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Double Standard, Part 2

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When Rush Limbaugh made remarks about Sandra Fluke, he was castigated. Commenters at Blogcritics tried to hide behind the “Sandra Fluke is a private citizen” argument. Well, guess who now has made unflattering comments? And about whom? The person making the remark was none other than syndicated talk radio host Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Is he a public figure? And he made his remark about Senator James Inhofe (R-OK). I’ve heard of Inhofe, so I guess he, too, is a public figure.

Robert Kennedy Jr. issued a strong criticism of Senator Inhofe on Twitter. On March 6, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. tweeted, “Speaking of prostitutes, big oil’s top call girl Sen Inhofe wants to kill fuel economy backed by automakers, small biz, enviros, & consumers.”

Kennedy’s tweet was apparently in response to a letter Inhofe sent to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Lisa Jackson. The letter accused President Barack Hussein Obama’s administration of “recklessly” implementing emissions standards for cars. Inhofe has referred to climate change as “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”

Kennedy works for the Natural Resources Defense Council and was once considered for the EPA’s top position. An Inhofe spokesman said, “It’s hard to believe that Robert Kennedy Jr. would choose to use such language – especially this week.” But Kennedy isn’t retracting his tweet. In another tweet on Wednesday he said [of Inhofe], “To my critics: What do you call a politician,- Democrat or Republican, who sells the public interest for money?” Kennedy said that he stands by his statement and underlined the difference between him and Limbaugh: “The context with which Mr. Limbaugh used it was wrong and immoral … But it’s not immoral in using it to apply to a politician who is selling his office.” So I guess that Kennedy’s opinion made his remarks acceptable, that no response was required.

Where was the MSM outrage over Kennedy’s remark? Where was the call for condemnation by Democrats? Where was the call for sponsors to leave Kennedy’s show, or for Ring of Fire to drop his show? I guess I was busy and missed all of that.

Apparently, it’s permissible to call someone a prostitute if you’re a liberal/progressive. But it’s not if you’re a conservative, thus proving the MSM’s double standard. For the MSM and Democrats to react so strongly to one instance, and not at all to the other is outrageous. So much for freedom of speech.

Twitter reaches over 91 million people per month, or over 3 million per day (91 million/30), so Twitter does not have the same audience size as Limbaugh (20 million per day).

But that’s just my opinion.

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  • troll

    …and speaking of double standards

    hey Warren Beatty (not the brightest bulb in the chandelier) – did you notice how those fuckers over at the bls manipulated the February unemployment data and grew the size of the labor force in order to keep the unemployment rate up and help the Republican candidates in this year’s election?

    insidious bastards

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Kennedy’s simile is apt, and he is correct that Limbaugh’s was not.

    “Prostitute” has another, broader meaning apart from its primary dictionary definition of one who receives money for sex. I even used the word myself in that context, in the short blurb of one of my early articles for Blogcritics (scroll down to #4).

    In both usages of the word, it implies that a transaction is going on: a purchase and a sale. So when a senator – a public servant – sells his influence to a private interest, that can be termed “prostitution”.

    If a woman has consensual sex with a man, then wakes up in the morning to find him gone and $200 on her nightstand, you wouldn’t call her a prostitute.

    Likewise, Sandra Fluke is not selling anything if she uses birth control that is covered by health insurance.

  • Igor

    Warren fails again. He can’t even succeed in phrasing a “you too!” logical fallacy (which, IIRC, has an ancient latin name: “tu quoque”, because it’s been known as a fallacy for soooo long).

    One would expect that Warren, after all his practice articles, could have been sufficiently competent to accomplish that, even though it is a low goal.

    Oh well.

  • http://rwno.limewebs.com Warren Beatty

    Re: comment #1, troll, please see my comment (#2) at this BC article.

    Re: comments #2 and #3, Dr. Dreadful and Igor, neither of you can (or will) address the double standard applied by the MSM.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Warren, as El Bicho observed in the comments to part 1 of your whinefest, complaining that the media sometimes exhibit double standards is like writing an article arguing that crime is bad or that war is expensive. It’s high school level.

