Rush Limbaugh spends many hours each day in a confined space, talking and talking and talking into a microphone, getting a mild buzz off the fumes of his own recycled cigar smoke and stale farts. So it's not surprising, we guess, that after all these years his schtick has become not just crude and dumb, but also pretty repetitive. That's what we can draw, anyway, from his hot take on the video of a woman being relentlessly street harassed that went viral earlier this week. Limbaugh finally saw it, and has gifted us with the final word on the matter: It's just "men being polite."
"I was expecting some real boorish, sexist, dangerous — I was expecting some real, real rotten conduct by guys," Limbaugh said of the video during his radio show Wednesday, as highlighted by Media Matters. "I didn't see that. I saw, 'Hey baby,' 'Looking good today, girl,' 'Have a good day."
As Think Progress points out, Limbaugh allowed that out of the 108 separate harassment incidents Shoshana Roberts, the actress in the video, experienced, there were "three, maybe four that would fit the bill that would make you uncomfortable, nervous, whatever." Men were "mildly aggressive," he allowed, but "you see a pretty woman, you react to it." Especially a woman wearing "snug black jeans," Limbaugh added. (Although Rush, you understand, would never address a woman that way, as he rushed to explain. He's a consummate gentleman, and, with four marriages under his belt, probably knows a little something about romance.)
He also couldn't help noting, with palpable glee, that many of the men in the video were black and Latino: ""In the interest of accuracy, ladies and gentlemen, the majority of men that are portrayed in this video are African American and Hispanic and I thought we were supposed to celebrate diversity." (As Think Progress points out, Hollaback, the organization behind the video, has been criticized for that, and apologized yesterday for "the unintended racial bias in the editing of the video that over-represents men of color.")
But Rush's monologues, much like the air in his recording booth, are starting to smell a little moldy: the street harassment monologue feels a lot like his rant from last month about Ohio State University's new policy of affirmative consent for sexual conduct between students. "No means yes if you know how to spot it," he assured his listeners. Or his definitive take on rape culture: "Boys chase girls. They always have." Maybe it's time to take a couple minutes outside, Rush.
Here's the audio of his show, courtesy of Media Matters:
Rush Limbaugh poses next to his own giant head in 2010/Image via AP