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Is there a Joseph Welch moment underway?
March 2, 2012 7:03 PM   Subscribe

Has Rush Limbaugh misjudged how far he can push things? Efforts are underway at Twitter and Reddit to hit Limbaugh where it hurts, with some degree of early success. While the President called Sandra Fluke to express solidarity, GOP front runner Mitt Romney seemed to think the main problem with Limbaugh's attack on Fluke was one of vocabulary, and Rick Santorum fell back on the "he's just an entertainer" defense.
posted by Ipsifendus (759 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite

 
Dude, dude, slow down. Not only am I in the middle of a Dominican Republic sex tour, but I'm also kinda whacked out on pills.
posted by box at 7:07 PM on March 2, 2012 [45 favorites]


Successful troll is incredibly fucking successful.
posted by falameufilho at 7:08 PM on March 2, 2012 [10 favorites]


Limbaugh himself remains unapologetic: “This isn’t about contraception anyway. This is about expanding the reach and power of government into your womb, if you’re a woman.”

Did I fall and hit my head? I remember George Carlin making this complain about the Reagan administration. What the hell is Limbaugh talking about? Access to birth control = a hand in your vagina? I thought a hand in your vagina was Virginia's solution to people looking for abortions.
posted by yerfatma at 7:08 PM on March 2, 2012 [26 favorites]


Yes, saying something that will get him talked about all over the TV and internets is "bad." And this "bad" money will pay for innumerable trips to various "sex tourism" destinations, which is also "bad."
posted by Huck500 at 7:09 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rush Limbaugh is neither a politician or general entertainer. Publicity is manna.
posted by Mblue at 7:09 PM on March 2, 2012


I wonder what Rush thinks about the women he has slept with who have presumably used birth control.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:10 PM on March 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


Oh, he must be talking about those mandatory abortions again.
posted by b1tr0t at 7:10 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


“This isn’t about contraception anyway. This is about expanding the reach and power of government into your womb, if you’re a woman.”

Well, that's not entirely untrue, but he's attacking people who oppose that expansion, so he's not really helping his own case.
posted by clockzero at 7:11 PM on March 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wonder what Rush thinks about the women he has slept with who have presumably used birth control.

He thinks they are sluts. One does not have to like or respect women to want to have sex with them.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:13 PM on March 2, 2012 [70 favorites]


Rush Limbaugh. Marilyn Manson. Same difference.
posted by Ardiril at 7:14 PM on March 2, 2012


Amusingly/infuriatingly, he also doesn't appear to know how birth control pills actually work; he evidently believes that the expense is directly proportional to how frequently you take them, and the frequency with which you take them is directly proportional to how frequently you have sex. So $3000 in out-of-pocket costs = 3000 partners, or something.
posted by scody at 7:15 PM on March 2, 2012 [77 favorites]




"I wonder what Rush thinks..."

There's your problem.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:16 PM on March 2, 2012 [27 favorites]


It seems like Obama's strategy to make the republicans look bad is paying off.

This is kind of Limbaugh's bag now, since he can't really make waves in the media unless he does something like this (that is, being really nasty and waiting for the media to call him out), and then he re-iterates that he's an "entertainer" and therefore his comments don't really mean anything. Ann Coulter did the same thing for a while, and then we sorta forgot about her.

Rush is going to probably keep doing this, there are enough gold-coin resellers and instant approval loan companies that'll keep buying ads. And he'll probably do this until he gets an inevitable heart attack. Or: Since the country has been trending democrat/progressive for the last few generations, he's going to get more and more desperate as his audience decreases. Maybe he'll slip out a racial slur or some kind.

Whatever happens, I've cultivated my infoStreams(tm) so that I don't know about these things until they reach critical mass, and I'm much more relaxed because of it.
posted by hellojed at 7:17 PM on March 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


He thinks they are sluts

Fair enough, He has been married four times, I feel a little sad for those women./
posted by Ad hominem at 7:18 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


“This isn’t about contraception anyway. This is about expanding the reach and power of government into your womb, if you’re a woman.”

This, this is the prime example of verbal ju-jitsu that has had the left, such as it is in this country, up against the ropes. It's a complete lie, a fabrication to cover his own enormity, but using terms that would give a true liberal pause... "Is he right? Is it true? Perhaps it's a matter of context?"

Republicans know it's a lie, and they're laughing, laughing, at us for believing it for a second.

Just this once, he's played his hand way too far. There's no lie or spin that will cover it. Any politician accepting Rush's endorsement is doomed in the primary and thrice doomed in the general.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:19 PM on March 2, 2012 [16 favorites]


The man is a pig and anyone who defends him is too.
posted by caddis at 7:19 PM on March 2, 2012 [13 favorites]


You have to consider the REAL victims here: the Republic candidates who have the almost impossible task of saying something bad about Rush in order to distance themselves from his comments while, at the same time, brown-nosing the damn fool to get his support and air-time.
posted by HuronBob at 7:20 PM on March 2, 2012 [9 favorites]




Maybe he'll slip out a racial slur

He regularly refers to the President as "Barack the Magic Negro."
posted by waitingtoderail at 7:20 PM on March 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


Rush Limbaugh. Marilyn Manson. Same difference.

That's not fair to Marilyn Manson.

"Lunchbox" is a pretty good song, dude.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:21 PM on March 2, 2012 [46 favorites]


I sent a message to ProFlowers to let them know that I would be using a different service this year for my mother's annual Mother's Day bouquet. I'd rather use a business that does not spend its advertising dollars enabling a national audience for a sexist, hateful blatherer.
posted by Alison at 7:21 PM on March 2, 2012 [9 favorites]


There is a lot of hubbub in the fringe-right podcasts these days about planned parenthood as well. To hear them rave on about it, planned parenthood = nazi holocaust. With all the upheavals going on right now, I really have to wonder why the focus on PP. Is it merely rightist distraction from the real economic issues at hand?
posted by telstar at 7:23 PM on March 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Rush Limbaugh Advertisers Pull Commercials In Wake Of Sandra Fluke 'Slut' Firestorm."

They'll be back.

"That's not fair to Marilyn Manson."

Yes, but what has he done for me lately?
posted by Ardiril at 7:23 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]




I sent a message to ProFlowers to let them know that I would be using a different service this year for my mother's annual Mother's Day bouquet.

I did, too. The response they sent me should actually be enshrined in the Museum of Non-Response Responses (just down the street from the Museum of Non-Apology Apologies):
Thank you for your feedback. We spend our advertising dollars across a wide spectrum of media channels. The views and opinions of the media outlets and personalities we advertise with are not necessarily those of our company.

We simply wish to delight our customers with fresh and unique gifting products, and that will continue to happen to the best of our abilities.
The "wish to delight our customers" was a nice touch, I thought.
posted by scody at 7:25 PM on March 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


He regularly refers to the President as "Barack the Magic Negro."

He's even worse with Michelle Obama, which I guess isn't surprising. She's black and female.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:26 PM on March 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


At least two firms, mattress companies Sleep Train and Sleep Number, said they would [pull their ads].

It's different this time. This time he pissed off Big Sleep.
posted by gurple at 7:27 PM on March 2, 2012 [91 favorites]


I sent a message to ProFlowers to let them know that I would be using a different service this year for my mother's annual Mother's Day bouquet.
Yup, me too. No response yet. They seem to be the last hold-out, but I bet they pull their ads, because a big part of the flower business has to be men sending flowers to their wives and girlfriends. And nothing says "I love you" like implying that your partner is a slutty prostitute.

I've sort of been gobsmacked by the Republican ineptitude about contraception over the past couple of weeks. They're completely playing into the way the Democrats want to frame the issue. What has happened to them? They used to be so good at bullshit message manipulation.
posted by craichead at 7:29 PM on March 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Rush is a doctor-shopping oxycontin junky who may have partaken in sex tourism in the caribbean. His listeners know this and either don't care or probably wish they were rich and entitled enough to do the same. Do you really think they give two shits about him calling a woman a slut?

He is the face of the Republican party and at this point it probably works in the party's favor to just own him and his comments because by and large his opinions are their opinions.
posted by photoslob at 7:30 PM on March 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


What has happened to them? They used to be so good at bullshit message manipulation.

Some interesting thoughts on that topic here: Sailing Away to Irrelevance: Rush Limbaugh & The Right’s Self-Destructive Dependency on The Media Machine:
The media business model the Right chose to embrace was based on the shock-radio model. An inherent flaw with this type of model is that while it leads to quick ratings and advertising profits, it it can be difficult to sustain. If you spend one week calling the President a liar and an idiot, it’s not going to be long before calling him a lying idiot isn’t really all that shocking. You have to continually push just a little bit more as you go, or risk being relevant in the shock-media world. This started happening in the 00s, with the rise into the mainstream of people such an Ann Coulter and Mark Levine. At first you could tell that the rank and file of the right were aware that their envelope was being pushed, but their response was usually some form of the following: “Yeah, Coulter is a little nutty when she says that Democrats actually want the terrorists to kill US citizens, but it’s OK because when she says it it really bothers the liberals.” And so, as time went on and claims became more and more outrageous, the excuse that if things bothered liberals it was OK grew within both the media machine and its base.

Somewhere along the line, however, this model has to break down – partly because you eventually reach a ceiling where the base that believes the ever-increasingly shocking claims is small enough to make the party you’re backing politically irrelevant, and partly because to those that aren’t part of the machine or the base you begin to look increasingly out of touch. Birtherism is a fairly good example of this ceiling being reached, as are the Death Panels and Obama/Hitler youth programs. Unfortunately for the Right, however, once you tie yourself and your success so inexorably to the machine it becomes almost impossible to untangle yourself from it.
posted by scody at 7:33 PM on March 2, 2012 [56 favorites]


You know his mind is not for rent; to put him down is arrogant
posted by Renoroc at 7:34 PM on March 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


Do you really think they give two shits about him calling a woman a slut?
This has nothing to do with Rush's audience. It has everything to do with the way that the contraception mandate issue gets framed in the mainstream media. The Republicans were trying to frame it as an attack on Christianity and religious freedom. This makes it really hard for them to do that, because it reminds us all that it's really about how deeply some people hate women and hate the fact that we can control our own sexuality.

So now we're not talking about how Obama hates Christians. We're talking about how Rush hates women and whether or not Romney and Santorum have denounced his ugly attitudes. And that's much happier territory for the Democrats.
posted by craichead at 7:37 PM on March 2, 2012 [87 favorites]


"the excuse that if things bothered liberals it was OK"

Well, it still bothers the liberals, that's fershur.
posted by Ardiril at 7:37 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I do think it's kind of silly to expect the people who run our country to somehow apologize or legitimize what Rush Limbaugh says. It gives Rush WAY too much credit, (even if he is the defacto Godfather of the conservative right).
posted by crunchland at 7:39 PM on March 2, 2012


Just this once, he's played his hand way too far. There's no lie or spin that will cover it. Any politician accepting Rush's endorsement is doomed in the primary and thrice doomed in the general.

You don't honestly believe that, do you? His listeners won't care, and they will still be a political force. There is a reason Romney is too scared to condemn this.

He has played his hand too far before, the Donovan McNabb comments come to mind, but being attacked by the "liberal media" only entrenches him further.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:40 PM on March 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


I've sort of been gobsmacked by the Republican ineptitude about contraception over the past couple of weeks. They're completely playing into the way the Democrats want to frame the issue. What has happened to them? They used to be so good at bullshit message manipulation.

I think for a certain demographic, if the issue plays out as a religious freedom issue, Republicans can handle contraception without sounding too hateful. Then you get Rush calling women who use contraception sluts and prostitutes and saying that you're owed a sex tape, before Super Tuesday, and the candidates can't risk losing the base, so they have to waffle around and try to find a way to reframe the issue without agreeing or condeming Rush, when they were supposed to be returning to discussing the economy and jobs.
posted by gladly at 7:40 PM on March 2, 2012


And when he talked racist shit about Donovan McNabb, he lost the position he used to make those comments. Which was good.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:41 PM on March 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


...and maintained the position that actually makes him money and earned tens of millions of dollars more for it since. The ESPN thing was an ego boost, a hobby. He has tried to buy in to NFL ownership too.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:46 PM on March 2, 2012


So now we're not talking about how Obama hates Christians. We're talking about how Rush hates women and whether or not Romney and Santorum have denounced his ugly attitudes.

Yep. A number of Republicans (whether pundits or politicians) who, while not finding the backbone to do anything more than indicate a tepid dislike of his phrasing,* have conceded as much: that Rush completely undercut their entire argument that this was really all about religious freedom and not about an attack on women.
posted by scody at 7:46 PM on March 2, 2012 [20 favorites]


Check that, hundreds of millions.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:48 PM on March 2, 2012


There is a reason Romney is too scared to condemn this.
Romney is fucked. He can't condemn Rush, because that hurts him in the primaries, and he's already super vulnerable. But if my Facebook feed is anything to go by, the people who are the most horrified by this, who feel the most personally attacked, are moderate women. The angriest person is a SAHM from Southern Virginia who has never said a thing about politics before. She's posting contact information for advertisers so you can tell them to pull their ads. Second angriest is a self-identified Navy wife whose birth control probably is paid for by the taxpayers. You can't tell pretty much every American woman of childbearing age that she's a slut and a prostitute and not have some blowback in the general election.
posted by craichead at 7:48 PM on March 2, 2012 [76 favorites]


I wonder what Rush thinks about the women he has slept with who have presumably used birth control.

Objection, Your Honor; Counsel is arguing facts not in evidence.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:49 PM on March 2, 2012 [13 favorites]


I do think it's kind of silly to expect the people who run our country to somehow apologize or legitimize what Rush Limbaugh says.

It's not fair to ask candidates what they think about a major political celebrity talking about a prominent and current issue? I disagree.
posted by Garm at 7:54 PM on March 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rush used inflammatory and stupid language therefore obscuring the point that the argument isn't about contraceptives but about who should be responsible for paying for them.
No matter which side of that you are on you have to admit that isn't what the media is addressing.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:54 PM on March 2, 2012


that Rush completely undercut their entire argument that this was really all about religious freedom and not about an attack on women.

Damn, scody, I was trying to figure out why this one felt different, and you just nailed it.

Thanks!

posted by eriko at 7:57 PM on March 2, 2012


It is just random chance he is talking about birth control pills and not viagra. This is all just a dry commentary on the financial issues and insurance.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:57 PM on March 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Remember how he was fired by Monday Night Football after deprecating Donovan McNabb and black quarterbacks in general?

I've always thought cause and effect got mixed up in that story.

I think MNF had decided to fire him because he was the worst commentator pro football has ever seen, and Limbaugh went after McNabb to give himself street cred with his racist fans instead of suffering the ignominy of being fired because he was so incompetent.

I wonder if something similar is happening here.
posted by jamjam at 7:59 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


No matter which side of that you are on you have to admit that isn't what the media is addressing.

I'll never admit anything to you.

Seriously...there might be an argument to be had on the birth control issue. I disagree with what I'm certain is your take on it, and and I'm certain I'm in the right on that issue, but there's an argument to be had.

How in the world does that translate into a license to go on a national broadcast and call a woman a slut? What is the ring tailed rambling FUCK does one have to do with the other?
posted by Ipsifendus at 7:59 PM on March 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


St. Alia of the Bunnies: " who should be responsible for paying for them. "

I dunno, maybe health insurance should cover fuckin' medicine? Or am I missing some bullshit trying to masquerade as subtlety?
posted by notsnot at 7:59 PM on March 2, 2012 [129 favorites]


This idea from the reddit thread looks like solid gold:

The successful Glenn Beck method was:

1. take his most inflammatory statements
2. put them up on youtube w/ advertisers logos superimposed

posted by straight at 8:00 PM on March 2, 2012 [31 favorites]


(Oh.....and judging from what my customers tell me Proflowers ain't all that. That is all.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:00 PM on March 2, 2012


whoops, my stray asterisk in my last comment was supposed to go to this:

*The only Republican who I've seen thus far repudiate Limbaugh in no uncertain terms is Scott Brown.

" who should be responsible for paying for them. "

Yeah, like privately owned health insurance companies, maybe?
posted by scody at 8:01 PM on March 2, 2012


I mean, when he wrote it he was calling Bob Dole a gigolo manslut who should stream his bedroom on Youtube, it was a totally innocent fluke that he chose the target he did.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:01 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rush, and many people on the right, have pushed themselves into a corner. There are people out there on the fringy, fringy right, but playing so hard to them is starting to anger the (more) reasonable center. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I've been sensing a "waking up" in the middle; normal, serious, conservative people are beginning to come to the conclusions that things have moved too far to the right.

If that happens, the uberconservative version of the GOP is dead, because they are surely losing the demographic battle, anyway.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:03 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Blogger Ace Of Spades Calls Sandra Fluke "A Shiftless Rent-A-Cooch From East Whoreville".

Family values is such a wondrous thing.
posted by Jimbob at 8:06 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've said it before, and I'll say it again: most Americans are not as conservative as they think they are. And they are certainly not as conservative as the Limbaughs, Hannitys and Santorums make them out to be.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:07 PM on March 2, 2012 [26 favorites]


You know who else Limbaugh thinks are sluts?

Dominican kids.
posted by R. Schlock at 8:07 PM on March 2, 2012 [36 favorites]


whoops, my stray asterisk in my last comment was supposed to go to this:

I was wondering about that. <3 scody.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:12 PM on March 2, 2012


The man is a pig and anyone who defends him is too.
posted by caddis at 7:19 PM on March 2 [+] [!]


Come on, man. This inflamatory language just isn't fair to pigs.
posted by 4ster at 8:13 PM on March 2, 2012 [14 favorites]


I'm just glad he doesn't have kids so I can say "fuck him" when he dies without worrying about people trying to make me feel bad about it.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 8:13 PM on March 2, 2012 [80 favorites]


I love stuff like this, like this and like Westboro Baptist Church and Beck and all that ilk, because it makes it clear to folks that they have to choose a side. In today's modern two-party system, you have to choose a side to support. Do you stand with or against WBC? You can choose Rush's side, or you can choose the side of those who oppose him. Which is it? You must choose.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:14 PM on March 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


yerfatma: "Limbaugh himself remains unapologetic: “This isn’t about contraception anyway. This is about expanding the reach and power of government into your womb, if you’re a woman.”

Did I fall and hit my head? I remember George Carlin making this complain about the Reagan administration. What the hell is Limbaugh talking about? Access to birth control = a hand in your vagina? I thought a hand in your vagina was Virginia's solution to people looking for abortions
"

I heard him say that today (I occasionally turn to it and listen as long as I can stand as a kind of conservative barometer), and his logic—sorry, I mean "logic"— in that statement was that the gummint forcing birth control as a benefit was somehow interfering with a woman's choice to not have birth control. I think. I mean, what the fuck, it's Rush Limbaugh, he just says shit.

Alison: "I sent a message to ProFlowers to let them know that I would be using a different service this year for my mother's annual Mother's Day bouquet. I'd rather use a business that does not spend its advertising dollars enabling a national audience for a sexist, hateful blatherer"

Like many of Limbaugh's advertisers, they also advertise on liberal radio. Maybe hedging their bets. "Just click on the Radio mic and type in...Rush-Ed-Stephanie, whatever". Like ProFlowers, Carbonite's statement is just stalling for time to see how this plays out, because they want to keep advertising with him. If it dies down quickly, they'll carry on, just like him.

Granted, this is a bigger stink than usual for him, but still, I doubt this will amount to anything. Limbaugh loves the attention. He'll be indignant and irritated about sponsors leaving but unless he loses too many he'll just wait for it to blow over. The people not mindless enough to listen to him regularly will forget about him (because why would you want to think about him?) and he'll just carry on wanking his dittoheads.
posted by Red Loop at 8:14 PM on March 2, 2012




... he evidently believes that the expense is directly proportional to how frequently you take them, and the frequency with which you take them is directly proportional to how frequently you have sex.

He can be forgiven for this misunderstanding because, apparently, he has to take an expensive pill every time he has sex.
posted by JackFlash at 8:19 PM on March 2, 2012 [12 favorites]


Rush used inflammatory and stupid language therefore obscuring the point that the argument isn't about contraceptives but about who should be responsible for paying for them.
No matter which side of that you are on you have to admit that isn't what the media is addressing.


Republicans tried to pass a personhood bill in VA that would make a zygote a legal human being. Democrats tried to add an amendment saying that it would not in any way effect birth control, as some forms can prevent a zygote from implanting in the uterus wall. The republicans voted down the amendment. It is about contraceptives, not about religious freedom.
posted by stavrogin at 8:20 PM on March 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


Slap*Happy: Just this once, he's played his hand way too far. There's no lie or spin that will cover it. Any politician accepting Rush's endorsement is doomed in the primary and thrice doomed in the general.

furiousxgeorge: You don't honestly believe that, do you? His listeners won't care, and they will still be a political force. There is a reason Romney is too scared to condemn this.

He has played his hand too far before, the Donovan McNabb comments come to mind, but being attacked by the "liberal media" only entrenches him further.


You guys are ignoring the one factor that makes this incident different from all the other incidents that should have stirred up more rage than they did: he attacked a well-off young white woman. You know how the media reacts to that.
posted by tzikeh at 8:21 PM on March 2, 2012 [21 favorites]


Considering some of the vile and awful things we on the left said about Andrew Breibart the other day, it's really kind of hard take the outrage exhibited here seriously. Suffice it to say that our political discourse has degraded to namecalling, and that fistfights can't be far behind.

That said, I'd boycott Rush's advertisers if I actually ever intended to buy anything from any of them. As it is, I'm not really into commemorative gold coins and identity theft protection services.

Meanwhile, the government of Syria is literally slaughtering its own citizens, and we're bickering about what some fat guy said.
posted by crunchland at 8:23 PM on March 2, 2012 [9 favorites]


"unless he loses too many "

His national sponsors are just profit cream. His production costs are virtually nil in this age. The local stations make their money off local advertisers, and that is where a boycott must focus to be effective. Every single local station.
posted by Ardiril at 8:23 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Suffice it to say that our political discourse has degraded to namecalling, and that fistfights can't be far behind.

Where's a half-decent, solidly-constructed horsewhip when you really need one?
This modern age, I'm tellin ya...
posted by tspae at 8:27 PM on March 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


A nice nine-figure judgment for slander might be effective as well. MetaLawyers, is there a case to be made?
posted by stargell at 8:27 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sandra Fluke is not Andrew Breitbart. There is a difference between bullying someone and talking back to a bully. I say this as someone who does not like the tribal, emotional, good v. evil political narrative. Breitbart was a cage fighter, the reaction was exactly what he would have expected.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:29 PM on March 2, 2012 [21 favorites]


Has Rush Limbaugh misjudged how far he can push things?

No.
posted by double block and bleed at 8:32 PM on March 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


"judgment for slander" - Talk about feeding the troll. Rush would love nothing more than a protracted lawsuit.
posted by Ardiril at 8:32 PM on March 2, 2012


Meanwhile, the government of Syria is literally slaughtering its own citizens, and we're bickering about what some fat guy said.

I forgot that we can only hold one issue in our mind at a time. Anyone who has a beef with employers dictating how employees can spend their financial compensation (health insurance premium subsidization, PTO, and wages are ALL forms of financial compensation) should wait till we live in a perfectly peaceful and just world before they consider complaining.

Personally, I don't give a rats ass if Limbaugh calls me a prostitute (which he did, incidentally - my employer's insurance plan partially covers my birth control pills), but it's counterfactual to claim that he is not an influential voice in conservative politics.
posted by muddgirl at 8:33 PM on March 2, 2012 [48 favorites]


crunchland: Meanwhile, the government of Syria is literally slaughtering its own citizens, and we're bickering about what some fat guy said.

Oh, come on--this fallacy again? I'd think this one would be run into the ground at MeFi by now. We are capable of thinking about/doing something about multiple issues at the same time.
posted by tzikeh at 8:34 PM on March 2, 2012 [19 favorites]


I got several emails from the various groups that I subscribe to. Each asked me to sign a petition. Of course I signed them all. But I kept waiting for the one that would allow me to slap that fucker in the face. I was going to say "fat fucker" but that would be wrong. As would be saying "drug addled fucker".

So I'll sit and wait for the slap Rush in the face program.

And I will slap. Oh I will slap. I'll slap that fucker so hard his ancestors will feel it and think twice about having sex. Not because sex is wrong. But because they will feel the anger at their progeny. And they will rethink having children at all.
posted by Splunge at 8:34 PM on March 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


Or what muddgirl said *just before I posted, dammit*.
posted by tzikeh at 8:34 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, "both sides do it" is some seriously weak sauce in this instance.

Rush just alienated every father/mother of a daughter with either half a brain or a quarter of a heart. Given his demographic, this may not hurt his ratings, but you're kidding yourself if you think the GOP isn't shitting their collective pants over this latest own-goal. Pathetic.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:35 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought about making something similar to the I Hope Rick Santorum tumblr but all the things I'd hope would happen to Rush would likely get me in lots of trouble for voicing them.
posted by elizardbits at 8:36 PM on March 2, 2012


Open Syria thread here. No crunchland comments yet. :P
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:38 PM on March 2, 2012 [14 favorites]


Yeah, I wasn't specifically referring to Metafilter and our daily "Republicans are idiots" / 2-minute hatethreads when I talked about us bickering while Syrians die. I was talking about our national preoccupation with demonstrating exactly how degraded our public discourse has become.
posted by crunchland at 8:41 PM on March 2, 2012


Huh, I have no idea what's going on. Which is ironic since i liked to some articles about it, but that was only to prove a point about SEO and linkbait sites... The only thing I gathered was that people were shocked, shocked!! about what he said and that even Santorum was saying mean things about him.
The call came a day after conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh demanded that Fluke release tapes of her having sex in exchange for the contraception that she argued should be covered by employers. Fluke was set to go on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports when the president rang her on her phone. She took the call while waiting in the green room.
Yeah that's mean. But really, that's it? Wasn't everyone shocked, shocked!!! about Limbaugh when he mocked Micheal J Fox and claimed he was faking it?

Why do you think republicans are outraged about Limbaugh all of a sudden. They've been desperate to distance themselves from this contraception thing an now rush is proving an opportunity for them to do so, by attacking him.

Of course, it's a bit much for a conspiracy theory because Limbaugh's ego is pretty huge. When republicans started to criticism him after the 2008 election for saying he wanted Obama to fail, he was able to get them to apologize to him.

But anyway, this story is a non issue. The fact that it's being reported like a fucking national emergency really just epitomizes how vapid our political reporting is in this country. Rush Limbaugh is a piece of shit. Everyone knows that. Rush Limbaugh being a piece of shit is not news.

But reporting on this "Story" only requires reporters to scroll through their phone book and call their friends and acquaintances for quotes to put them on the air. Everyone has a nice freakout and nothing changes at all.

Meanwhile the idea of reddit demanding a boycott of Rush Limbaugh a couple weeks after freaking out because the admins were no longer willing to defend to the death the freedom of speech of perverts to share pictures of underage girls in /r/jailbait is downright hilarious.

(I mean obviously whatever reddit "wants" is just whatever emotional pitch resonates in a highly up-voted story. There is zero consistency there whatsoever)
posted by delmoi at 8:43 PM on March 2, 2012


yes furious x. george, and..?
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:44 PM on March 2, 2012


one day delmoi will learn to close his tags

today is not that day
posted by elizardbits at 8:45 PM on March 2, 2012 [14 favorites]


"I was talking about our national preoccupation with demonstrating exactly how degraded our public discourse has become."

Too deep for this crowd. Keep it simple.
posted by Ardiril at 8:45 PM on March 2, 2012


joe lisboa, I have a daughter, and I guess the thought of someone calling her a slut is so far from my mind that I totally missed that point. But you're right--Rush is calling my daughter a slut. His defenders are calling my daughter a slut, or, at least, defending his calling her a slut.

Choose a side.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:46 PM on March 2, 2012 [12 favorites]


yes furious x. george, and..?

I don't get it, who are you alluding to?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:46 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Everyone knows that. Rush Limbaugh being a piece of shit is not news.

All due respect, delmoi, this is pretty insular thinking. My otherwise-rational parents listen to Limbaugh. They worship at the temple of the Mega-Ditto. I have some hope that outbursts like this will change their mind. After all, they don't know any black people, but they do know white professionals who take birth control, as fucked up as that reasoning is.
posted by muddgirl at 8:46 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Or mega-Kudos, or whev. Thankfully it's been a while.
posted by muddgirl at 8:47 PM on March 2, 2012


Amusingly/infuriatingly, he also doesn't appear to know how birth control pills actually work; he evidently believes that the expense is directly proportional to how frequently you take them, and the frequency with which you take them is directly proportional to how frequently you have sex. So $3000 in out-of-pocket costs = 3000 partners, or something.

To paraphrase Bill Maher tonight: So you think you have to take one each and every time you want to have a pleasurable experience? No, Rush, that's Oxycontin.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:48 PM on March 2, 2012 [32 favorites]


I still won't buy snapple because they sponsored him in his early years.
Fuck you snapple
posted by Iron Rat at 8:49 PM on March 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


No, it's dittos, muddgirl. Like so many things ultra-right, it's simultaneously amusing and infuriating that his fans can scream about liberal conformity and call themselves "dittoheads" at the same time without a whiff of irony.
posted by adamdschneider at 8:50 PM on March 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


You know his mind is not for rent; to put him down is arrogant

Today's Rush Limbaugh, he gets high on...wait...where's my list?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:51 PM on March 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


What a shitbag. I hope the campaign targeting his advertisers works, because minus the money he is nothing.
posted by Forktine at 8:51 PM on March 2, 2012


I would appreciate a little enlightenment from any of you who may wish to contribute...

It is my understanding that this woman, who is attending a very costly school, thinks that contraceptives are too expensive for her and that the government should pick up the cost of her contraceptives by utilizing our tax money to pay for them.

IF this is correct, it means that she wants to have sex on my dime, which is what I think Rush used as the jumping off point for his comments.

Also, this might explain the government involvement in the issue that seems to have some people a bit confused. The government paying women so that they can have as much sex as they feel comfortable with? With my/our money? I am NOT comfortable with that if that's truly the case.

If she cannot afford the contraception herself, or find a partner willing to use a condom, then perhaps she should get a vibrator or something. Why should anyone have to pay for her sexual encounters? If we are paying, then perhaps we should be receiving as well.

I do not mean to sound flippant, because I really want to know.

Am I wrong about any of this? If so, please set me straight...
posted by Quasimike at 8:59 PM on March 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


When you consider all the spiteful things this ugly little man has said and done over the years in the name of entertainment, it almost seems trivial that he should get his overdue comeuppance by calling someone a slut.
posted by runningdogofcapitalism at 9:00 PM on March 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


"I hope the campaign targeting his advertisers works"

Forget it. Look at his national advertisers. Penny-ante guys, the lot of 'em. Clear Channel pays Limbaugh from moneys collected by affiliate stations (and probably a few conservative think-tanks, as well). You want to shut down Limbaugh? Go after Clear Channel.
posted by Ardiril at 9:00 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


It may have been over the top, but Rush was exercising a REAL right...the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. But Fluker seems to think she has a "right" to free pills and rubbers. She doesn't.
posted by republican at 9:04 PM on March 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I still won't buy snapple because they sponsored him in his early years.
Same here. I haven't yet seen a reason to suspend that boycott.
posted by bink at 9:05 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, this might explain the government involvement in the issue that seems to have some people a bit confused. The government paying women so that they can have as much sex as they feel comfortable with? With my/our money? I am NOT comfortable with that if that's truly the case.
You either pay for the contraception or you pay for the unwanted kids. Good luck luck telling people not to have sex - usually has the opposite effect.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:07 PM on March 2, 2012 [20 favorites]


It may have been over the top, but Rush was exercising a REAL right...the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. But Fluker seems to think she has a "right" to free pills and rubbers. She doesn't.

People who drone on about "rights" are often ignorant about "responsibilities" and "reason".
posted by Jimbob at 9:08 PM on March 2, 2012 [13 favorites]


Am I wrong about any of this? If so, please set me straight...

Pretty much all of it, actually. Your version diverges from reality where you say she "thinks...the government should pick up the cost" but the truth is that she thinks employers should pick up the cost. Since health insurance, if you have it, is generally provided by your employer, people like Rush Limbaugh are fighting for the right of employers to screw their employees out of actual money.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:09 PM on March 2, 2012 [70 favorites]


My formerly evangelical, formerly conservative husband thinks this will be the last straw for Rush's base. It's "okay" for him to pick on gays because his straight listeners will never be gay. But probably the vast majority of them have used birth control or are partnered to someone who has. He seems to think his male listeners won't stand for someone who calls their wives sluts. I am not so optimistic.
posted by desjardins at 9:10 PM on March 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Quasimike: It has to do with health insurance companies offering coverage for contraception for their customers, some of whom work for religious institutions that don't want to cover these medications for their employees due to religious objections (or at least until the conversation got all mangled and contorted.)

There is no taxpayer money involved, this is not about government funded contraception.

And if Sarah Fluke has health insurance she is most likely a) paying for it herself as a student, or b) if under a certain age, her parents are paying for it while she is on their policy.
posted by ltracey at 9:11 PM on March 2, 2012 [18 favorites]


Do you stand with or against WBC? You can choose Rush's side, or you can choose the side of those who oppose him. Which is it? You must choose.

Do you stand with or against Bill Ayers? You can choose gay Muslim terrorists from Mexico's side, or you can choose the side of those who oppose them.

Either/or logic cuts both ways.
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:11 PM on March 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


one day delmoi will learn to close his tags

Today is not that day
I did... I just happened to close the wrong tag.
posted by delmoi at 9:12 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


she has a "right" to free pills and rubbers. --- You don't need a prescription to buy condoms, so you can't get an insurance company to subsidize them... This is why the whole thing has been painted as an assault on women. Besides, our government has been giving away free condoms for years, and no one on the right has been making a peep about it. In fact, before about three weeks ago, plenty of Republicans were perfectly A-OK with the government mandating that insurance companies give away contraceptives.

So this whole fight is nothing but a trumped-up distracting phony baloney.
posted by crunchland at 9:13 PM on March 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


I do not mean to sound flippant, because I really want to know.

Why should I presume you're not just trolling when you've clearly not read up on Ms. Fluke's actual congressional testimony and/or on birth control vis-a-vis women's health more generally? You've regurgitated all of Rush's talking points while conveniently ignoring that Ms. Fluke was testifying on behalf of a friend who had to have a fucking ovary removed because of a cyst that developed and grew to dangerous proportions due to prohibitively costly birth control that was not covered by Georgetown.

The reason the GOP is secretly furious with Rush on this is that he's blown the lid off the pretense that this was ever about the First Amendment. This is about "slut-shaming" and the general dismissal of the autonomy and health of women as human fucking beings.

Same as it ever was.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:13 PM on March 2, 2012 [133 favorites]


The government paying women so that they can have as much sex as they feel comfortable with? With my/our money? I am NOT comfortable with that if that's truly the case.