    My beef isn’t with the media’s double standard in this case, it’s with yours.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Warren –

    “The context with which Mr. Limbaugh used it was wrong and immoral … But it’s not immoral in using it to apply to a politician who is selling his office.” So I guess that Kennedy’s opinion made his remarks acceptable, that no response was required. Where was the MSM outrage over Kennedy’s remark? Where was the call for condemnation by Democrats? Where was the call for sponsors to leave Kennedy’s show, or for Ring of Fire to drop his show?

    You mean it’s wrong to call politicians whores? I think you’d have a hard time finding agreement from most of your BC conservatives – and any political cartoonist – on that one!

    Again, Warren, politicians are public figures. Sandra Fluke is a private figure. That, sir, is the difference.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    I notice that it’s “Mr. Limbaugh” but just “Kennedy”.

    Talk about your double standards…

  • Costello

    If Warren doesn’t think politicians are bought like prostitutes, he may well be the most ill-informed person to ever write about politics. He’s lucky this site has no standards in what they publish

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    Re #8 — I am shocked at the notion that politicians and other prostitutes are the same. The suggestion is overtly sexist, anti-woman and unjustly disparages an ancient and honorable profession — the members of which are more highly regarded by their patrons than the politicians who insist upon repressing them. Mere prostitutes certainly put out much more — indeed of their very selves — but are far less well compensated than politicians.

    This horrid disparity must come to an end and I do not understand why the National Association of Prostitutes (NAP) continues to take this shameful travesty lying down. They have insisted on remaining recumbent far too long. It is time to rise to the occasion and demand to become Honorable Members of the Congress. Many are at least as well qualified as are most of the incumbents and could do a better job.

  • http://rwno.limewebs.com Warren Beatty

    Re: comment # 7, Dr. Dreadful, a reread will show that Mr. Limbaugh was within a quote by Kennedy, and I present quotes without changes.

    Re: comment # 8, Costello, I fail to see the relevance of your comment WRT my article. Can you enlighten me?

    Re: comment # 9, Dan, LMAO! What you say is funny, but quite true.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Warren, you are correct about the quotes. I stand corrected and withdraw my dig!

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Costello, I fail to see the relevance of your comment WRT my article.

    Seriously, Warren? In reference to an article in which you decry Robert Kennedy Jr’s likening of a senator’s behaviour to that of a prostitute?

  • http://rwno.limewebs.com Warren Beatty

    Re: comment #12, Dr. Dreadful, are we talking about the same article? Can you give me a specific instance where I decried Robert Kennedy Jr’s likening of a senator’s behaviour to that of a prostitute? The only observation I made about Kennedy was the questioning of his opinion. My article was about how the MSM (and others) made a big deal about Limbaugh’s remarks while giving Kennedy a pass.

    The truth hurts, doesn’t it?

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    If you’re going to pick at choices of words rather than accept that Costello’s comment mentioning prostitution was in fact perfectly germane to a discussion of Robert Kennedy Jr’s comments mentioning prostitution, then I’m wasting my time.

    Fortunately I like wasting my time.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    No, Warren didn’t directly decry RFK Jr.’s remark about politicians being like prostitutes. He’s decrying the fact that the mainstream media didn’t decry it.

    And all the while he ignores the fact that Sandra Fluke is a private citizen, unlike ALL politicians who are by definition public citizens.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/the-obnoxious-american/ The Obnoxious American

    Sandra Fluke is a political activist with ties to Anita Dunn. Let’s not pretend that she’s truly some poor college student who can’t afford her own “women’s health care.” She was hand picked, has entered the public debate and is thus fair game.

    And with that said, for her to claim that she needs $1000 to pay for contraception is verifiably false, and opens her up to the type of ridicule that she got from Rush. Was Rush classy? Hardly, but he’s guilty of nothing more serious than anything said by the likes of Bill Maher, Kieth Olbermann, Ed Harris or any of the freakazoids at MSNBC. In fact, not even close, given the nonsense spouted by Ms Fluke in the first place.

