Whoa. On Dec. 22, Rush Limbaugh made it for 30 entire days with no vile rape mentions, according to the Days Without A GOP Rape Mention website. Then on Dec. 23, Limbaugh had to go and ruin his winning streak with his full-on raunchy attempt to defend Florida State football star and likely rapist Jameis Winston on his radio show.
Florida State University cleared Winston of wrongdoing so that he can quarterback in this year’s Rose Bowl, and Limbaugh was tickled pink when he finally got around to reading the USA Today transcript with Winston’s Dec. 3 testimony. Limbaugh explains the college had to have the hearing so the 2013 Heisman trophy winner could play in the Rose Bowl.
“He’s the QB. He’s had some charges, what, of sexual abuse? Oh, rape, yes. Rape. Sorry. And shoplifting? He stole some lobsters or something. Okay. Well, he had a hearing. Florida State’s playing in the Rose Bowl on January 1st, and they’ve gotta have the guy play if they’re gonna have a chance. So they had a hearing.”
Limbaugh goes on to remind us that Winston also never faced criminal charges. But of course, Limbaugh fails to mention that this doesn’t prove Winston’s innocence, it only proves our criminal justice system’s continued leniency towards rapists. Especially rapists — and wife beaters — who win football games. Rush would go on:
“Winston also avoided criminal prosecution stemming from the accusation he raped a female student at his off-campus apartment in December 2012.”
Oh, because Winston never raped that woman. He had her full consent. How does Limbaugh know this? Because of the part of the testimony where Winston mentions his victim moaning. Because of course there’s no way he could have misheard, misinterpreted, or made up his victim’s “moaning.”
Limbaugh then proceeds to “paraphrase” a Q&A session that sounds a lot more like the opening for a porn flick:
“But he said that the sexual encounter was consensual. And the way he said he knew that it was consensual is because the woman was moaning.”
FSU Review Board (according to Limbaugh): “Was she moaning before the sexual encounter?”
WInston: “Yes, your Honor.”
FSU Review Board (according to Limbaugh): “What did she say and what did she do?”
Winston: “Moaning is mostly physically. Well, moaning is physically. And verbally at that time, Your Honor.”
So, the review board just believes that the woman was “moaning” and lets it go at that? What if she were moaning, “Get off me” or “I’m going to throw up?” would that have counted against Winston? We’ll never know, because FSU’s so-called “Review Board” doesn’t care about justice, they just want Winston on the field so he can win them the Rose Bowl.
Limbaugh then goes on to claim that “moaning means consent. Moaning means she was digging it.”
“And moaning means consent. Moaning means she was digging it. Now, I wonder, has the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee heard about this? And the NAGs, moaning? I mean, thank God this guy didn’t have to fill out a form and a questionnaire like they have to do in California now. At every stage you moan, does that mean yes or no? You moan, you moan, what does it mean? In Florida he still gets to interpret that. But what if moan meant “no”? I mean, that’s lighthearted, right?”
Oh, and this is what Limbaugh considers to be “lighthearted news.” No wonder Limbaugh’s wives keep divorcing him.
Mind you, Florida State may have cleared Winston’s name, but they’re also the school whose football team still embarrassingly uses a racist mascot and team name — the Seminoles — which offends many Native Americans.
Those of us who feel sympathy towards Winston’s victim and anger towards Winston, FSU’s priorities, and rape culture in general get brushed aside because neither police nor FSU found enough evidence to press charges or penalize Winston. Yet Iron Mike Gallego from Deadspin points out that rape victims face such a high burden of proof that Winston’s whining about how being “falsely accused” of rape is worse than rape itself is ludicrous. False accusations of rape rarely even happen, let alone gain any traction.
“There’s no doubt that being falsely accused of rape is a dreadful thing that no one should have to endure. One of the reasons it is such a dreadful thing is that false accusations of rape basically do not happen. Statistically, between 2% and 8% of reported rapes are found to be false, but only about 40% of rapes are reported. Do a little math and that means that, for every false accusation of rape, there are up to 100 actual rapes that take place.”
Gallego adds that the (mostly male) college athletes accused of rape face much lighter consequences than their (mostly female) victims. In fact, athletes like Winston usually go on to — or continue — successful careers while rape victims often wind up suicidal: “a third of rape victims contemplate suicide, and 13% will actually attempt it.”
Because our justice system places such an impossibly high burden of proof on rape victims, rapists rarely even get formally charged with a crime, let alone found guilty or jailed. Gallego writes:
“I don’t know if Jameis Winston is guilty, but the statistics say he almost certainly is. The threshold for the government to take your liberty is proof “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which legal scholars generally define as about 95% certainty.”
So much for Limbaugh’s “moaning” rape defense.
Limbaugh’s Rape Defense.
Here’s the audio from Limbaugh’s Dec. 23 radio show, in which he defends Winston against rape allegations.