An Open Letter To Rush Limbaugh

Apologies are not Rush's strong suit. I think I can help.

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Dear Rush,

How are you? I’ve been one poor correspondent; work’s been busy, and we’ve been running this little magazine thing, and, frankly, every time I turn on your radio show, it takes about three minutes before I start feeling so disappointed in my fellow human beings that I have to turn it off. I’m a little out of touch with you.

So it’s been great this last week that you’ve been in the news for the remarks you made about Sandra Fluke. You called her a “slut” and a “prostitute.” Said she “wants taxpayers to pay her to have sex.” You said you’d like for her to post videos of her having sex on the Internet so you could watch.

Then a couple of advertisers pulled their sponsorships of your show. That must have hit you right in the eggs, eh?

So you “apologized.” So nice of you to apologize on Saturday evening, when most people aren’t paying attention.

I gotta say, though, I have a few problems with your “apology.” I know you weren’t apologizing to me (although, god knows, you owe me a few), but I thought I’d point out a few things, just in case you were looking for pointers about how to apologize in the future.

First, you justify your actions by pointing out that you’re an entertainer. It doesn’t matter. If you make a personal attack on an innocent person, you could be the Dalai Lama, and you’d still owe that person an apology.

Second, you say you “chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation.” I don’t know what you think “analogy” means, but I didn’t hear any analogy. It was a pretty straightforward attack.

Third, you say, “I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.” This is the biggest load of bullshit in the whole “apology.” You made intensely personal attacks for three days. You did mean them. Even if you regret them, you meant them. How are we supposed to understand an apology when it’s based on a lie?

Speaking of lies, your “apology” continues to spread the lie that women are lobbying for the government to pay for contraception. The argument is about whether contraception should have to be covered by insurance.

Also: as a four-times-married guy who was caught carrying boner medicine that wasn’t prescribed to him, you don’t have a lot of credibility on the “women should just keep their legs shut” argument.

And, you know, when you’re right, you’re right: when there are so many important issues facing our nation and our world, it’s ridiculous that we have bunch of our top government officials discussing “personal recreational activities.” Here’s the thing you ought to take into account as a comedian, though: when you think the government is doing something stupid, you don’t attack the innocent woman who doesn’t really have anything to do with the stupidity.

And it’s your side that’s behind the stupidity in the first place.

And, let’s be honest: the only reason you “apologized” is that you’re losing advertisers. Maybe the reason your apology seems so defensive and phony is that it’s phony.

You’re going to get lots of defenders from the Ridiculous Right. They’re already trotting out every awful thing any liberal has ever said about anyone. But that’s not really the point. You attacked a woman repeatedly and viciously, then offered a fake apology. The garbage spewed by anybody else doesn’t matter to anyone except the people already caught in your windbag chamber.

Anyhow. You end your “apology” by saying “I apologize.” Anyone who’s ever made an effective apology knows that “I’m sorry” is really want people want to hear. I notice you never said that.

Okay, I’m done nitpicking. Hope this helps. I’m sure you’re going to be asked for apologies many more times over the course of your career as a comedian. You ought to learn how to do it right.

xo,

k

****

Illustration by Belltown Messenger (Rush Limbaugh) [CC-BY-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

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