Rush Limbaugh is not even close to being off the air. There is undeniably trouble in Rushbo's mean little universe of racism, misogyny and general hate, but only two stations have dropped his show, and Jane Fonda isn't going to get the FCC to kill it.
So, what has been accomplished in the "War on Rush" the past couple of weeks? Well, as mentioned, Jane Fonda, and some of her famous liberal friends have embarrassed the rest of the liberal world and made Rushbo, in an admittedly limited way, a sympathetic character. How did they do this? They did it by demanding that the FCC knock the Limbaugh show off the air. According to an editorial in Forbes.com, this has the effect of garnering sympathy for Rush because he then becomes the only person in America to whom the doctrine of free speech does not apply. Maybe so, but that's not all that's going on.
As of Monday, March 12, at least 140 companies had pulled their commercials from the Limbaugh show, or, if they were not sponsors, had requested that local stations not run their ads during his show. As mentioned, two stations dropped the show (but stations change programming often enough that two out of hundreds gets lost in the noise). In an oddity, Humana, a health insurance company was suing Preval, makers of a memory drug, for calling it Concentra, the name of a Humana health care clinic chain. It seems that Preval advertised Concentra on the Limbaugh show, and immediately afterwards Humana was inundated with calls from angry clients who thought it was an ad for the clinic chain. Perhaps a medication to improve listening skills would be a welcome addition to the medicine cabinet. Ironically, in agreeing to change the name of the drug, Preval said it had previously requested that all its ads be pulled from the Limbaugh show.
In an even more hopeful sign, Premiere Networks, which syndicates the Limbaugh show, told its affiliate radio stations that they are suspending national advertising for two weeks. Local stations are free to run their own ads in the "barter ad" spots normally reserved for sponsoring advertisers, because there are no longer enough sponsoring advertisers. These spots, for which the local station receives no revenue, are the way Premiere Networks makes its money. They're not making any off Rush for the next two weeks, because they're too short of advertisers.
Finally, petitions are hitting the President's desk, Leon Pinetta's desk and Congressional desks demanding that Rush Limbaugh's constant barrage of hate and far-right politics be pulled from Armed Forces Radio. Although the response to early requests was refusal, the pressure is mounting. Perhaps...
Perhaps this is Rushbo's swan song? Is he about to be jettisoned by Premiere Networks, Clear Channels and Armed Forces Radio? Have the liberals who have for so long decried Limbaugh's hate-mongering, fact challenged show, finally won? In the immortal words of Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown," "Sometimes I think it's a sin... When I think I've been winnin' when I'm losin' again"
The truth is (and a sad truth it is, indeed) Rush Limbaugh will simply roll over this obstacle. He will continue to dominate the airwaves of hate, and within a year will have totally erased this incident from his version of reality, except to say that he beat the liberal elites and grew stronger thereby.
Gordon Lightfoot - Sundown lyrics Â© Sony /ATV Music Publishing LLC