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. Swb

    Love it...don't give a rip for Limbaugh, but watching the neo-lib's panties bunch is always entertaining...

    March 5, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Chris

    The guy is a tool and his remarks rude and uncalled for. What is pitiful though is that CNN has turned away from news and become a propaganda machine for the left in a desperate attempt to taint the race and get Obama reelected. The woman who testified lied, she claimed, falsly, that if Religeous institutions were not forced to go against their beliefs and give free contraception to woman it would take away their ability to have cotraception. She bolstered this tale with a story about some poor law student who was going to no longer be able to get contraception. yet less than .1 of a mile from campus condoms are readly available for a couple dollars a pack and free condoms are given out by many groups. Contraception is widely available and free or very cheap.

    My questions are why doesn't this alleged woman, who we were told won't be able to get contraception anymore, testify instead of the woman that did? Why is CNN making front page "news" out of the rantings of a radio shock jock that does not represent any canidate rather than reporting real news like an economy devistated by a radical leftist administration and the administration's clear distain for America and the companies owned by hard working Americans?e?

    March 5, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Walker

      That "poor law student" wasn't taking the birth control pills for contraception but for ovarian cysts which can be very serious to a woman's health! perhaps you need to take some time to learn about the uses of birth control pills before you start suggesting she get condoms instead! You missed the real issue at hand!

      March 6, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  3. Kathryn

    Whata' a jerk and bully. Why must all this start and end with the election season. Is it sensationalism? He doesn't care about birth control. What if it had been an old man was complaining about his Viagra being revoked by his insurance. What a crock!!

    March 5, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. kamana

    Every living thing everywhere had to have a mother but not a single living thing anywhere ever needed a father, brother, son or husband. The only reason males exist is to transfer its mothers sperm to a secondary female because females lack the necessary equipment to inseminate other females. Only the human females have been forced to have husbands and be these slaves called wives. All the other living (female) things on the planet do not have husbands unless they were forced to by the human male.

    March 5, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Nancy

    Limbaugh is a professional polarizer. He, and others like him - on both sides - are making obscene amounts of money to dive wedges between those who believe what he believes, and all the "others". He does thiswith the most inflammatory verbiage possible, calculated to whip up hate, anger, and distain among his followers. That's pretty much the same thing that Hitler did when he was building his Nazi Germany! Demonize your enemies! Whip your compatriots into a frenzy. Everybody needs somone to hate and look down upon ....it makes them feel more important!
    It's SO SAD to see this happening in our country. It's so sad to see how people will unquestioningly believe lies, half-truths, twisted facts from their favorite POLARIZER. There's no money in being Civil and truthful these days.

    March 5, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. NWBayRaven

    I wonder why it surprises anyone that a religious based male would be targetting females with HATE; throughout eons of time that it is the religions modus operandi. “We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.”>J. Swift

    March 5, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jj

    This all about another govt Bill intruding in our daily lives. Typical Obama style politricks buying off votes while offering free stuff. That's going to behis legacy. Making people dependent on govt. way to go mr prez. Bring our country down a little at a time

    March 5, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Walker

      Oh paleeze!!

      March 6, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  8. Portland tony

    Limbaugh is an entertaineer masquerading as a political pundit. Those who take him seriously should perhaps seek a clinical evaluation. The mainstream press seems to have made him the spokesman of conservatism which couldn't be farther from the truth. He can laugh at himself...why can't the rest of us. He's created a niche in political discourse and takes every advantage of it.

    March 5, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. janice

    I think that MSBBC should look at their backrounds before they act as if their can do no wrong. Ed Schultz was a sports broadcastoe in North Dakota. He advertised his sports broadcast by showing a young man ,who won a race in the state track meet, sticking out his tounge at the second place runner. They had been rivals. The young man lost his medal due to unsportmanship conduct. I over heard 2 moms talking about the upcomming season and the mom of the first place winner wept as she shared that her senior son would not workout to get ready for track. I called the TV station that Ed was on and told them to tell Ed that I hoped his son never did a stupid thing that would be caught on tape. I heard as I flipped channels Ed ranting about Rush and I wondered if he remembered showing that tape over and over, He, I am sure thoght he had a right to humilate and demean this highschool junior. I never heard if he competed in track his senior year of highschool. If he did not we have Ed Schultz to thank.

    March 5, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jj

      this is how dumocrats spew every day! What's the problem now???

      March 5, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jj

      were was the outrage when palin was gettin called every name in the book???

      March 5, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jj

      but no ignore what every dem was doing to palin and make light of this. Liberalism is a flipping disease obviously

      March 5, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Carl from PA

    The man most responsible for the destruction of the Republican Party and returning Obama to the White House in 2012. Thanks Russ.

    March 5, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Yes

    I hope this woman stays in the spotlight. The more she is out there the more radical she will appear. In the long run religious liberty is a win for the republicans

    March 5, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Borkmore

    Limbaugh is a pot caling the kettle black if he takes viagra and has been married 4 times!

    March 5, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy©

    Please cite the source where a democrat called Palin a s l u t in public, on a rant that lasted three days....I can site a republican who did..Rush Limbaugh.

    I would feel the same thing abou Maddow or anyone else who would do such an asinine thing...Dem or GOP; it belittles the nessage he was trying to convey, and makes him look small and extremely petty...if Keith Oberman did it I would also say the same thing.
    These kind of insults have no place in either the political arena, or in political shows...on Jersey Shore can get away with tripe like that, and I think it's a pretty thin line there, even so.

    Awaiting for all the hate to build up in RLand his head to explode like Mt. St. Helen's.

    March 5, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "On The Lunatic Fringe"

    paraphrased from the Huffington Post:

    Fluke appeared on ABC's "The View" on Monday to discuss Limbaugh's apology, which she said she believes the conservative radio host only issued because of pressure from his show's sponsors.
    //////////////////
    So she dismissed his appology. Well at least he realizes he went a little too far in running his mouth, but at least he tried to appologize. Even the President and Nancy Pelosi felt sorry for her, but the man that did it ....tried.
    But all the verbal exchanges (mud slinging), will not change the GOP's stand on the issue of birth control. Government "has no place in it....peeriod". This has nothing to do with the way Rush ran his mouth.

    March 5, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      TAll true, Jeff
      By that same token, the government should stay out of everyoneKs crotches, not paying *anything* for naughty bit meds, including Viagra and Cialis, right? I think that's fair, don't you?

      March 5, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Greek American

    @banasy
    Don't let these GOP Limbaugh lovers fool you, as you are right and there are no incidents where any Dem has used that word to describe Palin or Bachman in a public forum. They are getting confused with all the reports about the men that Palin cheated on her husband with.

    March 5, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
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