Michael Gaynor
Let's learn from Rush Limbaugh's huge mistake
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By Michael Gaynor
March 9, 2012

Let's focus on the real issues instead of wallow too.

Embattled conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh made a huge mistake when he called Georgetown Law Center student Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" and muses about her doing sex tapes.

President Obama owes Limbaugh big time, for shifting attention away from what is critically important — religious liberty and conscience protection — to a distraction like Fluke.

Fluke, 30, a Protestant who chose to attend Georgetown University, a Catholic institution established in 1789, wants George University to provide contraception insurance coverage for her, notwithstanding its religious-based objection to doing so.

Last month Fluke spoke before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on contraception.

Limbaugh foolishly extended Fluke's 15 minutes of fame by calling Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" and suggesting that if she wanted contraception insurance she should post sex tapes in return.

It was unreal and unhelpful.

A firestorm predictably ensued, and Limbaugh lost advertisers, both before and after he apologized.

Limbaugh's apology did not satisfy either Fluke or Imus In The Morning host Don Imus.

Imus expressed anger over Limbaugh's website apology.

"A lame apology on his website, in which he says he didn't mean to personally attack her," Imus said, "is gutless."

Imus, who himself lost his job, even though he quickly apologized for referring to female college basketball players as "nappy headed hoes," blasted Limbaugh's "sustained, vile, personal attack" on Fluke over three days and opined that to apologize, you have to "go sit down with her" and apologize.

It's been terrible, but perhaps some conservatives who think that the proper response to Leftist excess is to use outrageous Alinskyite tactics themselves will realize that is not only wrong, but counterproductive.

Limbaugh later told his listeners, "I do not think she is either of those two words. I did not think last week that she is either of those two words. The apology to her over the weekend was sincere."

Taking Limbaugh at his word that he did not actually believe Fluke was a "slut" or a "prostitute," the question that needs to be answered is, why did he used those words.

Limbaugh explained that he stooped to the level of the liberal opposition who, he says, "will do and say anything to push their agenda."

"This is the mistake I made: In fighting them on this issue last week, I became like them," Limbaugh said. "Against my own instincts, against my own knowledge, against everything I know to be right and wrong, I descended to their level when I used those two words to describe Sandra Fluke. That was my error."

Stated otherwise, Limbaugh used outrageous Alinskyite tactics.

For Saul Alinsky, author of Rules for Radicals, demonizing the opposition is key, ridicule is a favorite weapon and truth is unimportant.

Alinsky believed that ridicule is man's most potent weapon and a tactic that your people enjoy is a good tactic.

Instead of simply saying that Fluke is a distraction from the real issues — religious liberty and conscience protection, Limbaugh made Fluke's sex life and desire to have contraception covered by her insurance policy (regardless of the tenets of the Catholic Church) the focus of the news and himself an easy target for his political enemies.

The late Andrew Breitbart, a liberal turned conservative and self-described secularist, enthusiastically advocated the use by the Right of the tactics of the Far Left's Saul Alinsky.

It is a fundamentally flawed strategy, as Limbaugh's experience with Fluke shows.

In ridiculing Fluke, perhaps Limbaugh was emulating Breitbart "[a]gainst [his] own instincts, against [his] own knowledge, against everything [he] know[s] to be right and wrong."

Limbaugh should have gone with his own instincts, knowledge and understanding of right and wrong.

Let's focus on the real issues instead of wallow too.

© Michael Gaynor

 

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)

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