Two days after Rush Limbaugh called a Georgetown law student a slut and a prostitute, and one day after he mocked President Obama for calling her to show support, the conservative commentator posted an apology to Sandra Fluke on his website on Saturday: “I did not mean
a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.”
A succession of advertisers had pulled their commercials from his radio show.
“For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week,’’ he said in the statement. In all that time, he’s said a lot of outrageous things on his show, but I can’t recall him ever before apologizing.
“In this instance,’’ he said, “I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation.’’ He also revealed that he thinks asking women to post sex tapes is amusing, and that he thinks birth control works like Viagra – the more sex you have, the more pills you need to take.
I can’t say I disagree with this part of Limbaugh’s statement: “I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress.’’
As I wrote before Fluke testified, her situation has nothing to do with the question at hand, which is whether or not religious institutions should be exempt from providing free contraception to employees as part of their insurance packages. That’s because Fluke is a student, not an employee, and her situation wouldn’t change one way or the other under the Affordable Care Act as currently written.
Further, I found it odd that the crux of Fluke’s testimony was second-hand; she told a story of a friend who had lost an ovary because she couldn’t afford to be on the pill. But of course, Limbaugh’s disrespect has made any discussion of her relevance irrelevant.
Here’s the real news of the day, though: “In my monologue,’’ Limbaugh said, “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.”
So he does not, after all, think it’s important to keep gay couples from marrying and women from ending pregnancies? That will come as a surprise to listeners, I feel sure.
“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 that he’s apologized, will timid Republican presidential contenders feel safe in confirming that, yes, Limbaugh’s statements were perhaps less than optimal just this once? I wouldn’t count on it.
Melinda Henneberger is a Post political writer and anchors ‘She the People.’ Follow her on Twitter at @MelindaDC.