Rush Limbaugh has apologized to Sandra Fluke. Sort of – he uses the opportunity to reiterate everything except the actual insults. If he were concerned about sincerity, he wouldn’t have buried the apology on Saturday afternoon, he have delivered it in the same medium as he did the attack.
Here’s what the move by Limbaugh means:
- His lawyers told him that a libel suit had merit, and
- he was feeling the backlash against his advertisers.
Here’s what it doesn’t mean: Limbaugh’s opponents have won. On the contrary, this is a transparently obvious attempt to hose down the heat a little, not strategically unlike what the Komen Foundation tried with its fake apology last month. If those of us who were appalled (if not exactly surprised) by Limbaugh’s latest round of Cro-Magnon spew take today’s PR stunt as a genuine victory, it teaches him and his hatecasting fellow-travelers that you can say or do anything - all that’s required is a fauxpology, released as several big games are in crunch time, and by Monday the controversy is gone.
As Frank Balsinger’s insightful take earlier today illustrated, nothing about Limbaugh’s act is new. Nothing, of course, except a potential lawsuit that his counsel would rather avoid and, I’m guessing, a good bit of ire from his advertisers, who’d just as soon the public be a little less focused on how they’re bankrolling anti-woman, anti-minority, anti-human values for three hours five days a week.
How do we know Team Oxycodone is sweating? It wasn’t that long ago that the head of the GOP was forced to apologize to Limbaugh. He doesn’t apologize, ever. The powerful apologize to him. Today’s announcement is like watching the episode of Happy Days where Fonzie is literally incapable of uttering the words “I’m sorry.”
So here’s what needs to happen next:
- We encourage Sandra Fluke to pursue a libel claim against Limbaugh, and
- the rest of us need to keep ball-stomping his advertisers until he’s so toxic that Stormfront won’t go near him.
Hammer down, folks.