HOW TO SCREW UP AN ARGUMENT EVEN WHEN YOU HAVE A POINT

So, Rush Limbaugh. By this point you know what he said, so I'm not going to recount it here. Here is the laundry list if you're curious, uninformed, or a glutton for punishment. Let's momentarily ignore the fact that Limbaugh is a sad, sad excuse for a human being who has to keep ratcheting up the shock factor to get attention because he's not relevant anymore, and therefore we're playing into his hands by talking about him. Let's also ignore the fact that I'm pretty goddamn sure he doesn't understand how birth control pills work, as he apparently believes that one can have "so much sex, she’s going broke buying contraceptives and wants us to buy them." This strongly implies that he thinks that birth control pills are taken each time a woman has sex. I think he's got them confused with his limp dick pills. But we digress.

After his half-assed non-apology, forthcoming only under the direct threat of having his radio show advertisers abandon him, the conservative media have gone into overdrive trying to turn this story to their advantage. This has taken the tried-and-true "But nobody complains when libruls do it!" format for the most part. As usual, this has involved collecting cherry picked quotes, misquotes, and totally irrelevant statements and presenting them as evidence that "the liberals" are every bit the misogynist pigs that Rush Limbaugh is.

Kirsten Powers has put together one such list, one that has achieved fairly wide circulation on the internets. One thing caught my eye:

During the 2008 election Ed Schultz said on his radio show that Sarah Palin set off a "bimbo alert." He called Laura Ingraham a "right-wing slut." (He later apologized.) He once even took to his blog to call yours truly a "bimbo" for the offense of quoting him accurately in a New York Post column.

Thus Powers starts off with a fair point. Whether it's Ed Schultz, Rush Limbaugh, or Walter Cronkite, media commentators can certainly do better than calling women bimbos and sluts. Shame on Ed Schultz. And as much as it pains me to say it, Powers is correct in pointing out that there was little to no outrage surrounding Schultz's comments (although he was suspended by MSNBC). While we could argue qualitative points about whether Schultz's comments are as "bad" as Limbaugh's, the point holds. This could have turned into a good column for Powers.

Then she remembered her agenda, and things went downhill in a hurry.

Keith Olbermann has said that conservative commentator S.E. Cupp should have been aborted by her parents, apparently because he finds her having opinions offensive. He called Michelle Malkin a "mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick." He found it newsworthy to discuss Carrie Prejean’s breasts on his MSNBC show. His solution for dealing with Hillary Clinton, who he thought should drop out of the presidential race, was to find "somebody who can take her into a room and only he comes out."

OK. That stuff really isn't misogynist. It's mean. It might be over the line of good taste in Cupp's case. It might just be unnecessary and irrelevant with the Prejean story. It might be juvenile to make cracks about Malkin's (ghastly) appearance rather than focusing on her (idiotic) ideas. But I think you would be hard pressed to label those comments misogynist, either in a vacuum or compared to Limbaugh's recent rants.

Left-wing darling Matt Taibbi wrote on his blog in 2009, "When I read [Malkin’s] stuff, I imagine her narrating her text, book-on-tape style, with a big, hairy set of balls in her mouth." In a Rolling Stone article about Secretary of State Clinton, he referred to her "flabby arms." When feminist writer Erica Jong criticized him for it, he responded by referring to Jong as an "800-year old sex novelist."

Hmm. I guess the balls-in-mouth thing is borderline at best, but the other two comments are about age and appearance. And the number of instances in which Taibbi has mocked the appearance of male political figures is longer than the phone book. So perhaps a better criticism would be his shallowness. Those quotes make pretty meager evidence for woman-hating.

Then things go completely off the rails.

In Taibbi’s profile of Congresswoman and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann he labeled her "batshit crazy." (Oh, those "crazy" women with their hormones and all.)

Wow. OK. That's really reaching. Like, that's possibly the lamest effort to paint someone as a misogynist that I've ever seen. It's akin to calling Al Sharpton an asshole and then scare-quoting "asshole" as evidence that you hate black people.

Chris Matthews’s sickening misogyny was made famous in 2008, when he obsessively tore down Hillary Clinton for standing between Barack Obama and the presidency, something that Matthews could not abide. Over the years he has referred to the former first lady, senator and presidential candidate and current secretary of state as a "she-devil," "Nurse Ratched," and "Madame Defarge." Matthews has also called Clinton "witchy," "anti-male," and "uppity" and once claimed she won her Senate seat only because her "husband messed around."

This is weak sauce for so many reasons. First, do you really want to play the "Let's look at what pundits have called Hillary Clinton over the years" game, Kirsten? Second, I agree with the general consensus that Chris Matthews is a condescending, chauvinist asshead who would have fit right in with the media of the 1950s. This laundry list of words uttered about Clinton, however, hardly provide much evidence of that. I mean, calling someone "Madame Defarge" is hardly the sort of thing that would get the interest groups in a tizzy, even if Glenn Beck said it. Then she really stretches things:

Matthews has wondered aloud whether Sarah Palin is even "capable of thinking" and has called Bachmann a "balloon head" and said she was "lucky we still don’t have literacy tests out there."

Once again, those quotes have absolutely nothing to do with the main argument in this column.

The author then devotes a paragraph to Bill Maher quotes. We are all inescapably aware of the fact that Bill Maher is a jagoff. He's a paranoid, attention starved conspiracy theorist who thinks Jenny McCarthy is an authority on vaccination. After trying to suggest that Bill Maher is really important and well respected among liberals, she notes:

Maher has called Palin a "dumb twat" and dropped the C-word in describing the former Alaska governor. He called Palin and Congresswoman Bachmann "boobs" and "two bimbos." He said of the former vice-presidential candidate, "She is not a mean girl. She is a crazy girl with mean ideas." He recently made a joke about Rick Santorum’s wife using a vibrator.

Again, anyone who thinks it's appropriate to call women twats, bimbos, and cunts in any setting is an asshole. Point taken. The rest, once again, is irrelevant. He called Sarah Palin mean? Heavens!

So basically the take home points here are: A) Ed Schultz called someone a slut and a bimbo, for which he was rightfully suspended, and B) Bill Maher uses words like cunt and bimbo to describe female political figures. Everything else here, including the implication that Maher is held in great esteem on the left, is tangential at best and irrelevant at worst. She could have focused on Schultz and Maher, recounting in detail how various feminist figures and blogs failed to make the same stink that they have made over Limbaugh. That would have been a point earned and taken. Instead she got greedy, presumably because she didn't think two examples would be enough. She needed a parade of misogynist comments to give this argument gravitas. The finished product is so full of red herrings and flat-out lousy reasoning that the valid points she could have made end up lost among the nonsense.

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76 Responses to “HOW TO SCREW UP AN ARGUMENT EVEN WHEN YOU HAVE A POINT”

  1. Zeb Says:

    Of course, the other obvious difference is that as bad as these commentators' comments were, they weren't advocating misogynistic and harmful policy positions. Schultz, Maher, Olbermann, etc. are indeed assholes, but they aren't actively trying to deprive poor women of basic health care.

  2. J. Dryden Says:

    Powers's spurious logic is cleverly simplistic:

    I hate, say, Powers and Sarah Palin.
    Powers and Sarah Palin are women.
    Therefore, I hate women.

    Which, literally, is true. I hate two (or more) people with the XX chromosome, thus I do, in fact, hate women. Not *all* women. Just *those* women. But by leaving out the article, we can make me seem misogynist. Which I'm not, because Powers ignores the crucial element: Whether or not I hate these women *because* they are women, which is the acid test for misogyny. (For the record, I do not. Nor, indeed, do I hate them at all. I merely dislike them, and for reasons that have nothing to do with their primary/secondary sexual apparatuses.)

