Rush Limbaugh: The pot calling the kettle black

I don’t understand all the hubbub over Rush Limbaugh this week.

On Wednesday he suggested the Georgetown Law student who was barred from testifying at a recent House hearing on contraception in health insurance plans was simply having too much sex. “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.”

He later said “she’s not a slut. She’s round-heeled.” Look that one up, folks – it’s the same thing.

On Thursday ol’ Rush doubled down. “So Miss Fluke, and the rest of you Feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex. We want something for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

Women across the nation are outraged. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, urged a boycott of Limbaugh’s advertisers.

Even former California U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina – no liberal, to be sure – called Limbaugh’s words “insulting,” “incendiary,” and “a distraction from what are very real and important issues.”

But who can be distracted by someone so blatantly oafish? That’s like saying, “Sorry, I can’t concentrate on the economy right now, I’m too distracted by this episode of ‘The Three Stooges.'”

Of course Sandra Fluke isn’t a prostitute or slut; Limbaugh knows that. He also must know (please, someone, reassure me that this adult American man knows, college-dropout though he may be) that female birth-control generally isn’t pay-as-you-go – for the most prevalent methods, the cost is the same whether you have sex once a year or once a day.

The outrage implies Limbaugh is some sort of influential role model, someone listeners should look to for wisdom. But Rush Limbaugh is not a statesman; he’s an entertainer, as much a “shock jock” as all those morning-show derelicts who fill their airtime with off-color jokes, prank calls and Beavis-and-Butthead-style giggling. He’s a radio clown.

Limbaugh’s ratings have been in trouble, so there should be no surprise that his stunts sink lower and lower in desperate attempts to have people tune in for no reason other than, “Ooooh, what will Rush say next?” Hopefully his purse strings will be cut before he hits rock bottom.

Limbaugh is an attention whore. The only outrage anyone should spare is over his rank hypocrisy of being the proverbial pot that called the kettle black.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • JAFO

    Like Limbaugh, bloggers gauge the success of their posts by the total number of supportive or even argumentative responses they generate. Therefore, the greatest pain you can inflict on either Rush or a blogger is to simply ignore them. Bye, Josh.

  • Elwood

    “Limbaugh and Hannity “continue to be No. 1 and No. 2.”


    I’m sure Ms Speier has El Rushbo trembling in his golf shoes.

  • John W.

    What is it about Republicans and their moralizing, even it it’s only for sensationalist entertainment purposes?

    I mean, really, Rush. You’re on, what, your fourth marriage? You use the “S” word about this law student and say she wants to get paid for sex because she agrees with the National Institutes of Health that insurance should include birth control coverage. Getting paid for sex? Guess those four wives were attracted by your charm and good looks!

    Then there’s the Newt, who thinks adult janitors in schools should be replaced by students, so they can learn the virtues of work and getting paid. Even holds up his daughters as examples, talking up how they worked at the church back in Carrollton, Georgia and how they gained so much from the experience. Only one problem with this. The reason they worked in the church is that you divorced your first wife (your former geography teacher) while she was recovering from cancer and left her and the daughters to fend for themselves while you were in Washington. According to today’s Wall Street Journal (a well-known left-wing rag), the community and church where you taught Sunday school and were a deacon had a canned food drive for your wife and daughters; and the church gave the daughters the jobs to help them out financially, because you wouldn’t cough up enough money to support them.

  • StevefromSacto

    Hey, Elwood,

    Maybe the fact that Sleep Train Mattress Company–which has been a Limpbaugh advertiser for more than three decades–has pulled its ads will have Rushbo trembling in his size 13’s. And other advertisers are following suit. Looks like the EIB (Egomania in Broadcasting) network is in real trouble this time.

    But I disagree with Josh that Limbaugh is “just an entertainer.” It is he, Hannity, Ann Coulter, John and Ken, and the rest of the right wing yak-meisters that have poisoned the well in this country so that anyone who wants to cooperate with people of differing points of view to solve America’s problems is considered a “traitor.” As the so-called “Godfather” of right-wing radio, Limbaugh is most to blame for this madness.

  • Elwood

    “Looks like the EIB (Egomania in Broadcasting) network is in real trouble this time.”

    Don’t get all excited Steve.

