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 We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse."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

    Limbaugh is inexcusable...who listens to him anyway? I am personally quite conservative, politically liberterian... this entire "coverage mandate" should be the issue, not what coverage is mandated. Why do we expect insurance to cover normal, "maintenance" items? It is akin to auto insurance covering oil changes. This overuse, over reach is why costs are spiralling. Yea, I've heard, paying for contraception is cheaper than paying for babies..if so, insurance companies should have lower rates when covering contraception (how about condoms then you might prevent STDs as well). If that happens we'll see how tightly the catholic orgs and other faith based orgs hold onto their beliefs in lieu of lower costs

    March 5, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  2. Raj

    This is typical of "less than IQ of 60" right wingers that they will try and divert the attention to "oh the left wing journalist say these things all the time".... I have NEVER heard Bill Maher or even David Letterman call these vicious names to anyone. And if they do, they should be taken to task as well. Rush, the fat head idiot is getting off easy. He should be at least suspended.

    March 5, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  3. ozzie

    Could the voice and conscience of the Pro-Family Values Republican Party be silenced? What do the Republican leaders and one of their essential arms, the U.S. Catholic Bishops, say about this?

    March 5, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  4. jon

    Limbaugh needs to be kicked off the air. His trash mouth doesn't belong on our airwaves. The FCC should ban him. He abuses his freedom of speech to insult and offend others. Fire him.

    March 5, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  5. GEETO

    It's time to flush the toilet known as "The Rush Limbaugh Show."

    March 5, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  6. Smoke and Mirrors

    It may not be so bad if his apology was sincere. He didn't back off his words until sponsors started jumping ship that leads me to believe that his apology is less that above board. He only apologized to try to save advertisers and he isn't truly remorseful about anything he said. He he was to be humorus, he needs to change his show to the Limbaugh comedy show. He has a lot of followers that are dumb enough to jump off bridge if he told them to so that makes him pretty dangerous imo. He talks about serious issues so he needs to make up his mind whether he wants to be a political talking head or a comedian. I don't think he can do both.

    March 5, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  7. Jennifer

    Why do we pay people for THEIR opinions anyway? Why are people listening to this BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. Oh my goodness the world isa ending crap?

    March 5, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. bob

    So long Pro Flowers,and the rest of the spineless .

    March 5, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  9. Jimbo

    We have to have a template of bad and good. Is Rush on the bad end? Is he the worst of the bad? If we do without him, who's next on the list we should be negatively shocked by and want silenced???

    March 5, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  10. Tom

    I am not going to do any business with any of his sponsors.

    March 5, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  11. Fred Riek

    It amazes me how many people listen to Rush. He is a staple for many half illiterate poor people who still have racist sentiments even though Rush is an elitist and could care less about them. He will remain popular with the ultra conservatives even though he makes them uncomfortable from time to time and with the moronic set of people that we unfortunately still have in this day and age of 24 hoour news and ready accerss to free education. I applaud the sponsors who have dropped him and will avail myself to use their products and services. For those who have remeined I will do my best to avoid them. Rush is in it for the money and only by stoppong his source of money will he change his tone. People need to remember his 60 Minute interview where he says people are paying him millions to say the outrageous things he says. He said he was in show business and he is givng his public what they want to hear.

    March 5, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  12. Al-NY,NY

    Amazing Hypocrisy

    Why didn't this happen to David Letterman when he use the exact same word about Sarah Palin's daughter???

    he did apologize you fool,. And if the tightie righties can't organize well enough to get sponsors to leave, that's their problem.

    March 5, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  13. crawbar

    Rush characterised this fluke actions with proper names. How obnoxious it is to request from me paying for her shex. If it was with me I would understand that. Girls were coming to college to study not to fack 3 times a day and being "odacious" to demand the whole nation to pay for it.
    As to the liberal rats that jump the ship and who are squealing in this blog and anywhereelse, some suddenly remembered that the harsh speech may sometimes be "unamerican", you better watch your rattish breed speech and see how American it is. Calling Lora Ingram "shlut" just for the exercise of her right to free speech in telling the truth in a civil way is OK with you, rats. But calling this fluke what she is is not. Rats are rats and libs are being rats through their whole history.

    March 5, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  14. Jules

    He thinks he can say whatever he wants, and he can, but sometimes there are consequences for what you have to say. Women will send out updates about sponsors that support that show because we are outraged and we are outraged at the timid response from the GOP frontrunners, especially Mitt Ronmney, whose response was that he would have chosen different words. Being president takes a lot of courage – this group shows none – afraid of the far right, afraid of Rush Limbaugh and on and on. In Sarah Palin's words, "Maqn up!" Grow some, would you.

    March 5, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  15. ourjungle

    Santorum,and Rush Limbaugh are joined at the hips when it comes to women's issues. Rush Limbaugh feels that women that use birth control pills are sluts, and Santorum feels that any pregnancy from a brutal rape is a gift from god. Yes, they apologized for stating what they believe....but, apologies do not change what is in their hearts.

    March 5, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  16. Ron B

    I am glad to hear it... I know I have contacted every one of his sponsors and demanded change.... I guess money makes the difference. Hopefully FOX will dump this jerk.

    March 5, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  17. Jules

    That would be, Man Up!

    March 5, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  18. psbfla

    It's really amazing how often public figures can do themselves in just by blurting out some obnoxious opinionated statement like Rush just did. What was he thinking???? That it would be....OK?????? His plug needs to be permanently yanked.

    March 5, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  19. John (jayare) Richard

    Rush Limbaugh is a classless, base misanthrope who missed his calling as a village idiot by a few hundred years. He hides his racism and hatred of women behind this thin veneer of "entertainment". He claims to be the holder of the ultimate truths but if you catch him in a lie he claims, "Hey, I'm just a entertainer!". I have a daughter and I have a wife and I'm angry as hell that ANY corporate entity would want this nut case as an advertising spokesperson. He's nearly as entertaining as small-pox, in my opinion, and should be treated in the way. Get rid of him!!!

    March 5, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  20. Alyx Smith

    Totally amazing that he has no comment on our government (FDA) using money to oversee Viagra trials so men can have sex on demand. But let a woman need help with a birth control pill (that by the way is used for many other issues besides sex) and she is called a slut. This man (and I use the term loosely) is one of the biggest hate mongers in the world. He speaks hate, breeds hate, it spews out of his mouth. He needs to pay attention, women are 53 percent of the voting class. And right now they are raging a war on the sponsors of his show and I support them one hundred percent.

    March 5, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. Jim

    Will Limbaugh stay or will the $ prevail ? Conservatives shout their respect for family values and yet they listen to this man an avowed conservative. Yes,we have the right to speak our mind on any issue but should we pay someone to say the things he has been saying for years. Come on business world , have some respect for yourseves and pull your support.Without money he cannot be an influence and espouse the hate he has done for years.

    March 5, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  22. honestmidwest

    My dog yawned this morning and it meant more to me than this guys thoughts/comments.

    March 5, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  23. Wes

    A loser through and through. It is truly amaxing anyone listens, but, I know otherwise seemingly intelligent people that seem to think he has something important to say. Took me about 10 minutes to figure out the guys routine. Truly amazing garbage!

    March 5, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  24. maggie

    Unfortunately, a woman's right to choose was probably not legal when he was in utero.

    March 5, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  25. David M. Self

    Limbaugh needs to stop hiding behind the entertainer label. His is a news show pure and simple. and, others need to stop protecting him by saying the same thing. there is nothing intertaining about his talk show.

    March 5, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
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