Wherein I tear Rush a new bunghole, explain why I feel called to do so, and expose some of his supporters for being simpletons in their own words.
I would just like to take a quick moment to thank the many, many readers that took the time to read my previous post about Carbonite’s initial lukewarm stance on supporting Rush Limbaugh with advertising dollars and CEO David Friend’s subsequent reversal (not that I caused it, but hey, it sounds good lined up like that). I’m still new to sharing my own insights to a potentially wide audience, so reaching just that many of you was, to me personally, a big deal. Thank you. To those of you who thoughtfully commented in agreement, thank you for making your voices heard. Many of you spoke more eloquently about the subject, and more pithily, than I could or did.
And for those that commented in the negative, in support of Rush, in opposition to Carbonite’s reversal…thank you as well. I can’t or won’t speak for other writers here or elsewhere, but I welcome the opposition. You make your own cases better than I can, for better or worse. I’ve tried to see the world through your lens, but I cannot. We inherently disagree on many core issues, often vehemently. That, however, doesn’t mean I want to shut down discourse. More talk is better talk.
To that end, I want to cover an already well-worn path today, Rush’s non-apology. To be fair, far more influential writers have already tackled this issue.
(Actual quotes from Rush in green): For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.
I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit?In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.
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.
Allow me to share with you how I read this, in my own words. It would help if you hear this subtext (printed in blue), as I perceive it, in Rush’s voice, since that’s how it comes across to me. Also, here’s a pretty picture. I edited it myself. Granted, it’s not as good as the Obama/Joker/Hitler/devil images out there, but the spirit’s the same. That’s okay, right? Besides, how much effort was it worth? It’s just Rush.
I have made an incredibly long habit of demeaning those elements of society I oppose, and their positions on pretty much everything, as absurd. I don’t give liberals, Democrats, women, blacks, immigrants, the poor, the unemployed, the downtrodden, the disenfranchised, the disheartened any credence or respect for being people with views that differ from my own, for being fellow Americans, for being those who also love their country, for being those who evaluate the issues for themselves, perhaps even look at the same body of evidence as I do, and arrive at entirely different conclusions about what is good for America and for Americans. No, they are simply absurd. Let me be clear, here. People that disagree with what I say are…no, no, look it up, I can prove my words mean things! Look it up!
Here, let me spell it out for you.
They are aburd.
Liberals are utterly senseless. I mean that literally. They have absolutely zero sense. Zilch. I don’t know how they get out the front door every morning without tripping over their shoes because they tied them together. No, that’s not fair. We know liberals don’t actually go out the front door. That would mean they have something productive to do. Or they’re climbing out a window. Stealthily. With their shoes tied together.
Liberal senselessness is obvious. I mean, can’t you just SEE that, what with all their facts and figures and charts and graphs in support of what they say, complete with references to reputable sources. It’s ridiculous!
Liberals are illogical. I would demonstrate that for you by closely analysing their arguments to see if those arguments necessarily lead to the conclusions they reach about the issues they consider, but I’m an opportunist that abuses logic to my own ends and I’m cynical enough to assume you, my loyal audience, are too stupid and uneducated to actually follow a logical analysis. Besides, if I did that, you’d start thinking about what I say and then where would we be? It’s much easier to say liberals are illogical because I know you’ll just take my word for it.
Liberals’ words are untrue. Here’s the truth folks. When liberals say “this” is “that”, you know how to tell it’s untrue? It’s because they say it. I don’t need to prove that “this” is not actually “that”. All I have to do is malign someone as absurd first. That takes care of the need for any proof on my part at all. You still want some proof? That’s easy. All I have to do is compare “this” to “anything other than that” and call it “that”. Here, let me make it easy for you. They say ketchup is a vegetable. This is that. I throw out the word “vegetable” and use “elephant” instead. See? Clearly ketchup is not an elephant, so they are wrong. And when they are wrong, they are saying something that’s untrue. And what is someone who says untrue things? You got it, a liar. Liberals are notorious liars!
