So to recap: Rush Limbaugh said some nasty things about a Georgetown law student named Sandra Fluke. Congressional Democrats, and then the president himself, leaped to Fluke’s defense. Limbaugh apologized, but it wasn’t enough. The story dominated cable news. Dozens of companies abandoned Limbaugh’s show.
“Like millions of other Americans,” said one former advertiser, makers of a dietary supplement, “we were outraged by Rush Limbaugh’s incendiary and offensive comments.”
Fair enough. Don’t like the show, don’t advertise on it. But why the outrage exactly? Limbaugh hosts a radio show. His job is to shock people. That’s how he makes $38 million a year. It’s not like he’s a U.S. senator, or even a professional baseball player. Who cares what Rush Limbaugh says?
We care, it turns out. There’s almost nothing that upsets Americans more than the idea that somewhere, somehow somebody is getting his feelings hurt. Limbaugh was insensitive and intolerant. In the eyes of most of us, that’s a sin worse than murder. Literally.
Consider the case of boxing promoter Don King. King is famous for managing fighter Mike Tyson, and of course for his gravity-defying hair. Less well known is the fact that earlier in his career, King took the lives of two men. He shot one, and beat the other to death on the sidewalk outside a bar in Cleveland. Neither killing slowed him down a bit. King went on to become rich and iconic. In the 2004 presidential election, he campaigned for George W. Bush’s re-election. Bush was happy to have him. I’m sure Obama would be too. Everybody likes Don King.
Nobody, by contrast, likes Mark Furhman, the notorious cop in the O.J. Simpson trial. Furhman never murdered anyone. He did something far worse: He used foul language. In a tape-recorded interview, Fuhrman once uttered racial slurs.
Where is Mark Fuhrman these days? For a while, he was hosting a radio show on an AM station in Spokane. It’s not clear what he’s doing now. He certainly isn’t headlining presidential fundraisers. People would break for the exits if he showed up. Nobody wants to be seen with a bigot.
I don’t either. I’d rather have dinner with Don King than with Mark Furhman. But then, I’m American. I have no perspective.
Tucker Carlson is the editor in chief of The Daily Caller.