Turnabout is Fair Play, Ain’t It?

I found this article from the Huffington Post this morning, and I’m reproducing it in pertinent part:

Gloria Allred: Rush Limbaugh Should Be Prosecuted For Controversial Comments About Sandra Fluke


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A high-profile attorney is calling for Rush Limbaugh to be prosecuted on a defamation charge, saying an obscure Florida law can be used to punish him for calling a college student a “slut” and a “prostitute” on the air.

Gloria Allred, the famed celebrity lawyer, sent a letter to the Palm Beach County Attorney’s Office on Thursday saying prosecutors should consider a charge under an 1883 law making it a misdemeanor to question a woman’s chastity.

“He has personally targeted her and vilified her, and he should have to bear the consequences of his extremely outrageous, tasteless and damaging conduct,” Allred said in a phone interview Friday. … 

Allred focused her efforts on Palm Beach because Limbaugh both lives and broadcasts his show from the county. She cited a state law that says, “Whoever speaks of and concerning any woman, married or unmarried, falsely and maliciously imputing to her a want of chastity, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.”

Now, I’m the first person to admit that Gloria Allred is, without a doubt, a heat-seeking missle when it comes to publicity. She gets in on everything that she thinks might make headlines, and this is no exception.

What struck my funnybone about this case is that she has resurrected a “zombie law” from 1883 in order to do it.

This article was posted on March 9 on the HuffPo; today is the 11th – and even though it’s still early in the game, I can already hear the screams of outrage from the Dittohead Army and the terrified members of the GOP, for whom Rush Limbaugh is the de facto Grand Poobah. Can you hear them? “They can’t do that!! That law is OLD!!! It’s from 1883, goddamnit! They can’t use THAT!!!” and so forth, right?

Of course, one can’t use a law that’s over 100 years old to prosecute ol’ Boss Hogg!! That’s silly! Absurd. Ridiculous.

Ah! But wait – the birthers are themselves attempting to use an even older law – one from 1875 – to claim that President Obama is not a citizen, an obscure law from a case titled Minor v. Happersett (you’ll forgive for linking to one of my own blog entries, but I already did the research there), a case dealing basically with a woman’s right to vote – in 1875. As I said then, this is a considerable stretching of any kind of “legal logic.”

The law that Gloria Allred wants to invoke to gobsmack Rush Limbaugh at least deals exactly with the circumstances under which the law can be invoked. Here is the text of the law (from the article):  “Whoever speaks of and concerning any woman, married or unmarried, falsely and maliciously imputing to her a want of chastity, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.”

Sounds like El Rushbo is guilty as charged, doesn’t it? There is irrefutable evidence that he called Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute.” If that doesn’t vilolate the law against “falsely and maliciously imputing … a want of chastity,” well, I don’t know what does.

It appears, that for the first time in his long career of spewing hatred and carrying water for the extremist right, Rush Limbaugh may be in some hot water. At this point in time, nearly 50 of his advertisers and even some radio stations have dropped his show. The link I posted is from Media Matters, which if you don’t know, simply quotes the right wing’s hatred, using their own words and their own voices to prove their point. This particular link details the advertising on Rush’s show on Thursday, March 8 – which consisted mostly of PSA’s (public service announcements) for which the time is donated free of charge and dead air. Lots of dead air – over 5 and one-half minutes of it.

Wouldn’t it be delicious if Rush were actually charged under the 1883 law dug up by Gloria Allred? I think so.

Rush Limbaugh, hoist by his own petard. Bring it on!

I think I’m gonna need a bigger petard.


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