March 5th, 2012
05:58 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Limbaugh's comments symbolize extreme partisanship

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Iconic conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh is in hot water for calling Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke a "slut," and many of our readers are incensed about the comment and about the polarization of politics in general.

iReporter Omekongo Dibinga of Washington said he believes Democrats should think twice before rushing to benefit from Limbaugh's remarks.

Democrats are wrong for profiting off of Limbaugh

omekongo: "As a Georgetown alum and a human being, I was appalled by Limbaugh's comments. I'm almost equally appalled at the manner which political parties use comments like these to raise money. I know this has always been the case, but the hyper-partisanship that we see today magnifies this to a greater degree."

He also expressed his belief that misogyny is prevalent in society.

"Limbaugh is just the latest example of the disdain this country has for women. It has to end if we really care about future generations of women."

iReporter Thema Bryant-Davis of Los Angeles, California, said women are growing more and more frustrated.

Rush underestimated us and it's going to cost him

She got many passionate replies.

Fgonzalez24: "Dr. Thema, good job, I agree 100% with your video post. I find it hard to believe that Mr. Rush was truly sincere with his apology. He verbally attacked a young woman who was just an advocate for women's rights. After hearing his comments, it makes me wonder what he really thinks of women in general. Any person who wants to defend Mr. Rush's comments should be ashamed of themselves. Once again, good job. God Bless."

Not everyone agreed.

mduerler: "What about his analysis was sexist? He used a colorful remark to make his point. The point being is why our tax dollars or insurance premiums paying the deductible or flat supplying birth control? This has nothing to do with women's health. It is suppose to be a decision made with two people and there are responsibilities that come with having sex and those responsibilities should not be forced on ME."

Some advertisers have announced they are pulling out from Limbaugh's show. Readers talked about the controversy and the host's apology.

Limbaugh advertisers jump ship

One reader said they thought the only reason Limbaugh was apologizing at all was because of financial concerns.

Smoke and Mirrors: "It may not be so bad if his apology was sincere. He didn't back off his words until sponsors started jumping ship that leads me to believe that his apology is less than above board. He only apologized to try to save advertisers and he isn't truly remorseful about anything he said. He he was to be humorous, he needs to change his show to the Limbaugh comedy show. He has a lot of followers that are dumb enough to jump off bridge if he told them to so that makes him pretty dangerous imo. He talks about serious issues so he needs to make up his mind whether he wants to be a political talking head or a comedian. I don't think he can do both."

Others said they thought Limbaugh's show should go away.

jon: "Limbaugh needs to be kicked off the air. His trash mouth doesn't belong on our airwaves. The FCC should ban him. He abuses his freedom of speech to insult and offend others. Fire him."

GEETO: "It's time to flush the toilet known as 'The Rush Limbaugh Show.' "

Several readers said they agree with Limbaugh's views but not his approach.

Drowlord: "My parents listen to Rush sometimes. I've heard his program. I'm conservative-leaning, myself, so I find myself understanding many of his core messages. Nonetheless, I can't really imagine why anyone listens to him. He obviously mixes fact with opinion, distorts his stories wildly, and actively promotes anger and hatred. It isn't useful news (because it's so unreliable), and it isn't very entertaining. In fact, I find his brand of conservatism to be quite scary and unproductive. In no small way, I find his ilk responsible for the sorry condition of the GOP."

Another reader said they feel a sense of agreement with Limbaugh.

Grey, Atlanta: "I cannot stand the guy, but this time around I tend to agree with him. Why contraception is supposed to be covered by medical insurance and Claritin is not is beyond me. The fact that insurance companies are mandated to cover contraception means that everyone's premiums go up to cover this expense regardless whether medical insurance is provided by a private company or a government. Having sex is certainly not a medical condition that must be covered by an insurance company. If hormones are prescribed by a physician to treat a real medical condition, even if the hormones are in the form of contraception, then this should be covered just like any other medicine, including Claritin, by the way."

This reader said Republicans should not behave like liberals.

Ron: "Rush's thoughts were actually logical in a strange sort of way, but he certainly could have presented them in a far less offensive manner. Just because the liberals throw insult after insult at conservatives is no reason for conservatives to stoop to their immature level in return."

This person said a religious institution does not have to fund birth control.

Alex: "Rush Limbaugh is without a doubt a jerk. I don't know how he's so popular because every serious Republican I know including myself can't stand him. However, the flip side of this is, if you wanted your university health insurance to cover contraception, maybe you shouldn't have decided to go to a private Jesuit university. I mean come on, that's just common sense. People need to learn they can't have their cake and eat it to. You have to make decisions and live with them. This Fluke girl shouldn't come running to the government to solve her problems. If she needs birth control coverage that badly, she should either buy private insurance on her own, or transfer to a non-religious school that offers a plan that covers what she needs."

Still others wanted to see some apologies that really mean something.

Sunshine State: "I am pretty conservative, a Republican, but have always thought Limbaugh was just a blow hard. I also have a really good sense of humor, and really tried to find humor in this. There isn't any. I am tired of people who are in the public lens on a pretty frequent basis to continue to say and do things like this, and then a few days later, come out and apologize and think that it's all better and that we should all just move on. Don Imus, Michael Richards, Mel Gibson, Howard Stern, Tom Cruise ... it's 'the new trend' ... give me a break ..."

Along those lines, David Frum wrote a commentary opining that Limbaugh's remarks were especially heinous and cannot be compared to the missteps of other personalities.

Are we being fair to Rush Limbaugh?

