Last Wednesday, Rush Limbaugh called Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” after she spoke in support of requiring religiously-affiliated institutions to provide contraception in employee health plans.
The next day, he just kept going:
So Miss Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here’s the deal: If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.
Public outrage against his remarks was, as it should have been, fast and furious. Speaker of the House John Boehner termed Limbaugh’s comments “inappropriate.” The President called Fluke to express his support. As of today, over 40 sponsors have withdrawn their ads from Limbaugh’s radio show.
Fine. His remarks were outrageous. If I was going to nitpick, I’d say that the Speaker’s word choice–inappropriate–was pretty half-hearted, and a call from the President was a little over the top. But neither of those is surprising.
I’m not going to get into the disparity between this situation and the treatment of conservative women by the media. The Daily Beast’s Kirsten Powers has ably documented a few of the remarks top liberal pundits have made about conservative women leaders: remarks which, sadly, make “slut” look tame.
But fast forward with me to last Friday night, two days after Limbaugh’s ugly rant. Actor and evangelist Kirk Cameron appeared on Piers Morgan Tonight to talk about his new documentary, Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure. During the interview, Morgan asked Cameron about his position on gay marriage.
I believe that marriage was defined by God a long time ago. Marriage is almost as old as dirt, and it was defined in the Garden between Adam and Eve: one man, one woman, for life, till death do you part. So I would never attempt to try to redefine marriage. And I don’t think anyone else should either. So do I support the idea of gay marriage? No, I don’t.
Regarding homosexuality, he went on to say:
I think that it’s unnatural. I think that it’s detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.
Here’s a clip from the interview. Listen to his tone of voice. Watch his facial expressions, his body language:
Here’s what Roseanne Barr had to say about that:
Kirk or Kurt or whatever Cameron is an accomplice to murder with his hate speech.
Singer Jordan Knight suggested:
Ted Haggard vehemently opposed gays as well. Wonder why? He couldn’t accept himself … in my opinion. #justsayin
And this from comedian Sarah Colonna:
Loving God but spreading hate has never made sense to me.
Star Trek novelist David Alan Mack:
Kirk Cameron thinks homosexuality is “unnatural” & “ultimately destructive”. Well, Kirk, that’s how I feel about ignorance, bigotry & hate.
Writer Tiffany Reisz:
Dear Kirk Cameron, If you have found homosexuality to be destructive, I have two words of advice for you–more lube. Love, Tiffany
Comedian Nick Stadler:
Amazing how many idiots feel empowered by Kirk Cameron. It’ll be even better after he’s caught sucking cock in a public toilet.
Mötley Crüe co-founder Nikki Sixx:
Kirk Cameron, asshole of the week.
Let’s be clear on our facts here.
Relatively unknown individuals (Fluke and Cameron) spoke out on matters of public policy (contraception funding, gay marriage). One or more well-known personalities (Limbaugh in the first instance, Barr and many others in the second) responded with vulgar name-calling designed to impugn the integrity and character of the speaker.
The President, the media, and a number of major advertisers got involved rebuking Limbaugh’s trash talking. It became a major news story.
Where is the President’s call to Cameron? The Speaker’s denunciation of Nick Stadler? Advertisers’ outrage at Nikki Sixx?
Entertainment sites such as E! Online and Wetpaint have attacked Cameron, saying he was “spewing” “aggressive,” “incendiary” “hate speech.” But nothing about his interview can very well be characterized as spewing, or aggressive, or incendiary or hateful. What they really mean is simply that they disagree strongly with his position.
Oh, that’s right: just like many other people disagree strongly with Fluke’s position that the Catholic Church should be forced to violate its conscience and pay for something it considers a grave moral evil.
But . . . where’s the media furor over the spewing of aggressive, incendiary, hateful language by Cameron’s attackers?
And why is there a double standard?