It appears that Rush Limbaugh, prehistoric radio personality and the apogee of all Florida men, has been thrust back into our collective consciousness: On Thursday, Democratic Congressional nominee-turned-talking head Krystal Ball responded to some truly bizarre allegations Limbaugh made about her on his show, allegations that surely would have remained buried solely in the paranoid ooze between Limbaugh’s listeners’ ears had Ball not chosen to, “clap back.”
Apparently, during a stream-of-consciousness September 4th segment on a wave of Republican politicians resigning, Limbaugh included this charming aside:
“Remember the name Krystal Ball with a K? Some thought she was attractive. She was running for Congress,” the radio host said.
“She posed nude when she 14 or 15. She was outraged. ‘How dare you!’ I said, ‘What do you expect to happen? You put a picture of yourself nude on Facebook or MySpace or, you know, My Butt, whatever it is. Somebody’s gonna find that stuff.’”
According to a transcript of Limbaugh’s show, the radio host then took a call from a Joe in Fairfield, Connecticut, who spoke at length on the possibility that a number of incumbent Republicans were being blackmailed into retiring by Google’s Eric Shmidt, or China—or possibly both, in collusion.
Ball, who has since soundly losing a well-funded campaign for Virginia’s 1st Congressional district enjoyed an illustrious career as a televised “Democratic strategist” and pundit for the likes of CNN and MSNBC, used her platform on the Hill’s television show, “Hill.Tv” to address Limbaugh’s statements.
Obviously, as Ball explained, the allegations about her posing nude as a teenager were false, and it was likely Limbaugh had either maliciously or idiotically mischaractarized the leaked photos of the then-28-year-old posing at a party in a short skirt during her Congressional run in 2010.
But furthermore, Ball had a feminist message for all the young women watching the “Hill.TV”:
If I did have some naked photos from when I was 14 or 15 or whenever, who freaking cares? It is not your job to be the moral police or to shame me or any other young woman who is out there who may have nude photos that come out. If they want run for office, if they want to be political leaders, they still can, and I wanted to make sure that I was able to put that message out there.
She reiterated this in some tweets:
This is nearly identical to Ball’s statement about the photos when they were originally leaked by Conservative bloggers, truly a simpler time:
“It’s sexist and it’s wrong, regardless of political party,” Ball said in her statement. “And I have a message for any young woman who is thinking about running for office and has ever attended a costume party with her husband or done anything stupid on camera. Run for office. Fight for this country. Don’t let this sort of tactic deter you.”
Limbaugh issued a correction on Thursday. “It wasn’t a nude photo, it was party photos,” he said. “And my point was that there isn’t any privacy on social media, particularly if you run for office.”
That was not, in fact, his point.