As heartfelt apologies go, this had all the faux sincerity of a Hollywood air kiss.
As his aghast advertisers fled in droves, Rush Limbaugh finally admitted over the weekend that he may have chosen the wrong words when he portrayed Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke as a "slut" and a "prostitute." And what had to she done to incur the wrath of the Big Daddy of the airwaves?
All Fluke did was advocate for health insurance that covers birth control for employees at religion-affiliated institutions such as Georgetown, the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in the United States. Now there's a Sacco and Vanzetti moment for you.
Please. Limbaugh knew exactly what he was doing when he went after Fluke — appealing to his base of proud ditto-heads, who hang on his every ranting utterance.
What Limbaugh didn't figure on was that going after a young woman, whom he originally misidentified as Sharon, finally exposed him to the saner elements of the conservative movement as nothing more than a bumptious bully of the airwaves.
Usually Limbaugh is swooned over by conservatives as a savvy political thinker and an intellectual lighthouse of the Republican Party. The likes of Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are all too happy to appear on Limbaugh's daily kvetching about all things liberal in the hopes of winning the coveted nod from the fool's gold microphone.
But when the Father Coughlin of Palm Beach goes more off script than Ted Baxter, suddenly he's dismissed as nothing more than an "entertainer" — and you know how harmlessly goofy they can be when they are entertaining.
Maybe if the country was in the market for a national court jester, Limbaugh might apply. But there is nothing entertaining about the character assassination of a private citizen by portraying her as the Heidi Fleiss of her law school class.
Limbaugh insisted his remarks directed as Fluke were not intended to "attack her personally." Really?
Over the course of three days on the air Limbaugh continued to condemn Fluke as a "slut" and "prostitute," claiming the student had tricks lined up around the block and that she was having so much sex she couldn't pay for her contraceptives. That would suggest when it comes to understanding reproductive science, Limbaugh could use some higher education himself.
As if all this wasn't tawdry enough, Limbaugh then went for the piece de resistance of ham-handed sleaziness. He argued if Fluke wants her health insurance carrier to pay for her contraceptives, then Limbaugh and the rest of his trench coat comrades should be allowed to watch her in the act of coo-coo-ca-choo via online videos.
C'mon admit it, you're thinking el-Libido, too.
Perhaps those sexy tapes of Ayn Rand lectures on free markets had become just too passe.
This is probably way too much information about the cinematic tastes of the oft-oft-oft-oft married self-anointed paragon of morality and family values.
How do Republicans reconcile this creepy factor? One minute presidential candidates are beating a path to Limbaugh's door for the royal nod. And before you can say "misogynist," one of the party's most influential voices is using a national radio broadcast to cruelly paint a picture of a 30-year-old female law student as a two-bit gin joint chippy.
Public figures are fair game for all manner of criticism and lampooning. But using a 600-station radio network to attack a woman with no means to fight back was unfair at least and McCarthy-esque at its worst.
Say, that ought to really help with the women's vote.
At this rate Limbaugh would be lucky to land Hustler magazine, Frederick's of Hollywood and the Voyeur's Club for Middle-Aged Corpulent Cads to buy time on his daily sexual star chamber.
Is this the beginning of the end of Limbaugh's broadcasting oil slick?
If sportscaster Marv Albert could regenerate his career after a sexual assault scandal that involved women's panties and a garter belt — worn by him, in case you were wondering — then certainly the round mound of hysterical sound will probably find a way to keep blabbering.
Still, you have to wonder what advertiser will continue to support a broadcast that regards women seeking respect as "Feminazis," and even once suggested actor Michael J. Fox was faking his Parkinson's disease. Who would be interested in putting money in the pocket of a man who used his radio show to mug the reputation of a woman who once worked at a New York domestic violence center?
By the way, none of the above was remotely intended as a personal attack on el-Dipso.