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Monday, March 5, 2012

Do You Really Want to Send Rush Limbaugh a Message? Boycott His Local Advertisers

Posted by on Mon, Mar 5, 2012 at 9:33 AM

AOL just became the eighth advertiser to pull its ads from Rush Limbaugh's nationally syndicated radio show, two days after the right-wing blowhard issued an insincere apology for repeatedly calling a young woman a "slut" and a "prostitute" for testifying in favor of insurance plans providing birth control.

But Limbaugh can afford to weather this storm. He essentially syndicates his own show, so it's not like he's going to fire himself, and he could eat his own weight in gold and still have plenty left over.

No, the real way to pressure Limbaugh is to go after the local stations that carry him, which are suffering little if any from the pull-out of these national advertisers. Local stations pay Limbaugh to carry his show, plus give him another five minutes of airtime for Limbaugh to run his own ads. These are the ads being pulled—the ones Limbaugh sells. But local stations don't see a dime of revenue from national ads. Instead, they make their coin from the 10 or so minutes of local ads they sell each hour.

Here in the Seattle market, Limbaugh's show is aired by KTTH, owned by Bonneville International, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Church of Latter Day Saints. It would probably be bad form of me to suggest an advertising boycott of a former employer (Bonneville also owns KIRO radio, where I had a weekend show for a couple years), but if somebody else wants to do it, well, that would be the way to best impact Limbaugh. If Limbaugh starts hearing from local stations that his show is becoming less valuable to them, he might think twice before libeling a young woman in a blatant effort to bully others into silence.

Of course, a local advertising boycott would require listening to Limbaugh's show on KTTH, taking down names of local advertisers, and then pressuring them to pull their ads. Not an easy or pleasant task. But again, if you really want to send Limbaugh a message, that's the way to do it.


Comments (10) RSS

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Considering a good 70% of talk radio is nothing but ads, this shouldn't be too difficult.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on March 5, 2012 at 9:52 AM · Report this
seatackled 2
Ick. Well, what time does his damn show air? And what number is the station, which I assume is AM.
Posted by seatackled on March 5, 2012 at 10:42 AM · Report this
seatackled 3
A guy in SF who goes by Spocko has been doing this there. Check out the Press Clippings on the right side of this page:
Posted by seatackled on March 5, 2012 at 10:45 AM · Report this
Limbaugh's been a scumbag for 30 years. How is this current controversy any worse than calling a 13-year-old Chelsea Clinton "the White House dog"?

That's great that advertisers are pulling their support now, but what about the money they've given him for the past three decades?
Posted by DOUG. on March 5, 2012 at 10:48 AM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 5
I trust that in the light of this, that Bill Maher will take note of his own misogynistic barbs over the years and ratchet up his professionalism.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on March 5, 2012 at 10:51 AM · Report this
Man it's true: Run a turd up a flag pole and watch people salute.

What has been completely spun out public consciousness is not that Limbaugh called a woman a slut for wanting contraception.

But rather that in his egregious opinion she should essentially sell herself into defacto sex work to obtain them by doing porn for Rush Limbaugh to enjoy.

Why does no media channel mention this amazing tid bit? That statement is a deeply offensive but well thought-out conceptual position not glossed over by his non-apology and not an "unfortunate word choice."

This statement reveals that he thinks ALL women are worthless whores who have to earn the pittance they get by pleasing him sexually.

The media has allowed to completely re-frame this into an argument about religious choice and contraception by omitting this crucial offense.
Posted by tkc on March 5, 2012 at 11:10 AM · Report this
If this analysis of Rushbo's audience is correct, locals will probably have to boycott gun stores and western wear outfitters - not places frequented by your average Slog reader:…

But hey, nice idea in theory.
Posted by tniel on March 5, 2012 at 11:42 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 8
Meh. Rush's listeners love that he calls women sluts and whores openly. They actually do believe that all women are worthless sex objects and that minorities should either leave the country or just shut up and submit to white, male, christian authority. I don't know if Rush actually believes that shit, but it doesn't matter, his listeners do, and they'll keep supporting him and keep him in business so they can hear their own evil thoughts spoken publicly.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on March 5, 2012 at 11:48 AM · Report this

The standard approach you're using there, where you reframe a misogynist's remarks as "all women are whores" (instead of "all unmarried, birth-control-using women are whores") doesn't really get you anywhere in the debate, I don't think— the woman-haters will just respond "that's not what he said at all," and dismiss you.

I think we might find better footing in the debate with the critique of privilege. In this framing, Rush isn't attacking all women— he's attacking anything that might oblige him to see the world in the same way women are forced to see it.
Posted by robotslave on March 5, 2012 at 11:55 AM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 10
@4 "How is this current controversy any worse than calling a 13-year-old Chelsea Clinton "the White House dog"?"

Twitter. Twenty years ago, we caught a whiff of Rush and thought "Fucking hell! I should write some of his advertisers and complain that I hate them now, but who would notice?"

Now that millions can get enraged simultaneously by the sudden viral infamy of one event, and know that the others in those millions are also outraged and that they are actually taking action right now (and the "action" is the trivially easy sending of emails to corporate websites), it's way more dangerous for famous slander-mongers to piss of the crowd. Knowing that there is a bandwagon is the first step to getting on the bandwagon.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on March 5, 2012 at 12:51 PM · Report this

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