The radio host offends often, but he doesn't apologize much. And when he does, as he did today — to women, African-Americans, a sick person — he doesn't exactly put his heart into it. But Sandra Fluke, whom he called a “slut,” is in good company.
1988: Amy Carter, "the most unattractive presidential daughter in the history of the country"
Limbaugh later recalled:
Amy Carter was protesting everything American while at Brown University. And I didn't, of course, like that. I didn't like her protesting everything American, and I made a remark on my show that I've now since apologized for and I've taken it back; I didn't mean it. I said, "You know, she may be the most unattractive presidential daughter in the history of the country."
Well, there was outrage. No, there was. I mean, there was just plenty--my--my mom called me at home that night. She said, "Son, you know, you--if you're going to be serious about this, you can't make fun of the way people look. You're not supposed to--you're not--you can talk about how you disagree with Amy Carter. You can talk about how you disagree with her politics and you think she's doing some bad things, but she can't help the way she looks, and you can't--you shouldn't make fun of that. And, besides, you forgot Margaret Truman."
1992: Chelsea Clinton, the "White House dog"
Limbaugh faux-apologized on the show:
That was a terrible thing ... , I apologize again. I--that's the third time the crew makes a mistake by showing you Millie the dog when I intended to show you Chelsea Clinton, and then I followed with that terrible story. I'm--I hope you'll forgive me. I'm fatigued. I'm tired. I really don't--in fact, you know what I'll do? Let's pretend this is a daytime talk show and that I'm a guest on, say, Sally, Phil or whatever. How can I make amends to you for what I just did? I can spank myself.
Then apologized again:
My friends, we must apologize for something which happened on this show Friday night. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm sorry.
Let me tell you very quickly what happened last Friday night. There was a new in list and new out list that was published in the newspaper. The writer said, "In, cute kid in the White House. Out, cute dog in the White House." Could we show the cute dog in the White House who's out, and they put up a picture of Chelsea Clinton back in the crew.
And many of you people think that we did it on purpose to make a cheap comment on her appearance. And I'm terribly sorry. I don't, look, that takes no talent whatsoever and I have a lot of talent. I don't need to get laughs by commenting on people's looks, especially a young child who's done nothing wrong. I mean, she can't control the way she looks. And we really, we do not do that on this kind of show.