The fallout continues after Premiere Radio Networks-distributed Rush Limbaugh called Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute.” After an intense crackdown by critics via the media and Twitter, eight advertisers – Legal Zoom, Carbonite, Citrix, Sleep Train, Sleep Number, Quicken Loans, ProFlowers and Go To Meeting – announced they would pull their ads from Limbaugh’s show. Those outraged by the comments also launched social media campaigns to discourage advertisers from supporting his show.
David Friend, who runs Carbonite, issued a statement on his company’s website, saying that Carbonite would no longer advertise with Limbaugh despite the host’s rare admission of regret: “No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady. Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency. Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show. We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse.”
ProFlowers also explained why it was pulling ads via its Facebook page on 3-4. The company criticized the comments as “beyond political discourse to a personal attack” and stressed that they “do not reflect our values as a company.”
Even Republicans are speaking out against Limbaugh’s comments. Arizona Sen. John McCain called Limbaugh’s comments “totally unacceptable” 3/5 on CBS This Morning. Even House Speaker John Boehner released a statement on Friday calling Limbaugh’s comments “inappropriate.”
El Rushbo did give a bit of an apology for his comments through a statement on his website Saturday.
His comments came after Fluke was denied the right to speak at a Republican-controlled house committee hearing on contraception, which featured an all-male panel and included no health professionals, sparking widespread outrage.
Democrats later held their own hearing, at which Fluke was a star speaker.
Also on Friday, President Barack Obama also personally called Fluke to offer his support and thank her for exercising her rights as a citizen, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a briefing.
RBR-TVBR observation: It’s happened plenty of times—talk hosts have so many fans and so many people agreeing with everything they say that they lose sight of the fact that their audience—and advertisers—include folks of differing opinion. Their inflated egos get the better of them and they utter commentary that should only be said behind closed doors. Given Clear Channel’s current problems in LA with KFI’s John and Ken—and now this–perhaps a policy readjustment might be in order for its hosts. It’s now about money—as well as hurt feelings.