POLITICS

News Anchor Slams Rush Limbaugh For 'Slut Shaming,' Accusing Her Of Posing Nude At 14

Krystal Ball spoke out on her Hill TV show and Twitter about the conservative radio host's sexist and false accusations.

Hill TV news anchor Krystal Ball shared a Twitter thread on Thursday where she lambasted conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh for his slut-shaming remarks and unfounded accusations against her.

In a recent broadcast of “The Rush Limbaugh Show,” Limbaugh talked about Ball’s unsuccessful run for Congress in 2010 and claimed that she’d posed for nude photos at age “14 or 15.”

“Remember the name Krystal Ball with a K? Some thought she was attractive. She was running for Congress, and she got elected, and some tweets came out. She posed nude when she was 14 or 15,” he said.

“She was outraged. ‘How dare you!’ I said, ‘What do you expect to happen? You put a picture of yourself nude on Facebook or MySpace or, you know, my butt, whatever it is. Somebody’s gonna find that stuff,’” he continued.

Limbaugh’s claims were incorrect in a few ways. For one, Ball didn’t get elected. And there was no controversy about nude photos. Likely what Limbaugh was recalling were some saucy, but clothed, party photos of an adult Ball and her then-husband that made the rounds online during the 2010 campaign.

The conservative commentator went on to contend that the Ball incident led to others using “blackmail” against members of Congress. He added that “Republicans can do this too” ― apparently referring to threatening people ― and may be doing it in “certain places.” 

On Thursday, Ball addressed Limbaugh’s allegations during her Hill TV show, “Rising,” as well as on Twitter.

The MSNBC alum said she “did not pose nude when I was 14 or 15,” adding that “Facebook and MySpace did not even exist when I was 14 or 15. I didn’t tweet about anything related to that.”

In his “very bizarre way,” Ball suggested, Limbaugh was probably alluding to those party photos.

“In the Trump era, this was so minimal that it was party photos that he felt the need to make this much more salacious in order to titillate his audience,” said Ball, who is now 37.

She emphasized that because Limbaugh has an audience of millions, she decided to use her own platform to set the record straight.

“I don’t want to feel like he can just slime whoever he wants and get away with it with no accountability. But if I did have some naked photos from when I was 14 or 15 or whenever, who frickin’ cares?” she said.

“It’s not your job to be the moral police or to shame me or any other young woman who is out there who may have nude photos that come out. If they want to run for office, if they want to be political leaders, they still can,” said Ball. “I wanted to make sure that I was able to put that out there.”

Ball’s Twitter thread explained the chain of events and included a video of her broadcast.

“I didn’t want this slut-shaming smear just hanging out there,” she wrote in one post.

Ball’s “Rising” co-host, Saagar Enjeti, backed her completely and even suggested she could pursue legal action against Limbaugh.

“He should know about America’s libel laws and that you would be fully within your rights in order to go after him,” said Enjeti.

On Twitter, many others rallied to show their support for Ball: 

After Ball’s public statements, Limbaugh backtracked slightly on what he’d said.

“I was under the impression that when she ran for Congress ... some nude photos of her from social media had surfaced. Well, it turns out that that wasn’t quite true,” he said on his Thursday broadcast.

He went on to say, “I honestly thought it was ― ’cause I remember she got very upset that these pictures, she was very mad, and you, I remember, well, what do you expect? You know, you go on social media, you do whatever, somebody’s gonna find it and it’s gonna surface. It turns out they were party photos. Whatever it was, she was upset about.”

Limbaugh reiterated his point that “there isn’t any privacy on social media, particularly if you run for office, people are gonna dive into it” and argued that he wasn’t slut-shaming Ball.

“People who engage in social media, who desperately want to be famous, you’re gonna get it. You want to be famous, people are gonna find a way to find out what you did. I was ― no moralizing at all. You think I’m gonna be upset about some woman appearing nude somewhere? No! That’s not gonna bother me,” he said.

This isn’t the first time Ball and Limbaugh have been at odds. In 2012, Ball launched a website, Boycott Rush, that called for a boycott of advertisers on Limbaugh’s show following his incendiary comments about Sandra Fluke.

Fluke, then a law student at Georgetown University, was invited by Democrats to speak at a hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on so-called conscience clause exceptions for birth control coverage in health insurance plans. 

Limbaugh talked about the hearing and Fluke in a broadcast afterward, calling her a “slut” and a “prostitute.” He was condemned by public figures on both sides of the aisle and later issued an apology, but not before nearly 100 advertisers dropped out of his show.

HuffPost has reached out to Ball, Limbaugh and Hill TV for comment on Limbaugh’s recent claims.

This story has been updated with Limbaugh’s comments following Hall’s criticism of him.

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