What liberals say, think, and do is contrary to all reason. I mean that literally. ALL reason. It is absolutely, utterly impossible to find a single, solitary rational argument that might even come close to supporting a single thing they say. It just cannot be done. Ever. You might want to consider that next time you step on the brakes in your car. It’s possible a liberal might have designed those brakes. If that’s the case, you’re toast. There’s no logical way for those brakes to work. What I won’t tell you is that if you find a single case of a liberal being right about something, the word ALL no longer works, and if that’s the case, then SOME of what they say makes sense, but then we’d have to start thinking about what they say and we can’t have that, now can we?
It’s the same thing for common sense. Nothing they say, think, or do makes any common sense. At all. If the right thing to do is go bomb some dark-skinned nation into the Stone Age (before Creation), silly liberals want to do things like think about how many dark-skinned children would be killed in the bombing. What a load of horse-hockey! Senseless. But you know, and I know, that if, let’s say, Iran gets the bomb, they instantly have thirty million bajillion of them and will destroy every last liberal elite filled city in America, and then they will blow up your shack, and your pickup and your gun rack and your dog. And they will get away with it, because the Magic Negro will have magically taken all your guns so you can’t shoot the nukes out of the sky before they hit your dog!
Everything liberals say, think, and do is simply laughably foolish and false. THAT is why I don’t need to ever indulge in facts or prove anything to you. Liberals are laughable. It’s that what they say, think, and do is so utterly, completely stupid as to not merit even the slightest moment of taking them seriously. Think about this folks. Almost half the country is liberal. Take my word for it. I made it up, so it’s true. That means that half of Americans are mouth-breathing imbeciles with drool on their chins and their feet tied together. How did we get in this mess? Public schools. If we had vouchers and good, old-fashioned Bible-believing schools for REAL thinkers, they could wipe the drool of their chins, lace up their shoes properly, and hop on the dinosaurs to ride off into the apocalyptic sunset with Jesus and the cavemen to a free-market utopia where federal government is dead in the bottom of the tub and states, because they have all the governing power, will just naturally do the right thing and abolish law and taxes, and put blacks, women and atheists back in their place (even on burning stakes), all while harmoniously working together without a referee! See, that’s just it folks. Life would be like a perfect, never-ending football game, but the players will have automatic weapons and nobody will tell them how to play.
Liberals are just laughable I tell you.
And that’s just up to the first word that speaks volumes about the person making the dissembling non-apology. Is it any wonder I read so slowly? Actually, I don’t.
Imagine this is Marvin the Paranoid Android. No such thing as Creative Commons images for it.
And what does Rush illustrate the absurd with?
I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week.
I spend fifteen hours a week on the radio making a complete jackass of myself. For fifteen hours a week, I am utterly senseless.
For fifteen hours a week, my senselessness is completely obvious.
For fifteen hours a week, I am illogical.
For fifteen hours a week (plus the incredibly rare non-apology) my words are untrue.
For fifteen hours a week, all I say, think, or do is contrary to all reason.
For fifteen hours a week, everything I say, think, and do is laughably foolish and false.
And you know what the beauty of it is? Every week, 15+ MILLION listeners tune in and eat this shit up. And they think I mean it! They swallow it hook, line, and sinker.
Hey, you, listener:
We’re finally out of the first damned sentence!
Having more than sufficiently made that point, I’ll go easy on you, Dear Reader, and be a bit more forthright in shredding the remainder.
I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation.
Here’s Sandra Fluke before Congress:
Just in case you suffer from a hearing impairment or are prone to auditory hallucinations, here’s the transcript in PDF format .
“What does it say about the college co-ed Susan [sic] Fluke who goes before a Congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex. What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We’re the pimps. The johns. That’s right. We would be the johns. No! We’re not the john…well. yurmjaaaaaawelllthe*shitting noise*ahh, that’s right, pimp’s not the right word. Okay, she’s not a slut, she’s round-heeled.
I take it back.”
