Monday, March 12, 2012


Outraged by Rush Limbaugh's sexual degradation of Sandra Fluke? Wanta do something in addition to begging advertisers to drop him? Build your own FCC complaint.  It’s easy!

Rush at work, 3-1-12, sliming Sandra Fluke on the airHis 
network (Premiere Radio Network) and affiliate stations 
nationwide are all licensed by FCC and can be unlicensed 
if their broadcasters break the law  (Photo by the author)

First, go to this link for the FCC Guidelines on profane, indecent and obscene speech. Read them. These terms have nothing to do with political censorship or limitations on "free speech." They are (relatively) precise legal definitions formulated by the  Federal Communications Commission to identify three specific types of offensive material broadcast over the airwaves. 

You’ll see (directly below) a blank FCC Submittal Form and below that a condensed sample FCC Complaint using two quotes chosen from the multitude of degrading remarks Mr Limbaugh made about Sandra Fluke over a 3-day period 2-29, 3-1, and 3-2-12. Copy/paste these two elements into an email. Put “FCC Complaint against Rush Limbaugh” in subject line. Fill in the blanks of the email Submittal Form and personalize the words of the FCC Complaint lightly here and there (don't change the quotes or bold terms of art) to "make it yours." This is the basic documentation for your FCC complaint. 

After you've hit the email 'send' button, you will receive an immediate automated reply from the FCC with your file number which you must include in subject line of any future email correspondence related to your Complaint (such as corrections/additional info). 

There are well over 40 Rush quotes from those 3 days (see Media Matters, scroll down) but the two quotes used here in this basic FCC Complaint are quintessential examples showing why Mr Limbaugh's network  should lose its broadcasting license and be fined to the max.

You might not agree with the sample Complaint formulated here, or might argue it differently. You can use other quotes. You might want to add how Mr Limbaugh's foul mouth was offensive not only to Ms Fluke but all women, indeed all human beings, although the FCC might not care if this sentiment doesn't fit into their Guidelines. This "Build your own FCC Complaint" site is designed to save time for busy people who are aghast at what Mr Limbaugh did to Ms Fluke (and could do to any one of us) and want to get their foot in the door of the FCC with a credible formal Complaint. This site serves as a humble guide. The author is in her mid 60s, a former editor at a major magazine, writing under "anonymous" to avoid harassment. 

Now you’re ready to do these steps for real, pull this FCC Complaint together, paste it into an email -- and send! 

Let's get to work! 


Copy/paste the FCC Submittal Form below into an email and fill in the form. (Air dates, name of program and network name are already filled in). Track down the call letters, frequency (usually on AM spectrum) of your local radio station that aired these 3-hour Rush Limbaugh shows on 2-29, 3-1 and 3-2-12 and the times they aired. Then personalize the sample FCC Complaint (except the Rush quotes and bold terms of art related to FCC Guidelines) to “make it yours,” like one of those "sample letters" we get all the time from activist groups formulated to help us to communicate with elected officials.


Send to FCC email address:

FCC Form 475B      Federal Communications Commission, Washington, DC 20554

Obscene, Profane, and/or Indecent Material

Complaint Form

Consumer's Information: 
First Name: 
Middle Initial:   
Last Name: 
Street Address: 
Zip Code: 
E-Mail Address: 
Daytime Telephone Number: 

(1) Dates of Programs: 02/29/2012, 03/01/2012, 03/02/2012
(2) Time of Programs:
(3) Network: Premiere Radio Network (also known as EIB Network -- "Excellence in Broadcasting")
(4) Call Sign, Channel OR Frequency of the station on which you viewed/heard the material: 
(5) City and State Where Program Was Viewed/Heard: 
(6) Name of Program or DJ/Personality/Song/Film:   Rush Limbaugh

Note: Major portions of pertinent transcripts containing objectionable language in the 3 shows 02/29/2012, 03/01/2012, 03/02/2012 have been scrubbed (deleted) from the Limbaugh website by Mr Limbaugh and/or the Premiere Radio Network. These were available until March 7, then disappeared. "Dittocam" videotapes of each show are available (as of 3-12-12) to subscribers to the Rush Limbaugh Show ($6.95 a month) to review the programs at these links:  

Feb 29, 2012:

Mar 1, 2012:

Mar 2, 2012:


FCC COMPLAINT vs Rush Limbaugh:

In Rush Limbaugh's three radio shows 2-29, 3-1 and 3-2-12 he repeatedly vilified a private citizen named Sandra Fluke in sexually degrading terms. 

