This Week’s Cartoon: The O’Reilly Method

Rush Limbaugh’s vile diatribes against Sandra Fluke have made him a lightning rod for public scorn, and rightly so. But what bothers me more than Rush — who, let’s face it, has a long history of saying vile things — is the extent to which his views are echoed throughout the world o’ wingnuts.

When I checked out tweets using the #IstandWithSandra hashtag on Twitter the other night, I saw Idiocracy-level comments like “Shouldn’t that be #ILayWithSandra?” And then, of course, there’s Bill O’Reilly.

Yes, the same man who settled a sexual harassment lawsuit in 2004 after apparently being caught on tape by a female employee (read the sordid filing here!) could not resist moralizing about ladies’ sex lives on his TV show the other night. Over the course of a smarmy and woefully ill-informed six-minute monologue, O’Reilly dropped pearls of wisdom such as:

“Sandra Fluke… believes that all of us should pay for her sexual activities.””The progressive colossus is demanding payment for Ms. Fluke so she can go through law school with a healthy social life.”

“Ms. Fluke and millions of other women have many things they’d like to do, on our tab.”

Never mind the fact that we’re talking about Georgetown’s health insurance plan, not a taxpayer-funded program — a distinction O’Reilly blurs repeatedly, not unlike his blurring of the distinction between a loofah and falafel — or the fact that contraception coverage reduces health care costs, or that even with insurance, the Pill costs women money out-of-pocket. O’Reilly also supports Viagra coverage because it’s for a medical condition. (Hint: It’s only a condition if you want to have sex!) My hat is off to Sandra Fluke for having the bravery to stand up to bullies like O’Reilly, who undeservingly possess a much larger megaphone than she does.

Related cartoon from the 2008 elections: remember McCain’s deer-in-headlights moment when confronted with his support for covering Viagra but not contraception?


Jen Sorensen is a cartoonist for Daily Kos, The Nation, In These Times, Politico and other publications throughout the US. She received the 2023 Berryman Award for Editorial Cartooning from the National Press Foundation, and is a recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. She is also a Pulitzer Finalist.



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