Skip to comments.Why I Apologized to Sandra Fluke
Posted on 03/05/2012 10:29:09 AM PST by Kaslin
RUSH: Yeah, I knew it was getting bad. I was watching the media on Saturday, and I said, "You know what? I gotta call myself and cancel and suspend the Two If By Tea advertising." So I called myself to cancel the advertising. I got a busy signal so I couldn't cancel my own company's advertising. So Two If By Tea remains a sponsor of the Rush Limbaugh program and the Excellence in Broadcasting Network.
Great to have you here, folks, looking forward to talking with you today as the program unfolds before your very eyes and ears. Our telephone number, 800-282-2882, the e-mail address ElRushbo@eibnet.com.
While I have your attention, give me 30 minutes here. It's all I ask and then you can do what you want. I want to explain why I apologized to Sandra Fluke in the statement that was released on Saturday. I've read all the theories from all sides, and, frankly, they are all wrong. I don't expect -- and I know you don't, either -- morality or intellectual honesty from the left. They've demonstrated over and over a willingness to say or do anything to advance their agenda. It's what they do. It's what we fight against here every day. But this is the mistake I made. In fighting them on this issue last week, I became like them.
Against my own instincts, against my own knowledge, against everything I know to be right and wrong I descended to their level when I used those two words to describe Sandra Fluke. That was my error. I became like them, and I feel very badly about that. I've always tried to maintain a very high degree of integrity and independence on this program. Nevertheless, those two words were inappropriate. They were uncalled for. They distracted from the point that I was actually trying to make, and I again sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for using those two words to describe her. I do not think she is either of those two words. I did not think last week that she is either of those two words.
The apology to her over the weekend was sincere. It was simply for using inappropriate words in a way I never do, and in so doing, I became like the people we oppose. I ended up descending to their level. It's important not to be like them, ever, particularly in fighting them. The old saw, you never descend to the level of your opponent or they win. That was my error last week. But the apology was heartfelt. The apology was sincere. And as you will hear as I go on here, it was not about anything else. No ulterior motive. No speaking in code. No double entendre or intention. Pure, simple heartfelt. That's why I apologized to Sandra Fluke on Saturday, 'cause all the theories, all the experts are wrong.
What's gone on since and what really is going on here is what we all know to be true. Our president, Barack Obama, has a socialist agenda when it comes to health care, when it comes to birth control, when it comes to virtually every aspect of his agenda. In this case, Barack Obama wants the government, his government making moral decisions about what treatments, prescriptions, pills you pay for through your insurance premiums. He isn't willing to let you or the market make that decision for yourself.
Now, the hearing that started all of this, I want to go back and put the timeline here in context, start at the very beginning. The hearing that started all of this was called by Darrell Issa, a California Republican, he's the head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Issa is on our side. His point in calling this hearing was to get facts into the record that otherwise would not be aired. But his committee is made up of both Republicans and Democrats, and there are rules and procedures that are followed in calling witnesses. What this was all about was the president of the United States acting extra-constitutionally, mandating that Catholic churches and their schools provide contraceptives, abortifacients. He doesn't have that power constitutionally. He cannot mandate these things.
That was the original purpose of the hearing. He was to get facts into the record that otherwise would not be aired, but his committee is made up of Republicans and Democrats and there are rules and procedures that are followed in calling witnesses. So the Democrats tried to play a game with Darrell Issa and his committee, and he rejected it. What they did was, they requested a witness for his hearing, a man named Barry Lynn to make their points for them. Barry Lynn is a guy that remits the Democrat point of view. They asked for him in advance. Issa's committee checked him out, invited him, and prepared for his testimony. Issa agreed he has a degree of expertise about the subject matter of the hearing, which was not contraception. That's what Obama wants to turn this to.
Obama is sorely hurting with women in preelect polls. He wanted to turn this into an issue much as they used to use abortion. So the Democrats played the game. What happened next is instructive, and it's very important. At literally the last minute the Democrats decided they want Sandra Fluke. What happened next, at the last minute the Democrats decided that Sandra Fluke would be a better witness for them, not because she had any special knowledge or credentials like Barry Lynn has, but because her optics as a woman and a college student, a 30-year-old college student and an activist on Democrat issues, by the way.
