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. banasy©

    The divide in this country is getting wider, and the "pundits" like Maher asnd Limbaugh don't help.
    I CAN tell is if either of those two called my daughter names and said those things about her, that would be the LAST pizza Maher delivered in a bad movie, and Rush would do well to watch his sodium intake...

    They are infested by hate.
    May both of them get what they deserve.
    Neither is funny, but both are nasty.

    March 6, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Boulder reader

    We have lost Olympia Snowe, but we keep Rush Limbaugh? The 4 GOP candidates who strive to lead this country say virtually nothing? Thank you to David Frum, George Will, John McCain, and other prominent Republicans for strongly condemning this conduct. Unless the good and honorable Republicans stand up against this type of behavior, I fear they will become extinct. This is not a single-party issue, but is bipartisan and it is at the root of our current dysfunction and gridlock in Washington. Hateful commentary on both sides of the aisle should be condemned by all; particularly when it is directed at private citizens who are appropriately engaging in public policy discussions/debate. If we can no longer debate with common respect and decency and strive for consensus, what will our future hold?

    March 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. fernace

    Rush Limbaugh is a nasty piece of work in human form! He has nothing to bring to normal human discourse except hate, divisiveness & twisted opinions,based on half-truths & his own vitriol! It appears this man has no use for any1 who isn't white, straight, male & extreme right republican! It also seems too many Repub politicians support his views & right now it's open season on womens healthcare & reproductive rights! Fact:Humans have s.e.x! Fact:W/out birthcontrol a woman can give birth to a child per year, until menopause! Fact: Mens s.exual needs are covered by insurance provided by religious businesses, such as Viagara, Cialis etc.! Fact: Conservatives & religious businesses have No Problem covering mens s.ex.ual needs, but are practically apoplectic over the issue of birthcontrol! Fact:This disparity is hypocritical & very misogynistic! The Religious Right had alot of success, last year, in dismanteling women clinics & invading our privacy w/new, maudelin abortion regulations! Women need to fight back!!

    March 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Siege268

      Amen! Well put.

      March 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Siege268

    Limbaugh is just another negative nellie who drives people further apart. He has nothing to contribute aside form hate and does his party no favors with his uncontrollable rants. I'm sick of all of these nasty spewers of hate, both sides are dividing a nation that needs to come together.

    March 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Stew

    The concerns about whether or not contraception for women may be valid but in the light of trying to understand why Viagara is a covered expense for men seems most unequal.

    March 6, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thrawn

      Agreed. Not that E.D. meds should be covered either, but comparing the two is a fallacy. (specifically, false analogy)
      The reason contraceptive coverage is being debated is because it is a moral/ethical issue. No one has a problem with E.D. meds.

      March 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Why should a man be able to get hard and a women not be able to prevent herself from pregnancy. Double standard. The sole purpose of Viagra is to get a man hard, it can blind them or kill them by a heart attack. But a young lady goes to say that friends use contraceptives to keep cysts on their ovaries from enlarging and men are all moral. pealeeze. Maybe the religious women should fight the men being able to get hard artificially, saying if god wanted you to be hard he would let you, otherwise you should not put such things in gods temple(your body). Jeesh

      March 6, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Wrong-it is completely comparable...both have to do with s ex.
      Therefore, both are moral/ethical issues...according to you, Thrawn.

      My daughter was diagnosed with PCOS.
      She was prescribed BC pills.
      I assure you, she's intact, as she was when she was diagnosed-at age 15.
      It's not so black and white, no matter how one wants to spin it.

      March 6, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Thrawn

    No matter where you stand on contraceptives, (personally, I'm for them, against abortion) his comments were unacceptable. Even if you disagree with an individual's views, you cannot insult them in this way.
    There are verying reports as to this woman's qualifications, supposedly she was declaired unfit to testify in the past, on other issues, including the healthcare bill, and it is entirly possible that she is. . . promiscuous. That doesn't mean you get to insult her.

