My Take: Rush Limbaugh's 'apology' fails test for public confession
The author argues that Rush Limbaugh didn't really apologize for maligning a Georgetown Law student.
March 6th, 2012
01:05 PM ET

My Take: Rush Limbaugh's 'apology' fails test for public confession

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

Dear Rush, which part of “I’m sorry” don’t you understand?

The ritual of public confession is so formulaic in American culture that it’s hard to imagine that someone as media savvy as Rush Limbaugh doesn’t know how to do it. But his so-called apology for calling Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” shows he doesn’t know the first thing about this rite, so here is how it goes.

First, admit that you have done wrong. Say this straight. Do not hedge. Do not confuse things by saying that others have wronged you. Do not say that others have committed similar sins.

Here the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church is a good model:

Most merciful God,

We confess that we have sinned against you

in thought, word, and deed,

by what we have done,

and by what we have left undone.

Second, show that you are truly sorry. Saying “I’m sorry” (which Limbaugh did not do) is a good start, but it isn’t enough. You have to make yourself believable. Here tears are not necessary, but they help. Others need to believe that you are confessing for the sake of your soul, and not merely for the sake of your career. Hint: the best way to make that happen is to actually be sorry.

Third, humble yourself. Admit that you are a human being like the rest of us. This can be difficult for people with a high opinion of themselves. So what. Suck it up.

Fourth, repent, turn around, promise that you will go and sin no more.

Look familiar? It should, if you’ve ever gone to Catholic Mass or observed Yom Kippur. But Limbaugh flubbed it big time.

First, he didn’t really apologize for turning a public policy question into a vicious personal attack. In fact, he said, “I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.”

Second, he tried to justify his unjustifiable behavior by claiming that he was trying to be “absurd” and “humorous.” He wasn’t trying to libel or slander Fluke, or to shut her up or humiliate her. He was just trying to have a little fun.

Third, Limbaugh stopped apologizing almost as soon as his apology had begun. Instead of detailing his many and manifold sins, he launched into a reprise of his argument against birth control coverage in U.S. health plans, and criticized President Obama along the way for coming to Fluke’s defense. In other words, he changed the subject, so the bulk of his ”apology” wasn’t an apology at all.

Finally, when he got to something approaching apologizing, Limbaugh did not apologize for what he really did. He did not apologize for launching a multi-day ad hominem attack against a private citizen. He did not apologize for dragging the American public through the muck and mire of his misogynistic fantasies. He did not apologize for inspiring a series of copycats in the right wing blogosphere.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Instead he apologized for “insulting word choices.” In other words, he apologized for using the word “slut” instead of some less insulting synonym.

Given this abysmal performance, we should not be surprised that Fluke did not find his remarks particularly apologetic, or that she and many others believe he issued it not out of genuine remorse but in an effort to stanch the hemmoraging of advertisers from his show. “I don’t think that a statement like this issued, saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything, and especially when that statement is issued when he’s under significant pressure from sponsors who have begun to pull their support,” said Fluke, a Georgetown Law student.

Neither should we find it surprising that advertisers, including AOL, are fleeing the show en masse, and that some radio stations are now refusing to air it.

Limbaugh could have stanched the bleeding by practicing what historian Susan Wise Bauer has described as “the art of the public grovel.” Instead he gave us the art of the public equivocation.

Why? So why couldn’t he say, "I'm sorry"?

In a word: ego.

Republicans and Democrats will doubtless disagree about vices and virtues of the man who would be a GOP kingmaker. But there is no doubting that Limbaugh admires himself. And he is not about to sacrifice that form of worship at the altar of Sandra Fluke or anyone else.

That is why he is now blaming not himself but the companies who have stopped advertising on his show for their decision to separate themselves from his hate speech. “They’ve decided they don’t want you or your business any more,” he told his radio audience on Monday.

This in my view is a foolish course. Americans are a forgiving people. Many of the public figures profiled in Bauer’s “The Art of the Public Grovel” have come back into the public eye, not least President Bill Clinton. But the American public will not forgive you unless and until you confess and repent. And so far at least Limbaugh has refused to do either.

