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After six advertisers dropped sponsorship of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh has apologized for calling a pro-contraception Georgetown student a "slut" and a "prostitute." The remarks caused a massive controversy, which resulted in President Obama telephoning the student, and — perhaps more remarkably — senior Republicans criticizing the influential shock jock.
On his website, Limbaugh wrote:
"For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke. ... My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices."
But then right in the midst of his contrition act, he unleashed yet another rant. "I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities," Limbaugh writes. "What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit?"
Limbaugh neglects to acknowledge that 1.5 million American women use birth control pills for reasons other than contraception, such as lessening menstrual pain and preventing ovarian cysts. He might regret using the inflammatory language, but nevertheless continues to suggest that a huge number of female citizens are greedy and immoral simply for expecting insurance companies to pay for medicine. It's unclear whether — in the wake of advertiser discontent — this is an apology from the heart or just the pocketbook.
Also: "sneakers ... to keep fit"? Really, Rush? You're going to make the punch line that easy?