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Rush and double standards

by Greg Krehbiel on 7 March 2012

What Rush said about the woman who testified that she needed other people to pay for her contraception was rude and inappropriate. He shouldn’t have said it and he should have apologized.

But was it worse than these things, said — not by loud-mouth talk-show hosts — but by elected members of the Democratic Party?

Sen. Frank Lautenberg said Republicans want to take us to “the Dark Ages … when women were property that you could easily control, trade even, if you wanted to.”

That’s not just rude and inappropriate. It’s an outrageous lie.

Sen. Charles Schumer said this. “Let’s admit what this debate is really and what Republicans really want to take away from American women. It is contraception.”

Another outrageous lie.

The media hounds every Republican they can get their hands on to insist that they disassociate themselves from Rush and condemn his comments. Here’s an example where David Gregory goes after Newt Gingrich.

Has anyone in the press asked Obama if he will call on Lautenberg and Schumer to apologize?

Of course not. There is a complete double standard — which is, in fact, a slander against double standards. This isn’t just a double standard. The main-stream media is clearly, unquestionably in bed with the Democrats.

-- 2012-03-07  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 23

  1. Ken Crawford
    7 March 2012 @ 11:06 am

    While I won’t debate a certain level of double standards and bias, I think in this case it wouldn’t matter who’s party it is from.

    There are certain words that are “psuedo banned”. You can say them on TV or on the radio, but if they’re said in a serious context, they might as well have been banned by the FCC, based on the backlash you’ll get. It won’t matter if you’re a Republican leveling them at a Democrat or vice-versa or anywhere in between.

    Slut is one of them. Whore is another.

    Rush might as well have just called a black man a nigger.

    If Rush has impugned her character and unleashed on her even more harshly than he did but had kept slut and whore out of the conversation, while there would have still been some backlash from those who disagree, it wouldn’t have been headline news and there would have been no meaningful consequences for his statement.

  2. Jerry Kline
    7 March 2012 @ 6:43 pm

    Interesting point. And so true.

  3. Wendy
    7 March 2012 @ 8:23 pm

    Ken, unfortunately, it’s not just the word. When it was applied to Laura Ingraham, there was no such calls from the media to have Ed Shulz fired. See here:

    Unfortunately, everyone is so caught up in Rush Limbaugh’s ‘word’, that no seems to want to speak the truth (yes, the Emperor HAS NO clothes on!!) that she IS a self/publicly proclaimed sl**, and expects the rest of us with our tax dollars to pay for her fornication (that is, removing the unfortunate results of such).

  4. RootCzar
    7 March 2012 @ 11:33 pm

    I certainly haven’t seen every public appearance or read every article on this, but I don’t recall anything in Sandra Flukes’ testimony where she (a) proclaimed herself to be a slut, (b) expects taxpayers to pay for her fornication or contraception. She testified about contraception being potentially expensive, and oft medically beneficial or necessary (ovarian cysts, etc.) It was about insurance companies providing contraception, I don’t recall any mention of $ coming from taxpayers, on her part… That narrative seems to have come, from Limbaugh.

    Wendy, might you clarify? You tendered a rather charged post …

  5. smitemouth
    8 March 2012 @ 12:32 am

    According to Limbaugh’s logic, and his supporters I suppose, every woman who has given birth who was covered by a medical insurance plan is a prostitute. If you paid cash, I think you would be exempt from the claim of being a prostitute.

    If you gave birth and were covered by medical insurance, then basically the rest of us paid for the birth. So the cost was to the rest of us because you got financial benefit by being covered by insurance. Your conceiving and having a baby was caused by sex–unless in vitro fertilization was used. Since you receive financial benefit because of sex, that makes you a prostitute–at least according to Limbaugh and his supporters. And, now according to Rush, we should be entitled to videos of your carnality.

    Maybe Babwa Wawa knows something about LI that we don’t know… I do know that Schulz didn’t try to defend it for 3 days and even say more stupid things. I do know that Schulz was suspended for a time. I don’t recall anyone defending Schulz. I would guess that Bill Maher defended him, but then again he’s defending Rush.

    Greg, you sure are selectively angry. Every day the four horsemen of the apocalypse (Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, Paul) are on Faux News telling whoppers about the president, his record, and about the other horsemen. If the mainstream press covered the political whoppers, there wouldn’t be enough time in the 24/7 cycle to get through them all. I don’t think Politifact has time to get through them all. The reason the Fluke case is a story is because a private citizen testifying in a hearing was attacked so viciously. If the dumbass Rush had simply mea culpa-ed the next day, we’d be done with it. The fact is he went on for three more days doubling down each day with more insults.