They thought all of that would show better than Barry Lynn. Now, this is at 4:30 p.m., 4:30 in the afternoon, the day before the hearing that the Democrats asked Issa to un-invite Barry Lynn, the guy they had asked for originally, and replace him with Sandra Fluke. Darrell Issa said (paraphrased), "Sorry, it's too late. She hasn't been vetted. We don't know who she is. She doesn't have any real qualifications to appear before this committee. We don't have the time to prepare for her and ask her questions. So the answer is: 'No. You cannot have her testify.'" All of this, by the way, is in a very interesting Washington Examiner article from last week, and I've linked to it at RushLimbaugh.com so you can read it yourself.
Now, the Democrats and the leftists sensed opportunity over this controversy that they created themselves. They publicly turned the situation they created to their own advantage. They invite Barry Lynn. They disinvite him at the last moment and they want him replaced with Sandra Fluke. "Who is this? We don't know who she is." The second panel of witnesses. It was Carolyn Maloney. If you don't recall last week, Carolyn Maloney, Democrat from New York, started shouting, "Where are the women? Where are the women?" They start saying Republicans hate women; they started attacking Issa and Republicans on the committee, saying, "They don't want hear from women! They're misogynist, sexist," or what have you.
Issa's committee invited the Democrat choice again, Barry Lynn, and the Democrats on the committee tried to replace him at the very last minute with this sympathetic woman when it was too late for the committee. So again they said no. So the Democrats played their game of lies, and Issa complained. On February 16th, he said, "The Democrats on his committee have appeared," this is a quote, "outright giddy in attempting to distort the testimony offered and purpose of the hearing." You bet they did. They wanted to turn this from a committee hearing on Obama and his unconstitutional mandate to the issue of contraception so as to bring back to life page 1-A of the Democrat playbook: Republicans Hate Women.
They wanted to change the whole subject. So how did they do it? Well, the Democrats have their own little subcommittee called the steering committee. This subsets inside the larger oversight and reform committee that Issa chairs. And they wanted their sympathetic witness on the record, Sandra Fluke. So they called her to testify before them, not Issa's committee. The subcommittee. They staged what was essentially a conference to look like a committee hearing. She gave the testimony that she was going to give to the full committee. It was taped and released and made to look like a committee hearing. And Darrell Issa had been right all along. Her testimony was not that of an expert.
It was just another non-expert person in this case, in Sandra's case: A 30-year-old, longtime birth control activist who went back to law school after a career of years of championing birth-control issues. In fact, she told stories less about birth control as a social tool (which was, of course, the left's true agenda) and more about birth control as a medication for treating other conditions, such as pregnancy. To the left, pregnancy is a disease. If you're listening to me for the first time, you may say, "Well, that's crazy." It's not. They treat pregnancy as a disease for political purposes. All of this, folks, is political.
Sandra Fluke gave vague examples based on unnamed friends who she says couldn't afford birth control to treat medical conditions they had, since Georgetown University wouldn't pay for them. Georgetown paid for all of their other medical treatment, but it wouldn't pay for the birth control pills that these doctors prescribed should they be necessary -- or so she says. We still don't know who any of these friends of hers are, these other women, and we don't know what happened to them. Her testimony was hearsay, and it was unprovable. And Issa was right not to let her give the testimony, particularly when the Democrats foisted her on the committee at the very last minute for the express purpose of pulling this fast one, this trick.
Now, let's get a few facts on the record here. Georgetown is a Jesuit University. It's Jesuits, run by the Jesuits, which are a Catholic order of priests. Their policy on birth control is not exactly a secret. It's not given to you in a sealed envelope after you sign up. It's out there for everybody to see. It's a Catholic university! Everybody that goes to there knows. Miss Fluke stated on occasion she went there specifically to change the policy. If birth control insurance is important to you as an enrolling student, and you find out that Georgetown doesn't offer it, you might want to attend (or work at) a school that isn't run by Catholics. I mean, just a thought.
But if you know the place doesn't offer contraceptives when you sign up, and that is your big political issue, then why are you really there? Actually, they know what they're doing. They intentionally target schools like Georgetown to advance an agenda of ultimately forcing them to abandon their religious beliefs. All of this is to serve Obama's agenda. The agenda he worked all summer on. He abandoned it only when America stood up, united, and this said they would not tolerate tearing down religion to increase government's control over our lives. You did that. You stood up to him. You made him stop. That was a proud moment for all of us.
