Could The End Of Political Hate-Speech Be Due To a Fluke?

By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Georgetown University Law Schooler Sandra Fluke may have been able to do something George Soros’ millions, a whole gaggle of Democratic strategists, and Al Franken’s book, Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot, couldn’t do – dethrone the King of Caustic in the court of public opinion.  She may have done something else, too. Something truly unexpected in red-blue battlefield where American politics is played. The feisty feminist may have just made political discourse civil again.

On February 29, 2012 (appropriately a leap year for such a pratfall), Limbaugh started the firestorm calling the 30-year-old women’s rights advocate a “slut” and “prostitute” after her testimony before an unofficial congressional committee in support of mandated private health insurance coverage for contraceptives. Fluke’s crime: calling for coverage of birth control drugs to treat her friend’s polycystic ovarian syndrome. Prescriptions for pain from ovarian cysts is just one of many noncontraceptive uses of birth control denied women when their employers refuse to include contraception services in their health care plans because of moral or religious reasons.

Refusing to accept Ms. Fluke’s motivation, Rush doubled down a day later offering what he termed was a “compromise” to contraception coverage: purchasing “all the women at Georgetown University as much aspirin to put between their knees as possible”. He continued that he “[ran] some numbers” on contraception costs and arguing that contraception coverage was “flat-out thievery” that would force taxpayers to pay to “satisfy the sexual habits of female law students at Georgetown”.

The rant was unrelenting: “So, Ms. Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I’ll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch,” bellowed the wounded giant. He then added, “Who bought your condoms in junior high? Who bought your condoms in the sixth grade? Or your contraception. Who bought your contraceptive pills in high school?” He described Fluke as “a woman who is happily presenting herself as an immoral, baseless, no-purpose-to-her life woman. She wants all the sex in the world whenever she wants it, all the time, no consequences.” By some counts, he attacked Ms. Fluke 46 more times that day and throughout the broadcast.

By March 2nd, Rush still wasn’t done with Ms. Fluke. Limbaugh said that requiring insurance companies to cover contraception is “no different than if somebody knocked on my door that I don’t know and said, ‘You know what? I’m out of money. I can’t afford birth-control pills, and I’m supposed to have sex with three guys tonight.’ ” He added “she’s having so much sex she can’t pay for it and wants a new welfare program to pay for it,” he’d be “embarrassed” and “disconnect the phone”, “go into hiding”, and “hope the media didn’t find me”. He continued later, “Oh! Does she have more boyfriends? They’re lined up around the block. They would have been in my day.”

Criticizing someone for an out-of-control libido must have caused even hardline — but memory-equipped — “ditto-heads” to blush. In March of 2009, Limbaugh was reportedly detained by US Customs officials for three hours  with 29 tablets of the male sexual enhancement drug, Viagra, in his suitcase. Limbaugh’s  Gulfstream IV jet (courtesy of Premier Radio Networks)  with Rush and 4 male buddies aboard had landed in Palm Beach, Florida, fresh off a stag party vacation in the Dominican Republic. Nothing newsworthy there except that the Viagra prescription was not in the radio celebrity’s name. Instead, it was “labeled as being issued to the physician rather than Mr. Limbaugh for privacy purposes,” according to Roy Black, Limbaugh’s attorney. For his part,  Limbaugh was nonplussed and in a bragging mood about his sexual proclivities south of the border. “I had a great time in the Dominican Republic. Wish I could tell you about it,” he beamed.

Such arrogance all but guaranteed a backlash from both Right and Left labeling Limbaugh both a bully and misogynistic. Advertisers began to hear rumblings from social media that boycotts were planned and got antsy, especially in view of the size of the potentially offended demographic involved. Laurie Cantillo, Rush’s old boss at WABC (770 AM) explained that,

It is perceived by many as an attack on young women. … Women 25-54 is the prize demo for most advertisers, and Rush’s remarks strike at the heart of the audience they’re trying to reach….

Reagan speech writer, Peggy Noonan, called Limbaugh’s remarks “crude, rude, even piggish,” and “deeply destructive and unhelpful.”  House Speaker John Boehner called the remarks, “Inappropriate.’ Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), the party’s 2008 candidate for president, said Limbaugh’s statements were unacceptable “in every way” and “should be condemned” by people across the political spectrum. Even the bow-tied ambassador from the Country Club Right, George Will, clucked that  Boehner’s remarks were more suited to a faux pas of using a salad fork for the entrée and lamented that “… it was depressing because what it indicates is that the Republican leaders are afraid of Rush Limbaugh.” Duh!  Now how about some coffee to really wake you up, George.

