CBS News calling a spade a spade.

Further to this happy trend of media outlets pointing out when the subject of their coverage is lying comes a piece by Lucy Madison, writing for CBS News, regarding Rush Limbaugh and Sandra Fluke: “In her testimony, Fluke largely discussed the high cost of contraception and the important medical benefits it can offer women. She did not make any comments suggesting she is advocating for contraceptive care coverage because she is ‘having so much sex,’ as Limbaugh suggested in earlier remarks, or because she wants to ‘have sex without consequences.’” I wish this were at the head of the story, rather than towards the end, but it’s a good start. 

31 thoughts on “CBS News calling a spade a spade.”

  1. The quote is wrong though. It should say, “In her MOCK testimony…”

    Fluke was testifying before a mock committee. All that seems to just fall away. Who fluke up to appearing before the committee she wasn’t scheduled to testify with so that she’d be turned away and then get to testify at a fake one?

  2. It does not follow that testimony at a mock hearing should be mock testimony. “Mock testimony” would imply that the testimony lacked legitimacy, but there is no reason to think that is so. And the article clearly describes the hearing as a “a mock congressional hearing.”

  3. “In her testimony before a mock committee”

    The journalist reveals their bias by burying the led that the testimony was before a fake committee. If the story is explained in it’s exact chronological nature it completely loses it’s hype because you realize exactly what’s going on.

    To take it a step further I’m pretty sure the exact chronology of events will not be explained in tonight’s breathless coverage of the President’s weighing in on the vital issue of what Rush said about a fake witness.

  4. If the story is explained in it’s exact chronological nature it completely loses it’s hype because you realize exactly what’s going on.

    Clearly this story exceeds your ability to judge what is happening here. Keep typing. Please.

  5. The journalist reveals their bias by burying the led that the testimony was before a fake committee.

    ??? I can’t see how it’s germane to the story whether she was testifying to a standing congressional committee or simply to a group of congressmen. This story isn’t “woman testifies before committee,” the story is “woman who explains the use of birth control for medical, non-reproductive purposes is called a ‘whore’ by Rush Limbaugh.” She could have been telling the story to a group of homeless men on a subway car; the venue and audience are substantially irrelevant.

  6. Hey, look… a liberal reporter trying to get noticed. And some people (liberal people, what a shocker) are waving it around as evidence of superb journalism.

    Nice circle jerk.

  7. Hey look, another clueless rightwing dude steps up, pushes the lady aside and sputters, “but…but…it…it…it’s about the librul media!” Limbaugh gets paid to insult people, what is your excuse.

  8. A fine example of Georgetown’s young conservative women gives us this well-written response to Sandra Fluke. I’m not sure Miss Morabito actually read or heard Fluke’s testimony, but she has lots to say about what she thinks Fluke said. Because Miss Morabito is a refined young woman, she uses the word “skank” instead of “slut.”

  9. You know, the more the right speaks (nationally and locally ) the more I feel like the old ‘Dixie Democrats’ have just re-branded themselves.

    Anyway, based on Republican brain power, just how many conservative ‘sluts’ are there? Come on ladies, raise ‘em up! Or should I say, “Spread ‘em”? (Could not resist ;) )

    Since everyone knows that married conservative women only have sex for procreation and have never used birth control, not many…right? Single conservative women never have sex outside of marriage so its not an issue for them…correct?

    This has nothing to do with who pays, the right needed some social issues to feed their base and Obama handed them this juicy one. And lets face it, anything to distract the public from their fracturing party’s attemtp to find a candidate.

    Oh, the irony…

  10. Hey, look… a liberal reporter trying to get noticed. And some people (liberal people, what a shocker) are waving it around as evidence of superb journalism.

    CBS News wrote: “In her testimony, Fluke largely discussed the high cost of contraception and the important medical benefits it can offer women. She did not make any comments suggesting she is advocating for contraceptive care coverage because she is ‘having so much sex,’ as Limbaugh suggested in earlier remarks, or because she wants to ‘have sex without consequences.’”

    You’re saying that’s “liberal,” which implicitly means that the statement in question is both untrue and inaccurate in a way that supports a liberal perspective. So please do us all the favor of pointing to where in Sandra Fluke’s testimony she makes comments suggesting that she’s “having so much sex” or that she wants to “have sex without consequences.” When you are unable to do so, then we’ll see that there’s nothing contrafactual or biased about this statement by CBS News.

  11. Rush never quoted Fluke as claiming that she had a lot of sex. He used plain old common sense to extrapolate that $1000 per year is a LOT of money to spend on contraceptives, and Fluke is either exaggerating the expense (which she obviously is), is foolishly overpaying for it (most likely), or having a great deal of sex.

    The laughable part about this whole issue is when left wingers and radical feminists try to portray it as being about “women’s health.” That’s ridiculous. It’s about people making lifestyle choices they can’t afford, but demand that someone else pay for.