  6. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    8 March 2012 @ 8:24 am

    SM – The candidates misrepresent Obama, each other, and even themselves. And there are websites and debates and endless jabbering by talking heads to vet all of that.

    The media clearly has an obsession with any story that can be twisted to imply that there is some sort of “war on women.”

    That is, any story from the right that can be twisted that way. Rappers get a free pass. Bill Maher gets a free pass. Anybody who wants to say nasty things about Sarah Palin or any conservative woman gets a pass.

    But if any conservative says anything, immediately it’s the story of the week and the media won’t let it go.

  7. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    8 March 2012 @ 10:00 am

    Oh, by the way. There really is a “war on women” going on, but it’s not being waged by people who oppose contraception.

    The Global War Against Baby Girls

  8. Derek
    8 March 2012 @ 9:40 pm


    As Greg pointed out, the real “Faux” news is all of the rest of the media (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, etc) that continues to pine and cover up for Obama. They have essentially turned into propaganda machines for the Democrats. Karl Marx would be proud.

  9. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    9 March 2012 @ 12:32 pm

    If liberals are genuinely upset about people saying nasty things about women, let’s see how many of them join this boycott of the Radio and Television Correspondents Association Dinner.

  10. Herr Doktor Robin R.
    9 March 2012 @ 6:12 pm

    I just heard Sarah Palin say that Obama is trying to take us back to the days before the Civil War, to a time when there was a lack of equality. You may compare that statement as well as countless others made by Republicans with the quote from Barney Frank. Members from each of the parties are constantly saying untrue and malicious things about the other party. Rush, it seems, was overstepping the boundary by calling a private citizen a slut. As far as he is concerned, there is a lower standard of discourse for dealing with women. While it is true that Bill Maher says some nasty things, I still haven’t call anyone, either a politician or private citizen, anything comparable to “slut”. Besides, he is not really the popular entertainer that Rush is. Nor is Maher as closely affiliated with the Democrats as Rush is with the GOP. In fact, Maher repeatedly says that the Democrats are not liberal enough for him. He is not one of them, but their party is for him the lesser of the two evils. I also heard about that thing with Ed Schultz, but he profusely apolologized. Besides, who the hell is he? He is a minor player compared to Rush.

  11. Herr Doktor Robin R.
    9 March 2012 @ 6:34 pm

    “I still haven’t call anyone” —> “I have still haven’t heard him call anyone”

  12. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    9 March 2012 @ 6:55 pm

    Robin, I agree that many politicians say many stupid things — especially during campaigns — and they should be called to account for them. There is a lot of overblown anti-Obama rhetoric out there.

    The media does a half-decent job dealing with that, I think.

    But the nastiness with which left-leaning commentators attack conservative women is pretty amazing, and the liberal media doesn’t seem to mind it, or say anything about it. It’s only when a conservative says something that they get all upset.

    And why is Rush associated with Republicans? That seems to be an invention of the media. They want to associate Republicans with any dumb thing Rush says.

  13. pentamom pentamom
    9 March 2012 @ 6:56 pm

    “As far as he is concerned, there is a lower standard of discourse for dealing with women. ”

    As someone who used to listen to him a lot some time ago, I’d have to dispute that. He could be pretty nasty to both sexes.

    Bill Maher is actually known to have called Sarah Palin a word that has never, and God willing will never, pass my lips — a word I wasn’t aware existed until at least a decade into adulthood despite having attended public high school and a college not exceptional in the decorum of its students, a word that would immediately have Rush or anyone who else who said it off the public airwaves (Maher has the advantage of cable.)

    I’m not defending Rush by any means, but yes, Maher has called people things comparable to slut and worse, and Rush has been pretty vulgar about men on many occasions.

  14. Herr Doktor Robin R.
    9 March 2012 @ 7:36 pm

    Perhaps it is true that Rush has an equally low standard for discourse about his opponents, whether they be male or female. But when he feels free to use the s word in application to the citizen that sounds out a message to a lot of people out there that this is entirely acceptable. Some will find it reprehensible, but others will be encouraged to do the same.

    I have watched Bill Maher’s show a lot in the last couple of years, mainly because I like to hear what the liberals are REALLY saying, as opposed what is being ascribed to them by their opponents. I have some rednecks in my extended family and therefore need this kind of antidote. I heard Maher say lots of mean-spirited things about Palin and Bachmann, but also about Bush and now Gingrich, Santorum, and Romney – lots and lots of people, both men and women. But I never heard use the s word, the w word, the c word (gasp!), or anyting comparable to any of these. If you give me a precise reference to a reputuable source, I will take a look. However, I don’t trust what a lot of his opponents say about him. I have to see it or hear it for myself. So please give me the reference. A mere allegation will not do.