Here are two quintessential quotes:

Quote #1:   RUSH 2-29-12: "What does it say about the college co-ed Susan [sic] Fluke who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex. What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? Makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We're the pimps (pause) . . . The johns? We would be the johns? No! We're not the johns (pause) . . . Yeah, that's right. Pimp is not the right word . . .  Okay, so she's not a slut. She's 'round heeled.' I take it ["slut"] back."   

[NOTE: The next day Mr Limbaugh called her a “slut” again so he did not “take it back" for long. Here's the quote: on 3-1-12 he said, "Well, what would you call someone who wants us to pay for her to have sex? What would you call that woman? You'd call 'em as I did -- slut or prostitute or what[ever] -- that has sent them into orbit." He does not express any contrition about calling her a "slut" (or repeating the word "prostitute"). Indeed in his willful repetition, he seems proud of the shock and outrage these slurs against Ms Fluke have caused in the community.]

[NOTE: As for "round-heeled," per the Urban Dictionary and other sources, that's another way to describe a prostitute; a woman whose "round heels" cause her to fall backwards onto her back for intercourse; easy to get into the sack; promiscuous; and -- wait for it -- "slutty." So he took back "slut" but repeated "slut" the next day and here on 2-29-12 called her essentially the same thing in slightly more euphemistic phrasing by saying she was "round-heeled" which amounts to repeating/dwelling upon the same meaning as "slut" and "prostitute"].

Quote #2:   RUSH 3-1-12: "So, Ms. Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here's the deal: If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and 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." (Commercial break)  (Continuing) "In addition to this being Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies, it's the Limbaugh Institute for Sexual Research today. Folks, do you realize that you can get, in Washington, DC? If you ask the Department of Health there, they will send you free condoms! They will send you free condoms. You don't have to get Nancy Pelosi and ask for thousands of dollars in free birth control pills, and they'll even throw in the lube! So, if we're gonna sit here, and if we're gonna have a part in this, then we want something in return, Ms. Fluke: And that would be the videos of all this sex posted online so we can see what we are getting for our money."

Analysis per FCC Guidelines: 

In these two quotes and many others, when Mr Limbaugh referred to "contraception" or "birth control," he often substituted the words "sex" or "having sex" so that when speaking of "paying for her contraception," the words came out to his audience as "paying her for having sex" which defined her as a “slut” or a "prostitute," according to Mr Limbaugh. You get the idea. Variations on this theme were repeated over and over during those three days. "Having sex" – short for “having sexual intercourse” -- brings to mind and thus depicts sexual activity which is part of the FCC's definition of indecent speech when coupled with his assertion that her "being paid for having sex" made her a slut, a prostitute (both repeated twice) as well as "round-heeled." This cross-up of language by Mr Limbaugh was not accidental; it was conscious and deliberate.

He might have thought it was amusing to read an exaggerated headline over the air from a newsletter which set the tone of his onslaught, but this was no excuse for his offensive language against Ms Fluke.  Indeed there was no credible, reasonable or factual context to justify his abusive language anywhere during these 3 days of broadcasting between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Instead, we found several false contexts or pretexts (like the "birth control = having sex" mix-up) that were designed to allow degrading speech to be showered over Sandra Fluke like hot coals.  

The FCC Guidelines call for offensive language to be repeated at least twice to show that it is "dwelled upon." Rush meets the FCC "repeated/dwelled upon" threshold easily, indeed his 3-day onslaught revealed an obsession with Ms Fluke's "having sex," being "paid to have sex" and wanting her to post videos of herself having sex "so we can all watch." 

Interestingly this last breath-taker (which appears to meet the obscene standard) led into a commercial break and was repeated again coming out of that commercial break. Message: Stay tuned through the commercials so you don't miss something tawdry or prurient.

