So Limbaugh has apologized, and DougJ already linked to it, but it is important to remember that it wasn’t just two words. It was a vicious, sustained multi-day attack on a young woman, all of which was based on lies:
Even by the rough standards of cable/talk radio/digital talk, Limbaugh’s verbal abuse of Sandra Fluke set a new kind of low. I can’t recall anything as brutal, ugly and deliberate ever being said by such a prominent person and so emphatically repeated. This was not a case of a bad “word choice.” It was a brutally sexualized accusation, against a specific person, prolonged over three days.
But most important, all of this was based on a series of lies that Rush and other right-wingers put forward. They are as follows:
1.) Lie #1- She was testifying about her sex life: This is a blatant lie. As we have noted repeatedly, nowhere in her testimony did Miss Fluke discuss her sex life, sexual preferences, or sexual activity. She discusses the need for contraceptives for a variety of reasons, most prominently discussing her friend’s disease, but never once does she discuss her sex life. Ed Morrissey and all the other predictable right-wing hacks jumped on this boat as soon as Rush went there. If you will remember, Rush wasn’t the first, but he was the most forceful.
2.) Lie #2- She Was Having So Much Sex She Could Not Afford All the Birth Control: This is the illegitimate spawn of Lie #1, that she was testifying about her sex life. As we have linked repeatedly, she did no such thing. This is just more made-up nonsense so Rush and others can continue their panty-sniffing. Additionally, it shows a fundamental lack of understanding about how birth control works. For the pill, you don’t need to take more of it the more sex you are having- you take the same amount if you are a virgin with menorrhagia and dysmenorrhea as you do if you are having sex 15 times a day. From this lie, we got wingnuts and Rush Limbaugh doing mental calculations on how many condoms Miss Fluke must use every year to satisfy her voracious appetite for sex. All of this is based on a lie they started.
3.) Lie #3- Fluke Spends $3k a Year on Birth Control– This is based on wingnut math. In her testimony, Fluke stated the following:
Without insurance coverage, contraception can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school. For a lot of students who, like me, are on public interest scholarships, that’s practically an entire summer’s salary. Forty percent of female students at Georgetown Law report struggling financially as a result of this policy.
That’s $3,000 over the course of law school, which is three years. Here on earth, that amounts to a very reasonable $1k a year for reproductive health spending.
4.) Lie #4- She Wants Taxpayers to Pay for Her Birth Control– This is flat out absurd, but so is almost everything else about this debate. This is about personal health insurance programs provided to individuals as part of their employee compensation. There is not one taxpayer dollar at issue here. This has NOTHING to do with taxpayers. Period.
5.) Lie #5- Sandra Fluke wants to be paid to have sex:– This is the ugliest of all the lies, and you can see how the lies just build upon each other. Sandra Fluke doesn’t want to be paid to have sex, she wants her health insurance to cover her reproductive health needs. End of story. But this lie was necessary, as each lie built upon the last, because without this lie, Limbaugh couldn’t spend the next few days calling her a slut and a prostitute and demand she post videos of herself having sex online so Rush could watch.
6.) Lie #6- This is just about bad word choice-: As blatant a lie as it gets. Had Rush merely called her a slut and prostitute and then apologized, this might have have ended. But that is not what happened. He lied about everything she said, he targeted a young woman for a multi-day barrage of insults and venom, called her a slut, accused her of all the previous lies we have listed, called her a prostitute, spent days berating her, mocking her, creepily referencing her sex life, and finally, in the end, built to a crescendo in which he demanded she post movies of herself having sex so he and others could watch if she wanted him to pay for her birth control. And remember, that, in and of itself is a lie, because she only wanted her health insurance to cover her birth control. This wasn’t about poor word choice, this was about an all out vicious, factually empty, sustained assault on a young woman.
I’m sure there are more lies, but these are the big ones as I see them now (and we can add to this list, as I am sure it is not an exhaustive list of right wing deceit). You can see how it started with one lie, then another, until it just cascaded out of control in the wingnut echo chamber, getting more frenzied, more vicious, and uglier with each successive lie, until finally, it was too vulgar and out of control for our even the media bobbleheads to ignore. All because one young woman testified that having her health insurance provide coverage for birth control would really help relieve a large financial burden.
It’s insane, isn’t it?
*** Update ***
We can just add this lie to the list that we started earlier today.
7. Lie #7- Liberals are being hypocrites because Ed Schultz called someone a slut: There is no hypocrisy here whatsoever, because the two don’t even compare in any way whatsoever. Ed Schultz called Laura Ingraham, another prominent right-wing talker, someone who launches barbs with the best of them, a “right-wing slut,” was immediately taken off the air for a week by MSNBC, apologized publicly and profusely to Ingraham, and that was the end of that.
