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. thomas

    First, Rush tried to bully a woman into silence. When that didn't work, he whined that HIS free speech was being threatened. When that didn't work, he apologized, but the next day revoked his apology, blaming what he said on the Left. Now he has declared war on the sponsors who left, and is bullying the ones who remain into staying, by calling for his listeners to boycott any sponsor who leaves.

    Remember in November: this vile Rush Limbaugh is the true inner voice of the Republican Party.

    March 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • justathought

      I havn’t followed the Limbaugh story very much, but I hope the people see through him and effectively put him out of businesses, we don’t need him, and like I said in my earlier post, “he needs less of him (he is full of himself)” and this time he has over-stepped himself. I don’t know how the radio stations gage their listener-ship, but I hope it drops. As for the advertisers, I hope the ones that droped him that their business does not suffer, but picks up more clients.

      March 5, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. justathought

    Back in the 90’s I use to listen to Limbaugh very faithfully until I just got tired of his arrogance. He has lost several advertising sponsors and I hope he loses all of them. We need less of him and he needs less of him (he is full of himself)as well as all those ditto heads. He has millions, so let him do a magic trick and disappear. Go around the world, go twice, go until you get dizzy and then go some more.

    March 5, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. BobRoss

    The people who never listened to Rush in the first place are going to keep on not listening to him, and those who already listened to him will continue. I really think this whole deal is being blown out of proportion

    March 5, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • elftee

      Blown out of proportion? Guess you've never been a victim of this crap, have you? Oh, right, you're not a woman. Go sit down until you know what you're talking about..

      March 5, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Victor12

    It's too bad Rush Limbaugh's parents didn't practice better birth control.

    March 5, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sarah

    Limbaugh went on a 3 day long tirade against her, making over 50 separate, often obscene, comments about Ms. Fluke. He did this, all because she testified that fellow female classmates wanted the opportunity to buy group insurance which covered the pill. Now millions of people believe Limbaugh's false characterization of her testimony. He has defamed her. How can our political process work if one radio personality can make false, cruel, threatening statements on air to intimidate the "opposition"? This isn't about partisanship. This is Limbaugh's echo chamber versus all decent Americans.

    March 5, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Marth

    The more we talk labout this disgrace of a human being, the more he likes it. That said, I'm participating aren't I? Darn and done.

    March 5, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. truth monger

    After all these years I find it disgusting and repulsive that Rush has been allowed to continue his Hitler-esque diatribe. If he is after ratings then he is getting them. As a human being I find him to be no better than Goering or Hitler himself...how does he sleep at night? What a revolting example of intelligence in human flesh!!!

    March 5, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JK

    Would he commented like this even if he was passionate had that been his daughter. He is big fat idiot. Idiot like these get such media attention that fuels the fire. He should be ignored as a big fat idiot.

    March 5, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. dazzle ©

    It is about time that the FCC slam this fat wind bag with a HUGE fine and ban him from being on air.

    March 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. greg

    Thanks goodness Limbaugh hasn't had offspring.

    March 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. irma

    The silence of GOP is more deafening that they are afraid of this bloated moron.

    March 5, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Really...

    There is a reason Limbaugh is thought to be the voice of the Republican Party... they bow to him. He's a powerful bully; knows it; loves it and wallows in the mud of the GOP.

    March 5, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. kevin

    I consider myself very conservative when it comes to government, social issues, the budget and military but I have never been able to stand Rush or listen to his show very long. He just rants and rants and never really listens to his callers.
    I think his radio days are numbered. At least I hope so.

    March 5, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JoannaS

    The argument that women's contraceptives should not be covered under insurance is a lost argument as long as vasectomies are covered by insurance..... There is only one reason to have a vasectomy ..... where is the outrage about that coverage? ...... and where are the 'religious freedom' folks???? don't hear any of the clergy screaming about vasectomies and some sort of breech of their theology.... and as long as there are people in our government who would side with making contracptives for women illegal (Santorum says it should be a state's rights issue) there is in fact: A WAR ON WOMEN'S RIGHTS ....

    March 5, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jo

    I have NEVER, EVER written a comment on web site like this! I agree there are many inappropriate statements made by other "news" people, however I do believe that this is one of the WORST!!!! The name calling was bad enough, the next day or two days later calling for the young woman to "give us a videotape'?!?!!?? Hey RUSH, how about all the viagara, cialis and Levitra you men are using????Should your insurance pay for that??

    March 5, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
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