I admit it: There's a small part of me that's felt the need to defend Rush Limbaugh from continued attacks on him.
Now before anybody loses his or her shit, let me explain. I've spent a lot of time and copy space on this site defending people's right -- particularly the right of entertainers -- to say incendiary, offensive things without fear of having their livelihoods taken away. I can't stand Limbaugh and think the national discourse would be vastly improved by removing him from the airwaves and, in a perfect world, dumping his fat ass in a volcano somewhere; I also think that what he said about Sandra Fluke, not once but over and over again, crossed a line from which there's no going back. But there's simply no denying that whether you believe he's being sincere or not, he did apologize publicly for his actions. I realize that there have been those who came before him who screwed the pooch this thoroughly and were forced to pay for it with their jobs in the entertainment industry, but again, I've generally defended those people -- whichever side of the political aisle they happened to be on and almost irrespective of what they'd said to bring the wrath of God down on them.
So, yes, I felt like it would be intellectually dishonest and somewhat hypocritical to root for the utter destruction of Limbaugh's career -- a career that admittedly has seen him spew the most reprehensible rhetoric into the ether for years now -- based on his taking a shot that was absolutely beyond the pale but for which he's obviously feeling some heat now (certainly enough to make him take the uncharacteristic step of saying he's sorry).
As it turns out, though, along came David Frum to make me reconsider -- to spell out carefully why Limbaugh's case is indeed different from so many others and why it's fair to demand that he pay what in his field would be the ultimate price for his transgression.
Take a look and see if you agree.
CNN: Are We Being Fair To Rush Limbaugh?/3.5.12
Adding: Beginning today, Cesca will be contributing to the Daily Banter -- the mothership site for our little network of blogging doofuses -- and his first piece rightly examines how Limbaugh's "slut" comment wasn't even the worst thing he said about Sandra Fluke. It was one shot in a relentless fusillade of slander and vitriol. Take a look. I'll also be contributing to the Banter, as well as answering reader mail, and that'll hopefully begin next week.