By MIKE LAMM
Last week, a series of ads by a pair of Colorado advocacy groups — the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and Progress Now — created quite a stir in conservative circles by drawing attention to the fact that health insurance is now required to cover contraception.
The controversial part of the ad, at least for right-wing commentators such as nationally-syndicated columnist Rush Limbaugh, was that the ad makes the observation that women often use contraceptives to keep from getting pregnant. This information, apparently, makes any woman who actually purports to enjoy sexual activity without the fear of becoming pregnant a “prostitute” and a “slut,” according to Limbaugh.
“What these ads are really promising ... is that if you like being promiscuous, you can keep on being promiscuous. If you like being a prostitute, then have at it,” Limbaugh proclaimed. What he fails to acknowledge, or even apparently understand, is that the “promiscuous lifestyle” to which he is referring is enjoyed by nearly all adult women in this country, regardless of their religion or political beliefs.
Limbaugh’s warped, intolerant, sexist and chauvinistic sophistry surrounding women is well documented. Just last week, while commenting on the gubernatorial race in Virginia, he referred to Democratic women as “abortion machines” and single mothers as “receptacles for male semen.”
In the past, he has commented that “feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society,” adding that “I love the women’s movement — especially when walking behind it.” His disrespectful, bigoted perspective on women becomes glaringly obvious when he makes demeaning statements like “The larger the bra size, the smaller the IQ.”
He has also popularized the demeaning term “feminazi” in referring to feminists “to whom the most important thing in life is ensuring that as many abortions as possible occur.”
And then there’s the personally derisive assault he perpetrated on a Georgetown University Law Center student last year who had the audacity to support mandating insurance coverage for contraceptives in a presentation before Congress.
Limbaugh, who obviously has difficulty finding appropriate adjectives, labeled the student, Sandra Fluke, as both a “slut” and a “prostitute.” After more than 100 local and national sponsors discontinued advertising on Limbaugh’s program following the derogatory remarks, he finally offered a half-hearted apology for some of his crude and tactless comments. His penchant for prejudicial, inflammatory statements laced with half-truths, lies and innuendo is well documented, most notably in Minnesota Senator Al Franken’s book, “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations,” in which he accused Limbaugh of distorting facts to serve his own political biases.
“The Rush Limbaugh Show” is the highest rated talk-radio program in the United States today, with an estimated audience of 15 million listeners. He is among the highest paid people in U. S. media, having signed an eight-year contract in 2008 for $400 million through 2016.
He has been married four times and has no children. One wonders if the lack of progeny is due to luck, divine intervention or if one or all of his wives could have possibly been utilizing contraceptives without his knowledge or consent.
But then, Rush has always held himself to a double standard when it comes to his own life. An outspoken critic of leniency towards criminal drug use, he was charged with doctor shopping after it was discovered he received nearly 2,000 oxycodone and hydrocodone pain medication tablets prescribed by four different doctors over a six month period.
Although Limbaugh later agreed to an out of court settlement, he continued to maintain his innocence in the face of undisputed evidence to the contrary.
Considering his record of distorting the truth and manipulating facts to bolster his own agenda and ideology, it is unfortunate that Limbaugh has maintained such a strident and devoted following for his biased and bigoted commentary.
JUST WONDERING: Did you ever notice that if you remove the vowels from the first name of Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priepus’s first name, you’re left with the consonants RNC? Could it be that Priebus is not really human, but rather, a cyborg creation of the Republican party? Just wondering.
The writer is a general assignment reporter for the Decatur Daily Democrat. He may be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.