Wow, I bet you're also really unhappy that men can use Medicaid to get Viagra and Cialis on our dollar, right? I mean surely, right? Because otherwise you'd be a total fucking hypocrite, and that would be embarrassing.
posted by elizardbits at 9:14 PM on March 2, 2012 [150 favorites]


But you're right--Rush is calling my daughter a slut. His defenders are calling my daughter a slut, or, at least, defending his calling her a slut.

And not only that: He thinks your daughter ought to be compelled to post footage of her having sex in order to "earn" her contraception!

Am I wrong about any of this? If so, please set me straight...

Yes, wrong on pretty much all counts, starting from the fact that Aetna, HealthNet, Blue Cross, Anthem, Kaiser, Pacificare, and pretty much all privately owned health insurance companies are not owned by the government, thus rendering every other conclusion you draw to be obviously false.
posted by scody at 9:14 PM on March 2, 2012 [49 favorites]


It is my understanding that this woman, who is attending a very costly school, thinks that contraceptives are too expensive for her and that the government should pick up the cost of her contraceptives by utilizing our tax money to pay for them.

Your understanding is pure ignorance. Why don't you read her testimony in her own words and then come back is see if you have anything useful to contribute.

Nobody is asking the government to pay for anything. We are talking about health insurance paid for by employees, both their own premiums and premiums earned as part of their compensation package. We are talking only about contraceptives medically prescribed by physicians, not over the counter contraceptives.
posted by JackFlash at 9:16 PM on March 2, 2012 [32 favorites]


Was anyone else kinda nonplussed about the story Fluke ended up telling in her eventual testimony? Her friend at Georgetown University (which costs about $50,000 per year to attend) was prescribed birth control to combat ovarian cysts. Her health insurance (provided by the university, which operates under Jesuit standards) did not cover the pills, which would cost her about $100 per month. She couldn't afford them, ended up needing expensive surgery to remove an ovary, and has since been diagnosed with possible early menopause.

How on earth couldn't she afford $100 per month, given the huge risks to her health? I mean, sure it would be nice if the insurance covered it (especially since it was not for birth control (the student in question is a lesbian) but let's face it: the Catholic church doesn't go for artificial birth control, period.

Was there literally no other way she could have obtained birth control pills for something so important?
posted by ShutterBun at 9:17 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


woo hoo - out come the ringers... these aren't actual conservatives republican types here folks .... this is a true republican*. I call it this the bizarro RINO argument.

*Hint: It's not Reagan.
posted by zenon at 9:18 PM on March 2, 2012


Am I wrong about any of this? If so, please set me straight...

Setting aside Sarah Fluke's circumstances, and thinking about contraception and women's reproductive health more generally, I think you'd like to live in a world with a low rate of STI transmission and teen pregnancy.

100 years ago, contraception was illegal, and women regularly died from black alley abortions.

And that's what this slippery slope-culture war stuff is about.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:18 PM on March 2, 2012 [9 favorites]


Well, quasimike, I'll try to atone for my earlier overwrought snark, and will accept (despite that your line of reasoning is, to my knowledge, exactly Rush's) your methinks-protesting-too-much protests of innocence and answer the question:
1)Attending a costly school, for which she's got loans. Which she'll be paying for for 30 years.
2) Her testimony was regarding a friend who lost an ovary due to a condition which could have been kept in check by hormonal birth control. So it's not just "she wants to fuck."
3) She thinks her INSURANCE, supplied by her school since that's effectively her employer, to cover HBC.
So your tax dollars are not being spent for her insurance to not cover her FRIEND's HBC for a condition, not just fucking.

Onward, despite your premise having been triply denied:
4) Contraception in the form of prescribed medicine is not like," take one when you want to have sex" and therefore not "it's more expensive because I want to have sex a lot".
5)It's basic healthcare. Should I as an employer be allowed to have health insurance for my employees, but not asthma inhalers, because I fuckin HATE jocks and inhalers are for people who want to exercise, like jocks?
6)Or better yet, should someone working at a defense contractor be allowed to breathe freely on my taxpayer dime?
7)EVEN IF IT WERE ABOUT HAVING LOTS OF SEX, what's wrong with that? What's wrong with liking sex? Doesn't Limbaugh complain about how "feminazis" are sex hating scolds?
8) From a utility point of view, lots of sex is safer for society than driving drunk, or while hopped up on Oxy.
9) "Get a vibrator." Sure, asthmatic, get an iron lung!
posted by notsnot at 9:19 PM on March 2, 2012 [53 favorites]


Was there literally no other way she could have obtained birth control pills for something so important?

This victim blaming is getting fucking ridiculous.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:19 PM on March 2, 2012 [75 favorites]


Rush was exercising a REAL right...the First Amendment right to freedom of speech

That, or using the public airwaves to criminally defame a private citizen.
posted by stargell at 9:20 PM on March 2, 2012 [43 favorites]


Was there literally no other way she could have obtained birth control pills for something so important?

I guess she could have gotten it from Planned Parenthood, which--oh shit, everyone and his racist right wing grandma is working on cutting funding from, so that women can't get a goddamn break with regard to their personal health care problems.
posted by padraigin at 9:20 PM on March 2, 2012 [65 favorites]


Limbaugh is as much an entertainer as Santorum is a leader.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:22 PM on March 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


It is my understanding that this woman, who is attending a very costly school, thinks that contraceptives are too expensive for her and that the government should pick up the cost of her contraceptives by utilizing our tax money to pay for them.

IF this is correct, it means that she wants to have sex on my dime,


Not that this really deserves a serious refutation, since it's an utterly ludicrous bunch of nonsense, but the problem this person is having thinking about this a result of the fact that the position it espouses is implicitly calling all socialized medicine into question. Why should you have to pay for, say, end-of-life care that will run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars and merely prolong someone's death by a few months or weeks? And yet we do this all the time, and nobody is bleating about it now. Nobody is trying to make a serious argument about health care costs, it's just a convenient way of framing the intense misogyny underpinning all of this.
posted by clockzero at 9:23 PM on March 2, 2012 [28 favorites]


Rush Limbaugh. Marilyn Manson. Same difference.

That's not fair to Marilyn Manson.


It isn't fair to Marilyn Manson. Marilyn Manson is actually an honest and thoughtful person.
posted by squalor at 9:24 PM on March 2, 2012 [31 favorites]


I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Rush Limbaugh for severely testing my commitment to the principle of feeling compassion for all sentient beings.

To paraphrase philosopher-warrior Jules Winnfield, I'm trying, Rush, I'm trying real hard.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:24 PM on March 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


Al Franken is right.
posted by anothermug at 9:26 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


This victim blaming is getting fucking ridiculous.

It's victim questioning. I'm not saying it's her fault, I'm asking "how on earth did it get to that point, given the surrounding circumstances?"
posted by ShutterBun at 9:27 PM on March 2, 2012


You broke your leg mountain climbing? Why the fuck should my taxpayer dollars have to pay for your fun? Walk it off, mountainwhore.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:30 PM on March 2, 2012 [153 favorites]


IF this is correct, it means that she wants to have sex on my dime

You do realize that hormone-based contraception is used for purposes besides birth-control for recreational sex, correct?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:30 PM on March 2, 2012 [12 favorites]


No, ShutterBun, it is victim accusing.


IF this is correct, it means that she wants to have sex on my dime,

EVERY MAN who has his insurance cover his Viagra or other boner medication is having sex on somebody else's dime. There is no proven legitimate medical use for these Male Pleasure Drugs (although the manufacturers have done some seriously bad research trying to show that there is), and they cause more deaths among their users than most other legal drugs. Bad medicine.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:31 PM on March 2, 2012 [21 favorites]


It's victim questioning.

Instead, why not ask yourself what medical care you would be willing to sacrifice because of your employer's religious beliefs. Psychiatric care? Organ transplants? Experimental treatments? What parts of your medical coverage are you prepared to give up because your employer objects to them on religious or moral grounds?
posted by gladly at 9:31 PM on March 2, 2012 [37 favorites]


You got sick from tainted bacon? My religion bans eating pig, you can survive just fine without it, who cares if it tastes good? PORKSLUT.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:32 PM on March 2, 2012 [90 favorites]


And how many employers are protesting the inclusion of Male Pleasure Drugs on their medical insurance?
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:33 PM on March 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Was there literally no other way she could have obtained birth control pills for something so important?
I'm thinking that one's grad school financial aid package typically doesn't budget in a spare $1200 for you to use in case your school's fucked-up religious scruples prevent you from getting medical care. You don't get unlimited loans: you get loans that just barely cover your anticipated expenses. Many schools will have some sort of emergency loan fund for students who find themselves in an unforeseeable disaster. but the whole point here is that the school wouldn't have helped her out. So yeah, I'd say it's believable.
posted by craichead at 9:33 PM on March 2, 2012 [25 favorites]


It's victim questioning.

You do understand that one of the basic points of something like insurance is that "surrounding circumstances" are not always (i.e., rarely) up to us, much less conducive to human well-being, right?

If my frustration on this issue is even a fraction of what women have to tolerate on a daily basis, then Good Lord fuckin' A: I haven't the faintest idea how you put up with it.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:33 PM on March 2, 2012 [10 favorites]


Was there literally no other way she could have obtained birth control pills for something so important?

I didn't listen to her testimony, and I don't know the details of the case. But when I was a student, if the campus health center hadn't offered free doctor appointments, and Planned Parenthood hadn't offered sliding-scale services, many of my female friends would not have been able to access birth control or other basic health services. I know that I couldn't have paid $100/month, every month, all year; for the people with trustfunds it would have been no big deal, but I was scraping by and honestly didn't have that kind of money.

With what I know now, I can easily suggest Planned Parenthood or other possible sources of low-cost birth control, but when I was 18 I would have had zero idea of where to look or who to ask. I was incredibly fortunate to go to a (non-religious) school that had a kick-ass health center with amazing doctors and nurses who indeed knew the answers to questions like that, but if that resource hadn't been there I would have stood there with a confused look on my face and not a clue in the world.
posted by Forktine at 9:33 PM on March 2, 2012 [16 favorites]


PORKSLUT: The MeFI tribute band.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:34 PM on March 2, 2012 [12 favorites]


Sorry, for throwing those words around even in the name of sarcasm, I'm gonna take a break. This stuff gets me pissed.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:34 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I'm gonna take a break. This stuff gets me pissed."

Thanks for entertaining us in the meantime.
posted by Ardiril at 9:35 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry, for throwing those words around even in the name of sarcasm, I'm gonna take a break. This stuff gets me pissed.

Me, too. Peace, ya'll.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:35 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


In all seriousness, I want EVERYONE to have sex with contraception on my dime, because I don't want to live in a world where unwanted children get born. I'd rather pay to prevent kids than to pay for kids that aren't being loved and cared for. Why the fuck is this a thing? GOD DAMN.
posted by padraigin at 9:35 PM on March 2, 2012 [178 favorites]


Why is there no outcry over insurance coverage of high blood pressure medication? I mean, high blood pressure can usually be controlled by diet, exercise and stress reduction.
posted by desjardins at 9:36 PM on March 2, 2012 [17 favorites]


I mean, high blood pressure can usually be controlled by diet, exercise and stress reduction.

And not smoking cigars! Where are the apoplectic BU-BU-BUT WHAT ABOUT THE TAXPAYER???? pearl-clutching spasms regarding how Rush's heart attack cost us all money straight out of our pockets?

Nowhere, of course, because that's a one-way ticket to Crazytown on the face of it. But women expecting to have their own insurance companies cover their prescriptions are obviously filthy whores picking the pockets of John Q. Public. Such are the profound critical thinking skills of today's right-winger.
posted by scody at 9:46 PM on March 2, 2012 [9 favorites]


A hundred years ago, we didn't know what to do — neither of our respective parents would have helped us, that's for sure. We just didn''t know about anything, really, except that we knew for sure that didn't want to have a child while we were in high school. And we wanted to be with one another without a shadow of fear, not even a trace of a cloud; we both really wanted that.

We went to Planned Parenthood, the next town over. They were so kind, completely non-judgmental — neither of us felt anything bad about what we were doing. (Not that we felt anything bad about what we were doing anyways; we weren't doing anything wrong and we knew it. I'm saying that they didn't lay any "grown-up" bullshit on us.) They truly wanted to help us, and they did; they set her up to be on the pill, they gave us fistfuls of condoms and waved us goodbye, we were on our way.

As you might imagine, I really, really love Planned Parenthood, what they do, what they did for us. I know he wasn't talking specifically about them but I think that those of his ilk see PP as even lower. Reading what this guy said about my ex-wife and I, I'm more shook than angry, I shake my head, appalled — how can anyone defend himself when he's such a sick sad pathetic fuck? How does he look in the mirror? We're all responsible for our face after forty; how can he look in the mirror?
posted by dancestoblue at 9:47 PM on March 2, 2012 [23 favorites]


Also, this might explain the government involvement in the issue that seems to have some people a bit confused. The government paying women so that they can have as much sex as they feel comfortable with? With my/our money? I am NOT comfortable with that if that's truly the case.

OK, here's a toughie for you. Which is worse -

(1) women
(2) sex

I can't decide. Will you help me?
posted by facetious at 9:47 PM on March 2, 2012 [18 favorites]


"Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women access to the mainstream of society. "

"Militant feminists are pro-choice because it's their ultimate avenue of power over men. And believe me, to them it is a question of power. It is their attempt to impose their will on the rest of society, particularly on men."

"I'm a huge supporter of women. What I'm not is a supporter of liberalism. Feminism is what I oppose. Feminism has led women astray. I love the women's movement -- especially when walking behind it."

-----

"Did you know there's a White House dog?"

"In other words, could it be that she doesn’t shut up? Now, that’s as far as I’m going to go…It just seems to me that Edwards might be attracted to a woman whose mouth did something other than talk…my theory that I just explained to you about why -- you know, what could have John Edwards‘ motivations been to have the affair with Rielle Hunter, given his wife is smarter than he is and probably nagging him a lot about doing this, and he found somebody that did something with her mouth other than talk."

"What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke [sic] 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. She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex."

-----

"It’s tough to single any of them out over another, but I have to tell you, I do want to single out Michele Bachmann for a couple of reasons. In the first place she was excellent last night, and she has been said to have fallen out of the top tier. You know, she won the Iowa straw poll, and the next thing that happened was she went overboard on Rick Perry on the vaccine business down in Texas. Then she quoted somebody in the audience at one of the debates as an expert, and that began a bit of a downward slide. But I don’t think that was justified. I think she’s top drawer.

"I don’t have any doubt that Michele Bachmann would fight for this country every second she is awake were she to be elected president of the United States. I have no doubt whatsoever she would fight for the traditions and institutions that have defined this country’s greatness. I thought she was superb last night — and I want to mention something else…" [continues at length on incident at Bachmann's appearance on Fallon's show]

"Greta, the thing about Sarah Palin to me is that she has now learned to relish and to profit from all of the attention, be it negative or positive. And she certainly knows negative attention. She has suffered slings and arrows. She's got the media anal exam unlike any other Republican candidate. And I've never met her. I don't know it appears to me her skin is very thick. I think she now has come to grips with the fact that's part and parcel of the process. But I think what -- one of the things that she enjoys is just rubbing it right back in their face. She knows that they are trying to intimidate her into silence, not running perhaps, being quiet or shutting up."

[on Christine O'Donnell at the Delaware Debates]: "I thought she had a decent presence and a great presence of mind, and from these bites -- I didn't see it, but from these bites -- it doesn't sound like she was talked off her game. And she got her digs in, and she said things about Coons that the media will not, and she asked questions about Coons that the media won't, and she would not allow the media to paper over things about Coons that the media would paper over. So people learned some things about Coons that they otherwise wouldn't know because the media in Delaware will not tell them. So, all in all, from what I've heard so far it's pretty good. We have lots more to go on this."
posted by wobh at 9:47 PM on March 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


My cousin, a life-long dittohead,* once claimed that people take Limbaugh too seriously and that he's more of a comedian than anything. I guess that's a variation of Santorum's "entertainer" non-excuse, but it makes even less sense. He's so angry and his jokes so rare (and essentially school yard taunts) that if he were a comedian it would have to be some sort of Neil Hamburgeresque anti-humor.

* I remember going on trips with him and my grandparents as a kid, and he always brought a list of stations that aired Rush for every leg of the trip.
posted by brundlefly at 9:49 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Using contraception doesn't make you a slut. Getting non-medically necessary contraception paid for by other people, now THAT makes you a slut. OK, so Ms. Fluke's friend's was actually medically necessary. But everyone else, definitely sluts. My lovely wife is a slut. My dear mom and my precious daughters are dirty fucking sluts. I fucking love sluts.
posted by blargerz at 9:49 PM on March 2, 2012 [10 favorites]


BTW, birth control is sometimes prescribed for reasons other then gettin' down and dirty. Not that that matters one goddamn whit.
posted by waitingtoderail at 9:56 PM on March 2, 2012


"it makes even less sense" - Probably because you are not Limbaugh's target audience.
posted by Ardiril at 9:56 PM on March 2, 2012


Thinking about it some more, I feel Rush's little tirade reveals another major tenet of modern conservatism/Republicanism.

With his comments about Fluke needing to earn access to contraception, he exposes the fear so many conservatives seem to have that everyone aside from him/herself is gaming the system and getting money or privileges that they did not work for.

And, man, seeing how he's doubled down on his vileness and said that Fluke has boyfriends lined up around the block, I'm gonna need to burn some incense and read a few passages from each of the major religions on forgiveness before I go to bed tonight.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:57 PM on March 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


he's doubled down on his vileness and said that Fluke has boyfriends lined up around the block

It seems particularly unwise to do this sort of thing to a law student.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 10:00 PM on March 2, 2012 [9 favorites]


Ann Coulter did the same thing for a while, and then we sorta forgot about her.

She walked into sunlight and turned to stone.
posted by The Whelk at 10:01 PM on March 2, 2012 [30 favorites]


"Militant feminists are pro-choice because it's their ultimate avenue of power over men. And believe me, to them it is a question of power. It is their attempt to impose their will on the rest of society, particularly on men."

Because it is the MEN who MUST have the POWER over the WOMEN. All the time, every time. And men are just too weak, stupid or incompetent to do it without the help of The Government.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:03 PM on March 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


You can't tell pretty much every American woman of childbearing age that she's a slut and a prostitute and not have some blowback in the general election.

Actually women are used to that. Listening to Rush Limbaugh publicly fantasize about watching them have sex however? Mobs, pitchfoks, torches etc.

Seriously, I had a gut level, visceral killitwithfire reaction to that statement. The thought of Rush Limbaugh leering at me or jerking off to me having sex because he feels entitled? There was this wave of adrenalin similar to when a bus nearly hits you. Followed by a murderous rage.

I imagine mothers of daughters had that times two.
posted by fshgrl at 10:04 PM on March 2, 2012 [26 favorites]


Ann Coulter did her comedy act at my local university this week. It was paid for entirely by the Student Republicans. Because that's how they get their yuks. It was also a front page story for my local newspaper, so I cancelled home delivery.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:05 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've seen too many Limbaugh flaps to think this will have any effect on him whatsoever. He's the teflon asshole.

But if he were to actually go down? First Brietbart and now Limbaugh? What a glorious weekend that would be.
posted by clarknova at 10:05 PM on March 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I wasn't specifically referring to Metafilter and our daily "Republicans are idiots" / 2-minute hatethreads when I talked about us bickering while Syrians die. I was talking about our national preoccupation with demonstrating exactly how degraded our public discourse has become.

As you're here to lecture everyone once again, crunchland, please do tell us what the solution is, when half the US seems mostly cool with an influential media personality calling a woman a slut on public airwaves, while an ever-increasingly-socially-conservative Mormon and a reactionary dimwit and a refuge from the 1950s are fighting over scraps of a primary for that half. Should the other half of the US just look the other way? Is that your grand proposal? If not, I'd love to hear what exactly you have in mind to repair our country.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:23 PM on March 2, 2012 [15 favorites]


I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Rush Limbaugh for severely testing my commitment to the principle of feeling compassion for all sentient beings.

Well that's nice in general, but that sort of sentiment fails in the speciffic. And there are are a lot of non-sentient beings that are far more deserving of that compassion.

For example, take a look at this planarian. Isn't it cute? Honestly. Ask yourself. If you had to choose one or the other in a housefire, would you choose Limbaugh? Really? Really really?


You probably couldn't have dragged him out in time anyway. Being an adult sometimes means making difficult choices. It's alright. You're a good person. You did what you could.
posted by clarknova at 10:26 PM on March 2, 2012 [15 favorites]


Meanwhile, the government of Syria is literally slaughtering its own citizens, and we're bickering about what some fat guy said.

Must. Only. Think. Of. One. Thing. At. A. Time. GRAR. ?. !.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:30 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Should the other half of the US just look the other way? -- I certainly don't have the answers, but it would be nice if we didn't let Limbaugh or Santorum or their rightwing friends control the narrative like they have for the last forty years. Sure, there was a moment or two when Obama managed to spin a yarn for us to hope for, but ... and I'm not saying it's his fault ... he hasn't been able to get out ahead of the steamroller for a long, long time. Clinton was steamrollered too, when he let his little head get in the way.

Not to be completely reductive, but the left's days of controlling the narrative seems to have died back in the late 60's, with the anti-war protests, and once they were done and we shambled out of Vietnam, we've been dancing to the reactionary tunes of the right wing Svengallis like Atwater, Rove, and Limbaugh. I don't know if it's media-driven, or why they seem to know the proper notes to get us all dancing to their jig, even when they seem to be on the losing side of the poll numbers in spite of themselves.

But by all means, don't let get in the way of getting your hate on.
posted by crunchland at 10:44 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I saw 2. Yours and a story about how Planned Parenthood is a very good thing (couldn't agree more) Your response had to do with "surrounding circumstances often being out of our direct control" and hence kinda the whole point of insurance. No argument with that either.

But aren't you the least bit curious how these particular circumstances (with regard to the student who lost an ovary, etc.) ended up the way they did? I totally agree that "health insurance should cover life-saving medications, to the extent that the plan offers" (i.e. copays or whatever) but it's still curious how things got to such a point in this particular case. I mean, obviously they did, but I'd still like to know how.

As someone without health insurance currently, if a doctor told me I would lose an organ unless I took a pill that cost $100 a month, I'm reasonably sure I'd find a way to get it, regardless of the broken system that failed me.
posted by ShutterBun at 10:45 PM on March 2, 2012


I don't know if it's media-driven, or why they seem to know the proper notes to get us all dancing to their jig, even when they seem to be on the losing side of the poll numbers in spite of themselves.

But by all means, don't let get in the way of getting your hate on.


What does this have to do with anything?
posted by joe lisboa at 10:45 PM on March 2, 2012


I think he's saying "we shouldn't hate Limbaugh. We should "nothing" him."
posted by ShutterBun at 10:48 PM on March 2, 2012


You guys are ignoring the one factor that makes this incident different from all the other incidents that should have stirred up more rage than they did: he attacked a well-off young white woman. You know how the media reacts to that.

Nancy Grace is about to lose HER FUCKING MIND.
posted by KingEdRa at 10:48 PM on March 2, 2012 [9 favorites]


As someone without health insurance currently, if a doctor told me I would lose an organ unless I took a pill that cost $100 a month, I'm reasonably sure I'd find a way to get it, regardless of the broken system that failed me.

Must be nice.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:49 PM on March 2, 2012 [36 favorites]


I'm reasonably sure I'd find a way to get it, regardless of the broken system that failed me.

Yes, please, let's continue this discussion of why this person is a bad person (and therefore deserves what happens) because they made a decision that you would have made differently, even though you are not in full possession of the circumstances and information leading to that decision.

This will be a great conversation and not lead to people looking like fools.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:50 PM on March 2, 2012 [36 favorites]


But aren't you the least bit curious how these particular circumstances (with regard to the student who lost an ovary, etc.) ended up the way they did?

Maybe you could have her send you her monthly budget and tell her what she should have done.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:50 PM on March 2, 2012 [14 favorites]


How do we know that the story Fluke told was true?
posted by Ardiril at 10:51 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


How do we know that the story Fluke told was true?

Are you fucking serious? Tell me you're joking.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:53 PM on March 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


Even if it wasn't true it wouldn't change the issue one bit.
posted by desjardins at 10:53 PM on March 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


How do we know that the story Fluke told was true?

How do we know anything is true? I'm sorry, were we supposed to get high before we read this thread?
posted by dirigibleman at 10:55 PM on March 2, 2012 [110 favorites]


As someone without health insurance currently, if a doctor told me I would lose an organ unless I took a pill that cost $100 a month, I'm reasonably sure I'd find a way to get it, regardless of the broken system that failed me.
posted by ShutterBun at 10:45 PM on March 2 [+] [!]


Why don't you go and do a cursory information search on ovarian cysts and how they work and what can lead to having an ovary removed before you ask other people to explain it to you? Before you frame this as a "personal decision" this young woman made you might want to have a tiny amount of knowledge of the condition, which your comments make it very obvious you don't.
posted by fshgrl at 10:55 PM on March 2, 2012 [20 favorites]


Can we get Sheriff Joe Arpaio to investigate whether the friend really had polycystic ovary syndrome?
posted by Knappster at 10:56 PM on March 2, 2012 [11 favorites]


We do call this hearsay for a reason.
posted by Ardiril at 10:57 PM on March 2, 2012


you are not in full possession of the circumstances and information leading to that decision.

Exactly. I'd like to know what else happened that led to the tragic results. I'm mystified as to how it got to that point.
posted by ShutterBun at 10:58 PM on March 2, 2012


We do call this hearsay for a reason.

You're screaming at a mirror, dude.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:59 PM on March 2, 2012


Why don't you go and do a cursory information search on ovarian cysts and how they work

How on earth would that help? Fluke's argument was that the prescription could have saved her friend's ovary, and I'm prepared to take her word for it.
posted by ShutterBun at 11:00 PM on March 2, 2012


How do we know that the story Fluke told was true?

Ok, let's say she made not just the story but her friend up out of whole cloth. How does it change this situation?
posted by adamdschneider at 11:01 PM on March 2, 2012


We do call this hearsay for a reason.

Oh, it's MeFi Mock Trial time! Fun!

It's like you think this scenario is outlandish or uncommon, that people participating in this conversation haven't had personal experience with similar events, or that it's our duty as citizens and responsible consumers of media to automatically doubt every utterance,
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:01 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


...contraception was illegal, and women regularly died from back alley abortions.

The furor on the right in the US about insurer-funded birth control and abortion, while male sexual enhancements like Viagra remain perfectly acceptable, reminds me of these flyers I saw pasted to a concrete underpass in a grim South African city.
posted by Flashman at 11:02 PM on March 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


Rush's whole diatribe is why we need to start teaching logic in schools. It doesn't even make internal sense: if your contraception is paid for by someone else (aka the insurance company), then we're paying you to have sex. Well, no, you could have sex for free and maybe get pregnant. So now he says women using contraception are hookers because... Makes no sense, lets move on. Then he double downs in saying that we/he should be able to SEE you have sex, because... Uhh... You know, this entire story gave me some very uncomfortable insights into Rush Limbaugh. It's very sad, but why did he jump there?
posted by sfkiddo at 11:13 PM on March 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


if a doctor told me I would lose an organ unless I took a pill that cost $100 a month, I'm reasonably sure I'd find a way to get it, regardless of the broken system that failed me.

If that way involved dropping out of law school and ending your career to take some job that had provided the requisite insurance (which she wouldn't have been able to get because of a pre-existing condition, but anyway), would that make her story more or less palatable to you? What would make this person's situation "acceptable" to you?

Anyway, we've got slut and liar, what other slanders can we pile on this Fluke person? I bet she once used the bathroom and didn't wash her hands afterwards. It wouldn't surprise me if she once told an acquaintance that "we should meet up sometime" and secretly hoped they wouldn't take her up on that.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:13 PM on March 2, 2012 [24 favorites]


I'm mystified as to how it got to that point.

Some people do not have a lot of money. This makes their lives hard.

Some people will make choices for short-term good things over future good things, or stopping future bad things..

This happens often if the things they believe that will happen later are not as bad as the bad things that could happen much sooner.

this was surprisingly difficult to type
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:13 PM on March 2, 2012 [25 favorites]


The whole thing is fascinating to me on many levels.

On one hand this is another data point in what seems to be a very concerted shadow play to attack the Health Care bill. If they could get a religious and moral exemption clause it isn't that far away from individuals and companies decreeing that they find mandated health care immoral and have a legal loophole to exit trough. This was to be built on the back of the recent "contraception must be included in insurance" (which I suspect was a honest opinion of HHS and not a political one) ruling. BUT the GOP handled this so hamfisted and during a period of time where it is obvious that there is an assault on women's health issues (Koman, Virgina, aspirin between the knees...) which ALSO coincides with political campaign season where many people are on heightened alert already, a few bad missteps (excluding Fluke while including so many men on the panel was a horrible PR disaster) flared it up into exactly a women's health care issue despite the limp dicked attempt to frame it as 'freedom of religion'.

Yes Democrats are making hay out of it... but they absolutely should, because if it was fundamentally about freedom of religion we would start talking about how the JVs get to exclude covering blood transfusions, and how Catholics get to exclude anyone not Catholic, how Jews and Muslims get to specifically bar surgery that uses porcine blood vessels and valves, or hey how about all those Quakers, can they stop paying taxes now because so much of it goes towards the military? Can I refuse to pay my State tax because my state refuses to allow marriage equality and I'm morally opposed to that stance?

Fact is, freedom of region is, like all freedoms, is already curtailed. The Mormons can not practice polygamy, fundamental Muslims can not practice many parts of what Americans think of as Sharia law, for instance. And those Senators know this. They absolutely know all of what I am writing. And yet they keep trying to frame it as a FoR issue, when it is not... not really. Saying the bible says "Money is the root of all evil" is not a legitimate pretext for refusing to pay your employees a salary.

And Rush... Rush is just an idiot who really should be kicked in the nuts. I don't care if he is "an entertainer". He is a throwback and absolutely would be against women voting or doing anything that doesn't involve being sexually submissive to rich white men.

Why should we help pay for contraception (including condoms), beyond the secondary non reproductive uses? Because it is good for our society, it keeps unwanted pregnancies down. Because abstinence does not work. Because it reduces teen pregnancies. Because it is good for the freedom and empowerment of women in general. It allows women to have a job and be sexually active just like men have been doing for thousands of years. It keeps men from having to pay alimony on children they don't want. Because it reduces abortions, which seem to be a big hang up for many people. Because it reduces resource consumption from an overlarge population. Because modern societies thrive when women have unfettered access to birth control.
posted by edgeways at 11:16 PM on March 2, 2012 [62 favorites]


this was surprisingly difficult to type

That said, thank you for typing it. It needs to be said ("typed"?).
posted by joe lisboa at 11:16 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


How do we know that the story Fluke told was true?

How do we know you are serious?
posted by edgeways at 11:19 PM on March 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I want EVERYONE to have sex with contraception on my dime, because I don't want to live in a world where unwanted children get born.

I want everybody to have sex with contraception because it feels amazing.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:19 PM on March 2, 2012 [9 favorites]


Mock trial? I thought we were talking about testimony before Congress.

"How does it change this situation?" Well, for one, that makes Fluke a perjurer.
posted by Ardiril at 11:21 PM on March 2, 2012


Well, for one, that makes Fluke a perjurer.

Unsolicited advice? Quit now before you make a total dick out of yourself.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:23 PM on March 2, 2012


Well, for one, that makes Fluke a perjurer.

Do you have evidence that Fluke committed perjury?
posted by dirigibleman at 11:24 PM on March 2, 2012


Oh, right. She takes birth control.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:24 PM on March 2, 2012


This central argument, according to Mr. Erickson, is that the Obama administration wants to force taxpayers to foot the bill for couples’ contraception by forcing health insurers to include it in coverage.

“So of course Rush Limbaugh was being insulting,” writes Erickson. “He was using it as a tool to highlight just how absurd the Democrats’ position is on this.”


I expected to get pissed off by Limbaugh but instead blew a gasket on this one. According to Mr. Erickson, if you need it by choice, then you don't need it. Better not break a leg while motorcycling/skiing/horseback riding/any activity not pertinent to survival because I ain't payin' for that shit. Or, I guess they could just come out and say they want slutty women to be punished with poverty.
posted by Foam Pants at 11:25 PM on March 2, 2012


This is not even about Fluke! Why are you making this about Fluke?

What part of her testimony do you think is false? Do you think she's totally making up the idea that birth control pills have uses beyond contraception? Like people fake ovarian cancer to get free pills?
posted by chrchr at 11:27 PM on March 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Do you have evidence that Fluke committed perjury?

Of course he doesn't. Speaking as a lawyer, the real issue here (as everyone knows) is a putative slander case against RushBo. Or, barring that, the humanity involved in not accusing a private citizen of being, uh, a prostitute or "slut" for having the gall to speak up on the audacity of demanding health-care-while-being-female.

So over these Neanderthal assholes. Fuck 'em. All of them.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:28 PM on March 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


[Ardiril, please drop the "How We know she's not lying" derail. ]
posted by taz at 11:29 PM on March 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


Unsolicited advice? Quit now before you make a total dick out of yourself.

Do you have evidence that Fluke committed perjury?

Jesus. Ardiril was answering a hypothetical question that was specifically addressed to him. Can we please stop the piling-on and avoid turning this thread into any more of a trainwreck?
posted by teraflop at 11:33 PM on March 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Repugs are really best at ad-hominem attacks. So compelling for those incapable of reason or compassion.

You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?
posted by Twang at 11:35 PM on March 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'd be surprised if there's evidence that Rush Limbaugh has ever had a sense of decency.
posted by deanklear at 11:44 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now if only he can be made to endorse a candidate....
posted by motown missile at 11:44 PM on March 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


What would make this person's situation "acceptable" to you?

Well, "acceptable" would be if she got the pills she needed. The rules in place at the time say that her insurance should have covered them, but for some reason they chose not to (hardly acceptable, but not entirely surprising, given how reluctant insurance companies are to part with their cash) Again: the rules in place at the time stated that she was covered, so it wasn't necessarily a flawed policy that contributed to the disaster, but rather how it was (or wasn't) carried out.

After the insurance company crapped out on her, she had to pay for them out of pocket. The reported cost was $100 per month. This strikes me as an absolute "worst case scenario," price-wise. (Wal-Mart sells birth control for $9 per month, though only a couple of types; maybe her specific prescription was for a particular pill that was more expensive or difficult to come by.)

So, she's paying $100 per month but soon runs out of funds. This is where I start scratching my head. $100 a month is a lot of money to a lot of people, but it's surprising to find that someone in one of the most expensive universities around would be, essentially, $100 from bankruptcy at any given moment, and that all other options had been exhausted.

So again, this isn't victim blaming, or "she made poor decisions" or anything, it's me saying "what the hell happened?"
posted by ShutterBun at 11:49 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


When I first met my wife, she didn't have the money to spare for birth control. She had hard cycles that would last for weeks, go away for a week and then come back. It almost seemed like half the time she was in pain.

She finally got a job with good pay and health insurance that could cover the type of birth control she needed, it finally came to an end. I had been pushing for this, trying to get her on something just t relieve her suffering. It had nothing to do with sex. Nothing. I just wanted her to no longer be in pain.

