September 1, 2014

Editorial: Limbaugh and bigotry enshrined

Lining the walls of the Hall of Famous Missourians, you will find the busts of Mark Twain, Walter Cronkite, Harry S. Truman and other great figures. By the end of May, the hall will serve as home to another big name — Rush Limbaugh.

On Monday, House Speaker Steven Tilley confirmed Limbaugh is set to be enshrined as one of the most influential Missourians. The announcement comes on the heels of a national scandal involving Limbaugh’s bigotry and misogyny.

Limbaugh, a Cape Girardeau native, squared off against Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke last week, labeling her a “slut” and “prostitute” after she testified in front of a Congressional committee in favor of religious organizations being required to provide birth control to women on their insurance plans. The political shock-jock even went so far as to suggest that Fluke record and post her sexual encounters on the Internet, since the public would be paying for her promiscuity.

The Journal finds these comments to be appallingly degrading. But we take even more issue with Tilley and others endorsing Limbaugh’s behavior by honoring him.

Missouri is telling America that sexism and slander are acceptable in this state. Sure, the choice to induct Limbaugh was made before the comments. But is sticking to a plan really worth it?

Tilley needs to think about the message he is sending to his constituents by endorsing a man who attacked a woman for sharing her opinions. Tilley is failing to take a stance against the injury, insinuation and insulting of an innocent woman.

The Journal would also like Tilley to think about the message his actions could send to his two teenage daughters. As Fluke said Friday in response to Limbaugh’s tirade, “This language is an attack on all women.”

The Journal is against rewarding bad behavior with a bust. We are against turning a blind eye to hateful speech. And we are most certainly against any person who uses a position of power to make inappropriate, hurtful and false statements against another individual.

As children, we are taught this familiar adage — if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Limbaugh would do well to live by this rule.

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