  • zingzing

    just don’t bring up condoms, oa. please, just don’t.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OA –

    That doesn’t make her a public citizen, nor does it make her a celebrity. If nobody – or very, very few people – have heard of her, that’s probably because she’s not a public citizen and doesn’t make her living in the limelight.

    After all, do you really think that she planned on being called a ‘slut’ and then becoming famous?

    Now if she starts going on the talk-show circuit, becoming a commentator or a syndicated pundit or whatever, then hey, she’s fair game.

  • http://cinemasentries.com/ El Bicho

    “And with that said, for her to claim that she needs $1000 to pay for contraception is verifiably false,”

    You are right about one thing: that is verifiability false because that’s not what she said as anyone who actually read the transcript can see for themselves, which Obnoxious apparently didn’t, but then it’s hard to be obnoxious when one is informed about what they are talking about, so how can you blame him?

    And when exactly did actor Ed Harris speak out about this issue?

  • http://cinemasentries.com/ El Bicho

    Any politician who does the bidding of a donor certainly sounds like a prostitute, so what’s the foul in calling them that? How is that the same thing as calling a woman talking about contraception issues a prostitute?

    You are too blinded by ideology to see anything beyond it, which contributes to these desperate articles that fail to prove your point. I hope you have someone do your fruit shopping because it’s rather obvious you can’t tell the difference between apples and oranges.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Glenn, I rather wish you wouldn’t keep using the term “fair game”. (I do understand what you mean by it.) Calling Sarah Palin a cunt quite clearly isn’t fair, and the mere fact of her being a nationally-known public figure doesn’t make it so. (The attacks on her family were also beyond the pale, which I think even the media realized quite quickly.)

    However, sadly, it does (I prefer this term and have already used it a couple of times in this and related discussions) come with the territory, as any “average American” who’s appeared on a reality show and subsequently the front page of every supermarket tabloid knows.

    BTW, speaking of double standards, our very own Arch Conservative has been known to have colourfully gynaecological things to say about several female liberal politicians – his favourite targets being Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi.

    If we’re to accept Warren’s benchmark, Archie’s a public figure. Yet I can’t remember any of our right-wingers, with the possible exception of Joseph, calling him out over his comments.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Okay, Doc – I’ll try to refrain from the ‘fair game’ for I can see how that can be uncool when it’s used about the fairer sex, or even people in general. Except for maybe Rush. But if I forget or slip up, please do remind me.

  • Clavos

    If nobody – or very, very few people – have heard of her, that’s probably because she’s not a public citizen and doesn’t make her living in the limelight.

    For more than a week now, hers has been one of the top stories nationwide; she’s likely been on the front page of most of the country’s top journals. It’s also highly likely that everyone with even a passing interest in news and/or politics is aware of her and would recognize her name.

    By definition, she’s now a “public” citizen.

  • http://rwno.limewebs.com Warren Beatty

    Re: comment # 16, OA, well. said!

    You say, “Was Rush classy? Hardly, but he’s guilty of nothing more serious than anything said by the likes of Bill Maher, Kieth Olbermann, Ed Harris or any of the freakazoids at MSNBC. In fact, not even close, given the nonsense spouted by Ms Fluke in the first place.” I agree that Rush was not classy. And I agree that he is guilty of nothing more serious than anything said by the likes of Bill Maher, Keith Olbermann, Ed Harris or any of the freakazoids at MSNBC. Rush and Bill and Keith and Ed can say what they want – thanks to the 1st amendment to the US Constitutrion, and I thank God daily that we have it. But for what I am not thankful is how the MSM castigates Rush for his remark while saying little or nothing about remarks made by Bill or Keith or Ed…., or anyone else to which the MSM decides to give a pass. Hence the names of my two latest articles.

  • Igor

    23-Clavos: demonstrates remarkable sillines, even for Clavos:

    “For more than a week now, hers has been one of the top stories nationwide;…By definition, she’s now a “public” citizen.”

