Rush Limbaugh–Sandra Fluke controversy
The Rush Limbaugh–Sandra Fluke controversy began on February 29, 2012, when American conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh's broadcast remarks about contraceptive mandates which included statements labeling Georgetown University Law Center student Sandra Fluke as a "slut" and "prostitute". Limbaugh was commenting on Fluke's speech the previous week to House Democrats in support of mandating insurance coverage for contraceptives. Despite disapproval from major political figures, Limbaugh made numerous similar statements over the next two days, which led to the loss of several of his national sponsors and Limbaugh apologizing on his show for some of his comments. Fluke rejected the apology as dubious and inadequate.
Sandra Fluke, then a 30-year-old law student at Georgetown University, was invited by Democrats to speak at a hearing by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the new Administration rules on Conscience Clause exceptions in health care. The exception applies to church organizations themselves, but not to affiliated nonprofit corporations, like hospitals, that do not rely primarily on members of the faith as employees. In addition, another exception was created for religious institutions in which an employee can seek birth control directly from the insurance company instead of the religious based nonprofit. Democrats requested the committee add Sandra Fluke to the first panel, which was composed of clergy and theologians. Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-California) refused, stating that Fluke lacked expertise, was not member of the clergy, and her name was not submitted in time. Democratic members criticized the decision not to include Fluke since it left that panel with only male members, when the hearing covered contraception coverage.
The next week, the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee convened a meeting to invite Fluke to speak. Fluke put forward reasons that her school, Georgetown, should be compelled to offer contraceptive drugs without co-pay, in spite of the Catholic University's moral opposition to artificial birth control. She said that during the time spent as a law student, birth control could cost $3,000 or more. She also stated that 40% of Georgetown Law School's female population suffered financial hardship as a result of birth control not being covered by the student health insurance plan, and that the lack of contraception coverage in the university insurance plans would induce many low income students to go without contraceptives. She then shared the stories of friends affected by such policies, citing a friend with polycystic ovary syndrome. Fluke said this friend needed contraceptive hormones costing over $100 per month in order to treat this disease, and that while PCOS was covered by Georgetown insurance, the insurance company repeatedly denied contraceptives, because they suspected the purpose of the medication was contraception. Fluke explained that the friend was a lesbian, and therefore did not need birth control. Due to the friend being unable to afford the necessary treatment for her disease, complications arose, requiring surgery and the removal of one ovary. Subsequently, the friend then went through premature ovarian failure, a condition that causes infertility, seriously impacts health, and must be treated for years to come.
Remarks by Limbaugh
What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke [sic], who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We're the pimps. (interruption) The johns? We would be the johns? No! We're not the johns. (interruption) Yeah, that's right. Pimp's not the right word. Okay, so she's not a slut. She's "round heeled". I take it back.
He continued that day and stated:
Can you imagine if you're her parents how proud of Sandra Fluke you would be? Your daughter goes up to a congressional hearing conducted by the Botox-filled Nancy Pelosi and testifies she's having so much sex she cannot afford her own birth control pills and she agrees that Obama should provide them, or the Pope.
On March 1, 2012, Limbaugh offered what he said was a "compromise" to contraception coverage: purchasing "all the women at Georgetown University as much aspirin to put between their knees as possible". He continued that he "[ran] some numbers" on contraception costs and argued that contraception coverage was "flat-out thievery" that would force taxpayers to pay to "satisfy the sexual habits of female law students at Georgetown". Later, he dismissed concerns over lack of access to contraception coverage and mocked Fluke's congressional testimony, affecting a baby's voice and pretending to cry, saying: "I'm going broke having sex. I need government to provide me condoms and contraception. It's not fair." He asked, "Ms. Fluke, have you ever heard of not having sex? Have you ever heard of not having sex so often?" After mentioning that Washington, D.C., Department of Health "will send you free condoms and lube", Limbaugh included the "feminazi" term he has popularized and said:
So, Ms. Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here's the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I'll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.
