Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sandra Fluke is Every Woman

This is the Wikipedia entry regarding the controversy between bigoted dickwad Rush Limbaugh and Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke, after Ms. Fluke testified to a House committee about President Obama's mandated health coverage of contraceptives:

"On February 29, 2012 Limbaugh commented on law student Sandra Fluke, who had testified before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee in support of mandated health coverage for contraceptives. On his radio show, Limbaugh described Fluke as a "slut", "prostitute" and "round-heeled", while questioning whether her parents were proud of her for supporting the government's ruling that religiously affiliated institutions should provide health insurance plans that include contraception. Already facing criticism, he repeated his claims the following day and further suggested that Fluke, "and the rest of you feminazis," make a sex tape in exchange for contraceptive funding, along with offering to buy the women of Georgetown University "as much aspirin to put between their knees as they want."

Rush Limbaugh has crossed a line, and from my (albeit unexperienced) legal perspective, Sandra Fluke needs to sue.

In Washington, D.C., in order to prove a case of "slander" in civil court, a plaintiff need only show four elements:

  1. the defendant (Rush Limbaugh) made a false and defamatory statement concerning the plaintiff (Sandra Fluke) --> DUH.
  2. the defendant published the statement without privilege to a third party --> Pretty sure Fluke wasn't okay with Limbaugh calling her a "slut," among other things, via a national radio show.
  3. the defendant's fault in publishing the statement amounted to at least negligence --> can you be negligent for being a misogynist bigot?
  4. either the statement was actionable as a matter of law irrespective of special harm or itspublication caused the plaintiff special harm --> yeah, I think Fluke was pretty harmed by Limbaugh's idiotic remarks.
Seriously, it's that easy. Fluke would have little to prove, since all of these statements have been publicized and spread around so much among conservatives and liberals alike. All her attorneys would need to do is flip on CNN, and their case would be proven.

As a female law student, I took personal offense to Limbaugh's statements. There is no doubt in my mind that Fluke already knows about the defamation law. But as a woman, I can understand her hesitation to take further action. She likely doesn't want to relive those painful statements Limbaugh made about her, even though the misogynist bigot had never met her. Fluke probably, understandably, wants to put this whole incident behind her.

But this is her moment to strike, to get justice for herself, and for all the millions of women who use contraceptives to improve their qualities of life. Limbaugh is like a child - he keeps pushing buttons and crossing lines because no one will tell him "no" or punish him for his blatant wrongdoings. But Fluke has a real chance here to slap a defamation suit on him - and to make a positive mark on history by putting one of the biggest bullies of our time in his place.

Sandra Fluke could have been any woman. In Rush Limbaugh's mind, we women are all the same - "sluts," "prostitutes," and "whores."

A petition has been started on Change.org, supporting Fluke and calling for the House Republicans to denounce Limbaugh's senseless, hurtful remarks: http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-republican-leaders-denounce-rush-limbaugh-s-anti-women-tirade

Regardless of their affiliated party, political leaders need to publicly condemn these statements and take a stance on bullying, bigotry, and misogyny.

- Chelsea

My Beef with Rush Limbaugh

Yesterday, the St. Louis Post dispatch announced that Missouri House Speaker Rep. Steven Tilley was commissioning a bust of Rush Limbaugh to place in the Missouri State House, alongside Stan Musial, Dred Scott, Sacajawea, Jack Buck, Walter Cronkite, Bob Barker, Edwin Hubble, and Mark Twain. REAL famous Missourians, who did hugely important things in their respective fields.

Rush Limbaugh is famous for the same reasons that Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian are famous - for being a spotlight-desperate fame seeker . Limbaugh has made no contribution to society except when he promotes hatred, bullying, and misinformation. But to the Missouri House Republicans, this is noteworthy and worth glorification.

Since when do we immortalize drug-addled, racist, misogynist bigots in the sacred halls of one of our most prestigious buildings?

Here is my problem with Rush Limbaugh, despite all of the aforementioned reasons: he is a genuinely bad person. Literally last week, he called a law student from Georgetown University a whore because she relied on government assistance to pay for birth control. THEN he demanded to see videos of her having sex, because the way he saw it, if he had to pay for her sexual protection, he wanted some benefit out of it.

If some other dirty old man said that to any other 20-something year old woman, he would be criminally charged with sexual harassment. But because he is Rush Limbaugh, he somehow gets a free pass.

And need I remind you of him calling the Duke lacrosse team's victim a "ho" after she was brutally raped? Or his insensitive remarks about Michael J. Fox "over exaggerating" the effects of his Parkinson's disease? Or what about his "phony soldiers" insults aimed at veterans who had publicly criticized the Iraq War?

Rep. Tilley argues that the federal courthouse in Cape Girardeau is named for Limbaugh's grandfather, and his uncle was a federal judge in St. Louis. So that's why he should get a statue of himself next to a handful of individuals who did magnificent things?

Rush Limbaugh is an immoral, genuinely bad human being. He uses his publicity to bully, slander, insult, and hurt other people, and that is something that should NEVER, EVER be recognized by our politicians. Limbaugh has yet to make the world a better place. Rep. Tilley and the Missouri House Republicans insult Missouri's past and present by their desire to forever memorialize Limbaugh.

Please take a few moments to email Rep. Tilley at steven.tilley@house.mo.gov or call his office at 573-751-1488 and let him know that you do not appreciate a racist, homophobic, misogynist, bigoted druggie being immortalized in our state capitol! Faith Aloud has also started a petition on Change.org that you can sign: http://www.change.org/petitions/mo-house-speaker-steven-tilley-stop-the-plan-to-honor-rush-limbaugh-with-a-bust-in-the-mo-capitol?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=share_petition