Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh threatened on Monday to sue the Democratic National Campaign Committee – a group of sitting members of Congress – over fundraising emails that claimed he advocated for rape on college campuses.
In a letter to the political organization, lawyers for America’s most listened-to talker demanded a retraction and an apology.
Limbaugh, known for mercilessly needling elements of U.S. progressive culture, spent part of his September 15 show mocking a sexual consent program that The Ohio State University implemented this year.
‘Consent must be freely given, can be withdrawn at any time, and the absence of “no” does not mean “yes”,’ he read from the campus policy, before asking his audience: ‘How many of you guys, in your own experience with women, have learned that “no” means “yes” if you know how to spot it?’
The DCCC, run by New York Democratic Rep. Steve Israel, reacted with fundraising emails skewering Limbaugh just two days later.
‘We knew we had to take action after Limbaugh’s reprehensible rant excusing rape on college campuses,’ one email read. ‘In case you missed it, Limbaugh actually said, “‘no’ means ‘yes’ if you know how to spot it”.’
Other emails cited by Limbaugh’s lawyers claimed he ‘excus[es] rape on college campuses,’ ‘is advocating a tolerance of rape,’ and ‘perpetuate[s] a culture of sexual assault.’
The attorneys said Monday that the host was asking a ‘facetious question,’ not making a statement.
‘Mr. Limbaugh was openly mocking men who believe that “‘no’ means ‘yes'”,’ they wrote.
‘Sign your name,’ it asked, and ‘pressur[e] Rush Limbaugh sponsors to pull their ads from his … disgusting show.’
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