The Lies of the Right and Rush Limbaugh, Sandra Fluke Edition

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.

278 replies
  1. 1
    Ando_Chronic says:

    It’s so wonderful to finally witness the beginning of the end for him.

  2. 2
    trollhattan says:

    Not Frist.

    Yes indeedy, shouty man needed to keep his trap shut while this contraceptive controversy was raging, but of course shouty man is paid to shout. Except now, he’s being paid less while shouting even moar. That’s fewer dollars/shout for those scoring at home.

    Cue troll from thread below to do some shouting himself.

    Also, too, need to keep mentioning the demanding of vids. That bring the kink to the foreground, where god-botherers will get the vapors.

  3. 3
    Nicole says:

    And yet, when I linked on my FB page to the petition to get him off Armed Services radio, a high school classmate whined that that was censorship. My head. It aches from the stupid.

  4. 4
    samara morgan says:

    wow….i relly dig the New Cole.
    Hes like John Carter of Earth.

  5. 5
    General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero) says:

    Lies, you want lies, sweet little big lies” Here’s a nutter.

    It was just another non-expert person in this case, in Sandra’s case: A 30-year-old, longtime birth control activist who went back to law school after a career of years of championing birth-control issues. In fact, she told stories less about birth control as a social tool (which was, of course, the left’s true agenda) and more about birth control as a medication for treating other conditions, such as pregnancy. To the left, pregnancy is a disease. If you’re listening to me for the first time, you may say, “Well, that’s crazy.” It’s not. They treat pregnancy as a disease for political purposes. All of this, folks, is political.

    oooh oooh, here’s one more, a biggie, whale size.

    morality or intellectual honesty from the left. They’ve demonstrated over and over a willingness to say or do anything to advance their agenda. It’s what they do. It’s what we fight against here every day. But this is the mistake I made. In fighting them on this issue last week, I became like them.

    Lyin’ liberals made me due it. Malkin passes out from too much pleasure.

  6. 6
    Mark S. says:

    She Wants Taxpayers to Pay for Her Birth Control

    This is the lie that reasonable Burkeans like to argue: “Yeah, Rush was out of line, but taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for other peoples birth control.” It’s complete and utter horseshit.

  7. 7
    trollhattan says:

    @Nicole:

    This was nice to see, via Benen:

    Indeed, the fight appears to be expanding. On one side, we see VoteVets releasing a letter today from a group of female veterans “calling on the American Forces Network to drop Rush Limbaugh from its programming.”

  8. 8
    kindness says:

    Welcome to today’s liberal media. Apparently we are all sluts and prostitutes.

  9. 9

    And the really disgusting thing is it took this long for women in Versailles to say: “Enough!!” After all, Rusty has been saying things just as ugly for two decades. Remember what he said about Chelsea when Bill Clinton was President?

  10. 10
    rollSound says:

    All the wing nuts are left with is their insistence that they’re the ones wearing the white hats, and us liberals are the ones in the black hats. No calumny is beyond the pale if it’s directed at a black hat.

    They’re dying off, but they’re going in the noisiest, most destructive way possible.

  11. 11
    Ordovician Bighorn Dolomite (formerly rarely seen poster Fe E) says:

    I was a little young at the time (The 70s) to really understand the meaning of Male Chauvinist Pig. Rush has completely filled in that picture for me. The man is a true pig, wallowing in filth that he created. I’ve always found him to be a cancer on American Society, but now I can say that he has taught a new level of contempt. Swine.

    The only thing I want to apologize for is that actual pigs are going to be sullied by this association, they really are much superior to Limbaugh.

  12. 12
    pragmatism says:

    @Nicole: i posted the same and a friend that just got back from deployment in afghanistan challenged me to pick out something he has says that “isn’t right because everything he says is right on”. he is currently taking a pounding from other facebook peoples and his fiancee had to jump in to remind us that he just got back from Afghanistan and listened to Rush every day–basically asserting that he has been brainwashed.
    ETA: he just tried to pivot to “religious freedom”.

  13. 13

    Whoa! Mr Cole I salute you. As the father of two daughters I can’t begin to tell you how furious I am at that filthy jackal.

  14. 14

    @Nicole: Didn’t you know it’s Limbaugh’s constitutional right to be on Armed Services Radio?

    It’s yours too! Just buy a microphone and they’ll put you on there, I swear.

  15. 15
    Amy says:

    My nomination for the most disgusting thing Rush said was, “She’s having so much sex it’s amazing she can still walk.”

    Great post, by the way. Sometimes you just have to have a list like this. The only thing you might add, for Lie #7 is “Rush apologized.”

  16. 16
    dmsilev says:

    Even though Limbaugh has transformed himself into the lightning rod(*), let’s not forget the slightly subtler but equally disgusting set of lies that created this whole situation to begin with. That would be the actions of Rep. Issa et al., who decided that the appropriate witnesses for a women’s reproductive health issue consisted solely of late middle aged men, several of whom were supposedly life-long celibates.

    Limbaugh’s statements differ from Issa’s in tone, but not in fundamental content or intent.

    (*) In Terry Pratchett’s memorable words, “he was the sort of person who stood on mountaintops during thunderstorms in wet copper armour shouting “All the Gods are bastards.” “

  17. 17
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    If I was an oxycontin addict with a predilection for sex tourism in developing countries using vials of blue pills that I was not prescribed, I too might have a problem with truthfulness. I’m not and I don’t.

  18. 18

    Yes yes yes. Too many people are only seeing this from 10,000 feet, as if Limbaugh only said “slut” and “prostitute”. The fact is, he spent 3 days character assassinating this young woman. He practically went the full Malkin on her.

  19. 19
    quannlace says:

    Hmm, I wonder how many versions of ‘Sluts Unite!’ t-shirts are being put up on CafePress? I want one.

  20. 20
    jibeaux says:

    @pragmatism: It would be a lot easier to list his accurate statements…

  21. 21
    Brachiator says:

    And a piece of context. This whole thing began with a panel of men talking about what a woman should do with respect to reproduction. Yes, they were pretending it was about “religious freedom,” but basically it was a bunch of dicks telling women what they should do.

    And Issa would not let Fluke speak before the panel.

    When she spoke before a less official panel assembled by Democrats, Rush leaped to attack.

    Apart from any poltical angle, you have the despicable spectacle of Rush trying to shame a woman and shut her up, basically for expressing her opinion.

    @samara morgan:

    wow….i relly dig the New Cole. Hes like John Carter of Earth.

    This is actually quite witty.

  22. 22
    Warren Terra says:

    Entries “3.)” and “4.)” seem to be tied for the position of “Lie #3“.

    Other than the nitpicking, great post.

  23. 23
    Some Guy says:

    That Rush is in day 2 of playing defense is the most important sign. For all the lies and the viciousness that John summarized, he knows he is in trouble. Even Imus, IMUS, called him an insincere pig. Nobody is going to believe anything hey says at this point because it is obviously ass-covering behavior.

    And he cannot apologize without blaming other people for his viciousness either, which is only perfect. He has no decency, he cannot possibly make right. After all, the only truly decent thing to do would be to shut up. Forever. Or at least spread a little truth about birth control. That ain’t gonna happen.

    No penance is possible, not apology believable, and he won’t resign his perch as asshole-in-chief of the Rethugs.

  24. 24
    pragmatism says:

    @jibeaux: LOL. spot on jibeaux.

  25. 25
    rikyrah says:

    and, posts like this are needed to point out that the non-apology was indeed a bullshyt non-apology

  26. 26

    She Was Having So Much Sex She Could Not Afford All the Birth Control:

    This one’s my favorite because it’s just so hilarious. You only take one pill a day, no matter HOW much sexxxxy time you have. You could fuck five times a day for a week solid and you STILL just take that one damn pill.

    Stupid fucking moronic white trash yakker. Clear Channel should be ashamed that it gave this sack of shit a $400 million contract. Is he worth it ???

  27. 27

    […] Cole gives that filthy whoremongering jackal Rush Limbaugh and his supporters a good solid punch in the teeth. Limbaugh and his supporters in the GOP continue their War on […]

  28. 28
    cathyx says:

    I love the part where he says that he stooped to the level of the left, and that is why he is sorry.

  29. 29
    David Koch says:

    Fail

    This post should have a better title: Lies, Lies, Lies, Yeah — They’re Gonna Get You.

  30. 30
    boomshanka says:

    great post john. this is the most concise takedown i’ve read during this entire surreal episode.

    for all of the unhinged nonsense we’ve seen from the right over the years, this has been most depressing for me.

    i pray for peak wingut.

  31. 31
    wenchacha says:

    @Amy: That one, Amy.

    What a disgusting bag of flesh, that Rush.

  32. 32
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    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.

    It is as if they decided that the best way to reach Conservative Heaven was to build a towering Ziggurt constructed out of Lies. IIRC there’s a story in the Judeo-Christian scriptures about this sort of enterprise. Since the Wingnuts haven’t read it, I’ll give them a hint: the tower falls over. Next up: they can’t even understand each other.

  33. 33
    J.W. Hamner says:

    I’m not sure #4 is really a lie, though it relies on the fact that employer provided health insurance is largely tax exempt so we are in essence “paying for it” by not taxing it as income. Expenditures and tax breaks are essentially equivalent from a revenue stand point.

    At the same time this means Republicans have been paying for contraception for years now since like 90% of plans cover it.

  34. 34
    amk says:

    @pragmatism: 24×7 pox news and limp at their bases does that to one.

  35. 35
    Loneoak says:

    Here’s one of the better analyses I’ve seen.

    Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity neither know, nor care, about the intricate and unstable conjunction of government, insurance, and medicine that might make this a tricky debate if grown-ups were ever to debate it. And the fact that Limbaugh doesn’t even understand how female contraception works doesn’t diminish his rhetorical position a whit. On the contrary, he is defending precisely his right not to know how it works (or what things like Ovarian Cysts are), and the right of those for and to whom he speaks to be similarly ignorant. He is defending his right for that to be a woman’s problem, one which he (and a “we” constituted in his image, as his public) doesn’t need to be concerned. And so he needs to attack Sandra Fluke, personally, all the more because she wasn’t even going to talk about herself. By speaking on behalf of “women,” she threatened to render “women” a member of the body politic. Slut-shaming her — making it about her, personally — changes the subject from a generalizable woman’s public concern to a specific set of personal desires (which he can then moralize about, and use to silence her).

  36. 36
    Some Guy says:

    @Amy: Indeedy – Rush so far has said the left made him savage her character and call her names and, now, that he is being persecuted by a double standard relative to rappers (again with Rush as artist shit). Those are not apologies. You wrap your “I’m sorry” in gift paper with a giant middle finger on it, it ain’t no apology.

