March 6th, 2012
09:46 AM ET
2 years ago

Stations, advertisers drop Limbaugh

(CNN) – A second radio station said it was dropping Rush Limbaugh's radio program Tuesday, calling the conservative host's incendiary comments last week about a law student "unacceptable."

Pittsfield, Massachusetts radio station 1420 AM WBEC, one of hundreds of stations nationwide that carry "The Rush Limbaugh Show," dropped the program from its lineup, according to station general manager Peter Barry. He said the decision was made Monday, and was based upon comments Limbaugh made last week regarding Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, "which we found unacceptable."

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Outcry over Limbaugh's comments began last week after he suggested Fluke was a "slut" and a "prostitute" for advocating broad health care coverage for contraception at a hearing on Capitol Hill

Limbaugh made the original comments Wednesday, in which he also suggested Fluke wanted taxpayers to pay for her to have sex.

On Monday, KPUA, a radio station in Hilo, Hawaii announced it would no longer carry the radio program, effective immediately.

"We are strong believers in the first amendment and have recognized Mr. Limbaugh's right to express opinions that often times differ from our own, but it has never been our goal to allow our station to be used for personal attacks and intolerance. The most recent incident has crossed a line of decency and a standard that we expect of programming on KPUA," Chris Leonard, President and General Manager of New West Broadcasting said in a statement.

The stations' decisions come as advertisers continue to drop their support of Limbaugh's program.

On Monday, AOL joined a number of other companies in announcing they were removing ads from "The Rush Limbaugh Show," which is the most listened to talk radio show in the United States.

"At AOL one of our core values is that we act with integrity," the company wrote in a post on their corporate Facebook page. "We have monitored the unfolding events and have determined that Mr. Limbaugh's comments are not in line with our values. As a result we have made the decision to suspend advertising on The Rush Limbaugh Radio show."

Other sponsors dropping spots from Limbaugh's show include mattress companies like Sleep Number and The Sleep Train, and companies that assist small businesses like Citrix, LegalZoom and QuickenLoans.

One company, Carbonite, a data backup service, said feedback from customers led to the decision to remove advertising from Limbaugh's show. The company's CEO said Limbaugh's apology Saturday wasn't enough to put his company's ads back on the air.

"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," Carbonite CEO David Friend said. "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."

In Limbaugh's apology Saturday, he admitted his "choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir."

He added, "I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices."

Appearing on the ABC program "The View" Monday, Fluke said Limbaugh's apology was issued under pressure from advertisers.

"I don't think that a statement like this, saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything," Fluke said. "And especially when that statement is issued when he's under significant pressure from his sponsors who have begun to pull their support from the show."

It was not clear Monday whether other companies who suspended their advertising before Limbaugh's apology would reinstate their support following the host's apology. Calls to Sleep Number, The Sleep Train and Legal Zoom were not immediately returned.

ProFlowers, an online flower delivery service, said in a Facebook posting Sunday Limbaugh's comments were at odds with their corporate image.

"At ProFlowers, our mission is to delight our customers with fresh and long lasting flowers, and that is our singular focus each and every day," the statement read.

It continued, "Mr. Limbaugh's recent comments went beyond political discourse to a personal attack and do not reflect our values as a company. As such, ProFlowers has suspended advertising on The Rush Limbaugh radio program."

On Monday, Pentagon press secretary George Little said the Defense Department had no plans to stop broadcasting Rush Limbaugh's show to service members on the American Forces Network. Limbaugh's show is part of the Defense Department's policy to broadcast shows that "reflect a wide range" of opinion, Little said.

Little said he had "not heard" of any review of whether Limbaugh's show remains suitable for broadcast after the controversy surrounding Limbaugh. Little also said he could not immediately say what the standards are for whether certain broadcasts are considered suitable by the Defense Department.

VoteVets.org, a veterans advocacy organization, released a statement from female service members calling on Defense Department to stop airing "The Rush Limbaugh Show" on the American Forces Network.

"Rush Limbaugh has a freedom of speech and can say what he wants, but in light of his horribly misogynistic comments, American Forces Radio should no longer give him a platform," the statement said. "Our entire military depends on troops respecting each other – women and men. There simply can be no place on military airwaves for sentiments that would undermine that respect."

On his radio show Monday, Limbaugh addressed the advertisers who dropped their spots from his program, telling his audience, "I'm sorry to see them go. They have profited handsomely from you. These advertisers who have split the scene have done very well from their access to you, my audience on this program."

He added, "That's a business decision and it's theirs alone to make. They've decided they don't want you or your business anymore."

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (239 Responses)
  1. Brian

    The left tries to silence their opposition... the right tries to amplify their opposition, so everybody can see how crazy they are

    March 6, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  2. Paul1st

    Jimmy the Greek and Dan Rather were fired for far less. Is Rush modeling the American values he so dearly trumpets?

    March 6, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. Voltairine

    The inherent brain-damage of Rush has caused the loss of function to his inner voice decision-making process.

    March 6, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  4. Cigar Smoker

    "I'm sorry to see them go. They have profited handsomely from you. These advertisers who have split the scene have done very well from their access to you, my audience on this program."