Rush often says stupid shit that pisses me off, but then I just turn off the radio and forget about it. This time I was physically shaken with rage at the motherfucker. I've known many women who have needed birth control for more than just avoiding pregnancy. How the fuck can these people get by without knowing this is a thing, an important thing? Do they not know women? Do they not talk to them about their lives?

I know now the answer is no. Rush and his ilk don't give a shit. It is a bit more than "Rush says stupid things" this time. It is Rush giving away the fucking game and ensuring there will be no fucking compromise in this culture war.
posted by charred husk at 11:50 PM on March 2, 2012 [44 favorites]


FWIW ShutterB, I was at a fairly expensive college back in the day... and there was no way in hell I could have afforded $100 a month. Near the end there I literally ate one meal a day and lived in the catwalks of the theater. I did not have any health insurance until I was 32 and if something catastrophic had come up when I was 22? Well I guess I would be facing crippling medical debt instead of student loan debt.

It doesn't shock me that students are poor, that is almost the definition of a student tbh.
posted by edgeways at 12:01 AM on March 3, 2012 [16 favorites]


Wal-Mart sells birth control for $9 per month

It is at least an hour by public transportation to the Wal-Mart nearest to the area around Georgetown Law.
posted by naoko at 12:02 AM on March 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


So again, this isn't victim blaming, or "she made poor decisions" or anything, it's me saying "what the hell happened?"

Then I presume you'll forgive me for wondering why you cannot possibly fathom that a student admitted to a school like Georgetown (say, on scholarship?) would possibly find themselves in dire financial straits? You keep fronting like you're a disinterested observer, but the (sub)text of your comments clearly suggests that you think the student in question somehow squandered her reserves on frivolous items and is now (to use Limbaugh's language -- which was, you know, the point of this thread) acting like a "slut" on the public dole. You are coming across as disingenuous. Plenty of folks have chimed in with actual stories of financial hardship during graduate and law school, so I must ask: why are you so apparently invested in making out this particular young woman to be somehow abusing the public trust in some way? What gives?
posted by joe lisboa at 12:15 AM on March 3, 2012 [14 favorites]


It takes far fewer leaps of logic to call Limbaugh a rapist than it does to call Fluke a slut. Limbaugh seems to hate women who enjoy sex — his reasoning is all based on how much consequence-free sex they're having. Punishing women for liking sex seems a pretty coherent rapist morality; Limbaugh's sex tourism demonstrate that he prefers women less able to give full consent.

Why Limbaugh expects our public airwaves — at least as tax-payer funded as private health care — to support rape is beyond me. Perhaps a few of his defenders in this discussion can take a swing at that one.
posted by klangklangston at 12:20 AM on March 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


So, she's paying $100 per month but soon runs out of funds. This is where I start scratching my head. $100 a month is a lot of money to a lot of people, but it's surprising to find that someone in one of the most expensive universities around would be, essentially, $100 from bankruptcy at any given moment, and that all other options had been exhausted.

Bullshit; you may be scratching something, but it's not your head. You're either A) lying, or B) so profoundly out of touch with reality that lying is actually the more flattering option, if your contention is that you literally are not aware and do not understand that millions of men and women attend expensive institutions of higher learning (via mysterious things called "scholarships," "loans," and "low-wage jobs") while themselves having little to no disposable income while doing so.
posted by scody at 12:28 AM on March 3, 2012 [52 favorites]


Fluke is on a scholarship, but I actually think it's beside the point. Looking at her Wikipedia page, it's clear that she is very much an activist who works on women's and children's issues, and her testimony (PDF) makes it clear that her argument is meant to represent all women in this situation. She didn't say, I personally have a problem with this because it doesn't fit into my budget, but that she was speaking "on behalf of the women who will benefit from the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage regulation."
posted by taz at 12:32 AM on March 3, 2012 [12 favorites]


From Planned Parenthood:
Birth Control Pills at a Glance

Cost about $15–$50 each month
posted by Ardiril at 12:38 AM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Cost about $15–$50 each month

Why are you doing this? What is your genuine motive, here?
posted by joe lisboa at 12:40 AM on March 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Sorry, this (second from top) is actually a more complete resume of her activity, which is more broad than how I characterized it (women's and children's issues).
posted by taz at 12:41 AM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


(No malice: serious question, as I have to imagine you know that the figure you've quoted reflects investments made specifically by PP, here, to make birth control precisely more affordable to those who cannot afford it.)
posted by joe lisboa at 12:43 AM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Do you have a cite for this $9-a-month Wal-Mart birth control? That sounds to me like it's with some kind of insurance or Medicaid coverage. I realize that this is a tangent, but I think many men don't realize how expensive birth control is without insurance.
posted by swerve at 12:44 AM on March 3, 2012


I wouldn't really call it "disposable income," more like "totally necessary income." If the real problem is now "abject poverty among students," then comprehensive health care isn't much more than "a good start." I'm an under-employed student myself, so I definitely sympathize with a lack of disposable income. But if universities are fostering/allowing/requiring an environment where financial aid/charity/something literally can't cough up an extra $100 a month to save someone's health, I dunno what. I sure as hell wouldn't want to count on insurance companies to help, even though it's the law.
posted by ShutterBun at 12:46 AM on March 3, 2012


Do you have a cite for this $9-a-month Wal-Mart birth control?

Here's one:

http://www.feministlawprofessors.com/2007/10/cheap-birth-control-at-wal-mart/
posted by ShutterBun at 12:49 AM on March 3, 2012


The cheapest decent individual health plan I can find in my state is $140 a month. Any cost of prescriptions you add on to that healthcare bill, you don't pretend like it exists in a vacuum.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:52 AM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


The High Costs of Birth Control: Birth control pills, without insurance, can cost potentially over $1200/year ($15-80/month, on average, depending on brand* plus cost of a doctor's visit, which can be hundreds of dollars as well.)

*and no, you can't just automatically take the cheapest; different brands have different formulations of estrogen and progestin (and sometimes other ingredients, such as iron), which can have wildly different side effects for different women.
posted by scody at 12:53 AM on March 3, 2012 [22 favorites]


More info on the price of birth control from a Daily Finance article about "birth control black market":
For sexually active women and men who use contraceptives, the personal cost of birth control ranges from $10 to $100 or more a month. That's not terribly high, but in tough economic times, when discretionary income shrinks, the impact of that price tag is magnified. A 2009 study by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists showed that one-third of women using birth control were more mindful of their contraception because of economic concerns. For women using hormonal methods, 13% reported being worried that they might not be able to pay for it.

...

But for many other women -- even those with insurance -- that annual cost is much higher. Using the NuvaRing or getting Depo-Provera shots can add up to from $480 to $900 each year, depending on insurance coverage. Equally steep is an IUD, at least up front. The cost of the device plus an office appointment for insertion runs in the range of $600 to $700 total. Brands like Mirena last up to five years, bringing that total cost down to just dollars a month over time. But that's a commitment not all women are ready to make.

...

Many women take hormone-based pills for other health issues, such as ovarian cysts and endometriosis. Amy Hawley, 33, who works as a university academic adviser in Miami, saw her pill bill skyrocket from $10 to $50 a month when she moved from New Jersey to Florida in 2010 for a new job.

Under her new regional insurance plan, she was shocked to see her bill increase by 400%. Even more surprising, she says, is that the generic version cost more than the name brand. After getting a new prescription, her cost dropped to $30. It still adds up to $360 a year -- almost a dollar a day.
posted by taz at 12:56 AM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here's one:

That page is five years old, and was part of a discount drug program. I can't find any recent references to this program.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:56 AM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Shutterbun, Kaiser is a health insurance company. I think it's a safe bet that those prices are with Kaiser coverage. With that, I'll stop contributing to the derail.

On preview, also what Bunny Ultramod said.
posted by swerve at 12:57 AM on March 3, 2012


*and no, you can't just automatically take the cheapest; different brands have different formulations of estrogen and progestin (and sometimes other ingredients, such as iron), which can have wildly different side effects for different women.

Specifically, in my wife's case, hypertension rules out a good number of standard medicines. The reason she had to wait for more money/health care was because the cheap stuff isn't good for keeping your blood pressure low. If I've learned anything, it's that one pill does not fit all when when it comes to birth control.
posted by charred husk at 12:58 AM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


But if universities are fostering/allowing/requiring an environment where financial aid/charity/something literally can't cough up an extra $100 a month to save someone's health, I dunno what.

I'm sorry you "dunno what," but yes, that's precisely what is happening. The cost of higher education in the U.S has skyrocketed completely out of pace with inflation, consumer prices, average wages, etc. (Forbes -- that well known bastion of mewling leftists -- says the student loan crisis is crippling American families.) And no, strangely, financial aid and "charity" are not keeping pace to make up the difference.
posted by scody at 1:03 AM on March 3, 2012 [20 favorites]


Ardiril sometimes even $15 is kind of a big deal
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 1:07 AM on March 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


I've said it before, and I'll say it again: most Americans are not as conservative as they think they are. And they are certainly not as conservative as the Limbaughs, Hannitys and Santorums make them out to be.

A couple of years ago I had a bunch of people I know take the Political Compass test. The guy that thought himself the most hardcore Right wing scored just about in the slightly lower middle. I was buried in the lower left.

People think they are right wing (and left wing) because they’ve bought the con that politics is about God, guns and abortion, none of which are Left or Right issues.

I’ve been saying for years that the Republican party is going to split, and now we may see it.
posted by bongo_x at 1:12 AM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


When do we get the film of Rush's Alien Anal Probe and the resulting screaming orgasm?
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 1:19 AM on March 3, 2012


When do we get the film of Rush's Alien Anal Probe and the resulting screaming orgasm?

When a torrent of vomit can be bittorrented.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:26 AM on March 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


http://www.walmart.com/pharmacy/ (you'll have to do a search; I couldn't find a direct link to a "buy birth control pills here" page, but a quick search showed that a generic version of Ortho Tri-Cyclen is available for $9 per month, and free home delivery appears to be available.
(I'm hoping this taken as intended: as useful information, as opposed to a "nyah nyah, so there!" rebuttal)
posted by ShutterBun at 1:49 AM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Reading the defense from certain Republicans that Rush is merely satirizing how ludicrous the situation is by calling her a slut puts me in mind of the Mr. Show sketch where a man attempts to excuse his saying "all women should be beheaded" as the media blowing up his innocuous suggestion that women would look better with bee hive hairdos.

At some point, calling a woman a prostitute because she is speaking up in support of the non-birth control related health value of certain birth control pills has to just be recognized as hateful, willful ignorance presented in a quest for higher ratings. Cynically slandering an innocent person for your own personal gain is one of the most evil things a human being can do. Supporting that evil or justifying it is just as evil.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:01 AM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


So we've got a clear-cut case of 'right side/blatantly wrong side', and people are still pulling the 'Let me just play the devil's advocate' card.

Why does this always happen? Why is there a certain type of commenter (male, usually) who insists on going into a story about women's issues and wondering aloud if there isn't more to the story - if, in other words, there isn't some way that we can sit around and smear the motives of the women involved?
posted by anaximander at 2:09 AM on March 3, 2012 [55 favorites]


Let's break this down. $9 a month for all the women in America, call it 1/2 of 300,000,000 so 150,000,000. We are nazi commie socialist terrorists so we will charge the men too. 1,350,000,000 divided by 300,000,000. 38 cents a month.

38 cents a month. In the fantasyland where America has socialized medicine, we are talking about 38 cents a month.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:12 AM on March 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile the idea of reddit demanding a boycott of Rush Limbaugh a couple weeks after freaking out because the admins were no longer willing to defend to the death the freedom of speech of perverts to share pictures of underage girls in /r/jailbait is downright hilarious.

(I mean obviously whatever reddit "wants" is just whatever emotional pitch resonates in a highly up-voted story. There is zero consistency there whatsoever)
posted by delmoi at 4:43 AM on March 3


Oh Christ, not this again.

Please try to understand that there are slightly more than a few hundred people at reddit. I mean really, really try to understand this once and for all.
posted by Decani at 2:14 AM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


furiousxgeorge: 38 cents a month. In the fantasyland where America has socialized medicine, we are talking about 38 cents a month.

1350M divided by 300M is $4,50.

But I suppose your point still stands. If you factor out prepubescent and post-menopause women and those who don't take contraception for other reasons (e.g. because they want to conceive), then I suppose your 38 cent/month is as good a guess as any.
posted by sour cream at 2:35 AM on March 3, 2012


Why does this always happen?

Doubt is their product?

----
In sixty-five percent of cases, our female students were interrogated by insurance representatives and university medical staff about why they needed these prescriptions and whether they were lying about their symptoms. For my friend, and 20% of women in her situation, she never got the insurance company to cover her prescription, despite verification of her illness from her doctor. Her claim was denied repeatedly on the assumption that she really wanted the birth control to prevent pregnancy
- Sandra Fluke's statement to congress.

What she had to pay elsewhere isn't really relevant, it's a matter of principle that the insurance company should have paid. It also appears to be a matter of fact that they are treated as guilty until proven innocent, and then only maybe. Reproductive health shouldn't be a luxury in addition and aside from one's other medical costs just because some misogynistic authoritarians have unresolved issues about sex.

Prices vary a lot, anyway.
posted by titus-g at 2:38 AM on March 3, 2012 [15 favorites]


Thank you to the kind mod who repaired my spelling errors. That was very awesome.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:02 AM on March 3, 2012


So, unless I'm missing something, the only politician who actually picked up the phone and spoke to Sandra Fluke herself is Obama. Everyone else has merely condemned this, the best the Republicans have done is to say they don't want to associate themselves with Limbaugh's words, while not necessarily disagreeing with him.

Honest question: between this and Lilly Ledbetter, have the Republicans given _any_ reason to support them on women's issues? I'm not talking about mama-grizzly-style identity politics; on actual issue positions, have the Republicans supported _any_ women-friendly political positions?
posted by the cydonian at 3:20 AM on March 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


furiousxgeorge: Let's break this down. $9 a month for all the women in America, call it 1/2 of 300,000,000 so 150,000,000. We are nazi commie socialist terrorists so we will charge the men too. 1,350,000,000 divided by 300,000,000. 38 cents a month.

I'm trying to figure out how you arrived at that number, and I'm completely mystified. You're assuming a cost of $9/mo for half the population, borne by the whole population, which would be $4.50/mo.

If you'd come up with 45 cents a month, I'd figure you just dropped a zero, but where did you get 38 cents? Did you leave some intermediate step(s) out?
posted by Malor at 3:36 AM on March 3, 2012


That's not fair to Marilyn Manson.

True. He may be a vapid attention-whoring buffoon, but he's not actually loathsome.
posted by acb at 4:25 AM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


So we've got a clear-cut case of 'right side/blatantly wrong side', and people are still pulling the 'Let me just play the devil's advocate' card.

Why does this always happen? Why is there a certain type of commenter (male, usually) who insists on going into a story about women's issues and wondering aloud if there isn't more to the story - if, in other words, there isn't some way that we can sit around and smear the motives of the women involved?


This is a great comment and I think there's really a good question here. My sense actually is that it's not specifically about women. I think they're even not saying "Let me just play the devil's advocate." I've been arguing with my right-wing relatives since my teens; in my experience, whenever they are confronted with factual evidence of right-wing wrongdoing, they quite frequently propose bizarre conspiracy theories and "what-if" scenarios that would justify the bad action, and then take up that newly proposed theory as if it were obviously the most likely case. Basically anything seems more likely to them than the possibility that a trusted authority is lying to them, or behaving in an unethical or illegitimate fashion.

I think it's just, at a baseline level, something about the way they think. Rush must be right, even if he's obviously wrong -- so there must be SOMETHING wrong with the way Fluke or Fluke's friend acted that would make it okay for Rush to say what he said.
posted by gerryblog at 5:15 AM on March 3, 2012 [18 favorites]


Yes, saying something that will get him talked about all over the TV and internets is "bad." And this "bad" money will pay for innumerable trips to various "sex tourism" destinations, which is also "bad.

This is about using him for what he's good for. You use him to force a lot of GOP candidates to insufficently denounce the statements, driving independent voters into your camp. What's good for him is good for the Dems here.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:52 AM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


The owner of Proflowers us John C. Malone who sits on the board of the Cato Institute.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:57 AM on March 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Why does this always happen? Why is there a certain type of commenter (male, usually) who insists on going into a story about women's issues and wondering aloud if there isn't more to the story - if, in other words, there isn't some way that we can sit around and smear the motives of the women involved?

My sense actually is that it's not specifically about women. I think they're even not saying "Let me just play the devil's advocate." I've been arguing with my right-wing relatives since my teens; in my experience, whenever they are confronted with factual evidence of right-wing wrongdoing, they quite frequently propose bizarre conspiracy theories and "what-if" scenarios that would justify the bad action, and then take up that newly proposed theory as if it were obviously the most likely case.

This excellent blog entry by slacktivist really nails this phenomenon.
posted by greasy_skillet at 6:00 AM on March 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


...so there must be SOMETHING wrong with the way Fluke or Fluke's friend acted that would make it okay for Rush to say what he said....

That, and the atmosphere of confrontational belligerence that permeates the two party political system there.

If you've picked a side (either side), then it's intrinsically a betrayal to not toe the party line, and defend it and its spokesgoons. The greater the divide and conflict is perceived to be, the stronger the in-group identification, and likewise the betrayal.

As humans we're generally fairly good at not betraying our groups (certainly not a bad thing per se), even if it means pushing through that cognitive dissonance and grabbing at improbable straws to build an impossible house.
posted by titus-g at 6:02 AM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


The government paying women so that they can have as much sex as they feel comfortable with? With my/our money? I am NOT comfortable with that if that's truly the case.

This all works better if everyone pays attention. The government isn't paying for this. It's setting the rules for what an insurance plan has to provide to people in Obamacare. You're not paying for women to have as much sex as they want, which we all know is a terrible thing that must be stopped. And unless you are gay, this effects everyone, because we're the ones having conception-free sex with these women.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:08 AM on March 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


The government isn't paying for this

In many countries taxes DO pay for contraception and everyone seems to be OK with it. I'm guessing that most people in this thread would be OK with it too, in fact more than OK with it.

The idea that my taxes are going towards allowing people (how did the men get left out of the equation?) to enjoy sex with no consequences for the woman gives me a small amount of personal satisfaction and a great deal of personal freedom.
posted by Summer at 6:21 AM on March 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Even if birth control is $1 a month who gives a shit, we need everyone who wants birth control to have ZERO barriers to get it.

The fact is that Rush is trying to obscure the debate and make it about one person. This is SOP for the right. They have been doing this for years.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:24 AM on March 3, 2012


Why is there a certain type of commenter (male, usually)

Please don't lump me in with these degenerates. As a male with a wife and two daughters I am pretty god damned outraged at them being called sluts for wanting to use birth control for any reason, including preventing unwanted pregnancies.
posted by Big_B at 6:30 AM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


The government isn't paying for this. It's setting the rules for what an insurance plan has to provide to people in Obamacare.
The thing is, insurance is already pretty highly regulated, and there isn't anything out of the ordinary about mandating that policies provide certain kinds of care. Insurance companies are required to cover childhood immunizations. They're required to cover mammograms and cervical cancer screening. They're required to allow adult children to be covered on their parents' plans until they reach the age of 26. They are forbidden from requiring patients to pay more for mental health treatment than they pay for treatment for physical conditions. There aren't religious exemptions for any of these things, as far as I know.
posted by craichead at 6:36 AM on March 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


The fact is that Rush is trying to obscure the debate and make it about one person. This is SOP for the right. They have been doing this for years.
posted by Ad hominem


Eponysterical.


I'm just out of chuckles at the moment. Oh wait. Breitbart's still dead. Now I can laugh again.
posted by clarknova at 6:36 AM on March 3, 2012


meh. I guess
posted by Ad hominem at 6:45 AM on March 3, 2012



I'm trying to figure out how you arrived at that number, and I'm completely mystified. You're assuming a cost of $9/mo for half the population, borne by the whole population, which would be $4.50/mo.

If you'd come up with 45 cents a month, I'd figure you just dropped a zero, but where did you get 38 cents? Did you leave some intermediate step(s) out?


If you divide $4.50 by 12, you get 38c. I think there was an accidental extra step, assuming that the $4.50 was a yearly cost, not a monthly cost.
posted by Forktine at 6:52 AM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Learn about ovarian cysts here. Almost all women have them. Most of the time nothing comes of them. If they are severe and cause pain generally you take some advil and go on hormonal BC.

What probably happened is the doc relayed this info to her, she couldn't afford the BC and so she thought, 'I'll just take some advil' - She actually had a less than 5% chance of a cyst becoming so severe that it required surgery.

The doc probably didn't present it as 'YOU MUST TAKE BC OR YOUR OVARIES MIGHT FALL OUT.'
posted by jopreacher at 7:04 AM on March 3, 2012 [19 favorites]


edgeways: " Rush is just an idiot who really should be kicked in the nuts."

Why, oh WHY does everyone leave off "...with steel toed boots" every time?
posted by notsnot at 7:08 AM on March 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


In all seriousness, I want EVERYONE to have sex with contraception on my dime, because I don't want to live in a world where unwanted children get born. I'd rather pay to prevent kids than to pay for kids that aren't being loved and cared for. Why the fuck is this a thing? GOD DAMN.

Indeed. If birth control were a free government benefit available to everyone, it would save us all lots of money and make lots of people's lives better and who you worked for, or where you went to school, or how much money you had, or if you had horrible parents, wouldn't prevent you from taking care of your body. Abortions would go down. Unwanted pregnancies would go down. Women everywhere would have a better shot at life.

In other words, something Republicans would hate.
posted by emjaybee at 7:16 AM on March 3, 2012 [15 favorites]


I'm not sure that "Fluke's friend is stupid" is all that much better than "Fluke is a slut." "I just want to know what happened" is concern trolling.
posted by desjardins at 7:17 AM on March 3, 2012 [15 favorites]


Drunk math is the best math.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:18 AM on March 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


In all seriousness, I want EVERYONE to have sex with contraception on my dime, because I don't want to live in a world where unwanted children get born. I'd rather pay to prevent kids than to pay for kids that aren't being loved and cared for. Why the fuck is this a thing? GOD DAMN.

Also I don't like kids. Nobody should have them. Not even the people who want them. Unless they pass a test. The test will be one quesiton: How far away from me are you?
posted by srboisvert at 7:18 AM on March 3, 2012 [22 favorites]


"Birth control is cheap" is just another variant of concern trolling.
posted by desjardins at 7:18 AM on March 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


The government paying women so that they can have as much sex as they feel comfortable with? With my/our money? I am NOT comfortable with that if that's truly the case.

See, what I heard this as was "women having as much sex as they feel comfortable with makes me uncomfortable." Nevermind the highly erroneus (or possibly willfully ignorant) idea of how birth control works and the non-sexual uses it has, nor the fact that the laws being proposed by the GOP are now over any moral objection--you could be forced to pay for your own pain pills if your employer has moral qualms about Oxycontin (wink, wink)--that the employer has. Notice that the poster put such an emphasis on how comfortable women are with their sexuality, especially outlined with an arbitrary and undefined level of how uncomfortable that makes them feel, means that the money issue is a distant second. And that, of course, is the problem. If this was just about "religious liberty" or "taxpayer dollars" then how much sex people are having wouldn't enter into the equation. Instead, the focus isn't just on the sex, but the sex that women specifically are having.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:21 AM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sex is part of life. It is not something only good, pure, Christian people get to have. Anyone who's a consenting adult has the right to sex with other consenting adults. Why or how often is none of anyone's business. Which is why birth control is just basic healthcare, not a special prize we only give to the deserving few.
posted by emjaybee at 7:24 AM on March 3, 2012 [27 favorites]


More so - Christians opposed to birth control and abortion are exactly who needs birth control the most. Those are the people who get pregnant the most, and have the most unwanted pregnancies, and probably more than the average number of abortions too.

You can't make them take it, but the government should not help churches try to enforce their weird religious restrictions that they can't convince their own members to follow, by letting them deny basic, essential healthcare to everyone in the world.

These religious hospitals and universities get huge tax breaks and tons of federal money on the theory that they're helping the common good. Well, then we should insist that they help the common good.
posted by msalt at 7:31 AM on March 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


If only prepubescent boys were capable of getting pregnant, the Catholic Church would be all about free birth control.

You see, I'm questioning the moral authority of an institution known for systemic child rape. I mean geez Louise.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:52 AM on March 3, 2012 [10 favorites]


i know im really really late to the post but im just popping in to say all this misogyny wearies me and i'd like to know if we can get enough solidarity among women that we could engage in some kind of movement, maybe with the goal of having dignity and respect for women

either that or gender riots

either one
posted by beefetish at 8:00 AM on March 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


In many countries taxes DO pay for contraception and everyone seems to be OK with it.

It is here, in fact all prescription meds are free at point of use for all students (local or overseas) if they are registered with a Scottish GP. (AFAIUI)

From various SigOths experience with the uni's here I'd say they go out of their way to be pro-actively helpful with respect to reproductive health.

I am a lot more than merely OK with this.
posted by titus-g at 8:04 AM on March 3, 2012


Learn about ovarian cysts here. Almost all women have them. Most of the time nothing comes of them. If they are severe and cause pain generally you take some advil and go on hormonal BC.

The Wikipedia article fails to mention what can happen when an ovarian cyst ruptures. In my case, it required being taken to the emergency room because I was curled up in a fetal position on the stairs, unable to walk due to unbelievable pain, and then being poked and prodded and injected and ultrasounded and whatnot whilst sobbing.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 8:06 AM on March 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Well, for one, that makes Fluke a perjurer.

You didn't actually answer my question. How does Fluke being a perjurer change either:

a.) Limbaugh's statements (he is assuming she is telling the truth, moreover what he said does not hinge on her telling the truth about anything)

b.) The debate over whether birth control should be covered by insurance (even if her friend did not exist, it is a medical fact that people who need birth control to stay healthy do exist)

You are responding to arguments in dribs and drabs because you know that you have no argument.
posted by adamdschneider at 8:20 AM on March 3, 2012 [3 favorites]




Rush Limbaugh Boycott: Reddit, Twitter, Facebook Users Take Part
"By Saturday morning, Legal Zoom, Citrix Success, Heart and Body Extract, AutoZone, Quicken Loans, Sleep Train, Sleep Number and Oreck said they yanked ads from Limbaugh's show.

Nine companies remain on the list: ProFlowers, CARBONITE, Inc., Mid-West Life Insurance Company of Tennessee, American Forces Network, Mission Pharmacal Company, Life Quotes, Inc., Life Lock, Tax Resolution and AOL ..."
posted by ericb at 8:29 AM on March 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Rush Limbaugh, you elite liberal feminist!
.... What does it say about the radio superstar Rush Limbaugh if he goes before his tens of millions of listeners and manages to coalesce the anger of women across the country? It makes him a feminist, right? It makes him, to borrow his own term, a "FemiNazi".

What does it say about the political junkie Limbaugh that, in a few seconds, he raises the consciousness of women from coast to coast, including Republicans and independents, in a way that the political left has failed to do for at least three years, causing a political nightmare for the Republican party? It makes him a liberal, right? It makes him a Democrat.

What does it say about Tea Party visionary when he plies his trade on airwaves owned by the collective proletariat? It makes him a socialist, right? It makes him a "commie".

What does it say about a man who … who doesn't start buttoning his shirt till below his magnificent pectorals that he lives in Miami and earns $54m a year. It makes him a fully paid-up member of the eastern elite, doesn't it? It makes him a member of the entertainment industry elite.

What does it say about the hilarious quipster, who once told a black caller to "Take the bone out of your nose and call me back", that the fossil record takes the bloodlines of all mankind 3.2m years back to the Ethiopian bones of the Australopithecus afarensis hominid dubbed Lucy. It says he's part black, right? It says he, too, is African-American.

What does it say about a champion of free enterprise when his advertisers are forced to scatter like teenagers when the cops bust a beer party, costing the economy millions of dollars? It makes him an enemy of business, right? It makes him a jobs killer.

What does it say about the major entertainer who famously accused Parkinson's patient Michael J Fox of exaggerating his tremors as part of a Democratic strategy of exploiting cheap sympathy, now seeing his own career in jeopardy from a cruel and inexplicable affliction. That makes him a victim, right? ...
posted by ericb at 8:39 AM on March 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


either that or gender riots

either one


Wo-man the barricades!
posted by joe lisboa at 8:42 AM on March 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


You don't need a prescription to buy condoms, so you can't get an insurance company to subsidize them... This is why the whole thing has been painted as an assault on women.

Insurance companies subsidize lots of things that you don't need a prescription for (gym memberships, acupuncture, etc.) If they wanted to, they could cover condoms, aspirin, bottled water or whatever. If it was clear (as the President claims) that covering all forms of birth control saved money, they would likely do it without a mandate (with a few limited exceptions), but it's not clear that this is actually the case as Factcheck.org says:
What we can say is this: The administration hasn’t proven that requiring insurance companies to provide free contraception on request will save them enough in medical costs to make the net costs zero or less. But by the same token, the president’s critics can’t prove that he’s wrong, either.
Besides, our government has been giving away free condoms for years, and no one on the right has been making a peep about it.

Except that they have. 2007:
The condom campaign was not embraced by all. Following the launch of the new design, New York's top Roman Catholic leaders sharply criticized the Bloomberg administration, saying it was promoting promiscuity and degrading societal standards.

Cardinal Edward Egan, head of the Archdiocese of New York, and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, of Brooklyn, released a joint statement rebuking City Hall leaders and saying the program is "tragic and misguided."

The Roman Catholic Church bans artificial birth control, and preaches abstinence before marriage and fidelity among married couples as a way of combating the spread of diseases.

"Our political leaders fail to protect the moral tone of our community when they encourage inappropriate sexual activity by blanketing our neighborhoods with condoms," their statement said.
Or 1997 criticism in SC by the Republican governor.

I mean, sure it would be nice if the insurance covered it (especially since it was not for birth control (the student in question is a lesbian) but let's face it: the Catholic church doesn't go for artificial birth control, period.

As has been noted, it was covered by her insurance and there was some problem with getting the coverage implemented. The Catholic Church actually doesn't object to the use of hormonal birth control pills for purposes other than preventing pregnancy. The well known papal encyclical on birth control Humanae Vitae specifically addresses this point:
Lawful Therapeutic Means

15.
On the other hand, the Church does not consider at all illicit the use of those therapeutic means necessary to cure bodily diseases, even if a foreseeable impediment to procreation should result there from—provided such impediment is not directly intended for any motive whatsoever.
posted by Jahaza at 8:50 AM on March 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Nine companies remain on the list: ProFlowers, CARBONITE, Inc., Mid-West Life Insurance Company of Tennessee, American Forces Network, Mission Pharmacal Company, Life Quotes, Inc., Life Lock, Tax Resolution and AOL ..."


Dammit, now...why the hell is AOL still even a company? They're like the buggywhips of internet access.
posted by darkstar at 9:03 AM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


gerryblog: I've been arguing with my right-wing relatives since my teens; in my experience, whenever they are confronted with factual evidence of right-wing wrongdoing, they quite frequently propose bizarre conspiracy theories and "what-if" scenarios that would justify the bad action, and then take up that newly proposed theory as if it were obviously the most likely case. Basically anything seems more likely to them than the possibility that a trusted authority is lying to them, or behaving in an unethical or illegitimate fashion.

This is the psychological rationalization known as ad hoc hypothesis, indirectly related to cognitive dissonance, and partially explored in When Prophecy Fails.
posted by tzikeh at 9:13 AM on March 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Putting aside all the moral arguments - legally speaking, why isn't the act of an employer or insurance provider overriding a doctor's orders considered practicing medicine without a license?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:25 AM on March 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Re Ann Coulter: She walked into sunlight and turned to stone.

The way I heard it went down, it was these four kids and a lion that thought it was Jesus...
posted by lucien_reeve at 9:35 AM on March 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


why isn't the act of an employer or insurance provider overriding a doctor's orders considered practicing medicine without a license?

Not to defend these worthless greasy bags of shit, but they're not really overriding a doctor's orders. The doctor is saying to the patient "this is the medication you need, please take it." The employers/insurance providers aren't saying "no, you don't actually need this medication," they're saying "we don't give a fuck if you need this or not, because we're not paying for it. deal with it yourself."
posted by elizardbits at 9:37 AM on March 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm surprised more people aren't latching on to the second part of his rant -- about the video -- which is where I think the mysogyny really gets exposed.

Basically, Rush is saying he doesn't necessarily have a problem with paying for a woman to have sex -- as long as he gets to watch.

Sexual freedom is bad, and the way to make it okay is to turn it into porn.

Usually, the mysogyny behind calls to limit reproductive freedom is dog-whistled -- you can be pretty sure it's there, but it's hard to pin down and it's easy to deny. (Witness the tut-tutting even in this thread, all very respectable concern over "responsibility.") What makes this flap notable in my mind is just how openly Rush revealed his concern, not that a woman is having sex but that she isn't having sex for a man.
posted by bjrubble at 9:48 AM on March 3, 2012 [16 favorites]


Not to defend these worthless greasy bags of shit, but they're not really overriding a doctor's orders. The doctor is saying to the patient "this is the medication you need, please take it." The employers/insurance providers aren't saying "no, you don't actually need this medication," they're saying "we don't give a fuck if you need this or not, because we're not paying for it. deal with it yourself."

I understand that, but I look at it like this:

1. Person gets insurance coverage. (Most people don't get to pick here; they get what their employer offers.)
2. Covered person goes to doctor (who in most cases, now, is affiliated with the insurer.)
3. Doctor prescribes medication.
4. Insurance bails, essentially overriding the doctor.

In that situation, what's the fucking point of even having an insurance company?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:53 AM on March 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


You can choose gay Muslim terrorists from Mexico's side, or you can choose the side of those who oppose them.
Um, what?
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:59 AM on March 3, 2012


Darrell Issa (R - CA) on Fluke : Somebody set up us the bomb!
posted by crunchland at 10:05 AM on March 3, 2012


Putting aside all the moral arguments - legally speaking, why isn't the act of an employer or insurance provider overriding a doctor's orders considered practicing medicine without a license?

Look, if you're concerned that insurance companies may be controlling how medicine is practised in the US, that ship has sailed a long time back.

So my dad, who is otherwise a doctor in India, was in the US for a few months in the 90's to get trained in liver transplants. The one thing he could never get used to, was an insurance rep going around with the doctors in their morning rounds, basically having a veto over their prescriptions etc. At one point, he apparently prescribed vitamins (or hemoglobin caps, I can't remember which) to someone who was anemic; the insurance rep comes over to him and says, "Doctor, I notice you've prescribed vitamins for (made up name) Elizabeth in bed 6; are you sure she needs it? She can't afford it given her plan", or something like that.

And to repeat: this was in 1996. I'm certain it's much worse now.
posted by the cydonian at 10:30 AM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Almost no Insurance companies will cover hearing aids. When you've needed them all your life, as I have, it's a severe quality of life issue. Fuck them.
posted by desjardins at 10:36 AM on March 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


As someone without health insurance currently, if a doctor told me I would lose an organ unless I took a pill that cost $100 a month, I'm reasonably sure I'd find a way to get it, regardless of the broken system that failed me.

