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back to article AOL joins advertiser exodus from Rush Limbaugh

AOL has joined the growing band of companies who are dumping their advertising with US radio shock-jock Rush Limbaugh over his comments in the "slutgate" saga. "At AOL one of our core values is that we act with integrity. We have monitored the unfolding events and have determined that Mr. Limbaugh's comments are not in line with …

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He looks like

Andy Gray.

I see a smashing IT angle.

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Anonymous Coward

if money is to be made...

The advertisers will always come back.

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Re: if money is to be made...

Yea, like Tiger woods is making more money than ever now. Perhaps they will come back when he is 60? 70? Of course, Rush has so much more charisma than Tiger ever did, err, wait, never mind.

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What's this bullshit from Citrix and AOL spokespeople about "values" and "integrity"?

Corporations have one job and one purpose only and that is to earn shareholders as much money as possible. As such any "values" or "integrity" are entirely fleeting and for the purposes of advertising only. If enough people decided Rush's comments were funny and clever you'd take him back in an instant and you're lying if you suggest otherwise.

Does anyone actually believe these spokesdroids and their crap?

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zb

A traditional view

"Corporations have one job and one purpose only and that is to earn shareholders as much money as possible."

That was the good old days. Now it is to make as big a trough as possible for senior management to bury their snouts.

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The question I want to ask is

Why stop the funding now? This obnoxious, repellent little man has been obnoxious and repellent for years. If AOL have been quite content to sponsor his show when he was laying into some other soft target and fostering hate and intolerance they should at least have the balls to keep on funding him now.

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Windows

He'll get his pink slip soon enough.

Too much irrepairable damage.

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Big Brother

Re: He'll get his pink slip soon enough.

Not if a Republican gets into the Whitehouse next November he won't.

They are going further and further to the loony right.

He is a figurehead to that part of the US Political scene.

They are desperate for power. The next 8 months are going to see lots more incidents like this sadly.

Get bad press for 15 seconds, apologise and move on. This incident will be forgotten in 2-3 weeks.

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Re: He'll get his pink slip soon enough.

Limbaugh will get a pink slip before November. His radio station isn't going to wait around for a Republican to take office if more advertisers bail on them. Adverts are how a radio station makes money. They're not going to keep this bloke around if he continues to lose money for them. They have no reason to wait around to lose more money. The media will push the issue to get ratings and continue the blood letting until the radio station sacks him. Wait for it. it's coming.

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Re: He'll get his pink slip soon enough.

I have a pretty severe aversion to the Loony Left, but I've also always felt that Rush is a pompous windbag. For the record, Beck is too much of a bible thumper and Hannity seems a tad... whiny?

Jason Lewis and Lars Larsen are the only 2 radio guys who are worth a damn, and they only play at night around here.

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Trollface

Re: He'll get his pink slip soon enough.

"His radio station isn't going to wait around for a Republican to take office if more advertisers bail on them. "

Rush, and other "people" like him, do not work for a radio station. They work for a syndication house, which then sells the content to the radio stations, usually along with an advertising package. The radio stations then add some ads of their own.

The syndication house will continue the show so long as either a) the radio stations are willing to buy the package and/or b) advertisers are willing to pay to be a part of the advertising package of the show.

Of course, the radio stations only care that they can sell ads during the show, and thus, indirectly, if people are listening - if somebody were willing to pay for ads on a show with no listeners the stations would be willing to air the show (assuming they couldn't make more money running a show that people wanted to listen to, of course).

So saying "the radio station will sack him" is incorrect. Moreover, the syndication house that handles his show is, in large part, owned by Rush himself.

That said: Rush used to have relevance, back in the 1990's. Back then, he wasn't quite the shrill Republican shill he is now - he often criticized the party for doing things he didn't agree with. However, after Bush lost to Clinton, the Republican party decided that they needed to co-opt Rush, and they played to his weakness - his ego. They stroked him, fluffed him, and brought him totally into the fold, and now he is such a Republican mouth[piece|breather] that it isn't funny. Moreover, back in the 1990s his assertion of "I *AM* equal time" was, to an extent, true - the media was over-all biased to the left, and while he was extremely right-wing, when you have 5 kids sitting on one side of the teeter-totter, to balance it with one kid means he's got to be pretty far out.