At this point, what is dragging Limbaugh down is not so much his incendiary attack on Fluke but his refusal to admit that, like the rest of us, he is a sinner, too. Until he does that, he will continue to float around in a celebrity limbo of his own making, praised by his true believers but damned - and rightly so - by most of the rest of us.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Celebrity • Church and state • Culture wars • Politics • Sex • Sexuality • United States

soundoff (1,250 Responses)
  1. Rob

    Millions of dollars are on the line. Of course he said sorry and no he didn't mean it.

    March 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      Well he is somewhat correct. The ultimate form of birth control is to keep your knees together. That's what they had to do for the first 11 million years. Birth control pills were introduced in 1958 or so and they are not cheap. If you want aspirin tablets you buy them .. they do not hand them out at the pharmacy. If you are a geezer you either buy your prescription or you go to Mexico (it's not free .. nobody cares if you NEED it - except you). If your car needs repairs you pay for it. How else? Does the government owe you a cell phone too? Just because something gets invented that does not make it a right. If you want one buy it .. or if you want free birth control .. abstain.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Monti

      And Clyde what does that happen to do with this?????? Or are we too assume you are as informed as Rush?

      March 6, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • jimtanker

      And if you are chugging oxycodone like a kid on halloween then you have your doc write you fraudulent perscriptions.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      I agree Rob. He's stupid but not stupid enough to let money slip through his greedy fat fingers.

      RightTurnClyde: This is about far more than preventing pregnancy. This is about protecting a woman's health. The insurance companies are being required not to discriminate, nothing more...this money comes out of that woman's pay check-not yours. If she doesn't wish to use her insurance for that coverage, that is her choice but she deserves the choice. Viagra is covered by medical plans...why don't you have an issue with that?

      March 6, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Chris

      Clyde... for the first 11 million years there was no cancer treatment so why should it be covered? Just buy an aspirin and get over it. Same thing with multiple sclerosis, sinus infections, malaria, the plaque, and tuberculosis, just to name a few.

      March 6, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • bigdolla

      Rush is a victim of his own ignorance, He did this to himself. As usual he will blame the liberals and "un-americans" for being against him and will accuse his critics of being anti-business. These same businesses pay his salary. They are firing because he is stupid and does not represent their values.

      Condoms reduce health care costs (Reducing unwanted pregnancies and STDs) it helps us all more than it hurts. If women want birth control as part of their health regime let them. They are paying for it. Why are Rush supporters are always spouting about less government but seem to think government should be used to legislate people's private lives.

      He never ever apologized, he only said he chose the wrong words.
      Is this the conservative & "Republican" method of apology? If so it explains a lot about our country.

      Can we stop hearing from this idiotic, out of touch drug addict who cant even make a decent and honest apology?
      and his rusty army of Rush-bots too?

      March 6, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I agree with Clyde. Rush knows what he is talking about more so than any of you!

      March 7, 2012 at 7:59 am |
  2. Tim

    Rush- Now that you are taking it in the butt, I bet you hope they provide condoms...Idiot.

    March 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Alex

      It's people like Rush that give Americans and Christians a bad name

      March 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Superspygaru

      Its people like Rush that make America entertaining.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Rush and my fellow Christians are the REAL Americans.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:00 am |
  3. Mymaria714

    He just has the guts to say what people are thinking themselves. Why should government pay for birth control? Funny thing....when I used birth control I paid for it myself with no insurance. Funny-she could go to Planned Parenthood and get it for $15 a month, not the $3,000 she claims for three years. Where did she pull that assanine number out of???

