As Advertisers Peel Away, Military Vows to Stick with Rush Limbaugh

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Common Dreams

As Advertisers Peel Away, Military Vows to Stick with Rush Limbaugh

Sandra Fluke: Rush Limbaugh's apology doesn't change anything

by
Common Dreams staff

Rush Limbaugh

The Armed Forces Network said Monday that it intends to continue to carry Rush Limbaugh's right-wing radio show which airs every weekday morning on the global military network. Pentagon spokesman George Little says the military’s network will continue to air Limbaugh’s program.

VoteVets, a coalition of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, released a letter today from a group of female veterans calling on the Armed Forces Network to drop the show.

Limbaugh has come under fire since he called 30-year-old law student Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" after she testified before Congress in favor of contraception coverage.

Meanwhile, Monday morning AOL became the eighth advertiser to pulls its money from Rush Limbaugh's syndicated radio program -- and the third after Limbaugh had issued a faux-apology on Saturday

AOL joins ProFlowers and Carbonite who announced they were pulling their advertising since the 'apology.' Quicken Loans, Sleep Train, Sleep Number, Citrix Systems Inc., and Legal Zoom announced earlier that they will no longer be advertising on Limbaugh's show.

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Think Progress reports:

VoteVets, a coalition of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, released a letter today from a group of female veterans calling on the American Forces Network to drop Rush Limbaugh from its programming.

Miranda Norman (who is a VoteVets.org Senior Advisor), Kayla Williams, and Robin Eckstein, all Iraq War Veterans, and Katherine Scheirman, former chief of medical operations in the U.S. Air Forces, released the following statement:

Rush Limbaugh has a freedom of speech and can say what he wants, but in light of his horribly misogynistic comments, American Forces Radio should no longer give him a platform. Our entire military depends on troops respecting each other – women and men. There simply can be no place on military airwaves for sentiments that would undermine that respect. When many of our female troops use birth control, for Limbaugh to say they are “sluts” and “prostitutes” is beyond the pale. It isn’t just disrespectful to our women serving our country, but it’s language that goes against everything that makes our military work. Again, we swore to uphold our Constitution, including the freedom of speech, and would not take that away from anyone – even Limbaugh. But that does not mean AFN should broadcast him. In fact, it shouldn’t.

AFN is owned and operated by the Department of Defense, funded with taxpayer dollars, and accessible to troops serving overseas. Pentagon spokesman George Little says the military’s network will continue to air Rush Limbaugh’s radio program and is “unaware of any plans to review that decision.”

American Forces Network has a Facebook page here. AFN Europe and AFN Afghanistan are on Twitter.

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The Los Angeles Times reports:

Two days after Rush Limbaugh issued a tepid apology to Sandra Fluke, the woman who he called a “slut” and a “prostitute” for her advocacy for expansion of access to birth control, Fluke dismissed Limbaugh's statement as insufficient.

The 30-year-old Georgetown law student noted in a Monday appearance on "The View" that Limbaugh had only apologized for his choice of words, as she sought to refocus the discussion on access to contraceptives being a matter of women's rights .

“I don’t think that a statement like this, issued saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything,” Fluke said. “Especially when that statement is issued when he’s under significant pressure from his sponsors, who have begun to pull their support from the show.”

“I don’t think that a statement like this, issued saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything. Especially when that statement is issued when he’s under significant pressure from his sponsors, who have begun to pull their support from the show.”
- Sandra Fluke
Among the statements Limbaugh made about Fluke, he characterized her testimony to a panel of lawmakers as asking “you and me and the taxpayers” to pay her “to have sex.” He said the request made her a “slut” and a “prostitute” and would make the American public “pimps.”

On "The View," Fluke said Limbaugh was not alone in attacking her personally for her viewpoint.

“It is really important for us all to understand that this was not one person who went crazy and made ‘funny’ outrageous statements,” Fluke said. “This is evidently a segment of our political commentators who think that it is acceptable in today’s society to say these things about women.”

Fluke said Limbaugh also had incorrectly portrayed her testimony. Fluke said she advocated for a woman's right to contraceptives as a part of health insurance coverage. She did not argue that the government should pay for contraceptives, but said employers and universities that offer health insurance plans should ensure such coverage is included in those plans. [...]

Fluke had argued that contraceptive coverage was important for women’s health and she focused on its medical uses beyond preventing pregnancy. She told the story of a friend who lost an ovary because she did not have access to birth control, which might have prevented the growth of a cyst.

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