  37. 37
    cathyx says:

    So has anyone listened to his show today? Hopefully he went on and on about it trying to explain himself.

  38. 38
    J. says:

    Reading this post and all the stories about Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” reminds me of the line “a slut is a woman who will sleep with just about anyone; a bitch is a woman who will sleep with just about anyone, except you.

    One more definition: an asshole is someone who repeatedly (and erroneously) calls a woman a “slut” and a “prostitute” just to get ratings for his radio show — and only apologizes when his sponsors walk.

  39. 39
    Watson says:

    What is ‘insane’ is yet another blog post about it therefore keeping Limbaugh in the spotlight like that is somehow WINNING. LOL.

    But I would expect nothing less from John “The DOW is tanking with no end in sight” Cole and his track record of FAIL sauce!

    How is the Komen thing working for ya? You know, the boycott from 2 weeks ago that you all have forgotten about already. As sure as water is wet you all will move on to the next shiny object soon enough and the advertisers will all quitely start advertising on Limbaugh’s show again. Just like they are all quietly coming back into the Komen fold.

  40. 40
    Soonergrunt says:

    Bravo, Sir. Well done.

  41. 41
    donnah says:

    I love how you spelled it out, John. I’ve bookmarked this as a link for anytime I read the crap that people say to defend Limbaugh. He is always over thr top, in my opinion, but this was his most disgusting show ever.

  42. 42
    pragmatism says:

    @amk: agreed. one always has to know his audience, however. i think he thought he could prevail with his argument. i’m just proud that a bunch of people are disabusing him of this notion. many people who don’t chime in on politics or other charged issues are letting him have it. epistemic closure is a hell of a drug.

  43. 43
    joeyess says:

    Well, it’s good to see that Watson-The-Douche-Tool hasn’t made it over here yet.

    Aww, fuck, I just jinxed it, didn’t I?

  44. 44
    Nancy says:

    From the other thread, I repeat: Has anyone posted this? The Lauren County Republican party of South Carolina has devised a sexual litmus test/pledge. I can’t tell if masturbation is allowed, but if it is, I’ve got some old socks I could send them. The wingularity is definitely nigh.

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpoi.....fpnewsfeed

  45. 45
    joeyess says:

    See? I jinxed it.

  46. 46
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Watson: You’re every bit as determined to fail and flail and Limbaugh. Sad and funny.

  47. 47
    Yutsano says:

    @Watson: Oh for the love of Vishnu. Derf do you EVER learn?

  48. 48
    wrb says:

    Missed the one about her having so much sex that she wouldn’t be able to walk.

    I don’t understand why one of the candidates hasn’t made “free sex tapes of college girls fucking ’till they can’t walk” a campaign promise.

    Surly that would win this primary.

    No wonder Rush is upset: he hands them gold and they bobble it.

    “A chicken in every pot” is so yesterday.

  49. 49
    El Tiburon says:

    BOOM BOOM out go the lights!

    I ain’t saying this is the end of Rush, but if the pressure can be kept up some real damage may be inflicted on the Drug addict.

    Toss in Rupert Murdoch woes and this is shaping up to be a nice Spring season.

  50. 50
    amk says:

    indeed. Hope he got his screwed back right in.

    epistemic closure is a hell of a drug.

  51. 51
    Ando_Chronic says:

    @Nicole: Signed it and reposted it!… I’m deployed right now too!

  52. 52
    New Yorker says:

    Lie #2 is my favorite, because it inadvertently tells us what I think I already knew: that much of the rage and spittle directed at Fluke is from frustrated men who can’t have normal sex lives. They genuinely have no idea how it works, because they’ve never had a normal sex life.

    Think about it. I know all about my girlfriend’s birth control use, and how she takes one pill a day. I know this because I WANT TO MAKE SURE WE DON’T HAVE A CHILD WHEN WE’RE NOT READY FOR IT. The idea that this is a woman’s issue alone is insane. Contraceptives are important for any man who wants to be prudent and responsible with his sex life.

    So any man who doesn’t get this is either a) not getting any, or b) in a situation where I imagine Rick Santorum is: the wife has become a zombie who decided her only purpose in life is to pump out babies for Jesus.

    No wonder they’re so enraged at Fluke. They think she might be having the normal, healthy sex life that they want so desperately and can never have.

  53. 53
    celticdragonchick says:

    @boomshanka:

    Agreed.

    More analysis (depressing) from Renaissance Man at LGF:

    I think you’re overcomplicating it. It has been demonstrated many times that bringing facts into a debate, incontrovertible facts, is utterly irrelevant when dealing with a cult. It doesn’t matter how obvious the fact is, the equation remains the same. Shout angrily against the facts, rant about something unrelated, use the appropriate keywords, and the following will happen:
    1. Conservative cultists will be enraged and attack the same target/support the rant.
    2. Conservativist media will create a story out of whole cloth that bears only a passing resemblance to the actual story.
    3. All other news sources will report the actual facts/story as one side of the story, faithfully teaching the controversy.
    4. Average Americans will get upset that ‘everything is so polarised’, ‘both sides are fighting’, and believe that the truth lies somewhere between the facts and the made-up rant.

    The point is, they don’t need to attack Sandra Fluke to discredit her facts. They don’t need to reframe the debate to have people avoid any uncomfortable truths. Facts are not important. What matters is that you present a visceral, emotive reaction to her so that everyone, most importantly the cultists who are looking to you to know what their reaction should be and the journalists who are waiting to know whether they can report this as a story of two opposing views, knows what emotional response is appropriate.

    What Sandra Fluke said is irrelevant. She was up there to testify in support of a Thing Liberals Like. Therefore, it is important to Conservativists that she be demonised, so everyone in America knows what emotional response they should have. Even if you now remind everyone that she didn’t say any of the things she’s being demonised about, and that the facts are really obvious and not especially debatable, it’s too late. Everyone has now had their emotional response, and now their minds cannot be changed. It is now ‘fact’ that she was talking about her sex life, and that one side thinks she’s a slut and the other side is defending her right to be a slut. And average Americans now think that yes, Rush and the rest are totally inappropriate to be calling her names like that, but Congress definitely shouldn’t be wasting time hearing about people’s sex lives when we’re in so much debt and we’re totally broke.
    And if you then demonstrate that she didn’t talk about her sex life, they will be upset that both sides are fighting.

  54. 54
    pragmatism says:

    @El Tiburon: maybe even teh firebaggers will get less emo???? is that too much to hope for?

  55. 55

    @Watson: I’m really so surprised to find out you don’t like it here.

    Shhhhhhh, everyone! Watson has advice for us! Because Komen didn’t work out, you see? Karen Handel is so going back to work there, like, tomorrow.

  56. 56
    Some Guy says:

    @El Tiburon: I think it is especially interesting as soon as we get to the general election phase. If Rush is further damaged in this, it will be the first election cycle in many in which Rush was not playing the role of conservative don. Romney or Santorum will need to keep distance from him because they do not want to remind independent women voters of this moment. Except that Santorum has made shaming women a key part of his campaign, so there is that. But what will an election with Rush as damaged goods look like?

  57. 57
    Watson says:

    @Yutsano: Thanks for your continued support my most loyal groupie…..and btw how pathetic is that?! I am here posting shit and you are spending your time finding my posts and responding……lol.

  58. 58
    Mattminus says:

    Mark Levin, Rush’s consigliere really took #’s 2 and 3 and ran with them. He set forth the following syllogism .

    1)Condoms are birth control
    2)Condoms cost about $1 each
    3)She estimates $1000/year in birth control costs
    4)Therefore she has sex roughly 3 times/day

    This serves a few purposes for them. First, SLUT! Second, it’s a retroactive vindication of Rush’s cluelessness about how birth control works. Third, and most subtly, it gets to a classist idea of how not just medicine, but pleasure and intimacy, should be made available. If you’re not rich you should be choosing the absolute most minimal option. Don’t even get me stared on the fact that he’s basically saying that poor women should cede control of birth control to the man…

  59. 59
    kay says:

    @Nancy:

    The Lauren County Republican party of South Carolina has devised a sexual litmus test/pledge.

    I saw it, and I thought it was a spoof.

    I think it’s absolutely hysterical. I can’t imagine people sitting around a table, drawing that up, yet, that had to happen.

    No one said, “I’m getting out of here, these people are crazy”?

  60. 60
    Violet says:

    I listen to Limbaugh off and on when I’m in the car to see what the wingnut talking points are. I made a point of listening today and heard his “apology.” I agree with the analysis that it wasn’t much of an apology.

    But what I really wanted to comment on is that he sounded so tired. I listen to him enough to hear a huge difference in his tone of voice from his usual shows. This whole thing is definitely a problem for him. You can hear it in his voice.

    Keep the pressure up. It’s working.

  61. 61
    General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero) says:

    I too think Rush has hit the tip over switch. He apologized for something, in one way or another, he has done every single day on his radio program for near 3 decades. And that is smear liberals, or perceived liberals, with as much nastiness and falsehood as he could get away with. As well as smearing any minority that crosses his mind on any given day. Usually with enough cleverness to not bite of more than he could chew at any one time, and never reaching into the right wings own base, of white folks, and double especially, their daughters. Daughters that many or most white wingnut have, as well as their wives. He blasted himself off and over the rubicon, calling out women who use birth control in this country, and 99 percent of them do. You can do the math.

    Female personnel consist of 52 percent of humans in America, and all of them buy things, a lot of things. Rush spit on the bottom line gawds he champions for the GOP, he took a piss in the Holy Grail of profit, and the hounds are let loose on his raggety ass. And his apology, weak tea as it was, was like what Rush himself said about apologies for ‘someone in his position”

    Rush On Degrading Comments About Women: ‘I’m Not Going To Apologize. People In My Position Never Apologize’

    But he did, three days later, and let the gas out of the dittohead bag, and it can’t be put back. He not only apologized about calling women who use birth control ‘sluts’, he apologized for all of his bigotry and hate said about any number of other people, places, and things. He came crashing back down to earth, from a lofty orbit as a wingnut god. He is already trying to take back his surrender. Will it work? stay tuned

  62. 62
    Killjoy says:

    Still convinced Watson is Bob Shrum.

  63. 63
    4tehlulz says:

    Shorter Rush: “Why are you attacking me instead of those kneegrow rappers?”

    Rush’s Last-Ditch Defense: Rappers Are Worse!

  64. 64
    David Koch says:

    But, but, but…. Fox News female talking head says “Slut” is a compliment.

    http://twitter.com/#!/kirstenp.....4848100352

  65. 65
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    Remember Glenn Beck?

    He had a TV show once.

  66. 66
    El Tiburon says:

    @Amy:

    My nomination for the most disgusting thing Rush said was, “She’s having so much sex it’s amazing she can still walk.”

