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.

CNN LIVE:Go to, and CNN Mobile for the CNN Election Roundtable, a live video chat hosted by Wolf Blitzer and the CNN political team, on Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET. Tune in this week for live coverage of the primaries on Super Tuesday on, on the CNN apps and on the CNN mobile web site. Follow CNN Politics on Facebook and on Twitter at #cnnelections.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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 We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse."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

Also see:

Poll: All tied up in Tennessee

Romney gets backing from key Republicans

Barbara Bush robo calls for Romney

Romney, Santorum tied in Ohio

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

    This misogynist needs to go!

    March 5, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. nokoolaidcowboy

    Limbaugh apologizes again! For someone that thinks he is a the kind dinga-ling, he sure does a lot of back tracking. Much like the GOP, money talks! lol

    Rush, don't forget to send your housekeeper (illegal immigrant) to run out for your "prescription" meds. Turn it around all you want, only your Repub lackeys buy your nonsense. Go away and take Hannity with you.

    March 5, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. darren

    Not saying Rush didn't cross a line (bc he did) BUT this is a classic example of the media coming down on a Conservative, when liberals make similar comments all the time with no ceverage what so ever. Think of all the names Palin has been called. Think of all the things Bill Maher and the like have said. There are countless examples of liberals sprewing hate and totally ignored, BUT NOW a big time Conservative slips up and its ARMEGGEDON TIME BABY! Unreal..

    March 5, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  4. Michael Wallen

    Is there a list of those sponsers who bailed? We'd like to know so we can bail on them. If you look up and see a pig staring you in the face I'd have a problem with the person who says "oh look it's a unicorn".

    March 5, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  5. deb

    That wasn't an apology. That was "I'm sorry you're so over-sensitive you were offended and have no sense of humor." This man has ben a woman hater since he called the then 13 year old Chelsea Clinton the "White House dog" in the nineties. I don't know why anyone listens to this drug-addled gasbag.

    March 5, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  6. Phil muse

    One more Limbaugh sponsor needs to jump ship: the American Forces Network. As a taxpayer, I resent having my taxes used to broadcast the ramblings of a hate propagandist to our armed forces at home and abroad. If I were a conservative, I'd resent him for misrepresentation, too. If there is anything to be said for American conservatism, and I think there is (without even blasting for it), you won't get it from listening to scummy "shock jocks" of Limbaugh's ilk.

    March 5, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. hehasnoshame

    Rush Limbaugh Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?
    Joseph Welch asked that of another bombast, Joe McCarthy on June 9, 1954. It's time to give the bum's rush to this one also.

    March 5, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  8. MS

    The man is total idiot. The companies are too late in pulling ads. Someone needs to super glue his mouth shut so it never talks. The man is disgrace to the human race and to his own party. It's the right winger nuts that have elevated him to the high pedestal that he thinks he has the right to sit on. Blame yourselves for giving him so much attention.

    March 5, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  9. Bill

    Limbaugh was demonstrating true GOP religious conservative family hate spewing values while in a drug induced stupor

    March 5, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  10. Maryellen

    I hope they keep jumping until there are no more sponsors. I intend to boycott any company that stands by him and his filthy remarks!

    March 5, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  11. Marj

    Why is this man still on the air. He is the face of what's evil in this political arena. He only spews out hate.
    Cancel him already. I have

    March 5, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. Bert

    one must view the video as Limbaugh is spewing his hateful words to see that he was NOT attempting to be humorous, in fact it seemd he was getting off on his tirade ! I hpe more sponsors leave his radio show,,,anyone decent person with a daughter should boycott Limbaughs show !

    March 5, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  13. BBZ

    Limbaugh has always presented himself as a loud mouth bully and he is far from perfect. He has no position to throw stones at others...he has absolutely no room to talk. Think for yourselves America! There is no need to be a follower of such a person as this. You are quite able to make up your own minds without his diatribe and rhetoric. Blessings.