  12. There’s a Target 2 miles from campus that’ll sell her the pill for $9 a month.

  13. Exactly. But that inconvenient truth wouldn’t help push the liberal “make other people pay for what I want” agenda.

  14. How is asking for contraceptives to be covered by insurance the same as demanding that someone else pay for it??? I pay for my insurance coverage myself, the same as I suspect Ms. Fluke does, and as you likely do. So what exactly is she asking you and me to subsidize?

    And really, when did you become the judge and jury over the lifestyle of a 30-year-old law student?

  15. When she decided to “testify” before a “committee” she opened herself up to scrutiny.

  16. Wow, obviously neither of you actually know anything about her testimony. Here’s what she had to say:

    A friend of mine, for example, has polycystic ovarian syndrome, and she has to take prescription birth control to stop cysts from growing on her ovaries. Her prescription is technically covered by Georgetown’s insurance because it’s not intended to prevent pregnancy.

    [...]

    For my friend and 20% of the women in her situation, she never got the insurance company to cover her prescription. Despite verifications of her illness from her doctor, her claim was denied repeatedly on the assumption that she really wanted birth control to prevent pregnancy. She’s gay. So clearly polycystic ovarian syndrome was a much more urgent concern than accidental pregnancy for her.

    After months paying over $100 out-of-pocket, she just couldn’t afford her medication anymore, and she had to stop taking it.

    I learned about all of this when I walked out of a test and got a message from her that in the middle of the night in her final exam period she’d been in the emergency room. She’d been there all night in just terrible, excruciating pain. She wrote to me, ‘It was so painful I’d woke up thinking I’ve been shot.’

    Without her taking the birth control, a massive cyst the size of a tennis ball had grown on her ovary. She had to have surgery to remove her entire ovary as a result.

    On the morning I was originally scheduled to give this testimony, she was sitting in a doctor’s office, trying to cope with the consequences of this medical catastrophe.

    Since last year’s surgery, she’s been experiencing night sweats and weight gain and other symptoms of early menopause as a result of the removal of her ovary. She’s 32-years-old.

    Spending $9 on some random birth controls pills wouldn’t do the trick. Y’all might not know this, but there are multiple types of hormonal birth controls, which work in different ways for different women, which many women use for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with sex, as with Fluke’s example.

    You know what word doesn’t appear in Fluke’s testimony? Not once? “Sex.” Because she’s not talking about sex. She’s talking about medicine.

    Limbaugh had the good sense to feel bad for assuming she was talking about sex, and apologized as a result. You should, too.

  17. So, one more time. CBS News wrote:

    In her testimony, Fluke largely discussed the high cost of contraception and the important medical benefits it can offer women. She did not make any comments suggesting she is advocating for contraceptive care coverage because she is ‘having so much sex,’ as Limbaugh suggested in earlier remarks, or because she wants to ‘have sex without consequences.’

    She did not make any comments about sex, whether about having it or consequences. There is no debate to be had about this. If you think CBS is “liberal” for pointing this out, then you need badly to reexamine your own relationship with reality.

  18. And are Catholic institutions arguing about whether or not they should pay for what is essentially hormone therapy and why hasn’t the media made that clear? Instead this is being portrayed as a contraception issue. See the problem with the coverage?

  19. um, if you’re taking it, the pill costs the same whether you’re having sex or not. the cost varies according to circumstances like what brand you take and how much your insurance is willing to cover, not according to how much sex you’re having. it’s a 1-pill-a-day thing. you don’t take MORE pills when you have more sex and no pills on a day you don’t have any. that’s not how oral contraception works.

    I feel a little silly explaining this, but it’s kind of sad how many people will use any explanation, excuse, or bizarre leap in logic to justify calling a woman a “slut.”

    contraception is something that 99% of women use at some point in their lives. it’s not some kind of perverted wacko liberal fad. it’s just modern medicine.

  20. Lynda writes, “How is asking for contraceptives to be covered by insurance the same as demanding that someone else pay for it??? I pay for my insurance coverage myself, the same as I suspect Ms. Fluke does, and as you likely do. So what exactly is she asking you and me to subsidize?”

    I think Lynda’s point is well-taken. Limbaugh and a lot of other commentators have been talking as if all these “sluts” (i.e., women who, in Limbaugh’s words, “want to have sex without consequences,” which is a whole ‘nother head-scratcher of a concept) are asking to have Limbaugh personally pay for their birth-control. For one thing, I’m not aware that Limbaugh has the same insurance coverage that Georgetown Law students have, so I don’t think it would be his premiums going to cover this. Moreover, the whole idea that it’s wrong to expect other people to subsidize the costs of one’s “lifestyle choice” is either deliberately naive or just clueless. There’s surely someone in my insurance pool who needs a liver transplant because of years of alcohol abuse; my premiums go towards subsidizing the cost of that transplant. People who have insurance are ALL THE TIME using their insurance to cover medical costs that arise from conditions that SOMEONE could object to as having resulted from a “lifestyle choice” that they disapprove of. Insurance doesn’t work if everyone gets the option to object to the moral basis for everyone else’s medical needs.

