By Greg Bloom, Online Communications Director
In the sideshow-like carnival that is the media and publicity, it is often thought that there is no such thing as bad attention. Any wild act that gives a personality or organization expensive air time is seen as a positive thing that should be manipulated to the fullest extent by said entity. After all, we are fighting through a smorgasbord of cat YouTube videos, status updates and Lindsay Lohan debacles that are constantly fighting for our attention. Any free publicity is good. After all, paid advertisements and air time on major networks can be very, very expensive.
But sometimes there are exceptions to the rule.
Conservative braggart Rush Limbaugh is finding that out the hard way. Currently, the hippopotamus-shaped Republican with the voice of a sea-lion is facing attacks from women’s-rights advocates, mainstream media and the general bad favor of many Americans with his recent verbal nausea in which he equates women who receive government-funded contraceptives and birth control as “sluts” and “prostitutes.”
This was an accusation against Sandra Fluke, who is past president of Georgetown University’s chapter of Law Students for Reproductive Justice. Ms. Fluke has lobbied for Georgetown to include the cost of contraceptive as part of the university’s health insurance for students.
The disgusting accusations didn’t stop there for Limbaugh, who insisted he reveal his twisted perspective on the rights of women in society.
“I will buy all of the women at Georgetown University as much aspirin to put between their knees as they want. … So Miss 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. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch,” said Limbaugh, March 1, 2012.
It’s hard to argue that these obscenities are taken out of context. In these few sentences, Limbaugh showcases blatantly that not only is he a hate-mongering misogynist, he is also abhorrently ignorant on the major American issues such as health care and how unwanted pregnancy destabilizes and negatively affects the economy.
If his lack of intellect or soul didn’t tell Limbaugh he shouldn’t have opened his mouth, maybe his pocket will.
Major advertisers such as Bare Escentuals, Sensa Weight-Loss System and Vitocost have all sent out messages to the media saying they will no longer advertise with Limbaugh.
Companies are making sure to get as far away from the talk-show host as possible. Sears, AutoZone and Century 21 have all sent out messages online explicitly denying any ties with Limbaugh.
Former Genesis front man Peter Gabriel has even demanded Limbaugh stop using his music on the show.
I don’t think Limbaugh is being dishonest. I do believe his views on women in society are just as abusive, misguided, discriminatory and misogynistic as his comments would lead one to believe. And I believe censorship for the sake of political correctness is always a sin of the media. Yet I do believe Limbaugh will learn a lesson late in his entertainment life that sometimes it might be a good idea to craft your ideas in a way that won’t offend any rational person with half a soul. Maybe it isn’t a good idea to spread abusive hate speech that neither expresses a rational argument nor reveals the humanity of its speaker.
Maybe what his brain couldn’t tell him, his wallet will.