Rush Limbaugh takes fire over use of Fabulous Thunderbirds song

Frontman Kim Wilson of The Fabulous Thunderbirds has demanded that Rush Limbaugh "cease and desist" from using the band's song "Tuff Enough" during the controversial host's radio show.

Frontman Kim Wilson of The Fabulous Thunderbirds has demanded that Rush Limbaugh "cease and desist" from using the band's song "Tuff Enough" during the controversial host's radio show.

Wilson's move follows the action of Peter Gabriel, who made a similar demand in response to Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University student, a "slut" and "prostitute" after she testified before Congress in support of a mandate for all private insurance plans to cover contraception.

"What does it say about the college co-ed Fluke who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex," Limbaugh said on his Feb. 29 broadcast. "What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? Makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex."

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According to a statement issued by Wilson's publicist, "Tuff Enough" and other Fabulous Thuderbirds songs have been played on Limbaugh's radio show over the years, and Wilson made his demand in a memo sent to this week to Clear Channel Communications, Premiere Networks and Broadcasting, and Limbaugh.

"The Constitution gives us the right of free speech, but when Rush recently called a Georgetown University student Sandra Fluke a "slut," it was the straw that broke the camel's back," Wilson said in a statement. "I don't want people to think that I'm affiliated in any way, shape or form with him. The message he promotes is something I'm totally against."

"I was mortified by his attack on this young woman. Why is he using my music? I've been very open about my politics, which includes equal rights for men and women.

"What kind of example is Rush setting for the youth of America? He's a proven drug addict and is now in his fourth marriage... both things his listeners rail against and yet these people still listen to him. Rush Limbaugh is a promoter of ignorance. He's a clown... all he does is stir up the rabble that exists in this country. I don't think he's an idiot -- he makes 50 million dollars a year. The things he says are not only disrespectful, chauvinistic, and racist -- it's about everything that -- in my mind -- is wrong."

As advertisers began dropping their support of his program last week, Limbaugh issued a statement over the weekend apologizing for using the words "slut" and "prostitute" to describe Fluke.

"I do not think she is either of those two words," he said on his Monday (3/5) radio broadcast. "I did not think, last week, that she is either of those two words. The apology to her over the weekend was sincere. 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."

The day after his initial comments about Fluke, Limbaugh said: "If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I'll tell you what it is: We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch."

Despite the wishes of Wilson and Gabriel, they probably can't legally prevent Limbaugh from playing their songs, since radio broadcasts are typically covered by blanket public performance licenses.

 

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