All this vitriol is just simply too much. I know his job is to keep his name in the headlines, but Rush Limbaugh's description of the young Georgetown law school student as a "slut" because she wanted her birth control paid for has lowered the bar of discourse.
One of our younger producers put it wisely and best: It makes any chance of civil conversation difficult.
Not that the subject isn't important. Georgetown, and other organizations tied to religious institutions is part of the discussion about what should and what should not be included in health care reform.
It's a legit topic, with reasonable people disagreeing. But when it turns into polemic, angry, vile and seething then we do lose our ability to engage in rationale, civil conversation.
Limbaugh leads that movement. So too did Andrew Breitbart, the uber-conservative activist who died yesterday. He made trashing others a kind of sport and he let fairness and truth be damned.
Thankfully, not all conservatives embrace this style of viciousness. But few stand up and take on Mr. Limbaugh for fear of what?
Maybe they don't want to be mocked on his radio show. The President was today, after Mr. Obama called the law student, Sandra Fluke and expressed his support for her, and offered some sympathy for the public lashing's she getting. That prompted Limbaugh to mock Mr. Obama, and make kissing sounds on the air.
I think intellectually honest disagreements and discussions are healthy for people and for democracy. But we have stooped just way too low these past few years. It's easy to say this all has to stop. It's not easy trying to figure out how.
I'm just sayin'.
We'll have the latest on the health care debate and oh how I wish it were just a debate tonight at 11.
Also at 11, we're keeping track of the tornadoes that are ravaging and/or threatening more than 2 dozen states and tens of millions of people this afternoon and tonight.
Half a dozen states have tornado watches right now an outbreak of twisters that happens only a handful of times per year. And rarely does it happen this deep into winter. But with the warm weather, this is more like spring than winter, and so the tornadoes are here.
Earlier today the National Weather Service predicted this would be a bad day for tornadoes and in fact issued a "high risk" warning, its highest threat level. This is only the fifth time since 2000 that the Weather Service has issued this kind of warning in the month of March.
One of the places hurt a maximum security prison in Northern Alabama. Many injuries were reported ? and some of the prison's fence has been destroyed.
We'll have the latest on the damage and casualty count, at 11.
And our Nina Pineda has the story of several families in New Jersey displaced from their apartments by, they say, their landlord. And if the name is familiar Joe Giudice that's because he and his wife star in the realty TV series, "Housewives of New Jersey."
The problem is an unpaid electric bill, say the tenants. What makes them angry is that Mr. Giudice and you can see this in the TV show lives in a 10,000-square-foot home.
So the tenants called Nina for help and got 7 On Your Side.
We'll also have any breaking news, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's weekend AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports he's in Florida for the Yankees and Mets spring training. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11, right after 20/20.
Subscribe to my page on Facebook at facebook.com/billritter.wabc.