As much of the country recoils in revulsion from Rush Limbaugh’s shockingly misogynistic attacks on Sandra Fluke, the young Georgetown Law student who testified before Congress about the need for women to have access to contraception, Fox News is siding with Limbaugh. Our Priscilla previously reported on Fox's Todd Starnes’ vile tweets in support of Limbaugh. Exhibit Number Two: Bill O’Reilly. O’Reilly didn’t directly address Limbaugh’s hideous rhetoric (though you know that no such reticence would have occurred had he been a liberal attacking a conservative). Instead, O’Reilly regurgitated Limbaugh’s arguments using slightly milder language. Rather than calling Fluke a "slut" outright - as Limbaugh did - O'Reilly merely implied it.
"Do you want to pay for other peoples’ activities?" O'Reilly asked condemningly - as though only certain people have sex.
"…Sandra Fluke believes that all of us should pay for her sexual activities… I’m asking this with all due respect, I am. You want me to give you my hard-earned money so you can have sex? Is that what you’re asking for? Good grief."
Actually, I see it as paying for contraception, not sex, and it’s not O’Reilly being asked to pay, but insurance companies. But putting that aside, I don’t see why O'Reilly's view of contraception coverage is any different from insurance companies paying for smoking-related diseases, accident injuries or obesity-caused conditions. Will multimillionaire O’Reilly be railing against medical coverage for those next?
“What about the concerns of Americans, in general, now forced to buy health insurance who don’t want to pay extra for Sandra Fluke’s social decisions? …To (Fluke and her supporters), sex is a potential health crisis so American taxpayers should now be responsible for what goes on in everybody’s bedroom. I don’t think I can make it any more vivid. This is a freedom issue. My freedom as an American is being encroached upon. The Obama administration is trying to force me and you to pick up the tab for what people do in their private time.
…Now the progressive colossus is demanding payment for Sandra Fluke so that she can go through Georgetown Law School with an active, healthy social life."
O’Reilly also compared contraception coverage to providing drugs to addicts.
The subtext of O’Reilly’s argument is that contraception coverage is somehow a “price” that he is being asked to pay for women’s bad behavior. But sexual activity is not like doing drugs. It’s a normal part of nearly everyone’s behavior. O’Reilly didn’t even consider the possibility that many Georgetown Law School students – like women everywhere – might be married.
But, OK, O’Reilly doesn’t think contraception should be covered. We’ll even stipulate that maybe he has a valid argument. But that is no excuse to vilify Fluke. This is not about her sex life or his paying for it. It’s about contraception for women and whether there should be mandatory coverage for it in health insurance. It’s hard to believe O’Reilly doesn’t get that and that he didn’t make a calculated decision – just like Limbaugh did – to denigrate Fluke. For the sake of - pardon the pun - sexing up his own argument.
I’m sorry, Bill. You may have been a bit less incendiary than Rush but you came out looking like the same kind of prick.
Women Don’t Count! We Abuse Them!
With all my love,