    Which, oddly enough, causes me to revisit Limbaugh's commentary. Is it stupid, vicious, low-minded, weak-hearted, ugly? "Yes," and "hell, yes" to all. But is it misogynist? That is, was it motivated by Ms. Fluke's sex, or merely because he disagreed with her politics, and chose to make the attack ad hominem? (Or, I suppose 'ad feminam.')

    Answer, for me at least: Yes, he's a misogynist, and his attack on her was prompted by the degree to which she, as a woman, was not expressing views in accordance with the gender role his Neanderthal beliefs impose upon her. Even if he was simply using misogynist language in order to be more effectively hateful (which, it seems, is what a lot of his defenders are claiming–"he wasn't being sexist, just 'harsh'"), there's not a whole lot of difference between someone who *acts* bigoted and someone who *is* bigoted.

  3. duck-billed placelot Says:

    Uh. Imma have to disagree with you here. Is Bachmann any crazier than Santorum? Or any of the other god-botherer, anti-science freaks? Calling a woman crazy, hysterical, emotional has a very long, ugly history. So, yeah, singling Bachmann out of the insanity that is the Republican leadership and calling her batshit crazy certainly adds to the overwhelming misogynist treatment that female politicians receive the in the media. And to pretend like the treatment of Hillary Clinton isn't misogynist is almost willfully blind. Bill Maher isn't the defacto head of the Democratic Party, but he is a major media voice on the left, and a raging misogynist asshole.

    Both/and, Ed. Both Rush Limbaugh/the right wing are active assholes working to curtail the freedom and lives of women AND many prominent 'liberal' voices are misogynists who occasionally pay lip service to women's rights.

  4. Grumpygradstudent Says:

    I love Bill Maher. Other than his weird health rants, I think his show is consistently brilliant. (which is probably mostly his writers, but whatever). And he is attention starved in the sense that he is famous and has a television show and promotes his career whenever possible…which is what people in show business are supposed to do.

  5. Juniper Says:

    I would argue that the difference here is that Ms. Fluke is a private citizen thrust into the spotlight, whereas the others are political figures who are public figures. Because of Limbaugh's actions, this woman has now become a public figure and he's attempted to discredit her character. There is no comparison.

    Plus now, Limbaugh is attempted to gaslight us all by saying we misunderstood his satire. Nice try, but I don't think so.

  6. Ben Says:

    Similar point to duck-billed placelot:

    Derogatory comments about the appearance of a woman in the public arena are inherently sexist. Just like comments about the cleanliness or intelligence of a black guy, or the spending habits of a Jew, or the laundry-prowess of an oriental in the public arena are inherently racist.

    Because they're stereotypes. Sexist and racist stereotypes. They're feeding the idea that women/minorities etc. have only a few roles to play in public discourse. That's why the same remarks about a straight white guy aren't nearly as bad. And whether or not the speaker intends to reenforce those stereotypes and roles, that's what they're functionally doing.

  7. Middle Seaman Says:

    It's late; I am tired; what exactly is the issue here?

    Above you find a list of mean spirited people: Malkin and Schultz, Bachmann and Matthews, Palin and Olbermann. For me they all contribute poison to our society. The Republican women mentioned belong to a party that is actively and knowingly terrorizes the American people. Matthews and Olbermann help Obama be elected. The two did it meanly, cruelly, frequently, obsessively and severely by attacking for no obvious reasons a person that didn't deserve it; nobody does.

    There are obviously undercurrents of misogyny in all the men mentioned in all of the above. How strong is the undercurrent? Who cares.

  8. Number Three Says:

    Derogatory comments about the appearance of a woman in the public arena are inherently sexist.

    This is one of those unwritten rules that trips up a lot of men.

  9. SA Says:

    Yeah, echoing above comments – the rhetoric quoted in the post here is pretty much all colored by sexism, misogyny, patriarchy, etc. Sorry Ed. Yep, it happens on the left, and no, it's not true that "the Left is silent about it" unless by "the Left" one means "the same dudes who are saying the sexist shit to begin with," it's just that nobody listens to those angry hairy feminists anyway unless we're telling pimps how to get an abortion for their hos on a Breitbart video or something, and then what we have to say is a really critical, central part of the Democratic Party's platform personally signed off on by that Kenyan Obama (no racist).

    I mean, Michael Moore pulled some seriously tired, sexist shit today *while supposedly defending women* as if he learned nothing at all from the whole #mooreandme schooling a while back. Penn Jilette makes like he's this big defender of freedom unless you happen to be a woman who doesn't amuse him and then you're a cunt. It gives me a pain in my stabbing hand, to have to fight back against this shit from guys who are supposedly in some kind of progressive or civil libertarian corner, but then this same hypocrisy is what allows Ron Paul to flourish and be beloved by a certain type of anti-war pot smoking "progressive" white guy who doesn't get that maybe it's deeply uncool to line up behind a guy who thinks women shouldn't get to control their own reproduction.

    Same old sexism, different day. Limbaugh just has decades of daily douchebaggery and an ability to issue marching orders to the Tea Party wing of the Republivangelists, so his megaphone is bigger and goes right to the Man on the Street.

  10. c u n d gulag Says:

    "The finished product is so full of red herrings and flat-out lousy reasoning that the valid points she could have made end up lost among the nonsense."

    And this means what to the rubes who want to believe what she wrote? Or Malkin? Or Coulter. Or any male defending Rush?

    The more you present empirical evidence to the knuckle-dragging, cave-dwelling, Conservative morons, to show them how wrong they are, the deeper they dig into the trenches of their own mental delusion.

    But the real point here is that when "Liberal" jack-off's make sexist and stupid comments, they are usually 'one-off's.'

    In other words, neither Schultz nor any of the others mentioned, including the red-herrings, spent 3 HOURS A DAY FOR 3 F*CKING DAYS, like "The Round Mound of Sound" did, doing continuously escalating misogynistic rants – asking for sex-tapes from women, if they want their birth control pills paid for. A tape, incidentally, that Limp-bough wouldn't watch if you paid him – but there's no amount he wouldn't pay if you offered him "Cub Scout Troop K-Y – In Action For The First Time!"

    None of them, like "Rushba the Hut," took the evidence a woman gave at a Congressional hearing about how "The Pill" is used medicinally beyond mere birth control, and turned it into her saying she was popping them like Tic-Tac's because she was schtupping every male in sight, and waking around campus bow-legged and exhausted, begging for more.

    None of them on the 4th day, after issuing a "no-pology" apology, spent that 4th day basically denying his apology, saying that the only thing he did wrong was in using the word "slut," and blaming Liberals for what he said – because he claimed in doing so, he stooped to our level.

    If Liberals do something like this, they apologize, and are punished with either suspension, or losing their job.

    When Democratic politicians cross the line, like McGreevey, Spitzer, or Wiener, stray and stray outside of marriage, they are forced to resign.
    Republicans stay in office, and frequently get reelected, like "Diaper Dave" Vitter. Ensign and Foley are the exceptions, not the rule.

    On the plus side, 'Rushba the Hut' is hemorrhaging sponsors. Let's make sure he loses more of them. All of them – at least the ones with a conscience. There's nothing we can do about Gold Line, since they never had one.

    The only thing that piece of human garbage cares about is money. Hit him in the wallet where it hurts, and watch him squeal like a pig. And that's what he's doing now – squealing and whining, desperate to keep his sponsors.

    Keep the pressure on. Maybe he'll have one to many Oxycontin, washed down with a super-sized triple-bacon-and-cheese-burger, with gravy-covered fries, and a Jumbo Jolt Cola with Jim Beam.

    Then he can join his friend Breitbart in that circle of Hell where the devils will use his ass, mouth, and every other orifice, to see how long and how hard they can keep his punishment, and their sexual gratification, up. And that means all eternity.

    God, I wish I believed in Hell!

  11. Major Kong Says:

    "Is Bachmann any crazier than Santorum? Or any of the other god-botherer, anti-science freaks?"

    No crazier than Santorum is still, you know, pretty crazy.

