A prominent media voice has come to the defense of radio talker Rush Limbaugh, saying that threats to advertisers in retaliation for comments made on-air is going too far. It’s not unusual for Limbaugh to accumulate defenders, but the identity of the latest defender is a bit unusual.
The defender is a radio talker himself, and more prominently these days, a member of the MSNBC prime time cable lineup – liberal commentator Ed Schultz.
According to a Mediaite report, Schultz made his comments at a New York 6/7/12 event, the Talkers New Media Seminar. He said boycotts are going too far, and noted that they are hurting people who have nothing to do with the ideological battle being waged by commentators and the watchdogs that are trying to muzzle them.
For example, RBR-TVBR has reported the difficulty such boycotts can cause for an innocent sales representative in a small market who happens to work for a station that carries Limbaugh. When the station is hurt, so is the saleperson’s very innocent family, causing the media boycott equivalent of collateral damage.
One of the organizations prominently going after Limbaugh is Media Matters for America, which said it disagrees with Schultz and will continue its anti-Limbaugh efforts.
The article notes that the boycott initiated after Limbaugh’s Sandra Fluke commets has stalled after some early success against Limbaugh.
RBR-TVBR notes that this sequence of events was confirmed by Cumulus in its last quarterly results conference.
RBR-TVBR observation: There’s more to this, and maybe Schultz isn’t such an unlikely defender after all. He is every bit as capable of making an unguarded comment as is Limbaugh, attracting unwanted media attention and pushback from opposing watchdogs.
So in protecting Limbaugh’s slate of advertisers, perhaps Schultz is ultimately trying to protect his own.