During the same show, Limbaugh remarked that Fluke is "having so much sex, it's amazing she can still walk", and continued on to suggest that Georgetown should establish a "Wilt Chamberlain scholarship ... exclusively for women". He also asked, "Who bought your condoms in junior high? Who bought your condoms in the sixth grade? Or your contraception. Who bought your contraceptive pills in high school?" He described Fluke as "a woman who is happily presenting herself as an immoral, baseless, no-purpose-to-her life woman. She wants all the sex in the world whenever she wants it, all the time, no consequences. No responsibility for her behavior."
On March 2, 2012, Limbaugh defended his previous comments about Fluke, saying, "not one person says that, 'Well, did you ever think about maybe backing off the amount of sex that you have?'" Limbaugh said that requiring insurance companies to cover contraception is "no different than if somebody knocked on my door that I don't know and said, 'You know what? I'm out of money. I can't afford birth-control pills, and I'm supposed to have sex with three guys tonight.'" Limbaugh commented on Fluke receiving a call from President Obama, who stated that her parents should be proud of her, saying, "I'm gonna button my lip on that one." He went on to say that if his daughter had testified that "she's having so much sex she can't pay for it and wants a new welfare program to pay for it," he would be "embarrassed" and "disconnect the phone", "go into hiding", and "hope the media didn't find me". He continued later, "Oh! Does she have more boyfriends? They're lined up around the block. They would have been in my day." He continued that Fluke testified that her "sex life is active. She's having sex so frequently that she can't afford all the birth-control pills that she needs. That's what she's saying."
Reaction to Limbaugh's remarks
Many public figures and organizations of all political stripes rejected Limbaugh's comments as sexist. Georgetown University president John DeGioia said Limbaugh's description of Fluke was "misogynistic, vitriolic"; 130 members of the faculty signed a letter supporting Fluke. The National Organization for Women called Limbaugh a "bigoted bully" using "hate-filled speech" to "shame a young woman" for her views. They also called on Clear Channel to drop his show. Rachel Maddow said Limbaugh was trying to fan outrage, and his attacks seemed to be based on the idea that the cost of birth control pills is proportional to the amount of sexual activity.
Peter Gabriel requested that Limbaugh no longer play his song "Sledgehammer" on his show, saying he was "appalled" that the song was played while Limbaugh disparaged Fluke. The Fabulous Thunderbirds also requested the use of their songs, including "Tuff Enuff", be discontinued on the show. Frontman Kim Wilson was "mortified by his (Limbaugh's) attack on this young woman."
Democrats characterized both the hearing at which Fluke did not testify, and Limbaugh's comments, as part of a "war on women", a frequent catchphrase used to refer to what are seen as the Republican Party's restrictions on women's rights.
Many politicians and pundits responded by calling Limbaugh a "peculiar individual", "despicable", "disgusting", "loathsome" and "a national disgrace", and deploring hateful and derogatory speech within political discourse. Jesse Ferguson, spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said "Limbaugh has come to Republicans' defense in their war on women".
Seventy-five Democratic Party lawmakers signed a letter expressing outrage at the remarks labeling them as "sexually charged, patently offensive, obscene", "indecent" and "an abuse of public airwaves".
Michigan state Sen. Gretchen Whitmer asked if Limbaugh would have made similar comments if Fluke had been a man, describing him as a "chauvinist" and his words hate speech. She also tied Republicans to Limbaugh.
Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod said Limbaugh's comments were "predicated on a lie" that taxpayers would have to pay for contraceptive coverage, when in fact it is insurance companies that will have to pay.
Democratic political analyst for Fox News Kirsten Powers agreed that Limbaugh was a misogynist and deserved to be boycotted, but expanded her position further stating, "the liberals who led the charge need to start holding their own side accountable." She then cited specific examples of crude and vulgar language being directed toward women by Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz, Keith Olbermann, Matt Taibbi, and Bill Maher. Powers went on to say, "when it comes to high-profile campaigns to hold these men accountable—such as that waged against Limbaugh—the real fury seems reserved only for conservatives."
