Monday, March 05, 2012

An open letter to Rush Limbaugh...

Mr. Limbaugh:

So, you apologized to Ms. Fluke for calling her degrading names just because she dared to speak her mind about the availability of insurance-covered birth control. Just because, you know, you don't agree with her.

So. I don't agree with you about a lot of things. Most things. Well, just about everything. Does that mean it's fine for me to call you degrading names?

Yeah. I didn't think so.

I also don't think your apology counts for much, since it didn't come for several days, and then only after calling her even more names and having some of your advertisers pull their ads from your show. I might buy it if you had used your "poor word choice" once, that first time. But when you did it again, on a completely different day, you lost the right to claim that you just used your words poorly, in the heat of your - what did you call it? - your "attempt to be humorous". What is ever humorous about calling a woman what you called Ms. Fluke?

There are things I could call you that you would find insulting. I won't do that, because I was brought up to believe that one just doesn't do that. Ever. And especially in public, in an attempt to gain ratings and earn money.

I am not personally an advocate, Mr. Limbaugh, of calling for people who do and say things I don't agree with to be fired from their jobs. Not even when their job is, as yours is, being a syndicated broadcaster who should know better. But, you know, I might be willing to make an exception in your case. You've been doing this for years, publicly assassinating the character of anyone you don't agree with. Even defenseless pre-teen or teen-age girls who did not ever ask to be in the public eye, but were only there because of the position of their parents. Yes, I remember what you said about Chelsea Clinton when she was very young and you insulted her looks in the very same venue where you insulted Ms. Fluke.

So, you know, Mr. Limbaugh, if you were sincerely sorry, you would take some time off and think about what you did, and what you do so often as part of your very privileged place in front of a microphone five days a week. You can afford it. Just think about what you do, how you seem to believe that anyone you don't agree with deserves to have their very reputations ruined in your attempts to be "humorous".

I'm sorry, Mr. Limbaugh, but I don't find you to be very funny.

Still, I'm not demanding that you be fired. All I'm asking is that you take a little time off and think, really think, about whether your part of the problem in broadcasting generally today, where character assassination seems to be completely accepted as a legitimate form of discourse, or whether you might be willing to be part of the solution by criticizing positions that you do not agree with rather than taking cheap shots at the people who hold those positions.

I'm not asking you to abandon your beliefs, or the beliefs that you seem to think you need to espouse in order to keep your ratings. I'm just asking you to limit your criticisms to the ideas without assassinating the character of the people who express them. That is what civilized discourse is all about.

I'm old enough to remember when that was common practice in this great country of ours. You are slightly older than I am, sir, so you should be able to remember that time, as well.

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