Sandra Fluke, Rush Limbaugh and an Open Letter to the Carbonite CEO

by Bill O'Connell on March 4, 2012

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Sandra Fluke is a Georgetown Law student for whom Nancy Pelosi set up a media event to try to propagate the lie that conservatives want to block women’s access to contraceptives, rather than the truth that this would be forcing American taxpayers to pay for other’s recreational sex. Rush Limbaugh put it in much stronger terms and later apologized for those remarks. Advertisers like Carbonite pulled their advertising from Limbaugh’s radio program and Carbonite’s CEO  David Friend encouraged others to do the same.

My friend Ben Howe goes into more detail here and points out the hypocrisy that the left gets a pass no matter how ugly they get with their discourse. The following is a letter sent to Mr. Friend. If you agree, feel free to tweet, Facebook, copy, to anyone you know who uses Carbonite. If you disagree, feel free to comment below.

March 4, 2012

David Friend

Co-Founder and CEO


177 Huntington Avenue

Boston, MA 02115


Dear Mr. Friend,


I read about your intention to pull your advertising from the Rush Limbaugh show due to his remarks about Sandra Fluke while lobbying for free contraceptives.

It is not unreasonable to conclude that the primary reason for a woman to use contraceptives is so that she can have sex without getting pregnant. To need $3,000 worth of contraceptives would suggest that the individual plans on having a lot of sex. According to the American Heritage Dictionary:

Slut n. 1.a. A woman considered sexually promiscuous.

Was Mr. Limbaugh’s choice of words excessive? I would say so. However the subject was sex and contraception. Could he have used words more artfully to make the same point? I would say yes.

That brings me to another program that you sponsor, The Ed Schultz Show. On Schultz’s show he called conservative commentator Laura Ingraham a right wing slut. Let me quote Mr. Schultz. “But you know what they’re talking about: Like this right wing slut. What’s her name Laura Ingraham? Yeah, she’s a talk slut…”

Where’s the outrage there Mr. Friend? Is it acceptable to you to call a professional woman a slut if it is merely a pejorative? How is it overstepping any reasonable bounds of decency to refer to a woman who is lobbying for free contraceptives, a woman considered sexually promiscuous, but perfectly fine as a smear for someone’s opinion you disagree with?

Why haven’t you pulled your advertising from that cretin’s show? As I am a strong believer in liberty, I say you have a right to purchase advertising time anywhere you wish. Similarly, I can buy whatever products that I wish and when my Carbonite subscription expires, I will not be renewing it if you place on the same playing field a somewhat crude but not inaccurate term to describe one woman with a baseless slur of another.

As you have encouraged your fellow advertisers to withdraw their ads, I will encourage my network of contacts to dump your product “to contribute to a more civilized public discourse.”


Sincerely yours,

William R. O’Connell

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  • Sarah

    Actually, Sandra Fluke’s testimony was that she and other Georgetown students wanted the opportunity to be able to buy health coverage which included contraceptives. She didn’t speak about taxpayer-funded contraceptives, or “free” contraceptives. She just wanted to have the option to buy the coverage.

    She also wasn’t talking about avoiding pregnancy from “recreational sex.” She was mostly talking about students who had serious complications from being unable to get hormonal therapy, like a friend who had ovarian cysts and needed hormonal treatment (aka “the pill”), and ended up losing an ovary because she had no means by which she could buy an insurance plan which would cover the drugs she needed. In short, it IS totally unreasonable to assume the reason a woman wants contraceptives is to avoid pregnancy, since 60% of women who are on hormonal contraceptives are taking it for other reasons.

    Besides which, Sandra Fluke is a law student; this obviouly isn’t true of all law students, but when I was a law student I was married. Is sex between a husband and wife what you’re talking about when you speak about “recreational sex”? Does having non-procreative sex with my husband make me a “slut”?

