(Micah Walter/Reuters)

Washington eminence Hilary Rosen recently defended Alec Baldwin, he of the recent homophobic Twitterade against a reporter for the Daily Mail. Among the arguments on behalf of Baldwin: “Rosen sees it more as Baldwin’s underlying ‘big heart,’ a man who’s given millions to charity over the years. was his generous contributions to charity.”

Fox News host Megyn Kelly savored that defense on her show “America Live.” She noted that radio host Rush Limbaugh is also a charitable contributor, yet that credential did little to mitigate the backlash following his 2012 remarks about Sandra Fluke. Commentator Michelle Malkin took Kelly’s point and extended it:

Here is the main difference between Rush Limbaugh’s political speech* versus Alec Baldwin’s unhinged ad hominem speech: Rush Limbaugh’s always trying to make a political point**, an ideological point***, he is arguing on public policy grounds**** and sometimes he does it in very entertaining ways***** or he pushes the edge******, but it is never the kind of just completely untethered hate speech and physical threats that Alec Baldwin has been responsible over the years.

* Here’s an example of such “political speech”: “Sandra Fluke, one of the Butt Sisters, is being dragged out of law school by the hair. Wait ’til Rick Santorum hears about this. Wait ’til Gingrich hears about this! What do you think they’ll do? They’ll put a stop to this right away! They’ll head over that university and they’ll stop it! They’ll spy on Sandra Fluke and interrupt her in mid-coitus, and then they’ll make ’em get married.”

** Here’s an example of such a “political point”: “What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke [sic], who goes before a congressional committee and 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. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception.”

*** Here’s an example of such an “ideological point”: “Okay, so this is a law student at a congressional committee asking for us to pay for the things that make it possible for her to have sex. Therefore we are paying her to have sex. Therefore we are paying her for having sex. We are getting screwed even though we don’t meet her personally!”

**** Here’s an example of such “public policy grounds”: “So, if we’re gonna sit here, and if we’re gonna have a part in this, then we want something in return, Ms. Fluke: And that would be the videos of all this sex posted online so we can see what we are getting for our money.”

***** Here’s an example of such an “entertaining way”: “Obama just called Sandra Fluke to make sure she was all right? Awwww. (kissing sound) That is so compassionate! What a great guy. The president called her to make sure she’s okay. What is she, 30 years old? Thirty years old, a student at Georgetown Law, who admits to having so much sex that she can’t afford it anymore.”

****** Here’s an example of an instance of “pushing the edge”: “So Pelosi arranges her own press conference for the woman, and the woman makes it clear (her name is Sandra Fluke) that she’s having so much sex, she can’t pay for it — and we should. She’s having so much sex, she can’t afford it.”

There’s more here. None of this is to excuse Baldwin, for whose conduct there is and never has been an excuse. As for the disparity in media treatment vis-a-vis him and people on the other side of the political divide, that’s a reasonable concern. Yet time shouldn’t be allowed to dull the vileness of Limbaugh’s treatment of Sandra Fluke.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.