JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Rush Limbaugh, Hall of Famer?
The controversial conservative talk radio host has been tapped to join the Missouri Capitol’s Hall of Famous Missourians, joining the likes of President Harry S. Truman, Walt Disney, Stan Musial, Gen. Omar Bradley and Walter Cronkite.
The selection comes as Limbaugh finds himself in a serious backlash from advertisers following his incendiary comments on his show last week about Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke’s testimony before congress about insurance covering birth control.
On his radio show last Friday, Limbaugh said she wanted to be “paid to have sex” by the government.
“What does that make her?” he asked rhetorically on the show. “It makes her a slut, right?”
The speaker of Missouri’s House of Representatives, Rep. Steve Tilley, (R) Perryville, has decided to induct Limbaugh, along with Dred Scott, into the Capitol’s Hall of Famous Missourians.
As Speaker of the House,Tilley alone decides who goes in.
Tilley claims that the none of recent controversy affected his decision, and few have asked him to change his mind about putting Limbaugh in the hall.
“There’s some liberal progressive groups that want me to,” he told FOX 2. “But I tell you, I think no one can deny the fact he would qualify for a famous Missourian.”
Planned Parenthood of Missouri director Paula Gianino told FOX 2 that the move a “slap in the face to women,” who were offended by Limbaugh’s remarks, and says it dishonors broadcasters already in the hall, like Jack Buck and Walter Cronkite.
“They set the gold standard for professionalism,” said Gianino. “I think it’s an affront to that high standard that we’ve had here in the State of Missouri. I hope Mr. Tilley will change his mind, because I think it’s a terrible, terrible mistake to reward Mr. Limbaugh for this really mean and unprofessional behavior.”
But Tilley insists Limbaugh belongs, saying he isn’t the first figure with controversial opinions to be inducted.
“I think if you look at people who are currently in the Hall of Famous Missourians, from Mark Twain to Warren Hearnes to John Ashcroft, they’ve probably all said things and taken positions that were controversial at times,” said Tilley. “But when you look at what Rush has accomplished in life and his radio career, undoubtedly a famous Missourian.“