    One door closes, another door opens.

  • John W.

    Rush issued an apology today. Not much of one, but about as much as his ego will permit. Guess those sponsors pulling their ads got his attention after all.

  • Elwood

    “”I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”–Rush Limbaugh

    So, what more would you like him to do, John? Flagellation? Self-immolation? Sack cloth and ashes?

  • RR senile columnist

    Sandra Fluke is famous now. If her fame lasts a little longer than 15 minutes, look for Gloria Allred to offer her a job after she passes the bar exam.

  • BGR

    Rush is a hoot, isn’t he! For a struggling newspaper to be chuckling about some other media’s drop in eyeballs or ears is what is really calling the kettle black.

  • John W.

    Re #7 “What more would you like him to do…?

    Elwood, I’m afraid my answer to that would be unprintable on this here family board!

    In terms of authenticity, Rush saying “I sincerely apologize” reminds me of Mitt declaring that he was a “severe conservative” while governor of MA. Perhaps if Rush had done something more than post a blurb online. Maybe a personal call to Ms. Fluke? Let’s see what he has to say on his show Monday. I won’t be listening, but I’m sure somebody will write about it.

  • John W.

    Would that it be true that Rush and Hannity were losing listeners. In fact, losing audience share after the 2010 mid-term elections is no different than KNBR or other local sports talk stations losing audience after the baseball season ends. Their audience demographics skew 55 plus (especially 65+) white male. So, their audience will fade as those of us who fit that demo lose our hearing, or worse!

  • John W.

    Carbonite; Citrix Systems; LegalZoom; ProFlowers; Quicken Loans; Sleep Number; and Sleep Train. The seven sponsors who have cancelled. Probably not a huge hit to the show’s revenue, but enough to get Limbaugh’s attention.

  • Elwood

    There’s been a waiting list of advertisers for air time on the show for a long time.

    One door closes, another door opens.

  • JAFO

    @Elwood: If true, something tells me the waiting list may not be quite as long as it once was; and, even some of those remaining will understandably have a few second thoughts. Rush slammed the door on his own foot in this case. And if the door opens again, he’ll be a little bit more careful in the future. I think he recognizes that his ad hominem rant went way too far. He’s a smart guy. He’ll learn from his mistake.

  • Gary Buffon

    Go figure, a newspaper blogger who is in the tank for everything Obama and supporting our extra Constitutional President can’t figure out the difference between an activitist college student and the danger in the potential loss of the First Amendment through the ordering of religious organization to provide contraception free of charge. Those who are not smart enough to figure out what the liberals and leftests are doing (especially Stretch Pelosi) illustrates the serious danger our country faces with the current socialist regime.

  • Doug

    Josh wonders why the hubub about an “entertainer”? As alluded to above in other posts–but let’s make this crytal clear–Rush hides behind the “entertainer” moniker so he can exaggerate, lie, belittle, and manipulate the folks who don’t know he is spewing falsehoods. Rush is an anti-american ideologue who get by becuase of intellectual laziness of his listners and their willingness to believe him because he waves the flag and nails himself to the cross.

    That is the danger of Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, O’Reilly and more (can you spell FOX?)…Too many people believe their innuendos as well as their falsehoods.

    I say “anti-american” because if the folks who listen to them don’t wise up and if the then continue to vote the greatness of America will be destroyed as we become a hateful society that feeds on fear and prejudice.

  • John W.

    Re #13

    “There’s been a waiting list of advertisers for air time on the show for a long time.”

    Based on the way the radio advertising business works, I kinda doubt that, even absent the current unpleasantness.

    But you’re right that this won’t hurt Rush. He’s got a contract. The ad revenue goes to Clear Channel/Premier Networks, the company that distributes the show. They are probably told Rush to apologize. Some of the advertisers who have jumped ship have probably just shifted their money over to the other conservative talk shows distributed by the same company. Nothing has been said about local advertisers on the radio stations that carry Limbaugh, many of which are owned by Clear Channel.

  • Elwood

    @ #16 Doug

    Omigod, we’re doomed!

    Quick, repeal the first amendment so that only loony tunes left wing politically correct speech is allowed!

  • Elwood

    Limbaugh sought to find some humor in the situation.