  12. JazzBumpa Says:

    Juniper hits on a salient point. All the females criticized by libruls and/or Bill Maher (who is a centrist with libertarian tendencies who only looks librul because he isn't insane) are 1) overtly attention seeking, 2) in the public sphere, professionally, which makes them fair game, and 3) more or less what they were described to be in the recorded insults. And all the cited instances are flip, one-off comments.

    Ms Fluke is private citizen who had the guts to testify before congress. Limbaugh subjected her to 3 straight days – 9 on-air hours – of personal attacks, vilifying her, her family, female college students, and females in general – but most particularly her.

    The false equivalence reeks.

    Plus, what Limbaugh said is basically shit he made up. Fluke was mainly testifying in behalf of a classmate who needed the hormonal treatment for a non-birth-control-related medical condition.

    I disagree with Ed on this, though.

    1) We cannot conclude that Limbaugh doesn't understand how birth control works. That may be true, but it may not. Limbaugh will say anything, irrespective of truth or falsehood, if it serves his purpose. There is no way to know what he understands, because he is playing to an audience that he knows is stupid, and won't fact check him.

    BTW, here is the Schultz comment:

    "President Obama is going to be visiting Joplin, Mo., on Sunday but you know what they’re talking about, like this right-wing slut, what’s her name?, Laura Ingraham?” he said on his radio show. “Yeah, she’s a talk slut. You see, she was, back in the day, praising President Reagan when he was drinking a beer overseas. But now that Obama’s doing it, they’re working him over.”

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/05/msnbcs-ed-schultz-calls-radio-host-laura-ingraham-a-right-wing-slut.php

    He was cailing Ingraham a media whore, which is very much not the same thing. And he took his punishment like a man. Plus, he learned from the incident, and doesn't speak that way any more.

    Not so Rush.

    So it's still a big, fetid scoop of IOKIYAR.

    JzB

  13. John Says:

    Really though, the proper take-away point is that this (and other Republican defenses of Pillbaugh) never actually have the decency to say "And this is wrong, and Rush should be suspended or otherwise rebuked for this". They just list off instances of it on the other side of the aisle and cry "BUT THEY DO IT SO NYAH".

    I will never understand why the American public is content to be ruled by people with the mentality of fucking four year olds on a playground.

  14. Sluggo Says:

    Triple bonus points for using the word 'jagoff'!!!!!! It brings me back to the Northwest Side!!!!!

    I just don't hear stuff like that in the South.

  15. bb in GA Says:

    Here’s what I believe I understand about this controversy as a consumer of ‘right wing’ media and Mr. Limbaugh himself.

    First, Rush has predicted on more than one occasion that he would eventually be brought down by the Liberal enemy. I thought it might be more manufactured like the “Phony Soldiers Controversy” or the Michael J Fox phony controversy or the granddaddy of them all “Barack, the magic Negro” (which emanated from two AA columnists at the LA times) We will see if Rush, like Nixon, “gave them the gun..”

    I am not railing here, but observing and recapping what I think I know, so please correct what you think are errors in fact and show me any bias points.

    Ms Fluke is a ‘player’ in the Liberal cause generally with an activist history.

    Originally the Ds had Mr. Barry Lynn vetted and scheduled to testify at Rep Issa’s Oversight Comm and the subject matter revolved around the Constitutional issues of religious freedom relative to the mandated employer paid insurance for contraception. Mr. Lynn is a liberal Christian preacher and noted for his advocacy of ‘separation of church and state’ in the political conversation.

    The afternoon before his scheduled testimony, the Ds wanted to switch him out for Ms. Fluke because they didn’t really want to talk about the President’s policy, but wanted to bring up the ‘side show’ issue of the contraception access controversy (Ms Fluke’s cause.)

    Issa’s R run committee said No, that Ms Fluke had not been vetted and from what they knew, she had no standing that was germane to the subject at hand.

    Female congressional figures immediately launched ‘sexism,’ misogyny, etc. at Issa et al. Issa did not budge, so the Ds had a subcommittee meeting which they apparently controlled and provided Ms Fluke the opportunity to testify.

    The MSM and conversational double standard for right wingers is real and I accept it. If y’all have followed any of my blathering here, you might notice that I don’t engage in bucket mouthing any of y’all. I’m still working on my love walk, but some of y’all here haven’t made it yet :-), but it still does no good to cuss fight with liberals. And Rush should know better and hold himself to that higher standard.

    I don’t think Ms. Fluke is a victim in the same way the Rutgers Women’s BB team was when Don Imus referred to them in a derogatory fashion. She’s a player and her case is similar to the Laura Ingraham/Ed Schultz, although in that situation the sniper was more obscure than the target. Limbaugh/Fluke reverses that.

    We’ll see if it is Liberal wishful thinking that Ms Fluke could be the pulled pin in the hand grenade that Rush has jumped on. He claims that he turns down millions in ads every year.

    Won’t it be galling for some of y’all if he just runs the second stringers in there and continues to cash the checks?

    And please, Mr. L is on over 600 stations, let’s dispense with “He ain’t relevant anymore, or he has to gin up ratings by being controversial” stuff. Libs have been saying that for almost 20 years.

    He may fall over this, but up to this point he has owned that world…

    //bb

  16. anotherbozo Says:

    I was still mulling over accusations (justifiable, it seemed) of Chris's sexist remarks from yesterday. Distinct from calling Chris himself a sexist, by the way, but the remarks were. And since sexism is the subject today, maybe I can report my conclusion that, as a black academic reported re: the Jeremy Lin phenom and the barrage of Chinese stereotypes that ensued in the media, Context is Everything. In other words, the state of mind and discernible values of the speaker.

    Ex: "That cunt fired my wife."

    Most likely, not sexist, if we can infer that the speaker is partial to his wife, and thus likes at least one woman. Nevertheless, a tenuous case, and will be until, as I said, the playing field is level and/or "cunt" takes on the generic quality as "dick," which has just about lost its sexual identification; I've heard "dickish behavior" applied to women.

    I recall Barbara Bush saying that what she thought of Hilary Clinton "rhymes with witch." Again, and maybe more convincingly, the context suggests that Ms Bush was not demeaning all women, she being one herself.

    My wife is demanding I do something more important, but I needed to record my shock that Ed would dismiss Bill Maher, of all people. (A "jagoff?" Is that like jackoff? What's a euphemism doing here, in this blog?) Along with Grumpygradstudent, I think Maher's terrific, and as he is well known to hold many women in extremely high esteem, when he uses sexist pejoratives he's doing so playfully, or as adjunct to other demeaning adjectives that aren't sexist, or just for the sound of the phrase. He's a comic, after all. And "paranoid"? Don't get that at all.

    I add that to the disconnect that is Ed's aversion to Shakespeare. But a discussion of Maher vis a vis Ed's comedic idols, would be more interesting.

  17. Major Kong Says:

    What's truly amazing about the GOP today is how terrified they are to piss off Rush or Fox News.

    It's like the party has been taken over by its media machine and the tail is now very much wagging the dog.

  18. xynzee Says:

    What CU said.

    This whole thing – not just the bloated, but Governor VagProbe as well as the whole slough of anti-abortion crap we've seen since 2010 – and then we add this to the injury:
    http://www.ksee24.com/news/local/Wisconsin-Bill-Says-Single-Mothers-Responsible-for-Child-Abuse-141508403.html

    Now let's check the Right's line of thinking.
    Abortion: BAD!! Okay I can get this one. I can see how this one works, and personally I do have moral issues with it. In a perfect world this wouldn't be on the table.

    Woman keeps kid: BAD!!! I can see this one too. It's much better for children to be raised by two parents as one can stay home and nurture them (kids *really* need this) and one can bring home the bacon. But abuse? Really? As a man – who's only coming to a point to have earned that title – who's spent years as a complete and total drop kick and flake, I can really can understand why many women would rather go it alone.

