DAVID ROSMAN: Limbaugh's insincere apology makes situation worse for all, including Missouri

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CST; updated 7:37 p.m. CST, Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The wrath falling upon Rush Limbaugh is overwhelming. In the last week I have counted more than 300 editorials condemning Rush’s remarks; 20 (if not more) of his sponsors have pulled their advertising; and the Sunday talking-heads have generally agreed that Rush’s market share has plummeted since his three days of insults.

So why am I taking on this thorny topic? Can my comments add or detract from this entanglement of briar patch that Uncle Remus was so fond of using in his morality tales? Maybe. Maybe not.

Monday evening I finally got around to reading my newspapers and found a short but interesting column in The Kansas City Star concerning the Hall of Famous Missourians. Yes, we have such a place and it includes Walt Disney, Samuel Clemens, Walter Cronkite, J.C. Penney and others. And in the near future — Rush Limbaugh?

OK, does the Hall of Famous Missourians include the nefarious and infamous Missourians, because that is really where Rush belongs after his lambasting of Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke last week. And did you hear what he called our own Claire McCaskill? OMG!

As of Tuesday, 20 companies have pulled their sponsorship from Rush’s radio program with more expected to follow.

Then there is Rush’s non-apology apologies; at least two written and three on air. Not one of them said what needed to be heard, "I'm sorry, I screwed up, and I beg for forgiveness."

At a local restaurant last night, I overheard two couples, farmers in their late 60s, discussing how more companies need to pull their advertising because of the non-apologies and that the Columbia station that airs Rush’s programs needs to stop.

The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, the Christian Science Monitor and even Republican elder John McCain have condemned Limbaugh's comments and apologies as "totally unacceptable." But the Republican presidential candidates? Not so much.

Mitt Romney said, "It's not the language I would have used." Does he have a better metaphor for "slut"? How about femme fatale, floozy, harlot, hussy, jade, scarlet or tart?

Rick Santorum avoided the question altogether on the Sunday political shows. Does that mean that Santorum agrees with Limbaugh but does not want anyone else to know?

The Tucson Citizen reported Newt Gingrich’s response,"Limbaugh was 'right to apologize' on ABC's 'This Week,' before decrying the 'elite media' and the way the debate has been framed." Was he saying that this whole fiasco is the media’s fault?

Only Ron Paul has condemned Limbaugh’s sexist and derogatory remarks. On "Face the Nation," Paul said, "I don't think he's very apologetic. He's doing it because some people were taking their advertisements off his program. It was his bottom line that he was concerned about."

It is a given that Limbaugh’s remarks were callous and sexist. It is a given that his apology was extremely impersonal and was forced by the loss of revenue. However, the GOP and its presidential candidates’ failure to condemn Limbaugh will be extremely detrimental to the GOP's stride toward the White House.

But a bust of Limbaugh in the Hall of Famous Missourians? When interviewed by Kansas City’s KMBC news, sponsor and Missouri House Speaker Steven Tilley, R-Perryville, said that "no one would deny the fact that he would qualify as a famous Missourian …"

Why waste the time under the Gray Dome when Rush’s hometown of Cape Girardeau doesn’t even have a sign acknowledging that tidbit of fact?

It appears that the Missouri GOP is also saying that Limbaugh’s diatribe and false apologies just don't count. The speaker is saying that Limbaugh is "deserving to be in the Hall of Missourians" and he's honored to be the one to put Rush's bust in the hall.

If only a few national Republican leaders have condemned Limbaugh for his language, if the Missouri GOP has said nothing, if Speaker Tilley is praising the man with terminal foot-in-mouth disease, the voting public must ask themselves, along with me and all together now, "What is wrong with this picture?"

Has the GOP become a modern day Brother Fox? Or Wile E. Coyote? Or to paraphrase the great hunting philosopher Elmer Fudd, of the Missouri Republican party, one should be afraid, wery wery afraid. Hahahaha.

David Rosman is an editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in communications, ethics, business and politics.

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Michael Williams March 7, 2012 | 8:02 a.m.

Limbaugh's comments were about as useful as a local talkshow host's "Mayor Hind-end" and "Steam Pile of Pelosi".

Cute, really cute....but also cause for turning the off knob. It's boring and boorish.

Now, if we could just get Dave to make a few caustic comments about Bill Maher's apparent misogyny, I might think his editorials are more thoughtful and consistent rather than unbalanced.

(Report Comment)
James Krewson March 7, 2012 | 8:51 a.m.

