Rush Limbaugh is no stranger to litigation. While it’s usually the abrasive radio personality who is facing threats of being sued and/or having his sponsors boycotted by his many detractors, and other non-fans, this time it’s Limbaugh who is on the offense, taking the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to task for emails they sent out during the recent elections that Limbaugh says defamed his character.
But Rush is doing more than just calling out the DCCC publicly, the conservative-minded radio talk show host who often refers to himself as “El Rushbo,” could be taking the liberally-minded DCCC to court if they don’t acknowledge and apologize for some things they said in the emails, reports the Washington Post.
A letter sent by legal representatives of Limbaugh to the DCCC states that the DCCC disseminated “false statements” about Rush that they should have “known better” than to disseminate, among other things.
The letter sent on behalf of Rush was scheduled to be delivered to the DCCC on Monday, citing a series of emails that allegedly gave the impression Rush Limbaugh had been condoning rape on college campuses.
The DCCC’s email includes a comment made by Rush during his September 15 airing of the Rush Limbaugh Show. Rush was talking about a new policy at Ohio State University that says students need to get verbal consent if they were going to engage in sexual intercourse. The DCCC took Rush’s commentary and latched onto the one sentence where he said, “How many of you guys. . . have learned that ‘no’ means ‘yes’ if you know how to spot it?” The DCCC suggested that, with this statement, Rush was “advocating for the tolerance of sexual assault.”
Rush Limbaugh’s legal representatives called this a foul and in no uncertain terms demanded a retraction, and a public apology for the “anti-Rush” fundraising e-mails. The letter to the DCCC let be known that Rush planned potential legal proceedings for defamation and business “interference” if the Democratic organization doesn’t meet his demands.
The DCCC offices were reportedly closed for the beginning of the week to honor Veterans Day, so no response to Limbaugh’s legal letter has yet been made.
According to Limbaugh, the DCCC used his comment out of context in their email fundraising attempt. A spokesman for Limbaugh, Brian Glicklich, said in an interview, “We love opinions, but this crossed a very bright line. They lied about his words. They quoted something specific and out of context, and it is a lie.”
While Limbaugh is now on offense, pressing the DCCC to retract and apologize for their emails, it was DCCC chairman and New York representative, Steve Israel, who was on the offensive to start things off.
Using Rush’s comment in at least three widely distributed emails, Israel went after Rush Limbaugh while also soliciting funds.
“There’s simply no excusing comments of this offensive nature, especially at a time where our country is having a long-overdue conversation about violence against women,” wrote Israel in one of the emails. “Plain and simple, Rush Limbaugh is advocating for the tolerance of sexual assault and should be taken off the air immediately.”
Israel also called on email recipients to sign a petition imploring Limbaugh’s advertisers to quit advertising on Limbaugh’s program.
The Limbaugh comment used by Israel and the DCCC was taken from a larger commentary where Rush was pontificating on the Ohio State policy.
“Seduction used to be an art. Now, of course, it’s ‘brutish’ and it’s ‘predatory’ and it’s bad,” Rush said on his program, also quoting the Ohio State policy as saying, “Consent must be freely given, and can be withdrawn anytime, and the absence of ‘no’ does not mean ‘yes.'”
That’s about where the sentence used in the DCCC email came up.
“How many of you guys, in your own experience with women, have learned that ‘no’ means ‘yes’ if you know how to spot it? I’m probably… Let me tell you something, in this modern (world)… that’s not tolerated. People aren’t even going to try to understand that one. It used to be said as a cliche, it used to be part of the advice young boys were given. See, that’s what we’ve got to change. We have got to reprogram the way we raise men. So now… permission every step of the way, clearly spelling out ‘why.’ (Are) these (rules) not lawsuits waiting to happen if even one of these steps is not taken?”
And what does Rush Limbaugh want from the DCCC to make his threat of a lawsuit go away?
An apology and retraction, “every bit as pervasive and widely distributed” as the DCCC’s emails, said Glicklich.
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