03/04/2012 11:16 am ET Updated May 04, 2012

What a Real Apology From Rush Limbaugh Would Look Like

Rush Limbaugh wrote a half-hearted apology to Sandra Fluke. Here's what a real apology would look like.

Dear Ms. Fluke:

I sincerely and deeply apologize for the words I used on-air to describe you. I was wrong to do so, and my personal attacks were well past the bounds of basic human decency. I have been known to say that words have meaning, and so I take full responsibility for the ones I used. I hope that someday we can meet so I can apologize in person.

This whole incident has caused me to reflect on the nature of what I do. For more than 20 years, I have pushed the bounds of good taste and decency to make political points. I straddle the line between entertainment and political commentary, but the fact remains that I have influence, not only in the minds of my many listeners but also in the actual corridors of power. That influence comes with a certain level of responsibility. That doesn't mean I should stop trying to entertain, but it does mean I should be thoughtful about the things I say. When I called you a slut and a prostitute I disregarded those responsibilities.

I also need to apologize for some factual errors. When I spoke about your testimony I did so without reading it or listening to it. It was not, as I said, about your sex life, which you have had the class not to discuss during any part of this controversy. I said you were having "so much sex" you couldn't afford your birth control. This of course was an inaccurate depiction of how birth control works; women are either on the pill or not, and the amount of sex they have does not affect the amount of birth control they take. I am sorry for those errors.

I will not apologize for the things I believe in. I do not believe that the government should mandate that insurance companies offer birth control free of charge. I don't believe government should mandate anything the insurance companies do. Insurance companies should cover what they like; if they do not provide the services you like, don't use them. I am especially offended that the Obama administration is forcing religious employers to cover birth control, and I believe it is an attack on their religious freedom.

I have to decided to take a week's hiatus from my show to further reflect on this incident and my actions. I hope to return a better person. I am certain that I will continue to say things that offend some people -- that is unavoidable -- but I am committed to never again using the kind of personal and destructive language I used to describe you.

Again, I apologize to you, Ms. Fluke, and to women everywhere for my sexist and offensive language. I also want to apologize to my sponsors, whose trust I hope to regain.


Rush Limbaugh