Limbaugh called alleged Duke rape victim a "ho[ ]"

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On his national syndicated radio program, Rush Limbaugh referred to the alleged victim of a rape by members of the Duke University lacrosse team as a "ho[]."

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During the March 31 broadcast of his national syndicated radio program, Rush Limbaugh referred to the alleged victim of a rape by members of the Duke University lacrosse team as a "ho[]." During an on-air discussion with a caller, Limbaugh said that former Democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton was "trying to figure out how he can get involved in the deal down there at Duke where the lacrosse team ... supposedly, you know, raped some, uh, hos." Limbaugh's made the comment about a recent incident in Durham, North Carolina, in which an exotic dancer was allegedly raped by three members of the Duke lacrosse team. The incident has invoked further controversy because the victim, an African-American, has alleged that her attackers used racial epithets. Prompted by another caller to apologize for his words, Limbaugh said that he had made the statement because he was "running on fumes today," and called it a "terrible slip of the tongue." But he then added that there are "some inconsistencies" in the case and rephrased his apology, telling the second caller, "I regret that you heard me say it."

From the March 31 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show:

CALLER 1: Why is it, do you think, that you haven't heard hardly anything from Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton about the whole immigration thing? I mean, the silence is deafening from --

LIMBAUGH: Well, they're busy.

CALLER 1: -- the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] and the --

LIMBAUGH: They're -- they're busy. They're busy. The Reverend Jackson is in New Orleans. He's leading a big march there tomorrow. The march is -- what is it called? The -- the march for the right to return a protected vote and reconstruction. He's trying to -- they got problems down in New Orleans. They don't have voter base, and Sharpton's working on a New Orleans deal, too. He's trying to figure out how he can get involved in the deal down there at Duke where the lacrosse team --

CALLER 1: Yeah.

LIMBAUGH: -- uh, supposedly, you know, raped, some, uh, hos.

CALLER 1: But I don't think they're very happy about all of this.

LIMBAUGH: Yeah, well, but, the problem -- that -- that has a possibility down -- that Duke thing's got a possibility of being a Tawana Brawley situation. That -- and Sharpton's got a balance -- can he afford another one of those as -- as his life's going on? New Orleans is a big deal to him, and I -- I'm gonna tell you something. You'll -- you'll see these guys -- at some point, they will get involved, be-because when Ted Kennedy calls it the new civil rights movement, that's Jesse Jackson's turf. He owns it. So --

CALLER 1: Right.

LIMBAUGH: Yeah, anyway, I gotta run here because of the constraints of time out there. [Caller], a great, great question. Uh, exotic dancer, OK, say rape -- whatever happened. You know what it is down there at Duke. It's -- you watch what happens in that. That's --


LIMBAUGH: It's open-line Friday, and I am Rush Limbaugh, America's anchorman and your host for life. This is -- this is [caller] from Bryant, Texas. Hello, [caller], great to have you with us.

CALLER 2: Rush, did you just call those young ladies "hos" on the nationally syndicated program?


CALLER 2: Do you know something about them that perhaps we don't know?

LIMBAUGH: Yes, yes I did.

CALLER 2: Oh, you --

LIMBAUGH: It was a, it was -- hang on -- now, what, what did you say there, [caller]?

CALLER 2: I said, because -- and if they are hos, it doesn't mean that they can still -- you can do to 'em whatever you want.


CALLER 2: Well, why would you call them hos on the national --

LIMBAUGH: Well, because, because I'm running on fumes today, [caller], and I felt terrible about it. And I knew somebody was gonna call and give me a little grief so I'm takin' the occasion of your call to apologize for it. That was, it was a terrible slip of the tongue. I'm sorry. But it wasn't the worst one that has been said recently. You want -- do you know who Keanu Reeves is?

CALLER 2: Yeah, I know who he is. He's an actor.

LIMBAUGH: Well, he's, he's, he's an actor.

CALLER 2: Yeah.

LIMBAUGH: He's a whacko. He's, he's an -- an actor and, he -- what was he doing? He was -- the Women Against Domestic Violence group was already in a dither because Keanu Reeves told an interviewer he learned something filming a rape scene with Hilary Swank for a movie called The Gift. And he said was, what he learned was that some of these ladies don't mind it.

CALLER 2: OK. But --

LIMBAUGH: He said he learned that in a rape scene but -- so, you know, I'm not the worst offender.

CALLER 2: Well, I hope you --

LIMBAUGH: I just, I'm looking at this case down there at Duke, [caller], and it's -- there's some things about it, some inconsistencies. You've got some timeline differentiations and matriculations and, and so forth. I'm just -- but it was, it was terrible slip of the tongue, and I am, I am terribly, I am terribly sorry.

CALLER 2: Well, I was hoping that your animosity for Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton wasn't your motivation for calling them hos.

LIMBAUGH: No -- why -- they, they have nothing to do with it.

CALLER 2: Oh, OK. Well, but, I -- it definitely offended me to hear you say that on the national program. The world's largest -- as you say.

LIMBAUGH: Yeah, well --

CALLER 2: But maybe you should take half your brain from behind your back next time.

LIMBAUGH: You know, I'm thinking what I ought to do, [caller], is something that I used to do in the early days of this program and that is spank myself.

CALLER 2: Well, I don't know if that's gonna work. The apology would be good.

LIMBAUGH: I just -- how -- you want me to apologize again? I'm sorry.

CALLER 2: Oh, no, I'm saying -- the apology was good.

LIMBAUGH: I regret that you heard me say it.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Justice & Civil Liberties, Crime
Rush Limbaugh
The Rush Limbaugh Show
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