I assume the correct answer here will be … never. Bill Bennett (my Salem Radio colleague) tangled with Donna Brazile over the comments made by Rush Limbaugh about Sandra Fluke, but Bennett demanded a single standard on outrage. For instance, Barack Obama told the press that he publicly criticized Rush on behalf of his own daughters, because “I don’t want them attacked or called horrible names because they’re being good citizens.” Why then, Bennett wonders, did Obama take a million dollars for his super-PAC from Bill Maher, who has routinely called Republican women worse names?
Bennett, who felt Limbaugh’s comments had been heinous, gave the conservative radio host credit for having apologized, which is, he said, “a lot more than Bill Maher and people on the left” have done. “We need to have a single standard on this,” he added, noting that liberals who have made comments similar to Limbaugh’s haven’t faced the same level of public or media scrutiny and, indeed, keep being invited onto networks like, say, CNN.
Blitzer then wondered whether Limbaugh’s apology would have been more effective had he made it to Fluke directly rather than online and via his radio show.
“I don’t know, I think it was fine,” said Bennett. “My question is whether the President will give back the million dollars Bill Maher gave him. I don’t know how he’s going to explain that to Sasha and Malia, when that guy uses language that would make Rush blush.”
Brazile sputters but never addresses Bennett’s point, although she does agree in the end that there should be one standard.
One other point should be made. Rush apologized in the same forum in which he erred, which is the correct policy to follow. Had Rush only apologized in private to Fluke, the Left would have accused him of cowardice under fire and of insufficiency. Fluke and her allies can choose to accept or reject the apology as they like, of course, but two apologies in public forums (website and on air) are sufficient to make the point. In truth, nothing short of quitting his show would satisfy Rush’s opponents, so debating whether Rush offered enough of an apology is a waste of time.