!
Hi Jane. I avoid quoting entire posts but your words are very important.
“I agree with smacking Rush. I just wish that some of the people who are so ready to do the smacking were equal rights smackers, willing to smack their own when they stepped out of the bounds of “polite social discourse.” When the left is calling us whores and sluts, wishing we’d die of kidney disease and offering other choice epitaphs, we defend their right to freedom of speech”
YES 100% correct in my view!
The way woman abuse is practiced by the media is disgusting. I find it revolting that some women that claim to be “liberal and compassionate” defend a sick criminal like Roman Polanski for sodomizing a 14 (some accounts say 13) year old girl.
I have no love for Michelle Bachmann as a candidate but many media weasels have treated her the same way that Rush treated Ms Fluke.
Flush deseerved a Cybersmack. I was going to post about his “punditry” last Friday but an obscenity filled screed is doing what he would do if the FCC didn’t keep watch. I waited until Monday. Check it at http://tomwisk.wordpress.com
It’s Words and Numbers 30. Tell me did I go too far?
HI tomwisk. Thank you for the link. I enjoyed your article. I encourage our readers to give it a read and “stumble” it.
He`s so ridiculous I just can`t take him seriously. And I do sometimes confuse him with Newt G.
Lol. There is some physical resemblance and Newt is very good at letting his tongue get him in hot water, too. Good to see you, Emily. 🙂
Newt has a mouth for sure but it’s hard for me to compare Rush to him. My guess is that Rush is at least two standard deviations below Newt on any IQ scale.
I think he should have to wear a muzzle and be made to LISTEN to women instead of blabbering on with his bullsh**. AWESOME post!
Lol. That’s a good one, Ingrid. Thanks for the compliment, and thanks for stopping by. 🙂
Piper, great piece. Brilliant.
Thanks for the compliment, Richard, and thanks for stopping by. 🙂
What a douche bag! May the fleas of a thousand camels infect his under arm hair!
Among other things. 🙂 Good to see you, Natalie. Thanks for stopping by.
Have read and re-read this post as well as the comments. I remain uneasy about the entire issue but I certainly applaud Bayard and Holmes for keeping the conversation balanced. My favorite phrase is “equal rights smackers,” as it applies to right and left, male and female. As a boomer, it is disheartening to have to revisit these issues, not that boomers got it all right by any means. We did not;I mention it only for context.
You’ve given me much to think about. Thanks.
I hear you, Karen. My first reaction was, “Really? Didn’t we settle this decades ago?” I am discouraged at what I see as a growing trend toward incivility in our society, from the vile language of public personalities like Rush Limbaugh and Bill Maher to the common acceptance of labels like “b***hes” and “hoes” in mainstream music and media. I’m also disturbed by the disrespect so many female personalities show toward men. Respect should go both ways.
Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and concerns.
I know I’m late to this party, but I I have a few words… Forgive any PG-13 Language…
In the competition for “Annoying the Crap out of Me” award, I give the Gold Medal in Asshattery to Rush Limbaugh for conduct unbecoming of anyone. As I notice you’re suffering a cranial / rectal inversion, please be careful approaching the podium.
Barely sneaking by in the last few meters, the Silver Medal in Asshattery goes to the Media for its stupidly unbalanced reporting. Simple rule, if you’d be offended if an insult was directed at someone you like instead of someone you didn’t, it’s offensive.
And finally, the Bronze Medal in Asshattery goes to Ms. Fluke. How absolutely rude of you to specifically choose that school to try and force your morality on a private institution.
With the medals come the following sentences:
Rush Limbaugh: Your mouth will be duct taped and you will be forced to work in a sex abuse treatment center for a month. You will hear every story & see every victim of abuse in the hope that you are reminded just how powerful and damaging words can be.
Media: You will be replaced by bloggers and overtly biased individuals who don’t pretend to provide balanced coverage. *looks around* Oh, that’s already happening. Faster please.
Ms. Fluke: First you will be sent to a 5th grade math class to ensure that you don’t accidentally move things from the hundreds to the thousands column – surely you meant $300 instead of $3000. Next, you will start a wildly successful company, so successful that I decide to get a job there – specifically to challenge your policy of banning firearms from the workplace. After getting the job, I will complain to HR about the policy and use government hearings on the 2nd Amendment to bring you bad publicity. I should not be denied simply because I’m a poor IT admin, I need my constitutional guaranteed right to a Barrett Arms 50 cal rifle and 60 rounds a month.
Get a better lawyer. You should get at least 300 rounds a month.
Good point! Hey Piper, will you take my case?
Absolutely! Just as soon as I finish the next ten books. 🙂