Patch has seen some strong arguments and spirited debate regarding comments made recently by Rush Limbaugh.
The conservative radio talk show host has been criticized for comments he made regarding college student Sandra Fluke who recently testified before Congress on the issue of birth control.
Though he recently apologized, noted attorney Gloria Allred has also weighed in. Allred herself has been a lightning rod for controversy. The attorney is currently representing a young woman who claims a former San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputy from Redlands started a sexual relationship with her while she was a minor.
As a service to our readers who are following the story and to help provide a forum for discussion, below is Allred’s response to Limbaugh’s apology.
Your so-called apology is meaningless.
Last week you made some outrageous and exceptionally tasteless comments on your show as follows:
LIMBAUGH: "What does it say about the college coed Susan Fluke [sic], who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.
"So Miss Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here's the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch." –Rush
On Saturday you issued an apology in which you stated, “I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke”. In that same statement you also asked, “What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line?"
Well Rush, I can tell you that where I draw the line is when you attack a young woman who did nothing other than appear before a Congressional committee to testify on a controversial and important subject that has an impact on the lives of millions of American women. Where is your sense of personal responsibility and accountability? You seem to think that because you have a forum that reaches millions of people that gives you a license to defame and vilify those who disagree with your political viewpoints. Shame on you!!!
I wonder whether your so called apology may have been motivated by your own economic self-interest given the fact that at least one advertiser has dropped your program because they said that your recent comments "do not align with our values." Other advertisers have also withdrawn from sponsoring your program and more may be considering doing the same.
Your statement was not personal- really Rush? You want us to believe that you did not regard it as personal to talk about this young law student by purposely targeting her and attempting to degrade her by calling her a slut and a prostitute? Who are you kidding- it was as personal and obnoxious as any statement could possibly be and it was obviously designed to make anyone who had a viewpoint which was different than yours afraid to come forward and express those views before Congress out of fear that they would be similarly attacked.
What happened to Ms. Fluke’s free speech? Since when has it been okay to target people who testify before policy makers with vicious, unwarranted and defamatory attacks? You may think that all of your misconduct disappears because you label yourself an entertainer. Well, we are not entertained - we are disgusted. You think that your non-apology apology coming on the heels of advertisers abandoning your show will make them come back? I guess even some of your advertisers do not find you all that entertaining. We hope that your advertisers continue to show the good sense and judgment that you lack by abandoning your show in droves.
Your words, your low blows, your lack of boundaries and judgment will not go away that easily. You cannot wash away the stain that you have placed on your reputation and you may be assured that I for one will continue to point out what you have done to this woman who did not deserve such callous mistreatment.
Women see you for who you are. I have received countless emails from women across the country who are outraged and want to do something about you. You may have thought that women would be silenced by your attacks, but just the opposite is true. Women are rallying because we see that your attack on Ms. Fluke is an attack on all of us and on our right to speak out publicly and to stand up for contraception and our reproductive rights.
Rush, I know that this all sounds very personal- and it is.
Very Truly Yours,
Attorney at Law
President, Women's Equal Rights Legal Defense and Education Fund