If challenging your senses of sight and hearing aren’t sufficient, maybe you need it spelled out for you on a menu board so you can touch the letters? What, do we need to encode it in flavors and spell it out for you in hard candy? Maybe I just need to translate it into scent, eat the right meal and pass it on to you that way. If, at this stage, you still think that Rush is actually referring to anything in reality with his comments above, it honestly, simply means one of two things…you are too lazy to hear or read her actual words and think for yourself or you have actually gone through the Herculean feat of listening to a woman for eleven minutes and are still too much of a moron to understand words. If that’s the case, good for you, Og. You can have your friend stop reading this article to you and drag a piece of raw meat back to your cave. Troglodyte.
I challenge anyone to map out how Rush’s comment above is even remotely associated with the actual words of Sandra Fluke before Congress. When you’re done, please get to work on a perpetual motion machine. The world is in desperate need of geniuses who can accomplish the impossible.
Analogy: a similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be based.
Not to be confused with taking Rush to heart as though it were a serious study of politics and current events, cf. anusology. See: sphincter. Colloquially, asshole.
To translate an actual statement into an utter prevarication is not an analogy. It’s such a fictional paraphrase of what was never actually said as to be a lie. On the stand in front of a court of law, it would be perjury. In the Bible, it would be bearing false witness. By the tenets of Christianity, it’s the kind of statement that could only be inspired and authored by the Father of Lies.
Maybe you just need a Ministry video to understand this.
What Limbaugh doesn’t want you to notice is exactly where in his falsehood-infested diatribe his use of analogy occurs. Look again.
There’s your analogy. Fluke is to prostitute as taxpayers are to pimps. No, johns.
For the analogy to even stick, first his reference to Sandra Fluke as a prostitute has to stick.
What Limbaugh doesn’t want you to realize about his choice of the wrong words is that his failure at language occurs in this section:
No! We’re not the john…well.
that’s right, pimp’s not the right word.
Okay, she’s not a slut, she’s round heeled.”
See? He merely had a difficult time finding a nicer way to malign Sandra Fluke’s moral fiber as a woman of easy virtue. Which, for that matter, doesn’t translate into an exchange of money for services rendered. Which destroys the analogy. Which new phrasing still, since it signifies the same thing as “slut”, calls Ms. Fluke a slut. Maybe he just doesn’t want you to hear that bit of the clip because it really does sound like he’s trying to shit a gerbil or something there, doesn’t it?
Rush is a liar. No. Wait. Rush prevaricates. I take it back.
In other words, when Rush libelously put absolute fictions in Sandra Fluke’s mouth and then castigated her for being a slut and a prostitute, he did not mean that as a personal attack. By extension, when a mugger hits you on the head and takes your money, it’s nothing personal. When a hired assassin shoots you, it nothing personal. It’s just business.
Stripped of Rushisms (a nicer way to say lies): “I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke” means – All in a day’s work, ma’am. I get paid to lie, lie, lie. I get paid very, very well for it, and I get to laugh at villages of idiots all the way to the bank each and every day. You slut.
During these very serious political times, when the Republican party is doing everything it can with Koch dollars and ALEC mentorship to strip women and minorities of inalienable civil rights it is absolutely preposterous that anyone would stand up in defense of those whose rights are being trampled. Gone are the days of knighthood and valor! See a victim? Kick ‘em when they’re down then take a hot, steaming piss on them. America!
