Rush Limbaugh's Sexism: 61+ Strong Women He Has Called a "Babe"

 Rush Limbaugh's rampant sexism became a national story earlier this year when he repeatedly attacked Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke as a "slut" and a "prostitute." Of course, sexism has been part of Limbaugh's show for decades. While (comparatively) not as overt as his attacks on Fluke, for years Limbaugh has labeled various women in politics and media with dismissive, sexist terms.

Female professors are "professorettes." Sen. Claire McCaskill is a "senatorette." Female reporters and news anchors are "anchorettes" and, much more frequently, "infobabes." In fact, calling women "babe" has become something of a calling card for Limbaugh.  

Not only does he use the term to describe countless women in media and politics, but he also uses it for female listeners; his online store sells "Rush Babe On Board" stickers for cars. But not all listeners appreciate his penchant for labeling women "babes."

In 2009, Limbaugh convened the "first ever Rush Limbaugh Female Summit" to address a huge gender gap in his approval ratings. For an hour Limbaugh only took female callers, one of whom explained to Limbaugh that while she agrees with his politics, she doesn't "routinely listen to your show because of certain things you say."

The caller explained that one of the first times she listened to his show, Limbaugh was attacking a female liberal blogger, then dismissed the writer as a "babe." According to the caller, "in my mind and maybe in the mind of many other women listening, you totally diminished what you had said previously about her column" because "[the female writer] probably worked very hard."

Limbaugh defended his use of the term -- and his repeated use of "infobabe" -- as, among other things, a "signature term" that is both "creative and artistic." (Full transcript of the call is at the bottom of this post.)

Indeed, Limbaugh has labeled dozens of women "babe," ranging from Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan ("this babe is hot for socialism") to numerous female reporters and TV news anchors to the women who accused former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain of sexual harassment ("sexual harassment babes").

His kneejerk use of the "babe" label led to Limbaugh making a fool of himself in 2010 when he called male Salon.com reporter Sasha Abramsky a "stupid babe." 

Below is an incomplete list of the many women Limbaugh has called "babe" since 2006.

Government / Political Figures

 Reporters / Writers / Television Figures

Interest Group / Think Tank / Academic Figures

Women In The News

Read the full transcript of Limbaugh's conversation with the female caller that objected to his repeated use of the term "babe" from the February 25, 2009 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show here.

Media Matters / By Ben DiMiero | Sourced from

Posted at April 17, 2012, 8:33am

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