If the right was disappointed, the left was outraged. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), wrote that “Rush Limbaugh, the voice of the ultra-conservative right, issued one of the most vile tirades against women I’ve ever heard.” House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, called the diatribe, “obnoxious” and “vicious and inappropriate attacks.” Seventy-five Democratic Party lawmakers signed a letter expressing outrage at the remarks labeling them as “sexually charged, patently offensive, obscene”, “indecent” and “an abuse of public airwaves.” NOW described Limbaugh as  a “bigoted bully” and a speaker of “hate-filled speech” for trying to “shame a young woman for coming forward, speaking her mind and standing up for women’s rights.”

An apology was inevitable if not for ethical reasons then for financial ones. On March 1st, Rush issued the first of what critics would call his non-apologies. Grasping the golden EIB microphone on March 3rd, the Right’s most quoted standard-bearer bit the bullet saying:

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. I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit? In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.  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.

Too little, too late. And besides, Fluke was not in an accepting mood.  Talking with Barbara Walters on ABC’s The View, Fluke said,

I don’t think that a statement like this, saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything, and especially when that statement is issued when he’s under significant pressure from his sponsors who have begun to pull their support from the show.  I think any woman who has ever been called these types of names is [shocked] at first. But then I tried to see this for what it is, and I believe that what it is, is an attempt to silence me, to silence the millions of women and the men who support them who have been speaking out about this issue and conveying that contraception is an important healthcare need that they need to have met in an affordable, accessible way.

Advertisers were not in a forgiving mood either.  confirmed that 141 — not 8 as once reported — sponsors have been identified in an internal Premier Radio Networks memorandum as declaring that their ad spots are to be run on controversy-free radio programming. Put another way, on Rush-free programming. The feminist trio of Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda, and Robin Morgan  called for the FCC to ban Rush, and defender of all things woman, Gloria Allred, wanted the rotund pundit prosecuted.

Oh, there were some Rush defenders like actress/activist, Patricia Heaton, and the usual chorus of  wacky Michelle Malkin, educationally-challenged Sean Hannity, and Fox’ s trotted-out lawyer of the Right turned pundit, Megyn Kelly, but they were quickly caught up in the deluge and slinked away with lukewarm Twitter apologies (Heaton) or a quick change of topic (all the rest).

While extreme positions are easily dismissed as preposterous, they have the effect of focusing the debate on the reasonable propositions and then drawing a consensus as to the right course of action. It ‘s the case of two equally matched but exhausted palookas in a bar fight who are simply tired of the tussle that leads to no result and makes both look weak.  The fight may have gone out of both sides. Also the Law of Unintended Consequences may be at work, too. Speaking on msnbc’s Morning Joe, McCain’s 2008 campaign chief, Steven Schmidt, was asked to comment on McCain’s combative running mate Sarah Palin, the subject of  HBO’s new production, Game Change.  He made an interesting comment about the Hockey-Mom-Turned-Rogue, and in doing so, about the system the got her there in the first place.  ” She has become a person who I think is filled with grievance, filled with anger who has a divisive message for the national stage when we need leaders in both parties to have a unifying message. . . .” Schmidt seemed to be echoing Barbara Bush’s comments made a few days earlier at SMU about the 2012 campaign, “I hate that people think compromise is a dirty word. It’s not a dirty word,” the former First Lady emphasized.

The same sentiment was expressed by outgoing Republican Senator, Olympia Snow:

The great challenge is to create a system that gives our elected officials reasons to look past their differences and find common ground …. In a politically diverse nation, only by finding that common ground can we achieve results for the common good. That is not happening today and, frankly, I do not see it happening in the near future.

For change to occur, our leaders must understand that there is not only strength in compromise, courage in conciliation and honor in consensus-building — but also a political reward for following these tenets. That reward will be real only if the people demonstrate their desire for politicians to come together after the planks in their respective party platforms do not prevail.

Snow, long regarded as one of the moderate Republicans in the Senate who was willing to work with the opposition in promoting the public good, left the institution in disgust at what she called the “corrosive trend of winner-take-all politics.” When the beneficiaries of the Lee Atwater school of politics think things have gone too far, things have really gone too far.

Other signs also point to an increase of civility in the wake of the across-the-board outrage at Limbaugh.

