Rush Limbaugh, a man who has made a living slamming people by saying vile things about them, is threatening to sue the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for what his lawyer says were attempts to paint the conservative talk show host in a bad light.
According to the Daily Caller, Limbaugh has hired attorney Patty Glaser, who told Fox News that the DCCC maliciously defamed her client by taking his comments about campus rape out of context in a fundraising email.
"It is so damaging, whether it's Republican or Democrat," Glaser told Sean Hannity. "You've got to be more responsible. You can't maliciously attack people."
Glaser's law firm, GlaserWeil, said in a statement that the DCCC "intentionally disseminated demonstrably false statements concerning Rush Limbaugh in a concerted effort to harm Mr. Limbaugh, and with reckless disregard for the resulting impact to small businesses across America that choose to advertise on his radio program. Mr. Limbaugh clearly, unambiguously and emphatically condemned the notion that 'no' means yes.'"
The campus rape comments the DCCC targeted come from back in September, when Limbaugh chimed in on Ohio State University's changes to sexual assault and harassment policies. The new rules say consent must be given every step of the way by two people engaged in sexual activity of any kind.
The rule was set in place to define boundaries and protect victims from rape. The policy makes that clear by stating that just because someone doesn't say "no" doesn't automatically mean "yes."
"No" actually sometimes means "yes," Limbaugh said.
"How many of you guys in your own experience with women have learned that no means yes, if you know how to spot it?" Limbaugh asked rhetorically on his show. "Let me tell you something: In this modern world, that is simply, that's not tolerated. People aren't even going to try to understand that one. It used to be that it was a cliché. It used to be part of the advice young boys were given. But you see that's what we've got to change. We have got to reprogram the way we raise men."
Soon after, the DCCC sent out a fundraising email that read, in part, "Let's be clear: Rush Limbaugh is advocating for the tolerance of rape."
That was followed by Florida congresswoman Lois Frankel starting a petition to have Limbaugh's show taken off the air.
"There is significant on point precedent in the Ninth Circuit for holding an organization responsible for falsifying meaning through selective quoting," Glaser told the Daily Caller. "In Price v. Stossel, the court held that, if a party accurately quotes 'a statement actually made by a public figure, but presents the statement in a misleading context, thereby changing the viewer's understanding of the speaker's words,' that constitutes defamation."
The DCCC, meanwhile, says it has not heard from Limbaugh's attorneys on the matter.
"While Rush Limbaugh is an expert in outrageous, inaccurate, and defamatory speech," said DCCC's Emily Bittner in a statement, "this attack on the DCCC is as outlandish as his original statement about women. The DCCC has not received any correspondence from Mr. Limbaugh or his attorney."
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