‘I’m Sorry’ Don’t Right the Wrong

I could have sworn I heard Brenda Lee making a come back, singing “I’m sorry, so sorry, please accept my apologies.”

Being sorry and apologizing has become something of a fad these days — only recently a Montana judge apologized for sending President Barack Obama an e-mail that the judge himself said was racist. He apologized and said he was sorry.

Gregg Williams, the former Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator, apologized for instituting a bounty system for both teams, handing out cash rewards to players who executed exceptionally tough hits on opposing offensive players, giving points for knockouts and stretcher-inducing hits. He said, among other things, that he was, of course, sorry.

And now, to paraphrase the late President Richard Nixon, it’s conservative talk show Rush Limbaugh’s turn in the shooting barrel. Limbaugh, whose reputation for nuance when it comes to what he says on his talk show, is nil, is up to -- we believe -- his third apology, 21st lost advertiser and two drops from radio stations. Quite a little fire storm in that booth.

So what did the vitriolic, bombastic Limbaugh do this time? Quite a lot. He attacked a Georgetown University law student named Sandra Fluke, who wanted to testify on why her college’s health plan should cover contraception pills.

Here are the most offensive—we think—parts of Limbaugh’s take: “What does it say about the college coed Sandra 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? Makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraceptives. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex.”

Later, he added that he wanted her to post videos of her sexual activities.

At first, Limbaugh said he was just trying to be humorous because he is, after all, about satire. Limbaugh’s lion-like Wednesday sermon was followed Saturday by a squeaky, mouse-like statement on his website. “My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir,” that statement reads. “I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”

Those two words were inappropriate and uncalled for,” Limbaugh said “They distracted from the point I was actually trying to make, and again I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for using those two words.”

Somehow, this doesn’t quite meet the standard for a sincere apologies, or any notion of just what a stink he made by what he said. Anybody with a daughter, a mother, a wife or just a general respect for women should be ready to burn Limbaugh’s house down. Just being satirical.

It wasn’t just the two words — offensive, vile and personal as they may be in this case.

It was the casual way they were strutted out as if it’s just the most natural thing to say about anybody.

Given Limbaugh’s status as a powerful and influential conservative, Republicans and conservatives respondedly weakly. Rick Santorum said Limbaugh’s comments were “absurd.” Mitt Romney said, “I would have said something different” or some such words, leading to wonder what that might have been. House Speaker John Boehner called his statements “inappropriate.” No, sir — wearing an orange tie to an Irish bar on St. Patrick’s day is inappropriate (and dangerous). Calling a smart, intelligent law student a slut and a prostitute — calling any woman that — is, well . . . let Don Imus say it: “Rush Limbaugh is an insincere pig, vile and gutless.”

It takes a little doing to be insulted by Don Imus, but there you are.

Or let’s hear it from Senator John McCain, who called Limbaughs’ comments “totally unacceptable” and “should be condemned by everyone. “

So there. As for writing about this matter, I hope no one was offended or upset. If so, well, you know the drill: I’m sorry. So sorry. Please accept my apology. Thank you, Brenda Lee.

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Tue, 2 Sep 2014 00:16:35 -0400

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