Female Veterans Call For Military Radio Channel To Drop Rush Limbaugh After 'Slut' Remark
By Max J. Rosenthal
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PUBLISHED: March 05, 2012
WASHINGTON -- Already facing the loss of numerous advertisers over hisderogatory remarks about Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, Rush Limbaugh may soon see his show dropped from the radio stations of the U.S. military.
A group of female military veterans issued a statement on Monday calling for Limbaugh's show to be pulled from the airwaves of the American Forces Network. AFN is a government-run media service that provides television and radio programming to American service members overseas.
"When many of our female troops use birth control, for Limbaugh to say they are 'sluts' and 'prostitutes' is beyond the pale," the women wrote. "It isn't just disrespectful to our women serving our country, but it's language that goes against everything that makes our military work."
The statement was issued through VoteVets, a progressive veterans organization. Miranda Norman, a veteran of the Oklahoma National Guard who now advises VoteVets, told The Huffington Post that the comments were "offensive" to women in the military and "downplays the role that we serve." She argued that birth control can be vital to women in uniform, saying "women in the military use [contraception] when they're deployed to make smart decisions for their family, to make smart decisions about being a soldier."
Norman, along with three other women, stressed that while she respected Limbaugh's right to free speech, she found his comments inappropriate for the government-run channel. "We swore to uphold our Constitution, including the freedom of speech, and would not take that away from anyone - even Limbaugh," the group wrote in the statement. "But that does not mean AFN should broadcast him. In fact, it shouldn't.
AFN did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but Pentagon spokesman George Little told the Associated Press that the station would continue to air Limbaugh's show and was unaware of any plans to review that decision.
Last week, Limbaugh referred to Sandra Fluke, a third-year law student at Georgetown, as a "slut" and "prostitute" after she was denied the right to testify in favor of birth control access at a congressional hearing. The remarks sparked outrage from many corners, including some prominent Republicans and President Barack Obama, who called Fluke on Friday to offer words of support.
On Saturday, Limbaugh issued an apology to Fluke, saying that he "chose the wrong words" and "did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke." On his Monday show, while admitting that the remarks were "uncalled for," he said that his attacks were liberal tacticsand regretted that he "descended to their level."
But on "The View" Monday morning, Fluke questioned the sincerity of Limbaugh's apology.
"I don't think that a statement like this, issued saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything," she said on the show. "Especially when that statement is issued when he's under significant pressure from his sponsors, who have begun to pull support from his show."