John "Jack" DeGioia, President of Georgetown University

Following the lambasting of Ms. Fluke by Limbaugh, Georgetown President Jack DeGioia stepped up to defend his student’s right to speak and called for civility. The leader of the Jesuit school — that officially opposes the mandatory contraception services — eloquently laid out the case for letting the opposiong view be aired. In a letter to the school, DeGioia wrote, “[Ms. Fluke] provided a model of civil discourse. This expression of conscience was in the tradition of the deepest values we share as a people. One need not agree with her substantive position to support her right to respectful free expression.” He branded the reaction of Limbaugh and some other commentators as “misogynistic, vitriolic and a misrepresentation of the position of our student.”

And here’s what Carbonite CEO David Friend said about this company’s decision to pull its ads from the Limbaugh show.

No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady. Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency. Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show. We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse.

Friend made the statement in the face of a threat by investors to leave the Inc. 500 company if he abandoned the ad campaign on the Limabugh show. Sensa Weight Loss, another show sponsor, tweeted: “Rush Limbaugh’s comments are not in line with SENSA values so we are pulling our ads indefinitely which should be down in the next couple days.’  That tweet was mimicked by VitaCost, another longtime sponsor. GEICO Insurance issued a strongly worded statement that it was not a Rush Limbaugh sponsor and never would be one, “We do not place ads on Rush’s program. We do not sponsor the show. We have repeatedly alerted our partners that our ads are never to run during his program. If this does not change rest assured that we will remove all advertising from this radio network.” Tell us what you really think there, Caveman! JC Penney immediately followed suit on Twitter.

This incident bears striking resemblance to the 2007 scandal when long-time shock-jock Don Imus called the Rutger’s Women’s basketball team “a bunch of nappy headed hoes.”  Though known for his off-the-wall commentary, Imus was not insulated when sponsors and fellow performers at CBS demanded that his show be cancelled. Eight days after uttering the fateful words, it was. CBS later settled with the radio host but the public sentiment was clear.

The point to be made is that when Wall Street, Congressional Republicans, Congressional Democrats, and the media all agree that civility should improve, civility will improve. It seems now that they have.

Ironically, perhaps the first step in fostering toleration is in politely refusing to tolerate the intolerant. Sandra Fluke  taught us that important lesson by simply standing up for what she believed was right when it mattered.  Real persuasion starts in speaking your truth humbly, compassionately, knowledgeably, and honestly.  That may be the true antidote to the politics of haughtiness and hate. Sandra Fluke reminded us of that, too, with every word.

Sources: Linked Throughout; Wikipedia, Daily Beast; NY Daily News; Smoking GUn; Huffington Post

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

88 thoughts on “Could The End Of Political Hate-Speech Be Due To a Fluke?”

  1. For Women’s Rights, Another Round of Defensive Victories
    Emily Douglas on March 15, 2012

    In recent months, a bubbling stew of Republican extremism, tone-deafness and rank misogyny aimed at a series of poorly chosen targets (Planned Parenthood, Sandra Fluke, breast cancer activists who also use birth control) have turned pro-choice women into a potent and wide-awake political force. A DCCC appeal decrying the “war on women” raised over $1 million. In last week’s cover story, Elizabeth Mitchell reported that Planned Parenthood drew 1.3 million new supporters in 2011 and raised $3 million in the wake of the Komen controversy alone. Viewed one way, what should be happening is happening: women are waking up (E.J. Graff), making their displeasure known, and wielding political capital accordingly (Irin Carmon). The attacks on birth control are turning off independent and moderate women, who are now taking a second look at the once-beleaguered president. And Obama will be ready for them: he is staking his re-election in large part on women voters.

    Moments like this are clarifying, and can act as a teaching tool. Americans, who strongly support access to birth control and the birth control coverage mandate in specific, are catching on to Republican hostility to a key tenet of contemporary American culture. The attacks on birth control are demonstrable proof that the religious right, including the Republican presidential candidates, intends, at root, to re-impose archaic sexual mores and roll back the clock on women’s equality. It is about women, not about unborn babies. Irin credits the amped-up outrage to the “growing realization that these aren’t isolated incidents, but rather systematic attacks based on a worldview that is actively hostile to female self-determination.”