    He added, "That's a business decision and it's theirs alone to make. They've decided they don't want you or your business anymore."
    ------
    Rush, you twit! You just don't get it! If you want your advertisers back you need to make good with the woman you insulted, Ms Fluke.

    Eat some humble pie and invite her on to your show and apologize to her face to face. If she refuses to appear on your show at least you look like you made every effort to fix this issue.

    March 6, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  5. Jay

    Well as we all know nothing sweet or nice ever comes out of the back end of a horse – so those that accepted what this man has shoveled for years are finally realizing that though they might have been calling it free speech or entertainment in actuality for all these years it was really just what it was starts with sh and ends with it!

    March 6, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  6. kalimon

    Rather than look at his own behavior and make a sincere apology Rush now is going after the sponsors of his show because they felt he crossed the line. Man up Rush, and stop attacking everyone that disagrees with you. Sometimes we are wrong and if we admit it we can learn from the experience and move on. I do not think your audience is dumb enough to believe that the sponsors that left do not want their business. It is you, Rush, that they do not want to be associated with.

    March 6, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  7. Peter

    Two down, hundreds to go. Get this clown off the air.

    March 6, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  8. ronnie

    Hopefully the end of Rush is near. How come no one has asked Rush if he uses condoms on his little prey he desires all these years. What an Idiot. End America's right wing idealology!

    March 6, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  9. Two 4 One

    Oh, that's what he really thinks: ""I'm sorry to see [advertisers] go. They have profited handsomely from you. These advertisers who have split the scene have done very well from their access to you, my audience on this program."
    So Rush the Bimbo now blames the advertisers that "they" benefitted from being on "HIS Flatulence's " program?

    The guy has no spine, no brain and no shame. I hope more now jump the sinking Blimb ship, now that they have seen his latest response.

    March 6, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  10. Nick San Diegon

    So Rush will you continue to "Relish" as the stations and advertisers drop you slowly at first, then picks up steam.

    March 6, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. Ken

    This has been a real wake up call to me. I'm not being sarcastic here. I had really fallen into the idea that Rush Limbaugh was immune and could say anything that he wanted to say. Evidently, Rush thought that, too.

    March 6, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  12. Bastille Day

    His apology was anything but. Flush Rush. Boycott advertisers and stations that carry him. This is not a political issue anymmore. This man is just sick.

    March 6, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  13. Pot Calling Kettle Radical

    He added, "That's a business decision and it's theirs alone to make. They've decided they don't want you or your business anymore."

    No Mr. Pill Popper let's be honest for once, they've decided they don't want to do business with YOU anymore!

    Bye

    March 6, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  14. Whome

    Who cares and I'm almost sure he doesn't he can pick up his millions and walk away.

    March 6, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  15. Kathy from Texas

    As for Pentagon press secretary George Little's defense of Rush Limbaugh and his refusal to stop broadcasting this show the the American Armed Forces, this might be one of the reasons there are so many rapes in the military. Obviously our mlitary does not hold women in high regard, just like Rush Limbaugh.

    As far a Limbaugh's statements go, this is actually funny coming from a man who takes Viagra. Viagra IS covered under our medical insurance plan. So our country is saying that it is important for men to have sex but not for women to have protection from an unwanted pregnancy that she will be responsible for the rest of her life while the sprem donor can go fancy free. I personally think Rush Limbaugh is gay. He wants sex but thinks women who have sex are prostitutes.

    Also, if his program is the most listened to talk show in the United States, it doesn't say much for Americans.

    March 6, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  16. I a person

    Loser, your sponsors didn't and won't ever make 1 cent off me.

    March 6, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  17. Tamara

    Couldn't happen to a better person.

    March 6, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  18. John

    I hope they all drop him, because he has no Business being on the Radio at all.

    March 6, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  19. Hahahahahaha

    Good, this loud mouth blow hard needs to fail. This guy is a needs to get aced in a fiery car wreck.

    March 6, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  20. Pam Segal

    Rush Limbaugh responds with the following: "He added, "That's a business decision and it's theirs alone to make. They've decided they don't want you or your business anymore." He still does not take any responsibility for his actions, instead he says it is the advertisers who no longer want your business.

    It is mind boggling to me how this human being can have so much influence over so many people. Clearly this points to why the government does not work well within itself, when public officials live in fear of the power of this man.

    Next time we empty the trash, we ought to put Mr. Limbaugh where he belongs – in the garbage.

    March 6, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  21. Mr. Rogers

    What do you expect from an opiate addict? What's shocking are the number of people that love this man! It reveals the blight of the Republican Party.. Along with Family Guy.. American Dad.. and all the other cartoons Republicans enjoy.

    March 6, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  22. David Ouellette

    Rush really needs to THINK before he opens his MOUTH!

    March 6, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  23. lvmsleader

    I listen to Limbaugh once in a while and I tend to agree with him more than I disagree. However, I think he is way off base in this instance. He could have said the same thing without using the word "slut". Not that I would have agreed to his point of view on this topic anyway.

    March 6, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  24. Kenny K

    It is amazing that Limbaugh used his own voice to insult Fluke, but could not read the apology that was written on the air. It was probabily written by someone else.

    March 6, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  25. fintastic

    A hate spewing moron plain and simple. I want a list of his sponsors so I can make sure not to give them one penny of my money.

    March 6, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
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