More Limbaugh advertisers jump ship
March 5th, 2012
09:31 AM ET
11 years ago

More Limbaugh advertisers jump ship

(CNN) – Rush Limbaugh's apology for labeling a law student a "slut" and "prostitute" failed to stem an exodus of advertisers from his radio show, as another company said Monday it was withdrawing spots from the conservative program.

AOL, along with 11 other companies, announced plans to remove ads from "The Rush Limbaugh Show," which is the most listened to talk radio show in the United States.

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"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 We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse."

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.

"Regardless of one's political views on the issue being discussed, we feel the delivery was degrading and the continued comments over several days to be egregious," Leonard continued.

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., 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."

Outcry over Limbaugh's comments began last week after he criticized Sandra Fluke, a student at Georgetown Law, 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.

"What does it say about the college co-ed [Sandra] Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says she must be paid to have sex?" Limbaugh asked. "What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex."

Top Republicans and Democrats denounced the talk show host, and President Barack Obama called Fluke Friday to offer his support.

CNN's Kevin Liptak and Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (278 Responses)
  1. American

    Leaving Limbaugh...rightfully so.

    But don't expect a coward of a politician, Romney, to do the same. Still can't believe Mitt ran away from taking a serious stand against Rush's deplorable behavior. Not leadership and not presidential.

    March 5, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  2. rs

    It would be most fitting if the GOP's semi-official mouthpiece not only took himself down with his most recent anti-women screed, but his Republican enablers as well. It is about time.

    March 5, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  3. Peace

    I really doubt the apology Limbaugh issued was sincere/genuine!

    March 5, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |

    These advertisers jumping ship can be compared to the sanctions the international community is putting on Iran. If the advertisers keep pulling their ads, Rush may be out of a job. Any company that supports this man's show, don't expect a cent of mine going into your coffers.

    March 5, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  5. GI Joe.

    His statements had NO basis of truth whatsoever. For instance, Ms. Fluke was NOT talking about herself, but a friend who lost an ovary after ovarian cyst the size of a Tennis Ball. The medication (i.e., birth control pills/estrogen) was prescribed by her doctor to PREVENT THE GROWTH OF CYSTS. There are so many people that take what Rush said as the truth. Not even ONE thing he said had anything to do with her testimony.

    Her testimony is on-line. Read it for yourselves. In fact, CNN, you should PUBLISH IT. But then, the fighting gets more viewers for you, just like Rush.

    March 5, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  6. Bob in Ohio

    Goodbye Mr. Limbaugh. The United States of America will be a better place without your hateful rhetoric.

    March 5, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  7. DEd

    He should be suspended as well.

    March 5, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  8. Real Patriot

    He is such a coward--if he was truly remorseful he would have apologized live on his radio show instead of releasing a "statement" on a Saturday when his legion of fans are all at the tractor pull.

    America-this is your Republican Party-kinda makes you proud huh?

    March 5, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  9. jimmy

    I thought it was funny

    March 5, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  10. Dan

    Lets have a list of the remaining companies willing to invest in this guy. I'm willing to boycott them all...

    March 5, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    "The Rush Limbaugh Show," which is the most listened to talk radio show in the United States.
    One reason for that statistic is how many stations carry it, and how often they play it. You can drive in swing states in the midwest and hear the show on multiple stations, which have overlapping broadcast areas. You can drive all day and catch the show in the morning, afternoon, and the evening. Rush has more air time per day in the most densely populated non-urban areas of the country than most radio evangelicals.

    March 5, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  12. gt

    hit him where it hurts... in the wallet

    March 5, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  13. Expat American

    It’s good to see such a deplorable person reap what they sow. I hope he’s finished. The world could use one less scumbag.

    March 5, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. Emmy Skaddittle

    This is the reason for the Apology

    March 5, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  15. Lee

    I like listening to Rush. He comes up with a new rant for every show. I do not agree with hardly anything he says. But its humorous to listen to him come unglued. The only thing more funny is listening to his callers who actually buy what he is shoveling.

    March 5, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  16. Malory Archer

    He made his misogynistic comments and he meant them. This is what he truly believes, and the deafining silence from the right is indicative that they are of the same belief. Remember that next time you meet a guy, ladies. Ask to see his voter registration card, and if he's a registered (R), run as fast and as far away as you can and don't look back. That doesn't mean (Rs) won't lie and say they aren't registered, but anyone who makes such a claim isn't worthy of your time because they can't even take a moment out of their pathetic lives to fill out a card and vote, so just kick those guys back to the curb. Granted, your dating choices will be narrowed considerably, but at least you know the guys you're sleeping with don't think you're what the fat, drug addicted reichwing radio bloviator called Ms. Fluke.

    March 5, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  17. GonzoinHouston

    I small GOP internal politics in this. Rush has made worse statements than this and gotten away with it in the past. Now everyone on the right is piling on. Maybe they're honestly disgusted with his comments, but I doubt it. Media pundits like Rush, Beck, etc, have become a power faction in the GOP on par with the Tea Party or the evangelists. How many times have you seen GOP pols reverse course when Rush objected? That's power. During this primary season the various factions are vying for control of the party, and I think the other factions are seizing an opportunity to take down an internal rival. Whatever the reason, it couldn't happen to a nicer guy!

    March 5, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  18. Malory Archer

    Tell that to the next girl you're interested in, jimmy.

    March 5, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  19. Concerned in NH

    This was bullying by a radio program. It is not healthy for our children who see too much bullying from their peers.

    March 5, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  20. Fla Pete

    Why did they wait so long,they're just as hypocrital as Rush is.These rightwinger corporations love his style of smut, he's a two time loser in marriages,like most of his eheep are.A pill poppin nitwit who doesn't remember from one day to another what he said..I truelly hope the FCC gets a spine and takes his male chauvanistic pig off the air permanently,he makes ALL men especially REPUBLICANS look bad.

    March 5, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  21. Kyle

    Great women and men have lost their jobs or had to step down for much lesser comments, come on SHUT this guy down finally – HE is part of the partisan problem in this country, much less left over good old boys club chavinism

    March 5, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  22. Mario

    The sad thing is that this controversy feeds right into the things he has been spewing for years about the mainstream media being out to get him and will bring the dim wits that that take this guy seriously even closer to him.

    March 5, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  23. Kyle

    Meant to say 'GREATER" women and men.....

    March 5, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  24. Dee

    You can,t apologize about statements of such "Demeaning,Insulting and Vile" as this???? I will never except it, and will "Not " buy products of advertisment on his show! Unless they drop him! Simple.

    March 5, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  25. Weasler

    Well, there are seven companies that we must now all boycott UNTIL they return to Rush. Those seven companies are: 1.Carbonite
    2.Citrix GoToMeeting
    5.Quicken Loans
    6.Sleep Number Beds
    7.Sleep Train Mattress

    March 5, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
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