In 2007, talk show host Don Imus was fired for using a disparaging phrase to describe the Rutgers women's basketball team.
Five years later, will Rush Limbaugh suffer the same fate for a vile attack on a Tussey Mountain High School graduate?
Probably not, although it remains to be seen what price the conservative talk show host truly will pay for his willing jaunt into the depths of the sewer of personal attacks.
Last week, in response to Sandra Fluke's testimony before congressional Democrats advocating for legislation that would make birth control coverage mandatory, Limbaugh viscously attacked the Georgetown law student and greatly misrepresented what she said.
Others who disagree with Fluke have shown far more leadership and sensibility by focusing on her statements and logic. They have challenged her ideas, not her person.
A transcript of her testimony is available at abcnews.go.com
"What does it say about the college coed ... who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex," Limbaugh said on his radio program Feb. 29.
A day later, he piled on, "If we're going to have to pay for 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're getting for our money."
Whether one agrees or not with the idea of requiring employers to provide contraceptive coverage, Limbaugh crossed the line with the personal attacks on Fluke.
By sinking into the depths of the muck to throw mud at the 1999 Tussey Mountain graduate, Limbaugh ceded the high ground on the argument, created sympathy for Fluke and provided her more opportunities to express her views to even larger audiences.
Limbaugh correctly is feeling the heat for his attacks, and his apology rings anything but sincere when it is accompanied by statements attempted to justify using the words "slut" and "prostitute" by saying he sunk to the depths of his adversaries or comparing his words with those of rappers.
Is that really the standard Limbaugh sets for himself - to be the moral equivalent of a rapper?
Is that what conservatives want from someone who positions himself as a leader of their movement?
We don't think so.
One doesn't win the high ground by leaping into the mud, and Limbaugh should have known better.