In this particular case of words strung together in the apparent image of meaning, he inadvertently speaks far more truth than I have ever heard come out of his mouth. It IS absolutely absurd that, with a troubled economy, staggering unemployment, and a lingering war (all a damning legacy of the current president’s predecessor, George Bush the Absurd), with sabers rattling against Iran, with Syria all but begging for a little Western-flavored regime change, with China tweaking their currency and fully engaged in a hot trade war with us, with a failed educational system that puts no stock in critical thinking, with political failed-drug-war and gang-fueled instability on our southern border, with an increasingly environmentally-hostile government on our northern border, with spurious legal attacks on private landowners from foreign corporations, with anthropogenic climate change (which theory is espoused by 97% of climate scientists, sorry, your bookie and your butcher don’t count as such), with Big Ag monoculture, with Monsanto/Dow collaboration to corner the market on foodstuffs (hardly food until actual evidence is in), what we have is a shrill, grating bunch of “spiritual” miscreants (a group I now just think of as Leviticans) that call themselves Christian while eschewing all things Christlike (a Satanic practice if ever I heard of one) convincing Americans by any means necessary that their small numbers equal a supermajority with an overwhelming mandate to dominate women and drive reproductive rights and women’s health back to the pre-Enlightenment Middle Ages, to say nothing of their intent to dominate the electoral process, to dominate the Seven Mountains of Dominionist fake theology, all without ever having to utter a word of unequivocal truth in the process.
THAT is absurd. Thank you, Rush, for calling that to our attention.
Straw man, pure and simple. Nobody but Rush, in his dissembling statements, opened Rush’s mouth to make the case that taxpayers should subsidize recreational sex. He made that up out of whole cloth. It’s a patently silly idea. If someone were to make it in seriousness, I’d attack it myself. It would be as easy to knock down as a top-heavy domino. So he knocks down the fake argument and claims a victory. Good for you, Rush, for embedding an outright logical fallacy in your so-called apology.
Given (forced to take, maybe) the opportunity to make good on your libel with a genuine apology in a show of authentic contrition, you then continue with your specious grandstanding…
What happened to personal responsibility and accountability?
Where do we draw the line?
If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow?
Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers
for all students that are interested in running to keep fit?
Indeed, Rush, what did happen to personal responsibility and accountability. You lied. You libeled. Own it without turning it into a platform for perpetuating your bullshit and maybe clear-thinking people would finally have a reason to give you credit for an iota of honesty.
Put it this way. I poke someone with a fork. It hurts. I laugh. They get mad. They yell at me. I don’t like them yelling at me. They take away my cheeseburger. I want my cheeseburger back. So I apologize.
“Look, Bub,” I say. I’m really sorry I poked you with a fork like that. My bad. I’m sorry.”
See, that is an apology. It’s short. It’s simple.
If I feel the need to demonstrate that I have learned the error of my ways, maybe I could throw in a little something extra like, “Now that I look back on it, I can see that poking you with a fork caused you pain and left four little holes in you that are still bleeding and that was wrong. It really isn’t a funny thing at all. It was cruel. I shouldn’t have laughed. I’m sorry.”
That might just show Bub I’m serious.
“Are you okay? Should I take you to a doctor? That actually looks pretty serious. At the very least, it’s going to bruise.”
Now Bub has no doubt.
But if I punch Bub in the mouth and laugh while I hand him his teeth and call him a wimp, an apology that includes, “but dude, you shouldn’t go throwing your face at my swinging fist like that, so really it’s your fault even though you did no such thing” is no apology at all.
Really, it’s just bullshit to get my cheeseburger back.
It doesn’t matter what else was in your monologue. The context doesn’t matter. I can talk about cheeseburgers and monkeys for an hour before, and cars and shoelaces for an hour after, but if in between I say, “Have you heard Rush’s apology?! He admits right in his apology that he fellates goats, can’t stop fellating goats, fellates goats ALL the time. Rush, have you ever heard of not fellating goats? Have you ever heard of not fellating so many goats?” it’s a safe bet that the content before and after is absolutely moot. To claim otherwise is ignorant at best, disingenuous at worst.
I guess that depends on your goal, Rush. If your goal is to incite ignoramuses into a tizzy over a fake issue that you singlehandedly manufactured in the interest of ratings, advertising dollars, and pandering to the basest instincts of a schoolyard bully mentality, your words may have well been the very best on the planet.
Do you ever watch comedians, Rush. I watched your segment. Your delivery is not comedic. Your body language is not comedic. Your facial expressions are not comedic. If those elements are essential to comedy (and they are not), you suck at it. Your tone isn’t comedic. If you mean it to be, you suck at it. It sounds petty, belligerent, and hateful. That just leaves your words.
