WASHINGTON – Rush Limbaugh’s “slut” and “prostitute” smears have officially become The Talk Radio Tipping Point. He and his right-wing talker spawn have finally been hoisted on their own poison petard.
But this latest controversy comes at a particularly difficult time for right-wing talk radio. They are playing to a (sometimes literally) dying demographic. Rush & Co. rate best among old, white males. They have been steadily losing women and young listeners, who are alienated by the angry, negative, obsessive approach to political conservations. Add to that the fact that women ages 24–55 are the prize advertising demographic, and you have a perfect storm emerging after Limbaugh’s Sandra Fluke comments. – Rush Limbaugh Scandal Proves Contagious for Talk-Radio Advertisers
From today’s TRI Newsletter: Premiere Networks is circulating a list of 98 advertisers who want to avoid “environments likely to stir negative sentiments.” The list includes carmakers (Ford, GM, Toyota), insurance companies (Allstate, Geico, Prudential, State Farm) and restaurants (McDonald’s, Subway). As you’ll see in the note below, those “environments” go beyond the Rush Limbaugh show –
“To all Traffic Managers: The information below applies to your Premiere Radio Networks commercial inventory. More than 350 different advertisers sponsor the programs and services provided to your station on a barter basis. Like advertisers that purchase commercials on your radio station from your sales staff, our sponsors communicate specific rotations, daypart preferences and advertising environments they prefer… They’ve specifically asked that you schedule their commercials in dayparts or programs free of content that you know are deemed to be offensive or controversial (for example, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Leykis, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity). Those are defined as environments likely to stir negative sentiment from a very small percentage of the listening public.”
I’ve been waiting for 15 years for this talk radio moment. I’ve studied the medium from every angle and know it well. From my book, which I’ve not excerpted before, from the chapter “It’s All The Woman’s Fault”:
Talk radio king Rush Limbaugh and his fraternity of hacks like Hannity, as well as Sean’s mini-me, Mark Levin, spew misogynistic drivel all day long as part of the freedom-is-only-for-men crowd, while personally demeaning or lying about any liberal woman who stands up to them. Spewing invective like “feminazis” or using “Hillary Rotten Clinton, her thighness,” a sexist slur Mark Levin directed at Secretary of State Clinton, is what masquerades as “entertainment” on right-wing talk radio. Don Imus, the “nappy-headed ho” gasbag, has referred to Hillary as “Satan.” … ..
[…] … .. Besides, in the new-media age, right-wing talk radio is finally seen for what it is: the last sexist outpost of an outdated medium run by men, where women are merely tolerated as totems: a dying, misogynistic format with a mid-twentieth-century mindset. They’ve got their choir, but the majority of Americans just don’t take their sexist, hate-screen rants seriously anymore; certainly new generations will not. … ..
This is one of those moments in time that has the potential to change everything.
Without hate speech, right-wing talk radio could soon be extinct.
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.