    March 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Superspygaru

      Not everyone does their research before screwing....Her fault.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      Wow, what part of this are you not comprehending? This isn't about making the government pay for anything. It is about ensuring that under a woman's employment medical plan regardless of the type of company she be able to purchase contraceptives. This is insurance that she pays in to from the money she makes working and putting tax dollars in to your country. Contraceptives are not completely about preventing pregnancy and even if it is being used for that, it is simply no-one's business. This woman is standing up for your rights and you have an issue with that? How? I would hope that all women would support her standing for them. If she doesn't stand for what makes sense, women will go back in time and not forward. I'm not sure about you but I like my freedom and I'll be damned if anyone is going to tell me what I can and can't do with my body. Only I know what is best for me. Maybe if more women looked at it like this we'd start progressing again. Be oppressed if you wish but do not expect everyone to stay with you at that level.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      ... but these are the en.t.i.t.l.e.m.ent people - the left - the government OWES them .. food, housing, t.u.i.t.i.o.n., medical care, radio and television programs (PBS), libraries, swimming pools, child care, pre-school, transportation, prescriptions, disaster insurance, warnings (about weather and consumer items) .. and they look to you and I top pay for that since they are the ones it is owed to .. we owe it to them because they are going to law school (having already received 22 years of FREE (to them) .. so why are we being so stingy and expecting them to pay the bill? AFTER she is a liberation lawyer (like Mrs. Obama) YOU and I are supposed to give her a law library so she can make $500,000 a year and living in a $55,000,000 mansion and fly all over the world apologizing for YOU and I (who are cheap skates) .. Oh.. and she has been in college so long that now her son is entering college and he wants everything free too .. just like mom

      March 6, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • JohnRJ08

      You have Rush Limbaugh's disease. You don't know what you're talking about. Sandra Fluke was talking about basic health services to women which are and have been covered without co-pay by insurance companies for a long time. Insurance companies have no problem with this because it would ultimately cost them more not to provide that coverage. It costs more to treat polycystic ovarian syndrome than it does to cover the cost of birth control pills. It costs more to treat endometriosis than it does to cover the cost of birth control pills. It cost more to provide pre-natal care for an unexpected pregnancy than it does to cover the cost of birth control pills. The AMA, NIH and CDC all agree that contraceptives, i.e. birth control pills, should be part of the basic health coverage provided to women, just as mammogram and annual OBGYN exams are covered. You need to pull your skull out of your anus and start reading more and watching FOX News less. Sandra Fluke was NEVER talking about herself or her personal needs. She was talking about something which all women already receive UNLESS they work for a business that is owned by the Catholic church. The president of Georgetown University and more than 100 of its professors have come out in support of Ms. Fluke. Wake up and join the 21st century.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      So the Catholic church has different rules. Most of the 7 billion people alive today do not have anything close to all of the things you assume as your right (as in the Bill of Rights). So they have to make do with what they have. There is no inherent right to EVERYTHING .. but liberals thing so because of WHERE they are raised. Most of you thing you are owed .. and go into list like that as what you are owed. Man wake up ..

      March 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Beadles

      This is NOT about taxpayers covering the cost of prescription medication. It is about AN INSURANCE POLICY not including coverage for prescription designed to prevent conception. It should be noted that these same medications are prescribed just as frequently for NON-CONTRACEPTIVE purposes. Note: for some reason I think if I capitalize certain words it will sink into the brains of certain numbskulls. (Kind of like talking loudly to a blind person, I suppose.) Do NOT make this a tax issue because it is NOT. It also has nothing to do with whatever side of the political fence you are on. – no one should be allowed to publicly spew such hate and vitriol against a private citizen without respercussions.

      March 6, 2012 at 5:05 pm |

    Goodbye Rush......in the end it will be your own words that will silence you.

    March 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Beadles

      We can hope.

      March 6, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  5. REALLY.......

    Liberal Media (CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and NBC) want so badly to keep this story alive...What can I say, it so blatent and it is so blatent when the attacks come from guys like Bill Maher on conservative women and these networks don't even ruffel.... Journalism as we once new it is dead...................