You lied when you said, “[Sandra Fluke] says that she must be paid to have sex. What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.”
That was supposed to be a real knee-slapper? A rib-splitter? A funny-bone tickler? A gut-buster? You can honestly look a priest/judge/child/your own mom in the eye and say, “I really, really, REALLY thought that when I said that, yokels across the country would fall off their suitcases of cheap beer with laughter”? Maybe you can. You’re a special breed of person who claims to find things funny that sensible, decent people don’t. Do you also giggle when you tear the wings off butterflies? When you step on kittens? When you set a dog’s tail on fire? Maybe just when you see a depiction of such? What else do you find funny? Was Platoon a laugh riot? Maybe you cheered during Pretty Woman when Jason Alexander’s character backhanded Julia Roberts? Did Mississippi Burning make you wish for a bag of marshmallows to supplement your mirth?
Be honest, Rush. Like all humans, you’re mortal. As said in the Old Testament somewhere, your days are numbered. You have a finite amount of time to decide to stop being a liar. Did you really think calling a woman a slut and a prostitute was funny? Do you really think even your own audience is stupid enough to think you did? For the sake of argument, let’s just say you did and that you think your audience found it hi-larious. Just what kind of person does that make you, Rush? Would your parents be proud? Would your grandparents be proud? If so, shame on them, too.
You’ll just have to forgive the less credulous among us for entertaining doubts about your sincerity. You are, after all, a self-described absurdist. This, seriously, is the funniest thing I’ve heard from you in a long, long time.
You want an apology that would be taken seriously? Put it in writing, on your website, that you are genuinely sorry for utterly and completely misrepresenting Ms. Fluke’s testimony before Congress. Indicate, word by word, where your statements diverged from reality and truth. Acknowledge that women are not second class citizens or chattel, and that using words like slut and prostitute to characterize those with whom you disagree on genuine grounds is nothing but shameful misogyny. Announce that you are taking a sensitivity class, since your moral compass in this respect is clearly lacking and perhaps needs some coarse adjustment. Take the class. Report favorably on it. Give it free plugs on your show for a year and a day. Encourage your audience to think critically about the facts as they are actually available, not just as you routinely cherry-pick them and misconstrue them when you bother with them at all.
I’m done with you. Get right with yourself before your fat-encrusted heart puts you in a piano box with a headstone above it that may as well read, “unrepentant liar to the end.”
Now as for you news editors and journalists out there, I’ve got a bone to pick with some of you.
For the moment, I have you broken into two camps. Those that understand what apologies are and those that don’t. From the first camp will be found such headlines as:
You’ll note that the first camp is represented solely by blogs. I’m sorry there’s not more examples. I got tired from clicking the “next” button on my Google search page looking for suitable examples in the results.
From the second camp we have, well, it looks like damned near everybody. Google the phrase “Rush apologizes” (without quotes) and see the results for yourself.
Let’s see, what news outlets appear in the search that couldn’t be bothered to toss a couple of quotation marks around the word apology, thus indicating its suspect nature?
San Francisco Chronicle
The list goes on and on, bloggers and big media, left and right. And what do these latter have in common? Simply this…by reporting on Rush’s statement as an apology is to acknowledge that what he signifies by the word apology can be described as actually apologetic. I think I have amply demonstrated otherwise. Maybe these journalists, MSM and blogger alike, felt obliged to just report on “the facts”. Fact: Rush said he apologized, therefore “Rush apologizes”.
Okay. I fart. But I say I’m whistling Dixie. News at 7: Frank whistles Dixie. What’s wrong here?
If they want to report on the actual fact, how about this simple bit of extreme fact observance: “Rush issues statement, creates appearance of apology”?
