Lawrence O’Donnell, on Thursday’s The Last Word, actually had his production team make up a graphic of Rush Limbaugh’s sex life. As a way to mock the conservative talk radio host’s take on a Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke, who petitioned Congress for subsidized birth control, the MSNBC host and his panel looked over a timeline of Limbaugh’s marital history.
O’Donnell snarked: “Throughout that entire interpersonal sex life he has produced exactly zero children. So this is a man who has not only been practicing birth control for well over 30 years, he has perfected it.” Then O’Donnell’s colleague Alex Wagner got into the act when she added: “It’s probably good...that there have not been offspring from Rush’s many unions.”
Of course, O’Donnell and Wagner completely ignored the point that Limbaugh, unlike Fluke, has never demanded that the American taxpayers should pay for his or any other person’s birth control.
The following is the relevant exchange from the March 1 edition of MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell:
LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: It has been driving Republicans crazy, but it is
hard to get crazier than Rush Limbaugh on this subject. Let’s listen to
what Rush had to say today about the Georgetown law school student who
was going to testify at the original hearing on this. She was barred and
then the Democrats brought her in for another session. Let's listen to
what Limbaugh said about that.
RUSH LIMBAUGH: The Georgetown student who went before a congressional committee and said she’s having so much sex she's going broke buying contraceptives and wants us to buy them. Well I said, what would you call someone who wants us to pay for her to have sex? What, what would you call that woman? You’d call them a slut, a prostitute. “Mr. Obama, President Obama, do you agree with Rush Limbaugh that 99 percent of the women in America are sluts?” Will be the question.
O’DONNELL: He really knows how to have a good time on his radio show. Alex, the Georgetown law school student, Sandra Fluke, has responded. I’d actually like you to read her response.
ALEX WAGNER: Cold read. “No woman deserves to be disrespected in this manner. This language is an attack on all women, and has been used throughout history to silence our voices. The millions of American women who have and will continue to speak out in support of women's health care and access to contraception prove that we will not be silenced.”
O’DONNELL: Now, I want to, to think about what should we call Rush
Limbaugh, and if we -- we got a graphic that we want to put up here,
which is a graphic of Rush Limbaugh’s life and his sex life. Which you
can now turn around and take a look at. Take a look at this graphic.
Rush Limbaugh was married for the very first time in 1997. That ended in
1980. 1977, sorry. Then you see the second wife ‘83 to ‘90. A third
wife, '94 to 2001. And he's still married to the fourth wife. So what we
have there is a -- presuming -- if we were to presume that Rush
Limbaugh’s interpersonal heterosexual sex life began in 1977 and has run
to the present and perhaps there's a dalliance in those blank spots
here and there. Throughout that entire interpersonal sex life he has
produced exactly zero children. So this is a man who has not only been
practicing birth control for well over 30 years, he has perfected it.
Absolutely perfected it. Alex, for this guy to be the guy who is telling
women how they should handle themselves with his flawless record, it
seems to me, of, I guess flawless contraception?
WAGNER: I would argue it’s probably good for the national conversation that there have not been offspring from Rush’s many unions. You know I’m with Sandra on this. I think this is, it is reprehensible. We can joke about it, but this is absolutely a war on women. This is absolutely trying to -- this is, this has conflated the issue of, of sort of going from the very heated rhetoric around abortion to the opposite end of the spectrum, which is basic contraception. It is, it is totally counterintuitive to the idea of conservatism and the idea that the government shouldn't be involved in personal decisions to have, have the Blunt Amendment and to have panels of white men talking about women’s choice issues. I mean, the fact that we are here as, Chris [Hayes] said, in our national dialogue is shocking. And the fact that Republicans are not only not calling it out, but doubling down and that these measures are passing by a hair, by someone who is retiring is shocking.
-- Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Geoffrey Dickens on Twitter.