    March 6, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. huh?

    Grey-claritin is an over the counter drug. When they make contraceptives over the counter then you may talk.

    March 6, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ronvan

    Maybe, just maybe, this time, the bald headed, fat man, whose only message is to propagate hate, racism, bigotry, you name it, will be gone!! BUT, I doubt it. In Today's times we listen, support and enjoy these types of things! Sad world!!
    This "thing" makes his living off of his lies, made up statements, and personal feelings and WE drool over it! Shamefull!! The truly sad thing is that you can see these same things, just a different format on TV. So where does it stop? ONLY when, WE say enough and tell everyone involved that we will not buy their produts or listen, support, in any way shape or form these kinds of trash.

    March 6, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mark

    Yes. Bill Mahar used abusive language, and shame on him. There is no justification for Limbaugh. Two wrongs don't make a right. And if Johnny jumps off a bridge with a stick of dynamite in his teeth that doesn't mean you should do it as well. Rush is a bully who has beat up a young woman from the safety of his studio. Big man...

    March 6, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. paul johansen

    the hypocrisy of those who condemn Rush but not the likes of Bill Maher who called Palin the "C" word cannot be overstated.

    March 6, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @paul johansen: the difference? celebrity. if she was running for president, or writing books – basicly, if she had her own platform from which to respond nationally, this might not be a big deal. the perception is big, bad rush is picking on a private individual. and it's a young girl – everybody's daughter.

      rush is a moron. see, i can say that. he's famous.. and i'm a private citizen..

      March 6, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Hal

    The liberals are just eating this up. But why should I have to pay for her birth control.

    March 6, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dott

      Poor Hal – from a female maybe you will understand. I and many females have a problem that causes us great pain and lots of bleeding. If untreated we can hemorrage you know bleed to death. We take birth control pills to control this hoping someday we can have children since the only other option is to have our female organs removed. Go take your little blue pill paid for by the insurance company and be still. Hope this helps.

      March 6, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      @Hal that is not the argument, insurance a female pays for picks up the tab, no republicans pick up our tab, we pay our own insurance. So Hal you do not pay for it, insurance does and women who pay insurance do.

      March 6, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lib Lab

    Interesting how the libs, with the unfailing assistance of media-left, have successfully spun the actual issue, "the right to practice one's religious beliefs without government intrusion", into a "right to contraception" argument. What's more, they're getting the entire US population of strained-brains to play along. Well done, well done indeed.

    Liblabs of the world, Unite! You have nothing to lose but your brains!

    March 6, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      You can practice your religious beliefs by not using the contraceptives that are included in insurance, but take that out of the equation and make everyone not be able to get it thru insurance. How selfish you are to expect a free country to abide by your religious beliefs. Insurance should have nothing to do with religious belief, but medical use and religions have people work for them that are not in their church should be able to use their insurance as they see fit, not as you want.

      March 6, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      So you will not lose your religious right but women should lose their right to contraception because of your religious freedom?

      March 6, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Scottish Mama

    This went on for 3 days so an apology should not have been accepted. If you make a mistake you say your sorry, you do not wait till your paychecks pull out and then decide to do it. Hallow apologies, do not deserve to be recieved as a sorry.He not only called her a sl!t and prost-i–tute, he said if she was going to be that, she should tape it, so he could watch it.

    March 6, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. hamsta

    @cynthia i didnt make the claim that rush was speaking fact.but it is fact that cnn thinks its ok to call sarah palin a sl?t and a c?nt and refer to the tea party as tea baggers while their beloved occupy movement is committing multiple felonies violent crime and recruiting terrorists from pakistan iran afghanistan and iraq.the fact is everytime you socialist liberal democrats point a finger a guilty conscience is attached to that finger.

    March 6, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Greek American

    I would like to know when CNN called Palin these things? And when they called anyone a Tea Bagger?

    March 6, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
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