After Rush Limbaugh shamelessly called Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute,” several corporations pulled their advertising from his show.
While you think this is going to finally pull him off the airwaves – it won’t. It will have absolutely no effect. Worse part about it: Rush Limbaugh knows it. But, many others mistakenly cling to the belief that if they put pressure on the remaining advertisers, no corporation will advertise with him.
If he hasn’t been thrown off air by now, what makes you think he will now? They are going after the wrong target. For one: the corporations being targeted have no editorial control. They are simply concerned with the return on their advertising investment. Rush has a lot of listeners and that translates into, presumably, more sales for them.
Potential boycotters must understand that Rush’s show is operated by the Premiere Radio Networks, which itself is a subsidiary of San Antonio-based Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. More importantly, boycotters must understand that Premiere produces a lot of conservative radio because there are millions of listeners who devoutly follow the talking heads like Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.
So: you may see advertisers dropping out now. But, wait till the dust settles and it’s all forgotten. You’ll see them right back up there.
The odds of convincing Premiere and Clear Channel that Limbaugh is bad for business is – hate to break it to you – remote. It’s all about the audience; and Rush has a certain kind of audience that likes it when he calls a “liberal” loose cannon like Fluke a “slut.” They get downright jubilant about it, in fact. Losing a few advertisers will not suffice because corporations routinely shift where their advertising dollars go. And, for media empires like Clear Channel losing six or seven advertisers is small potatoes.
That is not to say a boycott is impossible. After all, who cares about Glenn Beck now that he is off of FOX News? But, odds are, an advertiser boycott will not work. The reason is simple: Rush is different.
His 2008 contract pays him $400 million over 8 years. He makes his corporate bosses really rich, so they will fight tooth and nail before relegating Limbaugh to the wilderness.
Instead, opponents of Rush should work on marginalizing Limbaugh, challenging his many, many fact-less statements he makes on the air. Truth is the best disinfectant. Let the truth be Limbaugh’s downfall.