Progressives online challenge graying talk radio Republican Party

Old white relatively affluent men clinging to the status quo defines the Republican Party in general and the Tea Party in particular. Talk radio is their voice. Young diverse economically ambitious men and women characterize the progressive movement. The Internet is their voice.

Rush Limbaugh’s declaration that Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke is a “prostitute” and a “slut” who should video herself having sex and post the tapes on the Internet because she thinks insurance plans should cover contraception is the latest flash point between these two groups (“[W]e want something in return, Ms. Fluke: And that would be the videos of all this sex posted online so we can see what we are getting for our money” … the man knows his audience!)


Rush Limbaugh faced rising pressure from critics who are using new media to keep advertisers away from his long-running radio show.

At least 10 companies, including online publisher AOL Inc. (AOL), have dropped the most-popular U.S. talk-radio show after Limbaugh called Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke a “prostitute” and a “slut.” Fluke appeared before Congress on Feb. 23 to speak in favor of President Barack Obama’s policy requiring insurers to provide birth control to women.

Much of the pressure on advertisers has come from online activists using Twitter and Facebook to mobilize against Limbaugh. They see undermining the program’s economic viability as the way to force distributor Clear Channel Communications Inc.’s Premiere Radio Networks to stop syndicating the show.

“The tactic of just asking advertisers has been a very successful one,” said Krystal Ball, a 30-year-old MSNBC commentator who started a website called “So as long as that is successful, we’ll continue.”

Ball, a Democrat, ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2010. The campaign targeting Limbaugh is led by groups like Media Matters for America and the Ohio Democratic Party.

“The social media world has really exploded,” said Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women. “I think Rush Limbaugh is going to go down over this.”

More big companies, including Sears Holdings Corp., owner of the namesake retailer and discounter Kmart, insurer Geico Corp. and tractor maker Deere & Co., are taking steps to ensure their advertisements stop appearing on Limbaugh’s show.

BoycottRush is here. The National Organization for Women is here. NARAL Pro-Choice America is here.


Recommended by jhmccloskey.


11 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. I can't believe he is saying what he is saying

    it’s so embarrassing to think that he has his own radio show, and that people might actually want to listen to this.

  2. According to Ed Schultz's Facebook feed...

    …the number of advertisers that have pulled sponsorship is now 26.

  3. Do you mean THIS Ed Schultz?

    MSNBC has suspended Ed Schultz for one week after he called fellow radio talker Laura Ingraham a “slut” twice on his radio show yesterday.

    “Like this right-wing slut Laura Ingraham… yeah, she’s a talk slut,” said Schultz who was critical of Ingraham’s take on President Obama drinking a beer in Ireland just hours after part of Joplin, MO was decimated by a tornado.


    • as Christopher said

      Ed Schultz apologized, did his penance, and has not transgressed since then. When we see the same from Rush, I’ll take you seriously.

    • Classic "hey look over there!" response

      JohnD, faced with the perhaps unbearable fact that advertisers are, at long last, running screaming from Rush Limbaugh, tries the classic MA GOP gambit: “Hey, look over there! A Democrat did something once!”

      In this case, as others have noted, it’s a total failure, since Schultz (a) actually apologized and was punished by a week-long suspension, and (b) as relevant to this post, was simply reporting facts about the number of advertisers that have bailed on Rush – which is now up to 34, according to ThinkProgress.

      • No the "classic" here is...

        we Dems can do anything but when Republicans do it, it’s really bad.

        Remember the whole “civility” thing where we were all going to be more civil in our discourse? That ended when Democrats couldn’t stop the name calling so Dems, even BMGers, started to defend Dems who attacked Republicans with names.

        Rush is a dope and certainly someone I don’t listen to nor would I ever take advice from him. If we have standard then let’s apply them to everyone and when they break them we can castigate them, no matter what party they support. Isn’t that fair?

        And please drop the “my guy really apologized while your guy just said he was sorry”… please!

        • can't we ever...

          … have a discussion about a misbehaving Republican without it devolving into a truly petty argument about who else misbehaved?

          Rush behaved badly. Repeatedly. Again and again. What do you have to say about THAT misbehaviour…. ? And THAT misbehaviour alone…?

          After we get THAT out of the way, maybe we’ll talk about OTHER instances of misbehaviour. But I’m not gonna compare anything… I’m simply asking, in toto, and without reference to ANBODY elses behavior, what do you think about RUSH LIMBAUGH?

  4. You mean the Ed Schultz...

    …who apologized for those comments and meant it, and as noted suspended for it (unlike Rush on both counts)? Yeah, I mean that Ed Schultz! FWIW, ThinkProgress now has the number at 33.

    • Give me Smerconish

      Rush Limbaugh is a blowhard.
      Ed Schultz is a blowhard.

    • Oh Ed Shultz "meant it" when he apologized...


      Plus he was suspended… so if Rush was suspended this would all go away like Mr Ed’s did? Probably not.

      I agree with Lodger below…

      Rush Limbaugh is a blowhard.
      Ed Schultz is a blowhard.

  5. Two-and-a-half points in rebuttal

    Exhibit A

    For Breitbart, that legacy is the media landscape that greets those same hipsters and professionals whenever they settle into their local coffee shop and fire up their laptop or iPhone. Breitbart’s politics were right-wing, but his digital media achievements were entirely bipartisan.

    Exhibit B

    Klan-watchers … suspect that the nation’s oldest domestic terrorist organization is indeed struggling to keep pace with other racist hate groups. Young racists tend to think of the Klan as their grandfathers’ hate group, and of its members as rural, uneducated, and technologically unsophisticated. The Klan doesn’t seem to have used the web and social media as well as its competitors.

    (( “old white relatively affluent men clinging” ))


    So sing along with Geezer Paddy, youngsters: “This is the dawning of the Age of Breitbartius, Age of Breitbartius [*] . . . .”

« Blue Mass Group Front Page

Add Your Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Tue 25 Apr 12:54 AM