Four days after his vicous personal attacks on Sandra Fluke sparked national outrage, Rush Limbaugh apologized to the Georgetown Law student today, acknowledging that his comments were “insulting.”
In a statement posted on his website, Limbaugh wrote, “I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke.” But in the “apology,” Limbaugh offensively compared contraception to “sneakers” and incorrectly states that taxpayers, rather than insurers, are paying for it:
For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.
I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit? In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.
My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.
In his “apology,” Limbaugh continues his false implication that Fluke and others who advocate for contraception coverage are only interested in subsidies for their personal sexual activity. In fact, women use birth control for many reasons, including for health reasons. Fluke herself was motivated by a friend who used birth control because she had polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Limbaugh often sparks controversy, but it is exceedingly rare for him to apologize. On his show Friday, he ticked off a series of other furors he’s been embroiled in, but said the one surrounding his attacks on Fluke was the worst yet. And it should not obscure the fact that he traffics in bigoted and misogynistic rhetoric on a near-daily basis.
It’s also unclear where this leaves other conservative commentators like Bill O’Reilly and Michelle Malkin, who have largely defended Limbaugh and attacked Fluke in a similar personal and vicious manner.