The Lady and the Limbaugh

Posted on February 22, 2011 by


On his Monday show, Rush Limbaugh criticized the First Lady’s efforts to encourage Americans to eat healthy and exercise. Okay, fine: Limbaugh’s not the first person to express annoyance or skepticism over Michelle Obama’s wellness initiatives. But Limbaugh, being Limbaugh, had to go a step further:

“The problem is, and dare I say this, it doesn’t look like Michelle Obama follows her own nutritionary, dietary advice. And then we hear that she’s out eating ribs at 1,500 calories a serving with 141 grams of fat per serving…I’m trying to say that our First Lady does not project the image of women that you might see on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue or of a woman Alex Rodriguez might date every six months or what have you.”

It’s kind of a waste of time and energy to talk about how offensive Rush Limbaugh is—it’s like talking about Howard Stern or Tucker Max. These guys mean to offend you; it’s what they do.

But that being said—this is truly idiotic stuff. Michelle Obama shouldn’t talk about nutrition because she’s not a willowy swimsuit model? Seriously?

Leave aside, for the moment, the fact that Limbaugh’s calorie estimation for a serving of barbecued ribs was so outrageously off that the restaurant Michelle Obama ate ribs at came forward with more accurate nutrition information. Leave aside, also, the awkward racial implications of comparing the First Lady to the notoriously blondes-only gaggle of women that Alex Rodriguez has dated.

I won’t say that the First Lady is a lovely, healthy woman because that doesn’t need to be said. Her physique doesn’t need to be defended from the crude commentary of Rush Limbaugh.

Whatever you might think of some of Michelle Obama’s wellness initiatives, an attack on her body is so completely inappropriate that it’s almost laughable. If you want to criticize Mrs. Obama’s well-intentioned efforts, call her programs a waste of time and money; or call them an innappropriate use of state power; but don’t imply that Michelle Obama is fat. Not just because it’s offensive, but also because it’s patently false—-and because you’re starting a conversation (about the First Lady’s weight!) that never should’ve been started in the first place.

(Note, if you will, that I’ve thoughtfully refrained from making comments about Rush Limbaugh’s own physique in this post—however tempting it may have been. That’s restraint, Limbaugh! You should try it sometime . . .)


Posted in: Politicians