(RNN) – Radio host Rush Limbaugh, reeling after losing 12 advertisers and two radio stations, said his apology to Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke was sincere.
Limbaugh had called Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" on his show when discussing the law student's testimony before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on behalf of the Law Students for Reproductive Justice. She told the committee that women were suffering under the financial burden of contraception, which Fluke said could reach more than $3,000 over the course of law school.
Limbaugh joked about getting a busy signal when he called to join the advertisers jumping ship on his show, saying that he sunk down to the political left's level with his comments.
"The apology to her over the weekend was sincere," Limbaugh said on Monday. "It was simply for using inappropriate words in a way I never do. And in so doing, I became like the people we oppose. I ended up descending to their level. It's important not to be like them, ever."
Fluke appeared on the talk show, "The View," on Monday and said that Limbaugh apologized because he was feeling the pressure from advertisers.
"I don't think that a statement like this, saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything," Fluke said. "And especially when that statement is issued when he's under significant pressure from his sponsors, who have begun to pull their support from the show."
Limbaugh had brushed off the advertisers who jumped ship, saying they will be easily replaced.
"They decided they don't want you or your business anymore," he said on his radio show Monday. "This program is always about you. I knew the political inclinations of these people. They didn't care that they were profiting, and I didn't either. No radio broadcast will succeed by putting business ahead of the needs of its loyal audience."
Two radio stations have dropped The Rush Limbaugh Show – WBEC in Pittsfield, MA, and KPUA in Hilo, HI.
"We are strong believers in the first amendment and have recognized Mr. Limbaugh's right to express opinions that often times differ from our own, but it has never been our goal to allow our station to be used for personal attacks and intolerance," Chris Leonard, president and general manager of New West Broadcasting said in a statement. "The most recent incident has crossed a line of decency and a standard that we expect of programming on KPUA."
Clear Channel's Premiere Radio Networks Inc. is supporting Limbaugh, whose on-air contract with Premiere runs through 2016, according to the Associated Press. Bain Capital – the company for which presidential candidate Mitt Romney once served as chairman – is one of the primary owners of Clear Channel.
Some Republicans have panned Limbaugh's comments. On a CBS news show Monday, Arizona Sen. John McCain called Limbaugh's comments "totally unacceptable." House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, released a statement Friday calling Limbaugh's comments "inappropriate."
However, some say Limbaugh is being held to a double-standard. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-MN, appeared on Piers Morgan's show Monday night, saying there was little outrage over the names she and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin have been called.
"If you're a conservative woman, there's no level of vitriol beyond the pale," Bachmann said. "You don't see this level of outrage, or advertisers cutting back."
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