Not the Best: What Rush Limbaugh’s Apology to Sandra Fluke Reveals about Image Restoration Strategies on Commercial Radio

From a 2012 paper: This study analyzes the rhetorical strategies used by Rush Limbaugh to rebuild his public image after he made offensive remarks about law student Sandra Fluke in early 2012. A close reading of Limbaugh’s public statements reveals that Limbaugh employed the strategies of evading responsibility, reducing offensiveness, and mortification (i.e., apologizing). However, Limbaugh’s apology was more of a pseudo-apology than a genuine apology. This article argues that Limbaugh adopted the strategies he did because the nature of political talk radio makes it more important to maintain a good public image with the audience than with political opponents or even advertisers.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
This entry was posted in Joshua M. Bentley, Radio. Bookmark the permalink.