    March 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • JohnRJ08

      The funny thing is, Rush Limbaugh kept it alive for three days in a row. Wouldn't let it go. Continually insulted and misrepresented Ms. Fluke. Now, you're suggesting that because Rush is done insulting her that everybody should just shuffle away and forget it. You, the Republican candidates, and FOX News are completely isolated on this issue. Nobody agrees with you, including the president of Georgetown University and more than 100 of its professors.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Beadles

      Really – You might try your local community college for a course on remedial composition and grammar.

      March 6, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Teev

      Difference is Bill Maher doesnt have any sponsors and he is a COMEDIAN!!!!!!!!!

      March 6, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  6. Eric

    Stephen, the apology wasn't for you, so your opinion is useless.

    March 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  7. RightTurnClyde

    CNN "Belief" ??? If honesty were to prevail this is the "Politics" BLOG .. almost every article posted on this blog is abut U.S. politics and this year it is about Obama and the 2012 election. Mayor Bloom.b.e.r.g, M.o.s.l.e.m. t.e.r.r.o.r..i.s.t surveillance, federal birth control rules, Roman Catholic voters, protestant voters, Christian right wing voters, the primary campaigns, Romney's religion, Texas governor\'s religion, Glen Becks' religion ... politics – politics – politics - how will people vote. It is rarely about beliefs or faiths. Most of the regular posters claim to be atheists and say they have no faith. (well so what is THEIR interest? Politics). This is a political (left wing) BLOG and it is obvious.

    March 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • sciencegirl

      Your way of thinking is so backwards. While a lot of your speech is not even related to this story, it is important to make you realize that there are things the "government" should provide. Suggesting that library, warnings-weather and consumer are just things the citizenry wants for free is absurd. Do you actually want an illiterate populace, dead from weather systems and consumer products? Are you insane?

      March 6, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  8. Superspygaru

    Rush will be back, your foolish if you don't think he will gain sponsors and all his money back over time....no matter the backlash plenty of people love to listen to what he has to say.

    March 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      Well Rush was never popular among the feminists. They only like men who pander to THEIR issues (not all cancers,not all medical problems, not all job discrimination, not all CEO's .. not ALL of us) They only support THEM (women) .. th race for the cure (women's cures), .. social issues (women's social issues). They are not interested in making beds or ironing shirts; they are interested in running marathons and supposed glass ceilings .. Well so they see themselves as victims. (left wing) Poor little rich girls living in a condo in La Jolla or Glencoe .. all alone and lonely .. nobody to take care of them and only $15 million left to live on. Such a sad life.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Mike

      "They are not interested in making beds or ironing shirts"

      Wow, Clyde. Just, WOW. You consider yourself pretty sophisticated, don't you.

      March 6, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
  9. Bob

    Limbaugh and Gingrich should join forces and get married to each other to seal the deal. Quite the pair of religio-hypocrites, with 7 marriage partners between them and counting, so they have a lot in common.

    March 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • duh

      I'm now patiently waiting for the left to appologize to Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman and other women for their relentless attacks on them. When can I expect it?

      March 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Superspygaru

      Neither woman deserves an apology. An opinion is an opinion..just because what you say differs from everyone else doesn't mean you own them squat.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Bob

      Palin and Bachmann are toast and soon to be mostly forgotton, barely footnotes in history. They both lost and are long gone, and they deserved it. You are a loser along with them, more so for still trying to prop up their remains.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • duh

      Hey bob, shut up. I want the left to appologize to women they have disgraced. Don't care about your political views.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Bob

      Hey, duh. Thanks for the polite request, probably all you can muster. My response to you: No.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Palin and Bachmann are politicians, dumbazz. They put themselves in the public eye. They have been dishing it out, so they should be able to take it.

      This woman is not a public official or a candidate. She didn't accuse Rush of anything; he attacked her, not her views.

      Try to use your head for something other than a toupee stand.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • geeky

      @duh – Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann are professional politicians. Attacking them or their ideas is not nearly on the same plane as Rush's attack on this young woman. She is a private citizen and she's someone's daughter...it was completely inappropriate, and I'm not the only one that thinks so. Ask Rush's sponsors, who are now fleeing in droves.

