Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh apologized today to a Georgetown University law student he called a "slut" and a "prostitute" this week. His comments about Sandra Fluke, who testified on Capitol Hill that insurers should provide no-cost contraception, outraged women's groups and others, including the president, who called her on Friday.
In a statement released Saturday, Limbaugh said he chose the "wrong words" and that he didn't mean a personal attack on Fluke.
Limbaugh said he was trying to be humorous and that he thought it was "absurd" that Americans were testifying before Congress about sexual activities:
"I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit?In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone's bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level."
Fluke was allowed to testify before lawmakers Feb. 23, a week after Republicans in the House refused to let her testify about the Obama administration's policy on insurance coverage of birth control.
On Wednesday, Limbaugh bashed the third-year law student.
"What does it say about the college coed ... who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex?" Limbaugh said, according to The Associated Press. "It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex."
As Mark reported Friday, Fluke said she was stunned by the insult, but primarily because Limbaugh's comments still were considered acceptable discourse in certain sectors of society.
Limbaugh's comments unleashed a slew of criticism. According to The New York Times, as of Saturday, at least six advertisers had pulled their ads from his show.