Rush Limbaugh Boycott: Reddit, Twitter, Facebook Users Take Part (UPDATES)
UPDATE 1: Limbaugh issued an apology on Saturday. He said, in part, "My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices." Click here to read his full statement.
UPDATE 2: Limbaugh sponsor Carbonite has decided to pull its ads from The Rush Limbaugh Show, despite Limbaugh's earlier apology. Carbonite CEO David Friend wrote the following on the official Carbonite blog: "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."
UPDATE 3: Proflowers on Sunday said that it would also cease advertising on Limbaugh's show.
UPDATE 4: Aol, owner of The Huffington Post, has announced that it will suspend its ad deal with Limbaugh. "At AOL one of our core values is that we act with integrity," said Aol spokeswoman Maureen Sullivan. "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."
UPDATE 5: Tax Resolution said on Monday that it will pull its ads from the show, too.
UPDATE 6: Two local radio stations are dropping Rush from their daily lineups. KPUA in Hilo, Hawaii, and WBEC in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, released statements on Monday in the wake of the "slutgate" controversy.
PREVIOUSLY: The Internet has taken aim at Rush Limbaugh.
The inflammatory conservative political commentator and host of talk radio program The Rush Limbaugh Show set off a firestorm on Wednesday with his outrageous comments about Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, who testified last week before an all-male panel during a House of Representatives hearing on religious freedom and the Obama administration's contraception policy. Limbaugh on Wednesday called Fluke a "slut" and on Thursday said, "If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we [...] want you to post the videos online so we can all watch."
On Friday morning, HuffPost blogger Krystal Ball called for a boycott of companies that sponsor the Limbaugh show. Participating Twitter users are rallying around the hashtag #BoycottRush, and two Facebook pages calling for a boycott had garnered more than 18,000 and 6,000 Likes by Saturday morning.
Reddit user jaybercrow posted on r/politics a list of companies that sponsor the Limbaugh show and encouraged Redditors to contact the businesses to ask that they sever Limbaugh partnerships on Friday. "TO BE CLEAR," reads a caveat at the very top of the post, "this is about taking Rush Limbaugh down through a boycott of his sponsors and in no way is meant to infer physical harm."
During the day on Friday, Limbaugh sponsors began responding to the outcry over his statements. Jaybercrow updated the Reddit list several times on Friday as sponsors pulled their deals with Limbaugh. By Saturday morning, Legal Zoom, Citrix Success, Heart and Body Extract, AutoZone, Quicken Loans, Sleep Train, Sleep Number and Oreck said they yanked ads from Limbaugh's show.
Nine companies remain on the list: ProFlowers, CARBONITE, Inc.,
Mid-West Life Insurance Company of Tennessee*, American Forces Network, Mission Pharmacal Company*, Life Quotes, Inc., Life Lock, Tax Resolution and AOL, parent company of The Huffington Post.
(Accompanying AOL on the list is a link to a landing page for AOL TechGuru, a remote access computer diagnostics service for Windows-powered PCs. The page currently displays a large photo of Limbaugh and advertises a special offer "exclusively for Rush Limbaugh listeners": $4.99 for a onetime computer diagnosis, a 75% discount on the service's $19.99 monthly fee.)
Website Left Action has also set up a Boycott Rush page that lists sponsors of the show. A petition attached to the page attracted close to 50,000 signatures in less than 24 hours, according to a statement on the page. The list of Limbaugh sponsors on that page, which differs slightly from Reddit's list, has also been greatly reduced since the boycott began. At the time of writing, TaxResolution, Sears, ProFlowers, LifeLock and Carbonite remain on the list. (The site lists Lending Tree among the sponsors of the Limbaugh program, despite the company's statements on Twitter that it is not affiliated with the show.)
*CORRECTION: Mission Pharmacal said in a press release posted to its website on Monday that it does not advertise with the Limbaugh program. Mid-West Life Insurance also says it has been incorrectly identified as a Limbaugh advertiser.
Take a look through the slideshow (below) to view tweets from the advertisers who have pulled content from Limbaugh's radio program, courtesy of HuffPost Media.
Kelly@ Quicken Loans
Sleep Number Sara
Sleep Train Mattress
Aquarium of Pacific
New York Lottery
Green Mtn Coffee