Rush Limbaugh and the little blue pill

As scandals go, this one leaves us limp.


Tim Grieve
June 27, 2006 5:41PM (UTC)

We're all for kicking Rush Limbaugh when he's down, but we're having a hard time getting it up for the news that he was detained Monday for having a bottle of Viagra in his suitcase on his return from a trip to the Dominican Republic.

Maybe it's the privacy issue. Whoever you are -- well, unless you're Bob Dole, and you're getting paid for it -- do you really deserve to have the words "erectile dysfunction" appear in a story under your name? Maybe it's just the gross-out factor. Does anyone really want to think of Limbaugh waving around the handiwork of the little blue pill?

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Or maybe it's just the small-time nature of the thing. Yes, Limbaugh struck a deal with prosecutors earlier this year that lets him off the hook for his painkiller addiction so long as he stays clean for 18 months. But a spokesman for prosecutors said Monday that Viagra doesn't count as a narcotic and that possession of it is not the sort of thing that would get a probationer in trouble. And yes, the Viagra bottle wasn't labeled with Limbaugh's name, as prescriptions are supposed to be. But Limbaugh's lawyer says a doctor did indeed prescribe the drug for Limbaugh and had it "labeled as being issued to the physician rather than Mr. Limbaugh for privacy purposes."

That plan didn't work out so well, but is there anything more to make of this? Yeah, Limbaugh is divorced, and if we looked around long enough, we could probably find some snippet of sound in which he rails against sex outside the bonds of holy matrimony. And yeah, we could all speculate about why Limbaugh might arm himself with a bottle of Viagra for a two-day trip to the Dominican Republic. But unless there's something more at stake here -- we're not ruling it out, but we haven't heard it yet this is one Limbaugh story that leaves us a little limp.


Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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