Last week, Rush Libaugh came under fire when he called a Georgetown law student a “slut” and a “prostitute” on his conservative talk show, “The Rush Limbaugh Show”. In the aftermath, outraged citizens took to social media outlets to voice their concern and urge advertisers to pull funding. According to Politico, a total of 28 companies have pulled ads so far, including AccuQuote Life Insurance, Allstate Insurance, AOL, Bare Escentuals, Bethesda Sedation Dentistry, Bonobos, Carbonite, Girl Scouts, Goodwill Industries, Proflowers, Quicken Loans, Sears, JCPenny, Vitacost, etc.
It seems that Rush Limbaugh has gone too far this time. He called third year Georgetown law student a “slut” and “prostitute” for speaking at a congressional hearing in support of contraceptives being covered under insurance plans. When advertisers began to pull out, Limbaugh issued a written statement to apologize for his choice of words. The apology came across as too little, too late. More and more advertisers were withdrawing from his program, and he responded to this on his show by saying,
“Now they’ve chosen to deny themselves that access. That’s a business decision and it’s theirs alone to make. They’ve decided they don’t want you or your business anymore. So be it.”
He also addressed claims from the liberal media that there is a “war on women”. He said that this war is made up and instead we are fighting a war on freedom.
Rush Limbaugh has always been very opinionated and often comes off as harsh when voicing his concerns on various topics. Unfortunately for him, he struck a nerve with a lot of the population this time and people are angry.
Premiere Networks, which syndicates the talk show, emailed a statement in regards to the incident. The statement made it clear that the network is committed to providing listeners with access to a broad range of opinion and commentary and they do not feel it is their place to condone or agree with any of the opinions and comments made by on-air talent. They said they “respect the right of Mr. Limbaugh, as well as the rights of those who disagree with him, to express those opinions.” The statement went on to acknowledge the fact that Rush Limbaugh did offer an apology to Ms. Fluke and that they thought he was right in doing so.
I think this incident is so controversial not only because of the issue at hand (should birth control pills be covered by insurance?), but because of the way that it was addressed. I believe that everyone is entitled to their opinions, and voicing an opinion, especially when you are a public figure, comes with a great deal of responsibility.