A Welcome Return to Basic Standards
inthesetimes.com — During his long career as the most famous talk radio host in modern history, Rush Limbaugh has only rarely apologized for his rhetoric--so when he does, it's worth pondering the contrition's deeper meaning. Was his apology last week for calling a Georgetown University student a "slut" just a shrewd move to undercut a potential defamation lawsuit? Was it a frightened response to an intensifying backlash from advertisers? Does it prove the power of the liberal political organizations who have an ideological ax to grind against Limbaugh? The answer to all those queries is yes -- but none of those factors is the genuine news of the matter. Instead, what makes Limbaugh's apology so important is its context. Limbaugh's mea culpa -- however insincere -- is significant because it is proof that America may be both setting some basic standards for political discourse and rejecting the right-wing shrieks about "censorship" and "political correctness."