Premiere Pulls Rush Limbaugh Barter Ads, As Kinder, Gentler Mike Huckabee Prepares
WASHINGTON – Rush Limbaugh has been officially occupied.
…on April 2, Limbaugh will face a more-serious challenge. That’s when the new Mike Huckabee show launches on 100 stations in Limbaugh’s very own noon-to-3 time slot.
Huckabee’s competition threatens Limbaugh not only because Huckabee has already proven himself an attractive and popular TV broadcaster, but also because Huckabee is arriving on the scene at a time when Limbaugh’s business model is crashing around him.
Rush Limbaugh fled the air on Monday, which I tweeted at the noon hour, because he needed to go to church. By “church” I mean the golf course.
Things have gotten red hot for the radio hit man, with Premiere Networks hearing from enough big corporations that they lowered the boom on Monday. They framed it “as part of Premiere’s overall strategy to update our processes and services to better meet our clients’ needs.”
In the note to traffic managers, Premiere Networks says the unusual two-week suspension “does not apply to in-program commercials provided by Premiere within any of its live news/talk programming.” But the suspension of the usual requirement related to the barter spots is effective immediately for news/talk stations, for the weeks of March 12 and March 19. … – Rush syndicator tells news/talk affiliates not to run its barter spots for 2 wks (h/t Think Progress)
Affiliates run the barter ads and in return they get Rush and his political flame-throwing pals, with the revenue flowing from the top. It’s only a suspension, but it’s an unprecedented humiliation for Rush Limbaugh.
“Civility is censorship.” – Rush Limbaugh
Right now people are saying civility is not censorship and with women leading people are using their power to prove one way that capitalism can actually work.
But from Bill Maher to other comedians, as well as the right-wing rabble themselves, we’re going to continue to hear the cries of “censorship.” The American Spectator published an article titled “The Hush Rush Syndrome.”
Women’s Media Center wants Limbaugh off public airwaves.
This isn’t political. While we disagree with Limbaugh’s politics, what’s at stake is the fallout of a society tolerating toxic, hate-inciting speech. For 20 years, Limbaugh has hidden behind the First Amendment, or else claimed he’s really “doing humor” or “entertainment.” He is indeed constitutionally entitled to his opinions, but he is not constitutionally entitled to the people’s airways. It’s time for the public to take back our broadcast resources. Limbaugh has had decades to fix his show. Now it’s up to us. – FCC should clear Limbaugh from airwaves, by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem
I am not signing on to the Fonda-Morgan-Steinem letter, though I’m elated that it was written, because it needed to be said. Their letter is also part of the larger package helping all of this to work its purpose.
The sentiments of the VoteVets to “Get Rush Off The American Forces Network” is equally important.
Barter ads for programming will return, but the uproar, which I hope continues, will make it very uncomfortable for Rush and all of the other rabid ranters on radio.
What I want is for the glorious machine that is American capitalism to exact a price for Rush Limbaugh’s hate speech and the insipid vitriolic screeds the entire right-wing frat club parrots, which Rush launched. That’s fitting justice.
It’s not censorship. It’s holding people accountable for what they’re saying by letting them know consumers won’t buy what they’re selling or anything from the corporations helping them do it.
The result is there will be alternative Republican programming breaking through the right-wing filth, which begins with Mike Huckabee, whose “more conversation, less confrontation” foreshadows what’s coming. He’s a much smarter and harder target to hit, but his politics are just as deadly.
The rise of kinder, gentler Republican talk show hosts could multiply giving new GOTV power to the Jeb Bush wing and conservatives like him, as well as straight talking Chris Christie, none of whom could get elected in the 2012 primary, which is why they aren’t running.
We are looking at a passage. We are also looking at an opportunity for the Republican Party, who remains in charge of talk radio, which was their GOTV machine long before Ailes invented Fox News Channel, and I don’t see that changing.
It could also help Mitt Romney in 2012.
Because if Romney can escape the far right wackos who vote in primaries for people like Rick Santorum, with his extremist anti-birth control and religious politicism, as well as Newt Gingrich’s dangerous “big ideas” like ignoring the Supreme Court, he can emerge strong and remake himself.
Making Rush and his band of blow hards untouchable will also give mainstream Republicans, who have been bound and gagged by the rabble on the right and who have taken a fatal blow through the “war on women”, the opportunity to wrestle control back, something they’ve been waiting to do for years.
With gas prices soaring and Pres. Obama’s approval rating souring because of this and the general feel of the economy, Republicans will live to fight smarter another day.
Capitalism has already taken Rush and his band of scary men prisoner for the short-term through Premiere’s actions, which is all that’s needed for the non-threatening conservatives to step into the void, so that David Frum, George Will and Peggy Noonan can write the script for picking up the spoils.
But the real damage for the extreme right led by Rush is that if congressional members aren’t afraid of Limbaugh and his mini-me clan they can step out and take them on or ignore them, something that hasn’t happened in recent memory.
Rush Limbaugh without clout over Republicans in Congress is like Sean Hannity without Fox News Channel.
However, no matter what fills the void, the Rush frat pack being shown for what they are is good for our politics. Surviving this cataclysmic assault on the way they do their jobs won’t change that they’ve been thoroughly humiliated with everyone in politics and beyond watching.
Wingnut radio men will work on and try to save face, with Rush leading the way. It will be enough for them. But for big corporations in the Premiere Network barter club survival’s not enough.
Business as usual with the boys of right-wing hate radio is over.
Sandra Fluke was the tipping point.
We have a scalp and one part of capitalism that works, the consumer side, helped us get it, which is something Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and the other members of the Premiere Radio Network and Clear Channel universe never thought could happen.
Taylor Marsh is the author of the new book, The Hillary Effect – Politics, Sexism and the Destiny of Loss, which is now available in print on Amazon. Marsh is a veteran political analyst and commentator. She has been profiled in the Washington Post, The New Republic, and has been seen on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic, as well as on radio across the dial and on satellite, including the BBC. Marsh lives in the Washington, D.C. area. This column is cross posted from her new media blog.