    Keep in mind that when Rush has the off-chance of actually having sexual intercourse with a living (although not necessarily awake)person, that person, due to the vast amount of mass being pounded on them for a time period of up to 10 seconds, probably does find it tough to walk. Or look in the mirror. Or not contemplate suicide.

  67. 67
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Watson:

    You are a marvelous example of why huffing model airplane glue
    and methyl ethyl ketone is a very poor choice of recreation.

  68. 68
    joeyess says:

    @Watson: Poor bastard. You just don’t understand the Google algorithm, do you?

  69. 69
    Mattminus says:

    @David Koch:

    Hey, that’s one of Fox’s “Democrats”.

  70. 70
    Some Guy says:

    @David Koch: OMG. Bag of hammers, meet your new nemesis!

  71. 71
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    Watson = Derf = yawning

    heard it before, dude

  72. 72
    trollhattan says:

    Wow, I didn’t comprehend how far and fast (and furious!) the fat boy has fallen. His two remaining national advertisers:

    ThinkProgress has been able to confirm only two advertisers that are still sticking with Rush Limbaugh. One is Lear Capital, one of those peddlers of gold coins common on talk radio. The other is an identity theft protection company called Lifelock. Turns out Lifelock has a rap sheet with the FTC, having paid $12 million in 2010 to settle false claims charges.

    Heh, indoozle.

  73. 73
    Wood says:

    It really seems to me that all of these points are completely obvious to a rational human being and it really doesn’t require any explanation to understand why Rush is a huge asshole.

  74. 74
    staci says:

    How about the right confusing birth control pills with viagra? They are implying that everytime a woman has sex she has to pop another pill; two romps a day equals two pills. LMAO

  75. 75
    El Tiburon says:

    @Phil Perspective:

    Remember what he said about Chelsea when Bill Clinton was President?

    For those who don’t: During Limbaughs short-lived TV show, he was attempting a joke about the White House dog. A picture of Chelsea Clinton appeared instead of a dog.

    When called on it, Limbaugh lamely explained it was a technical glitch and it was the wrong photo. Of course, the show was not shown live, so there was time to fix the snafu. And as Al Franken pointed out, since Clinton had no dog, what was the picture supposed to be? What was the joke?

    No, Limbaugh called a 13-year old girl a dog. This is the reason Al Franken used to title his book: Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot.

    Because Rush Limbaugh is a big fat fucking idiot.

  76. 76
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Some Guy:

    If Rush is further damaged in this, it will be the first election cycle in many in which Rush was not playing the role of conservative don.

    Rush ranted against McCain on a regular basis while the GOP 2008 primaries were still in doubt. AM talk radio has been a toothless tiger for some time. I’d throw in a similar metaphor involving an emperor and his…, but I don’t want to make everyone here sick with the visual imagery that would imply.

  77. 77
    Mark K says:

    Well done! Great writing and you laid out the entire list of lies refuting them perfectly.

    Therefore, this will never be seen in any newspaper or on any TV set.

    But, thank you from all of us sane people.

  78. 78
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Amy:

    My nomination for the most disgusting thing Rush said was, “She’s having so much sex it’s amazing she can still walk.”

    Mine was the part where he speculated that she needed condoms at age 12.

  79. 79
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Nancy:

    Oh my god, that is fucking awesome.

  80. 80
    Skippy-san says:

    Best Summary I have read in a while. But its preaching to the choir here. Rush believed ( and still believes) that he can get away with it-because a lot of people agree with him. And it highlights the really sleazy thing about this whole issue, how a reasonable health care policy discussion about standardized coverage got hijacked into a discussion about sex. I can’t count the number of times I have heard “buy your own condoms” from from narrow minded douchebag commenters who are on their holier than thou high horse about how immoral all the people are who support the administration on this issue and truly think the Church is wrong. ( And I say that as a believing fan of the Catholic Church).

    People really believe this is about sex and morals-and not about getting insurance companies to do the right thing. It would be laughable except for the fact that a lot of Americans want Rush to go right on saying what he says.

  81. 81
    joeyess says:

    @Violet:

    But what I really wanted to comment on is that he sounded so tired.

    That sound you hear? It’s called Fear.

  82. 82
    boomshanka says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    what’s frustrating about their methods of attack (and a reason this post is great) is that they will so naturally operate on a false premise in order to create that emotional response from the base, it makes my head want to explode rather than spend the time to refute each point. Lies 1 and 4 here are the false premises they’ve simply accepted as truth, which then go on to support every other slander they can devise.

  83. 83

    @Violet: but… Watson says we should stop. Because this is such great publicity for the big stolen blue pill. Watson also said in the last thread that we’re all dumb idiots. Watson is so awesome. I wish this blog were called Watson Juice.

    Also (for Watson), the Republican War on Women.

  84. 84
    AnotherBruce says:

    @Nancy: Oh my Gawd. Just when you think we were approaching wingularity, it retreats to yet another horizon of stupidity.

  85. 85
    Argive says:

    Regarding lie #3, let’s also remember that she did not actually say that she pays $3,000 for birth control. She just used that number as an example of how much contraception can cost.

  86. 86
    g says:

    @Mattminus:

    sort of like saying “if you need insulin for diabetes, shop around, I’m sure you can find a different pill that’s cheaper. or just don’t eat so much sugar!”

  87. 87
    goethean says:

    I guess making ClearChannel’s $400m contract nearly worthless is just a bonus.

  88. 88
    Svensker says:

    @Yutsano:

    It is Derf, isn’t it?

  89. 89
    Persia says:

    @kay: It reminds me of those purity tests we used to do in the 90s. Where you got points (or points off) for different things you’d done, and you’d try to get your score in the kinky direction, but not too far in that direction? Except we were all college students and younger.

  90. 90
    gaz says:

    @Watson:

    Thanks for your continued support my most loyal groupie…..and btw how pathetic is that?! I am here posting shit and you are spending your time finding my posts and responding……lol.

    Shorter Watson:
    HAHAHA! You people actually think I’m worth responding to, although even I KNOW how stupid I am! BWAHAHHA..

    keep em coming, moron. It’s a laugh-fest.

  91. 91
    Dee Loralei says:

    what happened to the share links thing? Were they lost in the fix-up the other night? I can’t post this on twitter or on Facebook, and I really, really want to.

    Also John, edit tis and add Lie #7: Limbaugh Apologized, (as someone said above) and point out how his facebook posting on Saturday wasn’t a real apology and how he opened todays show was more defense of everything else he said, except for the words slut and prostitute and how he said it was that “bitch’s” fault!

  92. 92
    Frank says:

    Just waiting for the right-wing Politifact to come with some absurd half true rating of all of Rush’s false claims just to complete the absurdity of it all.

  93. 93
    harlana says:

    only 1 Rush troll? i really thought there would be legions of them crawling all over the progressive blogs like ants – he must be REALLY losing his mojo (sorry for the mental image)

  94. 94
    GregB says:

    I will say it again.

    Limbaugh has been gravely wounded by this whole affair.

    He doesn’t need the anxiety of coming under the gun, he has too much money for that.

    If he’s going to actually become the social pariah he should have been for decades, he’s going to call it quits.

    He’s a very weak man and needs affirmation not brickbats.

    It’s relapse time for this junkie.

  95. 95
    Svensker says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Did you have to put that image out there? Good grief. My brain!

  96. 96
    Yutsano says:

    @Svensker: Notice he fessed up? It’s beautiful because now I can ignore him. And taunt his everlasting devotion to his Lord and Master Harper.

  97. 97
    geg6 says:

    @El Tiburon:

    This is the reason Al Franken used to title his book: Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot.

    And how much would you pay to be a fly on the wall in his senate office the last few days? I’ll bet the hilarity has been off the charts.

  98. 98
    cathyx says:

    There are so many things he said that should have been the tipping point for him to go away. Why wasn’t the tipping point when he made fun of Michael J Fox having parkinson’s disease? What will it take? I guess getting caught having sex with an underaged boy.

  99. 99
    taylormattd says:

    @Watson: ZOMG, an actual Rush Limbaugh-lovin’ wingtard troll??

    Wow.

    So used to the bagger trolls. It’s like an endangered species sighting.

  100. 100
    kay says:

    @Persia:

    Why are they having this conversation at all with candidates? They’re really going to sit down with people and quiz them on premarital sex? What’s that meeting like? Would you answer that question? I wouldn’t answer.

  101. 101
    Jay C says:

    @Watson:

    How is the Komen thing working for ya?

    Personally, I’m quite pleased with the outcome: Wingnut Karen Handel got the boot from SGKF; the Foundation has been thoroughly embarrassed over their association with the rightwing jihad against Planned Parenthood; PP itself got its funding restored, AND a shit-ton of new money besides; womens’ health issues (and the cavalier disdain for them that so many in the GOP and the Right maintain) have been put into the spotlight: with AFAICT, immense negative publicity for the “anti’s”.

    Enough positives there, Mr. Troll?

  102. 102
    trollhattan says:

    @goethean:

    If ever a corporation warranted a DIAF sentence, it’s Clear Channel.

  103. 103
    General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero) says:

    @taylormattd:

    So used to the bagger trolls. It’s like an endangered species sighting

    Ivory Billed Peckerwood?

  104. 104
    Cacti says:

    When Rush wanted to prevent a pregnancy during his 4 marriages…

    He just got naked with the lights on.

  105. 105
    PeakVT says:

    @Southern Beale: He’s worth that, but not necessarily directly through revenues and profits. His influence on the public discourse and elections, and thus policy, is where his real value lies.

  106. 106
    trollhattan says:

    @Frank:

    They’d probably give Rush “partly true.”

  107. 107
    Arclite says:

    Epic post, John.

  108. 108
    taylormattd says:

    @Watson: Does this guy remind anyone else of a half-wit twelve year old trolling trade chat?

    What’s next? Maybe: Umadbro? YUsomadbro?

  109. 109
    Some Guy says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Good point. Not about the robe-less thing, that was uncalled for.

  110. 110
    Watson says:

    @lonesomerobot: No, she is too busy making boatloads of cash on the right wing speech circuit and drumming up more support than ever for another run at public office.

    But other than that good..urrum…’point’.

  111. 111
    gnomedad says:

    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.

    Oopsie. Misspoke.

  112. 112
    Culture of Truth says:

    Indeed if you watched Meet The Press yesterday you learned that while Rush is indeed an less than exemplary person both sides are equally to blame.

  113. 113
    Persia says:

    @kay: Talk about times when you’d want to be a fly on the wall.

  114. 114
    taylormattd says:

    @Killjoy: LOL

  115. 115
    Brachiator says:

    @New Yorker:

    No wonder they’re so enraged at Fluke. They think she might be having the normal, healthy sex life that they want so desperately and can never have.