  2. News from the Granite State:

    New Hampshire House Passes A Bill That Falsely Claims Abortion Causes Breast Cancer
    Mar 15, 2012
    Zachary Bernstein, Guest Blogger

    Across the nation, lawmakers are debating several different anti-abortion bills seeking to make it more difficult for women to have an abortion. One tactic is “informed consent” measures that require women to be given information before an abortion — even if they do not want that information or getting it would violate medical guidelines.

    Now, the New Hampshire House has passed a bill that, along with mandating a 24-hour waiting period, requires doctors to give women “informational materials” before an abortion that aren’t even accurate, including that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer. Here’s the text of the bill:

    “It is scientifically undisputed that full-term pregnancy reduces a woman’s lifetime risk of breast cancer. It is also undisputed that the earlier a woman has a first full-term pregnancy, the lower her risk of breast cancer becomes, because following a full-term pregnancy the breast tissue exposed to estrogen through the menstrual cycle is more mature and cancer resistant.

    “In fact, for each year that a woman’s first full-term pregnancy is delayed, her risk of breast cancer rises 3.5 percent. The theory that there is a direct link between abortion and breast cancer builds upon this undisputed foundation.”

    The problem is that a direct link between abortion and breast cancer is not only disputed, it has also been rejected by multiple health organizations. The National Institutes of Health, American Cancer Society, and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists are a few of the groups who say no such link has been scientifically proven. Even the Susan G. Komen Foundation denies there is a link.

    That has not stopped Republicans, including presidential candidate Rick Santorum, from peddling this theory. Nor is New Hampshire the first state where such a bill has been proposed — Kansas and Oklahoma have both considered legislation with similar provisions. But it is hard to understand how a bill can protect women’s health when it gives them incorrect information.

  3. Bdaman1, March 17, 2012 at 8:37 am …..FACTS do not sway you, you are a wall of STONE. I had a conversation with a friend last night and we talked about how the right has made it impossible to trust ANYTHING in the media…we have become, then, fine fact checkers….the discourse from the right has been both coarse, and full of dis….and ultimately toxic.
    I know people (including myself) who become physically ill at some of the disgusting rhetoric that is passed like a putrid cloud into the public forum…I am looking forward to the airwaves being a ‘NO RUSH’ zone.

    Fluke was no fluke.

    She is respected because that is what integrity looks like. And ‘we’, the public, are STARVED for it. I agree with Babs Bush, compromise is not a dirty word….but I will add that it cannot be acheived until there is integrity in the argument from both sides…facts based in truth and a willingness by those in the argument to remain true to the FACTS and not just players on one side against the other…with only somebody ‘else’ losing.

    It’s not a bloody football game, for most of us it defines the parameters of how we will be able to live our lives and contribute to the society of which we are a part.

    Women are more than 50% of this society. I imagine that must be a tad scary to the likes of the Rush’es of the world….

  4. The Biggest Right Wing Lies About Sandra Fluke

    Rush Limbaugh may have received the most notoriety for his smears of Sandra Fluke, but he is not the only one who has been spreading misinformation and outright lies about the George Washington University law student. Limbaugh has been joined by the likes of FOX News’ Bill O’Reilly, CNN’s Erick Erickson, Big Journal’s Dana Loesch, The Blaze’s Mytheos Holt, CNS News’ Craig Bannister, Michelle Malkin, Pat Dollard, Barbara Curtis, and others.

    Here are some of the things that have been ‘claimed’ about Ms. Fluke since her testimony before a panel of House Democratic Party members on February 23, 2012:

    1. Sandra Fluke is a fraud and possible White House operative who “went to the school strictly to challenge its insurance’s contraceptive policy, not even as a real student.”

    Truth: This unfounded allegation stems from other Right Wing opinions that because the Washington Post reported that Fluke was interested in the contraceptive coverage issue before attending George Washington University and has since actively lobbied the school to change its policy, then that must be why she really went to school there.

    2. She “self-identified” as 23 years old when in fact she is 30.

    Truth: Fluke never mentioned her age during her testimony.

    3. “The busy coed drained her savings account paying $3,000 over three years for her contraceptives.”

    Truth: Fluke stated, “Without insurance coverage, contraception can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school.” Notice the use of ‘can cost’ and ‘a woman’ as opposed to ‘did cost’ and ‘me.’

    4. Fluke wants tax dollars to pay for her birth control.

    Truth: Fluke neither mentioned tax dollars nor government funding during her testimony, but spoke in favor of contraception coverage by private insurance plans.