    • William O’Connell

      I may not have heard Sandra Flakes entire account but I did listen to her eleven minute opening statement. The whole intent here is to try fabricate an issue to replace abortion to rally the Democrat base and pull moderates their way. Just as pro-abortion people never speak of abortion as birth control, it is always spoken of as regarding rape an incest.

      In a similar way she talks about the ancillary use of contraceptives for hormone therapy.It is a red herring. You either fall into the same trap or are doing it intentionally when you say “being unable to get hormonal therapy.” Why is she unable? It is widely available and relatively inexpensive. As pointed out by the other Georgetown student, Sandra can afford $23,000 a year in law school tuition, but cannot afford $15-$50 per month for contraceptives?

      The use of the word “slut” as pertains to Sandra Fluke was inappropriate as she did not speak directly about her own sex life. If you have sex with your husband and you do not want to get pregnant, then it could be called recreational and there is nothing wrong with that. But if you don’t want to get pregnant why is that anyone else’s responsibility but yours and your husband’s? Take whatever measures consistent with your beliefs and your budget, but leave me and my wallet out of it.

    • Jaun

      Sarah give the taxpayer a break.  This is not about contra it is about government control.  It is also about the right for women to kill their babys. Remember abortion is like killin a baby.  I guess you think that is ok. What a shame.

  • A lady

    “It is not unreasonable to conclude that the primary reason for a woman to use contraceptives is so that she can have sex without getting pregnant. To need $3,000 worth of contraceptives would suggest that the individual plans on having a lot of sex.”

    Sir, you must not be aware that the most common forms of birth control are taken once daily. You have to take it constantly for the medicine to work. It is completely unrelated to the amount of sex you have. If you want to have sex once-per-year but be protected that whole year, you would take 365 pills. Or, if you’re like so many of my peers, you might be taking 365 birth control pills all year long so that your periods are only three days each, rather than seven, or so that you know exactly when you period will start every month, or to reduce crippling menstrual cramps, etc etc etc etc. Please don’t even begin to weigh in to the issue until you are informed.

    • William O’Connell

      “If you want to have sex once-per-year but be protected that whole year…” Why? If you only plan to have sex once per year, why do you need to be protected for the whole year? Do you need to be ever ready for sex at the drop of a hat? There are other means available that you use once. It is not about availability, it is about who pays for it. I hope you brush your teeth 365 days per year for your health and the comfort of those around you. Does that mean ObamaCare should cover toothpaste and brushes?

  • ~ Nona

    Actually, if a woman needs hormonal medication for health reasons, not contraceptive reasons, a medical plan that does not cover artificial birth control would cover this medical need.

    Note, however, there are always iatrogenic effects of using any medication. The original Pill had so many side-effects that the so-called mini-Pill was devised. But from what I’m hearing from a surprising number of women there is a really paradoxical side-effect: loss of libido.

    I’ll close with an observation. Many years ago, I looked up the contraceptive pill in the Physician Desk Reference, which is published annually. (I had medical problems for which my doctor wanted to prescribe the Pill.) There were a few column inches of side-effects listed at the time. I checked the following year — and suddenly there was almost a page of risks and side-effects. It became a little bit of a game for me every year: How many more inches of copy would be devoted to oral contraceptive pill side-effects in the new PDR?

    I don’t recall the final count anymore, but I do remember that it was surprising, something like two or three pages. I stopped taking the Pill because I concluded that if I were to suffer even one of the serious side-effects, it  could be far worse than the medical condition that (now I know) the Pill was only masking anyway. 

    I’ve always been glad that I made that decision especially since I developed a very different health condition in which one of the qualifying questions is always: “Have you ever used oral contraceptives?” I’ll always wonder if that short period of use was, to some degree, culpable.  

    But what about birth control?  I’ll answer that question with another question: Why are only the artificial birth control varieties mentioned? 