Mr Limbaugh might try to defend himself by saying he got this cross-up idea of "birth control = having sex") from a newsletter he read over the air but that's no excuse; he's responsible for what he reads over the air. Humor is no excuse (as the FCC itself says), so that's no defense either. He repeated multiple times the ridiculous notion that the supposedly high cost of her contraceptives suggested a high volume of intake of contraceptives and thus a high volume of sex, as though a birth control pill was an aphrodisiac, another false context conveying a high volume of ignorance to his listeners. The end result was salacious degradation of Ms Fluke at every turn, which is against the law per the FCC.

The FCC tries to be "fair" and "protect the free speech rights of broadcasters" which is all well and good so long as it's not indecent, obscene or profane speech. Many of Mr Limbaugh's on-air slurs during these famous 3 days, when he was so intent upon entertaining and titillating his audience to sell advertising at the expense of Ms Fluke, crossed even the FCC line. 

He went too far.

Summary:  Review of FCC Guidelines indicates the language in Quote #1 qualifies as indecent and profane speech. Calling Ms Fluke a “slut,” a “prostitute” and "round-heeled" qualifies as profane speech, that is, "language so grossly offensive as to amount to a nuisance.” These terms do not mention sexual activity per se although they presuppose sexual activity as a primary mode, so whether these terms constitute indecent speech is left to the judgment of the FCC. 

Following the Guidelines for indecent speech, Mr Limbaugh’s obsessively repeating and dwelling upon phrases like "having sex" and "paying her for sex" (here and throughout 3 days of broadcasts) was explicit, graphic and shocking, as the FCC amplifies this standard. “Having sex” is colloquial for “having sexual intercourse.” This brings to mind an image and thus depicts a sexual activity. These phrases and their multiple variations by Mr Limbaugh “contain material that, in context [coupled with repeated assertions of promiscuity and uncontrolled sexual behavior such as ‘having so much sex she couldn't afford contraceptives’], depicts or describes sexual activities in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium.” Thus these phrases qualify for the FCC’s indecent speech standard.

Quote #2 appears to contain not only indecent and profane but also obscene speech because it shows a prurient interest in sexuality; describes sexual conduct ("having sex") in a patently offensive way (suggesting she post videos online "so we can all watch" which comes close to advocating pornography); is repeated twice (before and after a commercial break, "dwelling upon" and holding by titillation his listeners' attention to stick around through the commercials); lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value; lacks any credible context; and contains language so grossly offensive as to amount to a nuisance. 

In other words, Quote #2 exemplifies obscene speech per FCC standards.

40+ more examples of this quality of sexually degrading speech can be found on Media Matters ( -- scroll down), clearly establishing a pattern of "dwelling upon" these themes that amounts to obsession. 

In short, Mr Limbaugh repeatedly engaged in profane, indecent and (in at least one case in Quote #2) obscene speech per FCC Guidelines on the air between 6 AM and 10 PM when children could be listening. These two example quotes illustrate Mr Limbaugh's thematic obsession with "having sex" and "being paid to have sex" in more than 40 other quotes over a 3-day period (see Media Matters, scroll down) which document Mr Limbaugh’s repeated degrading sexual innuendoes and insults against Ms Fluke for the sole purpose of commercial titillation of his audience. 

Because Mr Limbaugh flagrantly crossed the line of FCC Guidelines as described here in multiple instances over three separate days in succession, the FCC broadcasting license of his network (Premiere Radio Network) should be revoked and his network should be assessed the maximum fine.

Sincerely,     (Your name, address, phone, email)


Proofread your email and send to


Once you've sent your FCC Complaint, you can forward the URL address of this website ( to family, friends and associates so they can build their own FCC Complaints against Mr Limbaugh. Post this website link on Twitter and Facebook. This whole exercise might take as little as 15-20 minutes max!

Now you can go out with your best pals for a celebration dinner and toast to the rule of law! 