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said "it’s not the language I would have used." Fellow Republican primary candidate Rick Santorum dismissed the comments stating that "an entertainer can be absurd." U.S. Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas), running for the party's presidential nomination, said that Limbaugh's comments were "over the top" and that his apology was not sincere, while disagreeing with Fluke on the insurance mandate.
Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), the party's 2008 candidate for president, said Limbaugh's statements were unacceptable "in every way" and "should be condemned" by people across the political spectrum.
House Speaker John Boehner criticized Limbaugh's choice of words while repeating his own opposition to government funding for contraception. Boehner's spokesman issued a statement: "The [S]peaker obviously believes the use of those words was inappropriate, as is trying to raise money off the situation".
David Frum, former special assistant to President George W. Bush (emphasis in the original): "Limbaugh's verbal abuse of Sandra Fluke set a new kind of low. I can't recall anything as brutal, ugly and deliberate ever being said by such a prominent person and so emphatically repeated. This was not a case of a bad 'word choice'. It was a brutally sexualized accusation, against a specific person, prolonged over three days."
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. 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. / My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.
On March 5, 2012, Limbaugh repeated parts of his apology on his show, but criticized the reaction he received, saying:
I acted too much like the leftists who despise me. I descended to their level, using names and exaggerations. It's what we've come to expect from them, but it's way beneath me.
The same day, Fluke responded to his latest apology on ABC's The View saying:
I don't think that a statement like this, saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything, and 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 think any woman who has ever been called these types of names is [shocked] at first. / But then I tried to see this for what it is, and I believe that what it is, is an attempt to silence me, to silence the millions of women and the men who support them who have been speaking out about this issue and conveying that contraception is an important healthcare need that they need to have met in an affordable, accessible way.
Six months after the controversy began, in response to Fluke's being considered for Time's Person of the Year, Limbaugh said in part that his comments were a mistake: "If anybody is going to be named Person of the Year on that basis, it ought to be me. It’s not an 'honor' I would appreciate because it represents a little bit of a screw up." ... "Nobody would know who she is if it weren’t for me."
Loss of sponsors and stations
In response to Limbaugh's remarks several online and social media campaigns were created such as a Flush Rush group on Facebook and the Stop Rush database. As a result, by March 3, over a dozen advertisers had discontinued their sponsorship. After Limbaugh's apology, the exodus slowed but did not stop, with competing number counts in the dozens. Several advertisers also clarified that they "did not intentionally advertise" on the show, either running ads in news segments next to the Limbaugh show or being held responsible for local affiliates' local buys. Two stations, KPUA, a talk radio station serving Hilo, Hawaii, and broadcaster WBEC in Pittsfield, Massachusetts discontinued their broadcasts of the Rush Limbaugh show.
On March 9, Politico estimated that Limbaugh's talk show had lost 45 sponsors, a number that includes advertisers that purchased ad time on local stations but had never bought national advertising on the show itself.
Radio competitors Cumulus Media Networks tried to lure advertisers and stations away from the Limbaugh show, during the crisis, hinting that numbers of affiliates had agreed to drop the program in favor of The Mike Huckabee Show. On March 19, they released a list of all 31 advertisers that they identified as having specifically dropped Limbaugh's program.
A March 28 post-mortem on the end of the campaign by The Washington Post concluded:
Exactly one month after the conservative radio host sparked outrage ... stations are standing by him, advertisers are trickling back to his program and the news media have moved on ... Angelo Carusone, who has been leading the anti-Limbaugh efforts for Media Matters for America, a Washington organization ... acknowledged that outrage is hard to sustain.