However, that has changed - there are several media outlets on both sides of the wooden nickel that is the Left/Right divide, and his show has been steadily losing relevance. So he is doing what all hacks do - what Madonna has done, what Lady GaGa is doing, etc. - he is deliberately trolling to kick up a fuss, and it is working. That drives listenership to his show, and makes him money. They very fact we are discussing it here shows the plan is working.

And while he may lose a few sponsors, if he gains enough listeners, rest assured there will be folks willing to push their ads with his show.

Troll face, for that is what Rush is doing.

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Coat

Re: He'll get his pink slip soon enough.

Actually, Limbaugh keeps more listeners and makes more money under Democratic administrations than Republican. There's more willing to listen to you when you the voice of the opposition. So the worst thing (other than being dropping by the syndicator) is for Obama to lose. Then he loses what little relevancy he's had.

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Re: He'll get his pink slip soon enough.

You don't understand how this works. He (and his partners) owns the EIB network. He does the show from a studio, which many radio stations rebroadcast. He can't be fired by "his radio station" because he doesn't work for one. The only way he goes off the air is if many of his affiliated stations stop carrying his program. Given that he is the #1 most listened to radio show in the U.S., it's hard for most stations to take the ratings hit that this incurs.

Limbaugh's not going anywhere. He used some poor judgment in this case, but he'll weather it. The media can't destroy him because they didn't create him - he only gets hurt when he alienates his listeners, and this incident is not nearly enough to erode that loyalty.

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Anonymous Coward

AOL was always behind the times

It has really taken AOL this long to figure out that Limbaugh is a bigoted asshole that makes the BNP look moderate? No wonder they're in trouble.

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Anonymous Coward

His remarks were offensive and uncalled-for

But she attended a Catholic college, so what was she expecting with regard to contraception?

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Re: His remarks were offensive and uncalled-for

I never got any insurance at all at my school, for anything! Not getting free birth control seems a tad petty in my framework, all things considered.

NOTE: I am 100% behind Obama's mandate, because birth control lowers insurance costs on most plans. I think logic, not religion, should govern the land.

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Re: His remarks were offensive and uncalled-for

Fluke wasn't asking for contraceptives on the college's insurance so she could have sex. She was giving testimony about another student at her college who required medication to stop her losing an ovary. The college refused to let this other student claim the medication on their insurance because it also had a contraceptive effect. The contraceptive effect would not have facilitated the student in having more sex because she's a lesbian.

Limbaugh deliberately misrepresented the issue, presumably to get conservative christians frothing at the mouth.

If you can't make a point without distorting the facts then you have no valid point. It's no wonder he has to resort to petty insults.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "What was she expecting?"

Reading the article (and the other one about the Citrix bailout), it seems to me she wasn't expecting anything -- she was trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to ***give testimony*** before a Congressional hearing. In my understanding (not being from the US, though) that would imply stating facts or observations, not expressing one's own opinions or preferences or demands.

I'm surprised it isn't illegal to attack people, à la Limbaugh, for such an attempt -- isn't it comparable to putting the pressure on witnesses in court proceedings?

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Re: His remarks were offensive and uncalled-for

"But she attended a Catholic college, so what was she expecting with regard to contraception?"

Actually, her testimony centered more around medically necessary treatments that the Catholic college would not fund because they can *also* be used for contraception, in addition to their other medical uses. In some cases, this resulted in severe injury or illness to people.

I strongly, strongly recommend that everyone, no matter what your political leaning, opinion of Rush, or opinion of contraception may be, read the actual testimony that triggered the firestorm. A transcript is available at

http://abcnews.go.com/images/Politics/statement-Congress-letterhead-2nd%20hearing.pdf

It's quite short. Even a quick read shows that it really has very little to do with "paying for other people to have sex."

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Paris Hilton

Re: His remarks were offensive and uncalled-for

I listened to her so-called "testimony," and I am less than impressed. She was a last-minute replacement for the committee Democrats' original witness, and she was summarily disapproved as the committee did not have time to properly vet her, as is done with Congressional witnesses, before testimony was to be given. Instead, she gave "testimony" before a sub-committee, which had no binding or bearing against the actual committee.

Even so, her testimony would be irrelevant to the proceedings of the committee, which had the purpose to debate whether such a mandate is constitutional, not a reproductive rights or womens' health issue.

