By the latest count, at least 25 advertisers and two radio stations have dropped Rush Limbaugh for attacking a college student, calling her a “slut” and a “prostitute.”
To be completely honest, I’m disappointed companies like Allstate Insurance, AOL, Quicken Loans, Sears and Thompson Creek Windows have decided not to stand by their man.
Not because he doesn’t deserve to be fired for his asinine comments about Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown student who was invited to speak in front of the House of Representatives about contraception. There’s no excuse for what he said last Wednesday, which, in case you missed it, was as follows:
“What does it say about the college co-ed Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says 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. What does that make us? We’re the pimps — the johns. No, that’s right — pimp is not the right word.”
First of all, come on, Rush. It’s pretty clear that the pharmaceutical companies and drug stores, which would receive the money to supply the contraception to Fluke and her fellow female co-eds, would be the pimps in this scenario. Get your fucking analogy straight before needlessly attacking a young woman who simply stated her opinion about what she should be allowed to do with her body before calling her a whore. It’s called professionalism. Look it up.
But the reason I’m so disappointed with the stations and advertisers who decided to distance themselves from Limbaugh now is that they are so incredibly disingenuous. This has nothing to do with these companies morally objecting to the talk show host’s comments. It’s simply them worrying about their bottom line. If they really wanted to make a moral stand against Limbaugh, they would have done it years ago.
Like, perhaps in 2003, when Limbaugh implied that analysts gave Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb too much credit for his team’s success because McNabb is black. Limbaugh said: “I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t deserve. The defense carried this team.”
Now granted, while objectionable, those comments are a bit vague, so maybe advertisers were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on that one. But that doesn’t explain why these stations and advertisers continued to support him after 2007, when he played the song “Barack the Magic Negro” on his show, a parody of “Puff the Magic Dragon,” which includes the lyrics:
“Yeah, the guy from the L.A. Paper
Said he makes guilty whites feel good
They’ll vote for him, and not for me
‘Cause he’s not from the hood.”
Limbaugh followed that up in 2009 with his infamous “I want Obama to fail” declaration, where he made it known he was actively rooting against the newly-elected president.
Let’s also not forget 2011, when Limbaugh discussed Chinese president Hu Jintao’s trip to America by saying, “He was speaking and they weren’t translating. They normally translate every couple of words. Hu Jintao was just going ching chong, ching chong cha.”
If condemning racism isn’t their thing, these companies also could have bailed on Limbaugh in 2006 when he implied that Michael J. Fox was exaggerating the effects of his Parkinson’s Disease in order to push stem cell research. “He is exaggerating the effects of the disease. He’s moving all around and shaking and it’s purely an act,” Limbaugh said. “This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn’t take his medication or he’s acting.”
Don’t get all high and mighty now, advertisers. Don’t try to condemn Limbaugh just because the general public has turned on him. He didn’t blindside you with his comments about Fluke. This is who he has always been – a racist, sexist loudmouth blowhard. And you’ve supported him up until now, so why quit? He has a devoted audience and those idiots will continue to listen to his show no matter what asinine thing he says. So continue to court them with your radio spots.
You aren’t fooling me. This move isn’t going to win you any favor with the anti-Limbaugh crowd. All it will do is alienate you from the mouthbreathers who are anxiously awaiting Rush’s next xenophobic zinger.
Maybe I should be happy that this may ultimately hurt Limbaugh in the only area that matters – his wallet. Losing stations and advertisers could hurt his bottom line. But honestly, this man has made so much money over the years spewing hate that it doesn’t even matter. The only thing that would make me happy is if Fluke and her fellow co-eds were allowed to take him outside and beat him with a sock full of nickels.
Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.