This is his second attempt at mandating Catholic churches and other organizations (under the cloak of a so-called committee hearing) be forced to provide contraceptives against their moral conscience, dictates, what have you. So Sandra Fluke, a 30-year-old birth control activist gives unverified and inexpert testimony about how Georgetown's long-standing and public policy has hurt her unnamed friends. And let's be clear on something else. I haven't called Georgetown to see if they pay for birth control pills when being used to treat her medical conditions. I have no idea if they do or don't. If somebody at Georgetown wants to weigh in on that, I'd be interested.
But the point here is that this was an issue that represents a tiny, tiny slice of what the Democrats really want here. They use Sandra Fluke to create a controversy. Sandra Fluke used them to advance her agenda, which is to force a religious institution to abandon their principles in order to meet hers. Now, all of this is what I should have told you last week, 'cause this is what happened. I use satire. I use absurdity to illustrate the absurd. The story at the Cybercast News Service characterized a portion of her testimony as sounding like (based on her own financial figures) she was engaging in sexual activity so often she couldn't afford it. I focused on that because it was simple trying to persuade people, change people's minds.
I am huge on personal responsibility and accountability, people providing for themselves when they're totally able to. The government has no business doing any of this, getting in people's bedrooms and mandating that other citizens pay for other citizens' social activities and so forth. That was the wrong one to focus on. I acted too much like the leftists who despise me. I descended to their level, using names and exaggerations to describe Sandra Fluke. It's what we have come to know and expect of them, but it's way beneath me. And it's way beneath you. It was wrong, and that's why I've apologized, 'cause I succumbed. I descended to their level. Don't be mad at them or mad at her. Everybody here was being true to their nature except me. I'm the one who had the falling on this, and for that I genuinely apologized for using those words to describe Ms. Fluke.
Now, I've gotta take a break but I'm not through.
You are as far as I'm concerned.
This "don't descend to their level" is bullcrap. When you have people shooting at you, you damn sure better be shooting back with weapons just as effective as theirs.
You caved, Rush!
Before the apology, I supported you and the FReerpers that still support you, supported you. The left hated you before the apology, and it still hates you after the apology. So what has changed, and who changed it...YOU!
Yes. I read them. I apologize if I didn't adequately point out why I didn't agree with them the first time around.
It is quite unlikely that she would sue for being called a slut because that would open up the factual question as to whether and to what extent she is what might be considered promiscuous.
"Slut" isn't the only issue, although 'slut' is defamation per se in many jusidctions. Fluke wouldn't have to prove damages. They are presume in a per se defamation. In fact, 'slut' isn't remotely the primary issue. Limbaugh attributed dozens of specific statements about Fluke's sex life to Fluke. None of them were true. Limbaugh said Fluke was "immoral, baseless". He said she was a prostitute. Prostitution's a crime. That's defamation per se. Again, you don't have to prove damages. Rush made statements over and over, such as Fluke claiming she was "having so much sex, it's amazing she can still walk." Have you reviewed the per se rules for defamation regarding sexual debasement? Everything Limbaugh attributed to Fluke's mouth that she didn't say, and that was derogatory, is subject to a defamation claim. Not just the fact that Limbaugh said she was a 'slut'.
As to having falsely attributed to her the claim that she herself took birth control pills and paid for them, she doesnt have a sound basis on which to argue reputational [sic] harm, which is a necessary element of a defamation claim in these circumstances.
I don't think you're familiar with all of the things Limbaugh said about this woman. Was the "I'm supposed to have sex with three guys tonight" comment about her? Talking about her buying condoms in the sixth grade? I believe you're being delusional if you think all that's involved is whether he said she took birth control pills.
I think it is very odd that you accuse Rush of caving, yet you choose papertyger as your Freeper name
I think it is very odd that you accuse Rush of caving in, yet you choose papertyger as your Freeper name
I think we have a few anti-rush media matter propaganda trolls out in force.
This is no longer about a promiscuous useful idiot bluring abortion into contraception. This is now about stirring the mob into a two minute hate against Rush.
remember when Rush turned the smear letter from reid into gold.
I bet this will happen here too.
