As corporate sponsors flee Rush Limbaugh for calling birth-control activist Sandra Fluke a "slut," many conservatives are rushing to his defense. This week, Sarah Palin called the Left's attacks on the conservative talk-radio personality the "definition of hypocrisy." After all, Palin said, liberals — including comedian Bill Maher, who has donated $1 million to a pro-Obama super PAC — have said plenty of "horrible things" about her and other conservative women. Is the Left hypocritical for attacking Rush?
Liberals say worse things than Rush: The Left is using one radio outburst to "demonize the entire Right," says syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin, but "it's the progressive Left... that has viciously and systematically slimed female conservatives for their beliefs." Where were the leftist feminists when liberals were calling me a "Manila whore" for expressing conservative opinions, or when "MSNBC misogynist Ed Schultz" called "talk show host Laura Ingraham a 'talk slut' for criticizing Obama's petty beer summit"?
"Don't forget liberals' war on conservative women"
Limbaugh went way beyond using a few insulting words: Feminists did excoriate Maher for insulting Palin and Michele Bachmann, says Irin Carmon at Salon, as they did Schultz, and every other high-profile liberal guilty of sexist language. But Limbaugh's tirade went beyond "misogynistic insults." His vile, "leering" words were part of a sustained attempt to demean and silence women for having the audacity to speak up against the conservative "war on women" and their reproductive health.
"Feminists call out liberals too!"
Both sides are distracted from the real issues: Each side has its grievances, says Nick Gillespie at Reason. Conservatives say liberals are just as bad. Liberals say Limbaugh is worse because he has millions of followers. But "the outrage over foul language has obscured a serious debate over the implications and implementation of Obama's health-care reform." This election year, the nation is facing economic calamity and a host of foreign crises, but "we'd rather talk about anything else than how to fix what's wrong with us."
"3 lessons from the national conversation about sluts and twats"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Ban PowerPoint!
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
Subscribe to the Week