    Contraceptives: Über super evil!!!! What the…???

    For some odd reason this keeps reminding me of this:
    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john%208:1-11&version=ESV

    Wait a second! Jewish law stated that *both* parties were to be stoned to death. So if there's a woman who's been caught in adultery, then by logical conclusion that means there was a second party to this. Correct?
    So effectively, the self-righteous of Jesus' time are doing the same thing today.

    So whilst we're giving those horrible, evil, temptresses a serve, how about some serious laws to make us guys lift our games?

    I propose that *any* guy who knocks up a woman and then "skips town" (divorce included), has his balls slowly crushed in a vice. Minimum time being two days, as it's gotta be close replication of labour and delivery imposed upon a woman. This can be increased towards the number of children he's fathered with a woman – better hope you're not Catholic or Mormon with lots of kids, you could be there for a month.

    We can start with pretty much any member of the GOP as they seem to be pretty good at this thing, just ask Arnie.

    I reckon this more than anything will lower the number of single mother pregnancies rather dramatically.

    Someone I went to uni with, was all for Fluke going to prison for perjury for claiming that "contraceptives can cost over $3000", as there's no possible way that it could cost that much.. He grabbed some NIH data from 1982 for the first year costing about $172.
    He later corrected this to a more current Planned Parenthood estimate of $50/mo. after another friend pointed this out (a male).

    At this point, I had to throw my pearls before swine and entered the fray. Pointing out that this reflected being over three years, that many Gov't agencies are means tested to access and have pretty solid floors to access their services, that often The Pill is often used for conditions like ovarian cysts and that major variables are Doctors' and the costs for the lab tests. The interesting thing about this whole argument are the following:
    A) He's married w/ kids and therefore should have a pretty good understanding of how the Pill works
    B) I'm single and remember much of this stuff from 7th grade Bio.
    C) Not a single woman chimed in.

    Why is a single guy with no experience of this stuff in the first instance, having to argue this on his own. Yes, men need to renounce any guy who talks like that bloated corpse does, but where are the women? It's partly for these reasons that contraception is even a debatable topic. Too many women have sat back and smiled sweetly as some drop kick they call a man spouts off.

  19. MasterD Says:

    The big difference between Schultz's offense versus Limbaugh's?

    Schultz delivered a 9 minute long and (to all appearances) sincere apology at the top of his program. He has never spoken in that manner about anyone since.

    Equivalence? What a joke.

  20. acer Says:

    Conservatives love these "political incorrectness" discussions because they refract the discussion further and further from policy.

    Limbaugh's logic, and that of his followers, bespeaks a foul ignorance of the issues at hand – how birth control works, how certain drugs are distributed, and the costs and benefits of taking some civic responsibility for preventing unwanted pregnancy. It doesn't matter because the less Rush knows, the more "entertaining" and "controversial" he is.

    Gutter language comes from society's downtrodden. I find it cathartic and amusing when it is used in their service.

    @bb:
    This fight is as old as the wind, but: Your "Rush is the king of talk radio" point eclipses your "the monolithic Media picks on poor widdle conservatives" point. The latter is another case of righties co-opting identity politics because they think that whining about persecution has been an affective rhetorical tactic for lefties, and it renders their supposed championship of free markets and personal responsibility paradoxical.

  21. Jer Says:

    Conservatives are undeniably bigger women-haters as shown through proposed legislation, but I don't think we need to give pass to many of the liberal commentators you do?

    I'm sorry but Taibbi wouldn't make comments about "reading, book-on-tape style, with balls in her mouth" about a man. Shit like that needs to be called out as the misogyny it is or it's not going to get better. We're supposed to be the side that gets it.

  22. Nan Says:

    Does anyone under the age of 50 even know who Madame DeFarge is? I used to bring my knitting to department seminars, and whenever an older faculty member made a joke about Madame DeFarge, all the grad students just looked baffled.

  23. acer Says:

    Considering all the shocking and inflammatory rhetoric that's been employed in the service of extreme libertarianism, I think it's fair that SOME on the left are allowed to fight back in the language of pure abuse.

    http://www.alternet.org/media/80507?page=entire

    These guys could have saved themselves a lot of embarrassment had they not bothered to defend a corrupt, grandstanding piece of shit like Darrell Issa. He belongs on KFI.

  24. Major Kong Says:

    I certainly wouldn't want Rush taken off the air. Having him there gives an unfiltered look into the id of the GOP base.

    Lets us know what we're dealing with.

  25. bb in GA Says:

    @acer

    You wanna try that again?

    You are so inside leftist baseball combined with my ignorance that I have no idea what you said other than you think you can't be king of something and still be 'persecuted' (a little strong) at the same time.

    I maintain that its sort a like walking and getting kicked in the ass at the same time.

    //bb

  26. Jonathan Says:

    Major Kong, how much *more* do you need to look at? By now it should be quite clear that "what we're dealing with" is the lords dividing their serfs against one another with convenient fictions (Dominionist abuse/rape culture on one hand, anodyne socialism delivered via crony capitalism on the other) to make them somewhat self-policing and easier to manage.

    If you really think that voting Democratic is going to restore a proper power balance between the 1% and the 99%, you haven't been paying attention. Perhaps you were too busy rooting for "your bastards" to notice that they bargained away social insurance in favor of the goddamn GOP 15-30% private tax on health care they wanted in the first place, or keep babbling about "jobs jobs jobs" as if effective near-slavery were something to aspire to, or even let anyone to the right of Kucinich in the party. By their works you will know them, and they're on the same goddamn team as the Other Team.

    The lords aren't going to cut themselves down to size. It's disappointing to say such a thing, but it's disappointing that I apparently have to say such an obvious thing. All this effort spent on tugs-of-war, over such minutiae as who owns what part of a woman's uterus when, is effort taken from economic justice, without which there can be no stable social justice.

    You're either for the system or against it, kids.

  27. Major Kong Says:

    @bb

    It's kind of like how we always hear "The media's liberal! The media's liberal!…………but everybody watches Fox because the ratings!"

  28. bb in GA Says:

    @major kong

    Haven't you heard the litany before? It goes like this…

    The Left has the ABC, NBC (and children), CBS, CNN, NY Times, LA Times, WaPo, and most other big city newspapers.

    The old brag is still true, I think, "More people get their news from ABC News than blah blah blah"

    Network news still pulls 15 million people per day while Fox is down there in the 3 – 5 million range. Occasionally O'Reilly (an opinion show) has outdone the CBS competition.

    Fox does pretty well in election coverage ratings

    The Right has talk radio (led by RHL) and the editorial page of the WSJ, not its straight news reporting which has the normal leftist bent to it, Fox News, and various more minor newspapers.

    So the MSM is still the big dog in this fight and they are bent Left on most issues of the day. It is not an absolute uniformity, but a bias and a bent.

    Let's just say the I think the decision makers in the MSM would be more comfortable around Bill Maher than they would be around Tim Tebow.

    //bb

  29. acer Says:

    @bb:
    There is no "mainstream liberal media bias." Refusing to base news reports on right-wing talking points does not constitute one.

    Journalism is a purely commercial enterprise, attracting audiences which can then be sold to advertisers. If anything, the right is better at doing this because it's easy to be cynical, inflammatory and "stimulating" about government when you just want it to vanish outright. Plus, the government doesn't advertise; corporations do. Liberals have had a very, very spotty track record attempting to mimic the commercial success of Rush and FOX.

    The right champions personal responsibility and the ultimate wisdom of the free market. It expects historically persecuted minorities and the poor to rise up without any help from the system, which presumes that the time is ripe for this sort of thing – that is, if we could just cut a few more "programs" and if people would stop perceiving themselves as "victims," a fatal character flaw. To then turn around and complain that its own kind has been held back by the Media (a monolithic entity centrally controlled by mindless Obama fanatics) is the worst sort of hyporcisy.

