"A firestorm of outrage from women after a crude tirade from Rush Limbaugh," said NBC anchor Brian Williams. This was followed by a reporter who said: "In 2012, the personal is political. What began as a debate over religious freedom has devolved into what some call a 'war on women.'"
The "outrage" over Rush Limbaugh's "misogyny" provides the latest examples of the liberal vs. conservative double standard and the selective indignation of the left. Limbaugh criticized the congressional appearance of Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown law student who supported requiring even religiously affiliated institutions to provide "free" contraceptives.
"So, Ms. Fluke, and the rest of you femi-Nazis," Limbaugh said, "here's the deal: If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and, thus, pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. And I'll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch." Limbaugh also called her a woman who admits she gets "paid" for sex -- something that, according to Limbaugh, makes her a "slut" and a "prostitute."
He apologized, but reportedly has lost sponsors. Fluke refused to accept his apology. "I don't think that a statement like this issued, saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything," Fluke said. "And especially when that statement is issued when he's under significant pressure from his sponsors who have begun to pull their support."
The "firestorm" over Limbaugh's "sexism" would be convincing -- were it not for its selective nature. Where's the outrage when the misogyny comes from the left?
Ed Schultz, for example, the blowtorch left-wing MSNBC host, called conservative radio show host Laura Ingraham a "right-wing slut" and a "talk slut." Isn't the "s" word -- aside from the "c" word -- the worst anti-woman slur a man can make? But if Schultz suffered a loss of advertisers, we never heard about it. No activists pumped out press releases arguing that a man who calls a woman a "slut" because of her political conservatism maligns all conservative woman. His punishment? One week's suspension without pay.
The sexism police long ago exempted Bill Clinton from any conversation about ill-treatment of women. Some of the same people who condemn Limbaugh for his treatment of Fluke go deaf, dumb and blind over Clinton's treatment of and statements about the women who dared confront him.
Juanita Broaddrick, in 1999, appeared on "Dateline NBC" -- after the broadcast was repeatedly delayed -- and accused Bill Clinton of rape. Repeat, NBC aired an interview with a woman who accused Clinton, the Arkansas attorney general at the time, of not sexual harassment, not sexual assault but rape. But a recent PBS special, touted as a tough, warts-and-all documentary, failed to include any reference whatsoever to the rape allegation in four hours of programming. To date, only one national reporter, Sam Donaldson, even asked a question about it.
When Gennifer Flowers went public with their affair, Clinton surrogates called her a liar, dismissing her as a "saloon singer." Clinton denied it, only to admit it after years of insisting she lied. Surrogates called Monica Lewinsky "delusional" before Clinton admitted their affair, and that he lied about it under oath and to the nation.
Paula Jones, who alleged Clinton committed sexual harassment, was denounced by top aide James Carville: "Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you'll find." Clinton later paid Jones $850,000 to settle the sexual harassment lawsuit that Clinton had insisted lacked merit. Clinton also accused attorney Dolly Kyle Browning of lying when she claimed she'd had a long-standing affair with him.
Kathleen Willey, a former Clinton campaign aide, appeared on "60 Minutes" and accused Clinton of taking her hand and placing it on his genitalia. Incredibly, feminist attorney Gloria Steinem said even if one assumes Willey told the truth, Clinton's actions do not constitute sexual harassment because he stopped when Willey complained. "In other words," wrote Steinem, "President Clinton took 'no' for an answer."
After Limbaugh's comments, reporters rushed to ask House Speaker John Boehner to react. Did anyone bother asking Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to react to less-than-female-friendly comments made by talk-show host Bill Maher?
Maher, of HBO's "Real Time," recently announced a $1 million donation to a pro-Obama super PAC. Maher's wealth, in addition to his show's platform, makes Maher a pretty substantial person of influence in the Democratic Party. Yet Maher, on more than one occasion, referred to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin by the "c" word, called her a "dumb 't'-word" (think "twit" with a different vowel), and has called Palin and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., "bimbos." Kirsten Powers, a former Democratic strategist, wrote: "(Maher) recently made a joke about Rick Santorum's wife using a vibrator. Imagine now the same joke during the 2008 primary with Michelle Obama's name in it, and tell me that he would still have a job."
We don't need to tell you. He wouldn't.