A Week After Comments, Rush Limbaugh Furor Continues
March 7, 2012 at 4:14 AM (PT)
As the furor over RUSH LIMBAUGH's comments about GEORGETOWN LAW SCHOOL student and political activist SANDRA FLUKE reaches its one-week anniversary, the PREMIERE NETWORKS host's affiliate roster remained stable with no further defections beyond the two small stations that dropped the show MONDAY.
Advertiser Exodus Continues, But One Comes Aboard
Meanwhile, stories of advertiser pullouts continue, although the number of defecting advertisers varies by (and sometimes within) report and some of the listed advertisers may not be present advertisers or national advertisers; some lists included local advertisers like dentists and the PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA. LIMBAUGH's show, like most shows that deal with controversial discussions, has been subject to "no-buy" lists for years.
LIMBAUGH picked up at least one new advertiser, if an announcement by "sugar daddy" dating site SEEKINGARRANGEMENT.COM is accurate. The site said it is buying ads specifically on LIMBAUGH's show to support the host in light of host apology for calling FLUKE a "slut" and "prostitute."
Limbaugh Talks Advertising On Wednesday's Show
On his show TODAY, LIMBAUGH said, "No, we have not lost 28 sponsors. 'Well, how can they say it?' Because they lie and because they don't understand how it works, and that's what I want to try and explain. In fact, folks, we have three brand-new sponsors that will be starting in the next two weeks. Now, obviously, I'm not gonna tell you who they are today, but we've got three brand-new, full-fledged sponsors starting in the next two weeks. Two of the sponsors who have canceled have asked to return. We are being very careful about that. Not gonna give you any names here. One of them is practically begging to come back. Everything is fine on the business side. Everything's cool. There is not a thing to worry about. What you're seeing on television about this program and sponsors and advertisers is just incorrect." He noted the distinction between sponsors of the national show and advertisers on local stations, and explained the agency no-buy list procedures.
"The whole effort is to dispirit you," LIMBAUGH told listeners. "It's to make you think the left is being successful in its campaign when it isn't. In fact, the left is so fed up, they can't see straight. They thought they had me. They thought I would be off the air by now. They can't understand why I still am on the air. There is also another rumor going around that I am going to be suspended for a week. It is utter B.S. I would have to suspend myself!"
Rush (The Band) Sends C&D To Rush (The Host)
But the host lost RUSH, the band, which sent him a cease-and-desist letter demanding that the show stop using their music as bumper music, claiming that the show is "essentially a political broadcast" and saying that such use is copyright infringement.
Obama Avoids Topic, Palin Offers Support
President OBAMA, who called FLUKE to offer his support for her in the flap with LIMBAUGH, was asked at a press conference TUESDAY what he thought about LIMBAUGH's apology and the advertiser exodus, and he responded, "I'm not going to comment on what sponsors decide to do. I'm not going to comment on either the economics or the politics of it. I don't know what's in RUSH LIMBAUGH's heart, so I'm not going to comment on the sincerity of his apology."
But LIMBAUGH got some support from SARAH PALIN, who defended the host in an interview with CNN, saying that I think the definition of hypocrisy is for RUSH LIMBAUGH to have been called out, forced to apologize and retract what it is that he said in exercising his First Amendment rights and never is that the same applied to the leftist radicals who say such horrible things about the handicapped, about women, about the defenseless," referring to attacks on her and her family by political opponents.
Bill Maher Defends Limbaugh Apology
And a word of support for LIMBAUGH's apology came from BILL MAHER, whose own comments about PALIN have been used as an example by conservatives of liberal intolerance. MAHER tweeted TUESDAY, "Hate to defend #RushLimbaugh but he apologized, liberals looking bad not accepting. Also hate intimidation by sponsor pullout."
Opponents Post Petitions Demanding Limbaugh's Firing
Petitions demanding that LIMBAUGH be fired have been circulating online, notably one posted by MOVEON.ORG and another prodding the UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA to pull its sports broadcasts from CLEAR CHANNEL Talk WRDU (RUSH RADIO 106.1)/RALEIGH over LIMBAUGH's presence. And the YOUNGSTOWN VINDICATOR reports that a Democratic politician in OHIO, State Rep. ROBERT HAGAN (D-60th), has started a petition to get CLEAR CHANNEL Talk WKBN-A/YOUNGSTOWN to drop LIMBAUGH's show.