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Posted by on Mar 3, 2012 in Media | 33 comments

Advertisers Begin Dropping Limbaugh

First published March 3, 2012 @ 3:21 pm Pacific. Updated: 4 March @ 2:45 pm Pacific as Seven Advertisers Have Dropped Limbaugh

I asked Friday if there were a line that, if crossed, would cause Rush Limbaugh’s sponsors to leave.

As a result of the Sandra Fluke fallout, the answer seems to be a qualified yes. It’s a start. Of course, several companies have been falsely pegged as advertisers on anonymous websites … and staff have had to spend a great deal of time answering POed customers on Twitter.

As a reminder: the Rush Limbaugh show is syndicated by Premiere Networks, Inc, part of Texas-based Clear Channel Communications. In 2008, Limbaugh signed a multi-year contract worth $400 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. Clear Channel is the largest owner (850 stations) of full-power AM and FM stations in the country; @ClearChannel has been silent. The three-times-divorced/four-times-married Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich, who, on Sunday, declared that Limbaugh is not the GOP, are two of a kind.

The embedded Storify provides a current accounting of Rush Limbaugh Show sponsors who have ceased or suspended advertising and those that were improperly indicted. It also provides a list of companies that may be sponsors and their lack of response to the weekend bloodbath.

If you think that Limbaugh’s comments are every bit as offensive as those of Howard Stern, then sign my petition to have the FCC investigate (and, hopefully, fine) Limbaugh. The FCC fined the stations that carried Howard Stern’s program more than $2.5 million.

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  • The_Ohioan

    Corporate sponsors could care less what he says as long as it “sells soap”. They will leave when the public complains and come back when it dies down. They always have.

    Mr. Limbaugh, like any political commentator is free from lawsuit as long as he is only expressing opinion and not maliciously misstating facts. He has always been careful to not cross that line.

  • rudi

    This site did post on the public figure LI. Ed Schuktz lost his job for a time and apologized.

    Limpbaugh is doubling down on his venom

    Sir your full of BS…

  • bluebelle

    Several sponsors have already dropped Limbaugh– Pro Flowers, Quicken Loans and Sleep Number Beds. More will follow because these advertisers can’t afford to anger thousands of people who are emailing and signing petitions.

    This time Rush needs to go!

  • zephyr

    The day RL’s idiotic blowhard ravings are replaced with silence once and for all will a fine day in America. It can’t happen soon enough.

  • jdledell

    Kathy – I want to personally thank you for your work (along with many others) who are leading this fight. Your work is paying off.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    Thank you, Kathy. I have already followed up in several ways.

    But, you know, the real tragic thing about this whole affair is that — I am afraid — Mr. Limbaugh will once more come out of this smelling like a rose — albeit a putrid one — buoyed by an enormous following that feels this is perfectly all right.

    How sad!

  • DaGoat

    I don’t agree with msmhacks but saying he is full of BS is pretty harsh and probably against site guidelines. Ed Schultz did apologize and I think his punishment was fair. His comments were mentioned on this website and he was almost uniformly criticized, to the credit of the commenters and columnists.

    The difference is in the zeal and breadth of the criticism of Limbaugh as opposed to Schultz. There were no calls for he FCC or White House to investigate Schultz, there were no calls for advertisers to drop Schultz’s show and there were no calls for Democratic leaders to publicly denounce Schultz (although some did). Like Limbaugh, Schultz is irascible, partisan and often unpleasant.

    This website went as far as ignoring accuracy to encourage boycotts of companies that don’t even advertise on Limbaugh’s show. So while I agree with the basics of the criticisms against Limbaugh, there is a certain amount of piling on and partisanship going on here.

  • rudi

    Schultz’s attack was I believe his first on a public figure. ES didn’t want to see video of Laura Ingram.

    Mr Hack wrote – “This site said nothing.”

    A quick Google search showed TMV addressed this 7 times.
    TMV ES

    Was i tough, yes – but I didn’t claim something that isn’t true.

  • RP

    I can not agree with everything the MSMHACKS said about Shultz, but one has to wonder if this site is really moderate. I have said before I do not beleive it is really a site for moderate voices as the majority are written about the Right from mostly negative positions and little is written about the Left from that same perspective. Maybe those that decide what gets posted may want to review their choices and become more centrist.

    Now for Limbaugh, as a right of center voter, I view Limbaugh as one who does much more harm to the conservative positions than any good he may bring. I would like to see a complete listing of advertisers that support Limbaugh in an article that does or does not promote one to boycott the product, but simply states these are products and if you find Limbaugh to be way over the line, one choice you have is to boycott these products and write the manufacturer about your concerns of their support for this man. That is the centrist view and allows one to make up their own mind while indirectly promoting the boycott.