Rush Limbaugh spent three days calling some unknown law student a slut and a prostitute. Not once. Not twice. Not three times. Fifty-three times, to be exact:
1) “testifies she’s having so much sex she can’t afford her own birth control pills and she agrees that Obama should provide them, or the Pope”
2) “they’re having so much sex they can’t afford the birth control pills!”
3) “essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex.”
4) “Sandra Fluke. So much sex going on, they can’t afford birth control pills.”
March 1, 2012:
5) “You’d call ’em a slut, a prostitute”
6) “she’s having so much sex”
7) “are having so much sex that they’re going broke”
8) “they want to have sex any time, as many times and as often as they want, with as many partners as they want”
9) “the sexual habits of female law students at Georgetown”
10) “are having so much sex that they’re going broke”
11) “having so much sex that it’s hard to make ends meet”
12) “four out of every ten co-eds are having so much sex that it’s hard to make ends meet”
13) “Now, what does that make her? She wants us to buy her sex.”
14) “to pay for these co-eds to have sex”
15) “she and her co-ed classmates are having sex nearly three times a day for three years straight, apparently these deadbeat boyfriends or random hookups that these babes are encountering here, having sex with nearly three times a day”
16) “Therefore we are paying her to have sex. Therefore we are paying her for having sex.”
17) “Have you ever heard of not having sex so often?”
18) “Ms. Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here’s the deal: If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. And I’ll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”
19) “we want something in return, Ms. Fluke: And that would be the videos of all this sex posted online so we can see what we are getting for our money.”
20) “’If we’re paying for this, it makes these women sluts, prostitutes.’ And what else could it be?”
21) “essentially says that she must be paid to have sex. What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right?”
22) “I’m having sex so damn much, I’m going broke.”
23) “She’s having so much sex that she’s going broke! There’s no question about her virtue.”
24) “having so much sex she’s going broke at Georgetown Law.”
25) “Here’s a woman exercising no self-control. The fact that she wants to have repeated, never-ending, as often as she wants it sex — given.”
26) “She’s having so much sex it’s amazing she can still walk, but she made it up there.”
27) “Maybe they’re sex addicts.”
28) “to pay for her to have sex all the time.”
29) “she wants the rest of us to pay for her sex.”
30) “She wants all the sex that she wants all the time paid for by the rest of us.”
31) “Here this babe goes before Congress and wants thousands of dollars to pay for her sex.”
32) “a woman who is happily presenting herself as an immoral, baseless, no-purpose-to-her-life woman.”
33) “She wants all the sex in the world, whenever she wants it, all the time.”
34) “If this woman wants to have sex ten times a day for three years, fine and dandy.”
35) “to provide women from Georgetown Law unlimited, no-consequences sex.”
36) “so she can have unlimited, no-consequences sex.”
37) “You want to have all the sex you want all day long, no consequences, no responsibility for your behavior”
38) “The woman wants unlimited, no-responsibility, no-consequences sex, and she wants it with contraceptives paid for by us.”
March 2, 2012:
39) “she’s having so much sex, she can’t afford her birth control pills anymore.”
40) “she’s having so much sex, she can’t pay for it — and we should.”
41) “She’s having so much sex, she can’t afford it.”
42) “this, frankly hilarious claim that she’s having so much sex (and her buddies with her) that she can’t afford it.”
43) “And not one person says, ‘Well, did you ever think about maybe backing off the amount of sex that you have?’”
44) “Does she have more boyfriends? Ha! They’re lined up around the block.”
45) “It was Sandra Fluke who said that she was having so much sex, she can’t afford it.”
46) “By her own admission, in her own words, Sandra Fluke is having so much sex that she can’t afford it.”
47) “they’re having a lot of sex for which they need a lot of contraception.”
48) “Her sex life is active and she’s having sex so frequently that she can’t afford all the birth control pills that she needs.”
49) “who admits to having so much sex that she can’t afford it anymore.”
50) “she’s having so much sex, she can’t pay for it.”
51) “As frequently as she has sex and to not be pregnant, she’s obviously succeeding in contraception.”
52) “Ms. Fluke, asserts her right to free contraceptive, to handle her sex life — and it’s, by her own admission, quite active.”
UPDATE: added thanks to your comments,
53) “Ms. Fluke, who bought your condoms in junior high? Who bought your condoms in the sixth grade, or your contraception?”
Yeah, that three day sustained assault on a student is exactly the same as one obnoxious and offensive outburst by Ed Schultz.