Rush Limbaugh has decided upon a new line of defense, and other conservatives are joining in, thereby showing they just can’t — or won’t — understand what it was he did that’s so awful.
Limbaugh is saying what he did is just name-calling not so bad as what rappers do. Others have come to his defense, saying liberals call women names too, as if this was about name-calling. Let me see if I can spell it out for them, why this isn’t about name-calling, the choice of words, and this certainly isn’t an “Imus moment”.
Not that I’m excusing the name-calling. There isn’t an excuse. There’s a difference between attacking politicians or media figures with the platforms to hit back as opposed to someone who can’t hit back, Limbaugh’s MO, but even that’s a tangent. It about the lies, not the words chosen to tell those lies.
When Don Imus referred to some female black basketball players as “nappy-headed hos”, unless he meant literally they would follow up the game by selling themselves for sex, he wasn’t lying about them. He didn’t accuse them of cheating to win the game, of secretly being men, or of demanding lots of contraceptives so they could have lots of sex. It was similar in that the basketball players didn’t have their own radio show to defend themselves, but the racist word choice did not entail false accusations against them.
In other words, what Imus did is not nearly as bad as what Limbaugh did. What the Daily Beast writer accuses some liberals of saying about some prominent women is not nearly as bad. Take out the nasty words, and what’s left is nothing. That is, nothing was said other than the crude names. However, take out Limbaugh’s crude word choices, and what we’re left with is still Limbaugh said things about Fluke that were false, that he had no reason to believe, and that looked intended to destroy the reputation of someone without a forum for defending herself.
Those lies are what he refuses to apologize for, or even defend his remarks as accurate. He, and the conservatives who are defending him, are either oblivious to what he did, or they think lying to destroy the reputation of someone you disagree with is OK. So no, the semi-apology won’t make this go away.
UPDATE: Not just sponsors are dropping Limbaugh’s show, now a station has canceled it.