    5. Fluke claimed, “women in her law school program are having so much sex that they’re going broke.”

    Truth: Fluke spoke of the fact that “forty percent of female students at Georgetown Law report struggling financially as a result of this policy” of not providing contraception coverage. She did not speak about the sex lives of her fellow students.

    6. Fluke testified “that she simply cannot stop getting it on” and has an “inability to control her urges.”

    Truth: Fluke did not talk about her sex life during the testimony.

  5. Sandra Fluke Affair Proves that it’s Right-Wingers Who Are the True Adherents of Saul Alinsky
    By Joshua Holland

    One of Alinsky’s rules — again, I know this because conservatives keep telling me — is that you’ve got to: ‘Pick the Target, Freeze It, Personalize It and Polarize It.’ And that’s exactly what Rush Limbaugh and his slut-shaming is about. Sandra Fluke, after all, is not a prominent figure on the national stage. She is a a young woman in law-school who testified about the experience of a friend who required birth control pills to battle cancer. And here she is, a target picked, frozen, personalized and polarized.

  6. TPMDC
    The Right’s Sandra Fluke Conspiracy Theories: A Guide
    Sahil Kapur March 14, 2012

    Searching for an escape hatch now that the contraception wars are spinning out of their control, Republicans and conservatives are working to turn the Sandra Fluke saga into one big liberal conspiracy.

    As Fluke vows that slurs won’t silence women, here’s a handy guide to the theories floating around on the right about the Georgetown law student who was smeared by Rush Limbaugh and has since created headaches for the GOP.

    Conspiracy No. 1: The White House Planted Her!

    Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly believes he’s found the smoking gun in the liberal plot: The public relations firm that represents Fluke, SKDKnickerbocker, counts White House alum Anita Dunn among its partners. “A-ha!” O’Reilly declared triumphantly. “So this whole deal comes back to the White House.”

    SKDKnickerbocker says its dialogue with Fluke began only after she became a household name, but even if that weren’t the case, here’s what O’Reilly’s theory boils down to: The White House secretly enlisted Dunn to convince a woman to testify at a House Republican hearing about contraception, in the hope that she’d be rejected, receive lots of attention for it, later testify at a Dem hearing, get called a “slut” and “prostitute” by Limbaugh and thus embarrass senior Republicans who would be hard-pressed to unequivocally rebuke him.

    Conspiracy No. 2: House Democrats Trapped Republicans!

    An anonymous “Republican committee source” told The Washington Examiner’s Byron York that House Dems “played games” with the GOP in the run-up to the hearing that lit up the brouhaha. The aide said Dems first proposed Fluke as one of two witness options and, after the GOP chose the other one, insisted they only wanted Fluke and told the other not to show up.

    The trouble with that is Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) said at the hearing that it was his own staff who decreed Fluke not “appropriate” or “qualified” to testify. Regardless of whether Dems tried to pull a fast one, the rejection of Fluke from that panel had a lot to do with making her a national story, and that was the GOP’s own doing.

  7. “The only ‘setup’ I see is trying to make a persons background the issue rather than discussing the issue.

    There are important issues to discuss here. Ms Fluke’s bright future is not one of them.” (bigfatmike)

    Well said

    It is, of course, in Limbaugh’s best interest to spin the discussion away from the topic of women’s health and focus it instead on some sort of creepy old man’s sexual fantasy that can only be supported by prodigious consumption of Viagra. His sponsors determined it was not in their best interests to go along for the ride.

    Women, and the men who understand the importance of women’s health, swatted him down with ease.

    The issue Ms. Fluke addressed remains highlighted despite all efforts to turn the subject of women’s health into some sort of sick sexual fantasy.

    Prescriptions for pain from ovarian cysts is just one of many noncontraceptive uses of birth control denied women when their employers refuse to include contraception services in their health care plans because of moral or religious reasons.

  8. Rush Limbaugh and the Right-Wing Nervous Breakdown
    For a Republican Party already suffering from a yawning gender gap, Limbaugh’s hijacking of the news cycle last week must have been unwelcome news.
    By Eric Boehlert
    March 7, 2012

    It turns out that even in cases of emergency, the GOP Noise Machine has no off switch.

    Republicans learned that painful lesson as the Rush Limbaugh “slut” fiasco made headlines for days on end. With the Voice of the Republican Party engulfed in one of the most damaging (and self-inflicted) controversies of his career, and with parts of the GOP Noise Machine scrambling to actually defend Limbaugh, as well as to echo his misogynist taunts, it’s been the larger conservative movement that has been absorbing the worst blows.

