Less than a week after calling Sandra Fluke a "slut" on the air, Rush Limbaugh ran his mouth again on Tuesday, calling investigative journalist Tracie McMillan a "babe", an "authorette" and, more broadly, one of "these single white women." What makes the talk show host's poor choice of words even worse is that he was discussing McMillan's book, as he was trying to prove that the right wasn't waging a "war on women." From McMillan's point of view, this seemed an inopportune time to use diminutive terms in dismissing the in depth reporting and critically acclaimed work of a female author.
"It's been really interesting to have somebody be that openly dismissive of my work strictly based on the fact that I'm female," McMillan told The Atlantic Wire. "There's no other way to think about it except that Rush Limbaugh just doesn't think women count." McMillan went on to explain how her book approaches some difficult issues about the food that feeds America and the conditions for the workers that produce it, however Limbaugh didn't seem willing to engage in that debate. Instead, he focused on her being a woman. Check out this excerpt from Limbaugh's show, for example:
What is it with all of these young single white women, overeducated -- doesn't mean intelligent. For example, Tracie McMillan, the author of this book, seems to be just out of college and already she has been showered with awards, including the 2006 James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. … Her degree is not in food or nutrition. She has a B.A. from New York University in political science.
It's hard to comprehend exactly what Limbaugh is try to say. He suggests that McMillan is overeducated but not intelligent, naive and out of her league. McMillan isn't offended, necessarily. She seemed more concerned with the rhetoric Limbaugh's promoting. "Calling me out for being a single woman and suggesting that having put me through university on my own dime makes me an over educated person," she said, "that's pulling out some really bad tendencies in American thinking."
Meanwhile, yet another station has dropped Limbaugh from its roster, and all of the ads have been pulled. Regardless of his political beliefs, it would seem prudent of Rush to tone it down a little bit with the anti-women rhetoric. At least until this whole slut scandal blows over.