Media Matters began a paid ad campaign on March 22 to sustain their online campaign against Limbaugh. The group spent over $100,000 in various markets, to encourage more stations to drop the Limbaugh show. Limbaugh countered, "Media Matters and the Democrat National Committee and the Democrat Party are exposing ... that their Astroturf campaigns are not grassroots at all.... They are totally professionally created and executed Democrat Party opposition research-type attacks." Clear Channel's CEO said there has been no major move among stations to drop the show.
Impact on other networks
Limbaugh earned an unlikely ally when Ed Schultz, the nation's most widely syndicated progressive talk radio host, came out in opposition to the boycott and urged Media Matters to drop its efforts, which Media Matters refused to do. According to Schultz, "If we start attacking advertisers because of what somebody said — it's the wrong thing to do (...) There's a lot of people getting hurt. This is going to too far." Thom Hartmann, another progressive talk host who competes in Limbaugh's time slot (and who is heard on many of the same stations as Schultz), noted that the Media Matters campaign had caused the unintended consequence of driving sponsors away from not just Limbaugh, but political talk in general, including progressive talk, in an interview with the talk show Reliable Sources in August 2013.
Lew Dickey, the CEO of Cumulus Media Networks, stated that it cost his company "a couple of million bucks in the first quarter and a couple of million bucks in quarter two." He claimed that the losses accounted for one percent of the 3.5 percent loss in revenue that Cumulus suffered over this period. He said things looked like they would be back to normal in June. Limbaugh announced that when his 2013 contract with Cumulus expires, he would revisit dropping the distributor, due to Dickey's repeated attempts to blame ratings problem on the Limbaugh show. In June 2013, Premiere, Limbaugh's primary distributor, stated that his advertising sales were recovering well.
The advertiser boycott effectively created a blacklist of stations that carry Limbaugh's program, and other shows on those stations were adversely affected; advertisers were unwilling to advertise on a show on the same station, lest its barter advertisements (commercials that air at a different time of day) be heard on Limbaugh's program.Fox News Radio and the Wall Street Journal Radio Network, both of which shared a majority of their affiliates with Limbaugh's, both lost an estimated 40% of their revenues due to being carried on many of the same stations as Limbaugh; the revenue loss forced the latter network to fold in December 2014. This station blacklist was also speculated as the impetus behind a number of affiliate changes Limbaugh experienced over the following several years, as stations were unable to sell enough airtime on a blacklisted station to cover Limbaugh's very high rights fee; ownership groups were thus forced to spin Limbaugh and other blacklisted programs (the Glenn Beck Radio Program, also distributed by Premiere and itself the subject of boycotts) off to less prominent stations and clear their schedules of controversial programming to get off the blacklist.[better source needed]
Philosopher Kate Manne uses Limbaugh's behavior toward Fluke as an example of an aspect of misogyny in her book Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny. Manne observes that Limbaugh spoke of Fluke as though Fluke owed something to him and to his audience, though Fluke and Limbaugh were in fact strangers to each other. This illustrates that an attitude of entitlement to women may be projected onto a single, specific woman designated by the misogynist to be guilty of causing his personal frustrations, according to Manne.
- Johnson, Jenna (March 2, 2012). "Georgetown president defends Sandra Fluke, blasts Rush Limbaugh". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on March 17, 2012. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
- Bingham, Amy (March 5, 2012). "Sponsors Pull Ads From Rush Limbaugh's Radio Show Over 'Slut' Comments". ABC News. Archived from the original on March 7, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
- Friend, David (March 2, 2012). "A Message from Carbonite CEO, David Friend Regarding Ads on Limbaugh". Carbonite. Archived from the original on March 7, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
- Tartar, Andre (March 4, 2012). "Rush Limbaugh's 'Slut' Attack Costs Him Advertisers". New York. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
- Smith, Catharine (March 3, 2012). "Rush Limbaugh Boycott: Reddit, Twitter, Facebook Users Take Part". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
- McCarthy, Meghan (March 4, 2012). "How Contraception Became A Train Wreck For Republicans". National Journal. Archived from the original on March 7, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2012.
