Radio giant Rush Limbaugh, often a lightning rod for national controversy, was targeted by the National Organization for Women in a protest Friday, but only seven women showed up for the event in the nation’s capital.
The event took place outside WMAL Radio, the Washington, D.C., affiliate which carries Limbaugh’s top-rated program.
Erin Matson, NOW Action vice president, spoke with the Daily Caller to explain that Limbaugh went over the line with comments earlier this year about Georgetown graduate student Sandra about Fluke when she pushed for insurance-covered birth control.
“Rush captured a new generation of women’s attention when he went on a long sexist tirade against Sandra Fluke for daring to speak up for birth-control access,” Matson said.
“He called her a slut and prostitute, repeatedly demanded that she air herself having sex on the Internet, all for speaking up for birth control as a matter of public policy. This is hate speech that’s meant to silence all women.
“He’s had a history since he’s been on the air about … Since he came on, you know, in the late eighties, 1988, of going after women, of going after people of color, of going after gay people. So, you know, it’s really… It’s… This is… We’re supporting a community response.”
Matson also claimed it was a “smart business decision” for radio stations and advertisers to leave Limbaugh.
“Women are the majority of consumers in this country and we influence or make over 80 percent of the consumer decisions,” she said.
Limbaugh, who months ago apologized for his personal comments about Fluke, reacted to the protest today on the air, saying:
“The NAGs had everybody believing that a major, major protest was going to happen. It was the National Association of Gals, the NAGs. That’s our affectionate term (and I mean that: affectionate) for the National Organization for Women. It was the NAGs working in conjunction with Media Matters for America to finally, once-and-for-all get me after the radio. It’s not enough for them to turn it off if they don’t like it. Nope! They have to get me off the air and claim, at the same time, that all women agree with them and want me off the air. I’m just too mean of a big, bad brute – and I have to be fired, thrown away, discarded, gotten rid of.”
Reporter Caroline May of the Daily Caller asked Matson, “Did you happen to see his new Facebook page he launched as a direct response to your campaign, the Rush Babes for America? I believe he termed it ‘The National Organization of Rush Babes.’ I’m a wondering if you had any thoughts on that, and the 60-plus thousand women who have signed it.”
Matson answered, "Of course, Rush wants to make this all about him. Honestly, this is about our community and what's decent speech and really standing up for good treatment of women. And so... So... I... I'm not gonna fall into his trap of: Let's make this all about me. It's not about him. The era of his brand of thinking is over, and we're moving on."
An incredulous Limbaugh reacted to that statement, saying today: "See, I'm minding my own business. They announce a protest of me. They announce their objective is to get me thrown off of the air. They announce that they have got to get rid of me. And somehow I am making it 'all about me.'
"Well, in their world, I guess it is logic that somehow I am making this 'all about me.' But what am I protesting? They are protesting me, and I'm making this about me? How does that work? You think that's it? It's just I'm a man; therefore I am to blame? I guess."