    For a Republican Party already suffering from a yawning gender gap, Limbaugh’s hijacking of the news cycle last week must have been unwelcome news. But this is what happens when Republicans sponsor an irresponsible media Noise Machine that’s designed to offend and attack and is designed to dehumanize its political enemies. This is what happens when the wheels fall off in spectacular fashion, like Limbaugh spending three days smearing, by name, a Georgetown University Law School student as greedy nymphomaniac having so much sex “it’s amazing she can still walk.”

    It’s no secret Republican leaders live in fear of Limbaugh and over the years have found it almost impossible to publicly criticize even his most outlandish and hateful statements. Those few who did stop forward were often forced to then quickly reversed course and apologize to Limbaugh. Just like Republicans have had to bow down to kingmakers at Fox News and embrace their lowest common denominator programming

    The truth is the conservative movement in America has become a media-based one, delegating an absurd amount of influence to bloggers, cable channels and talk show hosts. In turn, that movement suffered a collective collapse last week. Incapable of self-reflection, player after player, including those at Fox News, rushed forward to condemn the law student and/or to insist the AM talker had done nothing wrong by, A) insulting the young woman, B) mocking her parents C) demanding she post videos of herself having sex online, and D) suggesting she was using condoms when she was in elementary school.

    Large portions of the right-wing media complex saw nothing wrong with that kind of behavior; saw nothing wrong with the 53 bullying smears Limbaugh unloaded on the student in front of his national radio audience. Not only did they defend Limbaugh, they lashed out at anyone who suggested the titan talker lacked common sense. And then they stomped on Sandra Fluke’s reputation some more.

    A sample of the swill:

    -Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin denounced Fluke as a “femme-agogu tool.”

    -The right-wing site Jawa Report illustrated a post about Fluke with a picture of a tattoo that reads “Semen Demon.”

    -Pam Geller wrote that Fluke is “banging it five times a day” and that “calling this whore a slut was a softball.”

    -Accuracy in Media’s Don Irvine called her a “skank.”

    -Former CPAC Blogger of The Year, Ace of Spades, called Fluke a “shiftless rent-a-cooch from East Whoreville.”

    -Michelle Malkin guest blogger Doug Ross used “Got Slut?” in a headline and suggested Fluke suffered from “nymphomania.”

    -Dana Loesch complained the controversy surrounding Limbaugh’s three-day “slut” campaign represented a “manufactured” story. (This, before Limbaugh responded to the “manufactured” story by issuing a rare public statement.)

  9. @bdman, two words seem the proper response to your weak arguments today: so what?

    What you cannot possibly change, no matter how Limbaugh-esque you choose to become, is that the GOP has lost women, likely for a generation.

    One word sums up your role in that future: deal.

  10. .

    March 14, 2012
    Susan G. Komen: Where’s the Party?
    Posted by Amy Davidson


    “I am writing to inform you that we have cancelled the Annual Awards Gala that was originally scheduled for May 17, 2012,” Blythe Masters, the chair of the board of directors for the Greater New York City affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, wrote in a letter dated yesterday. Now, why would that be? Instead of an event for which tickets might to sold to all sorts of people—some, presumably, still angry that the national Komen organization had tried to cut its ties to Planned Parenthood before pressure from its supporters made it reverse that decision—there would be another kind of event:

    I would, however, like to cordially invite you to join me as my special guest at Keeping the Promise: The Grantees’ Breakfast, where we will announce our new 2012-2013 grantees…

    The Grantees’ Breakfast; will, the letter noted, be “by invitation only.” (“Please note that this invitation is not transferrable.”) The Gala was supposed to be at Gustavino’s (“It’s been cancelled for reasons I can’t divulge,” someone speaking for Gustavino’s, who declined to give his name, said.) Vern Calhoun, a spokesman for the affiliate, said: “After much discussion, the Board of Directors of the Greater New York City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure decided to postpone our new spring event, the Awards Gala, to a later date because we were not certain about our ability to fundraise in the near term.” Calhoun said that one of the grantees at the substitute breakfast event would be Planned Parenthood of Nassau of County; specifically, a program called Sisters United in Health/Hermanas Unidas en la Salud, which provides uninsured and undocumented minority women health information and access to breast-cancer screenings. (The grants total three million dollars, and another $1.4 million for research will be announced, Calhoun said.)

