Why I Apologized
to Sandra Fluke
by Rush Limbaugh
Monday 5 March 2012
RUSH: Yeah, I knew it was getting bad. I was watching the media on Saturday, and I said, "You know what? I gotta call myself and cancel and suspend the Two If By Tea advertising." So I called myself to cancel the advertising. I got a busy signal so I couldn't cancel my own company's advertising. So Two If By Tea remains a sponsor of the Rush Limbaugh program and the Excellence in Broadcasting Network.
Great to have you here, folks, looking forward to talking with you today as the program unfolds before your very eyes and ears. Our telephone number, 800-282-2882, the e-mail address ElRushbo@eibnet.com.
While I have your attention, give me 30 minutes here. It's all I ask and then you can do what you want. I want to explain why I apologized to Sandra Fluke in the statement that was released on Saturday. I've read all the theories from all sides, and, frankly, they are all wrong. I don't expect -- and I know you don't, either -- morality or intellectual honesty from the left. They've demonstrated over and over a willingness to say or do anything to advance their agenda. It's what they do. It's what we fight against here every day. But this is the mistake I made. In fighting them on this issue last week, I became like them.
Against my own instincts, against my own knowledge, against everything I know to be right and wrong I descended to their level when I used those two words to describe Sandra Fluke. That was my error. I became like them, and I feel very badly about that. I've always tried to maintain a very high degree of integrity and independence on this program. Nevertheless, those two words were inappropriate. They were uncalled for. They distracted from the point that I was actually trying to make, and I again sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for using those two words to describe her. I do not think she is either of those two words. I did not think last week that she is either of those two words.
The apology to her over the weekend was sincere. It was simply for using inappropriate words in a way I never do, and in so doing, I became like the people we oppose. I ended up descending to their level. It's important not to be like them, ever, particularly in fighting them. The old saw, you never descend to the level of your opponent or they win. That was my error last week. But the apology was heartfelt. The apology was sincere. And, as you will hear as I go on here, it was not about anything else. No ulterior motive. No speaking in code. No double entendre or intention. Pure, simple, heartfelt. That's why I apologized to Sandra Fluke on Saturday, 'cause all the theories, all the experts are wrong.
What's gone on since and what really is going on here is what we all know to be true. Our president, Barack Obama, has a socialist agenda when it comes to health care, when it comes to birth control, when it comes to virtually every aspect of his agenda. In this case, Barack Obama wants the government, his government, making moral decisions about what treatments, prescriptions, pills you pay for through your insurance premiums. He isn't willing to let you or the market make that decision for yourself.
Now, the hearing that started all of this, I want to go back and put the timeline here in context, start at the very beginning. The hearing that started all of this was called by Darrell Issa, a California Republican, he's the head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Issa is on our side. His point in calling this hearing was to get facts into the record that otherwise would not be aired. But his committee is made up of both Republicans and Democrats, and there are rules and procedures that are followed in calling witnesses. What this was all about was the president of the United States acting extra-constitutionally, mandating that Catholic churches and their schools provide contraceptives, abortifacients. He doesn't have that power constitutionally. He cannot mandate these things.
That was the original purpose of the hearing. He was to get facts into the record that otherwise would not be aired, but his committee is made up of Republicans and Democrats and there are rules and procedures that are followed in calling witnesses. So the Democrats tried to play a game with Darrell Issa and his committee, and he rejected it. What they did was, they requested a witness for his hearing, a man named Barry Lynn to make their points for them. Barry Lynn is a guy that remits the Democrat point of view. They asked for him in advance. Issa's committee checked him out, invited him, and prepared for his testimony. Issa agreed he has a degree of expertise about the subject matter of the hearing, which was not contraception. That's what Obama wants to turn this into.
Obama is sorely hurting with women in preelect polls. He wanted to turn this into an issue much as they used to use abortion. So the Democrats played the game. What happened next is instructive, and it's very important. At literally the last minute the Democrats decided they want Sandra Fluke. What happened next, at the last minute the Democrats decided that Sandra Fluke would be a better witness for them, not because she had any special knowledge or credentials like Barry Lynn has, but because her optics as a woman and a college student, a 30-year-old college student and an activist on Democrat issues, by the way.
They thought all of that would show better than Barry Lynn. Now, this is at 4:30 p.m., 4:30 in the afternoon, the day before the hearing that the Democrats asked Issa to un-invite Barry Lynn, the guy they had asked for originally, and replace him with Sandra Fluke. Darrell Issa said (paraphrased), "Sorry, it's too late. She hasn't been vetted. We don't know who she is. She doesn't have any real qualifications to appear before this committee. We don't have the time to prepare for her and ask her questions. So the answer is: 'No. You cannot have her testify.'" All of this, by the way, is in a very interesting Washington Examiner article from last week, and I've linked to it at RushLimbaugh.com so you can read it yourself.