    No, you’re wrong. You do not have the authority to proclaim her a ‘public citizen’. Neither does Warren.

    There is already a well-known definition, to whit:


    public figure n. in the law of defamation (libel and slander), a personage of great public interest or familiarity like a government official, politician, celebrity, business leader, movie star, or sports hero. Incorrect harmful statements published about a public figure cannot be the basis of a lawsuit for defamation unless there is proof that the writer or publisher intentionally defamed the person with malice (hate). (See: defamation, libel, slander)

    Public Figure

    Furthermore, your claim is egregious: any fame that Fluke has is entirely the creation of the rightwing radicals, such as Limbaugh. You can’t make someone a ‘public person’ subject to libelous abuse just by publicly abusing them. That just creates a tautology, circular reasoning. It’s just saying “now that I’ve publicly abused that person they are a public person and that justifies my abuse”.

    One would think that any adult of even modest intellectual capability would be able to figure this out.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Cool reasoning, Igor.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    For Warren –

    Here’s a flow chart to help you decide if you’re a slut. It’s so easy even a caveman could do it…that is, unless taking Viagra pills to the Dominican Republic doesn’t ring a bell to you.

  • Igor

    16-OA says: “Sandra Fluke is a political activist with ties to Anita Dunn.”

    Sniff sniff. Do I smell the rotting corpse of Joe McCarthy?

    And who the hell is Anita Dunn? Some actress?

  • Clavos

    One would think that any adult of even modest intellectual capability would be able to figure this out.

    One would, wouldn’t one?

  • Clavos

    For Igor, that he may eventually overcome his ignorance of public citizens.

    Though, at his age, he hasn’t much time.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Glenn, thank you from the bottom of my soul for providing that flowchart. I now realize that I and everyone in my household are complete, hellbound sluts.

    You will now have to excuse me while I go to the hardware store and thence to the supermarket. I must purchase a cat o’ nine tails and some salt.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    This poll shows that a strong majority of Republicans in AL and MS don’t believe in evolution, but do believe that Obama’s a Muslim.

    In other words, they’re being stupid. Really stupid.

    Are you sure you want to be on the same side as these people? Why do you think that on 6% of scientists are Republican? Lay down with Tea Partiers, get up with Santorum….

  • Igor

    Oh, so Anita Dunn said something rude about Fox News several years ago. It can’t be the first time someone did that. But I suppose that would upset the acolytes of Fox and Rush, etc. To such a point that they unleash some kind of ad hominem attack. Ho hum. How unimaginative.

  • Clavos

    To such a point that they unleash some kind of ad hominem attack. Ho hum. How unimaginative.

    Agreed. And primarily utilized (and perfected) by liberal Democrats (yes, I know it’s a tautology).

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    …And Clav deflects an ad hominem charge with a tu quoque. Classic stuff.

    Presumably we can expect the nose-tweaking, custard pie-throwing and pulling down of hats over eyes to begin imminently.

  • Igor

    I’ve never seen tu quoque used as often as the rightists on BC seem to use it. It seems to be the first thing they reach for when they want to counter an argument.

  • Clavos

    I’ve always enjoyed the classics, Doc. So much better than the modern dreck…

    [and Nails follows through with a non sequitur]

  • Clavos

    So let me see, Igor. When a liberal points out the errors and shortcomings of conservatives, its good discussion and pure as the driven snow.

    BUT when the roles are reversed, ahh then we are fools full of fallacy, and error and also despicable liars.

    Now I get it!!

    For a doddering old codger, you explain these things very well, Igor.

    Let me help you here: that’s an ad hominem or in your case, perhaps, an ad cadaver.

  • Igor

    The standard rightist retort (these days) seems to be that the democrats did it so we republicans can do it too! That fallacy actually combines two fallacies in one.

    I’m not stung by tu quoque for two reasons: (1) it’s a flagrant fallacy, and (2) I’m not a democrat.

  • Clavos

    Well, we at last have something in common, Igor. I’m not a Democrat either.

    Nor a Republican.

    Nor, when it suits me, an American.