    Here’s the thing. Sandra Fluke’s sex life is not my business. She should have been able to appear before the first Republican panel and talk about the issue of reproductive health and health insurance coverage without any reference at all to her personal life.

    I don’t recall anyone asking any of the all male panelists, “Before we begin, I want to ask, are you getting any hot stuff? Or are you suppressing any lascivious thoughts?”

    This is one of the things that most pisses me off about Rush’s impotent little performance. The disrespect in dismissing anything she said, and making it into a personal and sexualized attack.

  116. 116
    J.W. Hamner says:

    @Jay C:

    Seriously. Planned Parenthood gets money every month from me because of that, and I doubt I’m the only one. Plus:

    Obama’s approval rating among women jumped to 53 percent, up ten percent from just a few months ago, the poll found.

    Ohnoes! Clearly the misguided outrage at Komen has backfired!

  117. 117
    Culture of Truth says:

    He also lied when he implied she lied about her friends, strongly hinted she made them up, and committed perjury.

  118. 118
    Bruce S says:

    The worst and most telling thing about Limbaugh’s fauxpology is that he stitched together the exact words from lame reactions by the two leading GOP presidential contenders. This was an act of supreme arrogance and a signal that he’s feared by these cowards. It wasn’t an apology or an act of contrition, it was a dance within the circles of crackpot “conservatism” that helps to inflate his image, not diminish it – even in a moment of false “humility.” We should care less what Limbaugh does – he’s a blatant sociopath and media-whore. The timid responses by Ricky and Willard are a measure of just how degenerate this party has become. When even George Will sounds ever-so-grudgingly like they are, in truth, making him want to vomit, you know “conservatism” has take that leap off of the cliff into the bowels of reaction, misogyny and manipulation of cultural resentments rooted in racist, sexist, class and generational anxieties. There are other words that are more explicit and have fewer syllables, but I’ll leave it at that.

  119. 119
    joeyess says:

    @GregB:

    If he’s going to actually become the social pariah he should have been for decades, he’s going to call it quits.

    How poetic. Rush Goes Galt.

  120. 120
    taylormattd says:

    @Watson: Dude, you are dumber than a sack of hammers.

    First, you imply Komen is in great shape and the boycott has fizzled out.

    Then, when folks point out the entire Komen brand is complete shit and the wingnut was forced to retire, you change topics to: THE WINGNUT WILL WIN AN ELECTION SOMEWHERE SOON!!!

    Listen, if you want to be a proper wingnut psychopath, you would buy a bunch of watermelons, go shoot them in your backyard, and then issue a press release claiming it proves Obama killed Breitbart.

    So there’s your assignment, be sure to report back to us. Now shooo!

  121. 121
    Culture of Truth says:

    Obama’s approval rating among women jumped to 53 percent, up ten percent from just a few months ago, the poll found.

    liberals have fallen right into Rush’s honey trap.

  122. 122
    pragmatism says:

    @Watson: so, policy isn’t important, we should really be worried about preventing wingnuts from making money on the wingnut speech circuit? you need a shovel if you’re intent on digging this hole.

  123. 123
    Terry says:

    Might not work with Rush, but for those other bloggers who might be more sensitive about their appearances, finding photos of them and making fun of their unattractiveness or even sheer ugliness might be fun.

    Like the other McCain: http://www.google.com/imgres?u.....29,r:6,s:0

    No doubt has to pay for sex.

  124. 124
    Yutsano says:

    @taylormattd: Hey it’s tough out there being a bootlicker to Harper. Cut Durf some slack here!

  125. 125
    Bruce S says:

    Obama’s approval rating among women jumped to 53 percent, up ten percent from just a few months ago, the poll found.

    Ohnoes! Clearly the misguided outrage at Komen has backfired!

    No – it’s because women hate religious freedom!

  126. 126
    scav says:

    @Nancy: One thing I love about the South Carolina GOP Purity Pledge is that, while they clearly aspire to be Movers and Shakers, I think they picked the wrong Shakers.

  127. 127
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    @Watson: DERF! You crafty ol’ cocksucker, I knew that was you! How you been, you clueless fuck, you? Watson fits you a lot better than “Billy Beane.”

  128. 128
    Eli Rabett says:

    So let Eli tell you exactly how stupid Limbaugh, and the jackels are: No slut, whore, what have you, uses birth control pills today to let them screw about. Why not? Have the clowns not heard about HIV?? Birth control pills are no barriers to HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

    Birth control pills as birth control are used by women in committed if not married relationships. They are also used to control the pain of menstruation and other conditions. In other words they are pharmaceuticals used to control biological functions. They are medicines. Health insurance covers medicines, and if you are lucky enough to be covered, it even covers some for others that you will never use.

    This has been another dispiriting example of the takeover of conservatism by the carrion eaters and our acceptance of their framing.

  129. 129
    joeyess says:

    @scav: One thing I love about the South Carolina GOP Purity Pledge is that, while they clearly aspire to be Movers and Shakers, I think they picked the wrong Shakers.

    Is that what you meant?

  130. 130
    Violet says:

    @joeyess:

    That sound you hear? It’s called Fear.

    Yes, exactly. Plus exhaustion, because no doubt he’s been in meetings with his lawyers, Clear Channel’s legal team, representatives of his various sponsors, etc. all weekend. He had to figure out what to say and how to handle it when he doesn’t even think he’s done anything wrong. And he knows that he has messed up in a big way and it isn’t just going away. And if it doesn’t go away then where does that leave him? That’s the fear underlying it all.

    Delicious stuff.

    I listened to his show again on my way back from lunch and he sounded a big peppier, but still very, very tired. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear he has a heart attack or something in the near future. He can’t handle what’s coming at him.

  131. 131
    Culture of Truth says:

    The worst and most telling thing about Limbaugh’s fauxpology is that he stitched together the exact words from lame reactions by the two leading GOP presidential contenders. This was an act of supreme arrogance and a signal that he’s feared by these cowards.

    I noticed that too but it suggested to me that for once it was time for him to get in line for the greater good of the Republican party.

  132. 132
    Frank says:

    @Brachiator:

    This is one of the things that most pisses me off about Rush’s impotent little performance. The disrespect in dismissing anything she said, and making it into a personal and sexualized attack.

    But not only that. The right-wing talking point is that they are offended because they have to pay for her to have sex. Yet, none of those hypocrites, including the right-wing women such as Patricia Heaton, has said the same about Rush and his Viagra. Viagra is being covered.

    So why the hell are they offended because they have to pay for her to have sex (which is a lie), yet it is apparently just fine for her to have to pay for Rush to have sex.

    What goes on in their brains just boggles the mind.

  133. 133
    Yutsano says:

    @joeyess: I think he meant those Shakers. Bit of a rough sect actually. No sexytime allowed at all.

  134. 134
    Argive says:

    @Brachiator:

    This. This. A thousand times this.

    I do not want to know a single thing about Ms. Fluke’s personal life, as it is none of my damned business. I have made zero assumptions about what she does in private. Why must conservatives go and make all this stuff up?

  135. 135
    colby says:

    @Watson: Okay, she can still make money. Good for her. I don’t really know many liberals who wish to see her impoverished, so I’m not sure why I’m supposed to care.

  136. 136
    Satanicpanic says:

    @pragmatism: The first rule of holes is when you’re in one, stop digging. When you’re in three, bring a lot of shovels. ~ Tom Friedman

  137. 137
    eemom says:

    OMG — breaking news…..Megan McArdle to “take a break from blogging” to spend more time with what ever it was that cost $1500!

    You heard it HERE, DougJ, Levenson, et al.

  138. 138
    redshirt says:

    Heady times people!

  139. 139
    joeyess says:

    @Yutsano: Not even Shaky Sexytime??

    Man. That would blow. (or not)

  140. 140
    scav says:

    @joeyess: @Yutsano covered it (and can type faster) although mine, yours, and some generic inflatable oversized salt shakers might all work together in some kind of mad info-ad format.

    ETA: @139. & I believe they invented the flat boom, to give evidence of how dull it must have been. Amazing furniture, if you like the lines.

  141. 141
    Soonergrunt says:

    In a move that’s sure to make the Derf/Watson paste-eating moron shit himself (again), the men’s fashion company Bonobos has ended their business relationship with Rush Limbaugh.
    From their Tweet:

    Looks like we were running on it, but we’ve told them to pull us from the show indefinitely. Thanks for letting us know!

  142. 142
    pragmatism says:

    @Satanicpanic: i wonder which ethnicity of cabbie told teh MOU that maxim.

  143. 143

    […] Cole has a good analysis on the lies Rush Limbaugh had to tell before he could conclude that Sandra Fluke was a slut and a […]

  144. 144
    I_am_a_lead_pencil says:

    “There is not one taxpayer dollar at issue here. This has NOTHING to do with taxpayers. Period.”

    Please. This distinction as to “taxpayer dollars” is accurate in the least important way. Let’s at least be intellectually honest. When you mandate that everyone must purchase coverage and then increase the scope of coverage through more mandates, you are laying a financial burden on the populace that is no less burdensome than if you’d directly taxed them to provide it.

  145. 145

    KPUA in Hawaii has apparently canceled the Rush Limbaugh show.

    http://www.kpua.net/news.php?id=24843

  146. 146
    trollhattan says:

    @eemom:

    ZOMG Did Rush call her something naughty?

  147. 147
    joeyess says:

    @Argive:

    I have made zero assumptions about what she does in private. Why must conservatives go and make all this stuff up?

    I know, right? It never even crossed my mind to assume anything about her how she gets her yaya’s out when I watched her testimony. But I’m not of the wingnut hivemind so what do I know?

  148. 148
    Yutsano says:

    @Soonergrunt: The block advertiser sales people at Clear Channel must be having a hissy fit right about now. By extension their brand is also getting tainted in all this. Oh well, lie down with dogs and all that. No offense to teh puppehs.

  149. 149
    joeyess says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    KPUA in Hawaii has apparently canceled the Rush Limbaugh show.

    An obvious Obama plot.

  150. 150

    Calling someone a slut would have more credibility if you weren’t already on your fourth wife.

  151. 151
    WJS says:

    Best damned blog post I ever did see.

  152. 152
    Culture of Truth says:

    @joeyess:

    KPUA in Hawaii has apparently canceled the Rush Limbaugh show.

    An obvious Obama plot.

    Obama fell for his devious scheme.

    [ evil cackle ]
    foolish liberals…

  153. 153
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    @samara morgan: Cole’s pissed. He’s been thettaway for awhile, but everybody else here is doing such a good job on most of the issues, that kitties and doggies (and food and drink) held his attention. Until NOW. Damnation. The final straw, I think. Fkrs!

