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Rush Limbaugh Owes Democracy an Apology

By       Message John Nichols     Permalink
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Cross-posted from The Nation


Syndicated talk radio host Rush Limbaugh got so upset over the able articulation of an opposing view by Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University Law School student who testified before members of Congress in order to highlight concerns about limits on access to contraception, that he attacked her as a "slut" and a "prostitute."

This was no slip of the conservative commentator's tongue. This was an elite media personality with a national media platform seeking to silence a citizen.

When concerns were raised about his vile language, Limbaugh doubled down and restated his attacks on Fluke.

The attacks were so over the top that Georgetown students, national groups and President Obama rallied to Fluke's defense.

Fluke has ably defended herself in interviews on national news programs. She's a strong young woman who has proven herself more than equal to the task of responding to a shocking assault on her as an individual -- and on her right to speak as an American citizen.

It is the second assault that should concern everyone -- no matter what their partisanship, no matter what their ideological bent.

While Limbaugh certainly owes Fluke an apology, the fact is that the radio host owes a broader apology.

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Limbaugh attacked Fluke for speaking up before Congress on an issue of national concern.

Fluke stepped into the limelight not as an entertainer or a political player. She did not seek fame or fortune. She spoke up as a citizen.

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

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