Three weeks after issuing an apology for his controversial statements about Sandra Fluke, Rush Limbaugh still finds himself under attack. The latest development is Media Matters’ $100,000 ad campaign to persuade advertisers and stations to drop him. Conservative media has come out in support of Limbaugh, arguing that the campaign is “censorship” and an attack on rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.
There are so many parties wrong in this ugly dispute that it’s hard to take any side. Let’s start with a few disclaimers.
I’m a libertarian and while that doesn’t necessarily mean that I agree with conservatives on everything, I agree with Limbaugh’s substantive position on the original issue. I do not believe that the government should force insurance companies to pay for contraceptives. That’s an easy one, because I don’t believe that the government should force any party to a voluntary contract to do anything.
I didn’t particularly like the way that Limbaugh chose to express his position. I don’t believe it was necessary to hurl such vile insults to make his point. At the same time, I don’t think it calls for a campaign to ruin his livelihood. Throughout all of human history, the remedy for an insult has been an apology, even back when overdressed men in stockings used to shoot at each other at twenty paces over them.