I’m a little late to the party with this one. I was on a trip most of last week, and got a bad headcold or something immediately afterwards, so I didn’t really get to even start looking into the recent news until Monday morning.
This cartoon, of course, refers to the latest controversy belched forth by perennial conservative blowhard Rush Limbaugh, who called Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” (and creepily argued that she owed him sex tapes) on his radio program, following her Congressional testimony on the importance of birth control to women’s health. It took about half a dozen advertisers threatening to pull anchor for Rush to issue a gutless non-apology in the grand tradition of Investor’s Business Daily.
I couldn’t resist doing something on the subject, late though I am, because I always have a lot of fun drawing Rush, especially ever since I came up with the device of having him talk by way of a literal smoke cloud.
Coming out of the episode, most other cartoonists mocked his being a radio whore, as well as his general dumb, gross, gorilla-like nature. I decided to focus on the irony of Rush Limbaugh lecturing anyone on the subject of personal responsibility, given his history of painkiller abuse and being caught with someone else’s Viagra prescription.
Rush must think all women who have sex are prostitutes because paying for it is the only way such a bloated, disgusting gasbag as he could ever get any without becoming a rapist. I don’t know what level of self-loathing a woman would have to possess to even put up with the humiliation of being seen in public with a guy who gives face to the classic joke, “You’ve got a great face for radio,” much less open herself up to the possibility of carrying his contaminated demon seed–he doesn’t believe in birth control, after all!
I guess the three or four he somehow conned into marriage-followed-by-divorce over the years assured themselves that there was no risk to humanity, because he’d most likely consume any children they happened to spawn before they could make it outta the delivery room.
In his “apology,” Rush attempted the “I’m an entertainer!” defense, arguing that his comments about Fluke were not meant to be taken seriously, and were instead intentionally exaggerated or “absurd.” I believe this was the same excuse given after Jared Lee Lougher literally did what people like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin were “metaphorically” calling for.
Like much in the world of conservative entertainment, this trend of spewing hate speech followed by “j/k!” seems modeled on some Downs-Syndrome-Mirror-Universe aping of The Daily Show and Jon Stewart. Remember when he appeared on Crossfire? Stewart criticized its effect (and the effect of 24-hour-news networks in general) on the national discourse. Tucker Carlson, whose bow-tie was apparently cutting off circulation to his brain, attempted to call Stewart a hypocrite, and Stewart countered that he was the host of a comedy program on a comedy network, rather than a network with “news” in its name. Then Jon called Carlson a dick and Crossfire was permanently cancelled. Good times…
Anyway, I figure cavemen in the conservative media see something like that and think, “He call man name, say he comedian and get away with it! I call name, also say I comedian, I get away with it, too!” But the reason this works for Jon Stewart is because he’s funny and entertaining, and whether he’s making a joke about something or being serious, you can usually tell immediately. If you have to issue a press release to let your audience know that thing you said earlier was actually a joke, guess what? That means you’re not doing it right!!
Like, me, for example, it’s usually pretty clear when I’m being serious, and when I’m joking. Like, if I were to say, “Rush Limbaugh is basically an animated Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade balloon,” there, I’m pretty obviously joking, because of course he’s not literally a balloon. Whereas, if I were to say, “Rush Limbaugh is a selfish, dishonest, drug-addicted fatass who (hopefully) couldn’t get laid without the aid of his money,” you know I’m being serious, because hey, those things’re just common sense!