These commenters said anger isn't the solution.

jackieanne: "If we want a civil discourse, if we want our representatives in Washington to work together and learn to compromise in order to bring an end to gridlock, we must stop supporting the media personalities who throw fuel on the fire. No one wins when both sides dig in their heels, refuse to work toward equitable solutions and hurl insults at the opposition. Media personalities make their living by feeding the partisanship in Washington. If we want that to stop, we need to stop supporting the people who are making a fortune hurling insults at anyone who doesn't share their point of view."

jokiebird: "Exactly what I was was going to write. We shouldn't be 'fair' to radical talking heads on either side of the fence - they are partially, if not mostly, the reason that the inclination for intelligent discourse and debate has gone down tremendously in this country."

What do you think? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (223 Responses)
  1. Ron

    CNN keeps reporting that "top Republicans and Democrats" have denounced Rush and his words. I would say the denunciation of "top Republicans" has been mild and understated–cautious, you might say. "Inappropriate" and "wouldn't be the words I would use," etc. In other words, say the same thing, denigrate and insult women, deny them coverage for contraceptives, imply they are prostitutes, but just do it in a "nice" way.

    March 5, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. P J Campbell

    This republican is feeling more and more pushed out of his party thanks to the likes of Rush and his disgusting discription of a young women who intelligently expressed her opinion.

    March 5, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Burbank

    This ugly pink pig finally choked on his own venom.

    March 5, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. AJ

    This isn't the first time for Rush. He has been spewing garbage for years. He is a coward and a bully. Time for him to find another job!!!!!

    March 5, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Boo

    He is a big, fat, loser wannabe...all his life and he'll take ANY kind of attention, good or bad, if it helps to pay his bills...bottom line. Kate Goselin only dreams for half of his sucecess.

    March 5, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • fred

      Kate needed birth control! Where were all you leftist then!

      March 23, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Leila Torres Drewes

    Simply turn him off, tune him out and he will no longer have a stage to voice.

    March 5, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Big Bob

    Okay! He used a bad choice of words....however, the substance of his arguement is right on! This woman needs to pay for her own birth control or give up sex. When a liberal wants some thing for free....that usually means that a conservative will be paying for it.

    March 5, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. birdann

    Rush is, using mental health language, a psychopath. No amount of outrage or demands for apology will change his behavior. The article says it all – he thrives on this. Check out the definition of the word and you'll have to accept that there is not a single thing anyone can do to affect his behavior – the more attention he gets the more fueled and energized he becomes.

    March 5, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Disgusted

    Let's not forgot how this whole thing started. Mr. Issa's committee refused to allow Ms. Fluke to testify before a hearing dealing with womens' health. Later, she testified before a Democrats only committee to explain why this issue is important to her and other college age women with similar health concerns. As usual, Mr. Limbaugh ignored the real issue/s and moved immediately to the kind of incendiary language his loyal listeners expect and he didn't disappoint... What a way to make a living.......

    March 5, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dott

      With people who relish this type of talk in our country – do we really have a chance? I use to love my country but now a days......

      March 5, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Suzanne

    I still haven't figured out why using birth control pills makes one a slut...this is antiquated sexist thinking that unfortunately shows how shallow his views on the world really are. People use birth control pills for reasons other than birth control. Apparently he is ignorant of this fact. People who are married might not be able to afford to have a child, so they may want to use birth control pills. The simple act of taking birth control pills does not say a single thing about the person, other than they have consulted their physician and together they have decided that birth control pills are appropriate for the situation at hand, whatever it is. I applaud the young woman for not being even slightly interested in a (fake) personal apology or in fact any further contact from this guy. It's really too bad that he has such a national platform for spreading this kind of garbage.

    For what it's worth, I think the church has every right to cover or not cover whatever it wants when it is paying for insurance (though it might be amusing to see if they cover Viagra or the like). However, the issue at hand has exactly zero to do with this young woman's moral fiber, nor the morals of any other woman in this world who takes birth control pills. He could disagree with her without resorting to public personal attacks.

    March 5, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Goodman

    Good work Rush- it's funny how the snakes and rats go bezerk when you drain the swamp- it's beautiful thing to behold. Hit them where it hurts, and hit them HARD -with the truth, let have they're hysterical hissy fits including Obuma-
    head down eyes forward – you got them on the run and they know it. That's why they are hysterical. :-)

    March 5, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dott

      Yep there are those of us females and some thinking males who resent this type of comment about us or our mothers. Was his mother a $lut. Also his insurance company pays for his viagra so what is his problem? Ladies stand up and be counted. Thinking males – stand with us.

      March 5, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • birdann

      Ummm... are you implying when you say 'hit them hard. where it hurts' that you mean hit women? Is that what you do?

      March 5, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Wildernessyes

    It has been and is still clear to me that Mr. Limbaugh is not a good man or a man of high quality. He's just not.

    March 5, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. kathleen

    Rush Limbaugh is not going anywhere. The GOP is afraid of him and that's how he likes it. He will milk this job 'til the very end or until karma catches up with him!

    March 5, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dott

      I just hope I live to see the day that Karma catches up with him. He would be in prison over his use of illegals gotten drugs but his $$$$ kept him out.

      March 5, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Yes

    For you people who are anti american. Issa's comittee was about 1st amendmanet right of religious rights. The media made it about condoms

    March 5, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. I think, therefore I don't listen to Rush Limbaugh

    When Bozo speaks, 20 million clowns listen. Thankfully, his advertisers are listening to the rest of us.

    March 5, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
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