I am sure that Sarah Palin is still waiting for an apology. The leftist media called her everything from slut to bimbo yet there is no accountability for that. Ed Schultz, Bill Maher, Keith Olberman, and Chris Matthews are just a few of the many that regularly trash women on the air. If you are going to hammer Rush Limbaugh, then you need to start with criticizing those in your own house, Mr. Rosman. What it comes down to is basically you were losing the contraception argument because it is a religious freedom issue, so now you make up this "war on women" issue based on one stupid comment by one conservative talk show host, while people like Ed Schultz, on the left, get a pass for calling Laura Ingraham a slut. The hypocrisy is glaring here. Where were you when Paln, Ingraham and others were getting attacked? Hmmm? Your current concern is only about politics and has nothing to do with actually caring about women.

(Report Comment)
Allan Sharrock March 7, 2012 | 8:56 a.m.

I agree. Bill Mahers comments are way more offensive and he does it on a more consistent basis but of course there is a double standard. In fact I am willing to bet that his comments couldn't even be aired on public radio. Of course it is OK so long as he is blasting conservatives.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor March 7, 2012 | 9:04 a.m.

After repeated warnings over the years, Icarus has flown too close to the sun and is now drowning. However, unless being a quality person on the inside is a main part of the criteria, he does deserve hall of fame status. He was once at the top of his field. He could be called a pioneer for shock talk radio. He has carried great influence in the past.

My thoughts now turn to Ms Fluke. At first, I felt sorry for her. But, if this ends up bringing Rush down, she will have advanced her causes more than she will ever know and she will have half the people in any bar willing to pay her tab for a while...

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams March 7, 2012 | 9:29 a.m.

There's quite a bit of misogyny from liberals in spite of their say-so support. I still remember the comments about Kathleen Harris during the 2000 presidential election. Things like this:

From Joan Vennochi of the Boston globe: "Florida's ghoulishly made-up secretary of state. Her mask of mascara and eyeshadow cannot hide the obvious..."

Robin Givhan of the Washington Post: Her lips were overdrawn with berry-red lipstick, the creamy sort that smars all over a coffee cup and leaves smudges on shirt collars. Her skin had been plastered and powdered....caterpillars seemed to rise and fall with every bat of her eyelid....applied her makeup with a trowel...Hate the suit. Hate the buttons. Hate you."

Or from the Gore press secretary, Chris Lehane, and the Gore deputy campaign manager: "Soviet commissar" and "crony".

And Alan Dershowitz: "She's a crook. She's corrupt."

As if ANY of this had to do with the election.

DaveR does have a good point with his missive about Limbaugh, but it falls flat in the midst of his silence when others of his political persuasion do the same or worse. INO, the article didn't help the problem one bit and, in it's bias, just added fuel to the fire.

PS: Bias in this newspaper is nothing new. Only JKarl provides some balance. Recent evidence of bias? Try finding favored-son Roger Wilson linked with money funneled to the DNC in the current federal investigation of OTHER newspapers are reporting but not this one.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams March 7, 2012 | 9:35 a.m.

As for, "the great hunting philosopher Elmer Fudd, of the Missouri Republican party, one should be afraid, wery wery afraid."

It's odd when liberals make fun of those with speech impediments. Glad I didn't do it....the anti-posts would be legendary and put us in the "blue" faster than you can say "JKarlMiller!!!

(Report Comment)
David Rosman March 7, 2012 | 10:06 a.m.
This comment has been removed.
Michael Williams March 7, 2012 | 11:07 a.m.

Ms Palin brought it upon herself? "Slut" is an OK word when a woman fails at foreign events? Sometimes women really DO deserve it?

And the FL SoS's makeup was indeed a huge concern for you, one that had implications and pertinence for the election? Worth saying out loud just to hurt and...what?....somehow portray her as somehow less credible because she doesn't know how to put on makeup?

This is fair game? It's open season?

So, if I start writing comedy instead of political commentary in this place, I can say words that I could not otherwise use....hateful ones, filthy ones, racial ones? Really? Is this your advocacy?

As for "when a Democrat of liberal opens their moth [mouth?] and inserts their own foot, I will be just as critical."

You haven't in the past, you didn't in your post just printed, you aren't now, so what should I believe for the future?

Wow, better hope your wife doesn't read your post. She's gonna be nervous wreck putting on her makeup.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro March 7, 2012 | 11:48 a.m.

Shock jocks and social/political "humorists," talk show monologists and comedians do this all the time.
Seems like it's a double standard when it's a white dude and the liberal progressives fuel the fire to vilify the politically incorrect orator.
No big deal. Rush had an Andrew Dice Clay moment.
Feminists get their panties in a bunch as they have no sense of humor or understanding as the woman he was talking about is a law student with a self-professed supposed $3,000 a year birth control habit and as a future attorney she is complaining about the amount of debt and expense it is for her to become a lawyer, which will provide her with a means to pay back her loans of choice. Her lifestyle of choice as well.
And yet she cries.
A perfect foil for the alpha male.
Don't take it personal and just get over it.
It's very entertaining.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop March 7, 2012 | 2:29 p.m.