- Liptak, Adam. "Contraception and Insurance Coverage (Religious Exemption Debate)". THe New York Times. Archived from the original on July 19, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
- Donna Cassata (February 9, 2012). "Obama Birth Control Mandate Divides Democrats". Huffingtonpost.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
- Shine, Tom (February 16, 2012). "Rep. Darrell Issa Bars Minority Witness, a Woman, on Contraception". ABC News. Archived from the original on June 29, 2020. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
- O’Keefe, Ed (March 28, 2012). "'Where are the women?' dispute settled. Kind of". The Washington Post.
- "Pelosi aims to draw contrast with GOP on contraception policy" Archived March 15, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. CNN (February 23, 2012). Retrieved March 17, 2012.
- Fluke, Sandra. Statement to Congress (PDF) (Speech). Washington, D.C. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 3, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
- "Obama backs student Sandra Fluke over 'slut' charge by Rush Limbaugh" March 03, 2012 The Australian
- Tyler Kingkade, "Steve Landsburg, University Of Rochester Professor, Defends Rush Limbaugh To Students' Outrage" Archived March 21, 2012, at the Wayback Machine 03/16/2012 The Huffington Post
- Mirkinson, Jack (March 2, 2012). "Rush Limbaugh: Sandra Fluke, Woman Denied Right To Speak At Contraception Hearing, A 'Slut'". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on March 5, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- "Limbaugh slut slur student Sandra Fluke gets Obama call". BBC News. March 3, 2012. Archived from the original on March 3, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- Bey, Jamila (March 2, 2012). "Rush Limbaugh's attack on Sandra Fluke was hate speech". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on March 2, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- "Obama calls Sandra Fluke to offer support over Limbaugh comments". CBS News. March 2, 2012. Archived from the original on March 3, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- "Limbaugh: Student Denied Spot At Contraception Hearing Says "She Must Be Paid To Have Sex", So She's A "Slut" And "Prostitute"". Media Matters for America. Archived from the original on March 2, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- Host: Rush Limbaugh (February 29, 2012). "Butt Sisters are Safe from Newt and Rick". The Rush Limbaugh Show. Transcript.
- ""Slut": The Voice Of A Right-Wing Bully". Media Matters for America. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
- "UPDATED: Limbaugh's Misogynistic Attack On Georgetown Law Student Continues With Increased Vitriol". Media Matters for America. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
- "Limbaugh: Fluke Is "Having So Much Sex, It's Amazing She Can Still Walk". Archived from the original on March 2, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- "Limbaugh's verbal attack on law student sparks backlash" Archived March 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Detroit Free Press, March 3, 2012
- Peter Voskamp (March 3, 2012). "Rush Limbaugh Goes After Sandra Fluke Again; NOW Wants Him Gone". The Wrap. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
- Rachel Maddow: Rush Limbaugh A 'Dummy' Who 'Doesn't Know What Birth Control Is' Archived April 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, The Huffington Post, March 3, 2012
- Jessica Derschowitz (March 6, 2012). "Peter Gabriel wants his music pulled from Rush Limbaugh's show". CBS News.com. Archived from the original on March 8, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
- Wappler, Margaret (March 8, 2012). "Rush, Peter Gabriel, Fab Thunderbirds want off Limbaugh's show". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
- "Fabulous Thunderbirds want its music off Rush Limbaugh's show". CBS. March 8, 2012. Archived from the original on January 20, 2013. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
- DUERSON, MEENA HART. "'Rock the Slut Vote' site aims to fight for women's issues in November election - NY Daily News". nydailynews.com. Archived from the original on July 8, 2018. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
- Bendery, Jennifer (March 1, 2012). "House Democrats Raise $1.1 Million In 'War On Women' Campaign". Huffingtonpost.com. Archived from the original on June 22, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
- Frank, Nathaniel (August 2, 2013). "Hilary Rosen, Ann Romney: The birth, adolescence, and death of the Democrats' "war on women" talking point. - Slate Magazine". Slate.com. Archived from the original on July 23, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