  154. 154
    Senyordave says:

    @Cacti: Rusha Limbaugh and naked should never be in the same sentence. Whatever settlements his exes have received are way too small.

  155. 155
    zubalove says:

    I just saw in my twitter feed this tweet from some rightwinger named Brooks Bayne: notice how the left isn’t apologizing for lying about fluke’s age, her background, or even their lie-based attack on the 1st amendment.

    What the hell is he talking about? I’d like to know before my teabagger Dad throws some malarkey at me that catches me flat footed.

  156. 156
    Nancy says:

    This is totally off topic but a nice respite. You can go here to vote for your favorite Dog of Valor. You can vote once a day ’til March 9. Can you show Trixie some love? She’s from Arkansas. However, Hank is awesome too!

    http://www.humanesociety.org/a.....30212.html

  157. 157
    cathyx says:

    @eemom: To spend more time with her kitchen.

  158. 158
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Yutsano: BREAKING–Sears/Kmart states “never intentionally advertised on Limbaugh show” and will now demand that their advertising never go into blocks on that show.

  159. 159
    taylormattd says:

    @eemom: Maybe she is suffering from “exhaustion”, like Lindsay Lohan or some shit like that.

  160. 160
    trollhattan says:

    Am I wrong in drawing parallels between today’s Republican Party and the former Soviet Bloc? Once the collapse began, it all crumbled rather quickly. Can Koch bucks stitch things back together, or are we seeing the party’s framework coming apart?

  161. 161
    joeyess says:

    @eemom: jesus. she’s leaving us with a “crack team” of back benchers until her return.

    Methinks that Mr. Tbogg and the Bassets smell low hanging fruit.

  162. 162
    scav says:

    @Soonergrunt: We’ve gone pre-Emptive? !

  163. 163
    Soonergrunt says:

    @zubalove: You say this:
    That’s because we don’t apologize for not lying. Nor for winning. #yourafuckingmoron

  164. 164
    Catsy says:

    @Ordovician Bighorn Dolomite (formerly rarely seen poster Fe E): Indeed, and let’s not forget that the noble pig is the source of one of the universe’s greatest foods.

  165. 165
    joeyess says:

    @trollhattan: I don’t think so. If it’s KochBucks, we’ll all know it’s KochBucks.

    They got nuthin’ but the bubble that they inhabit.

  166. 166
    pragmatism says:

    @eemom: she twitter twatted that she is going on book leave. at susan of tx’s place someone asked if that meant she was going to write one or read one.

  167. 167
    Violet says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    PUA in Hawaii has apparently canceled the Rush Limbaugh show.

    The first of many, I hope.

    When I was in the car today and listening to the Limbaugh show, I heard a couple of ads where other people who have shows on the same AM station were speaking for a few advertisers. One was some kind of mortgage or bank and the other was a dentist or doctor or some kind of medical person. These are people who are local to where I live. I wonder if it’s worth a phone call to their offices to complain? I didn’t write down the numbers because I was driving, but I could listen again later this week and see what local folks are advertising.

    It was telling that it was other radio hosts who were speaking on these ads, as in, “Hi, this is [local radio host] for [local advertiser]…” because it means the station can’t really figure out how to fill the ad time. They’re depending on the cross-promotion from their other hosts and advertisers who have probably bought sort of station-based advertising rather than Limbaugh-specific ads.

  168. 168
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Bravo, John.

    That kind of tapestry of lies is enough to keep armchair psychiatrists in business for a long time. It reveals so much.

  169. 169
    gnomedad says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    KPUA in Hawaii has apparently canceled the Rush Limbaugh show.

    Liberal bias because Obama was born there! Oops, wait …

  170. 170
    Berial says:

    This list is a good example for how the conservative narrative gets developed. You see, it’s a cycle of emotional response and internalization. Starting out, it was all emotional language and response to an out member attacking the tribe. They probably weren’t even talking about what she actually said (I bet most of them never even listened to her in the first place). They were talking about how her saying something the tribe disagrees with made them feel. Then ten minutes later, they’ve convinced themselves that everything they’ve just said is the ‘truth’. Then the cycle starts again. Each cycle they’ve convinced themselves that they really have a reason to be outraged by this woman, and they create a whole new reality. This went on for 3 days, and the lies and the emotional responses got totally away from them.

    The other conservatives HAD to back Rush up if they were listening to him, because they would then live in his created reality, where everything he said was the ‘truth’. I bet most of the conservatives backing him up never even listened to the congressional testimony. It would have been redundant to do so. They already ‘knew’ she had probably spouted typical liberal lies, and Rush just confirmed it for them.

  171. 171
    joeyess says:

    @Senyordave:

    Rusha Limbaugh and naked should never be in the same sentence. Whatever settlements his exes have received are way too small.

    You violate your own rule in the first sentence of your own rule?

    Well! I never……

  172. 172
    4tehlulz says:

    @Linda Featheringill:
    @Soonergrunt:
    Obviously, this shows that Watsonderf is right.

  173. 173
    Soonergrunt says:

    @scav: Well, I think they got tired of their twitter stream being overwhelmed by the issue and being unable to tweet about sales and so forth.

  174. 174
    J.W. Hamner says:

    @eemom:

    McMegan: I’ll be back in a few months…

    Whoa! Unfortunately she is probably writing a book and not being suspended for rank incompetence, but it’s going to be a blessed few months regardless. With the GOP imploding, the economy improving, and no McMegan… it’s hard to figure out how it could get much better until the election rolls around. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket or something.

  175. 175

    In regard to Rush and fear:
    It is amazingly useful that Rush has stepped so thoroughly in it, but that usefulness is with someone other than his audience.

    There will be advertisers, they will be there for the simple reason that none of this has cost Rush his audience which are the numbers advertisers care about – this includes the assumption that they won’t lose more by being there. That may change the make-up of those willing to pay, but they’ll be there. Radio ads are quite competitive as an advertising method, not quite the same thing as TV where Glenn Beck lost it.

    If Rush is feeling any fear, it has to do with giving Democrats a big stick to whack at GOPers with. Despite the public quietness, you can bet there have been phone calls from GOP heavyweights. The thing that might count with the general public is to tie that fat gasbag hip and thigh with the GOP. THEY apologize to HIM.

  176. 176
    Calouste says:

    @Yutsano:

    New sales opportunity. They can charge more for blocks that don’t include Limbaugh’s show, because ads on that show are now percieved to have a negative value.

  177. 177
    scav says:

    @Soonergrunt: ahhhh, don’t float in that ocean so didn’t understand the side-effects. Still, veddy interesting.

  178. 178
    Yutsano says:

    @Nancy: I voted for the pit bull. I figure they need a little extra wuv.

  179. 179

    @staci:

    They know how birth control works — or at least enough to know that it’s once a day. Your mistake is in continuing the belief that what they know and what they say have any relation to each other. They just emit republican sounds now, anything that sounds like a “zinger” is good for them. Pretty soon it’ll just devolve to howls and poo-flinging.

  180. 180
    artem1s says:

    @New Yorker:

    that much of the rage and spittle directed at Fluke is from frustrated men who can’t have normal sex lives.

    yes, you are right but it’s also about the fact that you have real life conversations with your sex partner as if she is a human being and not just an object. these people REALLY don’t get that part of the equation. Limbaugh and his ilk desperately need to cram that genie back in the bottle. It goes a long way towards explaining their vitriol towards Hillary and Pelosi and well just about any woman who manages to be recognized as capable of making her own decisions and want the same right/power for all women.

  181. 181

    KPUA, Hilo, Hawaii cancels Limbaugh Show.

    Chris Leonard, President and General Manager of New West released the following statement this morning:
    __
    “We have always encouraged spirited discussion about national and local issues on KPUA and from time to time those discussions may be deemed by some to be objectionable. We are strong believers in the first amendment and have recognized Mr. Limbaugh’s right to express opinions that often times differ from our own, but it has never been our goal to allow our station to be used for personal attacks and intolerance. The most recent incident has crossed a line of decency and a standard that we expect of programming on KPUA whether it is locally produced or a syndicated program like the Rush Limbaugh show.
    __
    While much of the national debate regarding this issue is now being framed in political terms, the decision for us is one of decency and responsibility. Regardless of one’s political views on the issue being discussed, we feel the delivery was degrading and the continued comments over several days to be egregious. As a result, we are discontinuing the Rush Limbaugh program on KPUA effective immediately.”

    More like this, please. It’s one thing to get sponsors to dump him but man I’d love it if radio stations stopped spreading his brand of hate.

  182. 182
    harlana says:

    @Argive:

    I do not want to know a single thing about Ms. Fluke’s personal life, as it is none of my damned business. I have made zero assumptions about what she does in private. Why must conservatives go and make all this stuff up?

    because they are a bunch drooling sociopathic pervs with profound, deep-seated mommy issues?

  183. 183
    Catsy says:

    @Watson: Concern troll is concerned.

    For someone who–against all evidence and good sense–thinks the best response to a bully like Limbaugh is to ignore them, you’re sure expending a considerable amount of energy across multiple threads to flog that argument. It’s almost as if you were somehow personally invested in making this issue go away.

    News flash: nobody here is buying what you’re selling. And every new sponsor that Rush loses, every new non-apology he feels compelled to offer, every sputtering attempt at changing the subject he comes out with just makes it increasingly obvious that contrary to the argument you’re trying so hard to peddle, what we’re doing is working in a way that simply ignoring him never does.

    Run along now.

  184. 184

    @Linda Featheringill:

    KPUA in Hawaii has apparently canceled the Rush Limbaugh show.

    Yeah well it’s not like they cancelled it in America or anything.

  185. 185
    David Koch says:

    @eemom:

    Megan McArdle to “take a break from blogging”

    Bloggin’ is such hard work. EMS workers, nurses, electricians, steel workers, miners, truckers, longshoremen, sanitation workers all take sabbaticals when they’re tired.

  186. 186
    joeyess says:

    @Southern Beale:

    While much of the national debate regarding this issue is now being framed in political terms, the decision for us is one of decency and responsibility. Regardless of one’s political views on the issue being discussed, we feel the delivery was degrading and the continued comments over several days to be egregious. As a result, we are discontinuing the Rush Limbaugh program on KPUA effective immediately.”

    However, the question remains: How many stations are owned by KPUA’s corporate company and can they just quietly slip this fat bastard on another call sign?

  187. 187
    trollhattan says:

    Oh brother.

    “The people who listen to him may not agree with the language he used, but they like what he said,” Bloomquist said Sunday. “This is brilliant, in a way. It plays to his existing base and brings back fans who haven’t listened to him in a while.”

