"Slut": The Voice Of A Right-Wing Bully

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

There are so many disturbing aspects to Rush Limbaugh's radio outburst yesterday when he smeared, by name, a Georgetown Law School student as a "slut" and a "prostitute" on his nationally syndicated radio show.

Aside from the rancid misogyny on display, it was perhaps the talk show host's incessant need to bully powerless people from the safety of his studio that was so striking. That, and the glee Limbaugh seemed to take in not only maligning the young woman, but her parents as well.

It's jaw-dropping.

But it's nothing new for Limbaugh. Last year Limbaugh set his sights on a 13-year-old boy and mocked him as a Nazi storm trooper. The boy's crime? His mother had credited his encouragement in explaining why she decided to come forward and accuse Herman Cain of sexual misconduct. In Limbaugh's worldview, that meant the boy was fair game for nationwide ridicule in front of the talkers' millions of listeners.

And no, Limbaugh isn't merely a talk show host or an entertainer. He is the voice of America's conservative movement, as well as the Republican Party. That's why a pro-Santorum Super Pac recently splashed Limbaugh quotes across a mailer it sent out to voters in Michigan. And it's why Republicans are unlikely to heed the call of Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) to denounce Limbaugh's latest attack.

As for the Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, her crime was having the nerve to testify before a Democratic hearing about the need for health insurance companies to provide access to affordable contraception. From there, Limbaugh set off on an extraordinary personal denunciation [emphasis added]:

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.

Limbaugh then downgraded the smear, saying Fluke was merely promiscuous, or "round-heeled." And if attacking the law student wasn't bad enough, Limbaugh also mocked her parents:

Can you imagine if you're her parents how proud of Sandra Fluke you would be? Your daughter goes up to a congressional hearing conducted by the Botox-filled Nancy Pelosi and testifies she's having so much sex she can't afford her own birth control pills and she agrees that Obama should provide them, or the Pope.

Limbaugh proudly personifies a far-right media movement that doesn't hesitate to smear its opponents. And doesn't hesitate to smear schoolboys, college students and their parents.

Person
Rush Limbaugh
Show/Publication
The Rush Limbaugh Show
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