- Joe Peyronnin (March 1, 2012). "Limbaugh: A National Disgrace". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on March 3, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- Shapiro, Rebecca (March 1, 2012). "Martin Bashir, Panel Condemn Rush Limbaugh Over 'Despicable' Sandra Fluke Comments". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on March 2, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- Bassett, Laura (March 3, 2012). "Rush Limbaugh: I'll Buy Georgetown Women 'As Much Aspirin To Put Between Their Knees As They Want'". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on March 2, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- Crary, David (March 2, 2012). "Obama joins in denouncing Rush Limbaugh's slur of student; his sponsors urged to pull ads". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 2, 2012.[dead link]
- Limbaugh apologizes to Sandra Fluke - USA Today
- Hall, Katy (March 3, 2012). "Nancy Pelosi Slams Rush Limbaugh 'Slut' Remarks". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on March 2, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- "Rush Limbaugh: Obama calls Sandra Fluke to express 'support'". Los Angeles Times. March 2, 2012. Archived from the original on March 3, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- "Carolyn Maloney: Rush Limbaugh 'Slut' Comment Is Attempt To Silence Women" Archived March 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine The Huffington Post. March 1, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
- "The War on Women" The Huffington Post. March 11, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
- "George Will: Republican Leaders Are Afraid of Rush Limbaugh". Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
- Kirsten Powers (March 4, 2012). "Rush Limbaugh Isn't the Only Media Misogynist". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
- Klein, Joe (March 3, 2012). "Limbaugh Lost–and other notes on the contraception controversy" Archived March 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Time. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
- Friedman, Emily (March 2, 2012). "Romney on Rush: 'Not the Language I Would Have Used'". ABC News. Archived from the original on March 15, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
- Crary, David (March 2, 2012). "Obama joins in denouncing Rush Limbaugh's slur of student; his sponsors urged to pull ads". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 2, 2012.[dead link]
- Paul: Limbaugh apologized for personal gain Archived March 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, CBS News, March 4, 2012
- "McCain: Limbaugh outburst 'totally unacceptable'". CBS News. January 13, 2009. Archived from the original on March 10, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
- "Boehner calls Limbaugh remarks 'inappropriate'". MSNBC. March 2, 2012. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
- "Are we being fair to Rush Limbaugh?". CNN.com. March 5, 2012. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
- "Limbaugh's verbal attack on law student sparks backlash" Archived March 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Detroit Free Press. March 3, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- USA Today Archived March 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Limbaugh apologizes to Sandra Fluke by David Jackson, March 3, 2012
- "Rush Limbaugh loses more advertisers over 'slut' remarks" Archived February 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine BBC News. March 6, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
- "Sandra Fluke Says Rush Limbaugh's Apology Doesn't Change Anything". ABC News. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
- David Hinkley (March 5, 2012). "Limbaugh: Advertisers can flee, I don't need 'em". Daily News (New York). Archived from the original on July 30, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
- Frank, Steve (March 5, 2012). "Sandra Fluke: Limbaugh apology unaccepted". NBC News. Archived from the original on March 7, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
- Cirilli, Kevin (November 30, 2012). "Rush Limbaugh regret: I put Sandra Fluke on Time list". Politico. Archived from the original on December 5, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
- Arceneaux, Danielle (March 16, 2012). "What Brands Can Learn From The 'Flush Rush' Movement". Forbes. Archived from the original on March 6, 2014. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- Stelter, Brian (March 2, 2012). "Attack by Limbaugh Awakens a 'Stop Rush' Campaign". New York Times. Archived from the original on February 16, 2015. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- Mirkinson, Jack (March 2, 2012). "Rush Limbaugh Advertisers Pull Commercials in Wake of Sandra Fluke 'Slut' Firestorm". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on March 2, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- David Taintor (March 2, 2012). "Limbaugh Loses Advertisers After Calling Woman A 'Slut'". Tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com. Archived from the original on April 10, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