      March 6, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  10. GodsPeople

    God Bless Rush. Clearly Satan is working against him right now.

    March 6, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Bob

      How come your flimsy excuse for a god can't just get rid of this satan guy presto quicko?

      Useless little god you've made for yourself there, Christian.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      Pray and ask him

      March 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Mike

      Can't win on his own merrits... so he picks on others. Sounds like a bully to me! And THEN HE's STILL NOT SORRY.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Mymaria714

      Thanks GodsPeople!!! Praise be to GOD.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Bob

      Beenderdundat. No result of prayer, ever. I presume you tried it too, apparently with the same null result. Time you drew some conclusions from that, already.

      Ha. I pray that you won't post here ever again. You try the same for me and we'll see how that works out.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      Nice morals there moron!! Wow and you christians are so supposed to be so loving. It doesn't matter if you agree with her, what he said was completely out of line...he is required to be ethical and reserve judgment when doing his job...he was far from ethical here. Name calling is childish. I hope he loses his funding completely and loses his job. No woman deserved what he did.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Prayer changes things.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • Bob

      Disproven. Prayer fails to have any effect, yet again.

      March 7, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  11. Snow

    Well, Rush is a "Conservative" Christian who follows word of god .. What other kind of comments can you expect from him..

    March 6, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • momoya

      Actually, I think he is an atheist.. Or at least he professed as much at one time.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • J.W

      Oh no then my hopes of him getting down on his knees and praying are not very good huh

      March 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • jimtanker

      You could EXPECT rational well thought out arguments but all you get are hate filled, oxycodone fuled babble.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Ken in MO

      He is NOT a Christian....he may be a KKKhristian but NOT a Christian. He is a vile human being but unfortunetly he represents about 30% of the Republican Party....shame on them for giving birth to this ugly monster of a human being.

      March 6, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Rush is more of a Christians than any of you will ever be!


      March 7, 2012 at 8:04 am |
  12. William Demuth

    Why dosen't this girls father slap Rush around a bit.

    Talking about MY daughter like that would earn you a beating or a bullet.

    March 6, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • duh

      my daughter wouldn't be out there asking for everybody else to pay for her birth control.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Scott

      William-Your daughter must be very proud of the way you write about woman. What chivalry and courage! NOT!

      March 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Alex

      Any parent can be proud of such a daughter. She is worth a honor killing.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Rush Jr.

      Demuth-Sure you spawned something very similar to you.The term s.l.u.t will pale in comparison besides you or your kind.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Bob

      duh, great that you are thinking ahead, but it will be several years yet before you will be physically able to have a daughter. Better that you finish high school first too, so tack on some extra years onto that.

      March 6, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  13. Reality

    Going to the nitty gritty and way beyond the likes of Limbaugh and Prothero:

    The Brutal Effects of Stupidity: --->>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill ( 8.7% failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Guttmacher has listed these safer methods in their on-line reviews. Doubling up i.e. Pill plus condom or mutual masturbation are not listed but should be.

    Added information before making your next move:

    from the CDC-2006

    "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

    And from:

    Consumer Reports, January, 2012

    "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

    Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

    "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

    Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts. ...

    Note: Some words are hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter

    March 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • momoya

      Oh my gosh I am so sick of your posts!!! TL;DR, as usual.

      March 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • CMS

      mom-reality makes a lot more sense that you.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • MrSkippy

      And what, of any of that, justifies what Rush Limbaugh said OR his failure to apologize for it?


      March 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  14. Robert

    Everyone seems to be CONVENIENTLY avoiding Limbaugh's basic premise though--Why should the Federal government subsidize this woman's promiscuous behavior???

    March 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • STruth

      I'm not familiar with her behavior. Are you, Robert?

      March 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • hippypoet

      the gov. shouldn't but what they should do is protect Rush's freedom of speech....why should he have to say sorry when i can call her a sl.ut all day long and no sorry is required from me? is public life truly that much more then private life? while i can be murdered he will be a$sa$sinated because he is a public figure and thats the only difference – its found in death not life – ironic!