Rush will have absolutely no problem replacing lost advertisers. Further, the already building backlash from the public boycotting those advertisers immediately showed in the drop of their stock prices.

The White House seems a bit forgetful though. Wasn't it just a few months ago they were saying they were not the speech police when it came to a certain union's spokesman's trashy comments? You remember. The one with the family mafia connections?

I'm still waiting for President Obama to ask the Dem friendly PAC to return Bill Maher's million bucks.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams March 7, 2012 | 2:36 p.m.

I wonder if Dave knows if those 20 "lost" advertisers are national?

Or local among the various affiliates?

A bit of clarification may be in the spirit of journalistic accuracy and completeness.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor March 7, 2012 | 3:41 p.m.

This is the real deal. He will suffer some pain. If his ratings don't fall, advertisers will come back when the waters calm though. He shouldn't have done what he did and the fact that libs have done this many times before is no excuse. Two wrongs don't make a right, even when the wrong was done by the right ;-)

Advertisers that have left...

Sleep Number, The Sleep Train, Quicken Loans, Legal Zoom, Citrix, Carbonite, ProFlowers, Tax Resolution, AOL, Bonobos, Sears, Allstate Insurance, Sensa, Bare Escentuals, Vitacost, Hadeed Carpet, Thompson Creek Windows, PolyCom, Service Magic, AccuQuote Life Insurance, Geico, John Deere,, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Bethesda Sedation Dentistry, Cascades Dental, Philadelphia Orchestra, Goodwill Industries, Heart & Body Extract, Netflix, Downeast Energy, Capitol One, JCPenney, Matrix Direct, Reputation Rhino, Consolidated Credit, Constant Contact, RSVP Discount Beverage, Cunningham Security, Regal Assets, Freedom Debt Relief, Norway Savings Bank, Portland Ovations, The Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington and O’Reilly Auto Parts

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 7, 2012 | 5:08 p.m.

Rush was wrong to call the lady names. This is what he has apologized for. The only reference she made to her own need for birth control was a loose statement to draw as much emotion as possible with the little actual accuracy that could be claimed. "Without insurance coverage, contraception, as you know, can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school." Whatever that means. Then apparently, to make the cost seem greater, "For a lot of students who, like me, are on public interest scholarships, that’s practically an entire summer’s salary." Imo a typical liberal attempt to assert a specific hardship, when trying to free up taxpayer funds for redistribution and/or theft, but, not evidence of a prostitute or slut.

She should have been allowed her spiel about women who are not allowed insurance payment for contraceptives when used as other medication for serious illness a very possible problem, but one that can be worked out with insurance co.s (by R's in next administration?) rather than create another huge Gov't expenditure, then forgotten about. Just as was Academy
Award winner, Jessica Lange, when a D' controlled congress called on her to tearfully describe the plight of our nations farmers during hearing on the spending project they were planning that day. mentioned it and I called WAL-MART. The pharmacy has two brands of contraceptives that sell for $9.00 for a 30 day package.

(Report Comment)
Ken Geringer March 7, 2012 | 5:37 p.m.

Of course Rush is disgusting. As an entertainer he knows his audience. Calling the lady a slut and a prostitute was his calculated means of selling soap. Apology, not so much.

I wonder at what point our local radio station will pull the plug. When will a couple more bucks not be worth being associated with him?

Has KFRU no shame?

Oh, shall we put a bust of Jesse James in the capital?

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush March 7, 2012 | 7:16 p.m.

Sponsor pressure works.
Boycotts are not illegal.
Par for the course, though.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz March 7, 2012 | 8:10 p.m.

Don, which advertisers' stock prices have been declining since they left Rush as sponsors? I've been discussing Carbonite (CARB) with a couple posters on the Tribune, but they are apparently blind to the fact that Carbonite's stock price is 40% of its 52-week high and lost half of its value in the past three months. It's a steady decline over time, not a precipitous drop just after their leaving. I think people are looking for something that's not there.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt March 7, 2012 | 10:32 p.m.

I'm going to invoke burden of proof on this one and ask that you guys provide evidence of Maher et al. calling Sarah Palin a slut. Not that I'm claiming they didn't do it or anything; I'm simply expecting you prove your claims. Based on your all's outrage over the apparent double standard, it shouldn't be tough to do, right?

James Krewson said: " [...] so now you make up this "war on women" issue based on one stupid comment by one conservative talk show host, while people like Ed Schultz, on the left, get a pass for calling Laura Ingraham a slut."

(This takes place after he called her a slut)

"In no time, the right-wing media monitors ... were highlighting the crude language. But they were not the only ones objecting; sincere critics of sexism in the media, many of whom had come to see Schultz as a friend and ally, also raised their voices. ...'the type of language Ed Schultz used, whether accidentally or on purpose, has the effect of legitimizing sexism and undermines the credibility of all women,' explained Women’s Media Center president Julie Burton. [...]