- Camia, Catalina (March 5, 2012). "Limbaugh: Apology to student was 'heartfelt'". USA Today. Archived from the original on March 5, 2012. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
- Bingham, Amy (March 5, 2012). "Sponsors Pull Ads From Rush Limbaugh's Radio Show Over 'Slut' Comments". ABC News. Archived from the original on March 23, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
- Bassett, Laura; Grim, Ryan (March 5, 2012). "Rush Limbaugh, AOL Part Ways". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
- "Limbaugh Advertisers Keep Heading for the Exits". Archived from the original on March 8, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
- "Rush Limbaugh Continues To Apologize As Advertiser Boycott Rises To 12". All Access Music Group. March 5, 2012. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
- Sachdev, Ameet (March 5, 2012). "Sears tweets it doesn't advertise on Limbaugh show". Chicago Breaking Business. Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
- "Papa John's stops advertising on Rush Limbaugh program". PizzaMarketPlace.com. Archived from the original on April 9, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
- "Fisher Nuts". Facebook. March 29, 2012. Archived from the original on January 8, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
For those of you who have posted about our recent radio commercials, we did not intend for those commercials to run during the Rush Limbaugh show and have rectified this scheduling error.
- Mirkinson, Jack (March 5, 2012). "Rush Limbaugh: Radio Stations Drop Show As Sandra Fluke Controversy Rages On". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on March 8, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
- Zakarin, Jordan (March 5, 2012). "Rush Limbaugh Pulled by Hawaii's KPUA AM 670 for Sandra Fluke Remarks". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
- Lynch, Rene (March 5, 2012). "Rush Limbaugh: Still has the biggest sponsor on his side". Latimes.com. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
- "Rush Limbaugh loses 45 advertisers". Politico.com. March 6, 2012. Archived from the original on August 29, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
- Lauria, Peter (March 16, 2012). "Huckabee vs Limbaugh: Cumulus aims at Clear Channel". Reuters. Archived from the original on March 18, 2012. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
- "News : Another "no Limbaugh" list". Radio-Info.com. March 19, 2012. Archived from the original on March 22, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
- Romell, Rick (March 26, 2012). "Kohler stops advertising on Limbaugh's radio show". JSOnline. Archived from the original on March 31, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
- "reputation.com". Facebook. March 27, 2012. Archived from the original on February 3, 2016. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
Thanks for your feedback on Rush. We're adjusting our advertising and pulling these spots.
- "Limbaugh sees heat over comments turn down to a simmer". The Washington Post. March 28, 2012. Archived from the original on March 31, 2018. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
- Grier, Peter (March 22, 2012). "Vox News New anti-Rush Limbaugh ad campaign: Waste of money or coup de grace?". The Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on March 23, 2012. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
- Rothman, Noah (June 13, 2012). Ed Schultz Comes To Rush Limbaugh’s Defense: Targeting Advertisers ‘Wrong Thing To Do’ Archived June 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Mediaite. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
- Irvine, Don (August 5, 2013). "Liberal Talker Thom Hartmann: Media Matters Limbaugh Boycott Campaign Did 'A Lot of Damage' to Left-Wing Talk Radio". Accuracy in Media. Archived from the original on September 2, 2019. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- "Radio Ink Magazine". Radioink.com. Archived from the original on June 14, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
- Byers, Dylan (May 5, 2013). "Rush Limbaugh may leave Cumulus". Politico. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
- Weinger, Mackenzie (June 6, 2013). Distributor: Rush Limbaugh doing 'very well' Archived June 8, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Politico. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- Parks, Darryl (May 27, 2015). "The Business of Being Rush Limbaugh". Archived from the original on May 31, 2015. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
- Manne, Kate (2019). Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny. Ithaca, New York: Oxford University Press. p. 55–58, 99–108. ISBN 9780190604981.