Kate Dalley is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM . The opinions stated in this article are solely hers and not those of St. George News.
Editor’s ALERT: There are words in this column which may be offensive to some and may not be suitable for children. They are allowed as they are the very subject of the discussion in our columnist’s opinion.
OPINION – Rush Limbaugh. I am beginning to think he really loves controversy. Yes, that is sarcastic. He seems to live for controversy.
Limbaugh has made major headlines in the news recently for his comments about Sandra Fluke. She is the third-year Georgetown law student who testified before a congressional panel recently about the need for the government to require all businesses, religious or otherwise, offer birth control as part of their health care packages.
In her testimony, Fluke defended the fact that she needed birth control to control a medical condition, not specifically to prevent pregnancy. She could no longer pay the over-$100 out of-pocket expense, stopped taking birth control and developed a large cyst due to which one of her ovaries had to be removed.
On the air, Rush said, in his own classic sarcastic style of shock-jock talk, that Fluke wants to be paid to have sex. Limbaugh went on to call Fluke a slut and a prostitute; he said that if we, the taxpayers, are going to have to pay for her birth control so that she can have lots and lots of sex, we should get something in return – we taxpayers should be able to see online videos of her having all this sex.
His comments were absurd, demeaning, and outrageous.
According to the mainstream media, everything Limbaugh said about Fluke was “off the rails.” Columnists have claimed that he has single-handedly classified women as second-class citizens. Democratic leaders, 75 of them, have asked John Boehner to censure his remarks. Kirsten Gillebrand has made statements condemning him. Seven sponsors have left his program and more are threatening to leave.
Limbaugh spewed his despicable rhetoric and said things about Fluke that were not even logical, they were ignorant. He issued an apology to Fluke on his website stating that he had used a “poor choice of words.” He apologized on air, as well. A public apology should be adequate but this is getting more and more media attention.
When it comes to the Howard Sterns and the Rush Limbaughs of radio superstardom, we need to realize that they are famous because we, the radio audience, created them. The more we have tuned in to hear their rants, the more sponsors pay to advertise on their shows.
Stern called Palin a word that I cannot even type – I am afraid my keyboard may start blushing if those four letters created that nasty little word on my computer screen.
Limbaugh called Obama an Oreo cookie referring to the fact that he is black and white in the middle.
And Limbaugh was the shock-jock that applauded the Japanese people for their “recycling efforts” right after the big earthquake last year. It was demeaning to the Japanese people.
In part, I was surprised to see his current comments make the headlines more than previous comments, which were just as caustic.
We have created these $250 million a year shock-jocks, that I call “shock-jokes,” because we take everything they say so seriously. We listen because they are not politically correct and they are paid big money to entertain us.
Remember, these comments were not said by Wolf Blitzer from CNN, a serious news anchor, but by “Rush Limbaugh radio entertainer.” Limbaugh isn’t delivering a newscast, it’s just his opinion. We rather expect commentators to be incredulous on the air, don’t we? We laugh, shake our heads at what they boldly say, and their ratings go up.
We want these radio personalities to be outrageous but not too outrageous. We are not an easy audience.
Rush Limbaugh could very well lose his job just as Don Imus did when he made a racial comment that sparked outrage a few years ago. In his defense, Limbaugh said he was just being the same sarcastic Rush Limbaugh that he always is. If what he said, crossed a boundary for people that cannot be repaired, his audience will speak up and stop tuning in to his show. He makes millions of dollars because his show has value. His show has us – millions and millions of listeners – and we are the value. If we go away, he goes away.
Yet, we keep tuning in.
His comments were ridiculous, rude, and horrible, but we should not be this shocked over what Limbaugh said. There is talk of multiple lawsuits, sponsor boycotts, and demonstrations. Sigh. Rush Limbaugh is not going to define my womanhood, and just because Limbaugh said it on the air, I do not feel like a prostitute because I have taken birth control . Are we going to give him that much credit?
The political correctness committee of the universe needs to take a breath and let the listeners decide what the fate of Rush Limbaugh will be.
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Copyright 2012 St. George News.