This is a bigger issue than it seems, since it casts a glaring stink-eye on the current pit of malapropism our modern day fourth estate has become. When the press can be aptly described as a rubber stamp for PR flaks, policy wonks, public officials and even other talking heads, what it engages in is something other than journalism. I’m not entirely sure I would call it propaganda. A house divided and all that. More apropos would be disinformation. News items routinely fail any inspection that even bears a whiff of critical thinking. Issues are not what they are purported to be. Arguments, as presented, do not cohere. Tacit and often damning assumptions are left out (more’s the pity since that’s where the real story probably lurks). Conclusions reached are not necessarily rationally predicated on the arguments presented. Other reasonable conclusions based on the evidence are usually not presented. It’s just one. Big. Rubber. STAMP. that reads, “Think This”. If this describes you as a journalist or you as an editor, I know you have a paycheck to grab and mouths to feed and all that, but find a backbone will ya? Have a little dignity. Practice your craft or just admit you’re just a a propagandist on your best days, here to reinforce a horribly dysfunctional status quo. I hope that makes your next meal taste extra delicious while you chew on it.
Last, and least, we come to the Dittoheads that rush to Rush’s defense.
If you are the kind of person who would utter such nonsense as follows: a) I’d almost wager (almost, not quite) you didn’t actually read this whole article. It’s tl;dr, too many syllables, too thinky, too not like you for you. b) I have grave doubts about your ability to actually process facts that cause anything remotely like cognitive dissonance behind those stone walls you call foreheads. Surprise me. C’mon. Pleasantly surprise me. Show me your rational human side. Suffer 11 minutes of Ms. Fluke speaking. I did, after all, make the video readily available for you. Look at Rush’s words. Then, here’s the hard part. Take a deep breath. Shake off what you think you know and just ask yourself the simple question: Do Rush’s remarks quoted above accurately reflect the statement by Ms. Fluke on which he was opining?
Here’s the kinds of things said by people who are either unwilling or unable to critically think about the world around them:
(Actual readers’ comments in pink): I listened to the whole show to see what the hullaballoo was all about. I don’t get it. Out here in the hinterlands, any women that stands up in front of the world and says she needs $3000 of contraceptives a year in order to survive, and then asks me to pay for it, has already labeled herself purty good. Heck, old Limbaugh is just negotiating the price.
What this listener clearly either didn’t listen to or chooses to not acknowledge are Ms. Fluke’s actual words.
Well dear friends in the liberal fruitcake blogosphere… I am going to just let the marketplace work, for the moment CEO “Friend”pulls Carbonites advertising from the smartest talk show host in the country (that would be Rush) I leave Carbonite.
This one clearly misses the distinction between, “If you endores this crazy bullshit I’m taking my money elsewhere” and “If you don’t endorse my crazy bullshit, I’m taking my money elsewhere.” I’m unclear as to how this commenter defines smart, but it applies the word to Rush. Is Rush smart? I don’t know. He strings words together into provocative sentences and the grammar and syntax are basically okay. Does he assess actual facts and logically arrive at sound conclusions?
I will just pull my accounts and go somewhere else, it’s really so simple. Unlike you liberals who only have one account each to be sure you don’t lose your saved pictures of Nancy Pelosi or other such pornography ..
Oh, a wise guy. Or is that a stooge?
I too listened to the whole show. As usual, all of the outrage is from people who only catch ‘snippets’ of Limbaugh’s show or hear comments from others who don’t like him and they jump on the bandwagon. Sadly, this country is chock full of people like that. Indeed she did make the comment about needing $3k per year. Seriously, do you REALLY think that it’s the taxpayers’ obligation to pay for men or women to have sex?
This one, too, may have listened to Rush’s whole show, but clearly spent zero time on Ms. Fluke’s statement in order to reach their conclusion.
This one seems to think there is an appropriate context for lies and for calling women sluts and prostitutes. Way to show off your moral fiber! They almost get the second half right. We take them out of moot contexts because, as they stand, they are indicative of the ignorance and hatred to which Rush panders.
Do I really need to go on? No. I do not think I do. So I leave you with one last parting shot.
You know who else loved a little slut-shaming while lying to people about the evils of his day?
Jesus. Just ask Mary Magdelene. Oh, wait. I take that back.
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