Rush Limbaugh's attacks on Sandra Fluke were reprehensible and wrong
Rush Limbaugh's attack on Sandra Fluke, a third year Georgetown law student, calling her a "slut" and a "prostitute" on his incendiary radio show was dead wrong.
He went on to suggest that she distribute sex tapes of herself to pay for her contraceptives.
All I could think of was the hurt this nationally syndicated hate-monger would cause my little girl or my sisters if he unleashed his verbal diatribe on them. If Limbaugh made these comments about my daughter, the anger would be boiling inside of me.
Ms. Fluke had testified before Congress last month about the need for health insurance coverage for contraception. She believes the new federal law mandating health insurance coverage for contraceptives prescribed by a doctor should be enforced even if it offends or goes against her employers religious beliefs.
Limbaugh's stupidity was not confined to a one day momentary lapse. No, it went on for a second, continuing his verbal assault, saying on his show, "she admits to having so much sex that she can't afford it anymore. And thus, a new welfare entitlement must be created to pay for it."
Limbaugh neglected to mention that Ms. Fluke was testifying about her friend who was denied birth control she needed in order to stop ovarian cysts from growing.
President Obama phoned the assault victim and called Limbaugh's comments what they were, "reprehensible." He is so right.
No, Limbaugh lovers, this is not about "free speech," "expressing his views" or "religious freedom." The issue before us is the difference between "right and wrong" and plain human decency.
Limbaugh's shtick is to be a right wing flame thrower, to push his inflammatory commentary across the airwaves. Yet, it does not give him the right to scream fire in a crowded theater or to call a young woman a "slut" and "prostitute" for having the courage to stand up in America and express her views to Congress.
Attacks on difference on policy or political philosophy is fair play. Calling a women slanderous, hurtful names is way out of bounds and there ought to be a severe penalty for such baseless, boorish behavior.
No one in America should be able to uses the public airwaves to heap this type of vicious abuse on anyone.
The backlash has begun and should continue.
Limbaugh -- coming under intense pressure from womens' groups, politicians from both political parties and a few advertisers including Detroit based Quicken Loans -- cowardly apologized on his website late Saturday. He said that he had chosen the wrong words in his comments about Ms. Fluke. He "did not intend a personal attack" on her, he said.
Calling a woman a "slut" is a personal attack.
If Limbaugh is allowed to recover from crossing a line of decency without paying a significant price, it says something very sad about what this country has become.
So, America are you going to simply lay back and let his assault on American women stand? What he said is not right, fair or conservative.
What Limbaugh did was beyond inappropriate and wrong, it was evil and outside the bounds of civil discourse. His web based apology is hardly enough.
Tom Watkins was Michigan's state superintendent from 2001-05, and deputy and director of the state's mental health system from 1983-90. He is a US/China consultant. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.