Now, the Democrats and the leftists sensed opportunity over this controversy that they created themselves. They publicly turned the situation they created to their own advantage. They invite Barry Lynn. They disinvite him at the last moment and they want him replaced with Sandra Fluke. "Who is this? We don't know who she is." The second panel of witnesses. It was Carolyn Maloney. If you don't recall last week, Carolyn Maloney, Democrat from New York, started shouting, "Where are the women? Where are the women?" They start saying Republicans hate women; they started attacking Issa and Republicans on the committee, saying, "They don't want hear from women! They're misogynist, sexist," or what have you.
Issa's committee invited the Democrat choice again, Barry Lynn, and the Democrats on the committee tried to replace him at the very last minute with this sympathetic woman when it was too late for the committee. So again they said no. So the Democrats played their game of lies, and Issa complained. On February 16th, he said, "The Democrats on his committee have appeared," this is a quote, "outright giddy in attempting to distort the testimony offered and purpose of the hearing." You bet they did. They wanted to turn this from a committee hearing on Obama and his unconstitutional mandate to the issue of contraception so as to bring back to life page 1-A of the Democrat playbook: Republicans Hate Women.
They wanted to change the whole subject. So how did they do it? Well, the Democrats have their own little subcommittee called the steering committee. This subsets inside the larger oversight and reform committee that Issa chairs. And they wanted their sympathetic witness on the record, Sandra Fluke. So they called her to testify before them, not Issa's committee. The subcommittee. They staged what was essentially a conference to look like a committee hearing. She gave the testimony that she was going to give to the full committee. It was taped and released and made to look like a committee hearing. And Darrell Issa had been right all along. Her testimony was not that of an expert.
It was just another non-expert person in this case, in Sandra's case: A 30-year-old, longtime birth control activist who went back to law school after a career of years of championing birth-control issues. In fact, she told stories less about birth control as a social tool (which was, of course, the left's true agenda) and more about birth control as a medication for treating other conditions, such as pregnancy. To the left, pregnancy is a disease. If you're listening to me for the first time, you may say, "Well, that's crazy." It's not. They treat pregnancy as a disease for political purposes. All of this, folks, is political.
Sandra Fluke gave vague examples based on unnamed friends who she says couldn't afford birth control to treat medical conditions they had, since Georgetown University wouldn't pay for them. Georgetown paid for all of their other medical treatment, but it wouldn't pay for the birth control pills that these doctors prescribed should they be necessary -- or so she says. We still don't know who any of these friends of hers are, these other women, and we don't know what happened to them. Her testimony was hearsay, and it was unprovable. And Issa was right not to let her give the testimony, particularly when the Democrats foisted her on the committee at the very last minute for the express purpose of pulling this fast one, this trick.
Now, let's get a few facts on the record here. Georgetown is a Jesuit University. It's Jesuits, run by the Jesuits, which are a Catholic order of priests. Their policy on birth control is not exactly a secret. It's not given to you in a sealed envelope after you sign up. It's out there for everybody to see. It's a Catholic university! Everybody that goes to there knows. Miss Fluke stated on occasion she went there specifically to change the policy. If birth control insurance is important to you as an enrolling student, and you find out that Georgetown doesn't offer it, you might want to attend (or work at) a school that isn't run by Catholics. I mean, just a thought.
But if you know the place doesn't offer contraceptives when you sign up, and that is your big political issue, then why are you really there? Actually, they know what they're doing. They intentionally target schools like Georgetown to advance an agenda of ultimately forcing them to abandon their religious beliefs. All of this is to serve Obama's agenda. The agenda he worked all summer on. He abandoned it only when America stood up, united, and this said they would not tolerate tearing down religion to increase government's control over our lives. You did that. You stood up to him. You made him stop. That was a proud moment for all of us.
This is his second attempt at mandating Catholic churches and other organizations (under the cloak of a so-called committee hearing) be forced to provide contraceptives against their moral conscience, dictates, what have you. So Sandra Fluke, a 30-year-old birth control activist gives unverified and inexpert testimony about how Georgetown's long-standing and public policy has hurt her unnamed friends. And let's be clear on something else. I haven't called Georgetown to see if they pay for birth control pills when being used to treat her medical conditions. I have no idea if they do or don't. If somebody at Georgetown wants to weigh in on that, I'd be interested.
But the point here is that this was an issue that represents a tiny, tiny slice of what the Democrats really want here. They use Sandra Fluke to create a controversy. Sandra Fluke used them to advance her agenda, which is to force a religious institution to abandon their principles in order to meet hers. Now, all of this is what I should have told you last week, 'cause this is what happened. I use satire. I use absurdity to illustrate the absurd. The story at the Cybercast News Service characterized a portion of her testimony as sounding like (based on her own financial figures) she was engaging in sexual activity so often she couldn't afford it. I focused on that because it was simple trying to persuade people, change people's minds.