      March 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • momoya

      Your use of the word "promiscuous" is problematic..

      Why should the government subsidize anything?. For the common good.. We have way, way, way too many people on the planet right now as it is.. Insurance should hand out contraceptives by the truckload, and the government should pay for it because it's in the best interests of the world and the entire population of the world..

      Ask Medicaid why they cover contraception.. Because it's a heck of a lot cheaper than subsidizing a new individual.. Contraception use cuts down on abortions, too.. Subsidizing contraceptives just makes sense.. Do it already.. Who cares if the participants are married or not.. When the government gives tax breaks to married couples, do they check to see if they are still in the "honeymoon phase?".

      March 6, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Rusty Snyder

      As promiscuity is an option so should the birth control coverage option be.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • J.W

      Well the law is that if someone is a public figure that you can say whatever you want about them, although I am not sure she would really be considered a public figure. Plus legally it would have been fine if she had just called her a dirty wench, because that would just be an opinion. But it would not be ok for him to state she is a prost1tute who has s3x for money, as if that were a fact.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • jimtanker


      Rush does have his freedom of speach. He isnt loosing that. He is however loosing sponsors for being an idiotic jerk.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • HuleoGuave

      Thank you for bringing that point up before I did that, yes, contraception does in fact, prevent abortion as well. I think THEY need to think about that particular point. I think you know who I am referring to when I say: THEY.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      What indication is there of this woman's se.xual proclivities? Perhaps she takes the pill to regulate her meunstal cycle.
      It would be like calling someone a heroin junkie becuase they want their insurance to cover needles and syringes.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • William Demuth

      They subsidized YOUR mothers, so why not this girl?

      March 6, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Twisted Knickers

      I’m happy to find out, shes hot! My health insurance covers Viagra just like Rush’s.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, then, Robert, would you approve of the government requiring that birth control be covered for women who are married? Or you one of the nuts who think the only women who want to control their fertility are single and "promiscuous"?


      March 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • MrSkippy

      OK. what part of "private insurance company" equates to "federal government"

      This isn't about tax dollars. THINK. It's a mandate that says insurance companies, privately held and run, have to provide contraceptive coverage. It's not the government providing it. It's the government regulating and mandating.

      Now, you can argue that mandates are bad or wrong. But the argument you've chosen is based on such blatant falsehoods that it's a foolish argument on it's very face.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Kathy

      Would you rather Medicare pay for a pregnancy and childbirth? Birth control pills run about $400 a year. A pregnancy costs thousands – six figures if there are complications.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Rosy

      Your very premise is wrong. The federal government isn't subsidizing anything. This is about employer health plans.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Ed

      We have no evidence of her behavior, only her point of view on the question of birth control. That's what's wrong with what Limbaugh said. He attacked her, not her point of view. He made unfair as-sumptions to disparage her. he ignored the issue and went after her. Had he didn't say I think she's wrong because.... That would have been fine but he didn't. He said she's a sl-ut and a prosti-tute so don't listen to her. This is why every one is angry and we are right to be. Limbaugh was way out of line. Kudos to all station and advertisers that ran from his show, I'll use some of them in the future. Any one have a list of who hasn't jumped ship I want to boycott them. .

      March 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Cynthia

      Robert, add yourself to another LAZY individual that didn't even hear the testimony this woman gave in regards to the FACT that Estrogen Therapy is NOT just about birth control but used as treatment in various maladies experience by women WHO have reproductive organs that sometimes go out of sync of what their bodies can naturally remedy. Some of these problems are EXTREMELY PAINFUL and sometimes damage the ovaries, fallopian tubes, the uterus and any sense of everyday health that would allow them to have a normal life. That is reason enough to be elligible for insurance coverage. But, I guess you would only care if your dic* fell off.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • JohnRJ08