“A Boy Named Sue” was too cliché.
Got anything else?
should we start a thread where we all take turns appologizing to Mz. Fluke for her lack of proper social restraint?
that would be a funny vanity thread.
“To Mz. Fluke, with appologies...”
If you can find a FReeper with more solid history than me, I’ll eat your hat.
By the way, does anyone know when her Penthouse spread is due out?
Here's where this would get interesting. Let's assume Fluke is a limited public figure. You're a limited public figure only for the limited scope of the limited topic on which you came forward.
How would Fluke's statements before the Democrats put the frequency of her own sex life into issue and make it relevant for public discussion? Consider the scope of Fluke's actual statement. Not what Limbaugh said Fluke said and not what people are claiming she said. Assume that her own statement sets the scope of the topic for which she's a limited public figure. What's the relevancy of the frequency of her sex life?
As to whether “slut” is defamatory per se, I haven’t researched it but if I were you I wouldn’t place too much reliance on earlier common law cases. If you can find modern cases holding this, then you have a stronger leg to stand on with respect to this point.
“Prostitute” if understood in the ordinary sense may indeed be defamatory per se as a crime, but as I point out in your other thread on this topic, in the quote I read Rush appeared to define this term by his context. I don’t think any reasonable person can understand his prostitute reference (at least in the quote I read) as meaning literally someone who provides sexual activities for compensation, when Rush was pretty clear that he was using that term to mean someone who obtains birth control pills paid for by the public in order to have sex. One could say a Senator is a “prostitute” for agreeing to vote for Obamacare in exchange for a special favor, but no reasonable person would understand that in the literal sense.
I did not hear Rush’s entire tirade. I have only read quoted portions reported in articles. But you need to be careful to separate unactionable opinion from actionable representations as to fact.
For example, calling someone “immoral” is almost certainly an unactionable expression of opinion and not a representation of fact.
As to other statements Rush may have made in his tirade (buying condoms in the sixth grade, having sex with three guys, etc.), I didn’t see those in particular but one would have to start with the issue as to whether any reasonable person would understand from the context that Rush was purporting to state literal representations of fact, as opposed to obvious hyperbole and sarcasm.
I think you need to take a breath and read everything I have said in this thread.
****Some of you people over the years have made me sick. You wonder why we are losing? Because you superior intellects cause 10 times more damage than good to our cause. Bunch of crybabies who start tantrums when things don’t go their way. Where the hell is this bitterness against the left? Against those who truly need correcting? Damned bunch of arm chair generals anonymously being big shots behind a computer screen. You all outta be ashamed of yourselves for being morons. Rush is the only person we got who tells it AT LEAST 90%. And AT LEAST 90% of the issues. WTF do you do??****
WTF back at ya.
If you read my very first post, I said I was unhappy that he has given the left more ammo to use against him and against us.
I am a listener of Rush, a support of him and his style.
You need to get a grip.
“How would Fluke’s statements before the Democrats put the frequency of her own sex life into issue and make it relevant for public discussion?”
I think you have a threshold problem as to whether the statements can be reasonably understood as intending to be a literal factual representation of Fluke’s particular sexual activities.
I read the following quote as to what Rush said:
What does it say about the college co-ed [Sandra] 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. Shes having so much sex she cant afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? Were the pimps the johns. No, thats right pimp is not the right word.
Note that here he is referring to the public as “johns” (and not pimps) in his analogy. Obviously this cannot be reasonably understood as purporting to say that Rush and I and other taxpayers are literally having sex with Fluke.
From the context clearly that is hyperbole and not literal, and it’s probably too far of a stretch to claim that Rush was intending to be understood literally when his tirade so clearly includes hyperbolic statements.
I said they fell far short of any reasonable definition of whoredom. Did you read what I wrote?
I said they fell far short of any reasonable definition of whoredom. Did you read what I wrote?
... and ending Socialism. A failed system. Apologies never work.
For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.
It seems to me that he DOES acknowledge making it personal, but it was not his INTENTION to do so.
I thought his 'apology' was a bit reserved; but his apology 'explanation' was powerful; doing what you said.
He KNEW that EVERY ear that had a brain connected to it would be listening today.
Excellant Deal with it and move on tactics!
But; Number One is still...
You look FAT in that dress.
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