Stating the Obvious, with Regret


There’s nothing I hate more than getting dragged into silly score-keeping sessions about which outrage was worse. There’s a huge crack team of folks on both sides that manage this task quite well. I’m not particularly good at it and find the whole thing silly and stupid. But I’ve seen just too many examples of this Ed Schultz vs. Rush Limbaugh slutlympics and I can’t take it any more because it’s ridiculous. The two things really weren’t comparable and the fall out shows no double standard, unless you mean one in favor of Limbaugh.

So here goes.Ed Schultz, in a rant against Laura Ingraham, called a “right wing slut”. He used it as a term of abuse, just the way you can use any number of terms of abuse to attack someone. But he didn’t use just any term of abuse. He used one specifically degrading to women, one specifically meant to be degrading to a woman. He then delivered an abject apology and MSNBC suspended him for a week.

Limbaugh didn’t just call the woman a “slut” and a “prostitute” and it wasn’t just something he said and quickly tried to take back. He spent a good three days calling her a slut and a prostitute, spinning her public policy advocacy as a form of nymphomania and telling degrading stories about her sex life — all culminating in a joking dare that if she wanted the taxpayers to pay for her insatiable appetite for sex she should agree to make sex tapes for Rush and his fans to watch. It went on for days. This was finally followed by a non-apology apology in duress.

There’s been no question of the opposite party taunting Democrats for not denouncing Schultz because he apologized and went off the air too quickly for anything to get started.

I don’t really care about Ed Schultz or Rush Limbaugh but you have to be incredibly tendentious or just stupid not to see some difference between the two incidents or — much more importantly — believe that the response shows some sort of double standard for progressive yakkers.


Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of