"Schultz agreed, issuing one of the most heartfelt apologies ever aired by a television personality. Decrying his own use of 'vile and inappropriate language,' he opened Wednesday night’s Ed Show on MSNBC by saying: 'I am deeply sorry, and I apologize. It was wrong, uncalled for, and I recognize the severity of what I said. I apologize to you, Laura, and ask for your forgiveness.'"

"And Ingraham accepted that apology, showing some class of her own by saying of Schultz’s statement: 'It seemed heartfelt, it seemed like he really wished he hadn’t said it, and I accept that apology.'"

And just in case some of you write off the article/website/author as yet another example of liberal cronyism, here's his actual apology. Make of it whatever you want:

Her response:

(Report Comment)
Holly Henry March 8, 2012 | 1:19 p.m.

Anyone who refers to a "$3,000 a year birth control habit" either has no concept of how birth control works or is simply attempting to inflame the discourse rather than contribute to it.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro March 8, 2012 | 2:05 p.m.

@Holly Henry:
My point exactly.
No sense of humor.
Just outrage.
God bless the Andrew Dice Clays, the Howard Sterns, the Bruce Morrows, the Don Rickles and the Lisa Lampanellis of the world.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro March 8, 2012 | 2:19 p.m.

Rush ain't the problem.
Here's the problem.
("Georgetown co-ed: Please pay for us to have sex … We’re going broke buying birth control
posted at 1:55 pm on February 28, 2012 by Tina Korbe")

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 8, 2012 | 3:02 p.m.

No, Holly, Ms Fault stated cost was "$3,000 during law school." Maybe this means lawyers must pay $3000. per year.

If Federal Gov't began providing birth control for everyone is there Anyone that would bet that within 10 yrs the Gov't would not be paying at least, $3000. per patient per year?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 8, 2012 | 3:18 p.m.


Yes, and some of the the claimants might be males with vascetamies and females with hysterectomies.

What is subsidized we tend to get more of. (I'm not brave enough to carry that idea any further as regards the present topic, but seriously, isn't that the rationale behind subsidies, to encourage somebody to do something?)

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro March 8, 2012 | 4:29 p.m.

And of course ObamaCare, churches, private businesses or these universities will also be expected to pay for reverse tubals & vasectomy reversals as everyone has the right to determine what "free" birth control methods and family planning options are available from their government/private/public coverage.
Wait until the LGBTQ community start expecting sex change operations to be covered by every church employer, university, private/public business thanks to the ObamaCare mentality.
They might just piggyback on this birth control issue to build a case that sex-change operations are a form of birth control as well.
And wait until the day ugly people will expect "free" plastic surgery just before they finally want to have babies.
It's all part of "big government family planning."

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop March 8, 2012 | 6:29 p.m.

Perhaps it is time for David Rosman, Rose Nolen, and other columnists of the liberal persuasion to publicly post those offensive anti-conservative comments made by public figures on the left, and apologize to the readership for not giving those miscreants the same treatment Rush Limbaugh has received in this publication by those writers.

Then readers would truly accept their position as even handed journalism. Anything less would be insincere on their part.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz March 8, 2012 | 8:51 p.m.

Frank, I think the answer is that most lawyers take more than a year to get through law school.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop March 9, 2012 | 2:59 a.m.

Interesting the other facts we find out about Ms. Fluke. The starting salary for anybody graduating from Georgetown Law averages STARTING $160,000 per year. I think if she is going to insist on getting designer boutique contraceptives, she could afford a loan for those too.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 9, 2012 | 5:59 a.m.

@ Ray Shapiro:

I really do enjoy your posts, Ray, even when I (occasionally) don't agree with them.

Thought for today: The Bible tells us that we are made in God's image; it does not tell us or even suggest that we ARE God.

And neither are out institutions of governance. It could be argued that they originate in an altogether different place.

"Every country has the government it deserves." - Comte Joseph De Maistre (1811). The Count was slightly ahead of his time. :)

(Report Comment)
mike mentor March 9, 2012 | 4:23 p.m.

Ray Shapiro March 8, 2012 | 4:29 p.m.
Wait until the LGBTQ community start expecting sex change operations to be covered by every church employer, university, private/public business thanks to the ObamaCare mentality.
They might just piggyback on this birth control issue to build a case that sex-change operations are a form of birth control as well.
And wait until the day ugly people will expect "free" plastic surgery just before they finally want to have babies.
It's all part of "big government family planning."

Don't look now, but ICE announced that it will provide hormone therapy to transgender illegal immigrants at our expense. How nice...

(Report Comment)

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