    — Randall Bloom­quist, a talk-radio consultant & former program director of WMAL.

  188. 188
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Mattminus:

    I should’ve known that was a Levin bit. This wingnut is a big-time Levin fan, and she repeated his math, then added in her own editorializing:

    Condom=$1.00
    $1,000.00=1000 condoms
    1 year=365 days
    1000 condoms / 365 days = 2.74 acts of intercourse per day, every single day, all year long
    __
    Sounds pretty hyperactive to me. Assuming she slows it down a little sometimes for Granny’s funeral, or to actually STUDY, she’d have to make up those missed sessions, ramping up some days to five or six encounters.

    It’s the right-wing puke funnel in action!

  189. 189
    Rick Taylor says:

    @zubalove:

    They say that some accounts described Sandra Fluke as a 23 year old code, while she was actually a 30 year old female law student, and a feminist activist as well. I don’t understand what the fuss is either (don’t ask me to explain the wingnut mind), but I guess evil Democrats were portraying her as a young innocent, when in fact she was 30 and a feminist to boot. I don’t know, I guess in their view, being a feminist activist makes you fair game for vile slander (just like publicly arguing that insurance should be required to cover birth control as part of reproductive health). All I can say is there are a lot more sexist pigs out there than I realized. Squashed tries to explain.

  190. 190
    Watson says:

    @Jay C: And now you don’t hear a thing about it. A few more months and it will be business as usual. You people just don’t get it. You are talking about stuff that happened over the course of a week. All you won was a battle…not the war. That takes sustained effort which the left is utterly incapable of.

    You think everything changed the day Luther gave the “I have a dream speech”. It took years and years of sustained effort after that. But people have these dillusions that stuff just happens over night.

    “Real change is hard, it may not be achievable in one term or even one presidency”
    B. Obama

  191. 191
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Argive:

    She just used that number as an example of how much contraception can cost.

    Without insurance, which works out at about $80 a month, which corresponds accurately to the out-of-pocket cost of hormonal birth control — wingers might point to $25 generic monophasic pills, but they often have worse side-effects than modern triphasic pills. Clearly, the idea is that wimmins have to make do with “Pill”.

  192. 192
    General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero) says:

    Now we are likely to see just how big a kahuna Rush Limbaugh is within the GOP. Or, will his fall from the mountain peak of wingnut, release some republicans for doing stuff to unplease him. Like a blasphemous attempt to compromise in good faith with democrats? Rush is but one white whale in the right wing tent, others like Norquist wield a lot of influence and power as well. But Grover’s thing is mostly limited to taxes, whereas Rush was more of a general hero/gawd and enforcer of wingnuttery with a broader club to keep the GOP minions on the straight and narrow, which has led them into more and more unfavorable waters with voters. And that takes a lot of bullshit to achieve with a white majority country. Time will tell. We can enjoy the show, whatever comes of it down the road. And quite a show it is.

  193. 193
    SuzieC says:

    @gnomedad: And this summary shows why she would have a heckuva defamation lawsuit. She’s a private person, not a public figure, so the standard is just that he accused her of something untrue which injured her reputation. Every time someone googles Ms. Fluke’s name at any time in the future, when she is attempting to build her legal career, “slut” and “prosittute” will be the first search results. But even if Ms. Fluke would be considered a public figure, Limbaugh’s campaign of terror, followed by all his right wing toadies, would be enough to show actual malice.

  194. 194

    @zubalove:

    Well, apparently Ms. Fluke is older than she looks, as she was born in 1981. However, I don’t remember any arguments based on her age. She is a law student. Law is generally a postgraduate undertaking, yes? She could be of any age.

    Somewhere I read that she was involved in women’s issues before she started law school. I guess this makes her a feminazi activist. Or something. [Rush Limbaugh, of course, is not an activist. -cough-]

    That’s all I know.

  195. 195
    piratedan says:

    @Culture of Truth: I’ve heard that they’re renaming the station to “Radio Nairobi

  196. 196
    joeyess says:

    @Watson: Two words, douchnozzle: Glenn Beck.

  197. 197
    deep says:

    Though, to be fair, Glenn Beck is still around, even if Fox dropped him. Rush’s show is syndicated, so it’s not like any one radio station dropping him would affect his ability to continue his BS all day long.

  198. 198
    JWL says:

    I once despised a living Ronald Reagan as I now do his memory. But even back then, the early attacks on Nancy’s wardrobe and remodeling efforts in the White House pissed me off. Above all, the attacks were unfair. They also happened to be idiotic. Remember how she adroitly turned the tables on the critics with her appearance at the Correspondents dinner?. She was a savvy operator.

    In contrast, I’m genuinely offended at that slob’s attack on Fluke, and I don’t offend all that easily. Cole’s words are righteous. I want the SOB driven from the airwaves.

  199. 199
    trollhattan says:

    @Rick Taylor:

    Certainly old enough to [cough] have countertops. Countertops that ought to demand inspection!

  200. 200
    Martin says:

    And there’s that hippie Frum going after Rush again.

    Point 1: 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.

  201. 201
    harlana says:

    @The Other Chuck: Obama’s behind it, i mean, oh wait . . .

  202. 202
    Rick Taylor says:

    @zubalove:

    I guess what it comes down to is that I’m used to evaluating what people say based on the substance. I read Sandra Fluke’s testimony and I was impressed; she made what seemed to me to be substantial points, and I learned things I didn’t know. It didn’t occur to me to wonder what her background was; she could have been a rastafarian yeti from Jupiter with a active in the British Looney party, and it wouldn’t have been relevant to her arguments.

    I guess with conservatives, it’s not the arguments you make it’s who you are. So if she’s an innocent 23 year old coed, Rush’s Limbaugh’s attacks are despicable. But seeing as she’s a politically active 30 year old (and worse a feminist) she can be dismissed offhand, and slanderous attacks are fair game. At least that’s how it seems; otherwise I can’t figure it out.

  203. 203
    J.W. Hamner says:

    @Watson:
    I don’t know why I am treating you as if you are a serious commentor but whatever…

    All you won was a battle…not the war.

    Guess what? To win the war you have to win battles. That’s why we fight every single one like it matters… because it does. Every time we beat down Komen or Limbaugh for being anti-women we get closer to turning the GOP into the old white man party, and the old white man party can’t win elections.

  204. 204
    Culture of Truth says:

    All you won was a battle

    You flip-flop faster than Mitt Romeny. I think you may have dillusions of grander.

  205. 205
    Rick Taylor says:

    The other weird thing is there’s a meme that despicable Democrats set this all up, it was all a trick. Because I suppose it was completely predictable that Limbaugh would make jackass out himself? Maybe there’s something to that. . . .

  206. 206
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    @Watson: A war is a bunch of battles strung together, correct? You are a willfully obtuse dumbass, correct?

  207. 207
    harlana says:

    @Rick Taylor: but, but, i thought all feminists were hairy-armpitted lesbians? why would she need contraception?

  208. 208
    Fanshawe says:

    In the second sentence of her testimony, she says she’s a third-year law student. Even if you know nothing about law school other than people go there after graduating college you should know that she isn’t a college student and that it is very unlikely that she is only one year older than a typical college senior.

    To think Fluke was a 23-year-old college student, you’d have to be a complete idiot, or just completely uninterested in what she actually said during her testimony so I don’t understand how conservative commentators could . . . oh, nevermind.

  209. 209
    Nutella says:

    @I_am_a_lead_pencil:

    When you mandate that everyone must purchase coverage and then increase the scope of coverage through more mandates, you are laying a financial burden on the populace that is no less burdensome than if you’d directly taxed them to provide it.

    The scope of coverage was changed to include birth control back in 2000. Use of birth control saves money overall since maternity or abortion is much more expensive so if you’re really concerned about “laying a financial burden on the populace” you’ll be in favor of birth control coverage. You’ll also be opposed to coverage for v-i-a-g-r-a since it costs us all more and doesn’t save anything except some men’s sex lives.

    John, please add this lie about laying a financial burden on the populace to your list.

  210. 210
    Yutsano says:

    @Evolving Deep Southerner: He is Canadian. They’re not totally familiar with the whole “war” concept. Not since WWII anyway.

  211. 211
    RD says:

    @Watson:

    You people just don’t get it

    You people. Got it.

    Good luck with your Mormon loon candidate.

  212. 212
    WaterGirl says:

    @David Koch: Yeah, and Paul Lassiter on Spin City thought he was so popular that everyone at school even had their own symbol for him… the big “L” they made with their thumb and forefingers when they saw him coming down the hall.

    In his world, the “L” was for Lassiter, not loser. She thinks slut, in this context, is meant as a compliment. Maybe this is Paul Lassiter’s sister. Or girlfriend.

  213. 213
    different-church-lady says:

    It was really the “post the videos” thing that broke the camel’s back. Even louts understand that you only make porn jokes about porn stars. He probably would have gotten away with every other part.

  214. 214
    Mike G says:

    Critiquing a Rush Limbaugh statement for lies and inaccuracy is like critiquing the philosophical underpinnings of a Three Stooges movie.
    There are so many faults you lose count, and he’s not even trying to be accurate in the first place – that wasn’t ever the point.

    Limbaugh is like the kid who flings poop and deliberately tries to upset people to get attention, because he has nothing else to offer. He’s made a fortune being the vicarious bully and asshole millions of Republicans wish they could be.

  215. 215
    WaterGirl says:

    @Svensker: I can’t believe you had to ask!

  216. 216
    Yaco says:

    @Yutsano:

    Listen, why don’t you lay of the generalizations when it comes to your northern neighbors? It’s not like we haven’t lost any of our own in Afghanistan.

  217. 217
    J.W. Hamner says:

    @Nutella:

    I agree with his point that we are “paying for contraceptives” because ACA mandated health plans that cover them get tax breaks. A tax break is functionally the same as an expenditure in my view. However I also agree with your point that we were already doing that. The only thing the ACA does is change the copay to 0. So for someone to be intellectually consistent over this “I don’t want to pay for contraceptives” BS they have to be calling for an all out ban on any insurance plan covering contraceptives… and I don’t think I’ve heard anybody do this.

  218. 218
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    @SuzieC:

    She’s a private person, not a public figure, so the standard is just that he accused her of something untrue which injured her reputation.

    That’s incorrect.

    She might have a lawsuit, but it would have to be based on the legal standard of actual malice, not negligence. She would be considered a “limited public figure” based simply on her agreeing to testify before Congress on this issue. She’s no “private person” in this context.

    Hell, the guy who saved Gerald Ford’s life when a member of the Manson Family tried to shoot his ass was declared a “public figure” for the purposes of a libel suit (he was gay, and the press outed him after his heroic act) and all he did to “inject himself into the public eye” was to reflexively take down a would-be assassin.