    Anyway, Maher reaches a very small audience compared to Limbaugh’s. He is not nearly as front and center in the political discourse is. And Rush’s tie with the GOP as not an invention of the media. I read, for example in Wiki: “When the Republican Party won control of Congress in the 1994 midterm elections, the freshman Republican class awarded Limbaugh an honorary membership in their caucus. This event confirmed him as an influential figure on the national political scene.”

    I suspect that a lot of the Repulicans do not want to say anything negative about Rush because they either want him on their side (to get the vote from that cruder element out there) or they are even intimated by him. Nobody really cares about Bill Maher or any of these liberal commentators.

  15. Herr Doktor Robin R.
    9 March 2012 @ 7:37 pm

    “to the citizen that sounds” —> “to a private citizen that sends”

  16. Herr Doktor Robin R.
    9 March 2012 @ 7:40 pm

    “in the political discourse is” –> “in the political discourse as Rush is”

    I apologize for any remaining typos, but I think you will get the gist of what I am saying.

  17. Herr Doktor Robin R.
    9 March 2012 @ 7:55 pm

    OK, I found this:

    Pretty low, but again he is not closely affiliated with Democrats and pretty far out on the margins.

  18. pentamom pentamom
    9 March 2012 @ 9:27 pm

    Well, I wasn’t comparing Rush to Maher to make a larger point. Just pointing out that Maher has in fact said things every bit as reprehensible as what Rush said — and actually more so. Whether the effect of each is the same is a different question.

  19. Herr Doktor Robin R.
    9 March 2012 @ 9:44 pm

    And my point is that what Maher says is not particularly newsworthy. And I doubt if any Democrat would have a problem saying that what he said was represensible. But Palin and Bachman, for instance, want to evade the Rush issue. And that leads me to think that the GOP by and large find him useful.

  20. RootCzar
    9 March 2012 @ 11:27 pm

    Maher and Limbaugh will both retreat into the ‘entertainment’ bunker when they need to …

    But really … Maher is a comedian. He’s a comedian that focuses his material on the swampy political landscape. He oft refers to Obama and the Dems with a word that starts with a ‘P’ that can be related to felines … and that’s pretty derogatory. That’s his ‘schtick.’ He does not purport his HBO broadcast (once weekly) to be a part of ‘Advanced Progressive Studies.’ Yet, his words are certainly raw and unadulterated.

    Rush … does what O’Reilly and Hannity and Olbermann do … and presents news as ‘commentary.’ His direct links to the Republican party are numerous and obvious, let’s be intellectually honest about that. His ‘s__t’ / ‘prostitute’ comments were in no way, part of a comedic context. He was attacking her and the mythical ‘our tax dollars for her sexual escapades’ straw man. She didn’t even testify about her own sexuality or carnal inclinations, and he made up a whole new and markedly typical, false outrage rooted issue.

    Scrubbing his website of the transcript was a ridiculous and repugnant furthering of his idiotic choices on this issue. The lack of clear disassociation on behalf of the republican candidates, i agree should not be required … but wow … it ain’t garnering them any voting support. That arguably denotes, his actual influence.

    Maher – Comedian. Look at ALL comedians that venture into the wet dark of politics … they ALL rant and demean and belittle and name-call. He doesn’t present it as ‘news’ or ‘commentary’ or ‘analysis.’

    Limbaugh – Not a comedian. According to a letter sent to him by Ronald Reagan, he was acknowledged “for all you’re doing to promote Republican and conservative principles … [and] you have become the Number One voice for conservatism in our Country.” He represents something quite different, than controversial late-night comedy.

  21. pentamom pentamom
    10 March 2012 @ 8:55 am

    Robin — I”m not disputing your point. I just disputed your original comment that Maher has never said anything comparable to “slut.” It’s a quibble of fact, not of argument. Granted, you’d said you’d never heard him say it, not that he didn’t say it.

  22. Herr Doktor Robin R.
    10 March 2012 @ 9:45 am

    Now that I look back at a few clips, I believe that I did hear Maher say that kind of stuff a few times. I think it went right past me because of the comedic style in which it was delivered. If he had asked, for instance, what Sarah Palin is and paused for a moment and then said emphatically that she is a whatever, that would have been more memorable.

    I did hear him call him Palin a bimbo once. Ralph Nader told him to his face that he is a sexist for saying that. Things like Nader’s response are of interest to me because they fly in face of what some of these bellyaching Republicans say about liberals. As I said, I like to know what people are REALLY saying or not saying or who is and who isn’t saying it. When you do that,

  23. Herr Doktor Robin R.
    10 March 2012 @ 9:48 am

    When you do that, it keeps you from simply going around talking about “them” in a lump.