Rush Limbaugh's radio show has been shedding advertisers since he spent three days launching graphic attacks on Sandra Fluke's sex life, and he has made clear that he is not chastened by this fact. Limbaugh has said that he's not concerned about losing advertisers, and his behavior toward women during his broadcasts this week demonstrates it plainly.
During this time of heightened attention, Limbaugh still felt comfortable attacking three different women with language that demeans them specifically for being female.
On March 6, Limbaugh complained that Walmart is being treated unfairly, despite its commitment to helping provide the poor with healthy food. He then asked, “What is it with all of these young, single white women? Overeducated doesn't mean intelligent.” He said an “example” is Tracie McMillan:
On March 8, Limbaugh referred to McMillan as a “recently college-graduated authorette.”
Her crime? Writing a book on food justice, and, apparently, being a young, single, educated white woman.
She spoke to The Atlantic Wire about this attack:
“It's been really interesting to have somebody be that openly dismissive of my work strictly based on the fact that I'm female,” McMillan told The Atlantic Wire. “There's no other way to think about it except that Rush Limbaugh just doesn't think women count.” McMillan went on to explain how her book approaches some difficult issues about the food that feeds America and the conditions for the workers that produce it, however Limbaugh didn't seem willing to engage in that debate. Instead, he focused on her being a woman.
McMillan also appeared on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show and commented:
“Probably what's most confusing for someone like Rush is that I'm from a working class background,” McMillan said. “I think it's really confusing to all of a sudden have someone who is from that part of society and can't just be dismissed on these charges of an elitist problem.”
On March 9, Limbaugh did a riff on a Reuters article about the newest jobs report. As with anything that does not confirm his views, Limbaugh attacked it as biased and designed specifically to help President Obama:
Limbaugh took note of the fact that writer of the article is female -- a woman named Lucia Mutikani. The fact that she's a woman allowed Limbaugh to refer to her as “the infobabe or the reporter, whoever, who wrote the story with tongue hanging out.” He then made panting noises and said she had been “eager and panting away for Obama's success.”
On March 8, Limbaugh attacked Washington Post writer Alexandra Petri, saying she had injected her “b-i-itchy opinion” into her writing. Limbaugh said Petri had incorrectly reported that his show accepted advertisements from Ashley Madison, a website marketed to adulterers. Petri's blog post on the subject suggested that Limbaugh's listeners are “jerks” because Ashley Madison was targeting them.
LIMBAUGH: Ms. Petri, I don't know who feeds you your information -- I have a pretty good guess. But you might want to double-check here, because you've written something that's patently false. It's an out-and-out lie, complete with your b-i-itchy opinion in it, and it is untrue.
After Limbaugh's show that afternoon, Petri published a post apologizing for her error and saying that she was wrong to assume that Limbaugh's listeners were jerks. However, she wrote:
Speaking of jerks. Limbaugh listeners, I am sorry for calling you jerks yesterday. Yesterday I had no proof. I should have waited until today, when your phone calls and tweets ( “Ivy league preppy elitist no talent hack” ) gave me ample evidence.
She also wondered why Limbaugh couldn't have simply pointed out her mistake without “impugning” her.
That's a good question. Why couldn't Limbaugh resist doing that?
It's because Limbaugh has a decades-old persecution complex about women who hold any power in our society, and he feels no compunction about attacking them in extremely personal ways -- even sexually -- when they make him angry.
Limbaugh revels in being mean-spirited.
And he gets to do it on 600 radio stations for 15 hours every week.