Doctors don't usually tell you "you're going to lose an organ unless you take this." If it were at that stage, they'd admit you to the hospital. When they give you a prescription and rush you out of the room, it's supposed to prevent something, something that is totally abstract until it actually happens. And it's a statistics game that it will actually happen.

If you have good health care, regular check-ups, and can fill your prescriptions, you will probably do what you're supposed to do and avoid the bad outcome. But if don't, you can easily fall through the cracks, and people do all the time. Preventive medicine often doesn't fit into the budget of low-income people, even though it can later turn out to have been very important. If insurance covers it, you'll take it. If it's $100 out of pocket every month, you'll just hope or pray you're not one of the unlucky ones.

But statistically, there are always unlucky ones.
posted by mdn at 10:37 AM on March 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


There is no proven legitimate medical use for these Male Pleasure Drugs

There is, actually: rehabilitation after prostate surgery.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:40 AM on March 3, 2012


I can't help but think this is playing out politically better than Obama could have dreamed when they made the decision that caused this to blow up as a political issue. Surely they could see the lay of the land among the ultra born-again catholic types and hoped that the GOP would be branded as they have been, but the Santorum-Limbaugh axis has out-performed expectations while W. Mitt Romney has played his had terribly as usual.
posted by chrismc at 10:45 AM on March 3, 2012


LIMBAUGH: 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 post the videos online so we can all watch.
posted by nadawi at 10:57 AM on March 3, 2012


Here's the entire "exchange" listed by the New Yorker. Limbaugh's latest apparently is this:
[H]ere, again, is Rush Limbaugh, responding to criticism from Senator Maria Cantwell, who had been asked, in an interview, if Limbaugh should have questioned Fluke’s “virtue.” Limbaugh:
I’m not questioning her virtue. I know what her virtue is. She’s having so much sex that she’s going broke! There’s no question about her virtue.
Nope, doesn't sound like a man who's backing down from his crassness. But, as the piece suggests (and as I had said earlier), I don't see any way the Right's responses can be interpreted in any way that is not anti-women's rights anymore. The misogyny here is naked for everyone to see; no amount of religious fig-leaves can cover it any more.
posted by the cydonian at 11:09 AM on March 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


If it's $100 out of pocket every month, you'll just hope or pray you're not one of the unlucky ones.

That's an excellent point. My initial impression upon hearing/reading the story was that it was a more or less "imminent condition," as opposed to more of an "it would be a really good idea for you to take these pills."


At this point, I'm guessing the insurance company really wishes they had paid for the pills (which they were already obligated to do) rather than have it end up with her needing emergency surgery.
posted by ShutterBun at 11:10 AM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


all this misogyny wearies me and i'd like to know if we can get enough solidarity among women that we could engage in some kind of movement, maybe with the goal of having dignity and respect for women. either that or gender riots. either one

Can we not assume that misogyny = male chromosomes? It's about ideology and religion. The vast majority of men in America are on the right side of this issue, and a surprising number of women aren't, at least on TV (Ann Coulter, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Maggie Gallagher of NOM, Fox news anchors, etc.)
posted by msalt at 11:58 AM on March 3, 2012 [8 favorites]




msalt: very valid point. For proof, simply go to Twitter and search for Sandra Fluke. It seems like well over half of the vitriolic slut-shaming comments are from women, not men.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:02 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


This isn't news except there isn't anything better in the news today. Rush Limbaugh is a sick man. He has been a sick man for a long time. That some fraction of the public finds his schtick listenable is unfortunate, but it isn't like there is a huge variety of quality alternatives out there. When I listen to the radio I usually listen to sports talk radio. It's usually in the car. I don't find my car is a good place to listen to music. So if I am listening to my car radio and the NPR affiliate is in music mode I listen to sports talk radio. When I scan the radio dial it is utter shit.

Rush Limbaugh is simply an element of the utter shit. He is addicted to prescription drugs. He has three ex-wives (so far). He is deaf.

Personally I feel sorry for the shithead and I don't care what he says. The fact that he couldn't do an interview to save his life indicates that he has no original thoughts. I presume nearly all of his controversial statements were written for him by hacks.
posted by bukvich at 12:15 PM on March 3, 2012


Romney has finally spoken, thundering: it's not the language I would have used

Right. Too low brow. He would have called her a slattern, a strumpet, a tattooed tramp and a dirty daughter from the labor camps.
posted by msalt at 12:20 PM on March 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Ardiril: ""it makes even less sense" - Probably because you are not Limbaugh's target audience."

Whether I'm in his target audience has no bearing on whether he's a comedian. He doesn't try to be comedian. He's a powerful figure in conservative politics -- powerful enough that actual Republican politicians have to apologize to him for mild criticisms. The claims of him being nothing but a comedian or entertainer only come out when he says something that is obviously indefensible. It's a clumsy get out of jail free card that for some reason keeps working.
posted by brundlefly at 12:24 PM on March 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Hell, Republicans have apologized to Limbaugh for saying he's just an entertainer.
posted by brundlefly at 12:26 PM on March 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Can we not assume that misogyny = male chromosomes? It's about ideology and religion. The vast majority of men in America are on the right side of this issue,

That's right, and I think it's really worth pointing out explicitly. There are just as many men as women in this thread who are defending Sandra Fluke and women's health care and reproductive rights. Elsewhere, if the Proflowers FB page is any indication, there are just as many men (of a range of ages and, apparently, of political stripes) who are demanding that they drop their commercials from Rush's show.

Like others have said, if you are going to call women WHORES for using contraception in a country where 99% of sexually active women have used contraception, you have just labeled as whores the mothers, wives, aunts, daughters, sisters, girlfriends, nieces, grandmothers, and granddaughters of hundreds of millions of men, too. And then you have made a "joke" that in addition to being whores, the nation's wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, et al. should post sex videos of themselves "earning" their contraception so that Rush and other men may masturbate to them.

Ultimately, this only plays with people who are either as gleefully deranged in their misogyny as Rush, or who are glassy-eyed True Believers who have thrown in with ideological purity over common decency. But for most people, when they hear their daughters being called whores and that Rush wants to jack off to footage of your whore-daughter and her boyfriend fucking... well, that is a bridge too far, even for men who wouldn't otherwise consider themselves feminists.

Plenty of Republicans get this. The problem is, they're terrified of alienating him and the base he commands (even though they're actually only a fraction of the electorate as a whole), so they don't have any fucking idea what to do about it, other than to bleat desperately, "will someone close to him please tell him to shut up! He is not helping."

Sorry, GOP, you know what they say: lie down with dogs; get up with sociopaths.
posted by scody at 12:53 PM on March 3, 2012 [21 favorites]


I just wish someone has asked Romney what words he would have used.
posted by eriko at 1:11 PM on March 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


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 post the videos online so we can all watch.

Wow. It's hard to imagine this sort of discourse in popular culture 20 years ago (I guess we have Ken Starr to blame). I shudder to think what the pundits will be doing 20 years from now... Perhaps the Rush Limbaugh of the future will create actual porn videos with superimposed faces in an attempt to shame his victims.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:12 PM on March 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I shudder to think what the pundits will be doing 20 years from now

Stoning for sluts.
posted by Summer at 1:14 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


The government paying women so that they can have as much sex as they feel comfortable with? With my/our money? I am NOT comfortable with that if that's truly the case.

If she cannot afford the contraception herself, or find a partner willing to use a condom, then perhaps she should get a vibrator or something.


This has kind of been covered above, but I wanted to lay it out: the purely contraceptive use of contraceptives is as central to women's health as other uses are.

Think of it this way, Quasimike: Sex exists. It's a completely normal part of human life. The results/implications of sex will be covered by insurance if pregnancy results. There will be monthly prenatal visits, tests, possible medications, and in most cases a hospital stay. And following that, coverage of a dependent. Considering the vast medical implications of pregnancy for a woman, it should be obvious why the prescriptions used to control when (if ever) during her life this will happen should be considered a basic part of her medical care.

Birth control isn't a luxury, shouldn't be seen as some kind of indulgence for women feeling frisky (wtf to that line of thinking). For otherwise healthy women, pregnancy and possible multiple pregnancies are the most significant medical event(s) they will experience in pre-menopausal life. Pregnancy is huge, sometimes life or health-threatening, always in some way life-altering; surely this doesn't need to be pointed out? The ability to plan when it will occur is central, not incidental, to women's physical and mental health.

If my premise that "sex exists" makes you queasy when thinking of a Georgetown student, Quasimike, then I give you my own situation to consider instead. I am 41, married with four children. I am done having kids. If I found out I was pregnant, it would be shattering for me, even in my relatively "safe" circumstances (moral and financial, you know). The medical implications, physical and mental, for me would be enormous. The pregnancy would automatically be classified as high-risk because of my age. I could go on about the considerations here, but surely you can imagine the range of issues that I would face (and extrapolate out what thousands of other women in a comparable situation could face).

If after the birth of my last child I had opted for tubal ligation, I would certainly have expected that common procedure to be covered by my insurance. The Mirena IUD that I use instead is covered, and should be. Does it seem to you that, if it were not and I couldn't afford it out of pocket, I should use a vibrator instead of having sex with my husband, to avoid future pregnancies? In order to avoid either abortion, or having five, six, seven children? Even if I could afford contraception out of pocket, does it make sense that this care that is central to my health should be excluded from my coverage? Can you understand how insulting, how mind-boggling and immoral, it is that I should be called a prostitute or a slut for making this argument?

If it makes any sense to you that contraception should be covered in my situation, then it follows that it should be covered for all women: obviously, neither the government nor insurance companies should be deciding which women can be sexually active, right? It doesn't matter to you how much sex with my husband I'm "comfortable with"; why should you care about the personal life of a Georgetown student? The amount of sex being had is not the issue here at all, not at all. The issue is being able to plan the timing of pregnancy, and short of life-threatening disease, there really doesn't exist any concern more vital to women's health.

I do feel like I'm stating the obvious, here, but I guess maybe it's not obvious to everyone. To me it's just stunning that this debate is being had, at all.
posted by torticat at 1:38 PM on March 3, 2012 [172 favorites]


I don't get any benefit from contraceptives, so I don't want to pay for it.
posted by planet at 2:08 PM on March 3, 2012


I presume nearly all of his controversial statements were written for him by hacks.

These hacks in particular. There's a reason all the talking heads come out with the same talking points on the same day.

Rush seems to have gotten a little too wrapped up in one of his sexual fantasies and gone off-script. But hey! He's just a loveable fuzzball with the guts to say what we're all thinking!
posted by clarknova at 2:10 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


obviously, neither the government nor insurance companies should be deciding which women can be sexually active, right?

Part of the problem is that the Church is butting in to say "ummm...WE still get to decide, right?"
posted by ShutterBun at 2:13 PM on March 3, 2012


So, oxytocin release is a partisan issue now? And the Republicans are against it?
posted by almostmanda at 2:23 PM on March 3, 2012


I can't help but think this is playing out politically better than Obama could have dreamed when they made the decision that caused this to blow up as a political issue.

This is a gift from heaven for the Democrats.

There's a reason Obama called Fluke, and it ain't because he wanted to express his heartfelt concern. He knows Limbaugh and the right in general can't help but respond to it. And by their vitriolic responses, that helps this story dominate yet another political news cycle.

Already, the GOP is dealing with the perception that they're anti-woman, due to Rick Santorum's campaign. Now Rush plays directly into the narrative. And what was once a debate over government's role in health care now becomes a debate over the sex lives of women, with the old white guys of the GOP pronouncing their judgment.

This is electoral death. And the best thing about it is - the GOP can't cross the boss, can't call Limbaugh out on his bullshit. The best they can do is keep their heads down, but meanwhile the hard right, thinking "Rush is right," actively defends him and ups the ante.

And so the story dominates another political news cycle.

Obama and the Dems have conservatives by the balls. Fitting imagery.
posted by kgasmart at 2:26 PM on March 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Limbaugh apologizes: "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."
posted by BobbyVan at 2:27 PM on March 3, 2012


Limbaugh apologizes

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....
posted by kgasmart at 2:29 PM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


That is what you do after one day... after 3 days and a possible slander lawsuit... heh, the old I'm just an entertainer defense kinda falls flat
posted by edgeways at 2:30 PM on March 3, 2012


Apologizing merely for his own vocabulary, and not his characterization of Ms. Fluke and her activities, is in no way sincere. File this one under "Sorry I got caught!"
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 2:31 PM on March 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


I agree - apology should have been stronger.
posted by BobbyVan at 2:32 PM on March 3, 2012


File this one under "Sorry I got caught!"

File this under, "not only was I losing advertisers, but I was killing the Republican Party in general."
posted by kgasmart at 2:32 PM on March 3, 2012


Someone at clear channel slapped his wrist
posted by edgeways at 2:36 PM on March 3, 2012


planet, you shouldn't get insurance then. I mean, if you aren't on chemotherapy right now, you're basically just paying for other people's problems!
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 2:40 PM on March 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh, man. That is...that's just...I don't recall ever seeing a more transparently insincere apology before. Seriously, the content and tone of that posting are fractionally more offensive than the behavior he's apologizing for. Rush Limbaugh should be ashamed of himself, but makes it very clear with this incident that he lacks the capacity for shame. Anyone sharing ideological space with this man would be well advised to use this as an opportunity for careful and thoughtful self-examination. I don't know how one balances a claim to ethical and moral understanding against counting this man as one of your spokespeople.
posted by Ipsifendus at 2:42 PM on March 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I hope she sues. Even if you define her as a public figure, this seems like a pretty clear cut case of slander.
posted by msalt at 2:45 PM on March 3, 2012


I can't help but think this is playing out politically better than Obama could have dreamed when they made the decision that caused this to blow up as a political issue.

Who'd have thought that the way to excite the Democratic base was to not call women sluts and whores.
posted by dirigibleman at 2:47 PM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


And by the by...I don't get any benefit from military adventurism overseas, and don't want to pay for it. Being part of a constitutional republic means sucking it up sometimes. And planet, I strongly suspect that you actually would benefit from readily available contraceptives in a lot of ways. Understanding how would require you to let go of the naive believe that the only thing driving our destiny is "personal responsibility" understood as 5th graders understand it.
posted by Ipsifendus at 2:50 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't get any benefit from contraceptives, so I don't want to pay for it.

So every time you have sex you produce a baby?

I don't get any benefit from public schools because I don't have kids, I don't want to pay for them. I don't smoke and think everyone who gets lung cancer and is unable to pay for treatment should just die, I don't want to pay for it. I don't drive on the interstates in Florida, never have, I don't want to pay for them.

That is snark, I actually don't mind paying for those things although I derive no immediate benefit from them. See, there is a difference between living in society and.. well... exhibiting the same traits that ... uff I can't go there. Lets just say it is a very anti-social position to state out.
posted by edgeways at 2:53 PM on March 3, 2012


"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."

Well, I'm game.
"What does it say about the college coed ... who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sexual relations?" Limbaugh said. "It makes her a promiscuous person, right? It makes her a lady of the evening. She wants to be paid to have sexual relations."

"If we are going to pay for your hormonal birth control, and thus pay for you to have sexual relations, we want something for it," he said. "We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch."
All better!
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 2:56 PM on March 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


msalt: "Romney has finally spoken, thundering: it's not the language I would have used

Right. Too low brow. He would have called her a slattern, a strumpet, a tattooed tramp and a dirty daughter from the labor camps.
"

New headline "Mitt Romney agrees with Limbaugh, wants to watch college girls have sex."
posted by the_artificer at 2:56 PM on March 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


Note that he's not sorry for saying women on birth control should send him their sex tapes.
posted by dirigibleman at 2:59 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Has Rush Limbaugh ever apologized for anything before?
posted by crunchland at 3:14 PM on March 3, 2012


So every time you have sex you produce a baby?

Planet doesn't have sex. Thats his thing.
posted by PercyByssheShelley at 3:18 PM on March 3, 2012


I hope she sues. Even if you define her as a public figure, this seems like a pretty clear cut case of slander.
Uh, not really. From wikipedia:
"Defamation" is the general term used internationally, and is used in this article where it is not necessary to distinguish between "slander" and "libel". Libel and slander both require publication.[13] The fundamental distinction between libel and slander lies solely in the form in which the defamatory matter is published. If the offending material is published in some fleeting form, as by spoken words or sounds, sign language, gestures and the like, then this is slander.
...
There are several ways a person must go about proving that libel has taken place. For example, in the United States, the person first must prove that the statement was false. Second, that person must prove that the statement caused harm. And, third, they must prove that the statement was made without adequate research into the truthfulness of the statement. These steps are for an ordinary citizen. In the case of a celebrity or public official trying to prove libel, they must prove the first three steps, and must (in the United States) prove the statement was made with the intent to do harm, or with reckless disregard for the truth. Usually specifically referred to as "proving malice".[18]
So she would have to prove that the statement caused harm, which doesn't seem to be the case. You can't just sue someone for insulting you.
posted by delmoi at 3:19 PM on March 3, 2012


We do call this hearsay for a reason.

No, we don't. You don't know what hearsay is.

Sorry, I know that was from, like, forever ago in this thread but I'm angry at everything right now. I'll have a lot more to say about this when I've cooled down a bit.

Also, Delmoi, publicly calling a woman's virtue into question is "defamation per se."
posted by Navelgazer at 3:21 PM on March 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


"New headline "Mitt Romney agrees with Limbaugh, wants to watch college girls have sex.""

To be fair, plenty of us want to watch college girls have sex. We just believe that bullying them into it is wrong.
posted by klangklangston at 3:26 PM on March 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


IANAL but I have to think that being called a slut and prostitute repeatedly on national TV and radio for a week is actionable harm to one's reputation. You're not saying that one needs to prove medical damages or lost wages, are you?

All the other steps seem pretty clear cut, including intent to cause harm.
posted by msalt at 3:29 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, Delmoi, publicly calling a woman's virtue into question is "defamation per se."
Yeah... I don't really think that's true. People say things like that about celebrities all the time, although this person might not be a public figure. But Limbaugh didn't make any "factual" statements that can even be true or false, he just made baseless character aspersions, he just insulted her, and so far they haven't caused any problems other then maybe hurting her feelings.

I think would have to be a literal statement like "She had sex with X, Y, and Z" or "She had sex with N people over the past M months"
You're not saying that one needs to prove medical damages or lost wages, are you?
Yeah, I think you would. Like I said, just insulting someone is not Slander or Libel. Otherwise all the people who called bush "Stupid" would be just as guilty (Unless you could prove that Bush was in fact stupid, which I guess might be possible)
posted by delmoi at 3:35 PM on March 3, 2012


Oh and I was going to add, the bar for proving libel/slander is really, really high in the U.S.
posted by delmoi at 3:36 PM on March 3, 2012


Our planet is over-populated; our environment is becoming more toxic by the day; the poor are incessantly exploited by the rich and powerful; there is a mass slaughter occurring in Syria; our political system is an embarrassment; we are ramping up for another pointless war; the world economy is teetering on the end of catastrophe; and Google has removed "sorted by date" from videos.

I wish people could whip up similar energy for these issues rather than for this trolling windbag.
posted by FrankBlack at 3:36 PM on March 3, 2012




There is no proven legitimate medical use for these Male Pleasure Drugs
There is, actually: rehabilitation after prostate surgery.


Rehabilitation to do what? Have sex. Sorry, still a Male Pleasure Drug.

In fact, in Rush's own semi-apology/clarification statement, he says:

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.

I think we can put that down as clearly and directly agreeing with me that Male Pleasure Drugs should NOT be covered by 'medical insurance', private or public.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:40 PM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Someone at clear channel slapped his wrist

Probably at the behest of candidate Romney; Bain Capital owns CC.

I hope she sues. Even if you define her as a public figure, this seems like a pretty clear cut case of slander.

But wouldn't it play out similarly to many rape trials? They'll parade her sexual history through court in order to try to prove that Rush was right, or at least wasn't out of line. Do we really want the courts to decide how many lovers a woman has to have had in order to be legally definable as a "slut"? Should she have to risk having her name associated with that definition?

Even with the "apology" this genie can't be put back into the bottle. The GOP's backroom cadre of old, white men have revealed themselves to be the woman-haters that they are at a very public level and Obama can't help but benefit from that. They should have stuck with the gay marriage scare tactics as a derail effort. I guess next they'll try to turn this into a free speech issue.
posted by fuse theorem at 3:40 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, Delmoi, publicly calling a woman's virtue into question is "defamation per se."
I have a hard time believing that a feminist law student would invoke that argument, though, because it hinges on the belief that a woman's worth is determined by her sexual "virtue." Nobody talks about a man's "virtue" in that way. Part of the problem with suing over being called a slut is that it kind of validates the idea that there's something wrong with being a sexually-active woman. It's like a straight person suing for defamation because someone says they're gay. It may be a lie, but calling it defamation validates homophobia.

I don't know. I don't think she should sue, but I hope she gets some professional opportunities out of this mess. I imagine she might, if she intends to go into some sort of public interest law.
posted by craichead at 3:42 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I think you would. Like I said, just insulting someone is not Slander or Libel. Otherwise all the people who called bush "Stupid" would be just as guilty (Unless you could prove that Bush was in fact stupid, which I guess might be possible)

George W. Bush was, and continues to be, a public figure. Sandra Fluke, not so much.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 3:42 PM on March 3, 2012


Even with the "apology" this genie can't be put back into the bottle. The GOP's backroom cadre of old, white men have revealed themselves to be the woman-haters that they are at a very public level and Obama can't help but benefit from that.

Absolutely, especially because Santorum will continue to play right into the narrative on the campaign trail.
posted by kgasmart at 3:44 PM on March 3, 2012


delmoi, it is specifically true. It is one of four types of statement which is considered "defamation per se." Additionally, saying that people say this sort of thing about celebrities all the time is meaningless, as defamation law works differently when "public figures" are involved. craichead may be right, that she wouldn't want to go down that road (and I know Sandra Fluke a little, I've dealt with her in the past, and she is nothing if not serious about this sort of concern), but it's the most straightforward claim she could make.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:44 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Most jurisdictions also recognize 'per se' defamation, where the allegations are presumed to cause damage to the plaintiff. Typically, the following may consititute defamation per se:

Attacks on a person's professional character or standing;
Allegations that an unmarried person is unchaste;
Allegations that a person is infected with a sexually transmitted disease;
Allegations that the person has committed a crime of moral turpitude"
(emphasis mine)

I would assume "slut" falls into the second category and "prostitute" into the fourth.

If this isn't slander then the U.S. must revise its slander laws.
posted by stargell at 3:50 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


The way to respond to this is not to sue and give Rush's lawyers the chance to go into details of Ms. Fluke's life, or any person's, because, as we all know, once you do that it becomes a game of How Slutty Was She, which it is impossible to win, no matter how boring or monogamous your sex life.

Rush made a tactical error by, in effect, calling 99% of American women sluts and whores who should provide him with sex tapes, or at least, should be penalized financially for having the temerity to ever have nonprocreative sex. For many Americans who had maybe never paid attention to sexism in politics, it seems to have been like seeing the V aliens unhinge their jaw to eat a hamster. It's not like the aliens weren't eating hamsters all along, it's just that now everyone knows it.
posted by emjaybee at 4:00 PM on March 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Limbaugh also made some more specific attacks on Fluke that might be more actionable: he called her “an anti-Catholic plant,” and on Thursday, said she was “having so much sex, it’s amazing she can still walk.”
posted by msalt at 4:06 PM on March 3, 2012


I'm still boggled by the whole "I need to see sex tapes" aspect of this (because sadly, the slut-labeling is all too predictable). I notice that the mainstream media is not reporting this aspect of the story. Not really surprising either, I guess, but a sad reminder of how easily general consensus will forgive/ignore shocking levels of male prurience.
posted by Go Banana at 4:07 PM on March 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm surprised at all the rage in this thread. From a liberal point of view, this is FUCKING FANTASTIC.

I mean FFS, Republicans are taking the wrong side of an issue that for most Americans was decided forty years ago. Rush is their mouthpiece who comes across as the medieval moron that he is. This is EXCITING.

It's so exciting that even Obama had to take time out of his busy day to stir the shit up. There's no point in arguing about how wrong Rush is --- it's totally fucking OBVIOUS to everyone besides people to the right of Santorum. Even insurance companies are on Obama's side.

They are burying themselves in a hole the size of the Grand Canyon. LET THEM.
posted by fungible at 4:15 PM on March 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


Planet doesn't have sex. Thats his thing.

Good for him. What really angers me is that two people have sex, yet only the woman pays to avoid the consequences. Why are all these men having sex on women's dime? Doesn't that make the men the sluts?
posted by Summer at 4:18 PM on March 3, 2012 [15 favorites]


crunchland: "Has Rush Limbaugh ever apologized for anything before?"

I just read the thing. He still hasn't.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:23 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


He still hasn't.

Yeah he did.

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.

He had to eat shit here and apologize to Fluke specifically.

And you know that just kills him, and you know how outraged the Dittoheads are right about now, that the evil Democrat media complex castrated their hero.
posted by kgasmart at 4:30 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm still boggled by the whole "I need to see sex tapes" aspect of this

Seriously. That train of thought is only a couple stations away from "then I should be able to fuck her too. And my buddies here." It's the implied threat in that part of his comments that has women up in arms even of they don't realise it consciously.
posted by fshgrl at 4:31 PM on March 3, 2012 [14 favorites]


Despite apology, Carbonite drops Rush Limbaugh.
Must read awesome statement.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:31 PM on March 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


Related
posted by Navelgazer at 4:35 PM on March 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Google seems to indicate at least three prior apologies: once to Pres. Obama for a "Curious George" comparison that one of his callers made on-air; to Asian groups after he did a "ching chong chang" routine mocking Hu Jintao; and once to some dude from Mediaite for misquoting him.
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 4:38 PM on March 3, 2012


Love that, Navelgazer - Senator Janet Howell in Virginia - we need more of this!
posted by madamjujujive at 4:43 PM on March 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


He had to eat shit here and apologize to Fluke specifically.

Please. He had to eat just enough shit to ensure that his show could retain at least a few advertisers, he barely apologized to her.
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 4:45 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


He had to eat just enough shit to ensure that his show could retain at least a few advertisers, he barely apologized to her.

Sure, but from the winger perspective, this is disaster. The Lion had to retreat. He had to back down to the "slut."
posted by kgasmart at 4:48 PM on March 3, 2012


Quasimike:I would appreciate a little enlightenment from any of you who may wish to contribute...

It is my understanding that this woman military, who is attending a very costly school to a very costly war, thinks that contraceptives smart bombs and drone aircraft and the cost of torturing captives are too expensive for her said military and that the government should pick up the cost of her contraceptives the tools of death by utilizing our tax money to pay for them.

IF this is correct, it means that she the military wants to have sex their version of sex on my dime, which is what I think Rush just as easily could have used as the jumping off point for his comments.

Also, this might explain the government involvement in the issue that seems to have some people a bit confused. The government paying women the war machine so that they can have as much of their completely insane type of sex as they feel comfortable with? With my/our money? I am NOT comfortable with that if that's truly the case.

If she those sick fucks cannot afford the contraception herself bombs and missals and murderers on their own dime, or find a partner willing to use a condom their bombs and missals and murderers, then perhaps she should get a vibrator each of these sick murdering fucks should get big fucking vibrators and jerk themselves off into their hat or something. Why should anyone have to pay for her their wacked-out, murderous, kinky type of sexual encounters? If we are paying, then perhaps we should be receiving as well.

I do not mean to sound flippant, because I really want to know.

Am I wrong about any of this? If so, please set me straight..."
posted by dancestoblue at 4:59 PM on March 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I've never used this before now, but - Christ, what an asshole.
posted by cashman at 5:00 PM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


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.
So, this is what he's always done, and clearly the problem was with his word choice, see? Because word choice makes it seem like an accident, of the sort that occurs from time to time when one is ad-libbing. Of course, he kept it up for three days, doubling down amidst rising outrage, so "word choice" might not be the real issue here. Also, his "analogy" of the situation was that she is asking to be paid to have sex, so I don't know what words would have been less offensive here. Finally, when you repeatedly call her out by name and say not only that she's a "slut" and a "prostitute" but that her parents should be ashamed of her, you've lost any ground to claim that the attacks weren't meant to be personal.
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.
In these "very serious political times," Rush is the one talking about personal sexual recreational activities. Sandra Fluke was talking about medical necessity for ovarian cyst treatment. Also, this isn't a question of "American citizens" paying for those "social activities," except insofar as the people paying into different insurance plans are likely to be Americans. Note: This is the Big Lie. When all of the sturm and drang dies down, this is the bit they want to stick around in people's minds, that this is somehow about "the taxpayer." It isn't. It is about the insurance companies, who are fine with it (probably because, as noted above, the costs of pregnancy are a hell of a lot higher.) Meaningless call for "personal responsibility (as if making sure that you're not going to have an unwanted pregnancy is somehow irresponsible) and a slippery slope argument leading to reductio ad absurdum. But oh right, absurdity is what Rush does. We shall remember in the future that anything he says is supposed to be absurd. And of course, he just wants to keep what goes on in one's bedroom private, which is why he asked for tapes of it to be put online for him to masturbate to, and made us all consider even for a moment that image. But I think he's right about that last bit. The litmus test for what is worthy of a president's attention should be determined by the giggles emanating from a seventh-grade classroom.
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.
Again pretending like word choice was the issue here, after spending the lion's share of the statement repeating his ignorant points. I think Rush understands sincerity about as well as he understands how birth control works.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:03 PM on March 3, 2012 [12 favorites]


Torticat, your comment above was so spot-on and perfect that I wish I could do more than "like" it, "fabulous" flag it, and throw a few air punches.
posted by Occula at 5:03 PM on March 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Serious question: does anyone really spend $3,000/year out of pocket on birth control?
posted by BobbyVan at 5:18 PM on March 3, 2012


kgasmart: I see your point, but let's not forget about the right's victimhood complex, which this "apology" plays right into. The next news cycle of this is going to be filled with cries of "censorship," mark my words. And it's not going to be that he backed down to the "slut," but that Obama got engaged in what a "comedian" was saying instead of focusing on "important matters" and used his left-wing-media-machine to shut him down.

As I said above, I know her, kind of, barely. Two years ago when I was features editor for the Georgetown Law Weekly, I wrote a top ten list (which was and is the center column of the paper's humor section) entitled "Top Ten Least Appropriate Ways to Like Your Women Like You Like Your Coffee." Sandra wrote in a complaint, which nobody but I took seriously, and she cemented herself as a humorless crank in the minds of most people at the paper. But I have close friends who were in her section or who worked with her in the leadership of Law Students for Reproductive Justice, and, well...

This last week or two has been kind of surreal. This is pretty much the only thing any of us are talking about. Rush has made sure that even my friends who were predisposed not to like Sandra even if they agreed with her are now totally at her back. We've been following every update and passing around every DCCC petition and living the beats and moments of this. My favorite quote of all of this came from a mutual friend of mine and Sandra's, IMing with me last night, after some of the latest came out. Stunned, she simply asked, "Did Sandra just win re-election for Obama?"
posted by Navelgazer at 5:24 PM on March 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


I have a hard time believing that a feminist law student would invoke that argument, though, because it hinges on the belief that a woman's worth is determined by her sexual "virtue." Nobody talks about a man's "virtue" in that way. Part of the problem with suing over being called a slut is that it kind of validates the idea that there's something wrong with being a sexually-active woman. It's like a straight person suing for defamation because someone says they're gay. It may be a lie, but calling it defamation validates homophobia.
The other problem is that by filing suit she'll lose a lot of sympathy from people. A lot of people, especially more on the right with their fixation on "trial lawyers" view suing someone as being undignified or petty, especially when it's not over something "real". I don't think suing someone for having your feelings hurt would be very politically helpful, which is why politicians never do it. (John Kerry could probably won a libel suit against the swift boat veterans, but, on the other hand they ended up suing him for claiming that their lies were actually lies. Which they of course lost)

If her goal is to effect public opinion rather then make money, suing would be a bad idea and she would be seen as someone trying to censor free speech as well (and believe me I she did sue the right wing noise machine would definitely claim that that's what she was trying to do)
Attacks on a person's professional character or standing;
Allegations that an unmarried person is unchaste;
Allegations that a person is infected with a sexually transmitted disease;
Allegations that the person has committed a crime of moral turpitude"
(emphasis mine)
The problem is that he's not making specific 'allegations' he's simply speculating that she has a particular personality based on her public statements, through the incorrect use of "logic"

I'm not saying he's not a huge asshole. But like I said, we already knew that. I'm just saying that suing him would turn him into the victim, instead of her for a lot of people, it would make people take her less seriously (for suing for having her feelings hurt) and yeah I really don't think she would win the case.

Can you point to any similar cases where someone has won a libel suit in the US simply for calling someone a slut, or something like that?
I'm surprised at all the rage in this thread. From a liberal point of view, this is FUCKING FANTASTIC.

I mean FFS, Republicans are taking the wrong side of an issue that for most Americans was decided forty years ago. Rush is their mouthpiece who comes across as the medieval moron that he is. This is EXCITING.
Uh, you realize, right that this is only fantastic because people are outraged. If people were not outraged, it wouldn't do anyone on the left any good.
posted by delmoi at 5:37 PM on March 3, 2012


kgasmart: I see your point, but let's not forget about the right's victimhood complex, which this "apology" plays right into. The next news cycle of this is going to be filled with cries of "censorship," mark my words. And it's not going to be that he backed down to the "slut," but that Obama got engaged in what a "comedian" was saying instead of focusing on "important matters" and used his left-wing-media-machine to shut him down.

The victimhood bit isn't going to gain any traction outside the base, and as the media continues to cover the story it'll be forced to reiterate what Rush actually said. Which will alienate even more people. I'll take that trade.

Stunned, she simply asked, "Did Sandra just win re-election for Obama?"

It's more than just Sandra/Rush's comments, of course, it's the way it all played directly into the Republican-war-on-women narrative. And that's not over by a long shot, not so long as Rick Santorum stays out on the campaign trail.
posted by kgasmart at 5:40 PM on March 3, 2012


Oh, and I realize this is a matter of "arson, murder and jaywalking," w/r/t Rush, but can we please leave the word "co-ed" as used as a noun back in the 1950s where it belongs?
posted by Navelgazer at 5:44 PM on March 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


Serious question: does anyone really spend $3,000/year out of pocket on birth control? -- If you read her testimony, she says "Without insurance coverage, contraception can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school." So her claim is that it's $1000 a year for 3 years.
posted by crunchland at 5:49 PM on March 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


I'm feeling really bad for Rush right now.

Geddy, Alex, and Neil don't need their band name sullied once again.
posted by spinifex23 at 5:49 PM on March 3, 2012


Serious question: does anyone really spend $3,000/year out of pocket on birth control?

She never said $3,000 a year. She said as high as $3000 over the course of law school. Isn't law school about three years?
posted by madamjujujive at 5:49 PM on March 3, 2012


Rush Limbaugh is simply an element of the utter shit. He is addicted to prescription drugs. He has three ex-wives (so far). He is deaf.