  • dduck

    I think some of the facist pig righties have slowed down or dropped out, as commentators, or perhaps they are incarcerated for crimes against humanity.
    However, we have also lost some strong lefties (example,KK) so I don’t think we are too far off to the left, yet.
    What bothers me more, is the loss of some I considered moderate.

  • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

    the commenting area is for the topic of the posts only, not your opines about tmv, or the writers or for attacking other commenters. Read the rules for commenters at the top of the page. Abide by the rules and all is well. Your choice.

  • cjjack

    A couple of points…

    First off, I’m getting awfully tired of the “well the left does it too!” argument whenever something like this comes up. The fact that Ed Schultz was an insensitive jerk in no way diminishes the fact that Rush Limbaugh is a despicable human being.

    Second, with regards to encouraging advertisers to dump Limbaugh, it is a noble effort that will fail. There is already a long list of advertisers who specify that their spots are not to run in any “controversial” programming, and the list of what constitutes such programming is almost as long as the list of advertisers.

    Yet while those advertisers may not run their spots during Limbaugh’s program, they will be more than happy to run them on other shows and services hosted by Premiere Radio Networks, and the number of those shows and services is rather large. So while (pick a sponsor from the above story) may publicly state they’re pulling their ads from Limbaugh’s show, the inventory will be made up in short order, and the amount of money they’re paying Premiere Radio Networks (and by extension, Rush Limbaugh) will not diminish one tiny bit.

  • 2oh1

    It’s really easy to find out who advertises on his show. Tune in on Monday and jot down a list. The show couldn’t stay on the air without the advertisers who pay for it.

    What we really need is a campaign to have ads dropped from any Clear Channel property so long as their Premiere network syndicates Rush Limbaugh.

  • DaGoat


    First off, I’m getting awfully tired of the “well the left does it too!” argument whenever something like this comes up. The fact that Ed Schultz was an insensitive jerk in no way diminishes the fact that Rush Limbaugh is a despicable human being.

    I don’t think most people here are trying to use Schultz’s behavior to justify Limbaugh’s behavior, rather just noting the differing reactions to similar behavior of the two. As far as I’m concerned Schultz and Limbaugh are two sides of the same coin, and neither is worth listening to. The main difference is that Limbaugh is more prominent than Schultz. What is clear is that the people who disagree with Limbaugh politically are much more likely to support Schultz and criticize Limbaugh, and vice versa.

    On the boycotts I actually think they’re a good idea. Hit Limbaugh where it hurts. I don’t agree with the thought Limbaugh is invincible and the loss of advertisers will only hurt him. I also agree with the the WP article today:

    Limbaugh is only hurting the GOP.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    Limbaugh’s “Apology”:

    “ In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.” You choose your words very carefully, Mr. Limbaugh, and you are continually impressing upon your dittoheads that you are 99.98 percent of the time correct. This is pure BS .
    “In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom …” And yet, Mr. Limbaugh, you wanted to see the video of Ms. Fluke’s bedroom activities
    “My choice of words was not the best …” Give me a break!

    “and in the attempt to be humorous” You are full of BS, Limbaugh, a man of your brilliance knows exactly what you were doing and it wasn’t “attempting to be humorous,” unless viciously attacking a young woman is your kind of humor.

    “I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices” Is it sincere or is it because:

    ABCNEWS: Some Sponsors Rush Away From Limbaugh’s Show

    And, yes, please feel free to criticize me for not accepting this so-called apology.

  • dduck

    DDW, I can’t recall a really sincere apology from any public figure, can you.

  • DaGoat

    dduck, comparing this apology to Ed Schultz the apology by Schultz was considerably more contrite. I guess what’s important is if Fluke accepts the apology.

  • zephyr

    “the real tragic thing about this whole affair is that — I am afraid — Mr. Limbaugh will once more come out of this smelling like a rose — albeit a putrid one — buoyed by an enormous following that feels this is perfectly all right”

    My fear too Dorian, although I would love to have that fear banished. I still have trouble understanding how standards have become so dispensable and flexible that some folks can’t or won’t see what’s right in front of their faces.

  • dduck

    DG, If she does a sincere apology acceptance, I’ll pay off on my bet to DDW now instead of in November.
    She is as cute as a button, but she is: “says Fluke, who has spent the past three years lobbying the administration to change its policy on the issue. She’s a former president of the university’s chapter of Law Students for Reproductive Justice, and is an organizer with Catholic Students for Women’s Health, a coalition of students from Catholic colleges and universities.”

