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General News    H2'ed 7/13/13

Slutgate II: Limbaugh Calls Educated Moms "Lushes" Who "End Up at the Motel"

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Rush Limbaugh sure knows how to get folks to talk about him, but he's hit a new bottom on his website with a venomous smear of "mommies" who are "too educated" and have become bored by their children. 

Limbaugh surmises "...if all you're going to do with that education is be a mommy, you are headed for white wine"..."they go out and start drinking white wine, and then they become lushes". Rush then reverts to his 'slut' talk, explaining how the women get promiscuous with random men:

"And the guys in the bars who are drinking less are waiting for the white wine-drinking women to cruise by them on the way home from the grocery store...[t]hey head them off at the pass and end up at the Motel 6 or whatever is nearby."

Limbaugh was pretending to be commenting on a Wall Street Journal article about alcohol abuse by women, but his interpretation took off into the absurd, claiming to have found "the meat of the story" by "stripping away all of the extraneous BS". Rush sprinkled in stats from the piece but ended up with wildly different conclusions than author Gabrielle Glaser if you bother to read her mediocre source article. 

In short, Rush said this proves educated women hate the "tedium" of child rearing and somehow connected this to them being loose and adulterous.

This deliberate attack on women is only the latest in Rush's ploy to generate buzz via outrage, going right back for more after the first "Slutgate" incident in March of 2012. Limbaugh drew wide criticism by characterizing activist Sandra Fluke a "slut" and "prostitute" for testifying on behalf of medically necessary contraception. But it also generated headlines which he sees as positive. 

Limbaugh lays his blueprint out clearly in interviews, welcoming wide scale hatred by the public, as long as the publicity enables him to charge "confiscatory ad rates". Over the decades, Limbaugh's dominance of talk radio has helped narrow choice on the dial, as syndicators Clear Channel and Cumulus have gobbled up the strongest signals in the biggest markets.

But the anti-Limbaugh movement that coalesced since the original Slutgate scandal may have affected Limbaugh's bottom line. For over a year, the social media group Flush Rush has been relentlessly contacting sponsors to read them misogynist and racist quotes by Limbaugh, claiming success as thousands of advertisers drop out. Just this week, they are reporting that Cumulus losses are mounting as Rush's ads are increasingly being replaced by filler in key markets.

Limbaugh struck back though, hiring top crisis management consultant Brian Glicklich who had previously helped Paris Hilton repair her image. Right away, Limbaugh increased his online presence to counter the growing anti-Rush sentiment in social media. He finally began to use Twitter, "buying" Twitter followers by offering free Apple iPads.

Next, he opened a Facebook page for female supporters called "Rush Babes for America" which sports sexist "mudflap" silhouette designs. After gloating that the Rush Babes page accumulated more "likes" than NOW, the National Organization for Woman, reports surfaced proving that most of the Rush Babe "likes" were coming from fake, overseas accounts. 

Still, there are many legitimate females who frequent the page. Limbaugh keeps it active by demeaning women in brief posts that prompt discussion. The formula is simple - be outrageous and people talk. Rush's female fans agree some moms are too educated, for example saying they should "keep their legs shut" or "Motherhood has always driven women to drink -- it's a tough job". 

But the saddest I saw was a Rush "babe" who promised she'd do better to avoid Rush's criticism: "Yes, being a mom of 2 little ones - I look forward to that glass of (any colored) wine when they are both tucked peacefully into bed! I'll make sure to avoid stereotyping myself and avoid the grocery store!"

Do we have to accept that hate speech on public radio is a part of living in America? 

Limbaugh is cagey, using his website to post this latest anti-woman rant because online "free speech" is different than radio airwaves which are supposed to have some component of "serving the public interest".

The recent appointment of a new FCC commissioner has brought fresh questions to debates over the limits of political free speech over public airwaves. 

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(OpEdNews Contributing Editor since October 2006) Inner city schoolteacher from New York, mostly covering media manipulation. I put election/finance reform ahead of all issues but also advocate for fiscal conservatism, ethics in journalism and (more...)

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