Rush Limbaugh is not known for being the most restrained and circumspect of radio talkers. But he seems to have finally crossed the line of no return last week. He spent several days lobbing relentless personal attacks on Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, who had prepared testimony for Congress on why insurance companies should be required to provide contraception. (Because committee chair Darryll Issa allowed only those who agreed with his position — mostly religious men — to appear, she ultimately gave her testimony to a Democratic panel).
Among his most inflammatory remarks were branding her a “slut” and a “prostitute” and saying that if “we” are going to pay for her birth control, she should have to post sex tapes on line for “us” to watch.
As of today nearly a dozen advertisers have fled Limbaugh’s program.
And although Quicken Loans initially indicated support for Limbaugh with spokesman Paul Silver saying “While we do not condone or agree with Mr. Limbaugh’s statements regarding Sandra Fluke, we respect his right to express his views,” they quickly recognized what a shitstorm was brewing and pulled their support on Friday.
Dan Gilbert tweeted,
Due to Rush Limbaugh's inflammatory comments along w/valuable feedback from our clients & staff, Quicken Loans has suspended ads on his show.
Since Cavs flagship station WTAM-AM 1100 also carries Limbaugh’s program, they’ll still be bedfellows.
Limbaugh “apologized” over the weekend, saying he used the “wrong words,” but blaming Fluke for talking about her “personal sexual recreational activities before Congress.” (She didn’t; she used examples of other students who used contraceptives for health-related reasons).
And an unrepentant Limbaugh is blustering “Don’t worry, folks. Advertisers who don’t want your business will be replaced.” — Anastasia Pantsios