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Strange bedfellows: Maher jumps to defense of Limbaugh

The liberal political talk show host has chided other liberals for piling on conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh.

Liberal political talk show host Bill Maher has jumped to the defense of conservative radio jock Rush Limbaugh.

Maher, a comedian and host of HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher," defended Limbaugh through Twitter. And, he scolded liberals for not accepting Limbaugh's apology for disparaging a Georgetown law student on his radio show.

Limbaugh called the student, Sandra Fluke, a "slut" and a "prostitute," after she had testified at a congressional hearing last month in support of the Obama administration's new contraception rule mandating insurance coverage for birth control.

His attacks took place over three days last week. He later apologized to Fluke through his website, then on-air.

Fluke told the ABC program "The View" on Monday Limbaugh's apology for using the derisive terms had not "changed anything." She is reportedly considering a lawsuit against the  conservative yakker.

But Maher said last night on Twitter: "Hate to defend #Rush Limbaugh but he apologized, liberals looking bad not accepting. Also hate intimidation by sponsor pull out."

Dozens of Limbaugh's advertisers have announced in recent days they are pulling their ads after an outpouring of protests against Limbaugh on Twitter and Facebook.

Maher is not without his own blemishes. Last March, he used an offensive sexist epithet to describe former Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Maher - who recently donated $1 million to a super-PAC supporting President Obama - has also called Palin and Rep. Michele Bachmann, a former GOP presidential candidate this year, "bimbos."

Both Palin and Bachmann are clearly public figures. Typically, it's more difficult for public figures to sue for defamation under current media law.

But it's not clear if the courts would view Fluke as a "limited purpose public figure" in such a case, said one local libel attorney, or as a normal private citizen.