You can also attach a copy of your completed FCC Complaint to a plea to deny the FCC license renewal of your local affiliate radio station that aired these 3 Limbaugh shows. Go to this handy schedule of when 8-year FCC license renewals come up in each state. Even if years early in your state, send your license denial petition to the FCC now and it will be placed in the station's file and sit there like a time bomb until reviewed when the renewal comes up. Fill those files! And CC your plea to FCC for license renewal denial (with copy of your FCC complaint) to local station managers now so they'll see what's waiting for them at license renewal time. The more pleas for denial they see, the more nervous they'll get and the more they might ask "Is the Rush's dirty mouth worth jeopardizing our license renewal?" 

Here below is good specific advice on how to set up a Petition to Deny your local radio station’s license renewal: As noted by Daily Kos diarist “ipsos,” “The object of this game isn't really to get the license renewal denied, because you can't do that. It's just to get the local station manager’s attention” and make them nervous enough about the risk of denial of license renewal to consider dropping Rush. 

Ipsos diary on Daily Kos: 

Comments with specific helpful advice from “Rashaverak,” an attorney with FCC experience, about writing an FCC “petition to deny”:

Sample “Petition to deny license renewal”:  “Community” can be replaced by your individual name as a member of the community who has standing as a resident and regular listener within your station's broadcast area (as explained at previous link by “Rashaverak”). 

Finally, if you have the stomach to listen to Rush's 3-hour show, write down all the local advertisers (this is where he gets most of his revenue), then call them and tell them: "Mr Limbaugh's values as reflected in his degrading language like "slut" and "prostitute" he used against Ms Fluke are not consistent with your advertising message." Here's a good link for going after local advertisers: 

All these extra efforts are important. As time passes the outrage fades and soon Rush will be joking that his 3-day verbal onslaught was justified by Ms Fluke being an "Obama plant." Even if she was (which she likely wasn’t), that would have nothing to do with his use of profane, indecent and obscene speech over the air, calling her a slut, a prostitute and round-heeled and asking her to post videos online of herself having sex so "we can all watch."  DON'T LET HIM GET AWAY WITH IT!

If the FCC pulls Premiere's license, Rush is cooked nationally unless he finds another network or goes satellite. So keep the heat turned up on all options on all fronts across the board! Here's a good link from CREDO Action for contacting local affiliates in your area. 

On April 2, 2012, America's highest-level public official to weigh in, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, had this comment on Rush Limbaugh's "verbal assault" (her phrase) on Sandra Fluke: “I think we need to call people out when they go over the line. They’re entitled to their opinion but no one is entitled to engage in that kind of verbal assault. Let’s keep it to the issues,” she said. “I thought the response from the public to Mr Limbaugh was very encouraging, the response, in particular, from women cutting across all kinds of categories, and the response from advertisers.” 


Summary of FCC Guidelines (clearest):

FCC website section related to this issue:

“What did Ms Fluke really say in her House testimony?” (transcript) 3-3-12

Media Matters (scroll down at this link): Quote collection from the Rush Limbaugh slur-fest on Sandra Fluke 2-29-12, 3-1, 3-2-12. Approx 46 quotes from which we pulled two quotes for this abbreviated “Build your own FCC complaint.” You can pull more if you like.

Major portions of transcripts have been scrubbed (deleted) by Mr Limbaugh and/or his network. We assume this was done, in part, to make it more difficult for average citizens (or newsmedia) to wade through hours of tedious videos to glean quotes for news stories or to file FCC complaints. Fortuntately Media Matters did most of the work of salvaging quotes for us before the transcripts went down (thanks MM).

"Dittocam" videotapes of each show are available (as of 3-12-12) to subscribers to the Rush Limbaugh Show ($6.95 a month) to review the programs at these links (Be aware these links might change to make it harder to chase down quotes):

Feb 29, 2012: 

Mar 1, 2012: 

Mar 2, 2012: 

And here's a good link for going after local advertisers 

Finally, after equating birth control with prostitution for 3 days, thanks to Mr Limbaugh ignorance has been increased and the phrase “whore pills” has entered the language:

Thank you for participating in this effort to achieve justice in media, for Ms Fluke and for all of us who could be exposed to this kind of indignity by the likes of Mr Limbaugh. 

Anonymous in