    “I called myself to cancel my advertising. I got a busy signal,” he deadpanned at the start of Monday’s program.

    Yet, he appeared defiant and suggested he’d have little trouble finding new sponsors.

    “I reject millions of dollars of advertisers a year much to the chagrin of my hard-working sales staff,” Limbaugh said.


  • John W.

    “I reject millions of dollars of advertisers a year much to the chagrin of my hard-working sales staff.”

    Suuuure he does! What a blowhard!

    The sales staff works for Premiere Radio Networks, not for Rush.

    Funny that AOL just became the 8th advertiser to cancel. Surprised they advertised on that show, considering that they own HuffingtonPost, which provides most of AOL’s online content.

  • Charles Locher

    To say Limbaugh is an entertainer that adults don’t take seriously is silly. He’s given the keynote at CPAC, he’s courted by Republican candidates, and many of his listeners take his rantings as gospel, not ratings boosters.

  • John W.

    Re #21

    Agreed. Glenn Beck, as bizarre as he is, was never a force in a political party. You just know that, in private, people like Romney, a devout Mormon, and Speaker Boehner find Limbaugh’s tirade as offensive as most of us do. If they had a daughter like this young woman and Limbaugh did that to her, they would go ballistic. Yet, the best Romney could come up with was to say “those are not the words I would have chosen.” Or, in Boehner’s case, he found the language “inappropriate.” As George Will noted, these people are all afraid of backlash from Limbaugh and his listeners. He also noted that “inappropriate” is a word you use when somebody eats their salad with the wrong fork, not what a leader uses to express outrage when circumstances warrant.

  • Elwood

    Gee,John, you sure do enjoy beating up on Rush, don’t you?

    Of course what Rush said about some left-wing activist chick and what she said at Pelousy’s dog and pony show is definitely the most important issue of the day.

    As for me, I’m distrustful of 30 year old students. She graduated college in ’03 worked for a couple of left wing outfits and then decided to go to law school. So this makes her a “student”?

    And if I had Rush’s money, I’d burn mine.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Say folks, why doesn’t the Prez invite el Rushbo and Georgetown’s greatest scholar since Allen Iverson to the White House for a sitdown over a couple of beers and talk things over. It worked out well in 2009.

  • Truthclubber

    Yo, Hellwoody — you ought to be dancing in the streets that so many advertisers (12 and counting) are bailing from the Blush Limpdick show like rats off the S.S. Titanic just before it left port — it gets rid of all that pesky time needing to push product instead of hearing the voice of the “Great Fascist” himself for the entire three hours without commercial interruption!

    (Sorry, Hellwoody — you’re a good fascist, just not as great as the Great One.)

  • Elwood

    Oh, toothsucker, you’re so clever when you’ve been in the cooking sherry.

  • John W.

    Re #23

    I do indeed enjoy beating up on poor Rush. He is a product of the unfortunate changes to broadcast station ownership limits and has been doing his schtick since Clinton. In my opinion, he is a big part of the problem in this country, in that he gets in the way of reasoned discourse on the issues that are important. When G.W. Bush tried to get some reasonable immigration reform going, it was Rush and Hannity that rallied the troops to stop it. That’s way too much power, facilitated by the fact that just a couple of companies now own most of the radio stations in the country.

  • Truthclubber

    Oh, Hellwoody — your collective (your’s and Blush’s, and Hammitty’s, and O’Railly’s, and Blecck’s) 15 minutes of fascist ranting are almost up.

    When there are no more sponsors to pay for this constant “aural vomit” on publicly owned airwaves, we will be able to move on and progress as a society based on togetherness, not divisiveness.

    By Labor Day, 2012 we (as a nation) will say “Rush who?” — and we (within this blog) will say “Hellwoody who?”

    Laugh at me all you want, and try to marginalize me with your sophomoric “cooking sherry” attacks, but you and your kind are going the way of those who wanted to keep women from voting, and blacks from owning property, and all non-Europeans from even setting foot in this country — so good riddance to Y-O-U when you (and your bigoted ideas) die off — because there will be no one to replace you, just as there was no one to replace the slave owners when they died off…

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    El Rushbo started his career decades ago, including a stint in the Sacramento market. He rose to prominence shortly after his debut on New York’s WABC in the late 1980s. He was nationally syndicated by the early 1990s. He appeared on ABC-TV’s Nightline program in the run up to Gulf War (1990) where he argued in favor of the Bush adm.’s stand after the invasion of Kuwait. His use of humor, pop music and satire paved the way for a fresh and entertaining view of current events. Perhaps he is in decline, but with an audience of 15 million, he still has a way to go.