    It only makes sense when you consider how angry conservatives got in the '80s and '90s about "special interest groups." They decided to set their responsibility narrarrative aside long enough to form a special interest group of their own.

    Tl;dr: I don't really give a fuck what Rush said about "sluts" (although I think most of his critics are well-intentioned). I don't give a fuck what Maher or Olbermann says about anything. Turning this into a fight about language and who-gets-to-say-what is a transparent diversion from the debate itself.

  30. acer Says:

    PS: If anything, I think all the "MSM" organs you mentioned have twisted themselves into pretzels trying to take every neo-con or Tea Party talking point seriously.

    But liberal bias is sneaky. Sometimes only hardcore conservatives can spot it.

  31. John Says:

    @BB:

    I believe the idea being put forth is that it is difficult to credibly label one's self as an oppressed underdog while simultaneously claiming to have the most truth/righteousness by virtue of the number of viewers/listeners to one's program.

    To wit: "The mainstream media oppresses us" is a statement that is logically incompatible with "We are the most popular media", unless 'mainstream' is defined as something other than the form with the most popular support. If you are the most popular form of media, then you are by most definitions mainstream, thus the mainstream cannot logically be allied against you.

  32. mothra Says:

    bb: where do you get your "facts" about the Lynn vs. Fluke as the chosen D representatives to Issa's sausage fest of a hearing on birth control funding? Is it just a teeny bit possible that the Ds switched to Fluke BECAUSE she was a woman and the Ds, after looking at the makeup of this entire hearing thought it bad optics to have yet another male weigh in on this issue?

    Also, I don't give a fine flying fuck if Ms. Fluke was organizing pro-choice rallies every day of her life and hosting fundraisers for pro-choice Democrats. It DOES NOT, and I repeat DOES NOT give Rush Limbaugh carte blanche to speak in the way he did about his fantasy about her sex life. It was offensive. Off the rails. Own it. If you support what he said for days upon end about Ms. Fluke simply because you think that she "put herself out there," well you're obviously beyond help on this one. The liberal media is not out to get Mr. Limbaugh. He went beyond the pale, at last. By the way, Mr. Limbaugh's ratings plummeted last year. If you think about it, he has a pretty small percentage of the population listening to him.

    And for all you guys out there who give Bill Maher a pass? No. He's a misogynist. Period. The way he treats women on his show is sometimes quite amazing. I think you kind of have to be a woman to see it. Mind you, I like his show and I watch it nearly every week, but I do cringe pretty often. And then there's his blind spot with regard to Israel, but I digress.

    C U N D Gulag–I think we might be soulmates. Har. But here's my idea of Hell for Limbaugh and Breitbart: solitary confinement.

  33. JazzBumpa Says:

    bb -

    The Left has the ABC, NBC (and children), CBS, CNN, NY Times, LA Times, WaPo, and most other big city newspapers.

    Wow. if you believe that, then you are really inside the bubble, to borrow Maher's phrase. And if you take Limbaugh seriously – ever – then your mind has been poisoned and corrupted. You need to scrub you brain with lye soap (to get rid of the lies) and a Brillo pad.

    The MSM tries so hard to plot a misdirected centrist course, due to baseless accusations like yours, that a great deal of reporting ends up being far to the right of center. All this false equivalence nonsense is typical.

    What the left has on TV is Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and Lawrence O'Donnell. Rachel is a pure progressive, which I suppose makes her a feminazi. Shultz is a converted rightie. I'm not so sure that O'Donnell is on the left, as much as it's that anyone who reports reality and aggressively goes after bigots, liars, and shills for mega-corporations will appear to be on the left from the typical right-wing parallax view.

    On the radio you can add Thom Hartmann, Randi Rhodes and Stephie Miller. When I listen to them I learn things. When you listen to Rush, you get misinformation, lies, half-truths, and innuendo. Your prejudices are reinforced. You are less informed than if you sat alone in a dark closet with your fingers in your ears. Your critical thinking skills deteriorate.

    There are dozens – maybe even hundreds of right wing talkers. Limbaugh is on 600 stations. The progressive station in the Detroit area has a weak signal, ongoing technical problems, and interrupts regular broadcasts for University of Toledo sporting events. I'm I U.T grad, and this makes ZERO sense to me.

    In short — the playing field is nowhere near even.

    JzB

  34. bb in GA Says:

    @mothra

    I contend that the Ds were brilliant in their deflection of the Issa hearing from a focus on the President's policy to focusing on contraception access issues that Ms Fluke represents.

    With brilliance by the Ds, comparative ineptitude of the Rs, AND the assistance of the MSM – we have a winner.

    BHO looks pretty good come the Fall if this keeps up.

    //bb

  35. bb in GA Says:

    @JzB

    I kinda like Rachel when she does that puckish tongue-in-cheek thing and the way she holds her head…cute

    //bubblehead (poison brained) brillo boy

  36. Elle Says:

    All this effort spent on tugs-of-war, over such minutiae as who owns what part of a woman's uterus when, is effort taken from economic justice, without which there can be no stable social justice.

    Er, no.

    Even if you have hitherto failed to see the very obvious and clear link between being able to decide how many children you have and participation in the formal labour market, women's right to healthcare and physical autonomy is not 'minutiae'.

  37. Surly Duff Says:

    Based on my reading she did not have a valid point in her article. Her point was not that misogynist speech is crude, stupid, and should be shamed, which would have been a valid point. I cannot fathom why everyone always feels the need to WIN. A proper response would have been Limbaugh made a horrible and irresponsible decision by using such crude and misogynist language to describe a woman who disagreed with his policy position. There have been instances when liberal commentators have used similar misogyny to describe conservative women, and these comments were just as wrong and inappropriate as Limbaugh's. Full stop. That's the point. But instead, there is some ridiculous need to point out that the "other side" does it too.

    And if you are going to do so, it would behoove you to avoid the false equivalency of comparing Rush's slut onslaught, with Schultz's instance where he publicly apologized and was suspended by the company for his language. As far as I know, Rush has spent the entire weekend calling the student a slut and he is still yammering about it. Stick to someone who the liberals cheered the use of misogyny and waved it off as, "They are just afraid because he is a truth-teller". And fuck Maher, he is an insufferable asshole.

  38. mothra Says:

    I contend that the Ds were brilliant in their deflection of the Issa hearing from a focus on the President's policy to focusing on contraception access issues that Ms Fluke represents.

    One and the same. Under the Affordable Care Act, all employers were required to provide insurance that would cover birth control and preventive reproductive health care. Some conservatives figured it was their time to flog this as a "Obama's Taking Away our FREEDOM OF RELIGION Issue" and Darryl Issa stepped up to carry the water in Congress. The issue IS and remains women's access to contraception and reproductive health care. The conservatives are the ones who are trying to shift the subject to something else so that they can punish the "slutty sluts" who won't let a man tell them when they may or may not have sex, what they may or may not do to their bodies for their own health. That is what Ms. Fluke testified to–what effect letting other people decide what healthcare women have access to can actually have on a woman's life.

    I am gathering the Ds wanted to shift the focus on what the Affordable Care Act really addressed–that women should have access to healthcare from insurance that THEY pay for and no one should be able to deny them that because of some bullshit excuse. And yes, some man in a red robe with a big hat and red Prada shoes who lives in Rom and tells you that you need to have babies counts as a bullshit excuse to deny me access to reproductive healthcare.

  39. mothra Says:

    Sorry. That should be "Rome."

  40. Elle Says:

    @anotherbozo

    Ex: "That cunt fired my wife."

    Most likely, not sexist, if we can infer that the speaker is partial to his wife, and thus likes at least one woman. Nevertheless, a tenuous case, and will be until, as I said, the playing field is level and/or "cunt" takes on the generic quality as "dick," which has just about lost its sexual identification; I've heard "dickish behavior" applied to women.