Her vague story references her friend as an unknown individual with the putative condition of polycystic ovarian syndrome. A gynecologist is recently on record in radio interview as saying that the condition is not only treated by the hormonal control offered by birth control, but also primarily by weight loss as the majority of his patients with the condition are obese. And, at the risk of sounding glib, she has two ovaries the same as I have two testicles -- the failure or loss of one does not necessarily mean the loss of fertility.

As well, he states that one can find generic birth control at many pharmacies for around $10 per month. I found references to Target and other big-box stores carrying generics for $4 under their own plans. Even without co-pays, I was able to find birth control pills for $30 for generics though name-brand ran around $110.

I would be remiss to ignore the fact that Ms. Fluke and her unnamed friends are attending a college with tuition in the $40,000 to $50,000 range ($46,865. according to their web site.) Surely in their 30s capable of affording this tuition they can obtain individual insurance coverage which covers birth control pills, or even pay the $4 to $30 per month to obtain it without commercial coverage.

Her "testimony" is full of anecdotes and examples unprovable by her due to privacy requirements, and a survey percentage provided with no cited basis. She misrepresents the Association of Jesuit Colleges, the statement from which offers no definitive indication that it accepts the compromise as offered. And I fail to see how the ability to "exercise the rights and access the resources they need to thrive and to decide whether, when, and how to have and parent children with dignity, free from discrimination, coercion, or violence" has anything at all to do with real health issues.

Indeed, women who attend Georgetown University, or other Jesuit institutions, do absolutely "have the right and ability to make voluntary, informed decisions about their bodies, sexuality, and reproduction."

Ms. Fluke has a history of pro-birth control activism, and yet she chooses to attend a Jesuit institution with known aversions to contraception. If you believe her "testimony" was a cry for womens' health, then you have been fooled by this disgraceful show.

Paris, full of anecdotes.

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Thumb Down

Re: His remarks were offensive and uncalled-for

She was expecting her *friend* to not lose an ovary.

Apparently the Catholic college had their heads so far up its ass that it couldn't bother preventing organ damage to one of their students, because baby Jesus would have cried.

Heckuva job, Bishops.

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Re: His remarks were offensive and uncalled-for

She was probably expecting that an employer or institution should not be able to discriminate or restrict the health cover of an employee purely on religious grounds. That is an entirely reasonable expectation too.

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FAIL

Re: His remarks were offensive and uncalled-for

Wow, 7 thumbs down for agreeing with the mandate, or 7 thumbs down for pointing out that any health insurance at ALL is better than I had?

What was so horrible, again?

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Anonymous Coward

Absolutely right

"We have monitored the unfolding events and have determined that Mr. Limbaugh's comments are not in line with our values."

Not surprising. AOL TimeWarner believes in screwing as many people as possible.

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FAIL

Once a scumbag...

...always a scumbag.

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Re: Once a scumbag...

Also I believe he has some experience when it comes to promiscurity.

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Re: Once a scumbag...

What comes out fo the mouth was once in the brain. The people i know who are not, for instance, racists, don't 'mis-speak' or get angry and find the N-word on their lips, because it isn't in their brain as a term they use to describe the world. So Mr Limbaugh's instant reaction of 'let's see videos of her having sex' seem to come from a -- shall we call it a brain -- where those thoughts are already swimming about.

And yet, as a professedly God-fearing man, he knows that the Divine Love reads both his mind and his heart...

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Limbaugh is basically a comedian and manipulator. But most of his followers take his words as absolute truth. That is half of the joke.

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Black Helicopters

The United States.

100% Freedom of Speech unless you say something someone else does not like.

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Oh Nonsense.

Its 100% freedom of speech, nowhere in the constitution does it give you freedom from responsibility.

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Uhh...

No, it's 3000% freedom of speech with various caveats. Get it right dammit.

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Go

As Terry Pratchett said in one of his novels

Freedom in nothing without the freedom to take the consequences.

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Anonymous Coward

Rush is absolutely 100% free to spew his foul-minded sh*t. Likewise other citizens are 100% free to voice *their* opinions, which they have done, and very vocally at that.

This has allowed a number of US corporations (treated as citizens in respect of free speech) to respond to their customers - all in a 100% free manner. And they seem to have responded by disassociating themselves from this, ummm, gentleman.

You, NoneSuch, seem to think that everyone else is apparently *not* free to express their opinions when they disagree with yours. Oh how ironic.