    Now, if one wanted to turn this whole conversation BACK to the question of whether or not it’s a permissible infringement of the religious freedom of Catholic institutions to compel them to cover contraceptives in the insurance coverage they offer their employees and students, I think that could be a useful discussion. But Limbaugh CHOSE to turn this into a conversation about slutty women having lots of slutty sex “without consequences” (which he thinks he should be able to watch in turn for “subsidizing” it, even though he was never the one who would have to subsidize it anyways). On an issue that so many conservatives are insisting is ONLY about religious liberty, Limbaugh (and his followers) couldn’t stop themselves from talking about sluts and slutty sex.

  21. And, FWIW, I am on the fence in regards to the issue of compelling Catholic institutions to include contraception in things their insurance covers. I’d probably grant them an exception to the rule, if it were me. But the whole Blunt amendment thing went too far–ANY employer, religious group or not, with a “moral objection” of any kind to ANY kind of health service could opt out of covering that service. Incredibly broad. As someone wrote on another board, this whole flare-up serves to highlight how nice it would be (for sick people who need a medical procedure that some employer might decide is morally objectionable, as well as for women and men who want to use contraception) if instead of being dependent on our employers for insurance, there was simply a public option that functioned independently of individual moral objections.

  22. Completely agree with you Claire about the exemption and that the Blunt amendment went way TOO far.

  23. We can’t subsidize everything. Sorry, but making everyone pay for contraceptive isn’t a solution. We need to focus on important needs, not politically useful ones.

    That said, where was the outrage when Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a c**t or saying that Rick Santorum’s wife uses a vibrator? Can you imagine if that had been said of Michelle Obama four years ago? I bet the reaction would have been different.

    Rush was wrong to say that, but this is turning into a spectacle not because of what he said but from which wing of the political spectrum it came from.

  24. We can’t subsidize everything. Sorry, but making everyone pay for contraceptive isn’t a solution. We need to focus on important needs, not politically useful ones.

    Making everyone pay? Who is “everyone”? I don’t understand what you’re talking about. The topic here is insurance. It’s a private institution, wherein a group of people pool their money, and withdraw from that pool as their medical needs require. One of those medical needs is the treatment of conditions that require hormone treatment, such as endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome. That’s what we’re talking about here. Are those conditions not an “important need” for health insurance to address? And if they’re not, what is?

    But let’s expand the topic, let’s expand it to birth control pills, taken for the purpose of preventing pregnancy. Health insurance companies love paying for birth control. They love it, can’t get enough of it. That’s because they are far, far cheaper than paying for birth. My son cost something like $7,000 a couple of months ago. $7,000 will get you a whole lot of birth control pills. You know who else loves birth control pills? Everybody participating in that insurance plan. Because they keep costs down for everybody else. If there’s just one thing that insurance should subsidize—and does so, happily!—it’s preventative care. There is no debate about this in the insurance industry, the health care industry, or among grownups.

  25. Mitch, does changing the subject mean that you’re dropping your claim that “making everyone pay for contraceptive isn’t a solution”? The reason I ask is that before we perhaps move on to talking about gender reassignment surgery, it would be good to know if you now understand how insurance works and how coverage for birth control is in the economic best interests of health insurers.

  26. If coverage for birth control is in the interest of the health insurers, let them choose to offer it to employers. Government does not need to mandate it.

    There really are two issues here. One is who pays for things and the other is free speech issues.

    Rush was an a** for what he said, but so are Bill Maher and many others. The indignation is not really over what was said, but over who said it.

  27. If coverage for birth control is in the interest of the health insurers, let them choose to offer it to employers. Government does not need to mandate it.

    They do offer it to employees, but some employers refuse to provide it for moral reasons. Why the moral interests of a corporation (the very concept of which puzzles me) should trump the moral interests of actual humans, I have no idea. It’s a matter of debate as to whether government needs to mandate health coverage. Luckily, Congress held a vote on that a couple of years ago, and a majority of them disagreed with you. Most of the country supports those mandates.

    Rush was an a** for what he said, but so are Bill Maher and many others. The indignation is not really over what was said, but over who said it.

    You have made two errors of logic here.

    The first is the implication that that Rush Limbaugh represents the Republican Party in a capacity like Bill Maher represents the Democratic Party. Rush Limbaugh has been enthusiastically described as the moral leader of the Republican Party many times, by some unquestionably important Republicans, over the past few years. Bill Maher is a comedian who said such stupid shit that his show was cancelled by ABC and washed up on HBO. I’ve never heard anybody claim that he speaks for anybody but himself.

    The second is your claim that the indignation isn’t related to the content of his remark. That’s wrong on its face. Limbaugh says several hours worth of things, on the record, five days a week. Normally, nobody cares. But when a woman told the story about how her friend lost an ovary for lack of proper medical care, Rush Limbaugh saw fit to call her a whore and demand that she videotape herself having sex for his amusement. If you cannot see that people are angry over those remarks, then you are too partisan to function in normal society. (I suspect that’s not the case.)

  28. Why the moral interests of a corporation (the very concept of which puzzles me) should trump the moral interests of actual humans, I have no idea.

    Because corporations are people. ;-)

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