The Limbaugh Dead-Enders

The Limbaugh Dead-Enders

The Limbaugh Dead-Enders

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 5 2012 5:41 PM

The Limbaugh Dead-Enders

Like I said on Friday, the whole exercise of getting Republicans to apologize for Rush Limbaugh leaves me cold. The grilling that Republicans eventually got didn't even get much clarity on the birth control issue. There's been just one fringe benefit in this whole l'affaire Fluke: Defenders of Limbaugh digging in and attacking the media for daring to criticize something that Limbaugh has now apologized for saying, twice. Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, took a moment away from trying to save children from seeing gay people on TV and banged out a column about how *sputter* liberals often say sexist things, too!

Everyone remembers Ed Schultz calling Laura Ingraham a “slut” on his radio show. 
MSNBC suspended him for a week, but none of Schultz’s advertisers dropped his show under media pressure. There was no pressure. Some of the same sponsors now pulling out of Rush’s show still support Schultz.
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How pure does your hackery need to be to write something like "MSNBC suspended him for a week" and argue that Schultz faced no repercussions? Schultz apologized immediately and profusely for calling Ingraham a slut. She tweeted that she accepted the apology. (Disclosure: I'm an MSNBC contributor. I just focus on this example because it's amusing.) The comment -- which, we all agree, was pathetic -- was a pretty context-free insult. The nub of the Limbaugh/Fluke issue is: To what degree is the desire to allow insurers to avoid birth control mandates motivated by a blame-women-first view of promiscuity? And yet poke around the right wing punditsphere and you see a festival of point-missing.

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post.