is really about.
I don't apologize. Ever. Of course, it helps that I'm never wrong. —Rush Limbaugh, 2009But he does do fake apologies, or rather "nopologies."
Apparently, the bully from Cape Girardeau thought he could merely offer another of his nopologies and the firestorm that has enveloped him over his vicious "slut" remarks for the past few days would magically disappear from his life like his ex-wives. Just say he was only teasing, he must have figured, and then he could get back to raking in $50 million a year for being the shadow GOP chairman delivering his radio-amplified sewage. But something happened to Rush Limbaugh this time around. He seemed to touch an almost universal nerve with his original attacks on Sandra Fluke and his nopology to placate the advertisers who have been exiting his show got called out in places it usually would have been ignored.
One of the most damning came from John McQuaid at Forbes — Forbes!
Non-apology apologies have proliferated in recent years for several reasons: 1) The Internet has enabled the exposure and amplification of more embarrassments of all kinds. 2) The political landscape has grown more divided and fragmented, so there is more controversy and more crazy rhetoric. 3) Because of 2), there isn’t really a mass public to appeal to anymore, so there’s less incentive to apologize honestly; you end up apologizing only to get your enemies to shut up, not to win back any kind of broad legitimacy. The result is the apology that spits in the eye of your enemies while knowingly winking at your allies. The rise of the non-apology apology is a bad thing, part of a culture where nobody takes responsibility for anything, while the form of “taking responsibility” remains with us only as a hollowed-out shell.Kossack JohnKWilson, who has written a book about Limbaugh, points out that the gasbag has a history a fake apologies.
The Limbaugh non-apology is more sophisticated than this, though, because it must placate a third party – his sponsors – who are not happy. So it’s tricky. [...]
He nopologized about his calling Chelsea Clinton a dog in 1992, using the I-was-just-kidding-defense he has now used with Fluke. And in 2006, he nopologized over his ferocious attack on Michael J. Fox. And a year later went so far as to say he hadn't really even nopologized for that.
Wilson calculates that Limbaugh smeared Sandra Fluke 53 times in the tirades he broadcast. But that was before the nopology. There, he insulted her again.
It's all about the money, of course. There wouldn't even be nopologies, much less the real thing, were it not for the advertisers heading for the door. And that's what we should keep encouraging.
• • •
h/t to jamess