Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh is being criticized for recent comments he made about a Georgetown law student. He called Sandra Fluke a “slut” and suggested she post sex videos of herself on the Internet. Although he issued an apology Saturday, he is still being criticized by Democrats and Republicans alike, and several sponsors have dropped his show.

By Paul Farhi
Published: March 5

Rush Limbaugh offered more contrition Monday for his comments about a Georgetown law student, but the conservative radio talk-show host continued to lose advertisers as a result of outrage over his characterization of the woman as a “slut” and a “prostitute.”

“Those two words were inappropriate and uncalled for,” Limbaugh said at the start of his show on Monday, referring to Sandra Fluke, a student who had spoken out in behalf of insurance coverage for contraception. “They distracted from the point I was actually trying to make and again I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for using those two words.”

The apology reinforced a statement Limbaugh posted on his Web site Saturday in which he said that his “choice of words was not the best” and that he was attempting to be humorous in his attack on Fluke on two programs last week.

Many thought Limbaugh’s initial apology was inadequate, and their outrage helped compel advertisers to pull their commercials from Limbaugh’s program.

Two more national advertisers — online giant AOL and tax service Tax Resolution — said Monday that they were suspending their sponsorship of Limbaugh, bringing the total number of companies fleeing Limbaugh to nine. In addition, two local advertisers, Hadeed Carpet and Rug and window-replacement company Thompson Creek said they have pulled their ads from WMAL AM-FM, which airs Limbaugh’s show in the Washington area.

Whether Limbaugh’s on-air apology will stanch further losses remains unclear. A boycott campaign on Twitter and online petitions urging sponsors to remove their ads continued to draw supporters Monday.

Despite saying his apology was “heartfelt,” Limbaugh quickly pivoted to criticizing his opponents. “In fighting [liberals] on this issue, I became like them,” he said. He later added: “Don’t be mad at them, that’s what they do. Everyone was true to [their tactics] except me. I had one failing and that is why I sincerely apologized” to Fluke.

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