    March 5, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  14. An amused & disgusted Canadian

    Contraceptives for males and females is covered by most, if not all, health care plans offered by employers in Canada. What Century is America in??? It is now the 21st Century. You guys south of the border need to get a grip and get rid of the likes of Rush Limbaugh on your radio programs. Haven't you figured out yet that zealot Republicans hate women? Listen to Santorum! Women Unite and get rid of the women-hating republicans and drown out their supports such as Limbaugh on your airwaves. Our PM is starting to sound like them and he's going to be out in the cold in the next election in Canada.

    March 5, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  15. Joe

    Since everyone is having sex we may as well pay for the birth control. And since everyone is just going to do drugs anyway, we should go ahead and pay for the clean needle.

    March 5, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  16. DaveinPA

    Good. As usual, money talks, and you know the only reason this pompous ass apologized is because he lost advertisers.

    March 5, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  17. Jesucrisco

    Rush is the heart, mind, and voice of the GOP.

    March 5, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  18. Jerome Horowitz

    I have noticed that most of the right-wing radio shows have very few major sponsors. No McDonalds, car manufacturers, etc.

    March 5, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  19. Rudy NYC

    @Kevin – In typical conservative fashion of denial of the actual facts, you have totally missed the point, as well as rewritten the facts.

    1. Had Bill Maher actually used the word to describe Sarah Palin that you are suggesting, I can guarantee you that the entire right wing media machine would have jumped all over it, and we would never hear the end of it until Maher lost his show.

    2. Bill Maher can criticize *public political figures* all he wants. Society has a lowered, MORE LIBERAL, standard when it comes to polticial freedom of speech, which Rush Limbaugh uses to his advantage and profit. Rush Limbaugh chose to criticize a "private citizen" who was asked to provide witness testimony before members of Congress. The standard for freedom of speech is higher, and Limbaugh is open to a civli libel suit.

    March 5, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  20. CB

    People like Limbaugh who spew hatred on a regular basis are not the problem here. He is, after all, availing himself of the right to free speech, repugnant though it may be. The bigger problem are his listeners, especially those who agree with his rants, this one about Ms. Fluke in particular. That is why political discourse in this country has fallen to such abysmal levels. Without them, the Rushes of the world would make no money and, of course, have no audience. There's the real problem everyone. Whether on the left or right, or wherever you place yourself, the hostility towards those with opposing views cannot continue to take this path without it inevitably leading to physical violence. It just can't.

    March 5, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  21. RC

    Better shows have been cancelled for less. Until the stations that carry him put decency ahead of profits, there is no reason for him to change. He will continue to deliver his hate and inciting speech well beyond "until someopne gets hurt" since people listen and companies profit by carrying him. The listeners are as much to blame, if not more, for his success than any corporate sponsor, but at least a few made an effort.

    March 5, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  22. Mary

    "Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness ..." "Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?" spoken to Senator Joseph McCarthy who launched an attack on a clerk working for a law firm whose lawyer was challenging him at the McCarthy Hearings.
    Sort of appropriate for Rush don't you think. It is about time someone ran him aground and I hope the woman of this country are the ones to do it.

    March 5, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  23. Demswin2012

    Mr Rush needs a lesson in humility and then some. But I do not think this hateful man will ever learn.
    It is now the time for Rush to take a different path in life and stop the hate talk.

    I blame Sarah Palin for getting the ball rolling in spewing her hate on her campaign trail. From then on, the Repubs followed suit

    March 5, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  24. Beam

    His attempt to be humous...yea right. I truly HOPE everyone pulls their ads out so he can't even be on the air anymore. He is vile and hateful...he needs to retire...(btw he has a history of this...not sure why anyone would want to sponsor the hate he constantly spews out..)

    March 5, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  25. Dixie Independent voter

    Limbaugh is just as passe as the current Republican party.

    March 5, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12