The Herald’s March 6 editorial asking why personal insults are accepted in a polite society uses two illustrations as its premise. GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum recently called President Obama a “snob.” And Rush Limbaugh called a woman a “slut” and a “prostitute.”
Personal attacks on the president are never appropriate. And Limbaugh’s words are beyond the pale. Yet I don’t recall a similar piece by the Herald when pundits from the left made equal, if not worse remarks.
Where was the Herald when Ed Schultz called Laura Ingraham a “right wing slut”? Or Keith Olbermann said S.E. Cupp should have been aborted? Or when Chris Matthews referred to Hillary Clinton as “witchy,” a “she-devil” and “uppity”?
And where was the Herald when Bill Maher referred to Sarah Palin as a “dumb t--t” and called her the c-word?
Rather than state the obvious, the Herald could have better served us with a more thought-provoking piece. What of the double standard we see in the media specifically with respect to Limbaugh’s remarks?
Perhaps the Herald could opine how Maher took virtually no flack for his words? Or explain how Gloria Steinem continues to appear on Maher’s show and says nothing about his historical remarks about women? Or how is it that while Schultz was forced to apologize for his remarks about Ingraham, not a single sponsor left his show?
Ad hominem nastiness does indeed obscure important issues. In order for us to have meaningful discussions of public policy matters, advocates for all sides must be held accountable for their language and their tactics.
There was a time when we could rely on the media to help us with this. Not anymore. The thoughtful among us will have to fend for ourselves.