What on earth does deafness have to do with being an utter shit?
posted by desjardins at 5:59 PM on March 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Serious question: does anyone really spend $3,000/year out of pocket on birth control?

She didn't say $3,000 a year, she said $3,000 over three years.

And, as covered above, birth control pills + doctor's visits, without insurance, can easily cost around $1200 a year.
posted by scody at 5:59 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Serious question: does anyone really spend $3,000/year out of pocket on birth control?

...and this is a perfect example of how Limbaugh's distortions, lies and misinformation get passed along so much by the echo chamber that they muddy the truth, and they become the truth for many. The "Al Gore invented the Internet" syndrome.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:00 PM on March 3, 2012 [10 favorites]


It's more than just Sandra/Rush's comments, of course, it's the way it all played directly into the Republican-war-on-women narrative.

I'm so glad this is shaping up to be a Santorum/Limbaugh/Reproductive-Rights-and-Gender-Equality election year and not a Romney/Obama/High-Finance-and-Economic-Justice election year.

Oh wait did I say I was glad? I meant BOA and Goldman Sachs are glad. I get confused sometimes.
posted by clarknova at 6:00 PM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


(Sorry, meant to link back here regarding birth control costs.)
posted by scody at 6:04 PM on March 3, 2012


kgasmart: "Yeah he did. "

We'll just have to agree to disagree. Just saying "I apologize" isn't the same thing as apologizing. If he offered an "apology" like that to me I'd spit in his face. It's as full of shit as he is.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:07 PM on March 3, 2012


I am positive that it was my email to Citrix that broke the camels back, so to speak, in their pulling fundraising from that asshole's show.
posted by gagglezoomer at 6:10 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hear that, ladies? Clarknova is back to remind us all how insignificant our fundamental humanity is in the grand scheme of things.

Don't worry, clarknova. Romney will still get the nomination. You'll get the fight you want, and Romney might even win it.
posted by craichead at 6:12 PM on March 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thanks for clarification about the 3 year time period.

Even $1000/year seems high to me ($83 per month), but I'm not a woman so don't have first-hand experience w/ the issue.

scody, do you have a source from a non-political research organization about the "high costs of birth control"? I'm sure the Center for American Progress is a wonderful organization, but great if we could have a non-partisan authority on this topic.

FWIW, I think Limbaugh is a shithead and birth control is terrific (even with my 3 month old screaming in my ear as I type this).
posted by BobbyVan at 6:16 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


BobbyVan: Even $1000/year seems high to me ($83 per month)

Have you ever tried to buy prescription medication without insurance? That's NOTHING.

Do people honestly not understand that birth-control pills are prescription medication, that each brand is different, that they react differently with different women's biochemistry--which means that women can't just "go to Walmart" and buy the $9 version or whatever-the-fuck, because they're not all the same fucking drug, that oftentimes the pill is used to combat ailments that have nothing to do with avoiding pregnancy? Are these facts still that obscure?
posted by tzikeh at 6:22 PM on March 3, 2012 [42 favorites]


I have insurance and my copay just to walk in the door to my ob/gyn is $40. I am sure an office visit would be over $100 if I did not have insurance. (I cannot comment on birth control as I do not use it.)
posted by desjardins at 6:35 PM on March 3, 2012


Even $1000/year seems high to me ($83 per month)

You have to go to the doctor and have a physical first and most doctors visits are around $300 for nothing fancy. I think it's $229 to walk in the door at my ob-gyn. And then $60/month for the pills is reasonable, depending on what you get. They were ~$30/month in 1993, when I was in college and you got a 3 month supply. $90. My rent was $200 and my total monthly budget was $600 for comparison.

IUD is $600 for the device + three visits + labs (have to have a full STD panel) + sometimes you need an ultrasound to make sure it's in right. I think PP will do it all for around $600 if you're a student, but that's still quite a chunk of change.

Even fully insured it'll cost you several hundred dollars in deductibles and co pays just to get birth control. Every year.
posted by fshgrl at 6:40 PM on March 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Even $1000/year seems high to me ($83 per month)

I spend well over that annually on my two medications AND I HAVE INSURANCE.
posted by elizardbits at 6:57 PM on March 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


Yeah, my college girlfriend was on the garden-variety orthotricyclin-lo, and covered by her college insurance, and even then the cost was $30-per-month. (Though, thankfully, her clinic found ways to regularly give out several month's worth as "samples," but of course that option wasn't available to women who had different needs aside from the very basic stuff.)

It's interesting to note that Georgetown itself isn't really opposed to this, but apparently have gotten their orders from the Vatican regarding this policy. Why isn't that part of the GOP talking points? You'd think that freedom to enter into whatever insurance programs they wish without foreign interference would stick in their craw, but no. This is about vaginas. (BTW, here's a horrifying clip from last week in the Virginia State Legislature of Dave Albo doing a bit of "comedy" about the trans-vaginal ultrasound requirement, where he can't even bring himself to say "vaginal.")

But something that needs to be addressed, aside from the nastiness of saying that Ms. Fluke's parents should be ashamed of her, is how infantalizing that is. She's a grown woman in her 30s. Even if it were an appropriate line of reasoning (which it isn't) and even if Fluke's testimony had been at all about her own sexual activity (which it wasn't), in what universe is a parent shamed by the idea that their 31-year-old child is sexually active? This was just one of a million ways of diminishing Ms. Fluke, which thankfully appears to have backfired horribly.

joe lisboa used the term "own-goal" to describe this whole fiasco, and I think he's dead on. Aside from all of the hideousness, this has been politically stupid on a sub-human level for the Republicans. And they really needed no help from the dems at all. They chose a non-issue compromise that basically everyone was in favor of or didn't care about, and planted their battleflag. I'm willing to entertain the idea that the dems played games with Fluke's testimony, but even if that were the case, Issa should have seen it coming. Her testimony was pitch-perfect but it wouldn't have gotten any coverage outside of C-SPAN had Issa not blocked it, few people would have much cared what she said in a Democratic Forum had Rush not spent so much airtime defaming her, and Santorum could have taken Michigan had he not chosen to draw his line in the sand that he hates women. The fact that Romney is forced to play this 7-10 split now is just gravy.

In a completely abstract sense, removed from policy and morality, I have to think back on The Joker in The Dark Knight: "Look what I did to this town with a few drums of gas and a couple of bullets." Look what the Dems did to the Republican party with a law student's testimony and a phone call from the president.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:08 PM on March 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


Even fully insured it'll cost you several hundred dollars in deductibles and co pays just to get birth control. Every year.

Well suddenly that supposed new male birth control pill seems less appealing. I guess I'm off to the vasectomy clinic.

Also, I came to this thread to ask how contraception can cost so much for what I assume has to be a generic medication at this point. I didn't realize how many doctor visits are involved. This seems crazy to me, frankly - the public has a clear interest in everyone having access to contraception. It would make total sense to treat it as a public good to me.
posted by heathkit at 7:11 PM on March 3, 2012


In the spirit of the title of the post:

Until this moment, Entertainer, I think I have never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. Sandra Fluke is a young woman who went to Georgetown and came into my firm and is starting what looks to be a brilliant career with us. Little did I dream you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury to that lady. It is true that she will continue to be with us. It is, I regret to say, equally true that I fear she shall always bear a scar needlessly inflicted by you. If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty I would do so. I like to think that I am a gentle man but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me.
posted by ifandonlyif at 7:15 PM on March 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


It's like contacts. You have to go in every year and get an exam or your prescription expires. And while you're there..... they do a breast cancer check, pap smear, std testing, anemia testing, as well as all the regular doctor stuff like blood pressure. Heck, my ob will even give you a quick skin cancer check.

OBs know perfectly well they are the only doctor most pre-menopausal and low income women see all year because most women have limited funds and they will prioritize birth control over their basic health. It's that important.
posted by fshgrl at 7:19 PM on March 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


OK, I was curious about the cost of Viagra, which most insurers subsidize. I didn't do a scientific study on this -- because that way lies potential perdition & malware -- but a quick search showed about $30 a pill. A pill.

I find it unbelievably ironic that Republicans all over the country are trying to pass anti-Sharia laws on the one hand, and then trying to pass laws imposing fundy-religious-based crap and break down the separation of church and state at the same time.

I can't figure out how people who have been screaming about big government aren't incensed that the government wants to not only invade our bedrooms but wants to stick cameras up my vagina, ferchrissakes.

This is like a surreal time warp, we're stuck in a Father Knows Best episode.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:24 PM on March 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Have you ever tried to buy prescription medication without insurance? That's NOTHING. -- Since it's the beginning of the year, I'm still paying my deductible on prescription drugs. I picked up a month's worth of generic Lipitor the other day. With insurance, it costs $4. Without it, $128.
posted by crunchland at 7:28 PM on March 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I have four monthly prescriptions for various medications. Each of them is a generic. My total per month when I had health insurance was $30-40 depending on which companies were providing the generics the pharmacy had that month. Now that I have no health insurance, my monthly prescription bill is over $600.

More on topic: from Clear Health Costs:
When we were doing our survey, we found prices for Ortho Tricyclen Lo ranged from $92 to $110 without insurance.

Trinessa–not, strictly speaking, a generic of Ortho Tricyclen Lo because the formulation is different–seemed to be one of the most common prescriptions used. On our PriceofBC map, we collected prices ranging from $9 to $50.
Others cost more. None that I can find cost less (comparable with/without insurance).
posted by tzikeh at 7:37 PM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Even $1000/year seems high to me
What do you think it costs?
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:41 PM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


To me, so what that Rush said stupid things. It was evil and horrific, but to me, that's just more of the same from this guy. While I would love it if this actually brings him down, I doubt it will and wouldn't be shocked if whoever came next would be worse.

And Romney's refusal to take a meaningful stand on the hate is, well, business as usual for him as a candidate as well.

But it astounds me that this isn't backfiring more for Santorum, who is billing himself as the only Christian candidate for President - to the point where he still feels the need to insinuate that Obama is Muslim. For him not to speak up against the comment that men of America are owed a sex tape and the underlying assumption that all American men have not only the right but the understood expectation to watch a woman's private sexuality... is not merely "absurd." From a religious standpoint it is utterly repugnant. For this man, who has no qualms attacking anyone on the left when it comes to sexuality, to simply give Rush a pass? And yet I don't see him catching heat from his evangelical base. That's hypocrisy, and not Christian at all. Not that that's new from the religious right. But it always astonishes me to see it. Walking the walk is never gonna happen if someone wants to succeed in politics. I get that. But you expect at least some of them to actually talk the talk.
posted by Mchelly at 7:41 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


What's more scary about Santorum is the amount of traction that bs is getting him with the party faithful. Santorum is just pandering to them and telling them exactly what they want to hear. Obama a muslim? Check. Nancy Pelosi eats babies for breakfast, and Harry Reid feeds them to her? Check. The Democrats want to turn the US into a communist/socialist country, like (ew) Europe? Check, check, and double-check.
posted by crunchland at 7:47 PM on March 3, 2012


States slash birth control subsidies as federal debate rages

(Reuters) - Even as a national debate rages over contraception insurance, tens of thousands of low-income women and teenagers across the United States have lost access to subsidized birth control as states slash and restructure family planning funds.

Montana and New Jersey have eliminated altogether their state family planning programs. New Hampshire cut its funding by 57 percent and five other states made more modest program trims.

But the biggest impact, by far, has been in Texas.

State lawmakers last fall cut family-planning funds by two-thirds, or nearly $74 million over two years. Within months, half the state-supported family planning clinics in Texas had closed.

The state network, which once provided 220,000 women a year free and low-cost birth control, cervical cancer tests and diabetes screenings, will now serve just 40,000 to 60,000, officials said.


... there is more....
posted by madamjujujive at 7:49 PM on March 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


crunchland: I think the problem with Santorum (and what scares the bejeezus out of the GOP establishment about him) is that he's not pandering when he says those things. He actually, truly, deeply, madly believes them. It's why he couldn't resist this issue here, despite how much it cost him. Those other issues convinced him that his run was providence, that the base just simply was with him on everything already. And you can't keep him on message if he thinks he's just the guy who already knows what everyone wants to hear because he believes it so hard himself.

Basically, Santorum IS the ideal guy the GOP panders to, but now he's the one with the microphone.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:55 PM on March 3, 2012


My generic birth control costs $56/month at Target, without insurance. It's at least 1.5x that for name brand. And no, I cannot switch to a cheaper pill, because I've had bad reactions with other pills and finally found one that meshes very well with my natural chemistry. Plus about $5/month for other lady products, just because I happen to have born female and thus menstruate. Which adds up to over $1,300 (thus far). Even though I never did anything to incur that expense. Oh, except not get pregnant, so I guess that's my own fault for being a non-childbearing female. How dare we ask for help to cover our health needs when we could have just been spending all this time knocking out a bunch of babies like proper fertile women?
posted by raztaj at 8:05 PM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


A vocal Republican vlogger responds to Limbaugh's comments.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:23 PM on March 3, 2012


Then there are those of us who are in menopause (ten years early for me, thanks to cancer treatment!) and on hormones for that; my estrogen costs $40 with insurance, $95 without. My insurance company refused to cover the other hormones that my doctor wanted to put me on (he thought they would work better, and help alleviate more of my symptoms with fewer side effects and lower risks); they would cost $300 per month out of pocket. I can't afford that, so I'm going without.

So yeah: all of you who think that prescription hormonal medications "should" cost less? Yeah, trust me, we think so too. But they don't.
posted by scody at 8:25 PM on March 3, 2012 [26 favorites]


You'll get the fight you want, and Romney might even win it.

Sweet.

Facetiousness aside, I knew I'd get this reaction. It's not that I'm unconcerned about gender equality and think the issue is petty. Far from it. When women have absolutely free and top-quality health care only then I'll consider the job done. And I want these professional persecutors tarred and feathered and hanging from lamp posts.

It's that I'm paranoid. The wealthy have long known that the way to divide us is racism, sexism, and culture wars crap. When they stir this shit up it really does present us with the sharp end of a pitchfork. But I can't help noticing that the incumbents' top campaign contributors desperately need a way to distract us from their crimes, and the real threat they present us, too. And that they have bought and paid for both sides.

I'm certain that's why this is the issue. Limbaugh's rapist slip-up was obviously a step too far, but he was on-cue when he was going after Fluke. It's a coordinated PR plan that's using women as pawns. Don't loose sight of the big game. Or that we're on the same side.
posted by clarknova at 8:28 PM on March 3, 2012


Even $1000/year seems high to me ($83 per month), but I'm not a woman so don't have first-hand experience w/ the issue.

I'm no woman, but I know enough that USD 83/ month sounds about what a month's prescription of the pill would cost even in Singapore, assuming you'd go to regular private clinics and not the government-run SingHealth polyclinics. (That is to say, it's perhaps the lower bound of what it might cost in the US)
posted by the cydonian at 8:43 PM on March 3, 2012


I mean, if you aren't on chemotherapy right now, you're basically just paying for other people's problems!
But I could totally get cancer. What you said doesn't even make sense.
So every time you have sex you produce a baby?
That's... kind of true, I guess? But a weird way to phrase it.
posted by planet at 8:56 PM on March 3, 2012


planet: I don't totally get what your thing is, but how's this:

You're not paying into taxes for this. If you have insurance, you might be paying into this program, but doing so makes your premiums cost less, as the costs associated with pregnancy are less than those involved with preventing unwanted pregnancy. Also, there are many, many reasons for women to take hormonal treatment aside from preventing unwanted pregnancy, without which their health-care costs, as they are burdened by the insurance provider, would also be much higher.

Does this make it clear how, even if you choose to never have sex and have no regard whatsoever for the well-being of others, this benefits you personally?
posted by Navelgazer at 9:06 PM on March 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


From The Case for Insurance Coverage of Contraceptive Services And Supplies Without Cost-Sharing:
Contraceptive use helps women avoid unintended pregnancy and improve birthspacing, which in turn have substantial positive consequences for infants, women, families and society.

[...] Several studies have examined the role that contraceptive use—particularly the use of oral contraceptives—has played in improvements in social and economic conditions for women. The advent of the pill allowed women greater freedom in career decisions, by allowing them to invest in higher education and a career with far less risk of an unplanned pregnancy. Several studies have found that legal access to the pill led to increased pill use, fewer first births to high school– and college-aged women, increased age at first marriage, increased participation by women in the workforce and more children born to mothers who were married, college-educated and had pursued a professional career.*

[...] Insurance coverage of contraceptive services and supplies—both public and private—actually saves money. Guttmacher Institute research finds that every public dollar invested in contraception saves $3.74 in short-term Medicaid expenditures for care related to births from unintended pregnancies. In total, services provided at publicly funded family planning centers saved $5.1 billion in 2008. (Significantly, these savings do not account for any of the broader health, social or economic benefits to women and families from contraceptive services and supplies and the ability to time, space and prepare for pregnancies.) A 2010 Brookings Institution analysis came to the same conclusion, and projected that expanding access to family planning services under Medicaid saves $4.26 for every $1 spent.

In terms of costs and savings for the private sector, multiple studies over the past two decades have compared the cost-effectiveness of the various methods of contraception, finding that all of them are cost-effective when taking into account the costs of unintended pregnancies averted. The federal government, the nation’s largest employer, reported that it experienced no increase in costs at all after Congress mandated coverage of contraceptives for federal employees.

Moreover, a 2000 study by the National Business Group on Health, a membership group for large employers to address their health policy concerns, estimated that it costs employers 15–17% more to not provide contraceptive coverage in their health plans than to provide such coverage, after accounting for both the direct medical costs of pregnancy and indirect costs such as employee absence and reduced productivity. Mercer, the employee benefits consulting firm, reached a similar conclusion. And a more recent National Business Group on Health report, drawing on actuarial estimates by PricewaterhouseCoopers, concluded that even if contraception were exempted from cost-sharing, the savings from its coverage would exceed the costs.
*note: benefit does not apply to men who do not know any women personally, or who in fact wish to deprive the women they do know (mothers, sisters, daughters, spouses, partners, etc.) from such benefits. Such men are clearly SOL.
posted by scody at 9:17 PM on March 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


Does this make it clear how, even if you choose to never have sex and have no regard whatsoever for the well-being of others, this benefits you personally?
Well, I don't choose to never have sex, so I'm full of spite, and totally willing to pay higher premiums if other people will be made miserable.
posted by planet at 9:28 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


planet, what are you even talking about? I can't parse what it is you're trying to say.
posted by tzikeh at 9:29 PM on March 3, 2012


Well, I don't choose to never have sex, so I'm full of spite, and totally willing to pay higher premiums if other people will be made miserable.

And with that, we learn exactly how much seriousness we should ever invest in what you have to say. Thanks for wasting our time.
posted by Ipsifendus at 9:40 PM on March 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


<joke explainer>
planet's profile photo is the reddit "forever alone" character. This character typically is the center of a series of unfortunate events which explain the various personal failing that cause Forever Alone to be... forever alone.

So, planet is claiming that he doesn't have sex, but not by his own choice: no one wants to have sex. As a result, he is miserable and happy to make other people feel the same way.
</joke explainer>

posted by b1tr0t at 9:42 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Further, I assume that planet is speaking with Limbaugh's inner voice.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:43 PM on March 3, 2012


You have to go to the doctor and have a physical first and most doctors visits are around $300 for nothing fancy. I think it's $229 to walk in the door at my ob-gyn. And then $60/month for the pills is reasonable, depending on what you get. They were ~$30/month in 1993, when I was in college and you got a 3 month supply. $90. My rent was $200 and my total monthly budget was $600 for comparison.

My college girlfriend, in the early 1990s, also paid $30/month for her pills. (I can remember so clearly because it was $1/day, all year long, sex or no sex.)

With great insurance, I think my partner's birth control pills cost us either $20 or $40/month currently. Without insurance, $100 or even $120 might be a reasonable guess; there are definitely cheaper and generic options, but as many others have said, there can be clear medical reasons to take a particular version.
posted by Forktine at 9:47 PM on March 3, 2012


</joke explainer>

Yeah, I guess I was trying to figure out if planet's first comment - "I don't get any benefit from contraceptives, so I don't want to pay for it." - was for real (i.e. he actually doesn't want to have his insurance plan cover birth control), or a joke.
posted by tzikeh at 9:55 PM on March 3, 2012




Yeah, I guess I was trying to figure out if planet's first comment - "I don't get any benefit from contraceptives, so I don't want to pay for it." - was for real (i.e. he actually doesn't want to have his insurance plan cover birth control), or a joke.
That is indeed how I feel.
posted by planet at 10:04 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


your comment above was so spot-on

Occula, thank you!

I have a teenaged son and daughter right now, so I have a double/triple vested interest, personally (weird as I find that to be). I truly hope (and believe) that both of them will be sexually responsible. But the idea of congressmen or radio personalities potentially debating my daughter's morals rather than caring for her health just makes my head spin with anger.

I appreciate the Guttmacher excerpt that scody just posted. "Contraceptive use helps women avoid unintended pregnancy and improve birthspacing"--that's really all that needs to be understood. That this is a valid medical concern is obvious, and that considerations beyond this are simply none of Rush Limbaugh's business, ought to be.
posted by torticat at 10:10 PM on March 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


That is indeed how I feel.

You can feel however you like; nonetheless, as the Guttmacher study illustrated, you have in fact already received a benefit as a taxpayer in terms of public costs saved due to prevention of unintended pregnancies via contraception. And you may have received some sort of personal/familial benefit as the son of a woman who may have used contraception to have more control over her childbearing, and thus more control over her educational and professional options.
posted by scody at 10:20 PM on March 3, 2012 [14 favorites]


1. Why does the US seem to get more and more backwards with every passing year? There is nothing wrong with having sex!

2. Given that this thread has taken to discussing costs of birth control, it kind of dismays me that there are only three mentions of IUDs. I understand that they are the most popular form of birth control in the world, and (for me anyway) better in every way than the pill (cheaper in the long run, fewer side effects, nothing to remember, many women using them stop menstruating in time), yet hardly any women in the States use them. I want to see this change.
posted by mantecol at 11:32 PM on March 3, 2012


I don't get any benefit from contraceptives, so I don't want to pay for it.

Then you are against the concept of insurance.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:39 PM on March 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Man, once I realized that saying bitter shit that I thought was funny, like that I'd pay extra if no one else got laid, actually got in the way of me getting laid, I knocked it off and became much more socially sufferable in all sorts of ways.

But hey, maybe I missed out on that chance to be on Tosh.0 some day, just to have sex with live women.
posted by klangklangston at 11:51 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


[Let's move on from planet's comment, which I think was just the latest iteration in some ongoing joke thing that should probably be retired since it's beginning to disrupt discussions. ]
posted by taz at 12:14 AM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just came back to favorite torticat's comment. If you missed it, you should really read it. Get's to the heart of the issue eloquently and passionately.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:00 AM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Apparently Rush issued an "apology" and posted it to his website. I won't link directly but I will link to the Boston.com reposting of a transcript (?) or something.
Text of Rush Limbaugh apology to law student.

I don't buy it for a minute, and his reasons are completely missing the point. Just thought I'd put that out there.
posted by daq at 2:59 AM on March 4, 2012


Easily available birth control makes us all richer, in a multitude of ways. It's pretty much as black-and-white, empirically provable a common good as you can get.
posted by titus-g at 4:37 AM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Every time something like this happens, it amazes me again at how weird and creepy a lot of republican attitudes toward sex and gender are. It just seems like they're living on a different planet.
posted by octothorpe at 7:22 AM on March 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


That is pretty much the stupidest "apology" I have ever read.
posted by adamdschneider at 7:24 AM on March 4, 2012


To people who say Well Rush has always been an idiot, this is not shocking -

that is not the point. The point is that it is adding to our national discourse which has been poisoned by Republicans who hate women. It just adds fuel to the fire especially when Republicans have hesitated to refute him. It lays bare the reasons behind their agenda of no coverage for birth control. If the Republicans were not hotly pursuing this agenda, if Rush just fabricated this in a vacuum, people would not be as upset and more likely to brush it off as the ramblings of a broken man. But his words are not random and out of the blue, they are a piece of the puzzle that is the Republican agenda.
posted by desjardins at 8:09 AM on March 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


(not that the Republican agenda is puzzling or mysterious)
posted by desjardins at 8:09 AM on March 4, 2012




You guys don't understand. Rush is the victim here.

Rush: "What Happened at my Home Last Night"

"No, I'm not gonna describe the thing, folks. It would send chills up your spine if I were to tell you what the package actually contained. So no point in doing that."
posted by windbox at 8:17 AM on March 4, 2012


so... he got something in the mail that was determined not to be dangerous and he wont tell us what it was? I dont get it.
posted by desjardins at 8:21 AM on March 4, 2012


It lays bare the reasons behind their agenda of no coverage for birth control.
I'm generally an optimist, but to me this is nothing but a good thing. On this issue, Limbaugh and Santorum and co. are really out-of-step with the typical American, I think. At least, they're really out-of-step with the typical American who was not already definitely going to vote for Republicans. Most Americans don't think there's anything shocking or vile about a 31-year-old woman using birth control. Most Americans recognize that people in healthy relationships typically have sex and that treating sex as a voluntary luxury like a ski vacation, that you can merely postpone for a couple of years if you can't afford it, is deeply weird. Most Americans are going to react to Rush's comments the way that Carbonite guy did, by thinking "wait a second: he could be talking about me/ my girlfriend/ my wife/ my daughter." This whole episode makes clear to the average voter what most people here already knew: that the Republican agenda on this stuff is driven by deep and abiding hatred of female sexuality. And that only hurts the Republicans, because most people aren't profoundly outraged by the idea that some woman somewhere is having sex and enjoying it.
posted by craichead at 8:25 AM on March 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Rush Limbaugh's Last Six Apologies -- "The radio host offends often, but he doesn't apologize much. And when he does, as he did today — to women, African-Americans, a sick person — he doesn't exactly put his heart into it. But Sandra Fluke, whom he called a 'slut,' is in good company."
posted by ericb at 8:37 AM on March 4, 2012


so... he got something in the mail that was determined not to be dangerous and he wont tell us what it was? I dont get it.

Acoording to the Post Gazette it was "an artist's rendering of a John Wilkes Booth assassinating President Abraham Lincoln in a digital picture frame."
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 8:49 AM on March 4, 2012


I wish people would stop debating about the cost. Birth control is insanely expensive, and the type you have to take for medical conditions might not be covered. Or...generics don't work for you. Gee, should I take the still too expensive (at the time, for me) $25/month pill that makes me hormonal, bloated, with no libido, and a constant yeast infection (which are not, as many men seem to think, a funny condition to joke about, but instead very painful and uncomfortable)? Or should I take the more expensive ($55 a month) brand name pill, that gives me none of those symptoms? "But the formulation is the same in the generic!" Uh, not exactly, I'm guessing. I could not afford $55 at the time, and barely paid my bills because of it. But I didn't want ovarian cysts that kept me doubled over in pain for hours, and I didn't want to be pregnant, which is my right.

A doctor prescribes medicine. That should be covered. Period. I don't get why people think women should be penalized for needing medicine.
posted by agregoli at 8:59 AM on March 4, 2012 [9 favorites]


Acoording to the Post Gazette it was "an artist's rendering of a John Wilkes Booth assassinating President Abraham Lincoln in a digital picture frame."

Surely that was a gift from a well-wisher? Or is Rush not on the "Lincoln is where America went wrong becuz federal bank" train yet?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:11 AM on March 4, 2012


It would send chills up your spine if I were to tell you what the package actually contained.

Or we'd laugh at you.

Surely that was a gift from a well-wisher? Or is Rush not on the "Lincoln is where America went wrong becuz federal bank" train yet?

The article says it was part of a "business pitch." Knowing Rush's audience, I wouldn't be surprised if it was pro-Confederate.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:26 AM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


It would send chills up your spine if I were to tell you what the package actually contained.

No one wants to hear you talk about your package, you hideous gross creeper.
posted by elizardbits at 9:42 AM on March 4, 2012 [4 favorites]




It lays bare the reasons behind their agenda of no coverage for birth control.
Some deeper contect for this agenda: Why Patriarchal Men Are Utterly Petrified of Birth Control -- And Why We'll Still Be Fighting About it 100 Years From Now
Conservative bishops and Congressmen are fighting a rear-guard action against one of the most revolutionary changes in human history.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:46 AM on March 4, 2012 [10 favorites]


Err, context.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:46 AM on March 4, 2012


I've got to say that of all the batshit insane conservative stuff I've heard lately (what with the primaries going on) this takes the damn cake. I normally turn the other cheek when I hear Rush's crap, but this hit home too hard.
We're talking about the ability of half the population to take care of their health and their bodies here. It doesn't matter what someone gets up to when they're on birth control . . . it's their fucking right to have it. We're not talking about nameless imaginary "whores", we're talking about your mothers, daughters, sisters and wives. If you don't support a woman's right to get the healthcare she needs, regardless of your personal morals, then you are a hateful fucking person.

I feel rather strongly on this issue because (like charred husk) my wife suffers from severe menstrual cycles as well as having had problems in her late teens/early twenties with ovarian cysts and actually having been diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 22. Birth control is part of her healthcare regimen--it keeps her from being in excruciating pain for 2 weeks a month and (like Ms. Fluke) reduces her risk of ovarian cysts and cancer.

If you say to me that you don't believe she should have access to birth control because of some problem you have with it, then you are saying that just because of your moral beliefs my wife should suffer, possibly get ill and die and at the very least greatly jeopardize our ability to have biological children together.
I'm sure you can imagine what my (or anyone's) response would--and should be to that statement.
posted by kaiseki at 10:55 AM on March 4, 2012 [16 favorites]


ProFlowers has been holding out on taking any action, initially saying "we don't endorse Rush" (we just sponsor him!). Their status update was slammed with 7,000+ comments and they were actively deleting any other wall posts on the subject (including a couple of mine).

Gotta say, I love being able to "Like" a company on facebook and then letting them have it. It's amusing to say the least, to use the "Like" mechanism to let your wrath fly.

They just posted this on facebook:
At ProFlowers, our mission is to delight our customers with fresh and long lasting flowers, and that is our singular focus each and every day. We do not base our advertising decisions to align with any particular political view or opinion as our employees and customers are as diverse as the USA. Mr. Limbaugh’s recent comments went beyond political discourse to a personal attack and do not reflect our values as a company. As such, ProFlowers has suspended advertising on The Rush Limbaugh radio program.
posted by aydeejones at 11:02 AM on March 4, 2012 [6 favorites]




I have to say, I'm just amazed at the power of non-violent, coordinated protest consisting of nothing but comments left on a facebook page. Just like the SOPA protest, it's stunning, really, and a little bit scary.
posted by crunchland at 11:13 AM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mr. Limbaugh’s recent comments went beyond political discourse to a personal attack and do not reflect our values as a company.

I love how it took them five days to determine what their values as a company are.
posted by scody at 11:17 AM on March 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


ZeusHumms, thanks for your link, a great read.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:23 AM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Scody-My response to Carbonite pretty much "Wait it took you two days to realize you have daughters who were insulted?" Nice. My grandmother who made Archie Bunker look pc believed, working as a nurse for an ob/gyn for 40 years "You never forget that every patient is someone's daughter." If she was alive I shudder to think of what she might say but a lot of it would have to do with have to do with their family not standing up for them immediately.
posted by miss-lapin at 11:30 AM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can't resist sharing one of my contributions...someone essentially said "I don't care about advertising dollars and would never boycott over that, they're just advertising to make money and they don't care about politics LOL you are all stupid." First they ignore the fact that ProFlowers is owned by Liberty Media Corporation...but beyond that I spewed a comment that I think might have a better long-term home on Metafilter:

To me, being oblivious of the way that money supports ideology and power would be the height of stupidity; actively discouraging any expression regarding this seems even more stupid unless it's a brilliant statement of dis-empowerment. This is a rare opportunity to exert some sort of influence at the lowest level. Facebook typically serves in the favor of businesses, which is fine, but it also affords us the opportunity to speak our minds when businesses support other businesses we disagree with. It's basically the same sort of thing Rush is trying to do (even if he's completely wrong about who is paying for what) -- he disagrees with the way he perceives money being spent, and is ignorantly expressing that. In our "democracy" we get a vote. Of course the electoral college has the ultimate authority because democracy has always been a touchy subject when your economy demands a misinformed populace. Corporations pay lobbyists to hang out with politicians as a full-time job, to help write law and push votes (that is, meaningful votes: in congress) in a certain direction. Every dollar has significance. No war can be waged without financing. Follow the money -- it's the root of all evil, and you'd be surprised at how pretty the flowers are :)
posted by aydeejones at 11:32 AM on March 4, 2012


rehabilitation after prostate surgery.

Rehabilitation to do what? Have sex. Sorry, still a Male Pleasure Drug.


My wife derives pleasure from sex, too. In my case, this is a male function drug (one can have orgasms without erections). It makes her experience better.

For every stereotypical Dirty Old Man who uses Viagra there must be hundreds of couples who derive mutual pleasure from it. Possibly while using contraceptives.

(Not trying to derail, just offering a counterexample to what may have been a rhetorical device on your part...)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:33 AM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't think the point is that viagra is bad or creepy, Johnny Wallflower! It's just that the exact same arguments could be made about insurance covering viagra, but they don't get made, because it doesn't work to call men prostitutes and sluts. Women can be shamed and humiliated for the mere fact of having sex. Men? Not so much.
posted by craichead at 11:37 AM on March 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


Best summation of the conundrum the GOP now finds itself in: Will Rush Limbaugh's 'slut' comments finally cause Republicans to cut ties? (Naturally, this comes from a newspaper outside the U.S., because it's nearly impossible for the mainstream American press to really sum it up quite so succinctly as this: "But his vitriolic foray into an already bizarre debate in the United States about birth control, occurring about 50 years after the pill was introduced as part of a bigger argument about religious freedom, isn't expected to do any favours for the party among women.")
posted by scody at 11:42 AM on March 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's actually not quite the same. Women are put on birth control for all kinds of reasons. I was put on them so, literally, I didn't die. (I can't believe I'm admitting this but yes my period almost killed me and ever since then been on the pill. Worst part wasn't even having sex for several years). The pill does nothing for me as a childhood survivor of cancer in terms of contraception. In fact it gave me migraines. But yes it keeps me from dying and I'm personally insulted anyone would compare it to taking viagra, which, maybe I missed a meeting, but not remotely the same thing.
posted by miss-lapin at 11:49 AM on March 4, 2012 [6 favorites]




Women are put on birth control for all kinds of reasons.
That's true but, I think, not really the point. Some women really do take the pill just for contraception. There's nothing wrong with taking the pill for that reason. There's nothing wrong with mandating that insurance companies cover the pill when it's being taken for that reason. The Catholic Church and other women-hating types say that people like you should have access to the pill, but people who use it for sex shouldn't. They say that what happened to Sandra Fluke's friend was just an unfortunate mistake which could be fixed by allowing women who take the pill for "valid" reasons to have better access to it. And that's wrong. It is ok to take birth control pills just because you want to have sex and not get pregnant.
posted by craichead at 11:58 AM on March 4, 2012 [19 favorites]


allowing women who take the pill for "valid" reasons

So we're back to good girls and bad girls.
posted by Summer at 12:07 PM on March 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


Let's not forget the other reason some right-wingers oppose the use of contraceptives by women who look like Sandra Fluke: demographics (pdf).
Minorities accounted for 48 percent of all births in the nation in the 12 months that ended in July 2008.