    This could rise to malice in terms of a libel suit – proving malice would entail “knowledge of falsity” or “reckless disregard for the truth,” either of which Ms. Fluke would have a good chance of proving – but she’s no “private individual” here.

    ETA: Her status as a public figure makes her success in a suit harder, though. Much harder than if she were, as you say, a “private individual.” All those folks have to prove is negligence, i.e., excessive sloppiness. That’s why celebs (and she is one, right or wrong) almost never sue for libel, and why they’re seldom successful if they do decide to sue.

  219. 219
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    Women are pissed about this in a way I haven’t seen in a long, long time. I think Fatass has really fucked up.

  220. 220
    scav says:

    @Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity: The thing about encouraging Moms to concentrate on the Soccer is that they learn how to kick with strength and accuracy.

  221. 221
    danielx says:

    @Rick Taylor:

    Of course. It was vile, evil liberals who tricked poor Rush into abusing that woman, and who blackmailed his sponsors into dropping him. Just like it was vile, evil liberals who provoked Rick Santorum into making an issue out of birth control. It’s always the fault of the vile, evil liberals.

    I wish I’d known about all this power that vile, evil liberals have a long time ago. It must be why there are so many liberals in Congress, no? And of course the editorial staffs of the Washington Post and the New York Times? Liberals to a man. Why, it may be that even Sean Hannity and Rush himself are secretly liberals and have been spouting complete horseshit every day for years just to make real conservatives look bad! In fact, every so-called conservative in the media who trips over his rhetorical dick must be a secret liberal who is part of the vast liberal conspiracy to make conservatives look like complete assholes. This would explain a lot, wouldn’t it?

    Also, too. Rush Limbaugh should dine on a bowl of salted dicks. Every day.

  222. 222
    colby says:

    @Watson:

    All you won was a battle…not the war.

    Right, which is why we’ve moved on to the next front in the “War”. The “war” was never about destroying Komen or making Karen Handel beg for public forgiveness. It was about women’s health, and no one treated Komen like it was the end- as you can see by us all getting Obama/Fluke’s back.

    We’re making the sustained effort, and as you correctly noted, we’re winning. You’re the one who seems to be unwilling to do anything but bitch about Karen Handel some more.

  223. 223
    JenJen says:

    @eemom:

    OMG —breaking news…..Megan McArdle to “take a break from blogging” to spend more time with what ever it was that cost $1500!

    Dare I say it? An audition for Food Network? If she nails a gig, I’m canceling cable.

    I feel pretty bad for TBogg right about now. ;-)

  224. 224
    Svensker says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Hey, I’m old and slow.

  225. 225
    SuzieC says:

    @<a hr Evolving:Don't want to argue the law, but I disagree that Fluke is a celeb. She was thrust into a public contoversy by Limbaugh, and made a celeb by his efforts. Otherwise, she just would have testified briefly in front of a Congressional panel, then gone back to her life. At most, as you point out, she is a limited purpose public figure.

  226. 226
    SuzieC says:

    @Evolving Deep Southerner: Don’t agree that she is a celeb. She was a private figure who was turned into a celeb by Limbaugh’s vile attacks. At most, she was a limited purpose public figure, which requires a lower threshold of proof for a slander suit.

  227. 227
    Brachiator says:

    @Frank:

    But not only that. The right-wing talking point is that they are offended because they have to pay for her to have sex. Yet, none of those hypocrites, including the right-wing women such as Patricia Heaton, has said the same about Rush and his Viagra. Viagra is being covered.

    Sigh. Viagra is not the opposite of the pill. This is what makes Rush’s impotent little performance extra stupid.

    Presumably, a man would take Viagra somewhere around the time he expected to have sex. However, taking a birth control pill is absolutely irrelevant to an immediate decision about sexual activity. A woman might take the pill for purely precautionary purposes, and never have sex.

    But LimpBaugh deliberately, and falsely, tried to compare the pill to a condom or a Viagra tablet.

    Now, on a deeper level, I imagine that religious conservatives might tie themselves in all kinds of knots if they seriously thought about Viagra. The Catholic Church, for example, is equally against vasectomy in men as it is against tubal ligations for women. They also oppose in vitro fertilization:

    He told the science and fertility experts in his audience to resist “the fascination of the technology of artificial fertility

    Although the Church has not formally opposed Viagra, seems to me that they ought to, since the little blue pill makes use of technology to assist fertility.

  228. 228
    MCA1 says:

    @AnotherBruce: I love that. The Wingularity as akin to the Taliban with a limitless supply of unreachable peaks in the Afghan hinterland. Just when you think you’ve pinned it down in some remote valley, it recedes in the darkness.

    I also like to think of it as an endless game of Whack-A-Mole on an infinite playing surface.

  229. 229
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Yutsano:

    The number of Canadian Forces’ fatalities resulting from Canadian military activities in Afghanistan is the largest for any single Canadian military mission since the Korean War between 1950 and 1953. A total of 158 Canadian Forces personnel have been killed in the war since 2002

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.....fghanistan

    Date Canada declared war on Nazi Germany: Sept. 10, 1939.

    Date the United States declared war on Nazi Germany, only after Germany first declared war on the US: December 11, 1941, so two years and two months later.

    And here’s a link with the names of those Canadians who gave their lives fighting in the Korean War:

    http://www.canadaatwar.ca/memorial/the-korean-war/

  230. 230
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    @SuzieC: I’m not going to get in an argument with someone who’s on my own side, but in terms of a libel suit about birth control, when it comes to Ms. Fluke, “limited purpose public figure” and “celeb” may as well be synonymous, legally speaking. She’ll still have to prove the same malice a celeb would have to prove. I think she can do it, and I hope she tries. But she’ll be laughed out of court saying she’s a “private individual.”

  231. 231
    Rafer Janders says:

    It was the US, not Canada, that was attacked on September 11th. And yet out of friendship and solidarity, Canada has fought and sacrificed alongside us. I think they deserve far, far better than ignorant snark about how Canadians aren’t familiar “with the whole ‘war’ concept.”

  232. 232
    RossinDetroit says:

    I have no time to document all of the ways Rush has been an asshole (who does?) but I had to chime in on this epic thread and add my vote to the consensus that Rush is an asshole.
    I can hope that this will be his undoing, but I doubt it.
    That is all.

  233. 233
    Jay C says:

    @J.W. Hamner:

    So for someone to be intellectually consistent over this “I don’t want to pay for contraceptives” BS they have to be calling for an all out ban on any insurance plan covering contraceptives… and I don’t think I’ve heard anybody do this.

    Isn’t this, in essence, what the (now temporarily shelved) Blunt-Rubio Amendment was all about? Though basically making the “ban” a matter of individual “choice”: i.e. prejudice cloaked in religiousity?

  234. 234
    Calouste says:

    @Evolving Deep Southerner:

    I still think the big mistake Limbaugh made was using the word “prostitute”. That’s accusing someone of criminal behavior, and it’s hard to see how that would be negligence instead of malice.

  235. 235
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Evolving Deep Southerner:

    She might have a lawsuit, but it would have to be based on the legal standard of actual malice, not negligence.

    Not really. Calling someone a prostitute falls under the standard of libel per se, that is, the claim is so inherently harmful that malice need not be proven to obtain a judgment for general damages rather than just specific losses.

  236. 236
    Punchy says:

    I’m a little surprised we didnt hear a peep out of Fluke’s parents, especially her dad. If some fat fuck blowhard called my daughter a prostitute and slut on a national medium, there might be more than a few threats of bodily harm aimed in his direction…..

  237. 237
    GregB says:

    Yeah, lay off of Canada. They actually have a good record.

    Joined in for WWII. Passed on Vietnam. Went in on Afghanistan. Passed on Iraq.

  238. 238
    TooManyJens says:

    Ralph Reed has accepted Rush Limbaugh’s apology.

    https://twitter.com/#!/ralphreed/status/176789767214735360

    Well, that’s a load off my mind. I thought a Christian Supremacist might not be able to forgive a fellow right-winger for viciously attacking a pro-contraception feminist. Let’s all sing Kumbayah now.

  239. 239
    Fanshawe says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Not really. Calling someone a prostitute falls under the standard of libel per se, that is, the claim is so inherently harmful that malice need not be proven to obtain a judgment for general damages rather than just specific losses.

    Generally, that’s not correct. Typically, defamation per se only eliminates the need to prove damages. Plaintiff still must prove the other elements like falsity and malice. I can’t say with 100% certainty that that’s true in every jurisdiction, but that’s the general rule, and I’m not aware of any exceptions.

    *Edited for clarity

  240. 240
    Cowbelle says:

    @zubalove:

    I just saw in my twitter feed this tweet from some rightwinger named Brooks Bayne: notice how the left isn’t apologizing for lying about fluke’s age, her background, or even their lie-based attack on the 1st amendment.

    What the hell is he talking about? I’d like to know before my teabagger Dad throws some malarkey at me that catches me flat footed.

    For some reason, conservatives got it in their head that she was a “23 year old coed” and when it turned out — as she’d said all along — that she’s a 30 year old law student and activist, they flipped out and accused her of lying.

    Even though she made her activist status clear at the beginning of her testimony (which they clearly haven’t listened to).

  241. 241
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Evolving Deep Southerner:

    Again, no proof of malice is necessary for a suit of libel per se, and calling someone a prostitute rises to the level of libel per se.

  242. 242
    SuzieC says:

    @Evolving Deep Southerner: I think she might be a combination of a limited purpose public figure and an involuntary public figure, for libel purposes. I agree, too late now to claim she’s a private citizen. But Rush put her at the center of a firestorm. No matter what kind of public figure she is, I think she’s got actual malice, and definitely libel per se.

  243. 243
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    @Calouste: Also replying to Rafer Janders @235

    You’re both right, but you’re both talking about a statement that was libelous on its face. That’s what I was saying. She’s got a case. Just not as a “private individual.” She will have to sue – and win – after proving actual malice rather than negligence, because in the context of this debate (such as it is) she’s a public figure, not a private individual.

    I’m not saying she has no case. I’m just saying she has no case if her attorneys try to argue that she’s a private individual. She’s not, at least not in this context.

    She needs to stipulate that for this debate, she’s a public figure. And then she needs to take a HUGE chunk out of Rush’s ample ass to make an example of him.

  244. 244
    Rafer Janders says:

    @GregB:

    And they “joined in” on WWII a lot earlier than we did. Canadian soldiers were fighting and dying for over two years while Americans lolled around jitterbugging and playing baseball.

  245. 245
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    @SuzieC: Well, “involuntary public figures” haven’t fared very well. Google Oliver Sipple Gerald Ford Assassination Attempt. All that guy did was deflect an assassin’s bullet, and it ruined his life. He couldn’t even win an invasion of privacy suit over that one, and those are way easier to win than libel cases.

