Nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh defended his past use of the term "feminazi," calling it "right" and "accurate." Limbaugh's comments came in response to a June 22 Washington Post article on Sen. Richard J. Durbin's (D-IL) controversial floor statement that referenced Nazis. The Post article mentioned Limbaugh's use of the term "feminazi" as well as other examples of recent political debates in which Nazism has been invoked.
From the June 22 broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show:
In The Washington Post we get a little story: "Tips for the Democrats, Hint: Next time don't compare anybody to Hitler." And by the way, the only reason they're doing it is because Rush Limbaugh invented the term "feminazi." That's the sum total of the Washington Post story -- Durbin did it because I popularized it first with "feminazi."
I haven't used that term on this program in years. But it still gets to 'em, doesn't it? And you know why? [chuckles] Because it's right. Because it's accurate. [laughs] And I'm not going to apologize, but I will apologize if it hurts your feelings. But you know what? I think if you're offended, it's your problem. It's not mine.
Contrary to Limbaugh's claim that he hasn't "used that term on this program in years," he has used it several times in recent years. Limbaugh referred to the National Center for Women & Policing and the Feminist Majority Foundation as "feminazis" on his May 27, 2004, broadcast. A May 2004 Media Matters analysis of Limbaugh's radio show found that he used the term "feminazis" eight times in a six-week span in March and April 2004.
Here are a few more recent examples of Limbaugh using the term "feminazi" or defending its use:
- April 26, 2004:
The feminazis gathered in Washington on Sunday, about a half-million of them it says here, and it was the first big pro-abortion rally in 12 years. The last one was in 1992 during the -- that campaign, the Bush-Clinton campaign. They trotted themselves out again. In fact, grab me the "Feminist Update" theme. OK, just the last big pro-abort rally that the feminazis had, we actually took audio from it and interposed it, you know, mixed it, with the Forester Sisters and their song "Men," and that gave us our "Feminist Update" theme.
Now, let's go to the audiotape. Let's listen to some famous feminazis who were speaking yesterday at the pro-abort anti-Bush rally. In order, they are Gloria Steinem, Susan Sarandon, Christine Lahti and Camryn Manheim.
- April 29, 2004, referring to Feminist Majority Foundation president Eleanor Smeal:
So, to Eleanor Squeal and the pro-choice crowd, the feminazis who marched in such rage and anger on Sunday, we're so sorry. So, so sorry. Will you please try to find it in your -- well, I won't say, hearts -- minds? Will you try to find it in your minds to forgive any of us who thought that you liberals valued the dignity and worth of every life? For this, we will apologize.
- February 18, 2005, regarding an event at New York's 92nd Street Y also attended by CNN senior analyst Jeff Greenfield:
It was a frosty evening that night. It had to be, what, back in 1992 or '93? And I'll tell you what got me in trouble. Greenfield said, "You really used the word 'feminazi'? Do you not think that's an upsetting word to Jews?"
I said, "Well, I don't think it should be. I mean, if you look at what abortion is, it's almost comparable to what happened in World War II." Pfft! Man, you could have felt the ice. The room chilled. But I didn't back down, ladies and gentlemen. I've not been invited back to the 92nd Street Y since -- but didn't back down.