“It looks like ‘majority’ births would drop below 50 percent around 2012,” said Carl Haub, senior demographer for the Population Reference Bureau.
What year is it again?
posted by Knappster at 12:08 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm totally with you craichead, but, and I could be wrong, but comparing viagra to birth control isn't the same. Not saying Viagra doesn't have more than one reason for diagnosis (heard it's pretty awesome for jetlag).
posted by miss-lapin at 12:10 PM on March 4, 2012


Can we just figure out a way for people to get insurance without going through employers AND without going thru government? Maybe folks forming independent interest groups or something?

Then the Catholic Church would be happy, I would be happy, the Republicans and Democrats would be happy, and Rush would have to find another topic to put his foot in his mouth about.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 12:11 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm totally with you craichead, but, and I could be wrong, but comparing viagra to birth control isn't the same.
I think the Viagra thing is a little bit of a gotcha, because Rush has apparently taken Viagra. (Although how anyone would know that is a mystery to me, unless he's said so, which would seem out of character.) But I think the point is that if women are sluts and prostitutes for wanting insurance to pay for their birth control so they can have sex, which is what Limbaugh said, then why aren't men sluts and prostitutes if insurance pays for their Viagra so they can have sex? And obviously, none of these people are actually sluts or prostitutes: the whole idea is ridiculous on the face of it. Paying for the things that allow people to have sex is not the same as paying people to have sex. But the analogy is meant to hammer home how sexist it is.
posted by craichead at 12:19 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can we just figure out a way for people to get insurance without going through employers AND without going thru government? Maybe folks forming independent interest groups or something?

Well, that depends:

How would these "independent interest groups" fund the cost of health care coverage?

What happens to people who need health care and can't afford to pay into the group?

What are the means to ensure continued access to care? Does this independent group have the power to drop someone from membership? If so, what process is due the person facing the loss of coverage?

These are far from the only questions your proposal raises, but they're the first ones that immediately spring to mind.
posted by bakerina at 12:36 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


craichead: he was stopped at customs returning from a solo trip to the Domincan Republic with an assload of viagra in his luggage. That's how people know he takes it, and why there are claims of sex tourism being thrown around.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:36 PM on March 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


I must correct myself: this actually is the very, very best summation I've seen of the peculiar situation in which the GOP appear to be racing each other to fling themselves off a cliff, embodied by this single quote:
"Republicans are making a big mistake with this contraception talk, and I'm pretty sure that they are giving (the election) to Obama," says Patricia Speyerer, 87, of McComb, Miss., a GOP-leaning independent. "It's a stupid thing."
That's right: the Republicans appear to be losing the octogenarian vote in Mississippi.
posted by scody at 12:41 PM on March 4, 2012 [35 favorites]


"independent interest groups"

This is one of the roles Friendly Societies played in the past. Credit unions are one of their modern forms. I don't know that modern healthcare variants would stand much of a chance against the medical insurance companies [and the entire cost structure in place due to them] - if they could then people would probably be doing it.
posted by titus-g at 12:49 PM on March 4, 2012


Well, if the government was directly responsible for providing healthcare no-one would be able to use the religious freedom argument.
posted by Summer at 1:00 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


[aside: apparently there is at least one not-for-profit healthcare friendly society still about, with a flat rate membership fee of ~$2.40 a week. It is kinda in the UK though, so doesn't say much about the possibility of similar in USA]
posted by titus-g at 1:12 PM on March 4, 2012


Perhaps the pill should go over the counter (credit to Virginia Postrel for pointing to this piece)
posted by caddis at 1:16 PM on March 4, 2012


Conspiracy Keanu Weighs In
posted by aydeejones at 1:28 PM on March 4, 2012


But Caddis, if HBC were sold over the counter how would the state or parents of teenagers regulate the sex lives of women?
posted by kaibutsu at 1:35 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Perhaps the pill should go over the counter

While I certainly agree with this in principle, in practice I think that would be highly problematic from a medical/safety point of view, given that there are literally more than 100 different brands/formulations, within five major categories: combination-monophasic pills, combination-multiphasic pills, combination-extended cycle pills, combination-low estrogen pills, and progestin-only pills. And while there probably is some redundancy between brands/dosages, there are actual medical reasons for needing such a wide range of options, due to the ways in which different combinations of hormones react so differently among women.

This is not at all comparable to OTC analgesics or cold medicines, in which there is a small handful of options repackaged in a finite number of combinations.
posted by scody at 1:38 PM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


ZeusHumms, thanks for your link, a great read.

Wow, yes, that is amazing. So many quotes from there I'd like to highlight, but I'll just say go read the whole thing.

One thing that article might help to enlighten is why it seems intuitively straightforward when I make my own case for coverage for birth control, as I did above: Having married and had four children, I have already lived out the historically-expected role of a woman, and it seems only reasonable that, approaching middle age, I should be able to draw the line (well, reasonable except to some minorities such as Quiverfullers and the pope--but the vast majority of conservatives don't oppose birth control per se). I am not personally a threat.

So there is just a massive failure on the part of these conservatives who oppose coverage of contraceptives to recognize the basis for their beliefs: a deeply engrained assumption that female sexuality should be regulated, that there's a "fitness" to which women should be entitled to pregnancy-free sex (as part of normal medical care) and which do not deserve it. Limbaugh can say that Fluke wants to be "paid to have sex," but he would probably not say the same of me; he would recognize that all I want is coverage of my health while I live a perfectly normal life. But presented with the comparison, he would have no basis at all for making a distinction between us--Fluke wants exactly the same thing I do--except that he disapproves of her lifestyle while (presumably) not disapproving of mine.

I do not think that most of these people are consciously "women-hating." I think that article is entirely correct, that we are seeing centuries' worth of assumptions challenged, and people will go on defending those assumptions to the degree they think they still can ("sure women can have NSA sex, but we don't want to PAY for it!"), however little their argument stands up to scrutiny. It is just as well that these arguments are being brought into the open, though, where they can be scrutinized and exposed for what they are. At least, I hope this thing ends up bringing clarity to some people.

Limbaugh's argument is sickening and untenable even without the invective, but without the invective probably would have passed right under people's radar. So that could certainly be a silver lining (very sad that it came at Fluke's personal expense, though).
posted by torticat at 1:49 PM on March 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


Also, I love all the links in this thread. Thank you, everybody, for lots of great reading.
posted by torticat at 1:50 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Clear Channel's Premiere Radio Networks Inc. hosts Limbaugh's program, one of the country's most popular talk radio shows. The company is supporting Limbaugh, whose on-air contract with Premiere runs through 2016.

"The contraception debate is one that sparks strong emotion and opinions on both sides of the issue," Premiere Networks said in a statement emailed Sunday by spokeswoman Rachel Nelson. "We respect the right of Mr. Limbaugh, as well as the rights of those who disagree with him, to express those opinions."
(Denver Post)
posted by crunchland at 3:54 PM on March 4, 2012


How would one go about boycotting Clear Channel, exactly?
posted by peppermind at 4:10 PM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wait, there's supposed to be a "contraception debate" now? What exactly does she think we're debating?
posted by craichead at 4:21 PM on March 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Can we just figure out a way for people to get insurance without going through employers AND without going thru government? Maybe folks forming independent interest groups or something? "

Nope.

If you stop starting out with the unfounded premise that paraphrases some version of "government is just bad at this kind of stuff," you'll realize that when a group of people get together to agree on rules for society, it is government. And that due to things like the free rider problem, you really need to have public buy-in on health insurance (or be willing to condemn the unlucky poor to die).

Employers were a mediocre stopgap, but really, government needs to take over health care to ensure that everyone gets it and we all get a say in how that happens. The next step is figuring out how to best do that, and single-payer seems to currently be the best system.

But really, if you think about what health care and insurance is supposed to do, and think about what government is supposed to do, the answer is a lot clearer.
posted by klangklangston at 4:31 PM on March 4, 2012 [28 favorites]


You want to see something nice? Check out the comments on Rush's apology on Premiere Radio's Facebook page. Ouch. That's got to sting.
posted by craichead at 4:37 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]




Zeushumms, thank you for this link; I think it ought to be required reading every time someone asks why politicians are fighting about birth control or introducing "personhood" amendments or remarks that nobody really wants to set society back fifty years. The patriarchs of this world actually do want it set back. I think they see the pill (and other forms of female controlled contraception) as an illicit mega power grab. Rush just broadcast openly about one tiny part of the push to reclaim that power.
posted by Anitanola at 5:17 PM on March 4, 2012


Favorite comment from the Premiere Radio apology facebook page: "This is the most offensive and disgusting thing that I have seen in a long time. To call this an apology is a disservice to people who are truly sorry."
posted by kaibutsu at 6:25 PM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Relevant Political Cartoon (NSFW)
posted by delmoi at 7:02 PM on March 4, 2012


Can we just figure out a way for people to get insurance without going through employers AND without going thru government? Maybe folks forming independent interest groups or something?

Then the Catholic Church would be happy, I would be happy, the Republicans and Democrats would be happy, and Rush would have to find another topic to put his foot in his mouth about.
You can buy health insurance as an individual. The problem is, if it's optional, people won't pay for it if they are healthy. Insurance for a family can cost more then rent in a lot of places, far more then they might be paying in taxes. Who is going to want to pay a huge chunk of their income for something they never use, and if they do use ends up costing them way more money anyway (with massive co-pays and deductibles, and random uncovered additions)

If only sick people use it, then the average cost is going to be much higher. So it's in a negative feedback loop where people think the price is too high and don't buy if they don't need it, which causes the price to go up, which makes more healthy people not buy it, and so on.
posted by delmoi at 7:09 PM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]




The sad thing is, Rush's ratings are going to be through the roof tomorrow. People, left, right and center will be tuning in all over the country to hear what he's going to say. And I imagine that for every one of the advertisers that pulled the plug this weekend, there are three who will be willing to take their place.
posted by crunchland at 7:48 PM on March 4, 2012


Wow. This is just crazy. Its like they are huffing the crazy. Weirdest primary season ever.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:34 PM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah they are, but expect that to end pretty soon, looks like the establishment has woken up to the fact that the primary is hurting them bad amongst independents and the call has gone out from sea to sea to support Romney and to push him to a big win this Tuesday. Course it doesn't help that Santorum just can't keep his foot from out of his mouth. I really really really don't like Ricky, but I'm guessing he has had less opportunity to play flip flop hypocrite than Romeny and so actually says what he thinks a bit too often.
posted by edgeways at 10:12 PM on March 4, 2012


Bragging is not an apology.
posted by telstar at 12:30 AM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


And I imagine that for every one of the advertisers that pulled the plug this weekend, there are three who will be willing to take their place.

Maybe but the ones that he had were already "D list" companies, it's not like Ford or Verizon advertise there. He's going to be stuck with gold coin scams and survivalist canned food companies.
posted by octothorpe at 4:24 AM on March 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


So my dad, who is otherwise a doctor in India, was in the US for a few months in the 90's to get trained in liver transplants. The one thing he could never get used to, was an insurance rep going around with the doctors in their morning rounds, basically having a veto over their prescriptions etc.[...]

Although this is not central to this thread at all, I do think it deserves a little correction. I wasn't there, but I'm almost certain that the "insurance rep" was actually an employee of the hospital responsible for arguing the case for treatments with the insurance companies. These folks sit on the phone all day with insurance companies and argue that this patient really does need Procrit because their hemoglobin levels are 'X,' and they really do need surgery because their MRI says 'Y.' Your overall point, that insurance companies have far too much control over how medical care is dispensed, still stands, but the situation is not quite as directly controlled as you've painted it.
posted by OmieWise at 6:34 AM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


So now Michael Moore has tweeted, "Rush - A soon as u started losing the big $$ from your hate speech, you caved & obeyed the men who pay u. Who's the prostitute now, bitch?"

Which at first glance makes a great point, that Limbaugh is the one selling himself. But when the guy on the left uses a pejorative term against women while making a point against the guy on the right's hate speech about women, all it shows is how deeply ingrained misogyny is in the culture.

Of course, if women would just lighten up and stop being so overly emotional and hysterical about it all, they'd realize it's just a joke!
posted by headnsouth at 6:41 AM on March 5, 2012 [13 favorites]


So now Michael Moore has tweeted, "Rush - A soon as u started losing the big $$ from your hate speech, you caved & obeyed the men who pay u. Who's the prostitute now, bitch?"

Yeah, saw this flash by one of my news pages this morning. In much the same way that David Frum keeps tweeting about how Limbaugh "isn't helping", this is one case in which Michael Moore needs to keep his mouth shut and let events play out without his participation.
posted by Ipsifendus at 6:44 AM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why we need to care about what Rush Limbaugh says: because other people listen, even if we don't.
posted by muddgirl at 7:02 AM on March 5, 2012


American Spectator : Rally for Rush "It's time to stand up to the bullies."
posted by crunchland at 8:40 AM on March 5, 2012


Michael Moore needs to keep his mouth shut and let events play out without his participation.

Fuck no. These are events playing out. Rush has made Moore his whipping boy more times than any of us can number. I'm totally cool with Moore counting coup. Let a thousand gloatings bloom.
posted by clarknova at 8:40 AM on March 5, 2012


Rally for Rush "It's time to stand up to the bullies."


reminds me of the "that nigger guy" episode of south park.
posted by clarknova at 8:42 AM on March 5, 2012


Fuck no. These are events playing out. Rush has made Moore his whipping boy more times than any of us can number. I'm totally cool with Moore counting coup. Let a thousand gloatings bloom.

But the point is that, in his gloating, Moore is being just as much of a misogynist fuckhead as Limbaugh, and an oblivious one at that.
posted by hydropsyche at 8:48 AM on March 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


Because he used the words prostitute and bitch? I'm finding hard to get holier than thou about that.
posted by clarknova at 8:56 AM on March 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


American Spectator ... and almost as soon as I posted that link, their site crashes.
posted by crunchland at 9:00 AM on March 5, 2012


But the point is that, in his gloating, Moore is being just as much of a misogynist fuckhead as Limbaugh

As was pointed out earlier, it's not the choice of words that make Limbaugh a misogynist fuckhead but the content of what he said over several shows. So if there are indeed degrees of being a misogynist fuckhead, I'd put Moore at a very low degree (for using misogynistic words) and Limbaugh at a very high degree (for saying that women who use birth control are prostitutes and should put videos of their sex acts online for him to enjoy).
posted by zerbinetta at 9:40 AM on March 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


hydropsyche: Moore is being just as much of a misogynist fuckhead as Limbaugh

clarknova: Because he used the words prostitute and bitch? I'm finding hard to get holier than thou about that.

Clarknova, you've completely missed the WHOLE POINT of the problem with what Limbaugh said.
posted by tzikeh at 9:40 AM on March 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


You're not even wrong.
posted by clarknova at 9:53 AM on March 5, 2012


Is it really that difficult not to be a misogynistic fuckhead at all?
posted by craichead at 10:01 AM on March 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I'm not wild about MM's use of "bitch" either (and the irony, it burns). But it's ridiculous to say it's anywhere in the same league as (in the words of David Frum, amusingly enough) "a brutally sexualized accusation, against a specific person, prolonged over three days." The right engages in false equivalence all the time as a rhetorical device. Let's not try to beat them at their own game.
posted by scody at 10:02 AM on March 5, 2012 [7 favorites]


An hour ago, AOL 'suspended' its advertising.
"At AOL one of our core values is that we act with integrity. We have monitored the unfolding events and have determined that Mr. Limbaugh’s comments are not in line with our values. As a result we have made the decision to suspend advertising on The Rush Limbaugh Radio show."
posted by cashman at 10:04 AM on March 5, 2012


Rush Limbaugh's popularity is plummeting among Republicans, from 80% positive to below 50% in Ohio, Tennessee, and Georgia.
posted by msalt at 10:06 AM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Which is not to say I don't 100% agree with headnsouth's point about how misogyny is so deeply ingrained in the culture and our language, because I absolutely do.)
posted by scody at 10:06 AM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't disagree that Limbaugh's statements were worse on the whole, especially in terms of slandering a single person and by implication all women in the US, not to mention complete ignorance of science.

But in terms of misogyny, I'm really not interested in anyone who uses the terms prostitute and bitch as insults, and Michael Moore's response is not in any way on my side or the progressive side.

If your revolution doesn't include everyone, it's just a change in management, Mr. Moore.
posted by hydropsyche at 10:06 AM on March 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Rush Limbaugh's popularity is plummeting among Republicans, from 80% positive to below 50% in Ohio, Tennessee, and Georgia.

But apparently Patricia Heaton loves him just as much as ever! (Just as another depressing reminder that women can be vicious, misogynistic, slutshaming bullies as well.)

But in terms of misogyny, I'm really not interested in anyone who uses the terms prostitute and bitch as insults, and Michael Moore's response is not in any way on my side or the progressive side.

Totally agreed.
posted by scody at 10:09 AM on March 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


How would one go about boycotting Clear Channel, exactly?

Here's one way: don't vote for them or their corporate puppets in congress (especially if you live in the 10th Congressional District of Texas). - McCaul's wife Linda is the daughter of Clear Channel Communications Chairman Lowry Mays and sister of Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays.
posted by mattbucher at 10:44 AM on March 5, 2012




But apparently Patricia Heaton loves him just as much as ever!

Patricia Heaton also apparently has mastered Rush's way with a weak non-apology.
posted by bakerina at 11:09 AM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who exactly owns Clear Channel?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:33 AM on March 5, 2012


Who exactly owns Clear Channel?

As of 2008: private equity - Bain Capital & Thomas H. Lee Partners
posted by mattbucher at 11:37 AM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Michael Moore's response is not in any way on my side or the progressive side.

For myself, as much as I think his use of bitch as an insult was misogynistic, I think this is an overstatement. He's obviously on my side, even if I wish he had used different language.

Who exactly owns Clear Channel?

Doesn't Bain?
posted by OmieWise at 11:37 AM on March 5, 2012


So Patricia Heaton is just as awful in real life as her character on Everybody Loves Raymond.
posted by whoaali at 11:40 AM on March 5, 2012 [3 favorites]




Moore isn't our friend. He's merely good. Now that the monsters are vulnerable we must do the right and decent thing and flog him with the perfect.

I love the American left.

Explaining how Moore is calling Rush an intellectual prostitute, which we all presumably find reprehensible, and not an actual prostitute, the likes of which we have every reason to believe he's in complete solidarity and sympathy with, makes me feel like I'm not even talking to adults. So I won't do it.

Oh wait I did
.
posted by clarknova at 12:03 PM on March 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Limbaugh: Obama and the Left Made Me Insult Sandra Fluke and, anyhow, rappers are worse.

Link #1 to Daily Kos, #2 to Talking Points Memo, lest you worry about sending Rush traffic.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:04 PM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


^ lawls
posted by clarknova at 12:05 PM on March 5, 2012


Clarknova, Moore doesn't seem to care one way or the other about women or their health, and he's hijacking this issue to beat up on Limbaugh. The fact that he used misogynist language to do so only makes the problem worse.
posted by peppermind at 12:17 PM on March 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Better pop some more of that Viagra, Rush, and maybe your apology won't be so limp.
posted by jamjam at 12:18 PM on March 5, 2012


this is just to say

i have called you
the words
that were in
my diary

and which
i was probably
saying
in private

forgive me
they were just so vicious
so sexist
but so bold
posted by prefpara at 12:38 PM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Michael Moore's response is not in any way on my side or the progressive side.

That comment specifically says "Michael Moore's response" not "Michael Moore" - an important distinction, I think.

I wish he hadn't said too. Bad thing to say made worse by bad timing, bad tone, and just bad overall. But I haven't noticed a pattern of misogyny with Moore. Generally, I really like Moore - he has been in the trenches fighting for liberal causes and working class people for a number of years -- and he's been much abused by the right and pretty frequently a whipping boy for the left, too. I'm not ready to throw him out of the boat for bad remark. If that was all we were talking about with Rush, it would never have risen to this level.
posted by madamjujujive at 12:58 PM on March 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


and he's been much abused by the right

They wanted him in Guantanamo. At the time it didn't seem too improbable their request might be satisfied.
posted by clarknova at 1:07 PM on March 5, 2012


How is it that I live in the middle east and can buy government subsidized birth control for $5.00. What the fuck America?
posted by northxnorthwest at 1:09 PM on March 5, 2012 [8 favorites]


Wow, looks like he again apologized:

"Those two words were inappropriate. They were uncalled for. They distracted from the point I was trying to make, and I again sincerely apologize. I do not think that she is either of those two words. I did not think last week that she is either of those two words."

He said a bunch of other stuff that was "I came down to their level" etc, but he's actually and obviously wounded.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:36 PM on March 5, 2012


One other thing. Social media builds on itself. One of the things about Twitter, especially, is that everyone can see everyone else complaining. They can tell that companies are getting hammered. So a company can't pretend nobody called them.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:46 PM on March 5, 2012 [7 favorites]


And yet, still clinging to the premise that it wasn't what he said that was insulting/offensive, just the words he used to say it.

So he still thinks she's promiscuous and should send him sex tapes, but in a totally polite way?
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 1:49 PM on March 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


So he still thinks she's promiscuous and should send him sex tapes, but in a totally polite way?

How would that even sound, I wonder?

"I say, Miss Fluke, I say this with no intended offense, but due to your loose morals, I am sadly forced to surmise that you engage in frequent, illicit intercourse. Since it is your contention that I fund your nocturnal encounters, I sincerely and with all respect would like to request some sort of recorded evidence of each of your sordid escapades. It's only fair, what?"
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:54 PM on March 5, 2012 [8 favorites]


Since it is your contention that I fund your nocturnal encounters, I sincerely and with all respect would like to request some sort of recorded evidence of each of your sordid escapades. It's only fair, what?"

He's not funding her BC, though.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:55 PM on March 5, 2012


Who exactly owns Clear Channel?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies


The answer is apparently "Rush Limbaugh." Without him, they'd be a much smaller company, to say the least. But yes, Bain Capital, and isn't that just so interesting, especially given that candidate Romney, former Bain Capitalist, still making tens of millions in capital gains from Bain, could not bring himself to say more than "not the words I would have used?" about Rush Limbaugh.

Rush is wounded, badly. He may not go down over this, but it is finally breaking his power in significant ways.

Happy day.
posted by spitbull at 2:01 PM on March 5, 2012


Wow. Rush just lost a station. A station dumped him. When has that happened?

Also The New Networked Feminism.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:11 PM on March 5, 2012 [2 favorites]



How would that even sound, I wonder?


Pejoratives and Pills and Zombies,

"I believe her to be both [a slut and prostitute] in a great degree,'' spoke Mr. Limbaugh; "I have not seen her often, but I surmise a great looseness of character from her manner. She has the appearance of remarkable propriety, but the very nature of her request is contrary to the behaviour of a lady. Should she carry forth in her insistence that these curatives be provided I must insist that a recording of her nocturnal performance be taken, for the enjoyment of all.''


...and then a zombie ate his face.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 2:12 PM on March 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


He's not funding her BC, though.

I realize this - that's the position he's been taking, though, so I thought it was important to include it to be consistent in my fictional polite Rush thing.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:27 PM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rush Limbaugh's popularity is plummeting among Republicans, from 80% positive to below 50% in Ohio, Tennessee, and Georgia.
posted by msalt at 10:06 AM on 3/5


His popularity has decreased by approximately half? Curious that.
posted by fshgrl at 2:54 PM on March 5, 2012 [19 favorites]


"Those two words were inappropriate. They were uncalled for. They distracted from the point I was trying to make, and I again sincerely apologize. I do not think that she is either of those two words. I did not think last week that she is either of those two words."

This is making me crazy. She was addressing the issue with private health insurance companies and their plans and coverage. Not the government. Please ask Rush Limbaugh to get straight with reality before my goddamn head explodes.
posted by jokeefe at 3:10 PM on March 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


His popularity has decreased by approximately half? Curious that.

Good one. Let's try to remember, though, that plenty of men are against him in this, and plenty of women seem perfectly willing to support him.
posted by adamdschneider at 3:16 PM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is making me crazy.

That's the idea, unfortunately.
posted by telstar at 3:39 PM on March 5, 2012


John Cole at Balloon Juice: The Lies of the Right and Rush Limbaugh, Sandra Fluke Edition

Lie #1- She was testifying about her sex life
Lie #2- She Was Having So Much Sex She Could Not Afford All the Birth Control
Lie #3- Fluke Spends $3k a Year on Birth Control
Lie #4- She Wants Taxpayers to Pay for Her Birth Control
Lie #5- Sandra Fluke wants to be paid to have sex
Lie #6- This is just about bad word choice
Lie #7- Liberals are being hypocrites because Ed Schultz called someone a slut

Bonus: the 53 times Limbaugh called her a slut (with video), based on this transcript search from The Daily Kos.
posted by maudlin at 4:16 PM on March 5, 2012 [13 favorites]


Buzzfeed : The Six Times Rush Limbaugh Has Apologized.

Twice when he made fun of the daughters of two different presidents; once when he mistook someone for someone else, and had to apologize as part of a libel settlement; once when he made a racist comment, that forced him to quit a gig as an announcer for ESPN; once when he made fun of Micheal J. Fox and his illness; and now for calling a student a whore.
posted by crunchland at 4:26 PM on March 5, 2012


Oops. Forgot one... he also called Obama a monkey. So that makes a total of 7 apologies.
posted by crunchland at 4:27 PM on March 5, 2012




madamjujujive: 10 Outrageous Rush Limbaugh Quotes That Didn't Cause His Sponsors to Flee

me: You guys are ignoring the one factor that makes this incident different from all the other incidents that should have stirred up more rage than they did: he attacked a well-off young white woman. You know how the media reacts to that.

Quote #1: not about a well-off young white woman
Quote #2: not about a well-off young white woman
Quote #3: et cetera
posted by tzikeh at 5:05 PM on March 5, 2012


tzikeh I think that's a bit of a red herring. The media/society usually cares when well off young white women are murdered or kidnapped or accused of murder. Not when a well off (and do we even know she's well off?) young white woman with a long record of being a feminist and working on progressive social issues tries to have her voice heard on a women's health issue before congress. In fact that's pretty much the only type of young white woman that society aggressively ignores.

Racism is clearly the reason those equally offensive and horrendous comments didn't even get noticed, but I think something different is at play here. I think Sandra Fluke happened during a perfect storm when a lot of women and progressives have finally started to wake up and take notice that the right was systematically putting women back 75 years. I don't think this would have been a blip on the radar 1 or 2 years ago.

That's just my two cents. And once again I do get your point, but I think there is a lot more going on here.
posted by whoaali at 5:19 PM on March 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


tzikeh, I know, sucks doesn't it? Any one of those should have tripped a wire, they certainly tripped my wire. I am kinda surprised this one got so big because really, it's just more vintage Rush, he's a disgusting racist and a misogynist pig. I agree with whoaali's perfect storm theory - a lot is in the timing.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:26 PM on March 5, 2012


In other news: Rush Limbaugh To Be Honored With Bust In Missouri Statehouse.
posted by ericb at 6:36 PM on March 5, 2012


Dred Scott and Buck O'Neil were also chosen this year. Including Rush Limbaugh in that company is either completely outrageous or true poetic justice.
posted by Anitanola at 7:44 PM on March 5, 2012


Rush is wounded, badly. He may not go down over this, but it is finally breaking his power in significant ways.

My impression is that there are many on the right -- including most presidential contenders in recent years -- who have had to grit their teeth and pretend to enjoy his schtick, and would be very, very happy to see Rush move on to greener pastures. He somehow managed to be perceived as powerful (which in turn made him actually powerful) for quite a few years, without necessarily engendering much in the way of warm feelings or loyalty.
posted by Forktine at 7:46 PM on March 5, 2012


The fact that Rush Limbaugh doesn't understand how birth control pills work would be funnier if it weren't so scary.
posted by swerve at 7:59 PM on March 5, 2012




Reading this, I have to wonder how someone can utter such blatant untruths with a straight face. "Morality" or personal opinion doesn't even come into it -- what he's saying is just false. If this is what he's saying when the eyes of the world are upon him, I can only imagine what he's saying when it's just his supporters paying attention. I can laugh him off no problem, but the thought of his show being played in environments where there are impressionable children within earshot is sickening.
posted by mantecol at 9:07 PM on March 5, 2012


Via Homunculus' link, the big ones are CapitalOne and Netflix, though Netflix seems the likelier of the two to respond to pressure.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:45 PM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised more people aren't latching on to the second part of his rant -- about the video -- which is where I think the mysogyny really gets exposed.
Seconded, someone should start a
#RushLimbaughWants2Masturbate2VideosOfYourDaughters hash-tag on Twitter.
posted by blueberry at 9:49 PM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Please don't.
posted by merelyglib at 10:28 PM on March 5, 2012


Yeah, it's way too long. Maybe just #RushBatesYou
posted by klangklangston at 11:31 PM on March 5, 2012


Yeah, it just loses a bit of it's punch shortened...

Limbaugh's comments pretty clearly said that if a female takes birth control, she should have to video herself whenever she engages in sex (presumably for the viewing pleasure of Mr. Limbaugh and others).

So, to every woman...
to every teenage girl who takes birth control—be they mothers, daughters, nieces, or girls on your daughters JV soccer teamthis is what Rush Limbaugh, and those who stand by his disgusting behavior, think of you.

Jesus, what a despicable excuse for a human being.
posted by blueberry at 11:56 PM on March 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rally For Rush! Yes, I predict great success, much like last year's truly inspired Let's Roll... To a Stop for Sarah teabagger protest.
posted by scody at 12:10 AM on March 6, 2012




Probably at the behest of candidate Romney; Bain Capital owns CC.

Wow, I didn't realize that Bain owned Clear Channel. What a big circle jerk that is.
posted by octothorpe at 5:19 AM on March 6, 2012


Netflix? Shit. How am I going to watch all those episodes of Deep Space Nine?
posted by desjardins at 5:50 AM on March 6, 2012


Desjardins, Amazon Prime has themincluded in prime membership.
posted by eleanna at 5:53 AM on March 6, 2012


Netflix? Shit. How am I going to watch all those episodes of Deep Space Nine?

"Update Tuesday 9:07a.m.: Netflix emails to say it doesn't advertise on Rush. We're waiting to hear back whether the company just bought ads on the local radio station or what."
posted by adamdschneider at 7:23 AM on March 6, 2012




What's so weird to me is that if you heard this guy's batshit ranting anywhere in public under normal circumstances, everyone would give him a wide berth and try to avoid eye contact. If he was bellowing his spiel on a sidewalk, you'd put your head down and cross the street. If he was bloviating in your local pub, everyone would be studiously ignoring him, choosing seats as far away as possible and glancing anxiously at the bartender to see when this loon was going to be kicked out.

But instead of this sort of reasonable reception, the guy's making millions to spew the worst stuff he can think of. I don't understand this. In a just sane world, he'd be just another dreary, creepy perennially unemployed guy in a stained t-shirt, chomping his cigar and swilling beer in a lawnchair in front of his dingy, paint-peeling house, yelling about how his neighbors are all libtards and feminazis or something, until he pukes and passes out.
posted by taz at 8:21 AM on March 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


I was driving down the highway listening to mainstream radio yesterday, when Pink's song "U + Ur Hand" came on (don't judge me). In the song, she and her friends are at a club and men are aggressively trying to pick them up. She sings "I'm not here for your entertainment" and it reminded me of the second part of Limbaugh's inflammatory statement. Someone made this point upthread, but by demanding a video of her engaged in sex in return for birth control, he's reinforcing the idea that women are there for his (and mens') entertainment.

The other - tangentially related - thing that drove me up a wall yesterday was realizing that every Star Trek spinoff has to have at least one woman in skin-tight, sexualized clothes. There are no sexualized men. The show isn't about sex. Yet there's always got to be eye candy for the men, because, you know, we're here for their entertainment and all.
posted by desjardins at 8:43 AM on March 6, 2012 [3 favorites]




What's so weird to me is that if you heard this guy's batshit ranting anywhere in public under normal circumstances, everyone would give him a wide berth and try to avoid eye contact.

And he's been doing it forever. I remember being trapped into listening to him at work at construction job sites back in the very early eighties and he was saying the same crap then. It's hard to imagine anyone being surprised by this now.
posted by octothorpe at 9:54 AM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


"But instead of this sort of reasonable reception, the guy's making millions to spew the worst stuff he can think of. I don't understand this. In a just sane world, he'd be just another dreary, creepy perennially unemployed guy in a stained t-shirt, chomping his cigar and swilling beer in a lawnchair in front of his dingy, paint-peeling house, yelling about how his neighbors are all libtards and feminazis or something, until he pukes and passes out."

So, one of the best things (in the long run) for me at journalism school was having a teacher who gave sympathetic class time to Fox News and Limbaugh. He didn't necessarily agree or approve of their messaging (he was a weird Randian libertarian, personally), but he had us watch a couple documentaries on them and then talk about their skills and styles.

Because of that, I can say that Rush Limbaugh is actually really good at talk radio, generally. He's over the top, but that's kind of his schtick, the same way that Newt Gingrich is always baiting the "elitist liberal media." His listeners generally don't take him at face value and get a kick out of laughing at earnest liberals who do. It's a really mean-spirited humor (something that I was reminded of when reading a book about the 1300s which spent some time on their contemporary humor), but between sketches and song parodies, he keeps a pretty internally consistent political voice and totally panders to the base. The description of, "He says what we're all thinking," works if you happen to be a repressed right-wing asshole. He has a genius for framing things in a way that's not accurate outside in the empirical world, but makes emotional sense to his audience, and dealing with him generally as if he's serious only reinforces that in-group, out-group thing. He's certainly funnier than Father Coughlin.

You can hear some of that in the way that he nominally addresses his comments not to his audience, but to "feminazis," who are ostensibly listening to his show, looking for offense. But there are two things that separated this from the usual bouts of misogyny and bullying, and those are the political climate currently, where reactionary men really have been attacking women's rights all over the place, and women (and the men that love them) are sick of it and fighting back. The other thing is that if he had mentioned that once or twice and moved on, it probably wouldn't have gotten any notice and he could have been much more successful at spinning it and painting himself as the victim of liberals again, but by harping on it for half an hour, he really did cut out any excuses he might have been able to cover himself with, in terms of advertisers. Added is that Fluke isn't really a public figure, so defamation laws are more strict and she gets more sympathy from the public. Had she been, say, Michelle Obama who he was calling a slut, it would have been a lot easier for him to skate.
posted by klangklangston at 10:49 AM on March 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


Came here to post TDS's take. It made it on. Yay.

Also, doesn't Rush know about Godwin's Law? He's been using the 'femi-nazi' word for years. Seems like someone would call him on it.
posted by hot_monster at 11:11 AM on March 6, 2012






every Star Trek spinoff has to have at least one woman in skin-tight, sexualized clothes. There are no sexualized men.

