Monday, March 5, 2012

George Will and Matthew Dowd, on Rush Limbaugh and GOP leaders

From a story on The Huffington Post:

Conservative commentator George Will said on [ABC-TV's] "This Week" that he believes "Republican leaders are afraid of Rush Limbaugh."

“[House Speaker John] Boehner comes out and says Rush’s language was inappropriate. Using the salad fork for your entrĂ©e, that’s inappropriate. Not this stuff,” Will said. “And it was depressing because what it indicates is that the Republican leaders are afraid of Rush Limbaugh. They want to bomb Iran, but they’re afraid of Rush Limbaugh.”

Conservative political strategist Matthew Dowd said he agreed. ‪"I‬ think they don't have the courage to say what they say in quiet, which is, they think Rush Limbaugh is a buffoon," he said. "They don't think he's helpful in this marketplace. Nobody takes him seriously. If I were Mitt Romney, I would stand up and say, we need to change the political discourse in this country. Whatever words we use on the left or the right we need to change the political discourse."

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Advertisers Withdraw, Limbaugh Apologizes

Radio host Rush Limbaugh—who for years has specialized in malicious attacks—has apologized for his ugly words, last week, about Sandra Fluke. Fluke, a Georgetown law student, had spoken publicly in support of contraceptive-related health care coverage at Georgetown. (She also spoke about her support for the Obama administration's policy regarding contraceptives and health care plans.) Limbaugh spent part of three programs, last week, attacking her.

Limbaugh, in his statement of apology, said: “I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.” (sic) This, despite the fact that he had called Ms. Fluke a “slut,” and a “prostitute.”

In his Saturday apology, Limbaugh said: “My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”

Was Limbaugh’s apology sincere? Or was he, rather, seeking to avert further damage to his program? The apology, indeed, came after several advertisers announced that they were withdrawing from his show, because of his comments.

On Saturday—after Limbaugh’s apology—a statement was released by David Friend, CEO of one of Limbaugh’s sponsors, Carbonite, the on-line back-up company:

“No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady. Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency. Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show. We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse.”