I am huge on personal responsibility and accountability, people providing for themselves when they're totally able to. The government has no business doing any of this, getting in people's bedrooms and mandating that other citizens pay for other citizens' social activities and so forth. That was the wrong one to focus on. I acted too much like the leftists who despise me. I descended to their level, using names and exaggerations to describe Sandra Fluke. It's what we have come to know and expect of them, but it's way beneath me. And it's way beneath you. It was wrong, and that's why I've apologized, 'cause I succumbed. I descended to their level. Don't be mad at them or mad at her. Everybody here was being true to their nature except me. I'm the one who had the failing on this, and for that I genuinely apologized for using those words to describe Ms. Fluke.
Now, I've gotta take a break but I'm not through.
The Chicago Tribune
daily broadsheet, Chicago Illinois USA
Tuesday 6 March 2012
Rush Limbaugh advertisers
keep heading for the exits
Sears, Allstate say
their ads ran mistakenly
ad via Google:
Tell Rush to Hush
Demand Limbaugh Apologize for His Hateful Comments.
Sign Here. DSCC.org/Stand-Up-To-Limbaugh
by Robert Channick, Becky Yerak and Ameet Sachdev, Chicago Tribune reporters
Two Chicago-area companies were caught up Monday in the growing backlash over Rush Limbaugh's on-air branding of a law student as a "slut," but both said their commercials aired on the radio talk show by mistake.
Responding to calls that they pull their ads or face boycotts, Sears and Allstate both said that the commercials were never scheduled to run on the "Rush Limbaugh Show" in the first place.
Sears came under fire after the Daily Kos blog called for a boycott of the retailer for advertising on Limbaugh's show. But Sears does not sponsor or advertise on the show, Sears Holdings Corp. spokesman Tom Aiello said. He explained that WABC, a New York radio station, mistakenly ran a Sears ad Thursday during a news break from the Limbaugh show.
Seeking to mollify critics, the Hoffman Estates-based company on Monday tweeted: "Sears and Kmart did not intentionally advertise on the Rush Limbaugh show. We've taken actions to ensure our ads do not run on this show.''
Meanwhile,Allstate Corp.blamed a network media vendor for mistakenly running its commercials Monday afternoon during Limbaugh's show. The Northbrook-based home and auto insurer said that its advertising purchase strategy has not included the "Rush Limbaugh Show."
"We contacted the vendor that arranges for our advertising placements and discovered that an error had been made and advertising time had been mistakenly purchased for the show," Allstate said.
Industry sources confirmed that Allstate avoids controversial programming and had not previously run on Limbaugh's show, and that the company was due both an apology letter and make-good spots from the media vendor.
Media Matters for America, a group that targets conservative media, is promoting a boycott of Limbaugh's show, distributed byClear Channel Communications Inc.'s Premiere Radio Networks.
Despite public apologies by Limbaugh to the woman, at least nine advertisers have fled the show, including the ProFlowers delivery service and mortgage lender QuickenLoans.
LegalZoom.com Inc., an online provider of legal services, is among those dropping its ads.
"Our company does not in any way support or endorse the recent comments of Mr. Limbaugh," said Andrea Holland, a spokeswoman for LegalZoom.
AOL.com, the Internet-based publisher, and Stamps.com, the online retailer, said Monday that they would pull ads from Limbaugh's program.
"We have monitored the unfolding events and have determined that Mr. Limbaugh's comments are not in line with our values," Caroline Campbell, an AOL spokeswoman in New York, said in an emailed statement. "As a result we have made the decision to suspend advertising on the Rush Limbaugh show."
The controversy began last week when Limbaugh criticized Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University law student who spoke to Congress last month in favor of President Barack Obama's policy requiring insurers to offer contraceptives to women.
He described the 30-year-old as a "slut" and a "prostitute" who effectively wanted government to subsidize her sexual activity and demanded, "We want you to post the (sex) videos online so we can all watch."
Limbaugh posted an apology on his website Saturday, saying, "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.''
On Monday, he again apologized while firing back at critics.
"I acted too much like the leftists who despise me," Limbaugh said on the show, according to a transcript on his website. "I descended to their level, using names and exaggerations to describe Sandra Fluke. It was wrong, and that's why I've apologized."
Representatives of Premiere and Clear Channel didn't respond to requests for comment.
Limbaugh averaged 13,200,000 listeners a week as of spring 2011, according to ratings supplied by Horizon Media Inc., an ad planning and placement company. Talkers magazine, a Longmeadow, Mass., publication, called Limbaugh the most listened-to talk-radio host.
The controversy isn't likely to have a long-term impact on the show, said Michael Harrison, editor and publisher of Talkers.
"Millions of people like to hate him, because he's entertaining," Harrison said. "To many advertisers, this is showing why they might want to be on his show. Some advertisers will come back. Some are dropping him for the attention they get for doing so."
Fluke, speaking Monday on the television show "The View," responded to Limbaugh's apology.
"I don't think a statement like this issued, saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything," Fluke said. "He's under significant pressure from his sponsors who are beginning to pull their support."
Clear Channel, based in San Antonio, operated 866 U.S. stations in 150 markets as of Dec. 31, according to a regulatory filing. The Premiere Networks unit produces or supplies 90 syndicated programs to almost 5,800 affiliate stations.
Bloomberg News and Tribune Newspapers contributed.
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