Thursday, September 18, 2014

Feminist Limbaugh

Politico's Dylan Byers reports

On Tuesday, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairperson Steve Israel sent a blast email asking supporters to sign a petition calling on Limbaugh's sponsors to pull their advertising from his program because of remarks he had made about rape. Israel characterized Limbaugh as saying, "…No" means "yes" if you know how to spot it…” The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sent out a similar email on Wednesday....

The email directed recipients to a form where they were required to fill out their email address and had the option of supplying their zip code. After giving their information to the DCCC, they are redirected to ActBlue and asked for a donation, preferably recurring weekly.

Limbaugh spokesperson Brian Glicklich told Politico "The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee emails about Rush Limbaugh are an intentional lie, using 10 words carefully selected from his full comments to imply the opposite of what he actually said."  (An intentional lie? I hate those unintentional lies?) In response to Glicklich's response to Israel's response to Limbaugh's response to an apparently new policy at Ohio State University, the DCCC e-mailed Politico

The world according to Rush Limbaugh: women who use the birth control pill are ‘sluts,’ ‘no means yes if you know how to spot it,’ and anyone who dares question him is ‘reprehensible.’ There’s no context where no means yes, and that’s why thousands of Americans are responding to our petition demanding that his sponsors to pull their advertising.

Helpfully, Byers provided a transcript of the controversial statement (video, below):

Consent must be freely given, can be withdrawn at any time, and the absence of 'no' does not mean 'yes.'" How many of you guys, in your own experience with women, have learned that "no" means "yes" if you know how to spot it? Let me tell you something. In this modern world, that is simply not tolerated. People aren't even gonna try to understand that one. I mean, it used to be said it was a cliche. It used to be part of the advice young boys were given.   See, that's what we gotta change. We have got to reprogram the way we raise men. Why do you think permission every step of the way, clearly spelling out "why"... are all of these not lawsuits just waiting to happen if even one of these steps is not taken?

Byers received this transcript.... from the Limbaugh camp. Yes, Glicklich- in defense- sent to Politico a statement including "Why do you think permission every step of the way, clearly spelling out 'why'... are all of these not lawsuits just waiting to happen if even one of these steps is not taken?"  Further, Glinklich neglected to mention that Limbaugh, following a commercial break, added "I don't know how men can be held to that Ohio State agreement, policy, anyway, because everybody knows in sex men don't think with their brains. Not the one in their heads, anyway. It's just so silly."

It's just so silly.  Yet, the Limbaugh camp says the DCCC charged the talk-show host with implying the opposite of what he "actually said."  Actually, even the portion Glinklich quoted has the boss maintaining if men don't ask "permission every step of the way.... are all of these not lawsuits just waiting to happen?"  Given that "lawsuits" is a four-letter word (until an individual has to file one), that would be a truly bizarre way of expressing concern about sexual assault on campus. As if to emphasize his point, Rush soon thereafter added (transcript of entire segment, here)

You ever notice that? I've never run across anybody who suggested that women need to be reprogrammed. I don't think I've even come across anybody who wanted to teach a girl how to throw right. They just accept it is what it is. But honestly, folks, it's always reprogramming men. It's always men who seem to provide or be at the root of all of these cultural problems. And if we could just make men less like men and more like, I guess, women, then we would be rid of all of these problems.

If he had any integrity, Limbaugh would own up to what he had inferred and defended it which, if his characterization of the Ohio State (or as they say there, "The Ohio State University") policy were accurate (a huge "if"), would be plausible for a humble guy who bills himself as "guaranteed to be right 99% of the time."

Limbaugh's audience, overwhelmingly conservative, knew exactly what he meant. But he's not supposed to be challenged because, in the conservative mind, merely questioning a statement is simply not to be done. It's all part of the sense of victimization carried around by the right and would be recognized  as a defining characteristic, were the media willing to notice it.

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