  246. 246
    Nancy says:

    @Rafer Janders: Quite a few Canadians died in Korea also.

  247. 247
    J.W. Hamner says:

    @Jay C:

    No, Blunt-Rubio would allow employers to not allow contraceptives to be covered… but if your “principled libertarian” objection to coverage of contraceptives is that you feel like you shouldn’t be paying for somebody else’s birth control… then logically you have to feel that no health insurance plan in the US should cover contraceptives because if even one plan offers it then we are all “paying for it” because of tax breaks etc.

  248. 248
    SuzieC says:

    @Evolving Deep Southerner: I know. Plus, there was the guy who became a hero after diving into the Potomac to rescue a victim of a plane crash. Lenny something, IIRC.

    I really hope she’s considering a suit.

  249. 249
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Fanshawe:

    I don’t believe you need to prove malice for libel per se, and proving falsity (that she does not in fact work as a prostitute) is a pretty easy hurdle to clear.

  250. 250
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Violet:

    These are people who are local to where I live. I wonder if it’s worth a phone call to their offices to complain? I didn’t write down the numbers because I was driving, but I could listen again later this week and see what local folks are advertising.

    Clear Channel is notorious for selling blocks of ads that cover multiple radio stations, so it’s entirely possible that your local businesses have no idea that their ads are running on Rush’s show. I don’t see any reason not to let them know — politely, of course, since this will probably be the first they’ve heard about it.

  251. 251
    Death Panel Truck says:

    that amounts to a very reasonable $1k a year for reproductive health spending.

    A thousand bucks a year is actually pretty unreasonable, but I’m of the opinion that preventative health care should be as cheap as possible.

  252. 252
    Jay C says:

    @J.W. Hamner:

    I don’t recall the fine-point details, but did Blunt-Rubio specify or define the scope of said “conscience exemptions” for contraception coverage? I don’t think it did, which AFAICT, was by design, to allow as much “exemption” as absolutely possible, while wrapping the whole issue in holy-holy “religious freedom” blather.

  253. 253
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    @Rafer Janders: It matters if you’re a public figure or a private individual. Public figures = malice. Private individual = negligence.

  254. 254
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Nancy: Over a hundred and twenty Canadian peacekeepers have died wearing the blue beret over the years too, the second-highest casualty rate after India. The US has lost 70, a third of them during the Blackhawk Down debacle in Somalia.

  255. 255
    Jay C says:

    @Death Panel Truck:

    $1000/year actually comes out to about $83/month, which at today’s prescription prices, is certainly not beyond the norm – without a co-pay. Even assuming Ms. Fluke (or her friends) can get coverage for said drugs, with a $25 co-pay, she will still have pay $300/year, with a $50 pay, it’s still $600/year, so really only a 40% (or 70%) discount off the “retail” price (assuming the figures are correct). Still scarcely the “free contraception” the wingers have been mendaciously going on about.

  256. 256
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    @SuzieC: I hope she stipulates that she’s a public figure, proves malice, and busts Rush’s fat ass wide open over this. Loss of dollars up on the revenue line has obviously gotten his attention. Loss of dollars off the bottom line will get it so much more. Figure out what his libel insurance ceiling is and then double than son of a bitch.

  257. 257
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Nancy:

    Very true, as I mentioned at the bottom of my post.

  258. 258
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Death Panel Truck:

    The median average income for an individual American worker, pre-tax, is about $27,000/yr. Paying $1,000 a year for birth control alone, therefore, is indeed pretty unreasonable.

  259. 259
    Fanshawe says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    I don’t believe you need to prove malice for libel per se, and proving falsity (that she does not in fact work as a prostitute) is a pretty easy hurdle to clear.

    You do, generally. The standard common law libel per se rules only release Plaintiff from proving damages, so you still have to prove mailce (or whatever the releveant knowlege standard is). Imagine I interviewed a local police officer and she told me that some newly minted public figure had been arrested for prostitution and she then showed me a mugshot and a police report. If I reported that, and it turned out that the police officer was lying and the documents were forgeries, I could likely mount a successful defense on the basis that I had every reason to believe that my report was true. Public Figure X would probably have a good case against the police officer though. Like I said, maybe there’s a jurisdiction out there that does things slightly differently, but that’s the general rule.

    In any event, as you mention, in this case it’s kind of immaterial. Limbaugh wouldn’t argue that he had a good faith belief that Fluke was literally a prostitute, or that he was asserting that as a factual statement. He would argue that he was engaging in hyperbole for the purposes of political commentary.

  260. 260
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Death Panel Truck: I live in Scotland. Prescriptions are free here as are doctor’s visits, medical treatment, optical examinations and glasses etc. No co-pays either. Contraception is so much a no-brainer medical right in this country that the antics of the USian moralists on the subject inspire amusement leavened with mind-boggling incredulity, like watching witch doctors shaking their bone rattles to drive off demons in old NatGeo flicks.

  261. 261
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Now that just warms my heart to no end. I like it that the radio station said that they will not be used to launch personal attacks against someone, as El Lardo did.

    I hope this is just one raindrop of a coming torrential storm for him.

    The detestable asshole deserves every drop of it.

  262. 262
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Fanshawe:

    Limbaugh wouldn’t argue that he had a good faith belief that Fluke was literally a prostitute, or that he was asserting that as a factual statement. He would argue that he was engaging in hyperbole for the purposes of political commentary.

    Yep, he’ll claim it was all satire on a public figure, and it’s not his fault if she can’t take a joke.

  263. 263
    Svensker says:

    @Robert Sneddon:

    Contraception is so much a no-brainer medical right in this country that the antics of the USian moralists on the subject inspire amusement leavened with mind-boggling incredulity, like watching witch doctors shaking their bone rattles to drive off demons in old NatGeo flicks

    Sadly, that’s not too far wrong.

  264. 264
    Fanshawe says:

    @262

    Basically. American libel law grants a very wide berth to assholes.

  265. 265
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    This comment at Redstate really made me lol:

    Rush has been maligned and called every evil, filthy, insulting name in the book and never once did Republican women come to his defense and put forth press releases.

    For some reason this comes across as a comment from a very conservative man who hasn’t a clue about women, just his preconceived notions of what’s right for them. The poor soul is bewildered as to why women wouldn’t rush to the defense of Rush, as if he’s been the biggest support of women.

    Ignorance is a common malady on the right, one that they try to spread as far as possible and have been fairly successful at.

    Now it’s time to make them pay for that ignorance.

  266. 266
    Barney says:

    Rush’s 53 Smears Against Sandra Fluke, courtesy of JohnKWilson on Daily Kos.

  267. 267
    eyelessgame says:

    I gotta say this about Frum – he’s wrong about a lot, but he really does show integrity… and not the kind of stopped-clock Turing-test-failing “integrity” of R*n Pa*l, but the kind of integrity that comes from self-searching, honest critique of people he would rather be supporting, and revising his conclusions based on new data.

    Frum is the kind of guy I am happy to disagree with, and proud to share my country with. Republicans like Frum I can debate, I can have hope of convincing them on some issues around the margins, I can compromise with them and trust them to keep their promises. And I believe he’s more about making a better country (even if he has a different way of going about it) than about Winning The Fight Against Us.

    And partly for that reason he’s the kind of conservative who, once in a while, can convince me of something, on the margins. He’s worth reading and his arguments are worth listening to — generally then rejecting, but when rejecting them it’s for good reasons, and not trivial ones.

    It may be damning with faint praise to say he’s the kind of Republican I can share my country with and not feel ashamed, but praise it is nonetheless. Making more Republicans into people like Frum would be an accomplishment on a par with making more Democrats into people like Bernie Sanders.

  268. 268

    […] dissected by John Cole at Balloon […]

  269. 269
    Frank says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    I guess that commenter hasn’t paid attention; how about the woman in charge of the California GOP who called a defender of Fluke a slut?

  270. 270
    Tonal Crow says:

    FSM is it great to see that master propagandist in such trouble. Even most of the commenters at Yahoo — which has, for years, been positively stiff with wingnuts of the worst description — are heaping it on.

    Could the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (Republican War on Women division) be tottering?

  271. 271
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Frank:

    He probably dismissed her out of hand because since she’s a woman, nothing she says is important so her opinion doesn’t matter?

    Yeah, sounds reasonable to me.

  272. 272
    Mat says:

    I’m surprised Fluke hasn’t sued Rush for slander. Seems like an appropriate response to me.

  273. 273
    Jessie says:

    @Amy:

    This comment is accurate. If she spends 3000 in 4 years for condemns and her partner also has 3000 for condemns this is over 6000 condoms. Considering there are 1465 days in this time period they can have protected sex twice a day; everday!

    How does she have time to study?

    Me thinks Rush is on to something.

  274. 274
    Hob says:

    @Catsy, @colby, @J.W. Hamner, et al. – everyone who’s bothering to respond to Watson… seriously, don’t bother. This guy (aka derf, Billy Beane, etc.) has been coming here for years, and his thing is just to say that Cole is stupid, and then insult everyone else for a while and say that they’re missing the point… then eventually someone realizes “oh it’s just derf”, and then he calls that person “my little groupie” and declares victory. That’s literally ALL he does. He’s not a right-wing troll– just a sad attention-troll– he has no discernible political beliefs except for the opposite of whatever Cole just said, and he’ll keep repeating the same non-argument for as long as it amuses him.

  275. 275
    Roger says:

    He did not call her a slut or prostitute toy lying left winger He said from your own quote awe would call them sluts or prostitutes How about Bill Maher calling Sarah Palin a cunt or Jerry Brown calling Meg Whitman a whore Did you say anything about that leftist swine

  276. 276
    Mnemosyne says:

    You know things are bad when they send out the half-literate trolls.

  277. 277
    Some Loser says:

    @Roger:

    We liberals are so bad. You got us, sir. We are the real assholes, and I am not being sarcastic. Limbaugh was in the right because some leftist asshole somewhere said a derogatory term about a wingnut asshole. We’s sorry.

  278. 278
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Hopefully this will bring down Limpbag once and for all. He sounds dazed and confused this week. I guess he’s so used to getting away with his sexism/racism that he’s shocked that people are holding him accountable for his actions.

    Horrible, ugly man.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] dissected by John Cole at Balloon […]

  2. […] Cole has a good analysis on the lies Rush Limbaugh had to tell before he could conclude that Sandra Fluke was a slut and a […]

  3. […] Cole gives that filthy whoremongering jackal Rush Limbaugh and his supporters a good solid punch in the teeth. Limbaugh and his supporters in the GOP continue their War on […]

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