  • John W.

    Rush and Hannity both started in small market radio and worked their way up. But concentration of radio station ownership was critical to where they are today. I went to grad school with the guy who replaced Hannity at WGST in Atlanta when Hannity moved to WABC. He (the replacement) morphed from being a respected reporter on big-time stations in SF, Chicago and Atlanta to being a shock talker who made Hannity sound like a liberal. He finally went too far attacking Muslims and got canned. I believe these guys are huge factors in the polarization and lack of civility we see in the electorate and politicians today. Not a good thing.

  • MS

    hahaha – you are so WRONG, dear Josh. It DOES matter that Rush has said disgusting things about a woman just because he disagrees with her (or wants to make headlines. He has accused another grownup person of being a slut, having non-stop sex, wanting taxpayers to pay for her birth control.

    Do you think that’s OK for someone to say about your mother? Your sister? Your wife or girlfriend? Just because he thinks it’s funny to insult and demean someone else? hahaha?

    The insults that Rush has hurled at this woman are not OK to say about another human being! Not even if it’s called “comedy.”

    Your friend Rush just cannot call people insulting names (think the “n-word”, the “k-word”, “b****”) – even if you are pretending it’s a “joke.”

    It is not OK that radio and TV stations and advertisers have given this nasty man the opportunity to act like a third-grader, in public. If he has publicly behaved like a foul-mouthed, small child before, it still is not OK.

  • RR senile columnist

    MS: Lighten up. Rushbo has sent scores of horny dudes to pick up nice girls at the law library

  • Elwood


    Stay out of the cooking sherry.

    Alcoholics Anonymous
    185 Mayhew Way, Walnut Creek, CA 94597
    (925) 939-4155 ‎

  • Elwood

    “(CNSNews.com) – Although Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke testified to the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee last month that contraception can cost a law student $3,000 over three years and that some of her fellow students could not afford it, a Target store only 3 miles from the law school currently sells a month’s supply of birth control pills for only $9 to people who do not have insurance plans covering contraceptives.”


    If you can’t afford it, you should give it up.

  • John W.

    This may be pinching more that I would have thought. According to Politico, 25 advertisers have now jumped ship. That’s enough to prick the boil on his butt that kept Rush out of military service during Vietnam. To be fair, I suspect some of the 25 are advertisers on local radio stations, not network advertisers. According to the NY Daily News, some advertisers are telling customers that they were disgusted by Limbaugh and don’t want their ads on his show but don’t have control, because they bought time through a third party that bundles remnant (i.e., unsold) spots on multiple media outlets. That undermines the notion of a long waiting list of advertisers. Sounds like Rush’s show may have a lot more of that remnant time available in coming months. The fact that Premier Networks even makes spots available to remnant time packagers suggests that selling out the “avails” on Rush’s show is not as easy as one might think. In some cases, the advertisers are catching grief from their female employees. Most of the advertisers who have pulled their ads are not what I would consider to be top tier advertisers — i.e., the type of big brands that buy Superbowl spots, for example. The PR spokesperson for Premiere Networks issued an online statement in defense of Rush but is not responding to phone calls from the press.

  • Virginia Kleiner

    from jerzygurl:
    Yes, Josh, it matters what Rush says on the air. He doesn’t describe himself as an entertainer and has no qualms about not only distorting the truth but actually lying. Millions, unfortunately, believe what he says and even with an apology, will agree with his first comments. Notice that high ranking Republican don’t take him to task. Read Tuesday’s Maureen Dowd on the editorial page to get a good take on Rush. That man has no shame at all and sadly, he should. What would his mother say!!

  • Truthclubber

    @33 — just how would you know THAT information? Been a regular? Guess that comes with working in a prison all that time — kinda wears off on ya.