    I recall Barbara Bush saying that what she thought of Hilary Clinton "rhymes with witch." Again, and maybe more convincingly, the context suggests that Ms Bush was not demeaning all women, she being one herself.

    1. Having a wife / girlfriend / female fuckbuddy doesn't necessarily mean you like women at all, and certainly doesn't mean that you value women as full human beings, with the same kinds of thoughts, abilities, hopes, and aspirations as you.

    2. Liking one individual woman, or even a panoply of women, does not innoculate you against sexism, or make your sexist utterances magically non-sexist.

    3. Women can, and do, use sexist language all the time, and should be called out for doing that.

  41. Ben Says:

    Yeah bb, I agree with most of what you said. But there's a little clause in there that makes me worried: "Rush should have held himself to this higher standard"

    There's a difference between:

    Rush going on for hours about the actual slutiness of a particular person, and saying she wants to have sex on someone else's dime and that she has so much sex she spends $3,000 having sex and that she should make a sex tape so we at least have something so show for our money etc. I've only read excerpts but it was a large part of his program for three straight days, right?

    And Ed Schultz using a prostitution metaphor like "media whore" and "talk slut". Or Bill Maher tossing off one-liners like calling Palin a bimbo.

    Schultz and Maher are still using sexist tropes, and it'd be better if they didn't. But that's such small potatoes compared to what Rush did. It's not even a difference in degree, it's a difference in kind.

    Because the problem with what Rush did isn't only that he's used terms that re-enforce the idea that there are only a few specific roles women can play in public discourse. He's explicitly endorsing the idea that those specific roles should, in fact, be the only ones women can play. He's reveling in it. He's saying it's a good thing. It's not subtext any more, it's text. And by doing it over large amounts of time on his three hour show over the course of three days, he's sending the message that it's very important that women be relegated to these few roles. It's right, and it's important. A thirty year old woman testified about the health problems women face that have nothing to do with sex when they aren't covered for contraception. And Limbaugh spent three days yelling about the woman's sex life.

    It's the difference between calling a co-worker a dumb blonde and spending three days having long conversations with people figuring out who she must have boned to get her position, and how much extra work you have to do to cover her dumb ass, and how she might be dumb but she sure makes for a stimulating office environment!, and how you feel sorry for the other women who have to sit on the same toilet seats as her, "better hope her crabs don't decide to strike out for a better life!", and how if the office insurance coverage is paying for her contraception and STD treatments the least she could do is make a sex tape, make sure we're getting our money's worth.

    The first one's wrong nearly all of the time, but there can be a certain kind of playful humorous tinge that make people think it's ok. Adults can argue about what context is the right context, even if for the most part the term is never used in the right context. The second one, though, doesn't have that playful humorous tinge because its main effect is to bring shame on the victim by tying her to a stereotype and then saying that society is making a correct judgment in creating that stereotype.

    Remember that video of Breitbart just before he died when he just kept yelling "stop raping people!" over and over for like two minutes at I think CPAC protestors? Saying that once might have functioned primarily as a joke, though a stupid and inappropriate one, but just screaming it for two minutes turns it from a joke to an attempt at shaming and silencing people by using unfair societal categories in inappropriate ways.

    I could go on and on just kinda repeating myself like this, but I hope you get the point I'm trying to make. If you want to say Maher doesn't get enough shit for his sexism, I'd agree (though most lefty threads I've seen where Maher comes up includes a "is his sexism ok" discussion; on the other hand that's not the same as national media calling Maher out on it). But you have to agree that what Rush did isn't in the same ballpark as that stuff, and it's more detrimental to society, and it's a good thing people are reacting so strongly against it.

  42. Juniper Says:

    It doesn't matter if she organized a million zillion rallies. SHE IS NOT A PUBLIC FIGURE. You do not have to be one in order to testify in front of a committee. Rush made her one by his outlandish misogynistic outbursts. He specifically called her out for three days and now is trying to say it's the Democrats' fault he did it?

    There's a brilliant piece on gaslighting which of course I cannot locate, but here is the good ole Wikipedia definition. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting. Rush has been saying, "I didn't say what you think I said"

    The next thing we'll hear is why Fluke is a bitch because she isn't "forgiving enough" of Rush, and she should let "bygones be bygones."

    Mothra, this is for you: http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2012/03/andrew-breitbart-in-hell-fantasia-well.html

  43. bb in GA Says:

    @Ben

    What can I say other than Rush Limbaugh had points to make about the political issues, entitlement issues and Constitutional issues whether you agree or disagree.

    The "cuss fight" part of his diatribe was wrong and he should not have done it, at all, in short, or at length.

    He agrees that he should not have and has apologized. Now the discussion by Liberals has shifted to "Yeah, but he ain't sincere."

    Nobody is going to be able to answer that.

    //bb

  44. marismae Says:

    I only skimmed a reading of Rush's notpology. so I could be mistaken. But didn't he basically say he used the wrong words to call her, but he really ment everything else that he said? Thus, pretty much indicating he should only have implied he thinks she's a slut and a prostitute instead of outright saying it.

    In other words… not actually sorry. Just, you know, sorry that he's now losing money because people now realize that he thinks women who want control of their own reproductive organs and think it should be part of preventative healthcare services…. are sluts and prostitutes.

  45. c u n d gulag Says:

    mothra,
    Ooooh!
    I likie the solitary confinenty idea!
    But they might like being by themselves more than we realize.

    How about Rush and Breitbart being physically immobilized, with their eyes permanently pointed forward to the other people around them, and their tongues cut out, so all they had to do for all of eternity was to listen to other people talk and give their opinions, but with no chance to communicate/bitch/scream back?

  46. Ben Says:

    Yeah, the apology I saw had Rush expressing contrition for using the words "slut" and "whore", like explicitly saying "I apologize for those two words and those two words are inappropriate and those two words demean women and I don't want to demean women" which ok but that's not why what he said was so bad and so women-demeaning. You could replace what he said with "hussy" and "woman of the night" and it wouldn't change anything.

    BB, fair enough. It does seem like a lot of issues are being condensed down into "Rush is bad man" and isn't doing them justice. I do honestly think that if there was prolonged and honest discussion amongst any given set of "people who don't want contraception access dependent on how much money you have" and "people who think giving money to contraception is worse than . . . well I don't know", those people would be able to come to an agreement about this stuff. But expecting that out of the media is a fool's game, for reasons that go beyond liberals and conservatives sniping at each other.

  47. Mo Says:

    bb:
    "What can I say other than Rush Limbaugh had points to make about the political issues, entitlement issues and Constitutional issues whether you agree or disagree."

    The mere thought that you'd typed that in all seriousness made me snort so hard I had to wipe a booger off the keyboard.

    Contraception is an entitlement issue? A Constitutional issue? A political issue? (But Viagra isn't?)

  48. mothra Says:

    bb:

    You should really stop trying to defend Rush on this one. Really. I went and read the compendium of all he said in FOUR days of ranting about Ms. Fluke and whatever point he might have had was lost in all that sewage.

    This isn't a liberal vs. conservative thing. Anyone with a brain should be condemning Rush.

  49. mothra Says:

    all they had to do for all of eternity was to listen to other people talk and give their opinions, but with no chance to communicate/bitch/scream back?

    Ahhh, yes. Now that would be hell for them. Nice.

  50. mothra Says:

    Oh crap. That quote from C U N D Gulag was supposed to be in italics…

  51. anotherbozo Says:

    @Elle:
    I agree. My point was using "cunt" and "bitch" doesn't necessarily make you a sexist, either. (I doubt that Barbara Bush was, even re: Hilary, a sexist) Depends on The Context. Of course if you want to remove all chance of misinterpretation… don't use the terms at all.

  52. bb in GA Says:

    @Mo

    Where you been?

    Do you think that religious institutions ought to be forced to pay for stuff they specifically teach against? The insurance company dodge doesn't cut it because some of these outfits self insure.