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Jelly toast always falls jelly side down

And Rush is toast, this time he's fallen flat on his face. Not just because he has caused such a stir that he is being condemned from both right and left, but because he has demonstrated what a loose cannon he is. From here on in few if any advertisers will dare be associated with him. Not such a problem for them really, as vitriolic wind bags come a dime a dozen...

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Re: Jelly toast always falls jelly side down

"...he has demonstrated what a loose cannon he is"

This is what I don't understand. Rush and those of his ilk are only ever going to lose votes for the Republicans. Those that like enjoy his rants are always going to vote Republican - but the rabid rants, manipulation of the truth and even outright lies are going to dissuade many of the "middle of the road" undecided voters that the Republicans would need if they want to win.

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Forget the advertisers...

...why's this obnoxious twat still on the airwaves?

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FAIL

Re: Forget the advertisers...

... because there's a certain segment of the population who thinks he's right (about EVERYTHING), and that segment is big enough to make lots of money off of. Said segment likes to call everyone else "sheeple". Ironic, that.

On the other hand, the fact that AOL has an ad-buy to cancel surprised me almost as much as the stuff that pompous old windbag said. How are they still in business? The spinoff didn't exactly light the world on fire.

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Re: Forget the advertisers...

There should be a Godwin's like rule to cover the use of "sheeple". Invariably a person who calls others sheep or sheeple simply cannot countenance their point of view (usually a mainstream, evidence based point of view) and has decided to shut them down with a pathetic epithet. It says more of the person saying it than the people its directed at.

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Happy

Re: Forget the advertisers...

What a coincidence! I've just been arguing at a different forum here with the Rush of El Reg. The token blowhard here.

If Rush gets the hook, he'll probably apply for his job.

Good luck with that.

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Anonymous Coward

Laughing all the way to the bank

Everyone involved is laughing all the way to the bank. They all got the publicity they wanted. There is no such thing as bad publicity in the entertainment Biz. The sheep got duped again.

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Anonymous Coward

Dumb enough for Limbaugh, dumb enough for AOL.

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Anonymous Coward

The truly staggering thing about all of this...

..is the number of people who are completely unable to grasp the relatively simple concept that Sandra Fluke Was Not The One Denied Contraceptives

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Re: The truly staggering thing about all of this...

...and that contraception was only a side-effect of the medication, needed for the treatment of ovarian cancer, and that the sufferer was in any case a lesbian, who would of course have no need of contraception anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Limbaugh is a hypocritical scumbag

Conor Friedersdorf in a 2nd March article in The Atlantic sums Limbaugh up perfectly (all the words below are his words):

If the conservative movement’s least charitable critic invented a talk-radio host to embody every stereotype of a contemptible right-wing blowhard, the result might well be a thrice-divorced 61-year-old man taking to the airwaves to call a young female law student a “prostitute” and a “slut.” It would be too much — too unrealistic — if the same man was once detained after a guys weekend in the Dominican Republic with a bottle of Viagra, and if he went on to compare the female law student to a Nazi and suggest that she post a sex tape online…

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Mushroom

A nasty piece of work

And chock full of hubris.

He believes his own press releases.

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Anonymous Coward

No one knows

No one knows if these woman are sluts, prostitutes, bimbos or whores but they got the media attention they could never buy. The fact that they think some other entity should pay for contraceptives is laughable. This is the mindset of a paid liar and exactly what you should expect from these people. Rush still gets the same paycheck no matter how many advertisers leave.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No one knows

Really? Again? OK, here we go, one last time, just for the really slow people at the back: The medicine was not *for* contraception, it was to treat a major illness. Its contraceptive effect was a side-effect. Furthermore the medicine was for a lesbian, so contraception was not something for which she had a particular desire. Because "lesbian" means that she has sex with other women, you see? Which means that she won't get pregnant anyway, because pregnancy is caused by... look, never mind, this is going to take far too long and would probably be too difficult for you anyway. Just trust me, she didn't need contraception.

The comments relating to these articles are so very full of RTFAs that I'm incredibly surprised you managed to post without spotting one. Perhaps all the froth from your mouth obscured your vision until you got all the way to the bottom of the comments, or maybe you simply scrolled all the way down by mashing the space bar repeatedly in an incandescent frenzy of powerless nerdrage?

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