Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

School Bully Rush Limbaugh’s War on Women

Rush Limbaugh recently made some outrageous and unapologetic comments toward 30-year-old Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke, calling her a slut and a prostitute, because of her testimony in front of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on birth control being included in health insurance.


He then added that as payment she should make a video of her having sex, and make it publically available. But that’s a small issue to get upset about – 61-year-old Limbaugh watching a 30-year-old have sex – nothing in his mind like his feeling his right to free speech is threatened.

Commentators should not say anything that pops into their heads, because it is rude and we are taught such simple things in grade school. Limbaugh failed a good amount of school, which explains his inability to comprehend normal conversation and his inability to view women as anything but pushy feminists and sluts.

Limbaugh has a regular controversial and rather pompous radio show, which is also filmed, because we need to see his fat butt for three hours of the day. He claimed on his radio show his comments were part of his free speech and protected by the United States Constitution. But during his insult speech at Fluke, he attacked her freedom of speech.

As usual in Republican politics, the idea being discussed is not really the issue being debated. For the GOP, birth control is not about women’s reproductive rights, but freedom of religion. ObamaCare, is not about people being able to afford healthcare, but the government trying to control your families. And, famously, abortion is not about men trying to control women’s rights, but freedom of speech.

Fluke stood bravely in front of the Democratic House committee after being told by the Republican-controlled House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that she was not qualified to speak about birth control. This came from the all-male, and especially religious testifiers, because priests have so much knowledge of the female reproductive system, given their celibacy commitments.

When the Republican presidential candidates were later asked about Limbaugh’s inflammatory comment, they all stood with Limbaugh, saying his message was fine but he used a bad choice of words. The candidates, who want the job of leader of the free world, did not protect a student when personally attacked by Limbaugh. Just so the candidates know, 51 percent said the 2010 Census of the people of the U.S. are women.

Limbaugh “apologized” only after losing several sponsors, according to the Chicago Tribune. The apology was not even a real apology, with Limbaugh saying that he chose the wrong words, and also said he did not mean to personally attack Fluke, just the female gender. Newt Gingrich increased blame for the scandal on the “elite” media which, ironically, Limbaugh is part of, making millions every year by sitting in a chair for three hours every day.

Limbaugh, as a political figure, should not be allowed to say anything that comes to mind and then hide behind the veil of free speech. He has a responsibility to his listeners to educate and inform them about the issues. If he doesn’t want the responsibility, then he should not be on the air.

During his recent broadcasts he has not informed his listeners on any issues, just the size of his ego. He misrepresented all the issues he was talking about, including Fluke’s motives, the proposed legislation, that the tax payers will pay for the insurance and how sex works. I am a little worried he does not know how sex works. This is problematic, as Limbaugh is on wife number four.

Men are sometimes involved in sex and the creation of babies. President Barack Obama’s healthcare bill would support women and men, by having birth control under women’s insurance plans, enabling safe sex.

Political figures have responsibilities to promote free speech, but the only free speech Limbaugh wants to protect is his own. He should not be allowed to say anything he wants, because he is sending out a message. To the public and kids listening, he sends the message that a person can say anything you want no matter how outrageous and cruel it is, and then not apologize.

Maybe Limbaugh is intimidated by Fluke; she is a woman who stands up to him. Los Angeles Times columnist Meghan Daum claims that Limbaugh acts the way he does because he has never meet a real women before.

Fluke is very well-educated, while Limbaugh could not even graduate from a two-bit college in the middle of Missouri. Fluke is well spoken and graceful, and Limbaugh cannot get out of his radio chair without help. He is the definition of the school bully, who attacks anything he cannot understand or is afraid of.

Limbaugh’s actions were not OK. He should not be allowed to say everything, just like the school bully is not allowed to say anything that comes to mind.

Claire Anderson is a Collegian columnist. She can be reached at [email protected].

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  • D

    David Hunt '90Mar 12, 2012 at 8:54 am

    $3000 in three years? She says she did a survey. Where are the data? Or is this pulled out of thin air?

    Did anyone do any fact checking? I did. I went to my local drug store; conservatively, assuming both condoms and foam AND assuming the woman pays for the entirety of it, we’re looking at $1.50 a “pop”. That’s 2000 times in 3 years, or 2 times a day, every day, for three years.

    Birth control pills are available – with no insurance – for less than $20 a month near Georgetown.

    And let us not forget the fact that Fluke attended Georgetown specifically to attack their policy.

    And lastly, about hostile language, let me cite:


    I’m still waiting for the President of the United States to apologize for calling me & all my like-minded friends & associates “Teabaggers”. Everybody knows what this word means, to include Barack Obama; it is a filthier and slimier term than “slut” or “prostitute” (both words happen to be in the Bible, by the way).

    I’m still waiting for Bill Maher to apologize for all the deplorable and disparaging things he said about Sarah Palin – ten million times WORSE than anything Rush Limbaugh has ever uttered in his entire career.

    I’m still waiting for Barack Obama to denounce Jimmy Hoffa Jr. for physically threatening the Tea Party and insulting us while he was at it, warming up the crowd for the President of the United States, who sat back and chuckled.

    I’m still waiting for Barack Obama to call for Wanda Sykes to apologize for her remarks about Rush Limbaugh dying of kidney failure – in the presence of the President of the United States and the First Lady, who laughed and applauded her remarks.

    End quote

  • S

    sportsfanMar 9, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Rush is clearly an offensive buffoon and his crassness is indisputably inappropriate. Despite this, he is entitled to free speech and perhaps his idiocy can even aid his opponents in overcoming their challenges.

    Throughout your article you use the word ‘allowed’, that a ‘political figure should not be allowed to say such things’ — this term appears as a double edged sword. If Rush or other figures like himself aren’t ‘allowed’ to to speak freely what happens to free speech on the other end of the spectrum? With the current conservative political climate, I would worry that Fluke’s free speech would be compromised if a system of speech by permissibility were established.

    And what organization or individual would have the power to monitor, ‘allow’ or deny individuals free speech? It appears a slippery slope to centralized censorship.

    Perhaps its just the syntax I’m after and not your ideas. I find that emphasizing responsible free speech and individual integrity, especially for figures in the media and politics, is a more way effective of making this argument, rather than emphasizing a system of permissibility.

    It’s not the freedom of speech that is hazardous to a liberal (or sensible agenda), it’s the political climate and communities that support Rush’s radio show — un-phased by such abrasive, indecent, and irrelevant language — that I am truly fearful of.

  • F

    Free speakerMar 9, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Thoughts on Bill Maher? Yeah… didn’t think so.

    Free speech isn’t a veil, its a right.

  • C

    carol RossaMar 8, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Excellent points, excellent article