    I forced myself to listen to Blush Limpdick today as I was on my way to a sales call, just to see what effect the boycott is having on his so-called program, and here is what I found:

    1) He’s taking waaaaaay more calls than he used to, which tells me he has lots of airtime to fill, and is desperate to hang onto as many dittoheads as possible, so he gives them a shot at “vox popeye” (being a voice of an idiot on the radio)

    2) His commercials, such as they are, consisted entirely of this during a 45 minute run:
    a) a PSA (in the middle of the day!)
    b) an ad for women’s adult diapers (gee, now THERE’S a demographic!)
    c) ANOTHER PSA! (in the middle of the day, when they don’t pay anything and are a requirement for all broadcasters, which is why they run in the middle of the night!)
    d) a LifeLock ad narrated by the bloviator-in-chief, himself
    e) an ad by Newt’s SuperPAC attacking Romney and Santorum
    f) a local ad (clearly a gift to Newstalk 910 since it couldn’t be filled by a national advertiser)
    g) another Newt SuperPAC ad!
    h) an ad for CashCall, you know, the “don’t be a dummy, save the money” carnival barkers

    That’s it, folks.

    Stick a fork in him, people — he’s more done than one of them luau pigs with an apple in their mouth!

  • John W.

    Very noble of Rush’s show to make that time available for public service announcements. I’ll bet they weren’t Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity PSA’s!

  • Elwood

    @ #36 toothsucker

    I got the information on AA for you from the internet. Something called Google. Ever heard of it?

    My time at the prison was years ago. Brief but extremely lucrative. The state pays well when they have to have something in a hurry.

    My God, you are obsessed, aren’t you? Help is available for that also.


  • Truthclubber

    @39 —

    I tried that Goggle thing you speak of, and got this which I assume is what they required you to tattoo all of your prison charges with, so that you could tell (without having to engage brain cells) who you were taking care of, sort of like cattle branding.

    I hope all of them are still behind bars — cuz they might be a bit pissed that they have a little something to remember you by, that will NEVER go away…

  • Elwood

    #40 toothsucker

    My God, you are obsessed, aren’t you? Help is available:


  • Elwood

    That’ll fix YOU, evil Rushbo!

    “On Saturday, Carbonite CEO David Friend released a statement on his company’s website declaring that Carbonite had decided to “withdraw” advertising from Rush Limbaugh’s radio show in the wake of his controversial remarks involving Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke because it will “ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse”:

    Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show. We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse.

    However, it hasn’t done much to contribute to his company’s stock price. Since the market opened on Monday through its close today, Carbonite stock (NASDAQ:CARB) has plummeted nearly 12 percent, outpacing the drop of the NASDAQ index in that same time period by nine-and-a-half points. It was also one of the biggest decliners on the NASDAQ on Tuesday.

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/03/06/investors-flee-carbonite-after-limbaugh-announcement/#ixzz1oPVkLmR6

  • Truthclubber

    @42 —

    Have no fear, my fat furry fascist friend — Blush Limpdick just picked up a major advertiser — Ashley Madison and I’m sure that fits right in with the moral standing of his dittohead audience — cheaters and liars, galore!

    Take that, you immoral lefties! We got the heart of American family values right here!

  • Elwood

    @ #43 toothsucker

    Help is available:


    And stay out of the cooking sherry.

  • John W.

    Rush did pick up a new sponsor. Newt Gingrich’s Super-Pac. Really! Rush is fine. He is four years into an 8-year $400 million ($50 mill per year) contract — which Clear Channel/Premiere Networks pays regardless of how many sponsors quit. Of course, Clear Channel itself is in serious financial straits, with a real possibility of default on a big note due in a couple of years. It’s been one of Bain Capital’s worst investments. As reported in today’s Wall Street Journal, Clear Channel’s partially spun off billboard company is being sued by investors for transferring about $700 million in cash to the Clear Channel parent company for them to use as working capital. Obviously, the billboard company’s investors wonder if they will ever see that money again.

  • Truthclubber

    I suspect that we are seeing the final voyage of the giant media propanganda mothership HindenRush as it ignites into flame, and crashes to the ground, never to annoy us with its hot air, ever again…

  • Elwood

    @ #46 toothsucker

    Dream on.

    And stay out of the cooking sherry.