Rush Limbaugh Continues To Apologize As Advertiser Boycott Rises To 12
Hawaii Station Cancels Show As Peter Gabriel Demands 'Sledgehammer' Off Rush's Bumpers
March 5, 2012 at 8:15 PM (PT)
The tally of advertisers who have pulled their spots from PREMIERE NETWORKS host RUSH LIMBAUGH's show over his comments about law student/activist SANDRA FLUKE last week (NET NEWS 3/2) now stands at an even dozen, although it is presently unclear whether LIMBAUGH's weekend apology (NET NEWS 3/3) will result in any returning advertisers or whether the advertising suspensions are permanent or temporary.
The list of advertisers pulling spots from LIMBAUGH's show includes CALIFORNIA regional mattress chain SLEEP TRAIN and national advertisers QUICKEN LOANS, CITRIX (GOTOMYPC), SLEEP NUMBER, PROFLOWERS.COM, CARBONITE (which initially said it would hold off pulling its ads until its CEO spoke to LIMBAUGH), AOL, and LEGAL ZOOM. QUICKEN LOANS' sister CLEVELAND CAVALIERS have pulled spots from LIMBAUGH's show on CLEAR CHANNEL Talk WTAM-A/CLEVELAND, which happens to be the team's flagship station, according to WTAM, citing TALKING POINTS MEMO. Most recently, MICHAEL ROZBRUCH of TAX RESOLUTION SERVICES tweeted: "We have decided to join other advertisers and suspend our sponsorship of The RUSH LIMBAUGH Show."
Those outraged by LIMBAUGH's remarks continued throughout the day as two more advertisers tried to calm their TWITTER followers by begging off LIMBAUGH's show. Clothing company BONOBOS became drop-out #10 by tweeting, "Looks like we were running on it, but we've told them to pull us from the show indefinitely. Thanks for letting us know!"
After being barraged by tweets on the matter, SEARS and KMART joined the boycott by responding,"SEARS and KMART did not intentionally advertise on the RUSH LIMBAUGH show. SEARS HOLDINGS has taken actions to ensure our ads do not run on this show. We appreciate our customers, fans and followers and thank you for your business."
CNBC has reported that ALLSTATE is also pulling its ads off.
Limbaugh Opens Show With Apology And Barbs At Obama, Left
At the outset of his show TODAY, LIMBAUGH joked about canceling his own company's "TWO IF BY TEA" commercials but being unable to get past a busy signal. "Give me 30 minutes here," he said, "and then you can do what you want."
Taking a shot at the left for what he described as saying and doing anything to make its point, LIMBAUGH said, "In fighting this issue last week, I became like them ... I descended to their level ... I became like them, and I feel very badly about that." He added, "I do not think that she is either of those two words ... the apology over the weekend was sincere ... I became like the people we oppose."
He then went on to criticize President OBAMA's "socialist agenda" and "extra-constitutionally" making moral judgments over what private insurance plans cover, and recounted his version of the timeline of the issue and Rep. DARRELL ISSA (R-CA)'s rejection of FLUKE's bid to testify before Congress. "All of this," LIMBAUGH said, "is political," adding that the examples of women denied coverage of contraception by GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY's health plan that FLUKE sought to testify about were anecdotal and "unprovable" hearsay, and that FLUKE, knowing that GEORGETOWN is a Jesuit Catholic school, went there to change the policy. He repeated his apology's assertion that the segments from last week were intended as satire and prompted by reports of FLUKE claiming that she could not afford birth control. "I acted too much like the leftists that despise me," he said. "It's wrong, and that's why I apologized. Don't be mad at them or mad at her, everybody was being true to their nature except me."
