And nails it. This is best bit of analysis I've seen on l'affaire Rush v. Fluke. Theroux, otherwise known as a travel writer and novelist, tries his hand at media criticism in this column and argues that our "condemnation of Rush Limbaugh shows our hypocrisy":
Virtually everyone in public life condemned Limbaugh, some mildly, some harshly, and none were more strident or hypocritical—as Sarah Palin was later to point out—than the hordes of liberals, Fluke-like in their sanctimony. Limbaugh had been offensive! Ms Fluke said she was contemplating a lawsuit—for what? Apoplexy was rife. The man whose whole career is based on offense and mockery had apparently touched a nerve. No one raised much fuss when he hauled out “Queasy” his pet name for Kweisi Mfume (born Frizzell Gray), or called Charles Barkley “Milk Dud,” and when he said that black quarterbacks couldn't rifle the ball he was merely admonished and lost a gig.
Limbaugh is referred to as “the virtual leader of the Republican Party.” Oh, really? If you believe that a cracker like Rush with a radio show is the “virtual leader” of the Republican Party, you need a good proctologist to reposition your head.
Limbaugh, like many mockers—and many successful populists—is a man with a mere high-school education who is able, partly through recklessness, partly through overweening self-regard, to reflect the justifiable anger of a large proportion of the white American public. This is the identical profile of Michael Moore. And by the way, both these semieducated men calling themselves men of the people are multimillionaires.
“Do you ever think you’re just a bag of hot gas?” David Letterman asked Limbaugh a few years ago, when he appeared as a guest. Limbaugh squinted and then, taken aback, denied that the thought had ever occurred to him, as Letterman to his credit said, “I certainly think I am!”
My gorge rose again when Limbaugh offered an apology, muttering about a poor choice of words, sorry, sorry, blah-blah, and of course no one believed him for a minute. Many of his sponsors bailed. Limbaugh’s spin to his listeners on this was “They don’t want your business!” The result was that he got even more listeners.
The whole affair has now begun to appear to me fairly interesting. The defense of Sandra Fluke is so shrill that it is almost as though many of her defenders actually believe there is a vicious taint of self-indulgence, if not sluttiness, in a female student’s clamoring for a federal mandate of subsidized contraceptives. How else to interpret such a welter of special pleading? They believe she actually needs defending.
Read the rest over at The Daily Beast.