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Advertisers Drop Rush Limbaugh After He Calls Woman “Slut” On Air

Limbaugh's Insult
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The conservative host calls Sandra Fluke a "slut." Read More »
A Compromise
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Obama tries to settles birth control debate in health care reform. Read More »
Birth Control Victory
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Birth control will be covered by most employers under health care reform. Read More »

UPDATE, 3/3/12 at 6:30p.m: Rush Limbaugh issued an apology on his web site today to Sandra Fluke, a young woman he referred to earlier this week as a “slut” and “prostitute” during a discussion about birth control. In his apology, Limbaugh said:

“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. 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.”

Limbaugh’s chief of staff refused to tell The New York Times why the apology was issued. We’re hoping the advertiser pushback had something to do with it.  [Politico, New York Times]

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Several advertisers have pulled ads from Rush Limbaugh’s radio show after he called a woman a “slut” and “prostitute” on air Wednesday and suggested that she film her sex acts and put them online. Activists Twitter-bombed Rush’s advertisers, threatening a boycott, and so far two sponsors — mattress stores Sleep Train and Sleep Number — have responded, promising they will cut off the dough.

Rush’s vile comments were directed at Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown Univeristy law student who was refused an opportunity to speak as a witness on the all-male sausagefest to the House Oversight Committee about birth control in health care reform.

Fluke was later given an opportunity to speak at a separate, unofficial hearing organized by Democrats. She explained how Georgetown is a Catholic university and its health insurance plan does not cover contraception, so students pay up to $1,000 annually out-of-pocket for their birth control. Fluke’s testimony was meant to underscore how the religiously-affiliated employers who balk at the new rules regarding preventative health care coverage under Obama’s health care reform will actually affect people. (Some background reading for those of who who haven’t been following this: religious employers are not required to cover birth control; the insurers used by religiously-affiliated employers must pick up the cost if the employers refuse. )

Rush jumped on the anti-birth control bandwagon which says mandating insurance coverage of birth control as preventative health care is paying for other people to have sex. He said:

“Can you imagine if you were her parents how proud … you would be? Your daughter … testifies she’s having so much sex she can’t afford her own birth control pills and she wants President Obama to provide them, or the Pope. … 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.” … If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. We want you post the videos online so we can all watch.”

Yeah. Wow

Several other advertisers that were tweet-bombed indicated Rush Limbaugh’s show might be losing their ad dollars, too.

Advertiser ProFlowers tweeted today, “Rest assured, your feedback is heard. We heard about the comments and we will reevaluate our marketing plan.” Another tweet read, “We would like to assure you that we do not endorse the views expressed by Russ Limbaugh. We understand your concerns and value your feedback.”

The dating site eHarmony also tweeted today, but did not know they had ads airing during Rush’s show: “We’ve never paid for ads on Limbaugh. We’re looking into the matter of “network buys” and will let you know what we discover.”

Georgetown Law School, the president of Georgetown and the actual president have come to Sandra Fluke’s defense. The law school’s statement read:

“Ms. Fluke has had the courage to publicly defend and advocate for her beliefs about an important issue of widespread concern. She has done so with passion and intelligence. And she has been rewarded with the basest sort of name-calling and vilification, words that aim only to belittle and intimidate.”

Georgetown’s President John DeGioia sent a campus-wide email this morning calling Limbaugh’s “behavior that can only be described as misogynistic, vitriolic, and a misrepresentation of the position of our student.” Also today, President Obama called Sandra Fluke, thanks her for speaking out, and said “hto tell my parents that they should be proud.” And Fluke herself is remarkably poised during all this, telling MSNBC’s Ed Schultz she was “stunned” but realizes “this is, historically, the kind of language that is used to silence women.” Which is so true.

As for Rush Limbaugh himself? He’s still on his show, yapping away about feminism.  

He has not apologized.

[Raw Story]

[Huffington Post]

[Washington Post]

[Media Matters For America]

Contact the author of this post at Jessica@TheFrisky.com. Follow me on Twitter at @JessicaWakeman.

Image via Getty

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