WASHINGTON -- Someone finally busted Rush Limbaugh.
On Monday, the right-wing radio host was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians, meaning a bronze bust in his likeness will be placed in the state Capitol. Other Missourians who have received busts include Mark Twain, Harry Truman and Scott Joplin.
"This is something I never, ever considered would happen to me, Limbaugh said at the ceremony.
State House Speaker Steven Tilley (R-Perryville) chose Limbaugh, baseball legend Buck O'Neil and former slave Dred Scott for the distinction this year. The statues are commissioned using private funds.
Tilley was roundly criticized for choosing Limbaugh when word leaked out in March, since it was shortly after the right-wing pundit had called Georgetown University Law student Sandra Fluke a "slut."
As a result, the ceremony's time and date were kept secret until right before the ceremony was set to begin, presumably to avoid protests.
KPLR in St. Louis, Mo. noted that the press release about Monday's induction went out just 26 minutes beforehand.
"This gives major news outlets in Missouri almost no time to cover the induction," wrote web editor Joe Millitzer.
"He may say things that strike a nerve," Tilley said during the ceremony. "That doesn’t undo everything he has accomplished in his career."
State Rep. Stacey Newman (D-Richmond Heights) told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Tilley asked her and a few other Democrats to be on "good behavior" at the induction. At the time, he reportedly told her that the date and time of the ceremony depended on "Rush Limbaugh's schedule."
The Post-Dispatch also noted that the ceremony on Monday was not open to the general public, and Missouri Highway Patrol officers guarded entries into the House chamber. Tilley said he thought an invitation-only event would be best because of the controversy surrounding Limbaugh.
Tilley's office did not return a request for additional comment.
UPDATE: 4:45 p.m. -- The AP reports that there's a chance Limbaugh's bust may not actually be placed in the statehouse:
Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's administration released a memo Monday indicating that a state board -- not the House speaker -- has the authority to determine what items are displayed in the third floor Capitol Rotunda where the busts are located. House Minority Leader Mike Talboy, D-Kansas City, also asserted that Tilley has no legal authority to order Limbaugh's bust to be placed in the Capitol Rotunda.
"The secrecy and exclusion of the public demonstrates that even Republicans are embarrassed at honoring someone who recently called a female college student with whom he disagreed a 'slut' and a 'prostitute,'" Talboy said.