      You have Rush Limbaugh's disease. You don't know what you're talking about. Sandra Fluke wasn't suggesting that the government subsidize anything. Especially the costs of her own contraceptives. She was talking about basic health services to women which are and have been covered without co-pay by insurance companies for a long time. Insurance companies have no problem with this because it would ultimately cost them more not to provide that coverage. It costs more to treat polycystic ovarian syndrome than it does to cover the cost of birth control pills. It costs more to treat endometriosis than it does to cover the cost of birth control pills. It cost more to provide pre-natal care for an unexpected pregnancy than it does to cover the cost of birth control pills. The AMA, NIH and CDC all agree that contraceptives, i.e. birth control pills, should be part of the basic health coverage provided to women, just as mammogram and annual OBGYN exams are covered. You need to pull your skull out of your anus and start reading more and watching FOX News less. Sandra Fluke was NEVER talking about herself or her personal needs. She was talking about something which all women already receive UNLESS they work for a business that is owned by the Catholic church. The president of Georgetown University and more than 100 of its professors have come out in support of Ms. Fluke. Wake up and join the 21st century.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      @momoya: well said...too bad others don't see it like that 🙂

      March 6, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  15. Mary Scott

    Mr Limbaugh, does "the stooping to their level" comment include the young woman that you were apologizing to? If it does not include her then please explain exactly who is included in the "their level" catagory.
    A black female old enough to remember the racist actions a views of a not so distant pass.

    March 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • STruth

      Rush is proof that the past is present and it's always ready to spew it's bigotry whenever there is a platform to do it from.

      March 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, Facepalm

      Race has nothing to do with this… and yet here someone is bringing it up. Get over it.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  16. molly

    The leaders of the GOP fear the bloated disgrace known as Rush Limbaugh.

    March 6, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • STruth

      The GOP fear a lot of things.

      March 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  17. momoya

    Just spoke with Netflix.

    They purchased a block of advertisement that was dispersed across many media outlets; they did NOT specifically buy or want to buy any time on Rush's show.. They have discussed the issue with the 3rd party advertiser and now have solid verification that their ads will not run on Limbaugh's program.

    I recognize that from the reader's point of view this is "hearsay," but it is exactly what they told me.

    March 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  18. al

    Rush is the boss of the GOP.

    March 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  19. hippypoet

    this is a funny article... it first says Rush is wrong in the way he said sorry but then goes on to say that the whole act of saying sorry when in a public life is nothing more then an act in the first place!! this is just completely retarded! if the sorry is supposed to mean anything just look good then why is it needed in the first place? get over a stupid insult adn grow up! hey, maybe you are hoe – who cares but you, and only your opinion matters about yourself right??????? exactly! shut up!

    March 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Take a pill.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • hippypoet

      blow me tom. 🙂

      March 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, thanks, I prefer to make fun of you.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • hippypoet

      no no no, tom i said you are below me... do your knees hurt? lol

      gotta love puns when they allow for a repeat insult – it makes it more fun! 🙂

      March 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That isn't a pun. Puns are intelligent plays on words.

      It's the intelligent part that keeps tripping you up.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • hippypoet

      blow and below if used in the manner of the other then it is a pun and i did...but they must be used in a poetic fashion due to there lack of verbal similarities. and a pun is only a play on words – it has nothing to do with intelligence. thou we here wish you had a tad more.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, you moron. It wasn't a pun and you couldn't manage to make one if you tried. You aren't even able to use words one way, much less two.

      It's THOUGH, hp.

      Nobody is attempting to shut Rush up. His sponsors are taking their money away because people don't approve of his attacking a person instead of her ideas. Try to figure that out. Ms. Fluke never attacked Limbaugh. She testified and he promptly labeled her a slut by a radio showman. She doesn't have to "get over it". She can sue for slander and I rather hope she does.

      Words matter, hippy, even if you don't understand that point.

      March 6, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sorry about yesterday. I had my knickers in a twist. I shouldn’t be calling people names it’s childish and immature. You make some very good points hippypoet

      March 7, 2012 at 8:08 am |
  20. WOT

    Rush was doomed to FAIL: because of his own words!

    March 6, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.