    There are natural birth control methods that share four elements: they’re (1)  co-operative (i.e., the partners have to work together using them); (2) highly effective (the so-called Sympto-Thermal method, properly used, is more effective than the mini-Pill, properly used); (3) cost-free; and (4) can be used throughout a woman’s reproductive life including after childbirth, while breast-feeding, and during the tricky peri-menopause period.

    I know many couples who have never used the Pill or other artificial birth control medications or devises, relying completely on natural methods. In a few cases, I’ve met couples who ended up using natural methods as a last resort. One wife conceived using a diaphragm. She switched to an IUD and developed an infection so severe that she required surgery and hospitalization. The couple’s only reliable, effective birth control option turned out to be a natural method. Their question?  “Why didn’t we hear about this a long time ago?”

    Good question.

    In case YOU’RE wondering why you’ve never heard about natural birth control alternatives, here are three information sources:

    You can google around and find many more by putting in the words “natural family planning” and/or “fertility awareness”.

    In case you’re wondering why I know so much about this particular subject, here’s the answer: I’m a medical writer. Like Ms. Fluke, I really care about women’s health choices. My perspective is quite different, however.

    AND don’t get this medical writer going on the subject statin drug medications!!

    The reason you never hear about natural alteratives to (relatively) common health problems (including high cholesterol but also birth control) is quite simple: Nature has no lobby.

    • William O’Connell

      Very well put, Nona. Thank for the additional detailed information. This is further proof that this is not about denying a woman’s access to contraceptives, it is about fabricating a campaign issue for the left.

  • ~ Nona

    For those of you seeking to replace your Carbonite subscription, you might consider Mozy. I’ve used it for years. The company’s website has information:

  • sharon

    Props to Carbonite for pulling your sponsorship and I will be getting a subscription BECAUSE you did so.  Nice to see some integrity in this situation.  I would also encourage those of you who might be tempted to sign the above letter to do a little research first and get the facts. Ed Schultz did apologize to Laura on air and she accepted.(See U Tube of both on May 25/26, 20110. Ed also took himself off the air without pay for several days. Laura Ingrahm is a public figure and Sandra Fluke is a private citizen–big difference.  To say Limbaugh’s actions and integrity are anywhere remotely close to Ed Schultz’s is laughable-and pathetic.

    • William O’Connell

      Ed Schultz did apologize to Laura Ingraham and she did accept. Carbonite did not pull their advertising from Schultz. The comment about Laura Ingraham was a pure slur, the topic wasn’t contraceptives. Rush Limbaugh apologized on the air, Sandra Schultz did not accept and Carbonite did pull their advertising. The topic where Limbaugh stepped over the line and he was right to apologize was sex and contraceptives. 

      Ed Schultz did take himself off the air because the station he was on was under new management (Comcast) and probably would have canned him if he didn’t. If he was still under GE management, he probably wouldn’t have.That’s funny. You said Ed Schultz and integrity in the same sentence.Enjoy your Carbonite.

  • Jaun

     Carbonite CEO David Friend, let me put this in Ivy league terms, “you are sooo dumb.”  I will not be doing business with your company. 

  • Produceresults

     You have been played for a total fool by an activist. Your company needs to be avoided because if you are as naive as you appear to be, you certainly can’t protect my data.

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  • Cheapdaddy

    Calling Ed Shultz a cretin really demeans cretins.They may be trying their hardest to do their best with what they were dealt. Schultz just lets his go to waste. hint: critical thinking does not mean adopting a “Don’t confuse me with the facts. my mind is already made up” attitude and criticizing anyone who disagrees.

  • Kellyjowicker

    Mr Friend should be in the dictionary as an example of hypocrisy. Why is it ok for Ed Shultz to call a woman a slut, noticed you still advertise there, but when Rush Limbaugh does it, you suddenly think of your own daughters? I’m glad your stock plummeted. Sandra Fluke is a 30 year old activist who purposely chose this school as a platform to promote her agenda.

  • Norm

    Since when do we need to apologize for exercising our first amendment rights?  We may not always like what others say, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to say it.

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