    Read more:

    She didn’t just fall of a turnip truck, and look for her on your ballot one of these days.

    Rush is still a pig, however.

  • @DaGoat -> “This website” encouraged boycotts? WHERE? Not here. Not me. I did call for an FCC investigation.

  • It appears that Ed made one statement on one show and then apologized, apparently simply. It sounds like this was a one-off.

    Rush has a PATTERN — did this on three shows – said more than one thing – and wrote a non-apology.

    I don’t see the connection.

    From Wikipedia on Ed Schultz

    “During his show on May 24, 2011, Schultz called Laura Ingraham both a “right-wing slut” and a “talk slut”. Feminist organizations including the Women’s Media Center called for his suspension.[8] The following day he stated on his show “I just want to make sure that if there are any ladies out there who were offended that I used that term, I do apologize. I didn’t mean to offend you.” Schultz further stated he had again embarrassed his family and reached once again “the lowest of the low” for himself.[9] Ingraham accepted his apology, saying “Ed Schultz said something about me on his show that was not all that nice, to say the least. It was pretty crude. He apologized, and I accept his apology. It seemed heartfelt, it seemed like he really wished he hadn’t said it and I accept that apology”.[10] MSNBC issued a statement saying that it had accepted Schultz’s offer to take one week of unpaid leave.[11]”

  • @RP – I’d love to see a complete list of Limbaugh advertisers, too. It’s not public information.

  • @cjjack touches on an important point I was thinking about this afternoon. There are a lot of ad buys are are generic – ie, they are about demographics – and then the middleman picks the shows. Not the advertiser.

  • @DaGoat – someone else already pointed out that TMV writers covered the Schultz matter.

    We don’t have an editor assigning stories. People write about what touches them. I don’t normally write about feminist issues; notice I did not write about this in real time (when the hearing controversy happened). I think this is the second time I’ve written about Rush. His rhetoric offends me because it is patently and strategically divisive and I believe it has contributed mightily to the coarsening of political discussion in this country. When the rhetoric shifts from ideas and proposals to people and character — we’ve taken a hard wrong turn.

  • ShannonLeee

    Congrats to those that put pressure on Rush’s advertizers.

    We have lost commentors on the center-right because they can no longer come on this site and defend the actions of the Republican party. I at one time considered myself center-right…and have voted center-right most of my life. But this current crop of Republicans are destructive and I refuse to identify with them or even attempt to defend their actions.

    Why would any moderate defend the Republican party in their current state?

    TMV has lost center-right moderates because Republicans are losing center-right moderates.

  • rudi

    DDW, I can’t recall a really sincere apology from any public figure, can you.
    Both David Letterman and Don Imus gave sincere apologies after equally offensive comments. Palin fans went after NBC and Imus lost his gig. Will Limpbaugh even see a suspension?

  • dduck

    SL, I would have defended your right to be center right when you were, before you were not, and now that you are center left, it’s OK, since you have that right too.

    I on the other hand have to point out that there are still the same major differences between the two sides. Since you have swung between both sides, it only seems right that you explain those major differences, since I am a biased Rep. Am I right?

  • DaGoat

    TMV has lost center-right moderates because Republicans are losing center-right moderates.

    I don’t follow the reasoning here. The assumption is that center-right moderates come to TMV not to read a moderate viewpoint, but to defend Republicans? And when they’re unable to defend Republicans they stay away? It seems to me if TMV was offering content center-right moderates valued then more center-right moderates would be here.

  • ShannonLeee

    dduck, two extremes having major differences does not mean that someone has to have major opinion differences to move from one side to the next.

    As Reps have gone far right… I have merely stayed where I am…putting me center left.

    And as I started posting here many years ago, I was center right. I voted for Arnie and McCain and my Rep House Rep… maybe you would call the center left, but I think that says more about you than it does me.

  • ShannonLeee

    Readers and Posters are two different things DG. Those that post here, come here to debate and\or defend the actions of their party or politician.

    As for those reading and not posting… I have no idea who they are or what they think. I would need access to the sites Google Analytics to tell you that.

  • DaGoat

    SL you do not comment here to defend a party as far as I can tell, why are you assuming that’s why others comment here?

  • dduck

    SL. pardon me for not being clear. Can we agree that Dems are for big government and Reps are not? Then if I am not for big government, how can I vote Dem?

  • Ladies and gents – can we please get back on topic?


    Comments here are closed. Comments are open on the update Seven Advertisers Have Dropped Limbaugh

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