Rush to Judgment: Limbaugh Feels Lash of Angry Advertisers, Still
By J.J. McGrath | March 5, 2012 1:46 AM EST
Rush Limbaugh, host of Clear Channel Communications Inc.'s "The Rush Limbaugh Show," apologized Saturday for unflattering statements he made on his radio talk show Thursday about Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University law student and women's-rights activist.
The apology may have been prompted to some degree by advertisers angered by those unflattering statements, according to media reports.
In the apology available on the show's Web site, Limbaugh wrote: "For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke. ... My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices."
Those insulting word choices appear in the Limbaugh show's transcript dated March 1.
Limbaugh trained his rhetorical sights on Fluke, 30, because of her outspoken backing of President Barack Obama's new policy on contraception coverage in a congressional setting. Due to the controversy over Limbaugh's comments, Obama called Fluke on Friday to express his support for her in return.
In a nutshell, Fluke has been caught in the middle of a election-year battle between the Democrat Obama and Republicans over his policy requiring health-insurance plans to cover contraception, as explained by Reuters.
Several sponsors of the Limbaugh show indicated they would stop advertising on his program in the wake of his incendiary remarks, Reuters reported.
One of them -- David Friend, CEO of the online data-backup company Carbonite -- said Limbaugh's apology was insufficient to change his mind about that decision.
In a blog post, Friend wrote: "No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady. Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency. Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show. We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse."
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