Granted, the original series seemed to go out of its way to make sure that pretty much every female humanoid on the show was a total knockout in a skimpy costume, but then again Kirk's shirt tended to get torn off with astonishing regularity.
posted by ShutterBun at 11:58 AM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I recently re-watched the early original episodes--just about every one has some sort of femme-bot thing going on, or a lusty alien or something.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:11 PM on March 6, 2012


That Gawker article is wrong. This is an important conversation to have; the anti-women sentiment was already there, Rush's comments just exposed it.

ShutterBun and MrMoonPie - I haven't watched hardly any TOS so I didn't comment on it.
posted by desjardins at 12:17 PM on March 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


But there are two things that separated this from the usual bouts of misogyny and bullying,

The sex tape comment is what separated it. I don't know how easy it is for a man to understand it but having someone take and post naked photos or video online without consent is a serious concern for most women. Its right up there with fear of date rape and physical assault when you start dating a stranger or you break up with someone, especially someone controlling or abusive. It's become something men do to get back at women and its incredibly damaging to the victim.

Rush Limbaugh was obviously sincere in saying he wanted to see a sex video and, right there, he became a predator in the minds of 90% of women. Once that switch is flipped there is no going back. If he actually assaulted a woman he'd do less damage to his reputation than by condoning what he did, sadly.
posted by fshgrl at 12:43 PM on March 6, 2012 [13 favorites]


... the very early eighties ...

Oops, meant nineties.
posted by octothorpe at 3:36 PM on March 6, 2012




"The sex tape comment is what separated it."

I understand that the sex tape comment is what distinguished it for you, however I'll note that the sex tape comment is being reported in ancillary terms in the media, and that it wasn't involved in his apology. Nor have outside comments focused as much on the sex tape portion as they have on the "slut" and "prostitute" terms.

I'd also wager, though I have no personal desire to wade into the Limbaugh in order to check, that he's made similar sex tape comments before about other women, especially ones who have complained about sexual harassment.

I'd still say that the national context in which he made his comments, and the person he directed them at, are more important in terms of the coverage that he's getting.
posted by klangklangston at 6:52 PM on March 6, 2012


I'd still say that the national context in which he made his comments, and the person he directed them at, are more important in terms of the coverage that he's getting.

I agree with this. The demand of a sex tape quid pro quo certainly reveals that Rush has the mindset of a predator, and certainly turned a lot of stomachs on top of everything else, but it hasn't actually been at the center of most of the coverage.

This incident was the electric third rail for a simple reason: he called Sandra Fluke a slut in terms that strongly implied that he believes that all women who use contraception are sluts -- in a country where literally 99% of the women have used contraception at some point in their lives. By implication he included in his insult white women and black women and Latina women and Asian women; working-class women and middle-class women and wealthy women; immigrant women and native-born women; liberal women and conservative women; Christian women and Jewish women and Muslim women and atheist women.

Until now, he and the right wing had always been able to claim some sort of (bullshit) plausible deniability that other misogynistic remarks didn't really implicate all women -- "just" Michelle Obama, for example, and then "only", by implied extension, uppity black women of a certain class. Similarly, see Don Imus and his "nappy headed ho's" remark; there was outrage at his obvious racism and sexism, but there wasn't a viable argument to be made at a kind of mass, mainstream level that his remark indicated that he believed all women are whores.

But that is exactly the kind of mass, mainstream argument that could be made with Limbaugh's attack on Fluke (particularly given that she's a private citizen), and that's why this was different. Rush managed to defame virtually an entire nation of mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives and the men who were born to them, fathered them, grew up with them, or married them. The "at least let us watch you whores having sex" remark was just a rather stunning insult added to an astonishingly wide-ranging injury.

The only thing more astonishing than the remarks themselves is that he quite clearly had no idea ahead that it was ill-advised in the slightest to slander half the population.
posted by scody at 7:43 PM on March 6, 2012 [15 favorites]


More from Rush on over-educated, single, young white women.
posted by naoko at 8:32 PM on March 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


scody, I think you're right, but there's also another aspect we're not talking about. This might just be around the Georgetown Law crowd, because we know her a little, but aside from the fact that it would be heinous for Limbaugh to be calling any woman by those names, they're simply not something that anyone would ever think to call Sandra Fluke. It's just weird.

I mean, I hate the word "feminazi" as much as the next person, but if that's all Rush had called her, it wouldn't have raised an eyebrow. For what Rush means, sure, it fits. Likewise, if he'd called Paris Hilton a slut and a prostitute, no one would have cared, or far fewer people anyway. Hell, if he'd said it about a private citizen who at least exhibited any classic traits generally associated with "sluttiness" he might have gotten away with his sponsors in tact.

But he didn't. He chose a private woman who appears staid and serious, and did so in a way of trying to make an argument for broadening the definition of "slut." No woman should be called that, but in Sandra's case, the label doesn't even make any sense, and I think that had a lot to do with roping in all women to feel like they were being attacked.

I'm reminded of nickyskye's recent FPP about "New Orleans' white slave children," who by all accounts and pictures certainly appeared caucasian, but were considered "negro" by the "one-drop" rule. Abolitionists, who were certainly opposed to any slavery, used photos of them to drum up support for their cause. They weren't wrong to do so, but they were clearly playing off of existing emotional prejudices in doing so. Because, hey, these children don't look like slaves! This is wrong!

Sandra doesn't seem like a slut, I think, and so there is a cognitive dissonance involved here which is waking some people up to the misogyny surrounding all of this. But in this case, Rush brought it upon himself.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:48 PM on March 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


And who better to make people aware of that dissonance, and the true misogynist enthymeme of the right's contraception position. Who more suited. More deserving. If it were just Santorum, or Savage, or any other member of their odious cavalcade of cranks and crackpots, they could always distance themselves. But they can't distance themselves from Rush. He's been the point-man of American conservatism for at least the last twenty years.

And now he's their tarbaby: fine when you're hugging him but just try to pull away. The more the current GOPefuls do, the more our attention is drawn to how mired in that tainted thought they truly are.

Today Rush lost Stamps.com and Geico. His syndicates may cling fast, hoping he'll make a recovery. He has before and for many of these stations, especially in the Midwest, he's the cash cow. He might make that rebound through sheer momentum, and it could be a bet many are willing to take a temporary hit on. Unlike Imus or The Greasman or any other fallen shock jock he's an industrial power. Perhaps too big to fail. Letting him bloviate on their airwaves while taking a loss would be the industry equivalent of an institutional bailout.

But if not? What perfect, poetic justice. Almost as sweet as a show trial and the rope.

After the revolution of course.
posted by clarknova at 10:34 PM on March 6, 2012


From naoko's link: Rush thinks that a woman with a bachelor's degree is "overeducated." So… we're not supposed to go to college?
posted by desjardins at 5:11 AM on March 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think by "overeducated" he means "actually doing something with her degree after leaving college." Evidently, it's fine and well for a woman to attend college to meet a man and broaden her horizons, but heaven forbid that after graduating, she should decide to do anything besides immediately settling down and starting a family.
posted by mantecol at 6:47 AM on March 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm a big fan of there being consequences for shitty behavior.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:04 AM on March 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Overeducated" is like "uppity," except it applies to women.
posted by hydrophonic at 8:26 AM on March 7, 2012 [21 favorites]


According to Media Matters, 38 advertisers have dumped on Rush.
posted by crunchland at 9:12 AM on March 7, 2012


[Couple comments removed, maybe try to find a way to call Rush a jerk without using the exact same words that he's a jerk about using.]
posted by cortex at 11:38 AM on March 7, 2012


So the majority of ads still airing on his show are from the Ad Council? Isn't that like a government run program? lol
posted by Big_B at 11:53 AM on March 7, 2012


maybe try to find a way to call Rush a jerk without using the exact same words that he's a jerk about using

I disagree. Reappropriating words is used for empowerment and for purposes of parody.

Ironically, the only empathy I have for Limbaugh is his first amendment right. But that's an empty shell if he does not understand the subject he is addressing or the concepts he's using.

Was it that I was being intellectually lazy?

I would argue that the terms I use, particularly in regard to Limbaugh's form of prostitution for the GOP, were used with precision and purpose in full understanding of what was being said. The criticism was appropriate in both content and vitriol.

Is it that we object to the merely vitriolic?
Simply calling Rush a jerk is mealy mouthed and repetitive.
I do consider certain terms to be as offensive as, for example "nigger."

What then are we to make of concepts that are put forth (in this case by Limbaugh) that are as offensive but do not make use of the same single word incendiaries?

Limbaugh's concepts are as hurtful, as offensive, as any of the most offensive of slurs. That would exactly be the point. What's more harmful, the term of the set of values it embodies?

Or is it that they were used in a misogynist or hateful fashion?
If that's the case, that is, if that is what anyone thinks, then sideline me. I think this would be the sole case I've ever used it, it's not like I do it injudiciously or it's a favorite thing of mine and I thought the context was fairly obvious.

You'd think we haven't covered this ground.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:24 PM on March 7, 2012


So the majority of ads still airing on his show are from the Ad Council? Isn't that like a government run program? lol

Maybe they're running PSAs telling men not to call women sluts and whores.
posted by desjardins at 12:29 PM on March 7, 2012


Reappropriating words is used for empowerment and for purposes of parody.

You're not the target of his words, so you don't get to reappropriate them, just like I don't get to reappropriate f*ggot or n-----r.
posted by desjardins at 12:30 PM on March 7, 2012 [10 favorites]


You'd think we haven't covered this ground.

At great length, on several occasions, many more recent than that 2008 thread; and the conclusion as far as what works well on this site was not "go crazy, people will obviously totally understand that you're throwing around misogynistic stuff ironically and will appreciate you doing so". It's a really complicated topic. If you seriously want to talk about it more, start a Metatalk thread and we can do it there. Otherwise, please cut it out in here.
posted by cortex at 12:34 PM on March 7, 2012


Smedlyman, it's not the language that I personally object to, but you either flatter Rush or degrade women when you describe Rush Limbaugh in any feminine terms. In my opinion the man isn't worth his weight in cat litter, and if you want to insult him, please use a little more creativity.
posted by peppermind at 12:50 PM on March 7, 2012


Yes, cat litter is quite useful.
posted by adamdschneider at 1:38 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


bakerina: "Update: Think Progress lists 35 sponsors who have pulled ads from Limbaugh's show, including Capital One and Netflix."

45 now.

Here's his response:
On Wednesday, Limbaugh cast the affair as a tempest in a teapot. "Everything is fine on the business side," he said. "Everything is cool."

Limbaugh claimed that two sponsors who had left were going to return to the program, and that the other sponsors were not yanking their commercials from the radio stations on which they aired; rather, he said, they were asking that their spots be moved from his show.

"That is not revenue to us," he said. "They are not our sponsors. They are not even canceling our station ... nobody is losing money here, including us."

Limbaugh cast the publicity around the advertisers as part of an effort by "the left" to drive him from the radio. "They thought I'd be off the air by now," he said. "They can't understand why I still am."

He estimated that he has about 18,000 sponsors across his affiliate network. Losing the ones he has, he said, was "like losing a couple of french fries in the container when it's delivered to you at the drive-thru. You don't even notice it."

He concluded by saying, once again, that everything was going well, and that losing advertisers was an everyday, uninteresting part of doing business.

posted by zarq at 1:55 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


[MetaTalk means MetaTalk, please, thank you]
posted by jessamyn at 7:57 PM on March 7, 2012


Come now, Rush, as a man of heft myself, I certainly notice when 35 french fries are missing (though I'll admit that I rarely super size up to 18,000 in one sitting).
posted by klangklangston at 10:40 PM on March 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


MrMoonPie: I recently re-watched the early original episodes--just about every one has some sort of femme-bot thing going on, or a lusty alien or something.

It could be no other way considering the Original Star Trek Theme lyrics: "I know [my love will] find love, strange love a star woman teaches"!

posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 10:53 PM on March 7, 2012


Help me out here. I'm not really sure if I am a slut or not. I have a lot of sex-- almost daily. But it is with my husband. Also, I'm past the point of needing birth control. So slut or not?

Maybe I'm just a joke. After all in our culture any post-menopausal woman who enjoys a lot of sex is just a pathetic creature-- mentally deranged and horrifying to contemplate. I can only imagine the sort of things that R**h would call me.

If his crap leads to a national dialog on birth control for women that would be great, however I would love if this led to something even greater: It is time for a National Dialog on Women's Sexuality.

Our modern culture is so conflicted. On the one hand we are bombarded daily with images of nubile women using their bodies to get us to watch this show, buy this product, read this magazine. On the other hand, the very idea of women enjoying sex is at times (particularly if she is very young or very old) unthinkable or even scandalous. Why is it that men want to fuck women, want to have enthusiastic partners, but don't want women as a group to want to be fucked? Why is it woman (on the whole) want to pretend that teenage girls don't like sex, older women are frigid, and anyone who has more than one partner in her life is dirty and nasty?

The time for slut shaming is over. We can control our reproduction which means we no longer need the whole village to control who we take on as a sexual partner. We really can have sex without consequences if only we will allow ourselves.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:01 AM on March 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


I physically will never get pregnant unless there is a miracle on a Biblical scale and I never could - so I've never had a use for birth control. I'm married and I like having sex with my husband. If sex is only for procreation, then... what am I? I know I'm far from the only one in this situation.
posted by desjardins at 6:47 AM on March 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


This just in, sluts vote. GOP losing support of women in latest polls.
posted by fragmede at 7:31 AM on March 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think Rush really wants to classify all women as sluts. He just wants to watch videos of having sex on the internet.
posted by crunchland at 8:43 AM on March 8, 2012


Also, this might explain the government involvement in the issue that seems to have some people a bit confused. The government paying women so that they can have as much sex as they feel comfortable with? With my/our money? I am NOT comfortable with that if that's truly the case.

I hate when poor people have sex without repercussion.
posted by inigo2 at 8:58 AM on March 8, 2012 [2 favorites]




The time for slut shaming is over.

There was a time for it?
posted by Smedleyman at 9:27 AM on March 8, 2012 [1 favorite]




Aux Etats-Unis, la revanche des "salopes" contre les républicains

I thought "putain" translated to slut... man, I am so out of touch with French offensive terms these days.
posted by desjardins at 9:52 AM on March 8, 2012


Smedleyman: " There was a time for it?"

Well, let's see now.

We have this. And this.

Then we have quite a few politicos who have fucked up opinions about women and whether they should have the right to control their own bodies, such as Ron Paul, who feel that a rape has to be "honest" to be treated like a sexual assault. Apparently the three-time Presidential candidate (and Congressman since the late 90's,) would like to establish ground rules on what sort of assault deserves treatment.

Then, over the last few decades we've seen quite a few egregious examples considered acceptable by both the police and courts of law, including multiple instances of rape victims being blamed for their own sexual assaults. Some, we have been told, were "asking for it" by the way they were dressed. In one case about 6 years ago, a judge in Illinois threatened to through a rape victim in jail because she refused to watch a video of her own gang rape. One judge in 2007 decided to place a ban on the word rape during a trial in which someone was accused of... wait for it... raping someone.

In the 1950's, you could show someone slap the face of a woman on television, (or more likely, in the movies) but you couldn't show her being kissed on that same cheek on tv. Or dressed in lingerie, either. That would have been "indecent."

The answer to your question, smedleyman, is that there has never not been a time for it. Women have been degraded and treated as second class citizens in this country by our legal system, in our culture and in depictions in popular media since this country was founded.

It's about time they be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve, imnsho.
posted by zarq at 9:54 AM on March 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


From naoko's link: Rush thinks that a woman with a bachelor's degree is "overeducated." So… we're not supposed to go to college?

WHO IS GOING TO MAKE THE PIES?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:26 AM on March 8, 2012


WHO IS GOING TO MAKE THE PIES?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:26 PM on March 8 [+] [!]


My friend went to college and now makes REALLY GOOD PIES. (It was a cooking college).
posted by jb at 10:52 AM on March 8, 2012


It's about time they be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve, imnsho.

So you take my comment to mean that I don't believe women should be treated with dignity and respect? Or that they shouldn't be treated with dignity and respect - now?

I meant, in jest, that the secondary implication was that there was a time for it. And of course there was never a proper time for it at all, despite its happening throughout history.

But you genuinely believe that despite having a daughter and having overwhelming fury at Limbaugh on this, the proper answer to my question is "is that there has never not been a time for it" and that I don't believe women should be treated with dignity and respect.

Really?
posted by Smedleyman at 10:58 AM on March 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Bah, la langue française s'est spécialisée dans ce, desjardins.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:22 AM on March 8, 2012


Smedleyman, calm down. It doesn't seem like he's making a personal attack, or accusing you of anything. Slut shaming has always been morally wrong.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 11:22 AM on March 8, 2012


BTW the little english quiz on lemonde.fr is fantastic.

A cumbersome object is:
(chose one)

o hard to carry or heavy

o shaped like a cucumber or zucchini

o potentially dangerous
-----------------------------

I, myself, picked "shaped like a cucumber or zucchini".
posted by zia at 11:28 AM on March 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Smedleyman: "So you take my comment to mean that I don't believe women should be treated with dignity and respect? Or that they shouldn't be treated with dignity and respect - now?

I meant, in jest, that the secondary implication was that there was a time for it. And of course there was never a proper time for it at all, despite its happening throughout history.

But you genuinely believe that despite having a daughter and having overwhelming fury at Limbaugh on this, the proper answer to my question is "is that there has never not been a time for it" and that I don't believe women should be treated with dignity and respect.

Really?
"

*head desk*

Shit. No. No. No. That was not a personal attack. I was absolutely not intending to attack you personally. I was not trying to imply that you personally feel women should be treated with anything other than dignity and respect.

And if that's how my comment came across to you, I sincerely apologize.

I was trying to point out that Western (and specifically American) culture has and continues to devalue women in many ways, and across many strata. From our legal system, which still doesn't give them a break, to a whole host of legally-elected representatives, to people who think joking about rape is funny, etc., etc.

I think it's important to acknowledge that when we discuss stuff like this. We're working against an inertia in society that's been really slow to change, and hasn't always changed either for the better or on women's terms. What we have seen in the last 30-40 years is a rise in women speaking out for themselves against those injustices. And counter-ideas arising in popular culture which has helped chip away at the worst offenders. 60 years ago, Rush could have said that on the air and no one would have dared oppose him. Or if they had, we certainly wouldn't have seen it happen on this sort of scale. Which is a good thing.

You know, I have a daughter, too. And a son. (They're only 4.) Perhaps this is naively idealistic, but I would like my daughter to grow up in a world where she's not ever going to be shamed for her sexuality or her gender. And who would punch anyone who tried squarely in the mouth. I can't imagine any other father feeling otherwise.
posted by zarq at 11:37 AM on March 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


And if that's how my comment came across to you, I sincerely apologize.

No need. My misinterpretation. The mistake is mine. I apologize.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:41 AM on March 8, 2012


Get a room, you, you...sex-drive-having individuals!
posted by notsnot at 12:07 PM on March 8, 2012


On a tangent to aversive classical conditioning - look at Limbaugh's apology. The form it takes.
In apologizing for the word choice, and in others admonishment for his word choice the words themselves are re-imbued (or the attempt is made) with power.

The insinuation socially, although it's directly made by Limbaugh, is that the concepts are perfectly legitimate despite the inflammatory nature of the words. (To be perfectly clear here, I'm speaking about his words, his comments, the way he and others in society use them and illustrating that and nothing else).

Transgression was a necessity in delivering the concept. The medium is the metaphor in that regard. Although indeed, Limbaugh is perhaps a perfect metaphor himself. A deaf man shouting over a one way broadcast medium.
But, transgression is one of the highest tributes one can lend the power of a symbol. A blasphemer takes the symbol as seriously as an idolator.

This is why you see people burning the American flag in protest contrasted to people demanding a constitutional amendment to protect the flag and the nature of the symbol, the concepts it represents, is drowned out in the cacophony.

It is the effects of negative conditioning we feel when we see symbols (or words) we're taught not to use and feel an embarrassed or angry response.

Historically when a symbol is used repetitively in a variety of circumstances it loses the power to call attention to that special frame of mind.

In calling attention to the words he used in apology Limbaugh reimbues these words with power while deflecting the true offense which is from the concepts he uses. In these, the concepts, he maintains his rectitude.

Limbaugh (et.al)'s argument for using either, is that he's an entertainer. So he makes use of serious symbols in an irreverent manner, which is healthy.
But Limbaugh is not, for example, Louis CK who explores certain symbols from an irreverent perspective, but not connected to degrading concepts.

So, on the one hand repetitive usage undermines the taboo through desensitization. On the other hand, if used offensively it can be repowered but the risk of course is adding to the desensitization.
Solution? Say it and apologize.

Which is where we are here.

The nature of Limbaugh's business, and the reason he's not upset - genuinely not upset, although he has to say it either way - at losing advertisers is because the business of advertizing is irrationality, identity association and emotionalism.

If I remember correctly, Carbonite CEO took a stand on this (and boy did he get tolchucked on the left anyway, can't win for doing the proper thing either) and they're losing money now too (took a stock hit).
It's cool he's personally principled. Last I checked he was pissed for the same reasons I and Obama and probably ever other father in the U.S. was pissed off.

What advertisers need is not what's right or wrong with the product (in this case Limbaugh) but what's right or wrong with the buyer.

So the power of symbol - and the association with that symbol which makes advertisers money because what the hell does women wrestling in mud have to do with light beer? Marlboros were considered women's cigarettes (whatever that is) before they were associated with cowboys.

Those symbols must be maintained in order to keep people from engaging in a rational enterprise based on a careful consideration to determine the quality of discourse and their own self-interest (not smoking, say) in favor of the assertion of an identity they feel is good.

And of course, a contraposition has to be maintained. Gotta have a "hamburglar." Not that I'm implying Limbaugh is the Hamburglar, more of a Grimace (yeah, that's a fat joke) - but indeed, Grimace was introduced as "Evil Grimace" who stole shakes before he was turned into a big oaf. Who stole shakes.

So what we're looking at is not the man. Or shouldn't be. What we're looking at is how the system is geared away from solutions or products which in the past may actually have been valuable. But rather towards making the consumer feel valuable.
And so we're going to have many many many more of these little psycho-dramas in the future as "outdated" as his mysogyny is presented. Of course it's outdated. It will always be outdated. In the future, when it happens again, it will be even more outdated.

(If you want a picture of the future, imagine a smarmy apology issued to a human face — forever)
In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification.

Today, the defense itself is a form of "entertainment" and the political ideas themselves are merely products.
So too - mysogyny and proper respect for women are commodified and we're expected to buy in to either the false irreverence behind the first (dislike of "political correctness" if not an excuse for bruitish behavior) or champion the second and congratulate ourselves for our enlightenment.
We focus on the image that soothes our discontent all the while unknowingly lending strength and tension to the drama itself.

It's not really relevant whether we listen or not, or whether Limbaugh loses advertisers, most people can't turn away from the drama. Indeed, many listeners (or media consumers of any type) listen to people they hate. Howard Stern for example.
But if we're not involved by listening we'll be involved by other people.
So it doesn't matter if he's taken of the air (not to deny this as a good thing generally) as long as the information - the concepts involved - are rendered like ground beef into noncontextual and simplistic forms.
So they go, they come back, whatever, wherever the light is.

It's amazing to read the press and the continual use of self-reflexiveness, use of either/or categories, the misunderstanding (purposefull or otherwise) of the levels of abstraction.

I don't think I've read one good, cogent thing on this topic. Certainly nothing that strikes at the heart of the beast with an aim to kill it.
Not that my own meager talents are up to the task of course, but at least I'm in earnest (as I think most of y'all are, otherwise I wouldn't take the time or effort).
posted by Smedleyman at 12:10 PM on March 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, I've always read 1984 with the idea that whatever else happened in the world, the only thing real was the drama between O'Brien (and his resources) and Smith.
Everything else was stage managed. Smith was entirely set up to be tortured, reeducated, and recreated to love Big Brother.
The literary stuff aside - Orwell was reflecting the reality of Power in human relationships. It's that reality I'm addressing.
There is most certainly a psycho-sexual component there (as there is in many nonconsensual slave master relationships. Indeed, in some consensual ones forcing someone's attention to their own genitalia creates submission. And it's the attention that is craved. - plenty of folks with more experience on this than me, but in terms of power the element of control that's critical is forcing another's attention where you wish to create a given sensation. And 1984 is illustrative of that)

And I think this is reflective of how this particular issue is played out in our society. Denial of sex with another is as gratifying psychologically, in terms of power, as having sex with them yourself.
It's an extension of power in that regard. Many societies, organizations, religions, cults, have made use of this dynamic.

Illustrated by Limbaugh's demand (and it was a Demand) to see sex tapes.
A kind of proxy gang rape in that regard because of the use of the term "we."

And if you've ever seen a mob, you know there's a kind of group psychology there. It's palpable. And you can understand it. You see the communication on a paraverbal level.

So in that regard it's a kind of collective organism.

Anyway, I kill such things sometimes. Professionally I mean, I'm not a hobbiest. Plus being a dad. So I beg pardon for my zeal.
I think the part that those of us who are dads get that though. Unconsciously. We sometimes take arms, weapons, scary things themselves into metaphor.

It is after all part of our job as fathers to kill monsters.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:31 PM on March 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Media Matters documents the commercials airing on Rush's show today:

* A total of 86 ads aired during WABC's broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show today

* 77 of those ads were public service announcements donated free of charge by the Ad Council

* Of the nine paid spots that ran, seven were from companies that have said they have taken steps to ensure their ads no longer air during the program

* WABC's online feed included about 5:33 of dead air when ads would normally have run.
posted by octothorpe at 5:04 PM on March 8, 2012 [19 favorites]


oneswellfoop: Rehabilitation to do what? Have sex. Sorry, still a Male Pleasure Drug.

Johnny Wallflower: My wife derives pleasure from sex, too. In my case, this is a male function drug (one can have orgasms without erections). It makes her experience better

Nope. Sorry. Contrary to men's belief (and I'll specify "in this particular side-argument about Viagra vs. the pill, so as not to make it a Whole Big Thing), the world does not revolve around The Almighty Penis.

You got a tongue? You got fingers? If so, your argument that Viagra is "for her pleasure" is invalid.
posted by tzikeh at 12:25 AM on March 9, 2012


While you're entirely right Tzikeh — no woman enjoys sex with an erect penis when fingers or tongues are available and all reports of such enjoyment are mere self-justifying mythos from the patriarchy and false consciousness from women who would know better if only they listened to you about their sex lives — unfortunately, I have it on good authority that Johnny Wallflower lost his tongue and hands in the war, and his wife is bored of stumpsies. Try a little compassion.
posted by klangklangston at 12:32 AM on March 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


no woman enjoys sex with an erect penis when fingers or tongues are available and all reports of such enjoyment are mere self-justifying mythos from the patriarchy and false consciousness from women who would know better if only they listened to you about their sex lives

You're mis-representing what I said. Johnny Wallflower said that Viagra was important not just for him, but for his wife's pleasure as well. I pointed out that his wife's sexual pleasure *did not depend upon Viagra.* Therefore it is a male pleasure drug, and is not necessary medication when it comes to sexual pleasure for a woman.
posted by tzikeh at 12:36 AM on March 9, 2012


As for Johnny Wallflower's missing tongue and hands, at least he's in a better situation than poor Lavinia: raped by two men who then chopped off her hands and cut out her tongue. Later, she was murdered by her whackadoo father Titus Andronicus. Just another case of male privilege, I say. Fuckin' Shakespeare. 99% of theater is crap. BRING DOWN THE 1%.
posted by tzikeh at 12:44 AM on March 9, 2012


"You're mis-representing what I said. Johnny Wallflower said that Viagra was important not just for him, but for his wife's pleasure as well. I pointed out that his wife's sexual pleasure *did not depend upon Viagra.* Therefore it is a male pleasure drug, and is not necessary medication when it comes to sexual pleasure for a woman."

You misrepresented what he said in a particularly condescending and idiotic way, and are doing it again. When you quote someone saying that their partner "derives" pleasure from something, does that mean that their pleasure "depends" on that something? Further, you're injecting your opinions into the sex life of different people, and some people have different preferences — preferences that you have no way of knowing. Just as some men don't like blowjobs, some women don't like cunnilingus. But instead of trusting Johnny's self-reporting, you're arrogantly telling him what his wife does enjoy instead, and presuming that he's arguing something that he's not.

You're continuing the bad behavior of Rush Limbaugh and presuming that your moral judgments about someone else's sex life are more important than theirs. It's stupid; knock it off. If there's no problem giving women birth control because they prefer sex without barriers (and there's not), there's no problem giving men drugs to combat erectile dysfunction, and it's not your place to judge their quality of life, no matter how snappy a bit of rhetoric you think it is.
posted by klangklangston at 12:58 AM on March 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


When you quote someone saying that their partner "derives" pleasure from something, does that mean that their pleasure "depends" on that something?

Even if, for this purpose of this discussion, I stipulate to the idea that there are woman can experience sexual pleasure if there is penile penetration, sexual pleasure is not a necessity for health. The pill often is--as evinced by the case in question. Health insurance is not in the business of providing plan members with individual sexual pleasure; it is in the business of providing health care.

You're continuing the bad behavior of Rush Limbaugh and presuming that your moral judgments about someone else's sex life are more important than theirs.

Whoa, there. Please quote any part of what I said as pertaining to my morals.
posted by tzikeh at 1:09 AM on March 9, 2012


that there are woman can experience sexual pleasure if there is

^that there are women who can only experience sexual pleasure if there is....

Ugh -- 3:15 am typos ftl.
posted by tzikeh at 1:10 AM on March 9, 2012


"Even if, for this purpose of this discussion, I stipulate to the idea that there are woman can experience sexual pleasure if there is penile penetration, sexual pleasure is not a necessity for health. The pill often is--as evinced by the case in question. Health insurance is not in the business of providing plan members with individual sexual pleasure; it is in the business of providing health care."

Two things — First off, women should have access to the birth control pill even if they only use it to avoid other contraceptives that have a more deleterious effect on their sexual pleasure. Arguing that it should only be available for some sort of pure "health" reason is judgmental, invasive nonsense. It's none of your business. Second off, quality of life is a health issue. Otherwise, your reasoning quickly devolves to the absurd — there's no "health" reason to cover ADD drugs or modern prosthetics or even painkillers if you go with the argument that the only legitimate health insurance role is to prevent further injury. Otherwise, you can use quality of life as a metric for deciding medical care, and once you do that, your role is no longer to judge what is appropriate unless you are a doctor dealing with a patient.

"Whoa, there. Please quote any part of what I said as pertaining to my morals."

Oh, can the horseshit. You got sanctimonious about "male pleasure drugs" and wanted to lecture Johnny about what other techniques you presume he isn't using, and you want to split hairs finer than elf pubes over what's necessary to someone else's sex life. It's judgmental and it's a rhetorical framing that plays exactly into the idea that it's anyone's purview to judge what's necessary for someone else's sex life. If you don't want men meddling in what instances the pill is "necessary" for a woman (or abortion, or any number of other sex-related controversies), then by telling some other woman — even by proxy — what's necessary for her sex life only validates that framing.

If it's not a moral issue, it shouldn't matter to you why anyone takes any medication. If it is a moral issue, the argument you're making is that men shouldn't have Viagra covered and women shouldn't have birth control covered for anything outside of "health" issues. It's an anti-sex framing, the same framing that validates slut shaming. Instead of letting everyone have a positive, you're arguing for negative equality.
posted by klangklangston at 1:32 AM on March 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


Well, it looks like Rush gained a new advertiser, at least to his website. Michelle Malkin just tweeted about her press release that her internet startup, Twitchy, is going to help prop the big guy up.
posted by crunchland at 4:16 AM on March 9, 2012


He isn't worth his contract without the big corporate sponsors, let Malkin and her ilk do their thing.

In the end though, he could go the Satellite route like Stern or even do his own subscription based online thing and still roll in the dough. He isn't going away and his legions of fans will still be there.

I am shocked though at how many sponsors have dropped, I really thought he would be immune to backlash after saying shit just as bad as this for so many years.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:29 AM on March 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


tzikeh - You got a tongue? You got fingers? If so, your argument that Viagra is "for her pleasure" is invalid.

You had sex with Johnny Wallflower's wife? If not, let's assume that Johnny knows more about what his wife likes in bed than you do.
posted by metaBugs at 4:39 AM on March 9, 2012


He's not really worth $50 million a year if he's not bringing in any advertising revenue. Clear Channel might have right-wing sympathies but they're in it for the money.
posted by octothorpe at 4:41 AM on March 9, 2012










USA Today: Birth control prices range widley [sic] from $100 to $1,000

but first, in other news, the death of proofreading
posted by scody at 9:48 AM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


klangklangston: First off, women should have access to the birth control pill even if they only use it to avoid other contraceptives that have a more deleterious effect on their sexual pleasure. Arguing that it should only be available for some sort of pure "health" reason is judgmental, invasive nonsense.

Where the hell are you getting from anything that I said that I think the pill should only available for health reasons? Are you just mad about other people saying that, and mapped it onto what I said?

If it is a moral issue, the argument you're making is that men shouldn't have Viagra covered and women shouldn't have birth control covered for anything outside of "health" issues.

Where the hell are you getting any of this? Are you purposefully misreading everything I said in order to make an argument you're making in your head against what other people are saying? I think both women's birth control medication and Viagra should be covered. I'm pointing out the hypocrisy of the fact that Viagra is covered and birth control *isn't*.

Jesus fucking Christ.
posted by tzikeh at 10:01 AM on March 9, 2012


metaBugs: You had sex with Johnny Wallflower's wife?

Oh, for fuck's sake.
posted by tzikeh at 10:03 AM on March 9, 2012


I'm pointing out the hypocrisy of the fact that Viagra is covered and birth control *isn't*.


I don't think anyone misunderstands that. Your argument, however, is predicated on all sorts of kind of crappy assumptions.
posted by OmieWise at 10:51 AM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]






tzikeh, the point is, how do you know what this guy's wife finds pleasure in? Your post seems to assume that no woman could find unique pleasure in a hard penis, if she had the alternative of lips and fingers.
posted by msalt at 12:05 PM on March 9, 2012


Aaaaand Smedleyman has hit the button. Go Metafilter!

I cannot believe how badly his point was missed with this comment. No wait, what am I saying? I can believe it all too easily.
posted by Decani at 12:34 PM on March 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bill O'Reilly: Viagra should be covered, birth control should not.

I think the Republican position might be that pregnancy is not a medical issue.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:37 PM on March 9, 2012


Can Government-Subsidized Birth Control Really Save Taxpayer Money?

"According to a new study released by the Brookings Institution, the answer is a resounding yes, to the tune of $1.32 billion. Those are savings that result when family planning access through Medicaid is expanded with a comparatively meager investment of $235 million, reducing unplanned births that will eventually become a burden on the state."
posted by homunculus at 2:31 PM on March 9, 2012


Decani, well..... shit.

