I just read with interest how Rush Limbaugh has apologized for his use of descriptors for the woman who wanted Obamacare so she could have sex after free contraceptives. Now, as journalists, I guess for lack of a better way to phrase it, thought about the use a better tone of speech when we’re broadcasting or writing is a good idea. The fact is, that he said “slut” and “prostitute” when maybe  “trollop” might have fit better. Or maybe it would have been better had he said “promiscuous woman” on “public aid”. Puh-leeze. It is what it is, and I won’t go into the story, but suffice it to say that journalists have always bore the brunt of how they report their stories. He might have been a little more creative with his description.

This comes from Rush’s show:

A Statement from Rush

March 03, 2012

For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week.  In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.

 

I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit?In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.

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.

Now, the stupid part…he has lost advertisers because of it. I am not a Rush fan. I think he’s a blowhard. I think that he does what he does because he’s full of himself. But, he has listeners. He also pays dividends for Premiere Radio Networks, owned by Clear Channel, and he makes money for the radio stations he is on. He makes lots of money for them, and for himself. The seven businesses who pulled their ads are the ones who will lose, not Rush or the network. He is, (sorry, Mr O’Reilly), the MOST listened to conservative on the air today. Here’s a few of the words of the advertisers who say they can’t abide by his remarks:

Quicken Loans has pulled its ads saying in a Tweet: “Due to continued inflammatory comments– along w/valuable feedback from clients & team members– QL has suspended ads on Rush Limbaugh program.”

Sleep Number has also withdrawn its sponsorship with this Tweet: “Recent comments by Rush Limbaugh do not align w/our values, so we made decision to immediately suspend all advertising on that program.” 

Legal Zoom tweeted:  “Legalzoom has pulled all advertising from the Rush Limbaugh show.”

Citrix Systems has also pulled plug on Rush: “We have listened to our customers & have decided to cease our advertising on The Rush Limbaugh Show immediately.”

ProFlowers has written it is reconsidering its connection to the Rush Limbaugh Show, saying, “Rest assured, your feedback is heard. We heard about the comments and we will reevaluate our marketing plan.” 

How about all the folks who listen to Rush every day who are going to re-evaluate all their spending dollars. They don’t think about the 3/4 that DO listen to the show as the reason they bought ads there in the first place. Research proves that pulling ads from controversial programs don’t hurt the programs (ie Howard Stern), they only take the advertising value away from the companies who choose to be stupid and ignore the obvious. They had rather listen to the 1% rather than consider the 99. See, there is a reason that they started advertising there in the first place.  Semantics….

That’s not why I’m writing this. We have not asked for advertising on our blog site, and probably won’t. One reason is I don’t want to stifle either Mike’s or my point of view. I won’t be held hostage by an advertiser who thinks their opinion is better than Mikes, mine or our readers. That’s the nice thing about owning the site and the content. Now, WordPress furnishes the blog, but they’re pretty much hands off from what I’ve seen. That’s a good thing, because the internet right now is the last place to find true unfettered information, left, right or middle. Most all of the politicians jumped on Rush today…including Ron Paul, the arbitor of free speech according to the Constitution. That bothers me, because he is supposed to the the one who cares the most about the Constitution, and moreover, basic Libertarian ideology. So, how then should he explain to his followers his statement. How does he know if Rush was honest? Makes me question a lot of his statements now.  This story was on Reuters today:

Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul expressed doubt on Sunday that conservative radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh truly meant it when he apologized for calling a law student a “slut” over her support for President Barack Obama’s new policy on insurance coverage of contraceptives.

“I don’t think he’s very apologetic. He’s doing it because some people were taking their advertisements off his program. It was his bottom line that he was concerned about,” Paul told the CBS program “Face the Nation.”

“Yes, I think he should have apologized. I had said he used very crude language. And I think he gets over the top at times,” added Paul, known for his libertarian views.

Limbaugh offered his apology to Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke, 30, in a written statement on Saturday.

“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.

The controversy prompted Obama to call Fluke on Friday to express his support. Several of Limbaugh’s sponsors said they would stop advertising on his program following his remarks.

Fluke was caught in an election-year fight between Obama and Republicans over a policy that requires health insurance plans to cover contraception. Religious-affiliated organizations, the Roman Catholic Church and social conservatives have protested the policy as an infringement on religious liberty.

Fluke told a Democratic congressional hearing last month that female students at Georgetown, the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in the country, suffered financial hardship because contraception was not covered by their health insurance, and some had stopped taking it because of the cost.

“What does it say about the college co-ed 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? Makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex,” Limbaugh said on Wednesday on his radio show.

Appearing on the NBC program “Meet the Press,” Republican president candidate Newt Gingrich said, “I think it was appropriate for Rush to apologize and I’m glad he apologized.”

But Gingrich added, “I am astonished at the desperation of the elite media to avoid rising gas prices, to avoid the president’s apology to religious fanatics in Afghanistan, to avoid a trillion-dollar deficit, to avoid the longest period of unemployment since the Great Depression and to suddenly decide that Rush Limbaugh is the great national crisis of this week.”

At least Newt recognized the fact of what the National Media wants to focus on. Like Rush or not, like Alan Colmes or not, freedom of the press is just that. It begins to get dangerous when advertisers want to call the shots. If they don’t like what a commentator says, don’t advertise there in the first place. Everyone knows that Rush is over the top…to quote Ron Paul, they also know where their bottom line is. Shame on Ron Paul for ditching his beliefs for a better image for his campaign. But it’s like I told you in my last post. He’s a good man, but just like the others, he’s in it for the campaign, and I believe it now more than ever.

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