    If that is not at least a Constitutional discussion, what is?

    Viagra ain't on the dance card and I doubt the RCs would want to pay for that either.

    //bb

  53. Elle Says:

    My point was using "cunt" and "bitch" doesn't necessarily make you a sexist, either.

    I'm with Elizabeth I on not making windows into men's souls. People can say sexist things and not necessarily be 'a sexist'.

    I'm not sure I'm equipped to comment on whether the word 'cunt' is automatically sexist. There are some places in the UK where it's used in lieu of 'person', e.g. "Did that cunt say if he wanted beer or cider?" However, that is obviously not the case in the US. The first time I used the word when I was talking to one of my American pals, she stopped dead in the street.

    I think 'bitch' is sexist. It's a gendered insult, specifically designed to highlight a supposedly female set of traits, or the (unnatural) presence of male traits in women. I hear it used most frequently by men to describe women who exercise power and/or authority unapologetically.

  54. JazzBumpa Says:

    bb -

    Clearly, you are not stupid. You are an enigma. How can a person who is not stupid look at this and think it is an apology?

    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2012/03/03/a_statement_from_rush

    "I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke."

    Nine straight on-air hours of vicious insults, plus prep time, plus however he spends his off-time hours thinking about the next day's show.

    This was not an instance of ill-chosen words. This was an attempt to intimidate Fluke and any other woman who dares to speak out.

    Let me explain what "in the bubble" means. It means you have put yourself in a state where only your per-conceived notions and confirmation bias influence your thinking. Facts, data – aspects of reality – these things cannot penetrate the bubble.

    Until now, though we probably agree on nothing, I thought you were someone I might have a reasonable discussion with.

    Now I know better.

    You're hopeless.

    And this makes me sad.

    JzB

  55. Surly Duff Says:

    @bb
    "What can I say other than Rush Limbaugh had points to make about the political issues, entitlement issues and Constitutional issues whether you agree or disagree."

    Sure he had points; they were incorrect and fabricated points intended to undermine the issues raised by Ms. Fluke, but yes Rush made points.

  56. bb in GA Says:

    @Jzb

    I said he was wrong and should not have said it. It was cruel and insensitive.

    What are you talking about?

    //bb

  57. Xynzee Says:

    @Jer:
    "I'm sorry but Taibbi wouldn't make comments about "reading, book-on-tape style, with balls in her mouth" about a man. Shit like that needs to be called out as the misogyny it is or it's not going to get better. We're supposed to be the side that gets it."

    Yes he could. However, now the focus shifts from womyn to teh gays.

    bb: It's one thing to see a political player and call them on it. It's another to attack them. Effectively, if Limbaugh had a point to make about how Fluke was high-jacking the discourse of Issa's hearing he's failed. All that's remembered is his tirade against Fluke.

  58. Major Kong Says:

    @bb

    Do you think that religious institutions ought to be forced to pay for stuff they specifically teach against?

    Depends. I realize the Right doesn't do nuance, but there's a difference between a Catholic church and a Catholic hospital, which is run as a business.

    Are you that sure you want to grant blanket exemptions to the law based on religion? If I want to I can probably invent a religion where drugs and prostitution are sacraments, if that's the case.

  59. JazzBumpa Says:

    bb -

    You really are hopeless. What I am talking about is – Again – It was not 2 ill-chosen words. It was nine continuous god-damned hours of things like: She's having so much sex I'm surprised she can walk.

    It was that he made lots and lots of nasty personally offensive shit up. He insulted her parents. This goes way beyond cruel and insensitive. it is libel and character assassination. He should be sued for damages.

    It was a nine-hour litany of vicious lies directed at a private citizen.

    He lied about the nature and the purpose of her testimony.

    He did it to intimidate her, cause her personal harm, and thus intimidate any other woman who might chose to speak out.

    He said, Who bought her condoms in junior high? I have two granddaughters in Jr High. The older of them just turned 12 two days ago. They are pre-teens, girls, not women. Maybe you can't personally relate to how offensive this is. Maybe you don't care. Maybe you're fine with him wanting to see the non-existent sex tapes.

    He apologized for using two specific words, and still defended his content. He is still indicating that she is a slut and a prostitute – it's only the vocabulary that was regrettable. Maybe he should have said she was a courtesan, a party girl, a lady of the night or maybe a "professional woman." That would have made a big difference.

    He says he only did what the left does. See my 10:17 a.m. comment. As I have said repeatedly about the right wing – they lie about everything, then they lie about their lies.

    And you still don't get it. He is a hateful liar. Reality means absolutely nothing to him. He pollutes the public airways with his bile. You listen to him, but I guess you missed all this.

    You are deep, deep in the bubble. You are hopeless.

    And you vote.

    Looks like Gingrich is getting GA.

    WASF!
    JzB

  60. bb in GA Says:

    @Jzb

    I didn't hear what you quoted. I don't listen to all his programming. That is way beyond anything personal I ever heard from him before.

    I will do something our President wouldn't do with Reverend Wright when he didn't hear specifics.

    I condemn Mr L for that and it puts him in a different place for me moving forward. Thank you.

    I voted for the magic underwear guy.

    //bb

  61. Major Kong Says:

    In the UK he would have been sued for libel, and probably with success, but their media laws are stricter than ours.

    Just the thought of him devoting 9 hours of a nationally syndicated radio show to trashing this woman is weird at the very least and shows that this guy has some real issues with women.

  62. JazzBumpa Says:

    bb -

    I heard the clips played on progressive radio.

    You're welcome. And welcome to reality.

    Thank you!

    The thing is – the airways are part of the commons. Broadcasting is a privilege, not a right. Broadcasters are licensed by the government, and have public interest responsibilities – in the abstract. Free speech, in case anyone was thinking about first amendment rights, are not an issue.

    There was a time when that meant acting responsibly and in the public interest. But that all went out the window during the Reagan administration, then Clinton sealed the deal, to his everlasting shame.

    This is what Premier Broadcasting had to say about Limbaugh.

    On Tuesday, Premiere Networks released a statement saying it was "committed to providing its listeners with access to a broad range of opinion and commentary without condoning or agreeing with the opinions, comments or attempts at humor expressed by on-air talent."

    "We respect the right of Mr. Limbaugh, as well as the rights of those who disagree with him," Premiere said. His "attempt at absurdist humor to illustrate his political point … used words that unfortunately distracted from the message he was trying to convey."

    http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2012/03/rush_limbaugh_dropped_radio_stations_sandra_fluke_slut_premiere_clear_channel.html

    I've already riffed enough on what his message was.

    Contrast this:

    Country stations across the United States have pulled the Chicks from playlists following reports that lead singer Natalie Maines said in a concert in London earlier this week that she was "ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."

    http://www.cnn.com/2003/SHOWBIZ/Music/03/14/dixie.chicks.reut/

    Clear Channel, Premier's parent, BANNED them for that – by executive order. Maybe you follow country music. (I'm a jazz guy) Did you ever hear them on the radio again?

    This goes way beyond a double standard.

    This is living in the republican party's hip pocket.

    Like I said before – the playing field is far from level.

    Republicans own the vast majority of the MSM.

    Randi Rhodes can't listen to her own broadcast, because no station in Florida carries it

    What a state we are in.
    JzB

  63. eau Says:

    I read the Taibbi article about Bachmann, and remember it well. He did say she was batshit crazy. It wasn't an off-the-cuff remark, but it WAS supported by a whole lot of empirical evidence that the woman is BATSHIT FUCKING CRAZY.

    That's not misogyny. That's just a fact-based conclusion.

    The point I haven't noticed anyone making is that the right-leaning media took what Rush said and ran with it (Check out the Daily Show skit/feature – plenty of examples).

    All the "lefty" (Bill Maher? Seriously?) examples were taken to task by their own side, as they should have been.

