PALM BEACH, Fla. – Radio giant Rush Limbaugh offered a second apology to a Georgetown University graduate student today after calling her a “slut” and “prostitute” last week, saying he descended to the level of the left, and added he would replace the advertisers who have abandoned his show over the controversy.
“I became like the people we oppose. I ended up descending to their level,” Limbaugh said. “It’s important not to be like them, particularly in fighting them.”
Limbaugh had used the derogatory terms in an attempt to be absurd, as 30-year-old Sandra Fluke had testified before Congress in favor of insurance-covered birth control for women.
“I acted too much like the leftists who despise me,” Limbaugh continued. “I descended to their level using names and exaggerations to describe Sandra Fluke. It’s what we have come to know and expect from them, but it’s way beneath me. It’s wrong and that’s why I apologized, because I succumbed. I descended to their level. Don’t be mad at them or mad at her. Everybody here was being true to their nature except me. I’m the one who had the failing on this, and for that I genuinely apologize for using those words to describe Ms. Fluke.”
Limbaugh had posted an apology to Fluke on Saturday on his website, but Fluke told ABC today she found it wanting.
“I don’t think that a statement like this issued, saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything, and especially when that statement is issued when he’s under significant pressure from his sponsors who have begun to pull their support,” she said.
Indeed, the case has prompted at least eight advertisers to drop Limbaugh’s show. They include AOL, ProFlowers, Quicken Loans, mattress retailers Sleep Train and Sleep Number, software maker Citrix Systems, data-backup service provider Carbonite and online legal document services company LegalZoom.
“The left, the media, is giddy that some advertisers have said they’re leaving the program, and I’m sorry to see them go,” Limbaugh explained. “They have profited handsomely from you. These advertisers who have split the scene have done very well due to their access to you, my audience, from this program. … Now they’ve chosen to deny themselves that access, and that’s a business decision and it’s theirs alone to make. They’ve decided they don’t want you or their business anymore.
“For me, this program is always about you. … It’s all for the audience. Because if you’re not there, all the rest of this is academic. This show is about you. It’s not about the advertisers. I knew the political inclinations of these people. They didn’t care when they were profiting and I didn’t either. Everybody’s able to put these things aside for the sake of mutual beneficial business activity.”
Limbaugh said he’d replace those advertisers, noting, “I reject millions of advertising dollars each year much to the chagrin of my hardworking sales staff … including General Motors.”
He said only the political left uses threats to achieve its goals.
“We don’t suppress the speech or voices of those with whom we disagree,” he added.
Clear Channel’s Premiere Radio Networks Inc., which hosts Limbaugh’s program, is expressing unwavering support for Limbaugh, whose contract runs through 2016.
“The contraception debate is one that sparks strong emotion and opinions on both sides of the issue,” Premiere Networks told the Associated Press. “We respect the right of Mr. Limbaugh, as well as the rights of those who disagree with him, to express those opinions.”
Limbaugh also turned his focus on President Obama in his opening hour concerning the issue.
“This administration actually has an enemies list. This administration actually calls the names of private citizens and holds them up for ridicule and attack, and encourages those attacks; private citizens who simply disagree and who do nothing more than speak constitutionally protected words. Have you ever thought what kind of people they are who are literally threatened to death by words? That’s President Obama and his supporters at his political party. Words and publicly ridiculing.
“Some might say that we really aren’t private citizens anymore under this regime, that we are more like subjects. If we behave properly, then we need a pair of sneakers, we might get it. Need a new kitchen? We might get it. Don’t behave accordingly, and not only will you not get it, you’ll get called out and a nation of Obama supporters will attempt to ridicule you into silence and acquiescence.”
After apologizing to Fluke, Limbaugh said he was not going to wait for any apologies ever to come from the left:
“You won’t get apologies from people like Bill Maher or all the other leftists who have said some of the most horrible, despicable things about us, and people like Sarah Palin. They get rewarded for those despicable things. They get to make movies out of their despicable things and amplify them. But all of the other leftists that call me and other conservatives the most rude and explicit names, never an apology. In fact, they get patted on the back. Don’t expect apologies. They are never going to apologize to you or me or any of us. That’s the difference between them and us, and it’s one more reason why ultimately we will prevail over them.”