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Rush Limbaugh clearly chose the wrong words. . . even when he was apologizing. The big news over the course of the past week has been Limbaugh’s outrageous comments about a Georgetown University law student who had the gall to speak out in favor of Catholic university health plans being required to cover birth control. Limbaugh, in a now-famous rant on his nationally syndicated radio show, called the student, Sandra Fluke, a “slut” and a “prostitute” who wanted the government to pay her to have sex. He also said Fluke was “having sex so frequently that she can’t afford all the birth-control pills that she needs”—showing an utter lack of understanding regarding how birth control works. He didn’t stop there, though, further stating that, in return for birth control, she should be required to post a tape of herself having sex with multiple partners for all the world to see. An uproar, quite naturally, ensued. When it was clear he was facing not just outrage but the loss of advertisers, Limbaugh issued a tepid apology, which stated, in part:
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. . .