Rush Limbaugh dismissed the growing advertiser exodus from his show on Wednesday, saying that it was not having any impact at all on him or his finances.
Dozens of advertisers — Limbaugh put the count at 28, though some estimates have placed the number at 43 — have publicly announced that they have pulled their commercials from Limbaugh's show in the wake of his offensive attacks against law student Sandra Fluke. Limbaugh has since apologized for calling Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute," but companies have continued to leave the show.
On Wednesday, Limbaugh cast the affair as a tempest in a teapot. "Everything is fine on the business side," he said. "Everything is cool."
Limbaugh claimed that two sponsors who had left were going to return to the program, and that the other sponsors were not yanking their commercials from the radio stations on which they aired; rather, he said, they were asking that their spots be moved from his show.
"That is not revenue to us," he said. "They are not our sponsors. They are not even canceling our station ... nobody is losing money here, including us."
Limbaugh cast the publicity around the advertisers as part of an effort by "the left" to drive him from the radio. "They thought I'd be off the air by now," he said. "They can't understand why I still am."
He estimated that he has about 18,000 sponsors across his affiliate network. Losing the ones he has, he said, was "like losing a couple of french fries in the container when it's delivered to you at the drive-thru. You don't even notice it."
He concluded by saying, once again, that everything was going well, and that losing advertisers was an everyday, uninteresting part of doing business.
"None of what's happening is out of the ordinary," he concluded. "It's just part of an onslaught to try to convince you that this show's history and our days are numbered. I'm happy to tell you nothing could be further from the truth."
Of course, what is out of the ordinary is the highly public manner in which the companies have made clear their distate at Limbaugh's comments about Fluke. One former sponsor, for instance, said he had "overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency."
BEFORE YOU GO
Companies that have stopped advertising on Limbaugh's show.