  64. bb in GA Says:

    @JzB

    For the record, it was Cumulus Media, not Clear Channel that corporately banned the Chicks

    http://www.dankennedy.net/2007/02/14/dixie-chicks-and-clear-channel/

    A few CC FM stations in Jax did too.

    This becomes a deep discussion quickly about property rights, your take on the 'commons' and the associated public responsibility, and free speech.

    Remember the 1st amendment is about your rights in relation to the Government not some corporation.

    And one further plot complication, the Chicks imploded quickly with Country music fans w/o corporate help.

    My right to free association trumps your right to 'free speech.' If I don't want to hear what you have to say/sing and walk away or change the station, your rights have not been violated.

    But back to Cumulus – to what degree are you a government agent when you take the FCC license? And does the corporate ban represent a violation of the 1st?

    Musically, I'm an omnivore – I don't care for sung opera and most oriental music (some Indian/Pakastani stuff)

    Two of my sons are sax players and I play electric 5 string bass and have played us some Smooth Jazz. Not good enough for the deeper stuff. We have a history of being church players….

    //bb

  65. don Says:

    "Derogatory comments about the appearance of a woman in the public arena are inherently sexist."

    Why? At what point do some of us get to leave the troglodytes behind and make derogatory comments about the appearance of other humans who we despise, without reference to their sex? When do I get to comment equally on John Boehner's freakishly unnatural color and on the tragic accident that caused a giant vat of clear plastic to melt over Callista Gingrich's head? And Michelle Bachmann IS batshit crazy. Why am I sexist to say "She's batshit crazy!"??? What may be sexist is that she – who is BATSHIT BATSHIT CRAZY CRAZY – got dumped from the "nomination process" while Rick Santorum – who is also completely, totally 1000% BATSHIT CRAZY in very similar ways (christophrenia?) – is still considered plausible somehow. But I didn't dump her in favor of the crazy penis-owner, and I refuse to own Republican/Media sexism; I belong to neither group. Being out of your fucking mind in public deserves notice, and being female doesn't exempt you.

  66. Andrew Laurence Says:

    Depending on your definition of "contraceptives," you might need more of them if you have more sex. Condoms fall into that category, and while the sponge allows you to have all the sex you want for 24 hours, you still need one every time you have sex even once during any 24 hour period. But every adult should know that hormonal contraceptives are taken on a regular schedule regardless of how often (if ever) one has sex.

    As for the idiots who think that if a woman carries condoms in her purse, she's a slut, they must also think that if a woman carries bandages in her purse, she's accident prone.

  67. Jado Says:

    I think you are forgetting something – discounting these instances of insult because the content isn't misogynistic means you are measuring the level of misogyny by a LOGICAL standard.

    You can't do that – these are Conservatives. By simply listing these insults and declaring that they are equivalent to Rush's transgressions, the Conservatives have MADE them equivalent. It's the Transubstantiation of Evidence, and it is a right-wing sacrament.

    THEY determine what is relevant. They determine what is misogynistic. They determine the scope and boundaries of the debate, and if you object, you are an obstructionist, and not Serious about the Conversations we need to have in these Modern Times.

    It's not their fault you are so mule-headed that you won't even talk rationally about the issues. Especially when they went to all the fuss and bother to define the issues for you.

    Typical liberal elitist…

  68. Sarah Says:

    As has been pointed out, Rush Limbaugh turns down millions in advertising (or so he says). It seems that what he turns down involves web sites offering dating services to men who wish to cheat on their wives. Given the spectacle that is Newt Gingrich as well as Rush himself, this is hardly surprising.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/post/rush-limbaughs-show-targets-jerks-judging-from-the-latest-ads/2012/03/07/gIQAiwQLxR_blog.html?tid=sm_twitter_washingtonpost

  69. Bernard Says:

    well Georgetown University does cover Viagra and Vasectomies. but not the Pill. equal opportunity, indeed.

    amazing how the Rigth refuses to see the $$ signs when it is convenient. MSM is owned by $$$ and run for the $$$. all the BS about it being liberal has always showed me how dumb the speaker is when they say such "liberal" propaganda. it amuses me to no end.

    i always find my self fasncinated at the machinations of what must go on in the empty space/minds of the Rightwingers. to be so completely void of thinking due to the "right" way of thinking.

    I do remember a time when the Right way wasn't the "only" way in America. but those days are dead and gone, kind of like the America i grew up. watching the Right steal, foul and destroy any aspect of moral "righteousness" in the name of Control, well, that has been a real "lesson." a lesson that Republicans will never ever acknowledge or admit, the game would be up if they did.

    to watch these "men" take down women left and right of the spectrum is just further proof of the callous disregard for teh "other."

    since the Right has deemed the "other" to be valueless and worth-less, th argument for "the other side does it" coming from the Right amuses me as well.

    i frankly couldn't tell you the last time the Left existed in any potent form to ever open the door, much less rattle the cage of the "Republican" monster.

    Maher is an ass for entertaining such ilk like Ann Coulter or any of teh Right who lie with such virgin abandon. to encourage any of the idiocy of the Right only endorses teh EVIL of those whose only goal is domination. which then again may explain why so many "men" fear women. these men want to dominate those they do not understand. Fear is such a dominant component of these empty male beings.

    such culture wars the Right has visited upon the rest of us who weren't interested in collateral damage.

    but the Right will win, simply because the Rigth will never ever give up fighting. the Right will make sure the Left, or any other "Other" never has a place in the Sun. the Sun belongs to the Right, from their point of view, and that is so simple a statement of their intent the Right will never cede or accept anything other than total collapse or total control.

    really simple, when you listen to the Right's message. spoken in language the Left refuses to accept or even acknowledge.

    None so blind as those who will not see.

  70. Diana Says:

    "If I want to I can probably invent a religion where drugs and prostitution are sacraments, if that's the case…."

    This actually was done in the 70's by some hippies who established the Church of Realized Fantasies, and then sued to be able to take drugs as a sacrament that would not count as a violation of the drug laws.

    They lost.

    "Batshit crazy" is an equal-opportunity insult. "Mouth full of balls" is sexual, but it is also an equal-opportunity insult. But only a woman can be slut, just as only an Asian can be a chink, etc. That's what makes it an insult.

  71. don Says:

    Diana, you said "But only a woman can be slut, just as only an Asian can be a chink.." Not so sure about that – at least in part because "slut" describes behavior, and "chink" describes race. Speaking from a lifetime of gay male subculture (and for that matter a lifetime of hanging out in and near sex-and-"slut"-positive counterculture), I've heard far more men called sluts than women. Including me, and usually gleefully. I know that's not what Rush weights the word with, but then he clearly has a not-very-inner slut he needs to embrace and accept. Maybe then he wouldn't have to slink off to the Domonican Republic for sex so often.

  72. Fifth Dentist Says:

    bb
    "Do you think that religious institutions ought to be forced to pay for stuff they specifically teach against? The insurance company dodge doesn't cut it because some of these outfits self insure.

    If that is not at least a Constitutional discussion, what is?"

    So, Quakers would not have to pay for any military expenditures? War is against their religion.
    Jehovah's Witness would not have to pay for blood transfusions?
    The Catholic Church opposed the Iraq war, but Catholics were forced to pay for fighting it.
    The Constitution never once mentions "Air Force." Therefore it's unconstitution for the U.S. to have an Air Force.
    Do you realize how stupid trying to turn this into a religious freedom issue is? The issue is whether BC is a valid medical treatment. Doctors prescribe it every fucking day; so it's safe to say it is.
    The woman, as part of her compensation, receives health insurance, so how it is used is between her and her doctor. Period.
    And don't get me started on the Raping Children Church. They wanted to force a 9-year-old raped by her father to give birth, oh and by the way killing her. Fuck the Catholic Church its titular head who wears fancy dresses and expensive pointy hats while people perish from want of food that those fancy

  73. Mara Hediger Says:

    Have herpes or HPV Cure it now Naturally

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