Rush Getting Crushed, May Be FlushedRush Limbaugh managed to offend nearly half the country (and not the half he usually offends) when he recently called law student Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute," after she testified before a congressional committee that health insurance should cover birth control.
It seems fair. It's a women's health issue, and some women use birth control for health reasons, so if they want to practice good health, then it should be covered by their health insurance. After all, who am I to say whether a woman is right or wrong for wanting to practice good personal health, or ask that it be covered along with other personal women's health issues? I'm a Guy. I shouldn't make these decisions.
As a father of daughters, I don't feel entirely comfortable discussing these. . . issues either. I know we're supposed to be mature adults who can use the scientific names of parts of our bodies. We're not supposed to say "the, uh, you know. . ." and then make vague hand gestures or roll our eyes downward.
But I grew up in Indiana in the 70s, back in the days when boys had "uh, you know whats" and girls had "uhhh. . ." And that has not changed for me in all that time.
So, I admire women like Sandra Fluke who are willing to get up in front of a group of men and women who typically don't like talking about these issues either, and saying that she believes that a woman's sexual health is a part of her regular health.
And I wasn't too happy when Rush called Fluke a slut and prostitute. Because the implication is that if YOUR wife, mother, sister, or daughter receives any kind of birth control as part of her employer's or school's health insurance, she is also a slut and a prostitute.
And does this, by definition, mean that your home is a bordello?
At first I thought Rush was calling her a prostitute and a slut because she was going to be a lawyer. But when I heard the rest of his statement — "She wants to be paid to have sex. She's having so much sex she can't afford contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex" — I realized he was just being a pervert.
A pervert? Yep. Because the following day, he said, "If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I'll tell you what it is: We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch."
Really? You want to watch taxpayers record sex videos so you can watch them?
I mean, I can understand the drug addiction. Those things happen; people get addicted to high strength opiates they buy from a black market drug ring. And anyone can be divorced three times, and married four times, this last time to a woman 26 years his junior. But to ask women to make porn for you? That's a little over the line, even for you.
So it's not too surprising that a lot of women on Twitter and Facebook have begun protesting the GOP's "war on women," saying Rush's remarks were horribly offensive.
It's also not surprising that 50 of Rush's sponsors have pulled their advertising dollars from his show because they don't want to be associated with someone who so disrespectfully impugns the reputation of a young woman he has never met. They probably also don't want to be dragged into the slander suit that will surely follow.
But most importantly, they finally decided that they'd had too much controversy from a family values-espousing, thrice-divorced drug addict who had just asked young female taxpayers to produce sex videos for him and other perverts to watch.
I'm never surprised by the things Rush says or does to get attention. Whether it's making racially-disparaging remarks about former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb, or calling women who believe in equal rights "Feminazis," he's always trying to boost ratings and get attention. He's an entertainer. That's what he does.
But I think he's gone too far this time. A lot of people want to see him fired. And as more advertisers cut ties with him, his support is seriously starting to wane. It makes me wonder what the future holds for him, and whether he'll be able to continue to support himself or continue his career.
Maybe his next wife can help him figure it out.
My book, Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself (affiliate link), is available on Amazon.com, as well as at Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores. I wrote it with my good friend, Kyle Lacy.
My NEW book, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing is also out. You can get it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million in October, or get it for the Kindle or Nook.
Like this post? Leave a comment, Digg it, or Stumble it.