Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rush Limbaugh: Vile Parrot In The War On Women's Health; But Only One In A Woman-Hating Army

By Meteor Blades, cross-posted from Daily Kos

As the campaign continues to get advertisers and stations to end their relationship with Rush Limbaugh's hate-radio program, it's important to remember exactly what sparked this outcry against the bully from Cape Girardeau. It was not, as the spewmeister repeatedly tried to frame it and even a few progressive critics bought into, the sex life of Sandra Fluke. Because she said exactly zero about that in her testimony before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. Not one word.
What she did say she herself best summed up:
[W]hen you let university administrators or other employers rather than women and their doctors dictate whose medical needs are legitimate and whose are not, women’s health takes a back seat to a bureaucracy focused on policing her body.
The issue is equitable coverage of women's reproductive health needs and women's private decisions made together with their physicians about how best to manage their health care versus the demands of politicians and clerics and other busybodies to intervene in private medical matters that are none of their concern.
That Rush Limbaugh and his imitators, emulators and dittoheads have chosen to make it about Sandra Fluke's sex life, about which they know absolutely nothing, about which they should be making no comments whatsoever, epitomizes the war on women they have been running for so very, very long. Fluke is hardly the first woman to feel their boot, their scorn and their slanders. They want to make reproductive health care decisions for women. They want to maintain, or rather, regain the control that women and their allies have worked for decades to put and keep in the hands of women.

In this particular case, it's also well to remember that the guy who makes 6300-times the mininum wage for each of his programs, didn't originate the vicious attack on Fluke. He just used his electronic soapbox to amplify and embellish it. It started with Craig Bannister, the Communications Director of a right-wing outfit, the Conservative News Service (CNS), whose parent entity is the Media Research Center. Founded by Brent Bozell and funded by Exxon-Mobil and right-wing foundations like the Sarah Scaife Foundation and Castle Rock Foundation, the mission is to "balance" the so-called "liberal media."

Craig Bannister's diatribe against Fluke would have never been noticed by anyone who matters had it not been for Limbaugh's need for three more days of sewage (for which he was paid approximately $450,000). But both Bannister and Limbaugh are only two of an army of woman-haters engaged in this warfare.

As we watch the advertisers and stations break off their relationship with Limbaugh, we should never forget that what really generated this unprecedented grass-roots pushback against the attacks on Fluke wasn't just the hateful bleatings of the nation's most overpaid gasbag. Limbaugh's misogyny is not exceptional except in its ability to gain an audience and his willingness to use language others shy away from. It is all part of the long-term, broad-based attack on women's basic rights engaged in by misogynist religious organizations, right-wing funders, the politicians they buy at the local, state and federal levels and Limbaugh wannabes at stations across the nation. He is just the point man.
Send an e-mail to the Armed Forces Network, telling them there is no place on military airwaves for talk like Limbaugh's.


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