On the departed advertisers, he said he is "sorry to see them go," but noted that they had done well through their access to the LIMBAUGH audience. "It's a business decision and it's theirs to make. They've decided that they don't want you, and so be it." He said that he "knew the political inclinations" of the advertisers and that they didn't care, nor did he, as long as they were making money. He said that he rejects "millions" of dollars a year from potential advertisers, including, he claimed, GENERAL MOTORS. He said the show will "replace those who leave... who no longer want your business" and advised listeners to "make your own decision" on doing business with those advertisers. And he repeated the apology as well as his assertion that the left does not apologize for its own comments (including BILL MAHER's calling SARAH PALIN names) and that the right should not descend to the left's level. LIMBAUGH also echoed DON IMUS' response to IMUS' own controversy over his RUTGERS women's basketball "nappy headed hos" comment of 2007, noting the use of degrading terms for women by rappers ("Talk about a double standard... Rappers can say anything they want about women. It's called art and they win awards"). "I'm not going to wait for apologies from the left," he said, "for saying despicable things they say about us, about people like SARAH PALIN. Don't expect apologies. They're never going to apologize."
Fluke Isn't Impressed With Apology
FLUKE, appearing on ABC-TV's "THE VIEW," said that the apology didn't change anything for her. "I don't think that a statement like this issued, saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything," she said, "and especially when that statement is issued when he's under significant pressure from his sponsors who have begun to pull their support."
Show Dropped By Hawaii Big Island Affiliate
The HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER's ERIKA ENGLE reports that NEW WEST BROADCASTING News/Talk KPUA-A/HILO, HI announced on its website that it was discontinuing LIMBAUGH's show, effective immediately. NEW WEST Pres./GM CHRIS LEONARD released the following statement this morning:
"We have always encouraged spirited discussion about national and local issues on KPUA and from time to time those discussions may be deemed by some to be objectionable. We are strong believers in the First Amendment and have recognized Mr. LIMBAUGH's right to express opinions that often times differ from our own, but it has never been our goal to allow our station to be used for personal attacks and intolerance. The most recent incident has crossed a line of decency and a standard that we expect of programming on KPUA, whether it is locally produced or a syndicated program like the RUSH LIMBAUGH show.
"While much of the national debate regarding this issue is now being framed in political terms, the decision for us is one of decency and responsibility. Regardless of one's political views on the issue being discussed, we feel the delivery was degrading and the continued comments over several days to be egregious. As a result, we are discontinuing the RUSH LIMBAUGH program on KPUA effective immediately."
The show is also heard in HAWAII on CLEAR CHANNEL Talk KHVH-A/HONOLULU and VISIONARY RELATED ENTERTAINMENT Talk KAOI-A/KIHEI, MAUI, both of which reach parts of the BIG ISLAND with a daytime signal.
So Much For 'Sledgehammer'...
The LIMBAUGH pile-on continued from a somewhat surprising source --singer/artist PETER GABRIEL. Posted on his website was this message:
"PETER GABRIEL has asked that this response be published when he found out that his track 'Sledgehammer' has been used on the RUSH LIMBAUGH show:
"'PETER was appalled to learn that his music was linked to RUSH LIMBAUGH's extraordinary attack on SANDRA FLUTE. It is obvious from anyone that knows PETER's work that he would never approve such a use. He has asked his representatives to make sure his music is withdrawn and especially from these unfair aggressive and ignorant comments.'"
One Activist Wants Clear Channel To Do More
Meanwhile, the same activist who issued a press release rejecting CLEAR CHANNEL's offers after Talk KFI-A/LOS ANGELES hosts JOHN AND KEN as not enough did the same regarding LIMBAUGH, issuing another pair of press releases reiterating her intention to complain to the FCC. JASMYNE CANNICK's JOHN AND KEN release contradicted the comments of other activists who had met with KFI officials, including PROJECT ISLAMIC HOPE leader NAJEE ALI, who told the LOS ANGELES TIMES, "Mission accomplished. We got everything we asked for."
Limbaugh To Be Honored At Missouri State Capitol
A measure of good news came LIMBAUGH's way as well, as the MISSOURI Legislature gets set to honor the host with a statue at the state Capitol. A statue of LIMBAUGH, funded by private donations, will be placed in the Hall of Famous Missourians. LIMBAUGH hails from CAPE GIRARDEAU in Southeast MISSOURI, although he has made his home in PALM BEACH, FL for several years.