Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh has faced an onslaught of potentially career-threatening criticism following a series of crass statements he made about Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University law student who has been pushing the Catholic-affiliated university to include birth control coverage in its health insurance plan.
As of Monday afternoon, nine advertisers had revoked their sponsorship of The Rush Limbaugh Show after he made a series of misogynistic remarks about Fluke for testifying in a Democrat-led congressional hearing in support of a mandate in President Barack Obama's health care overhaul that requires employers to include contraception coverage in company health plans. Limbaugh, while attacking the mandate, called Fluke a slut and a prostitute, and said she wanted to be paid for having sex before crudely observing that she must be having so much sex he was surprised she can even walk.
After initially defending his comments, Rush Limbaugh issued what many have derided as a half-hearted apology on his Web site. After spending three days attacking Fluke, Limbaugh insisted his comments were not meant to be taken as a personal attack, but was instead commentary on how it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress.
On Monday Limbaugh, responding to critics, insisted his apology was sincere. However, considering his extensive history of unabashedly sexist and even racist comments about individuals he disagrees with, it's safe to say that Limbaugh is only sorry about one thing: the fact that, this time, the fallout may affect his wallet.
The following is a compilation of Limbaugh comments that illustrate a clearer picture of how sorry the shock-jock really is -- and of how surprising it is that advertisers weren't abandoning ship years ago.
Limbaugh on Women
On feminism, Feb. 2010. Oh, I'm a huge supporter of women. What I'm not a supporter of is liberalism. Feminism is what I oppose and feminism had led women astray. I love women. I don't know where all this got started. I love the women's movement, especially when walking behind it.
Pondering why less than 40 percent of women had a favorable opinion of him, Feb. 2009. I want some of these women to start telling me what it is I must do to close the gender gap or, if not, what it is I must do to close the gender gap, what it is I've done that has caused the gender gap; assuming the gender gap is true and that the poll is true ... I own the men, and what must I do now to own women?
Why women support Hillary Clinton, April 2008. You have to understand the mindset of a lot of these feminists and women... these women have paid their dues. They've been married two or three times; they've had two or three abortions; they've done everything that feminsim can ask them to do.
On why he's proud to be a male chauvinist, April 2004. We're not sexists, we're chavinists -- we're male chauvinist pigs and we're happy to be because we think that's what men were destined to be. We think that's what women want.
On his pet name for the National Organization for Women (NOW): The National Association of Gals (NAG.) Limbaugh then claimed the organization is run by militant feminists who need to realize they aren't determining who wins elections. White men are.
Limbaugh on Race
Explaining why Michelle Obama was booed by NASCAR fans, Sept. 2011. The NASCAR crowd doesn't quite understand why when the husband and the wife are going to the same place, the first lady has to take her own Boeing 757 with family and kids and hangers-on four hours earlier than her husband, who will be on his 747. NASCAR people understand that's a little bit of a waste. They understand it's a little bit of uppity-ism.
Justifying Racism, Sept. 2009. If homosexuality being inborn is what makes it acceptable, why does racism being inborn not make racism acceptable? I'm sorry -- I mean, this is the way my mind works. But apparently now we don't choose racism, we just are racists. We are born that way. We don't choose it.
On the NFL, Jan. 2007. Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.
On Hurricane Katrina, September 2005. I mean, why didn't these morons leave New Orleans before the hurricane? I'll tell you why because they wanted to rape and loot! That's just the way some people are! And if they're black -- the rapists and looters are black -- it's not George Bush's fault! We've had these problems ever since the Emancipation Proclamation. Once the whites leave town all you've got is overwhelming lawlessness.
On Spike Lee's suggestion that black schoolchildren take a day off from school to see his film Malcom X, 1992. Spike, if you're going to do that, let's complete the education experience. You should tell them that they should loot the theater and then blow it up on their way out.
Ashley covers U.S. politics for the International Business Times, with a focus on civil liberties, women's issues and campaign finance. Her work has also appeared in The...