    That concern about fund-raising may have been well founded. The letter was received by a friend who used to donate to Komen regularly but, like many others, had recently excoriated them on their Web site for interjecting politics into women’s health care. Other affiliates are reconsidering events, too.

    All of this raises a question: who won the fight over Komen and Planned Parenthood? Komen’s support for the anti-cancer work Planned Parenthood does is in place, for now, at least while people are watching. But that uproar was followed by Rush Limbaugh’s pillorying of Sandra Fluke and attempts by the Republican candidates to outdo each other with invectives directed at Planned Parenthood, and even the basic principle of accessible contraception. “Planned Parenthood, we’re gonna get rid of that,” Mitt Romney said (he was apparently referring to getting rid of any federal funding, not outlawing it). The candidate whose views were most extreme in this regard, Rick Santorum, won the primaries in Alabama and Mississippi last night. Margaret Talbot, in a Comment this week, notes that “eighty new restrictions on abortion rights that were enacted by state legislatures in 2011, up from twenty-three in 2010.” But Planned Parenthood itself, and not just its abortion work, has become a target. Who won the Komen fight? It’s too early to tell; it’s still going on. There just won’t be any skirmishes at a gala in New York this year.

    Read more

  11. “There are important issues to discuss here. Ms Fluke’s bright future is not one of them.”


    Well said, but Bdaman needs to do his thing which is to try to distract one’s vision from the real issue. He does this so regularly that one might suppose he was either paid, or terminally blind to the excesses of the cause he so voraciously champions. i.e. The deference and support of the 1%, no matter what their excesses.

  12. How exactly does a spokesperson use his or her personal background to ‘setup’ the other side in a debate?

    Aren’t the ‘issues’ the issue and not the persons background?

    ‘You took unfair advantage and set us up by coming here to discuss precisely the issues we came here to discuss’!?!?!?

    How could anyone in a debate be set up by questions like ‘who gets birth control’ or ‘who pays for birth control’. Haven’t these questions been in play and under discussion essentially all of our adult lives?

    The only ‘setup’ I see is trying to make a persons background the issue rather than discussing the issue.

    There are important issues to discuss here. Ms Fluke’s bright future is not one of them.

  13. Of course it’s all moot unless you have doctors to provide you with the care in the first place.

    Doctors Say Obamacare Is No Remedy for U.S. Health Woes

    America’s doctors have conducted a full examination of the president’s health reform law — and their diagnosis of its effects on our healthcare system isn’t good.

    Nearly two-thirds of doctors expect the quality of care in this country to decline, according to a new survey from consulting giant Deloitte. Just 27 percent think that the law will lower costs. And nearly seven of every 10 doctors believe that medicine is no longer attractive to America’s “best and brightest.”

  14. Struggling Clear Channel And Rush Limbaugh’s $400 Million Payday

    The boycott comes at a bad time for Premier’s parent company, Clear Channel. A conservative-friendly media behemoth with a soft spot for right-wing radio, Clear Channel continues to struggle not only with a depleted radio audience as more and more consumers migrate away from the AM/FM dial, but it’s also sagging under the weight of massive debt.

    From a Forbes report, earlier this year:

    Clear Channel’s consolidated businesses are struggling amid a sea of losses and a $19.9 billion debt load, meanwhile its largest revenue source, radio broadcasting, is a loss leader. Overall, the combined company is set to lose over $200 million in 2011 after notching $4 billion-plus annual losses during the recession.

  15. NAL, from your link

    Yes, you read that right: The real news of the CBO estimate is that, according to its models, health care reform is going to save even more taxpayer dollars than previously thought.

    I want to be clear about something. The Affordable Care Act has flaws: Among other things, it reaches fewer people and provides less financial protection than I would prefer. The revised CBO report actually suggests this problem will get mildly worse, since it also expects slightly fewer people to end up with insurance. That’s one reason why the law will cost less; it’s helping fewer people. Another reason is that more employers pay penalties for not offering insurance and more people pay penalties pay penalties for not obtaining it. That’s obviously not great, either.

    The report also had one finding that give us at least a little pause: CBO now projects the number of people with employer-sponsored insurance will drop by 4 million people, on net. It’s still a small effect, representing less than 2 percent of the total population with employer-sponsored coverage. That’s well within the margin of error of these models. It’s also difficult to tell why CBO thinks this will happen

  16. ” “Could The End Of Political Hate-Speech Be Due To a Fluke?”

    We can only hope!!

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