Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Limbaugh is not too big to fail: 34 Advertisers and Counting Leave

Voting with money, voting with one's feet, works as well in an election year as any ballot at a polling place.

If enough people express their position on this, if enough companies decide to look at consumer response instead of only short term profits, then people win, then the marketplace and free speech combined both work.  One station in Washington actually is POLLING listeners about dumping Rush, specifically.

If Rush Limbaugh is the proponent of capitalism and the free markets, then he has to acknowledge when it tells him he is bad and when he is wrong (and he is both, doubling down on his misogyny in subsequent broadcasts).

The best twist of all is that in his apology, Limbaugh satisfied no one.  In his apology, apparently he finished himself, he shot himself down with his listeners, his rabid rabble of reactionaries, to whom he had pandered with his rants in the first place.  Apparently they are angry with him for 'caving'.  It never was about being a joke, or being absurd, what Limbaugh said.  He was ALWAYS absolutely serious in his statements, and now they don't like it that he is claiming he was joking.  They weren't joking, not one bit, they really believe that what he said was true, they really hold those opinions of women and sexuality and contraception.  They are a certain stripe of conservatives, stripes like those that would be found on a diseased, ill-tempered skunk.  In Missouri, Limbaugh's home state, a state legislator wants to induct Limbaugh into a hall of fame for famous people from Missouri, ranging from Harry Truman to Dredd Scott.  There is a petition, one of so very many petitions, to stop that inclusion in the Hall of Fame; I hope Penigma readers will take a few moments to sign it.  There is a huge difference between the sex tourist with the suitcase full of Viagra who cruises the Caribbean for underage girls, and who makes the kind of attacks Limbaugh does, and two of the most revered figures in our history.  The heroes are famous; Limbaugh is merely notorious, a celebrity of sorts, but in a bad way.

There are a few conservatives who are better than that, who aren't afraid of Limbaugh, like Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska who more emphatically condemned Limbaugh for his appalling words.  There ARE principled conservatives, but the conservative side of the aisle has largely been hijacked by special interests, as evidenced by the ALEC legislation they funnel for special interest big money, both corporate and individual, and by extremist culture war ideologues.  Moderates are not welcome and women are not tolerated if they fail to fall in line, which  more than explains the retirement of Olympia Snowe from the Senate, a blow to Republicans, because they do not have a strong candidate to replace her, and are not likely to find one.

As of this writing we are at 34 sponsors who have abandoned Limbaugh - you can read the list here, with more contemplating doing so.  There is not a big pool of people, other than Nut Gingrich's SuperPAC who want to take up that slack.  It was the same kind of advertiser boycott in response to similar excesses by Glenn Beck that led to his eventual disgrace with Faux News, and the loss of listeners.  Beck became an embarrassment; Limbaugh is becoming an embarrassment, for his arrogance, his over-reach with his hatred. 

Beck used to think he had a loyal power base; they left him.  Limbaugh thinks he has a loyal power base; he puts the number of his listeners at 20,000,000.  That number is false, it is inaccurate, and it is grossly overinflated.

Unlike big banks, Limbaugh is NOT too big to fail.  The 34 Advertiser number, that is growing; the listener numbers, that is not.  When the money stops being generated, when the influence is no longer perceived to be real, Rush goes down that long circular swirl into well-earned, well deserved drain of obscurity.  Romney, and Bain Capital, and the Republicans who have had to be nice to Rush even if they didn't really like him...well, let's just say that I don't see them keeping a toothless attack dog on their leash.


  1. He has a 400 million dollar 10 year contract. You really think THIS is going to bring him down. Man liberalism is a mental disorder.

    1. Ben, welcome to Penigma.

      Neither you nor I are familiar with the details of Rush's contract. It may or may not allow some sort of 'out' for the syndication company, or for Bain; we don't know that.

      But as of this writing some 45 advertisers have left Limbaugh, if you count both national and local advertising. It appears, if you followed the link on that topic, that Rush has greatly exaggerated the number of his listerns, possibl by a factor of as much as 10.

      Neither you nor I actually KNOW the size of his listening audience. What we do know is that this has hurt Limbaugh, whether he admits it or not. That has nothing whatsoever to do with liberalism, it has to do with Limbaugh's brand of right wingery being unpopular, and too extreme, and increasingly more and more out of step with most people's thinking, on the right, in the middle, not just on the left.

      Perhaps you should look at any number of polls which show dissatisfaction with the right, with Republicans, even more with Tea Partiers. Libertarians actually fair the best of a bad lot.

      Frank Lutz is trying to remove the word capitalism from the various campaign strategies because it does not poll well. Special interests and the greed of the most wealthy are particularly not popular, and if you look at ALEC, the right has sold out the nation to those interests, pretty much wholesale.

      Will Rush fail? I don't know. The same kind of statements came out of Glenn Beck, and his downfall happened in spite of them.

  2. Ben,

    First, Limbaugh can lose his contract for misconduct, just like Olbermann could have, just like many others in fact HAVE.

    Second, I agree that he's not going to do so. He simply makes his stations too much money. Will he change, no, he won't, he will continue to justify his vulgar, ugly commentary as "justified" by the conduct of the "left" all the while claiming conservatism is more moral - which is in itself both insane and utterly hypocritical. Now that's not something new to conservatism practiced the way Limbaugh does (whcih I'd say isn't in fact conservatism) - and it apparently resonates with you too..

    Now, a pithy comment might be that conservatism is a social disorder, but I don't actually believe that, unlike you who apparently truly believes liberals are deranged. What's your solution then, should they be "locked up", put in camps perhaps? Stripped of rights? After all, they aren't competent, why let them vote?

    I'd be willing to wager my sanity against yours most any day. I don't see my political opponents as the enemy, I see some of them as fearful, and that they let that fear control their reasoning. I see others as prone to failing to check details quite simply because they want to believe what they believe. Eitherr sin isn't wonderful, but hardly makes them mentally unstable, and certainly doesn't warrant the kind of hatred your comment, yours, not Rush's, represents. Apparently the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

    Finally, Maher's comment about Palin calling her a "C-word" and "2 watt" , was repulsive. Very few, damned few liberals think it was appropriate. I certainly didn't think it was funny. I MIGHT have thought it was edgy, and frankly, given how little Palin knew about national affaris, I have to wonder what her motivation was for taking on the nomination to be Veep - she looked/looks overmatched for national politics, but NONE of that justified Maher's statements. HE was wrong, decidely so. If his advertisers and viewers (and by the way, I believe he made his comments at a comedy show), well if his audience boycotts him, more power to them. Maher should at least stop from that kind of vulgarity, it detracts from his point, makes him look petty and mean, and is moronic.

    Are you willing to say the same thing Ben? Are you willing to NOT justify the actions of the right's spokesman in the actions of others? Since when was "they did it, so can I!" EVER a justification for immoral conduct? MAHER clearly believes that he is justified by Limbaugh, and apparently you agree with him.