Smedleyman, I'm sorry you felt like you had to leave.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:35 PM on March 9, 2012


I am still totally mindblown that Rush doesn't understand how the Pill works. That level of ignorance is pretty astounding.

This whole kerfluffle has shown me just how uninformative in general media is unless you really pay attention and dig in to a story...

To be clear, my own beliefs are the following:

1: Birth control should be attainable-WITHOUT forcing an entity such as the Catholic Church to provide it since it violates their belief system. I see no reason why either has to be sacrificed for the other.

2: People should NOT be called sluts particularly on talk radio and particularly just because they are ideologically opposite to the namecaller.

3: Rush is deservedly losing advertisers and being called out on his boorishness. However I would like to see people on the left such as Bill Maher held to the same standard even if the person who is being namecalled is ideologically opposite to the namecaller.

4: Everyone should remember that prescription medicine costs money and so does insurance, and that it's okay for personal responsibility to be a part of the equation-but at the same time neither medication nor insurance should be priced out of the financial range of people who will be bearing the responsibility due to corporate greed or system stupidity.

5: I believe that any piece of radio, tv or print media that makes a limp soundbite on an issue such as this that does not at least attempt to communicate the actual full issue should be tarred, feathered, and redone till it does. While I'm dreaming I'd also like political ads to be informative rather than sloganridden copies of soap commercials, but that's an opus for another place and time. A pony would be nice too. With wings and sparkles.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:54 PM on March 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


^Pregnancy is a miracle.
posted by Flashman at 2:57 PM on March 9, 2012


Bill Maher isn't a national conservative leader, he's an entertainer.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 3:21 PM on March 9, 2012


I am still totally mindblown that Rush doesn't understand how the Pill works.

I'm imagining some sort of lie a woman told him as an excuse not to have sex with him.
posted by straight at 3:47 PM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


WITHOUT forcing an entity such as the Catholic Church to provide it

But see, they're not paying for it. They're being asked to set aside some of the money that on their balance sheet is a cost of paying their employees for health insurance. And the health insurance plan is buying the birth control.

It's really no different from one of their employees buying birth control with their own salary paid by the Catholic Church.

You're not arguing that the RCC should be allowed to veto what their employees can buy with the money they pay them, are you?
posted by straight at 3:50 PM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was speaking in general terms, straight, not necessarily addressing the compromise you refer to. The Catholic Church may or may not agree that the compromise lets them off the hook in reference to their own moral beliefs. Whether you or I would think it would might be immaterial. I don't share the Catholic viewpoint on contraception in general but I respect the right they have to that viewpoint.

And I don't care if Bill Mayer is an entertainer or a three winged wombat, that doesn't make it right for him to say what he has said either. Insulting women with those sorts of words is just not cool, I don't care what he does for a living. The fact is both he and Rush are both guilty of misogynist speech, period.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:08 PM on March 9, 2012


Period, except . . . Rush attacked a private citizen who testified truthfully about her personal experience to Congress, Maher -- who is explicitly a comedian -- attacked a very, very public figure whose very publicness has been predicated almost entirely on attacking other people in vicious, personal, lying terms.

But don't let that get in the way of a good old rationalizing republican false analogy. I bet you learned that trick from Rush and Hannity too.

As far as I am concerned, anyone who listens to those fascist morons is palling around with terrorists. Now who was it that said something like that? Call her what you want, as far as I'm concerned. To me, she's a subhuman monster.
posted by spitbull at 7:12 PM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just cannot wait for the day an American Islamic institution that employs non-Muslims forbids coverage for something Islam finds morally objectionable.

Religious freedom, my ass. White power is more like it.
posted by spitbull at 7:16 PM on March 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Keep in mind here Limbaugh is a political force who uses that power to encourage the country to legislate policies that many consider anti-women.

Maher uses bad words too, and that is bad regardless of the source, but is on the opposite side on those legal issues. That is one of the reasons he gets more slack.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:16 PM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


If it meant never seeing or hearing about what Rush Limbaugh thinks, says, or does, I'd be perfectly willing to vote Bill Maher off the island. It would be a small price to pay.
posted by crunchland at 7:20 PM on March 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


It just occurred to me: is the GOP's sudden whole-hearted embrace of the Catholic Church part of an effort to court Latino votes without losing their base on immigration issues?
posted by Navelgazer at 7:24 PM on March 9, 2012


"The Catholic Church may or may not agree that the compromise lets them off the hook in reference to their own moral beliefs. Whether you or I would think it would might be immaterial. I don't share the Catholic viewpoint on contraception in general but I respect the right they have to that viewpoint. "

They're entitled to their own viewpoint, they're not entitled to their own law.

Employers who offer health care have to offer health care of a certain quality. That includes covering something that they may disagree with — like Jehovah's Witnesses with blood transfusions, or Christian Scientists with any care. Giving an exemption to the Catholic church for NON RELIGIOUS institutions is stepping beyond the bounds of private freedom and into the realm of public harm.

They pay for wars and the death penalty. Sanctimony now doesn't make their argument legitimate.
posted by klangklangston at 8:56 PM on March 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


However I would like to see people on the left such as Bill Maher held to the same standard even if the person who is being namecalled is ideologically opposite to the namecaller.

Bill Maher defends Rush Limbaugh against critical ‘fatwa’.
posted by ericb at 10:16 PM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jesus man, having as much sex as you feel like is GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH, people get less stressed, and stress is the main killer these days
posted by Tom-B at 2:18 AM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Let me just say this:

Come to the UK. Over here, we *all* fuck on the taxpayer's dime. And nobody gives a shit.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:20 AM on March 10, 2012


Bill Maher Defends Limbaugh’s Free Speech Rights, Responds To ‘False Equivalency’ From Right [with VIDEO].
"After over a week of pundits piling on Bill Maher for his remarks about conservative women in an attempt to equivocate him with Rush Limbaugh and suggest a media double standard on such controversies, Maher finally responded on his show [last night]. Maher first slammed liberals for piling on him when he was defending Limbaugh from public pressure, before ripping into conservatives for pushing a 'false equivalency' between him and the radio host."
posted by ericb at 6:24 AM on March 10, 2012


My understanding of free speech means that Rush Limbaugh has the right to make vile and disgusting comments, but we also have the right to tell him to shut up when he does so. Am I missing something there?
posted by peppermind at 6:46 AM on March 10, 2012


We've the right to out his advertisers for sponsoring such vile garbage too. I'm cool with the idea that his radio stations might be compelled to keep him on-air while they lose millions of dollars, for the wider protection of freedom of speech of course.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:57 AM on March 10, 2012


Aux Etats-Unis, la revanche des "salopes" contre les républicains

Parisians marvel at spectacle of U.S. election race
posted by homunculus at 9:21 AM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


in an attempt to equivocate him with Rush Limbaugh

Mediaite needs a new thesaurus or an editor who has some college English courses in her past. One thing neither Rush nor Maher ever do is "equivocate." And you just know someone thought is sounded impressive, like idiots who say "utilize" when "use" would do just fine.
posted by spitbull at 9:57 AM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maher's complaint about the advertisers is that they tend to be a loud minority and don't necessarily reflect the views of the audience. He says that as someone who got kicked off TV once because of advertiser pressure.

I don't think that is quite accurate, he pissed off a ton of people with what he said regardless of if it was right or wrong and so did Limbaugh.

The fake public pressure tends to be more of the Parents Television Council variety, where they have 100 convincing the networks there are millions out there who are upset.

I don't think Maher is talking about a personal ideal of free speech, not necessarily the legal concept.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:02 PM on March 10, 2012


Rush Limbaugh Scandal Proves Contagious for Talk-Radio Advertisers. Ninety-eight major advertisers — including Ford and Geico — will no longer air spots on Premiere Networks’ ‘offensive’ programs. Insiders say the loss will rock right-wing talk radio.
Premiere Networks, which distributes Limbaugh as well as a host of other right-wing talkers, sent an email out to its affiliates early Friday listing 98 large corporations that have requested their ads appear only on “programs free of content that you know are deemed to be offensive or controversial (for example, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Leykis, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity).”

This is big. According to the radio-industry website Radio-Info.com, which first posted excerpts of the Premiere memo, among the 98 companies that have decided to no longer sponsor these programs are “carmakers (Ford, GM, Toyota), insurance companies (Allstate, Geico, Prudential, State Farm), and restaurants (McDonald’s, Subway).” Together, these talk-radio advertising staples represent millions of dollars in revenue.

Valerie Geller, an industry insider and author of Beyond Powerful Radio, confirmed the trend. “I have talked with several reps who report that they're having conversations with their clients, who are asking not to be associated with specifically polarizing controversial hosts, particularly if those hosts are ‘mean-spirited.’ While most products and services offered on these shows have strong competitors, and enjoy purchasing the exposure that many of these shows and hosts can offer, they do not wish to be ‘tarred’ with the brush of anger, or endure customer anger, or, worse, product boycotts.”

posted by zarq at 12:43 PM on March 10, 2012 [6 favorites]




Celinda Lake: No Democratic Conspiracy With Sandra Fluke
"Pollster Celinda Lake responded on Friday to the rumblings of conservative commentators who claim the Obama administration planted Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke to distract from Republican opposition to its birth control rule."
posted by ericb at 12:51 PM on March 10, 2012


I saw where O'Reilly was making that White House conspiracy argument. How would that even work if they wanted to? Is he saying they put Fluke forward as slur-bait that they knew Limbaugh would not be able to resist? Did they force him to say those things, or trick him into it?
posted by msalt at 9:53 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Pollster Celinda Lake responded on Friday to the rumblings of conservative commentators who claim the Obama administration planted Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke to distract from Republican opposition to its birth control rule."

Jesus, they have forgotten already they started this by not letting her testify. Let's be honest, they could have let her talk and she would have made some good points but made the news for one night as a side mention at best. This has been nothing but an epic Streisand effect amplified by Rush doubling down instead of letting it go.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:23 PM on March 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Jesus, they have forgotten already they started this by not letting her testify.

As far as I can decipher, the "logic" of the plot theory runs something like this: the Obama Administration planned all of this back in 2010, when they ATTACKED RELIGIOUS FREEDOM under the guise of "providing contraception access"... thus FORCING the sincere, innocent, first-amendment-loving GOP into holding their hearings without women (because naturally women don't have anything to say about religious freedom)... thereby creating the means by which to FOIST Sanda Fluke upon an unsuspecting public to propagandize about birth control... in turn MAKING whimsical, truth-loving Rush Limbaugh tell one or two mildly "politically incorrect" jokes... which was then ORCHESTRATED by the Democrats and the communist press into a two-pronged ASSAULT/SMEAR CAMPAIGN against both Rush and the GOP, whose only crime was that of failing to avoid the NEFARIOUS TRAP set by the Kenyan puppetmaster in the White House.

I mean, honestly, isn't it all obvious now?
posted by scody at 12:15 AM on March 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


You poor, naive fool. If you don't see how this connects all the way back to the fake birth announcements planted to make us think Obama is an American, they have already gotten to you.

Who would have though one birth in Kenya could lead to mandatory state sponsored birth control for all in America?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:23 AM on March 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


And then, like salt in the wound, you find out that the "free" masons actually charge a substantial yearly membership fee.
posted by cortex at 6:43 AM on March 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


The Times has a big story on centrist Republican women turning away from the party in disgust:
In Iowa, one of the crucial battlegrounds in the coming presidential election, and in other states, dozens of interviews in recent weeks have found that moderate Republican and independent women — one of the most important electoral swing groups — are disenchanted by the Republican focus on social issues like contraception and abortion in an election that, until recently, had been mostly dominated by the economy.

And in what appears to be an abrupt shift, some Republican-leaning women like Ms. Russell said they might switch sides and vote for Mr. Obama — if they turn out to vote at all.
If true, this could be a huge factor in the race, and represent a historical miscalculation on the part of the GOP candidates.
posted by Forktine at 7:00 AM on March 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well shit, Forktine, sounds like "sooner or later" has come along.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:48 AM on March 11, 2012


As far as advertisers go, I can tell you, since I listen to Hannity sometimes on the way home from work and occasionally hear some of the other conservative talkshow hosts....none of them ever has had what I would consider top tier advertisers. For example, I know Hannity advertises Proflowers-probably even harder than Rush ever did (annoying because they are the LAST place I would advise a friend to get their blooms. ) So for these other companies to come out saying they won't advertise with them? Dudes, they never did. And probably exactly because they don't want to alienate their nonconservative customers. I can see them finagling to get the word out that they won't NOW because, hey, more good publicity for them, but I can't say anything has changed except for those that fled Rush (for very good reason. Don't blame em a bit.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:53 AM on March 11, 2012


Oh, and I'm betting by the NEXT election goround we may have either three political parties or just a disjointed set of flotsam and jetsam left after the Republicans implode. Because, yep, they are about as unified as chalk and cheese at the moment.


I miss the days when the Democrats had a real conservative contingent. But most of you were in grade school.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:55 AM on March 11, 2012




I miss the days when the Democrats had a real conservative contingent. But most of you were in grade school.

And I miss the days when the Democrats had a real liberal contingent.
posted by inigo2 at 12:06 PM on March 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


I miss the days when the Democrats had a real conservative contingent. But most of you were in grade school.

Yeah, and now the conservatives make up about 95% of the party, so it can't really be called a contingent.
posted by scody at 12:43 PM on March 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


I miss the days when the Democrats had a real conservative contingent. But most of you were in grade school.

For reference, she's saying she misses Strom Thurmond.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:21 PM on March 11, 2012


No ....Scoop Jackson is more like it. And I do take offence at the unspoken implication.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:40 PM on March 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


We don't have conservative Democrats any more? Somebody forgot to tell the Blue Dogs.
posted by box at 2:03 PM on March 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


the south is filled with plenty of conservative democrats. around these parts the political ads between democrats are usually "no, i hate washington more and you love obama!"
posted by nadawi at 2:12 PM on March 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


So, after all of this, the take away that rightwing bloggers over at Breitbart's Big Journalism is "Why bother apologizing?" : If you've followed politics, specifically how leftists politicians manufacture outrage to create wedges within the conservative movement, you already knew that Rush Limbaugh's apology wasn't going to be the end of the two minutes of hate. The entire situation was never about getting someone to say "I'm sorry." The left doesn't really care that a woman was called a mean name by Limbaugh or anyone else. That they continue to persecute Limbaugh after he apologized proves this.
posted by crunchland at 3:15 PM on March 11, 2012


Good. I hope they stick to their guns and keep calling everyone who favors contraception a slut and a prostitute.

you already knew that Rush Limbaugh's apology wasn't going to be the end of the two minutes of hate.

And I love how the Church of the Subgenius' "two minute hate" meme is now mainstream Republican thinking.
posted by msalt at 6:47 PM on March 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


The "two minute hate" is from Orwell's 1984.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:08 PM on March 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Even more appropriate, really.
posted by darkstar at 7:10 PM on March 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Orwell was a clever writer, but I would seriously give up a non-essential body part in order to be totally free form ever hearing something from 1984 lazily reappropriated to modern sociopolitical discourse ever again.
posted by cortex at 9:03 PM on March 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


According to Media Matters, Rush didn't have a single paying advertiser at all today. A total of 80 unpaid spots.
posted by crunchland at 3:12 PM on March 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rush's Denial.
posted by crunchland at 3:14 PM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


EVERYTHING IS FINE. Keep bailing water! EVERYTHING IS PERFECTLY FINE! You! Inflate the lifeboats, but do it quietly! NOTHING TO SEE HERE, I SWEAR! Smile and nod! Smile and nod, dammit! THE SHIP IS NOT SINKING! Oh shit, we're fucked. IT'S TOTALLY FINE! Don't panic! TRUST ME!
posted by zarq at 3:53 PM on March 12, 2012


I love that gloating video from Media Matters, but they're celebrating the hunt while the beast's still kicking.

There's also a big difference between Rush and Beck: Beck had a single show on one network that could be cancelled. Rush is syndicated across a lot of stations and networks. His reach could be drastically reduced, but he could still blather on, and in time regain a good fraction of his former glory. Assuming he didn't blow all his millions on mansions, yachts, and underage prostitutes, he should have plenty in reserve to weather the storm.

If Clear Channel drops him I will get stinking drunk and find religion.
posted by clarknova at 4:51 PM on March 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


Thing is, Rushbo has milked the hate cow for hundreds of millions of dollars over his career. If it's over now - and it's not certain it is - that's great, but it's a damn shame he was able to go on for so long and become a quarter-billionaire in the process.

He'll be living high off the hog on Cuban cigars and Dominican whores in his retirement, laughing in his snifter at the progressives patting themselves on the back for another victory.

There is no (financial) justice in this world.
posted by darkstar at 4:52 PM on March 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


141 companies have dropped Rush?
posted by peppermind at 7:23 PM on March 12, 2012




from the 141 companies have dropped Rush? article:
"The advertisers have also requested to be excluded from other right-wing hosts including Michael Savage, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity."

I don't know what cultivar of schadenfreude this is, but its nectar is the sweetest and least bitter of any varietal I've tasted. I need some cuttings for my garden.
posted by clarknova at 3:14 PM on March 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


According to Media Matters, Rush didn't have a single paying advertiser at all today. A total of 80 unpaid spots.

Good god that's a lot of advertising per hour. Even if the show itself didn't drive me away, the frickin' ads would.
posted by Fezboy! at 4:11 PM on March 13, 2012


On the odd occasion that I am listening to commercial radio, I'm always shocked at how many ads there are and how terrible they are. Who puts up with listening to that garbage on a regular basis?
posted by octothorpe at 6:19 PM on March 13, 2012 [2 favorites]




It's easier for them to try and shift the blame than to accept responsibility / wrongdoing and apologize. And they obviously have such a low opinion of the voting public anyway, that they no doubt believe the masses will believe them.
posted by zarq at 10:47 AM on March 14, 2012




Referring to "NAGs,"* Limbaugh Asks: "How Can I Be Anti-Woman? I Even Judged The Miss America Pageant".

* -- 'National Association of Gals' (known by most as the 'National Association of Women.').
posted by ericb at 5:15 PM on March 14, 2012 [2 favorites]




(known by most as the 'National Association of Women.')
...and by the rest of us as the 'National Organization for Women.'
Heh.
(I kid because I love, ericb)
posted by Floydd at 11:50 AM on March 15, 2012


Oops!
posted by ericb at 1:06 PM on March 15, 2012




Of course she has to be a co-ed! Who ever heard of a lady lawyer? I mean, is there even a word for that? Lawyette? Attornetrix? She's definitely a-turnin' tricks, amirite? Har har.
posted by scody at 3:47 PM on March 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Goldie Taylor On Limbaugh Advertisers: Could CNN Afford To Lose 140 Advertisers? No : "Limbaugh’s brand had been so damaged by the controversy, it would be tough for him to keep his program going..."
posted by crunchland at 4:02 AM on March 18, 2012


CNN spends money on reporters, maybe not the expensive sort who dig up real stories, but merely sending attentive people to press conferences costs something. Rush needs only one windbag.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:29 AM on March 18, 2012


tangent: here and elsewhere, I've seen comments mocking people who use the term "gal" as misogynist or at least horribly old-fashioned. I just think it as the equivalent of "guy". What am I missing?
posted by msalt at 1:49 PM on March 18, 2012


It originates from "girl." Guys are adults. Women should be referred to as adults, not girls.
posted by desjardins at 1:53 PM on March 18, 2012


Well, Rush is absolutely using "gal" in a denigrating way, but I don't think it's always a denigrating term. I grew up in a part of the country (Wyoming/Colorado) where it is genuinely an affectionate, casual (if somewhat old-fashioned) term that functions as the female equivalent of "guy," and among women of a certain age it was a high compliment to be called a "good ol' gal." (And also, while it's true that women should be referred to as adults, it's also equally true that plenty of self-respecting, feminist women use "girls" -- e.g., "going out with the girls" -- as a term of affection, to signal in-group membership, etc. Again, Rush is not using the term that way, but that doesn't mean that the term can't be used that way by others.)
posted by scody at 2:15 PM on March 18, 2012


Yeah, I didn't mean to be curt or imply that it's horribly offensive, but msalt asked why some people object to the term. I would cock my head at anyone under 60 who used it (unless they were a cowboy, I spent time in Montana so I know what you mean).
posted by desjardins at 2:44 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, my dad never hesitated to use the word "gal" and I'm positive that he didn't mean anything denigrating about it. He just came from another era. He's dead now, so none of you need worry about it.
posted by crunchland at 6:27 PM on March 18, 2012


Makes sense. I can't think of a good female equivalent of guys though, and while I happily use guys with some women, others take offense at the maleness of it. Suggestions?
posted by msalt at 8:46 PM on March 18, 2012


msalt: "Makes sense. I can't think of a good female equivalent of guys though, and while I happily use guys with some women, others take offense at the maleness of it. Suggestions?"

Dolls.

desjardins: "It originates from "girl." Guys are adults. Women should be referred to as adults, not girls."

Whoa. I never knew that!
posted by zarq at 7:51 AM on March 19, 2012


Dolls.

*headdesk*
posted by desjardins at 11:41 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like "ladies," myself, but only if delivered in a Beastie Boys or Old Spice Guy voice.
posted by scody at 11:46 AM on March 19, 2012


Don't call chicks 'broads.'
posted by shakespeherian at 11:52 AM on March 19, 2012 [2 favorites]




Don't call chicks 'broads.'

I rarely call my chick a ‘broad’, I usually just call her ‘woman’, it’s more respectful.
posted by bongo_x at 1:15 PM on March 19, 2012


Especially as direct address to start a sentence, as in
"WOMAN! Would you like a foot rub?"
posted by msalt at 9:35 AM on March 21, 2012


Clearly someone should start another Ryan Gosling tumblr where all his quotes start with "Hey broad..."
posted by desjardins at 9:48 AM on March 21, 2012


"WOMAN! Would you like a foot rub?"

Sung to the chorus of this song.
posted by scody at 1:15 PM on March 21, 2012




I understand why some conservatives may be out-of-joint over Maher's comments, but sheesh, Bristol, I'm not sure you want to be comparing yourself to underage children there. And honestly it doesn't look like she has learned anything cautionary from her mom's exploits.

Expect Bristol to run for some public office or another in the future.
posted by edgeways at 6:47 AM on March 22, 2012


Hopefully, she'll restrict it to running for mayor of Wasilla.
posted by crunchland at 7:11 AM on March 22, 2012


Ann Coulter defends Robert De Niro joking about GOP candidates’ wives at Obama fundraiser : "Can we please stop the fake 'offended' routine?" Coulter tweeted on Tuesday. "Pls explain what was allegedly offensive about De Niro's joke."
posted by crunchland at 7:14 AM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


edgeways: "I understand why some conservatives may be out-of-joint over Maher's comments, but sheesh, Bristol, I'm not sure you want to be comparing yourself to underage children there."

She's over the top, but it's worth examining whether there's a double standard, I think.
posted by zarq at 7:23 AM on March 22, 2012


War on Women, extended version
posted by crunchland at 7:01 PM on March 22, 2012


Jesus, the whole Palin family is a case study in the Dunning-Kruger effect.
posted by darkstar at 7:17 PM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


zarq: I examined it, no double-standard. Candidates inspire anger and get called epithets, that comes with the territory.

Limbaugh's slur of a private citizen speaking out was an attempt to intimidate and silence her, a direct attack on women's sexual agency, and just for fun profoundly ignorant in a way that highlighted his personal need for Viagra to perform.
posted by msalt at 8:39 AM on March 23, 2012


msalt: "zarq: I examined it, no double-standard. Candidates inspire anger and get called epithets, that comes with the territory. "

Bristol Palin was not a candidate. Neither was her brother with Down Syndrome. Comments about both were made by Maher.

Limbaugh's slur of a private citizen speaking out was an attempt to intimidate and silence her, a direct attack on women's sexual agency, and just for fun profoundly ignorant in a way that highlighted his personal need for Viagra to perform.

Yes, it was.

And when Maher announced to his audience that "the shit doesn't fall far from the bat" with regard to Bristol, mocked her for getting pregnant and called her a liar for saying her birth control failed, that was misogyny. Neither should be acceptable. How many people who are infuriated about Limbaugh now also had a problem with Maher back then? Would they speak out now against what he said? Or would they dismiss it because he's on their side.

I can't stand Limbaugh. I agree with Maher on many issues and watch his show every week. But he was being a misogynistic ass, and if we condemn one and dismiss the other that's pretty clearly a double standard.
posted by zarq at 10:29 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


She's over the top, but it's worth examining whether there's a double standard, I think.

Yeah, I tend to agree it happens. Maher's unapologetic and blatant mean streak is one of the things that turns me off about him.
The Democratic 2008 primaries are another example of the undercurrent of ignoring a problem while pointing it out in others. I do think, and may well be proven wrong, that it tends to happen a bit less on the left-ish side of politics, perhaps a bit of a false equivlency to say both side are equal, but it is by no means absent from the left. Hell, back in the day some of the most pernicious misogynistic bastards I've ever personally known where also peace loving Hippies.

Which is not to excuse Rush, his multiple-day tirade has resulted in justifiable condemnation
posted by edgeways at 10:42 AM on March 23, 2012


Robert De Niro joking about GOP candidates’ wives at Obama fundraiser

I've been trying to figure out how anyone could be offended by this joke, and still can't see it.

"Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney,” he said. “Now do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?"


Is it offensive just because he mentioned candidates' wives at all? Because he said they are white? Was there another joke after this that didn't get quoted?
posted by straight at 10:49 AM on March 23, 2012


straight - i thought the offense was that he was backhandedly calling the republicans racist and using the wives as the bridge for that joke. but really, it's that thing that republicans do where they claim that they're the victims of racism and that hating religion/the white man is the last acceptable form of bigotry. it's bullshit and feeds into their whole persecution complex.
posted by nadawi at 1:01 PM on March 23, 2012


Limbaugh hires crisis manager, gives out iPads as incentive to retweet him.

I would not retweet your shit even if the iPad was guaranteed.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:25 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Really? Do "Hey lookit this asshole RT @limbaugh Something sexist or racist" retweets count?
posted by klangklangston at 6:50 PM on March 23, 2012


zarq: "Bristol Palin was not a candidate."

She actively campaigned for her mother, and has repeatedly milked her mother's celebrity for her own gain, e.g. going on Dancing with the Stars. If you're a star, you're a public figure. Bristol is publicly advocating a highly hypocritical political/social stance on sexuality that is opressive to women. I see no misogyny whatsoever in criticizing her for that.

Re: the brother with Down's Syndrome, that's fucked up all around. Maher is a dick for calling him out, Palin is a dick for for milking her son's disability for pro-life political gain. I'm hard pressed to see misogyny here, it's just Maher and Palin being opportunistic assholes and using people for their own gain. I judge Palin more harshly because it's her own baby she's parading around for personal gain, but that does not excuse Maher.
posted by msalt at 12:30 AM on March 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Maher's pretty routinely a sexist dick, and I don't think there's anything to lose over calling him out on it. I don't know enough about the Palin stuff to know whether it's appropriate there.
posted by klangklangston at 10:38 AM on March 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bristol should have been left alone for the most part during the campaign. Now that she made the decision to be a public figure on her own it is different. I really don't understand why it is so difficult to just leave your political opponent's kids alone, even if their parents are using them they are still kids and it shouldn't change how YOU treat them.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:01 PM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seriously. 'Vote for me, and here I am posing with my adorable kids!' 'Aha, fair game! My opponent's kids are fucking brats.'
posted by shakespeherian at 1:32 PM on March 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Bristol Palin situation was not "here are my adorable kids." It was spinning a teen's unwanted pregnancy into making her a pro-life star for not having an abortion, as a campaign tactic. With the full cooperation of Bristol who was what -- 17? That's a bit different than criticizing someone's child.
posted by msalt at 4:21 PM on March 24, 2012


Her pregnancy became known because people looked at her photo posing with her mother and accurately determined she was pregnant from it. The campaign had not even released the info before it became an issue.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:47 PM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


And honestly, if the campaign hadn't tried to get in front of it and spin it positively, I have no doubt that it would have been used against them exactly like it was. It was a shitty situation to have a vice presidential campaign put in and given Palin's stated policies it only made perfect political sense for the campaign to try to work it in their favor.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:19 PM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's one way to look at it. Another is that her hypocritical pro-abstinence position was proven ineffective and counterproductive by her own family's experience in the middle of a campaign, and she used her daughter as a prop to save her political career.

It would have been used against them? Absolutely. If a candidate for national office publicly advocates banning contraception and sex ed for everyone's teenagers -- not just her own -- and the candidate's daughter gets pregnant, unmarried, in high school, do you really think it's inappropriate to point out that the failure of abstinence in the candidate's own household?
posted by msalt at 12:28 PM on March 25, 2012


You can't just point to the statistics and leave exploiting her children out of it?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:36 PM on March 25, 2012


I'm not saying I agree with her abstinence-only educational stance, of course it's ridiculous. But given her position, and given what happened with her daughter, and given the way politics functions in this country, I'm pretty sure the only thing the campaign possibly could have done was try to get in front of it and make it a positive thing instead of a scandal. I don't think that's the same thing as using her daughter as a prop-- and even if it is, I still don't think it's fair game to go after Bristol Palin for political gain.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:11 PM on March 25, 2012


I see the Maher equivalency has adequately distracted the discussion from how the nation's most influential Republican political commentator is a raving misogynist and the GOP can't bring itself to issue a full-throated condemnation of his sexist utterances.

But hey, a comedian somewhere said something bad about Bristol Palin, so, you know.
posted by darkstar at 11:18 PM on March 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


We got 743 comments here, I think we got Limbaugh covered.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:27 PM on March 25, 2012


Frankly I'm a lot more interested in fighting misogyny wherever it is rather than using it as a partisan tool. Because that seems shitty.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:30 AM on March 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


a comedian who has a national stage and quite regularly has high level politicians, commentators and other "important" people on his show. You know if it was Joe Blow down at the local comedy club I think it would be safe to say no one would give a shit.

Absolutely I think what Rush did was an order of magnitude worse than Maher. But that doesn't absolve Maher and his little tirades. And honestly I don't think anyone here has been distracted from Rush and his rampage of idiocy.
posted by edgeways at 6:39 AM on March 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think it's probably a fair call that the libs used this issue to pounce on Rush and make a bigger deal of it than had someone else said the same thing, and are using this to try to dethrone him. And it's not like the people at Fox and their friends are all that unfamiliar with the tactic of playing up a negative for reasons other than the truth. And it's clear that there are a lot of people on the conservative side who wouldn't mind seeing the self-appointed king-maker knocked off his pedestal.
posted by crunchland at 8:24 AM on March 26, 2012


given her position, and given what happened with her daughter, and given the way politics functions in this country, I'm pretty sure the only thing the campaign possibly could have done was try to get in front of it and make it a positive thing instead of a scandal.

I strongly disagree. She could have, you know, been human and admitted she was wrong, or changed her position, or admit that these things are complicated and difficult, or just kept her mouth shut.

No one needed to know Bristol was pregnant. If Sarah Palin really believed in the traditional approach to sexuality, Bristol would have quietly left town to "take care of a sick grandmother" or "study in Europe" or "recover from mono" during which time she would have quietly had her child or put him up for adoption or had a relative take him in.

Like the Santorums who wrote a book and talk at every opportunity about the miscarried fetus they induced labor for at 20 months, Sarah Palin paraded and milked this awkward family issue for every penny of political and financial gain. She was the one exploiting this child, and there is nothing misogynistic about criticizing her for it.
posted by msalt at 1:02 PM on March 26, 2012


They didn't induce labor, if you are going to continue your campaign of using children to score political points you should try and get the story straight at least.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:04 PM on March 26, 2012


It's actually a good example though of what happens once you decide to go after someone's family. Both with the Santorum miscarriage and Bristol's situation there are tons and tons of examples all over the blogosphere of folks getting the story entirely wrong or digging for dirt to make the story even worse. It's inevitable once you make them fair game.

The family thing doesn't stop at, "You are pregnant, lol hypocrisy!" it stops at John McCain's black baby.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:12 PM on March 26, 2012


It's not people making them fair game. They are the ones who brought it up, wrote a book about it, and speak about it at every opportunity, including on national TV and radio (Fresh Air, for example).

I agree that people shouldn't bring up opponents' family for the first time, but once a candidate uses that family for political gain, repeatedly and publicly, it's absurd to say no one else can talk about.
posted by msalt at 2:37 PM on March 26, 2012


Once again, Brisol's pregnancy was not brought up first by Palin. I remember the DailyKos diaries analyzing her baby bump distinctively. The Santorum family never brought up how they induced labor, since it never happened...John McCain didn't use his daughter as a prop...

Everyone has a family, it's part of the personal biography of every politician, that doesn't mean it's time to start muckraking like a tabloid.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:58 PM on March 26, 2012


[Some comments deleted. Furiousxgeorge, if you want to continue this derail conversation, take it to email. ]
posted by taz at 9:31 PM on March 26, 2012


Limbaugh isn't going to slow down on being offensive: [W]hat I've read is that Mr. Zimmerman -- who, again, the New York Times refers to as a "white Hispanic" and the rest of the media has now picked that up, 'cause that fits the template. You need white-on-black here to gin this up. I understand. He wants to be a cop. He just loves law enforcement, and he's a self-appointed Neighborhood Watch commander, and he wanted to protect his neighborhood, and he just got a little overzealous and so forth.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:16 PM on March 27, 2012


Well-funded professional activists, led by the left-wing pressure group Media Matters, are waging a campaign across America to hurt small businesses like yours through strong-arm tactics and intimidation.

They don’t like Rush Limbaugh’s point of view, they resent his extraordinary popularity, and they are trying to silence him by punishing small businesses that advertise on his show!

They are actually trying to shut down businesses – tying up phone lines, crashing websites, bombarding Facebook pages or Twitter accounts, and preventing real customers from getting through.

We’re here to help you get back to business.

posted by crunchland at 9:13 AM on March 28, 2012


from crunchland's link: "Media Matters is costing us jobs" No details or data, of course. FACTS ARE FOR SLUTS.

Meanwhile, Boehner & Co. refuse to bring the highway bill to a vote, no doubt out of sheer horror at the idea of actually creating thousands of construction jobs.
posted by scody at 9:36 AM on March 28, 2012


Good grief, I'm not nearly so snarky in person, honest.
posted by darkstar at 1:38 PM on March 28, 2012


Heh. On their page titled "We can't afford to lose jobs," they instruct their followers to tweet a very specific line of text to various media outlets regarding Media Matters. It looks like some people are doing it, except that quote isn't pithy enough to fit into 140 characters.

Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh has gotten himself a twitter account, and all of the 14 tweets he's made since he started it on Mar 15 involve Media Matters.
posted by crunchland at 3:28 PM on March 28, 2012


Somebody ought to start a competing Twitter meme about the Media Research Center or somebody.
posted by box at 6:54 PM on March 28, 2012


Gotta admit, Eric Boehlert of Media Matters can be a bit of a dick, if you read his twitter feed. He never misses an opportunity to tweak the noses of the #tcot.
posted by crunchland at 6:13 AM on March 29, 2012


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