Democrats go after Limbaugh


Rush LimbaughAn Ohio State University rule governing student sexual encounters drew commentary from Rush Limbaugh, and that in turn drew commentary from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

OSU says that students must have explicit consent before engaging in intimate relationships – or in other words, no always means no.

Limbaugh said that in the traditional art or courtship, boys have been taught that no sometimes means yes.

His remarks, in context, were provided to Politico. According to a Dylan Byers report in that publication, Limbaugh said, “Consent must be freely given, can be withdrawn at any time, and the absence of ‘no’ does not mean ‘yes.’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?”

DCCC chair, Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) was quick to attack. He said, “There’s simply no excusing comments of this offensive nature, especially at a time where our country is having a long-overdue conversation about violence against women. Plain and simple – Rush Limbaugh is advocating for the tolerance of sexual assault and should be taken off the air immediately.”

According to reports, DCCC is attempting to fund-raise off Limbaugh’s remarks, and is encouraging Limbaugh’s advertisers to abandon the show.

Limbaugh’s people point to the full transcript and say his remarks are as usual being taken out of context. Others believe you can take them in the context in which they were offered and they are still troublesome.

RBR-TVBR observation: Eliciting visceral counter-campaigns from the loyal opposition is an occupational hazard of the practitioners of political talk, and the bigger the talker, the bigger a target the talker makes.

Radio companies with a large slate of Limbaugh affiliates definitely took a hit back when the Limbaugh-Sandra Fluke controversy hit the fan. This incident doesn’t seem to have the same kind of legs at this point, but the timing, when the NFL abuse scandal is flaming, is not good.

The bottom line is clear, however – regardless of the economics of the political talk universe – it carries with it risks that simply do not exist for almost all other types of programming.