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Limbaugh's Fluke Comments Continue To Provoke

Reut Cohen |
March 8, 2012 | 12:20 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh. (Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons)
Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh. (Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons)
More than 40 local and national companies have pulled their advertisements from Rush Limbaugh’s time slot, but the popular conservative radio host reassured his listeners Wednesday that “everything’s cool.”

“[Advertisers] are not canceling the business on our stations. They’re just saying they don’t want their spots to appear in my show,” said Limbaugh during his radio show. “We don’t get any revenue from ’em anyway. The whole effort is to dispirit you. It’s to make you think the left is being successful in its campaign when it isn’t.”

The conservative radio host said up to 18,000 companies may be potential advertisers on any of the 600 stations that broadcast his talk show.

“ABC News, who understands how this works and are purposely misrepresenting it, is out there ballyhooing that we have lost 28 sponsors," he said. "Twenty-eight sponsors out of 18,000! That's 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."

The loss of advertisements comes following Limbaugh’s comments made last week about a Georgetown law student, Sandra Fluke, who had testified before Congress in support of having birth control covered under insurance providers. Limbaugh used the words "slut" and "prostitute" when referring to Fluke.

Limbaugh apologized for his remarks in a statement released on his website on Saturday and once more during his radio show on Monday.

"My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir,” said Limbaugh in a statement. “I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices."

The controversy over Limbaugh’s comments remains, however, with many taking to social media to boycott Limbaugh. Some groups are even demanding his suspension from local radio lineups.

“We are calling on Clear Channel Media Holdings CEO John Hogan to step forward and assume a leadership role,” said a grassroots coalition of black broadcasting professionals in a statement, suggesting Clear Channel demonstrated a double standard with Limbaugh and Howard Stern, who was taken off six Clear Channel stations in 2004. “Unless quick and decisive actions are undertaken, a formal FCC complaint against KFI and Clear Channel will be submitted.”

Limbaugh’s supporters have also taken to social media, particularly the radio host's Facebook page, to voice their support for the conservative commentator. He's also found some unexpected support from talk show host Bill Maher. “Hate to defend #RushLimbaugh but he apologized, liberals looking bad not accepting. Also hate intimidation by sponsor pullout,” Maher Tweeted.

Maher followed up his Tweet on Thursday, responding to criticism following his initial comment. He said he agreed that Limbaugh’s comment was “vile” but that he “doesn’t like fatwas” and added that critics are “beating a dead pig.”

What do you think about the reactions to Limbaugh's remarks about Fluke?


Reach Reut Cohen here or follow her on Twitter.



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